A mother has been praised for her response to being told to “cover up” while breastfeeding - she covered her face.
Nicolle Blackman was in McDonald’s just south of Seattle, Washington, US, earlier this month when the incident took place.
The cashier and mum-of-two was sitting in the corner of the restaurant, breastfeeding her three-month-old son, Cameron, when she was confronted by another woman.
The stranger asked Blackman to cover up because her husband couldn’t stop staring.
Unsurprisingly, 29-year-old Blackman wasn’t thrilled by the woman’s demand so decided to cover up her face instead of her breast, which she says caused the upset wife to “grab her husband and leave”.
“I was very annoyed when she said that. Why would I cover up my son? He holds his breath when he’s covered,” Blackman said.
“I was surprised. I think she was upset because her husband was looking. He didn’t seem to pay her any attention when she was talking.
“I noticed he was staring. I understand people are curious and it doesn’t bother me. I’m going to feed my son regardless. His wife was really concerned but I wasn’t concerned.
“You could only see the side of my boob so I was like ‘okay’ and covered my face. She grabbed her husband and left. My daughter [Kaymaii, 11] said she looked mad.”
Blackman explained that she’d been careful to make sure her nipple was never exposed, and this was the first time she’d experienced such a reaction.
“My daughter didn’t understand why I needed to cover her brother and she took the picture because she wanted to show my mum.
“She wanted to tell her grandmother that I was being mean to her brother and she did. My mum said that she was proud that I stood up for what I believed in.”
Blackman hopes her story will give other women confidence to breastfeed in public.
“There is nothing wrong with covering up if that’s what you choose to do,” she said.
“I’m hoping to help other women by speaking out about it to encourage them to stand up for their children.
“Just do whatever is best for them. If they want to cover that’s fine, if they don’t that’s fine too.”
Blackman says she’s been told many times that she should breastfeed in the bathroom, to which she asks: “Would you eat in the bathroom?”
“One time when I was feeding in a park a woman came up to me and said she would never have breastfed in public if she hadn’t seen me.
“It was encouraging and it felt good that I could give someone the strength to do it.”
McDonald’s has been contacted for comment.
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