I was confronted about breastfeeding in public by a stranger...

DeeDee - posted on 07/06/2009 ( 414 moms have responded )

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I went to see the new Ice Age movie with my 6 mo old daughter this weekend. About 30 mins into the movie, she was hungry so I covered us up and fed her until she fell asleep. At the end of the movie, a woman came up to me and said that it was "gross" and "inappropriate" for me to have breastfed my child in the theater. Overcoming my momentary speechlessness (which doesn't happen to me very often), I said, " YOU'RE allowed to eat in here and so is she." She responded that I should "do it in the bathroom". I asked her if SHE eats in the bathroom, and when she started to say no, I said, "Neither does my daughter."



Has anyone else ever had this happen to them, and if so, how did you handle it?

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Melissa - posted on 07/25/2009

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Horrible woman. Kudos for being patient enough to not start raving at her. I think speechlessness occurs naturally to keep from giving busibodies severe tongue lashings.

Herinka - posted on 07/25/2009

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I would have asked her why she wasn't paying attention to the movie, goodness it was dark in there, then I would have asked her if she was a pervert and walked away laughing...I think you handled it fine

Amanda - posted on 07/24/2009

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One thing that I have found very helpful is a little card I found at a lactation consultant's office that has my state's law concerning breastfeeding in public printed on it. I carry at least one with me all the time.

Melissa - posted on 07/24/2009

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I do it all the time!!! Screw that crazy lady!!! I think you should have squirted her in the eye with your milk!! hahaha No seriously people that have a problem with it are just weirdo freaks afraid of personal touch oir something! Dont let it get to you!!!

Cheryl - posted on 07/24/2009

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Good for you!! I've never had anyone say anthing to me about breast feeding either of my boys (almost 3yrs and 11m), but I have recieved some strange looks. I always just look the person in the eye and smile and they generally turn away and move on! I didn't feed my older son very often in public, I would generally go to the car, but with the second one, I don't have any problems. One time I even nursed him while we were furniture shopping!! The sales lady, just got up and walked away!! Plus I'm doing something very good for my child and once he decides its time to eat, I'd better feed him now or it just gets worse! I hope that lady realizes what a bitch she was and like others said "why was she watching you, instead of the movie!" She must not have breastfed her kids if she even has any!! Good luck to you in the future and just remember that you are doing something great for your child and you're not hurting anybody! They can look away or walk away if they don't like it! Its their problem, not yours!!

Lisa - posted on 07/24/2009

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I think that you handled it very well. I don't think that I would have been as nice as you were about it. I haven't had anyone actually say anything to me. But I have had people stare, whisper to each other, shake their heads at me, and I have had the opposite response too. There is absolutely nothing wrong with feeding your child out in public. Some mom's sat outside of a Victory's Secret one time because of a similiar situation. While they all sat outside they feed their little one's. God gave us breast to feed our children and to please our husband's. It's so natural. Don't let someone who is uncomfortable discourage you from having that beautiful bond with your baby that only you can give to her. Cherish that time you have with your baby. Your only going to feed her for a time. Don't let anyone come between you two. My thing is, if they have a problem with it they don't have to look. You have a wright to be there just as they do. I think if society can accept all of these provokative images that flood our streets like open seuwers and the way young women dress today, then they shouldn't a have a problem with a mother doing only what is natural with her baby. Breastfeeding. You go girl!!!!

[deleted account]

Oh my gosh that is so rude! I would never feed my baby in the bathroom. And it's definitely not inappropriate for you to feed her in the theater! You can feed her wherever the heck you want!



What I don't get is why it's ok for people to go around wearing low cut shirts and showing off that way but as soon as someone wants to nurse a baby they get all uptight about it. How about they starve and sit with a blanket on their heads! Grrr. I hate when people bash nursing.

Kaienthokwas - posted on 07/24/2009

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Yeah not to mention that a movie theater is pretty dark and you really have to strain and look hard in order to see what the person next to you or further down is doing! That "gross" lady just paid 10 bucks to watch a baby nurse! No matter where you go people will encourage or discourage, but don't let anyone's ignorance bring you down. This is your baby and you give your baby what you think is best, not them.

