Rebecca Dunbar is facing a huge amount of backlash after posting the above photo online. [Photo: Facebook/Rebecca Dunbar]
A Canadian mother is being slammed for sharing a photo of her breastfeeding her baby during a visit to see Father Christmas.
Rebecca Dunbar steered clear of the usual meeting Santa etiquette (shaking his hand, telling him what you want for Christmas and taking a selfie) and kicked things up a notch by nursing her son during the meet-and-greet.
But it wasn’t intentional – her baby simply needed a feed.
“Honestly, we were just in line and my little guy, who has the patience of nothing, decided he was hungry in about two seconds,” Dunbar told Global News. “He would have just screamed the entire time so I started nursing him. And we were next in line.”
She asked the photographer if he was OK taking the photo of her and her son with Father Christmas, while she was breastfeeding, and he agreed – so long as she also had the green light from Santa.
“It’s been 40 years and never had a question like that, but why not,” he reportedly told Dunbar.
Despite not setting out to take the photo, which was taken at the Niagara Square mall in Niagara Falls, Dunbar posted it on Facebook in an attempt to raise awareness of breastfeeding in public.
“Breastfeeding is still such a hot topic and it shouldn’t be. I think people should just accept that it’s a healthy thing,” she said to City News.
What Dunbar wasn’t expecting was the sheer amount of backlash. She quickly received a slew of negative comments, with some people accusing the 40-year-old mum of being “trashy”, leading her to lock down her account.
“What a crock. Mothers know full well that babies get hungry and require feeding probably every couple of hours,” one Facebook user wrote.
“She could have either found a quiet spot… or she could have pumped breast milk first and put it in a bottle in case her baby got hungry. Instead, she decided to act like an exhibitionist.”
Dunbar is by no means the first mum to attempt to stand up for her right to breastfeed in public. While the debate’s been raging on for years, there have probably been more stories about breastfeeding to hit headlines in 2015 than ever before.
But while raising the profile of breastfeeding does have its benefits (breastfeeding rates in the UK are some of the lowest in the world, despite all the evidence of how good breast milk is for babies), photos like Dunbar’s do have a habit of making women who don’t breastfeed feel inadequate.
What do you think? Was Dunbar right to share her photo online? Tweet us at @YahooStyleUK.