Catherine Sellers knew when she first began breastfeeding her daughter that she might someday have to do it in public. So when baby Eve began crying while she was enjoying some chai tea at a cafe, the new mom thought she was prepared; but nothing could prepare her for the lack of interest shown by the other customers, who went about their business as if there wasn’t a woman nursing a baby directly in front of them.
“A lot of people won’t hesitate to shame mothers who breastfeed in public, according to every mommy blog I’ve read,” said Sellers, 28. “I wasn’t about to let any ignorant busybodies stop me from nourishing my baby with nature’s most sacred nectar.”
Sitting in front of the counter in full view of both the staff and the customers, Sellers began to breastfeed her child and waited for someone to have a problem with it. Despite myriad people walking past her to place orders, grab extra napkins, and use the restroom, none made any rude comments. Her hopes rose when the manager approached, but instead of asking her to stop, he collected debris from the empty tables next to her and dumped it in the trash. By the time she was done 30 minutes later, Sellers hadn’t received so much as a disapproving look. One woman scrunched up her face, but it turned out she just had to sneeze.
“I had snarky comebacks locked and loaded. I had a whole speech prepared. I planned on walking out of here with a great story for my mommy group. Now I have nothing,” a visibly upset Sellers recalled. “It’s 2016. Since when do people mind their own business?”
Though discouraged by the incident, Sellers went on to say it has not dissuaded her from breastfeeding in public again. “I still believe that most people are judgmental jerks. I’m not about to let one act of tolerance stop me from expressing my opinions or my breast milk.”