CJ - posted on 07/24/2009

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I've never had anyone say anything to me about breastfeeding in public before, and I've breastfed a number of times in theaters, nobody seemed to notice, as they were actually watching the movie. It's interesting that she had such a problem with it, as you were covered. I can't cover my baby with a blanket when eating, she throws a huge fit about having her head covered, so I just use my shirt to keep as covered as possible. But I saw a lady a few years ago breastfeeding in the mall and she wasn't covered at all, we were at the kid play area and during the time I was there (which was at least the majority of the time she was feeding), nobody approached her about it. Oh and that state law I saw a few other's mentioned is actually a federal law. So really you have the right to breastfeed anywhere, covered or not, in any state. Or at least that is what I was told the law now states. I think it's great you stood up to that woman, people really need to be more open minded. You were feeding your child, that's completely natural.

[deleted account]

Kudos to you! I have always got the looks but I guess they know better that to approach a mama bear :) !!!

Milay - posted on 07/24/2009

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Good for you. I would of not been so nice to her. I feed my child when she is hungry, I don't care where it is. I have gotten some dirty looks but never has anyone approached me to say it is "gross".

FORTU - posted on 07/24/2009

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You did good! I had to breastfeed in the intersection of the roads at Niagra falls because I did not see any private place...no one said anything to me.

Bilkish - posted on 07/24/2009

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I live close to a beach & on a good day when I look out the window, I see barely clad men & women wearing tiny strips of material that really leaves nothing to the imagination,not to mention the skanky clothes the not-yet-teenagers wear in the malls,& this is socially acceptable & yet when a mother covers herself in the dark & feeds her hungry child,it is 'inappropriate'.... our society is really messed up.

I was a breastfeeding mother & like u, I was not comfortable feeding my baby in the public toilets so in the absence of a baby-feeding facility,I ensured that I covered myself up properly & I fed my children whenever they were hungry.... if people are not comfortable with this for their own perverse reasons,they should just look the other way.

Ashley - posted on 07/24/2009

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I love your comeback! Good for you! I also am breastfeeding and have not actually had anyone say anything verbally but you certainly can see it in there faces! I was at the pediatrician with my son when he was 2weeks old and jaundiced nursing him with a blanket over him and the entire waiting room of mothers was starring me down big time I mentioned it to my husband and he loudly said, who cares if people have a problem with it, it's the most natural thing! Unfortunately this is what our world has now become full of is nasty judgemental remarks.....I support all of us 100% Don't let anybody stand in your way of feeding your baby!!! :)

Holly - posted on 07/24/2009

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good on you!! if anyone confronted me i would be mad i dont even cover up with a cloth or anything (you still cant see anything) i think its so stupid when ppl are negative bout it keep going!!

Chawndra - posted on 07/24/2009

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OMG!!! I had a oatient say the same thing about a mom in the lab waiting area feeding her child!! And she asked me...Would you feed your baby in public?? Little did she know.. I do and will and have no qualms about it.. What was gross was that she was looking!!!!!

[deleted account]

wow! that is so unfortunate. sounds like she has no sense of what a good mother is, just brush it off and enjoy feeding your baby where ever you are! i'm glad you asked her if she eats in the bathroom, maybe now she'll realize where nursing mom's are coming from. we want our babies to eat in a relaxed and clean environment too.

Nicole - posted on 07/24/2009

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Good for you for sticking up for you and your daughter! :)

I've had to breastfeed in public countless times, one time in court, standing in front of a judge! Thankfully, I've never had anyone react negatively. That's not to say that I haven't gotten strange looks, though.



She's lucky you covered up! You could ask her if she's ever eaten with a blanket on her head! haha



Check your state laws. I live in KY and it's a law here that women can breastfeed in public... I have a card that I got at a la leche league meeting that states the law on it. I keep it with me everywhere I go with my daughter!



:) Best of Luck!!!

