When Briar McQueen was approached by an elderly woman in a cafe while breastfeeding her eight-week-old son, she thought she was about to be told to cover up.
But the mother from New Zealand was surprised and delighted when the stranger offered her words of kindness instead.
The woman also cut up Ms McQueen’s food for her as she continued to feed her son, so she could eat it before it went cold.
“Today was the first time I went out for breakfast alone with my eight week old son,” Ms McQueen wrote in a Facebook post, which went viral and has now been liked more than 300,000 times.
“I had just received my breakfast and hot chocolate when Jaxon started crying wanting his booby so of course I fed him, after a few minutes this older lady walked up to me.
“I was scared, thinking she was gonna tell me to put my boob away, instead she starts cutting up my breakfast for me and said, ‘what a good mama you are, we can't have your food getting cold can we.”
Ms McQueen said she was nearly moved to tears by the random act of kindness.
“I honestly could have cried [...] loveliest lady ever,” she wrote.
Thousands of social media users shared and commented on the post, with some describing times when they had been criticised for breastfeeding in public.
“Love this,” wrote a Facebook user called Bekie Murray. “I got tutted at by an older couple once in a costa for feeding my son. I was also alone and felt awful.”
Another user, called Nicola D’Costa, wrote: “I'm still angry about the old bag who stomped out of a coffee shop where I was discreetly breastfeeding my daughter saying I was disgusting and had put her off her morning coffee three years ago.”
A YouGov survey found that more than 75% of people in the UK believe breastfeeding is acceptable in public.
In December 2014, Nigel Farage caused controversy by saying women should not be “openly ostentatious” while breastfeeding.
This was after a woman was asked to cover herself with a shroud while breastfeeding her three-month-old daughter at Claridge’s hotel in central London.
Subsequently, a mass breastfeeding protest was held outside the high-end venue.
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