Sussex mum hits back at public breastfeeding '˜shamers'
A mum says two women made her feel uncomfortable when they pointed and stared at her while she breastfed her newborn daughter.
Lisa Astell-Brook, of Links Drive, Bexhill, was feeding her six-week-old daughter at a Bexhill restaurant when her friends spotted two women looking at her.
The 30-year-old mother-of-two said: “I was with a group of friends and they saw it before me.
“There were two ladies on the table next to us, leaning forward and pointing, shooting some nasty looks at me even though I was pretty disguised
“I was just concentrating on my friends and feeding my daughter. If there had been another woman breastfeeding in the restaurant I wouldn’t have had a clue.
“None of my friends said anything to the women but I almost wish I hadn’t been so dignified.
“If I wasn’t out for my friend’s birthday and was just out with my husband or something then I probably would have said something.”
Lisa said the experience is new to her as she was prevented from breastfeeding her son, who is now five years old, due to medical reasons.
She posted on the The Bexhill-On-Sea Facebook group to say how ‘incredibly sad’ it is for people to shame her for feeding her newborn daughter.
The post has received more than 100 comments.
Lisa added: “I was surprised by how much positive support was given.
“I didn’t realise it would attract that many comments and there were people really fighting my corner.
“I saw a quote which I felt was inspiring: ‘My opinion is that anybody offended by breastfeeding is staring too hard’.
“It made me feel much more comfortable as breastfeeding is much harder than bottle feeding.
“I was just incredibly grateful for everyone’s support and more comfortable to go out and feed. It has given me the feeling to carry on and continue ignoring them.”
Lisa said other breastfeeding mums had contacted her to ask for support and advice.
However, she added: “One woman commented on my post telling me I should time my feeds.
“You feed on demand when feeding a newborn baby. If they need feeding, you feed them. You can’t just leave them crying.
“I’m pretty certain if I left my child screaming I would get judged for that.
“As for my advice – babies need to be fed regardless of method; parenthood is hard either way.
“What’s best for the mother is best for the baby. So instead of worrying how and when our children are being fed, we should support one another in making sure they thrive.”