Mum called 'disgusting' and told to 'cover up' after breastfeeding in cafe

A mum has opened up about being shamed for breastfeeding her baby in a cafe [Photo: posed by model Getty]
A mum has opened up about being shamed for breastfeeding her baby in a cafe [Photo: posed by model Getty]

A mum who was verbally abused while breastfeeding her baby in a cafe is sharing her story to help #normalisebreastfeeding.

Breastfeeding-shaming is still something many nursing mums fear, which is hardly surprising considering we regularly hear stories about women being shamed by others simply for feeding their babies in public.

The latest mum to find themselves on the receiving end of an upsetting encounter is an Australian, Ashley Rogers.

The mum-of-two was on a breakfast outing with her daughter and baby son and had deliberately chosen a table in a local cafe so she could discreetly breastfeed.

“Somewhere not too open and in one’s face, somewhere side-boob wouldn't get seen, even though my jacket would take care of that,” she said in a Facebook post.

“To be honest, it doesn't bother me regardless, I have fed in the aisles of the supermarket and walking down the street.”

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Having started to feed her four-month-old son, the woman noticed some yelling by a man at a table nearby, but initially didn’t realise she was the target of the abuse.

"I turned around to see what they were yelling at," she wrote.

"It wasn't until I turned my back I realised he was yelling at me. I then heard him say, 'You're disgusting, that's disgusting, cover your t**s'."

Rogers said a woman who she thought may have been the man’s elderly mother sat quietly next to him without attempting to stop his tirade.

Rogers responded by telling the man: "I'm feeding my goddamn son.”

Her message to him and other breastfeeding-shamers is: "Go eat your lunch in a smelly bathroom with a blanket over your head.

"Tell me how you like it."

Thankfully, after the man’s rant, a number of bystanders stepped in to offer their comfort and support to the mum.

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“By this stage some AMAZING women had come over and embraced me in a hug, I burst into tears,” she wrote.

“I was shaken, angry, embarrassed and on the same hand so honoured these women came to help me.”

What made the incident particularly upsetting was that her baby had been struggling to gain weight and had spent time in hospital for failure to thrive.

"I must feed him on demand," she wrote.

"What people also don't know is how hard I have worked to breastfeed."

Before her son’s birth, Rogers had been too embarrassed to breastfeed her other children in public.

"Now I feed anywhere, any bloody time he wants," she said.

The incident has also made her determined to continue to breastfeed her baby whenever and wherever he needs it.

And she is sharing what happened to help encourage others to feel able to breastfeed in public.

“Please share this, help me normalise feeding in public and help women embrace feeding their beautiful gifts,” she wrote.

Rogers’ post has been flooded with messages of support, with many praising the woman for opening up about the incident.

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“You go mama! Don’t ever let anyone make you feel bad for feeding your child,” one user wrote.

“It is the most natural and purest form of nutrition and love. I whip out my boob anywhere anytime and I don’t care what people say! No time for ignorant people!”

“Oh the things I would have said if I were there and saw this happen to you! I am sorry you went through this mumma, keep feeding where ever the hell you need to,” another commented.

“Don’t let this one asshole shame you for the future. Well done you for your hard work sending, your baby thriving vibes!”

Breastfeeding in public has proved a contentious issue globally.

Earlier this year, a mother reported feeling “angry and embarrassed” after being told to stop breastfeeding her baby on Ryanair flight.

Just a few weeks later, another mum shared her experiences online after being told to “cover up” on an aeroplane.

Back in February, statistics revealed that a third of mothers admitted they had expressed milk in a work toilet, pointing to a lack of support for breastfeeding in public.