A Mom Refused to Hide While Breastfeeding Her Baby and Gave the Perfect Answer to Haters
Breastfeeding, a natural and age-old practice, has become a source of discomfort and judgment for many mothers when performed in public. Ashley Kaidel, a proactive advocate for mothers’ rights, took a stand against this societal stigma after facing disapproval while breastfeeding her baby in a restaurant. In the eight years since she shared her experience on social media, Kaidel’s message has resonated, sparking conversations about the need to support and empower breastfeeding mothers in public spaces.
Meet Ashley Kaidel.
Ashley Kaidel is a mom from Florida, USA. A mother of two, she faced challenges with breastfeeding her first child when her daughter encountered difficulties due to a lip tie affecting her latch. This condition, characterized by tissue connecting the lip to the gums, hinders the ability to latch properly.
With her second kid, she persevered to make breastfeeding possible as he also suffered from lip tie. After having his issue corrected at 10 weeks old, it required an additional three weeks of dedicated effort before she successfully established breastfeeding. She also faced severe nipple trauma and mastitis during this second pregnancy.
Kaidel remembers the tremendous amount of effort she and her son had to face to facilitate breastfeeding and strengthen their bond. Now, she is grateful and fortunate to be in the position to deliver an optimal dose of love, security, comfort, and nutrition to her baby—all directly from his mother.
Breaking the stigma
Kaidel’s decision to share a photo of herself breastfeeding in a restaurant was not about encouraging all mothers to breastfeed without cover, but rather aimed at challenging the stigma associated with it. In her Facebook post, she addressed the judgmental looks, nasty comments, and discriminatory actions that breastfeeding mothers often face. Emphasizing that breastfeeding is protected by law, Kaidel asserted the right of mothers to breastfeed anywhere, in any manner, and under any circumstances. “You should not ever feel shamed, belittled, embarrassed or wrong for feeding your baby,” she said.
Crucially, Kaidel clarified that her advocacy is not about dictating how mothers should breastfeed. It’s about supporting their choices. She acknowledged that if a mother feels more comfortable covering herself, her choice should be respected. The key message was to foster an environment where every mother feels accepted and supported, regardless of how she chooses to breastfeed.
Equality and normalizing breastfeeding
Kaidel pointed out the unfairness of isolating breastfeeding mothers and stressed that there is no difference between feeding a baby with a breast or a bottle. By normalizing breastfeeding, she aimed to eradicate the discomfort that often surrounds the act. She encouraged people to look away if they found it unpleasant, rather than isolating and shaming mothers for nourishing their babies.
Educating future generations
A powerful aspect of Kaidel’s message is her emphasis on educating children about breastfeeding. She argued that children need to witness breastfeeding to understand and appreciate the natural process. By teaching the next generation about the importance of breast milk and breastfeeding, Kaidel hoped to create an environment where mothers feel supported rather than judged.
Encouraging a supportive community
In conclusion, Kaidel reiterated that her intention was not to seek attention but to encourage mothers and foster an inclusive environment. With over 118,000 shares of her post, it is evident that her message struck a chord with many. By sharing her experience and perspective, she has become a voice for countless mothers who have faced judgment and discrimination while breastfeeding in public. The movement she initiated goes beyond the act of breastfeeding. It is about creating a community that accepts, supports, and empowers mothers in their journey of nurturing their children.