Ana - posted on 07/24/2009

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I feel its my duty to as a Mother to feed my baby wherever and whenever he needs me to and hopefully other people being aware of this will change attitudes and normalize such a natural thing. The Sun - one of the UK's best selling newspapers - has a topless model in every issue! So its unbelievable that is considered "normal" but breastfeeding is wrong and disgusting. Maybe people are just feeling guilty for bottle feeding and missing out on such a wonderful loving act between Mother and child.

Shanda - posted on 07/24/2009

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you know, most of the tiem when a woman is nurcing, i cant even tell!!! and its and important thing for children to know how we feed our young. if it seems so inapropriate for our children to see that on a regular basis, the next generation wont be nurced and that could cause a horrible effect on humanity!!

Hannah - posted on 07/24/2009

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That's horrible! But that's how I would have handled the situation too. Here where I live, about a year ago, there was a breastfeeding mother sitting down on the bench feeding her child. A woman came up to her, and basically said that she is disgusting for feeding her child in public, people don't want to see that. Well then, the security guard came up to her, and asked her to leave, because what she was doing was inappropriate. The story ended up on the news, and the next day, about 20 moms went to the mall, and all sat there breastfeeding their children. It's very upsetting that people are so grossed out by something so natural!

Shanda - posted on 07/24/2009

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I have 3 children all of whom I breast feed and I think if you are modest about it then its absolutly acceptable.. ESPECIALLY in a dark theater, this issue is so silly and I am so sad to hear that wven in our times that people actually still appose this natural thing.. I have never seen cat usser her kittens to a bathroom to feed them to be more appropriate.. That was a woman who bottle feed her children and probably did it so that her breast wouldnt sag.. some people aggravate me!

Ana - posted on 07/24/2009

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I haven't had any negative comments as of yet which has surprised me considering how many negative comments i have read in newspapers and heard on the radio. I think the worst was when a woman shouted "Oh, marvelous, wonderful" very loudly at me in a very crowded place. She meant well but it was embarrassing and drew more attention to me than necesary!

Good on you for putting her straight! I am always shocked at how many people have been told to feed in the toilet! Who in their right mind would eat there?!

Breastfeeding Mothers need to be seen feeding in public in order to change peoples attitudes. The law is on our side and there are many support groups.

Keep up the good work ladies!!!!

Jackie - posted on 07/24/2009

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I have been lucky to never run into this, but GOOOD FOR YOU!!!! I do also nurse wherever Kaylee needs to eat.

Heather - posted on 07/24/2009

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I have not had anyone do that to me before but people that are like her usually have never had the blessing of being able to nurse and as long as you were covered that person should have not even noticed. None of her business anyway.

Daphne - posted on 07/24/2009

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Goodn for you!!! By the way by law you have the right to nurse your baby anywhere you want. It isn't as though you you didn't coverr up. You should not let anyone make you feel you have to feed in the bathroom that is unless they take their plate in there also.:0) I do ask if there are men around if they mind or their wives would if so I find a nice place but not a bathroom. I don't like nurseing in front of teen boys or boys older than say 7 or 8. That doesn't count my own son that is being tought that God made babies ti nurse if mommy chooses that. People just need to grown up and get informed. Good luck. I will keep you in my prayers to help you stay strong. Please don't stop going out with you baby. It is good for both of you.

Alison - posted on 07/24/2009

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BRAVO...you handled it well...I wouldn't have thought that well on my toes!!!

Danielle - posted on 07/23/2009

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You go DeeDee! She was gross for watching you and turning a beuatiful bonding moment into something ugly.

Noemi - posted on 07/23/2009

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Well, good for you! I think you handled that situation quite appropiately! Keep up w/the breastfeeding!!! :-)

Janna - posted on 07/23/2009

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I AM A NURSING MOM AND THIS MAKES ME VERY UPSET THAT THIS IS HAPPENING TO PEOPLE. I DO GET STARES BUT NOBODY HAS EVER SAID ANYTHING AND GOD HELP THEM IF THEY DO. I AM SO PROUD OF YOU FOR STANDING UP FOR US AND NOT TAKING IT. THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Jacqueline - posted on 07/23/2009

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well done dee! i support u 100% fortunatelly this has never happened to me, but if it did, i would say those xact words! how dare she.

i breast fed in public whenever bubba was hungry. i would never deny a hungry baby. well it was either that or have him scream the place down! lol.

ive seen mothers nursing in churches, i see nothing wrong with feeding a hungry baby.

