You Have to Watch This Moving Video About Breastfeeding Moms Being Shamed By Family Members
Strangers shaming mothers who nurse in public is something that you probably hear about often because it's (unfortunately) such a common occurrence. The ignorance of strangers, who find the act of a mother feeding her child somehow indecent (despite the fact that public breastfeeding is explicitly allowed by law in most states), is annoying at best and harmful at worst.
But what about shaming by the people you'd expect to be your closest allies and fiercest protectors? One mother created a moving video about the reality of breastfeeding mothers being shamed by friends and family members.
Birth and family photographer Megan Soto is a mom of three and dealt with this during her own breastfeeding journey. Soto explained toThe Huffington Postthat she was inspired to create the video after she was shut out of holiday dinners due to her breastfeeding. She asked fellow nursing moms in her town to share their own stories of family members making them feel shamed or guilty for breastfeeding.
A total of 54 moms responded to Soto's call for stories. She used a few responses (and her own story) to create the short video, depicting nursing mothers in a variety of situations being made to hide and nurse in public beach bathrooms (gross), closets, and bedrooms, while their family members and friends continue to enjoy themselves. The story about a mother being asked by a female family member not to breastfeed openly at Thanksgiving (referring to it as "pornography") is Megan's own, an aggravating experience she in November.
Soto's video was posted just over a week ago and has since accumulated over 30,000 views, suggesting that family shaming is something that happens far too often. "When I asked local mothers to share stories of them being shamed by family and friends as nursing mothers, the responses flew in," she captioned her video. "It became obvious to me that we cannot address public breastfeeding until we address those planting the seeds of shame."
The photographer (who also posts photos of mothers breastfeeding in public, along with their stories, to her Instagram) toldHuffPothat her hope in creating the video was to encourage others to "be more inclusive [of breastfeeding] both among their loved ones and among strangers" and "to shine a light on how asking mothers [to] hide while breastfeeding really looks and feels." While Soto emphasized that she doesn't believe breastfeeding is always right for every mom and baby, her point is that societal shaming (or shaming by friends and family) should never be a reason for mothers to decide against nursing their child when they otherwise would.
And to that I say preach, lady.
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