Regan Schoultz is an NZME news service reporter based in Auckland.

Mother berated by stranger for breastfeeding in public: 'I felt embarrassed'

A storm has erupted on social media after yet another example of a woman being berated by a stranger for breastfeeding in public has emerged.

Deijah Cook, 21, has claimed she was publicly shamed by a woman for feeding her 3-month-old son, Coby, in a Tauranga supermarket on January 7.

"My son had been crying for a good 10 minutes in there and I was just trying to hurry up and get out the other end so I wouldn't have to feed him in the supermarket and then I just couldn't listen to him crying anymore," she said.

"I got him out and I chucked a blanket over my shoulder and over him and started breastfeeding him. I got down a couple of aisles when a lady stopped and she goes to me 'this is something you should be doing in the privacy of your car ... your breasts are for at home, you should be feeding your child at home or in the privacy of your car not out in public where others can see'."

Deijah Cook said she couldn't listen to her baby crying anymore when she decided to breastfeed him in the supermarket. Photo / Alan Gibson
Deijah Cook said she couldn't listen to her baby crying anymore when she decided to breastfeed him in the supermarket. Photo / Alan Gibson

The mother-of-three said she was stunned and completely taken aback by the woman's comments.

"I was really shocked, I felt myself go red in the face and I felt embarrassed to be doing something natural. There were other people standing around and watching and nobody said anything. Nobody stood up for me which was a bit sad."

Ms Cook said she did not raise the issue with supermarket staff as she did not want to "make a scene".

After the incident, the young mother took to Facebook to write about her experience in a post that has since attracted more than 250 comments.

One Facebook user wrote; "The same thing happened to me in the Warehouse ... they told me go to the toilet ... there's a chair in there for feeding ... "

Meanwhile another person wrote: "Don't put it away for anyone and good on you for feeding your hungry baby."

Her experience has been one of many shared by mothers who have faced criticism for breastfeeding in public.

In 2014, Anjula Manga was approached by a cleaner at Hamilton's Te Awa at The Base and told she could not breastfeed her 6-week-old daughter in the foodcourt. The managers of the mall apologised to the mother-of-three and said it was an error of judgment.

Ms Cook said she didn't think people who made negative comments towards mothers breastfeeding in public realised how "hurtful" their words were.

"I think it is so sad that people take time out of the day to make somebody feel that low about nurturing their child. I just don't understand what drives a person to have such strong feelings about public breastfeeding," she said.

"I think this happens more than we realise. [Friends on social media] have written up posts about being shamed in public for breastfeeding and now I realise that it does happen a lot more than you would think."

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf02 at 02 Oct 2016 11:30:41 Processing Time: 598ms