[deleted account]

Just ignore it. I've breastfed in public too. In fact I did at the cheesecake factory last weekend. And I totally support your response. Well done!

Shanna - posted on 07/23/2009

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thats crazy.. she overreacted. Personally i dont feed mine in public, but only because i have two and theres no way to cover it up. lol But honestly you could feed her in public without covering up. The government doesnt restrict it anymore so i dont see what her big deal was. She obviously didnt have any kids.

[deleted account]

Right on sister! You delivered the response she deserved. The people I really feel sorry for are those mothers out there without support who get bullied into making adjustments for ignorant people like the woman you encountered in the theater. I think I'm fortunate enough to have an appearance that makes a person think twice before confronting me, because I have never had anyone stupid enough to say something. I breastfed on the airplane, which, even for me was pushing the limits of comfort, but what are you going to do? I wasn't about to travel with a bunch of bottles and formula and a pump, it's bad enough I have to get down to my bare feet just to get through security. I think it's lack of maturity for someone to make a comment about breastfeeding, which is a damn shame coming from a grown ass woman. Good for you holding your ground though! You're an inspiration to the rest of us.

Desirae - posted on 07/23/2009

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Wow she had nerve to tell you the bathroom bit, now that's "gross". I'm glad I never had that happen to me. I don't know how I would respond because I think I would just be in shock. My grandma told me that when she was traveling with my aunts & uncles & she had to breastfeed she just used a diaper to cover up. It's dark & loud in a theater, why should she being paying attention to what you're doing? I think that woman needs to get a life. And then to come up to you & say anything is just crazy.

Danielle - posted on 07/23/2009

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O my goodness!! Fortunately that has never happened to me. But I dont understand the big deal of you breastfeeding YOUR child in DARK theater where EVERYONE including YOU paid to get into. Not to mention the movie is on th big screen not in ur lap. Breastfeeding is a way of life and people really need to get with it. I used to be skeptical about breastfeeding my daughter in public places but for what. When I'm hungry I eat no matter where I am so when she's hungry she's gonna eat to, no matter where she is!!! Be proud of yourself and never feel ashamed!! Remember BREAST IS BEST!!! LOL!!!

Kellie - posted on 07/23/2009

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I've had similar situations. It's unfortunate that people are so ignorant. I would have told her that she was gross and inappropriate. :) I wonder if a screaming hungry baby would have offended her less!!

Too bad for her - obviously she never experienced the joy that breastfeeding is. Keep up the good work!!!!

Kellie - posted on 07/23/2009

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I've had similar situations. It's unfortunate that people are so ignorant. I would have told her that she was gross and inappropriate. :) I wonder if a screaming hungry baby would have offended her less!!

Too bad for her - obviously she never experienced the joy that breastfeeding is. Keep up the good work!!!!

Kellie - posted on 07/23/2009

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I've had similar situations. It's unfortunate that people are so ignorant. I would have told her that she was gross and inappropriate. :) I wonder if a screaming hungry baby would have offended her less!!

Too bad for her - obviously she never experienced the joy that breastfeeding is. Keep up the good work!!!!

India - posted on 07/23/2009

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OMG! It makes me so mad to hear ppl being so freaking ignorant! That is just awful that ppl have a problem with breastfeeding in public. I breastfed my first child that is 3 years old now and I breastfeed my 7 month old baby in public all the time and never had a negative experience. It just makes me so mad to hear about mothers that do have to deal with that!

Jackie - posted on 07/23/2009

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In doing research for my own purposes, I learned that you are allowed to breastfeed anywhere that you are legally allowed to be. My response would have been as plain and simple as that. If someone is offended, ask them if they are offended when they see someone walking through the mall with DD breasts that are spilling out over their shirt. I find this more offesnive than taking part in a nurturing act.

Phoebe - posted on 07/23/2009

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How rude! Ignore her. She obviously didn't breastfeed her children. I am muslim and cover from head to toe, but am planning on breastfeeding my child. If she/he is hungry, I will cover us up and do it in public without a second thought. You said you were covered. She must have not liked the movie and was angry that she spent the money to go see it.

