Melanie Dudley explained that she was left stunned when a complete stranger asked her to cover up and decided to respond in this passive-aggressive way.
Mothers have been shamed for breastfeeding in public and asked to go to the toilet or somewhere private room to feed their infants. Complete strangers take it upon themselves to tell a mother how she should feed her child. While trying to educate these people may take time, there is a quicker way to deal with this, as demonstrated by a mother tired of being told what to do.
Melanie Dudley was breastfeeding her three-month-old son in the corner of a restaurant. She even had her back to other diners for good measure. But that did not stop a stranger from approaching her and asking her to cover up. And she did. But not how one would expect.
A picture of Dudley "covered-up" has gone viral and is being praised by people on social media. The picture shows her with the nursing cover over her face, as the toddler happily gets his nourishment. Speaking to TODAY, the mother of three recalled, "I did have the cover on, but it was so hot. It was like, 95 degrees, and my little baby was sweating. I said, ‘You know what? I'm on vacation, I'm taking this off.’" She explained that she always feeds as discreetly as she can and the one time she decided to do what was best for the baby, a stranger approached her and asked her to cover up.
"I was kind of stunned," the Texan said. She was speechless but an idea flashed in her mind. She asked her husband to pass her the nursing cover. "I just put it over my head. I don't know why," she said. "It wasn't like a salacious fight or anything. That was just my response. I had no words so I thought, I'll just cover my head instead." Her husband could not help but snap a picture of this hilarious passive-aggressive response to being asked to cover up. He then shared this incident with his mother who posted it on Facebook. A friend of Dudley's mother-in-law shared it publicly on her profile where it went viral. It has been shared more than 225k times.
In the post, Carol Lockwood wrote: "A friend’s daughter-in-law was told to “cover-up” while feeding her baby, so she did! I’ve never met her, but I think she’s AWESOME!!!" She clarified that she had shared this image with permission and she would like more people to see it to ensure people would stop shaming women for nursing. She also added a post-script that said, "To reduce speculation: it was a man who asked her to cover up, it was 90 degrees and extremely humid, and, no, she wasn’t in a Muslim country disrespecting traditions."
Dudley told Good Morning America that the post probably went viral because "it’s a topic that resonates with a lot of women, and they’re just tired of [breastfeeding in public] being up for discussion." She added that she hopes moms "keep doing what you believe is best for you and your baby. I believe the larger message is to support nursing mothers, whether they choose to cover or not." Breastfeeding in public without a cover is legal in all 50 states. But this is not the first or the last time people think they have a right to say how a mother should nurse her child.
August is National Breastfeeding Month. Did you know breastfeeding is an investment in the health of mom and baby? pic.twitter.com/qM89GyyJVT— Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare (@chooseGVMH) August 23, 2020
August is National Breastfeeding Month with the goal to invite people "to join online actions and conversations to build support for the policy and practice changes needed to build a landscape of breastfeeding support." The first week is reserved for World Breastfeeding Week that highlights the benefits of nursing and generates support for women who choose to do so, reported Yahoo Lifestyle.