PARENTING
09/21/2016 02:09 pm ET

Mom Defends Right To Breastfeed In Public With Epic Yoga Photo

“Breastfeeding is NOT indecent exposure."

Kelly Stanley used her love for yoga to send an important message after her father told her to cover up while she breastfed in public.

The mom from Johnson City, Tennessee, was at dinner with her parents at Bonefish Grill when her 9-month-old daughter, Maya, started to fuss. Stanley knew Maya was hungry and pulled her shirt down to breastfeed her. That’s when her father put a cloth napkin over her and told her to cover up. Frustrated, Stanley shared the story about her dad’s reaction in an Instagram post on Sept. 11 and explained why it’s ridiculous to shame women for breastfeeding. The mom, who frequently posts photos of her doing yoga, emphasized her message even more when she shared a photo of herself breastfeeding her daughter while in a yoga position.

“Breastfeeding is NOT indecent exposure,” she wrote in the post. “It’s not inviting men to gawk at my breasts. EVEN IF GOD FORBID THE BABY UNLATCHES AND THEY SEE MY BARE NIPPLE.”

So. I was at dinner last night and, as always, had my baby with me. Maya (9 months) was getting irritable, and I knew what she needed. She needed to nurse, so of course I pull my shirt down to feed and comfort her. Some one at the dinner table then grabs one of those cloth napkins and tries to toss it over me. I asked him what he was doing, and he said he was trying to cover me. We were at Bonefish, and apparently that is too "nice" of a restaurant to nurse a baby uncovered. I wish I could say I was polite and respectful about the situation. Actually, I lied. I don't wish that. I went off on him and I'm glad I did. You know why? Because the gesture was humiliating. Because no woman should ever feel like she is being inappropriate or immodest by feeding her baby, anywhere, ever. Breastfeeding is NOT indecent exposure. It's not inviting men to gawk at my breasts. EVEN IF GOD FORBID THE BABY UNLATCHES AND THEY SEE MY BARE NIPPLE. No, I'd rather not pull my shirt down in a public place or a nice restaurant. I'd rather people NOT see my stretch marked breast or scratched nipples. But you know what? We can't sit here and tout that breast is best and then have a fit about how inappropriate it is to feed a baby in public. You can't expect women to WANT to breastfeed and then shew them to the car when their baby gets hungry, or expect them to let the baby wail in hunger or need. Babies are notorious for wanting to eat (or comfort) at the most inconvenient and AWKWARD times. And most of them hate to be covered! Breastfeeding is a normal and natural thing, and if someone has a problem with me feeding my child whenever and wherever, that is THEIR problem. It should NEVER be the breastfeeding mom's problem. They continued to say that I needed to be considerate of those who might be offended (men who sexualize breastfeeding )and I'm over here thinking it's the men who should be considerate and not sexualize breastfeeding. We need to stop making excuses for men and start expecting them to act like mature human beings who are capable of being in control of themselves. Grrr don't poke the mom bear...... . . . leggings by @omgiyoga

A photo posted by Kelly Stanley 23 yrs (@kellymarie_yoga) on

Stanley told The Huffington Post that she wants to help end the stigma surrounding breastfeeding in public. In her post, she pointed out that breastfeeding is natural and shouldn’t be viewed as taboo or be sexualized.

“Breastfeeding is a normal and natural thing, and if someone has a problem with me feeding my child whenever and wherever, that is THEIR problem,” she wrote. “It should NEVER be the breastfeeding mom’s problem.”

The yoga-loving mom said it has been difficult dealing with her parents’ views on breastfeeding, but that their attitudes will not keep her from ensuring that all breastfeeding moms, whether they choose to cover up or nurse freely, are comfortable and don’t feel ashamed for simply feeding their child.

“I will continue to speak out on the topic because I think it’s important for moms to know that they are not alone, and that they are doing the right thing by feeding their kid,” she said. 

HuffPost

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