Megan - posted on 07/23/2009

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I think what you said to her was perfect. We do have a right to breastfeed anywhere. I have never really been negativley approched about feeding my son in public, but there were 2 instances that I was politley asked if i would like a more private spot or a blanket to cover up. I was in walmart the other day & my son got hungry so I went to the snack place they have in there & started feeding my son, the greater at the front door noticed me through the window & asked if I would like a private room with a door, I told her no that I was fine & she asked a couple of times. Maybe she was trying to get me to not feed in public, but I was in a place that everyone eats so I dont think he needs to be hidden to eat. I dont normally use a blanket to cover up either, once he's on you cant really see anything. I was getting his pictures done at a photo studio & the lady there gave me 1 of there background blanket things to cover up with. I took it just to make her feel better but other than that I just feed him without covering anything up. I think it would be great if we could put a blanket over the heads of the people that disappprove. Also carrying a copy of the law sounds like a good idea to throw in peoples face when they have a problem, but other than that I dont think its necessary, people dont carry a copy of the law saying they can eat in public so why should we carry a law saying a children can breastfeed in public.

Rachel - posted on 07/23/2009

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I think u did a GREAT JOB!!!! I would have done that too and furthermore you have the process covered up.. I believe she is not a mother, if not, she is for sure not an experienced BREASTFEEDING MOMMY!! Don't be bothered by that insensitive woman, we know we are doing what's best for our babies. :)

Michelle - posted on 07/23/2009

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I see people do it all the time and there is nothing wrong. so forget that woman!

Michelle - posted on 07/23/2009

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I see people do it all the time and there is nothing wrong. so forget that woman!

Kirsten - posted on 07/23/2009

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I do not usually write on these things but I could not help it when I read this. It is so sad that the people who often complain about breastfeeding are other women. I had the same experience at a cafe on the beach - as a relaxed atmosphere as you can get, plus I had a baggy t-shirt covering everything! So much for the sisterhood. But I think that things are slowly changing and more and more people are starting to understand that it is natural and normal to breastfeed in public. My 10 month old daughter will not take the bottle no matter what I try, so I will have to continue breastfeeding until she no longer requires milk. I was told by another mother that breastfeeding after a child is one is not 'the done thing'. When I questioned her about this she could not come up with an adequate response. Does it mean that after turning one my daughter suddenly develops lewd and obscene intentions towards me or vice versa? Or is it that the exposed part of my breast is suddenly more offensive once my daughter turns one. Why is it OK for the girl on page three to show her bare breasts but it is considered 'not the done thing' to feed our babies? (in the UK we still have page three girls ie: no top) We really need to keep pushing to change this warped view. Good luck with the breasfeeding and I loved your response to the sad woman who complained.

Stephanie - posted on 07/22/2009

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Good for you DeeDee!I think it is funny that she spent money to watch you feed your baby.I mean her mom didn't teach her any manners obviously.Staring at ANYONE while they are eating is rude and inappropriate.And then complain about it....well that takes the cake.If your daughter needs to be fed and you DIDN'T feed her now that would be an appropriate time to complain.Maybe she does eat in the bathroom in her world.I breast feed whenever I need to and my son likes to flail his arms around so a blanket wont do.I use a baby sling/carrier with a lot of stretch. http://designsbyem.com/ Not only is it really discreet[the only give away is the sucky noises] It also keeps my arm from going to sleep.My son is quite heavy and if he is hungry I feed him.If I am walking around a store,sitting down,at the foodcourt or in a movie I can feed him hands free.That way you can eat your popcorn, watch the movie and still feed your baby.Ice Age is a family movie its not like you go expecting to see old people.Lets hope she doesn't catch some kid picking their nose she may just pass out!lol

Susan - posted on 07/22/2009

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This is a late post but I just joined and am stunned by how quick and perfect your responses were! Way to go!!!

Shibahn - posted on 07/22/2009

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While I've not had to deal with that yet, thank you for standing up for it! You are a great example for all of us!

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