A breastfeeding mom who was asked to “cover up” at a restaurant did so with a comedic flourish that has the internet in hysterics.
Last week, Facebook user Carol Lockwood shared a photo of Melanie Dudley nursing her 4-month-old baby in a hotel bistro with a blanket completely covering her head. “A friend’s daughter-in-law was told to ‘cover up’ while feeding her baby, so she did!” stated the post with 90 thousand reactions, 12 thousand comments, and 169 thousand shares. “I’ve never met her, but I think she’s AWESOME!!! (Please share! With permission, I’ve made this post public — I’m SO over people shaming women for nursing!!!”
Lockwood wrote, “PS: 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.”
As in most cases of public breastfeeding, people shared their opinions:
- “Nothing wrong with breastfeeding, but I feel they should cover themselves, not their heads, but the exposed area.”
- “You should be able to feed babies when they are hungry and not feel bad. It’s a natural thing to do.”
- “I still think there’s a time and place to nurse and nothing wrong with being a little discreet about it.”
- “Most women do use a cover but if they choose not to, then the people who are offended should look away and not stare. Even children don’t stare as much as some adults do.”
Dudley, 34, a stay-at-home mother from Austin, Texas, who also has 4-year-old twins, tells Yahoo Lifestyle that the move was spontaneous. “I was on vacation in Cabo San Lucas with my entire family and a man asked me to cover myself,” she says. “I’m usually discreet but we were seated in the back of the restaurant.”
In response, Dudley asked her husband to hand her a cover, then threw it over her face right before he snapped a photo.
Other women have issued creative replies when facing shame for public nursing. In 2017, Nicolle Blackman gave the same response when a female stranger, concerned with her husband’s wandering gaze, asked her to cover up in a Washington McDonald’s.