Thankfully, not many mamas are publicly criticised for breastfeeding in public.
For those who are, it can be difficult to find the words to say in response.
You may find yourself feeling vulnerable or embarrassed or, perhaps, too angry to form a sentence.
Of course, once the person has walked away you’ll think of all manner of witty and cuttings retorts, but by then it’ll be too late.
One mama, Telaine Smith, was pleasantly surprised to find support in the form of her six year old son. The 31 year old mama of three expresses milk for her youngest son, Pilot. The four month old was born with a tongue tie and, despite a procedure to snip the tie, is still struggling to latch on to breastfeed. Knowing the importance of breastmilk, Telaine decided to express breast milk for pilot.
Telaine pumps for 30 minutes every couple of hours to ensure she has enough breast milk to feed her growing baby. Pretty amazing, right? This regular pumping schedule means the mama from Queensland sometimes has to find places to pump when she’s out and about.
One day, the mama was pumping in her car which was parked in a car park when she was verbally attacked by a passing woman. Though Telaine had the tinted car windows closed and the air conditioning on, a woman knocked aggressively on the car window while saying, “Put your f****ing t*ts away.”
Understandably, Telaine was left shocked and speechless, but luckily her six year old son, Dallas, had her back. Sitting in the backseat of the car, Dallas said to the rude intruder, “If you don’t want to see it, you don’t have to look.”
Well said, Dallas!
This was the first time Telaine had experienced such an unkind reaction, though she told the Daily Mail Australia she had been made to feel uncomfortable in the past.
Telaine said, “People have opinions, but it impacts the supply for someone, the milk won’t come when I’m tense. Nothing I’m doing is impacting anyone else in a negative way, it’s the total opposite. There’s nothing sexual about it at all.”
The story has been shared around the world, with Telaine receiving messages of support from breastfeeding mothers in other countries. We can only hope the story was seen by the foul-mouthed window banger and that she now feels like a prize boob. And just in case she’s reading this, here’s a list of helpful (and acceptable) things to say to a breastfeeding mother.