A young mother who breast-fed her son inside a restaurant said she was later horrified to discover that a picture of her feeding her child had been posted on social media by a stranger whom she claims was shaming her.
“Shock. That was my initial response,” Connor Kendall, 20, told ABC News.
The Indiana woman was eating at a TGI Friday’s in Terre Haute, Indiana, on Wednesday morning when it was time for her 4-month-old son to nurse.
“I turned away from everybody because we were in a corner," she said. "I really didn’t feel like I was that exposed.”
An unidentified man who was also dining at the restaurant snapped a photo of her and posted it to social media, writing: “I want to know if this is appropriate or inappropriate as I’m trying to eat.”
He also wrote that there were “little kids around,” adding: “Could you at least cover your boob up?”
Kendall was so infuriated that she posted a lengthy response on her Facebook page. The post, which had been shared more than 63,000 times as of Sunday night, took the man to task for his action.
“The man who took this picture was a complete stranger to me, he was sitting 3 tables away from us with his young daughter. He snapped the photo and then put it up on social media (Facebook and Instagram), many of the comments that followed were nothing less than harassing and shameful to, not only me, but every past, present, and future nursing mother,” she wrote. “Over the course of a couple or hours it was taken down and reposted multiple times before it was finally deleted. I was really very hurt by this act, because I was in no way bothering him, so what gave him the right to shame me?”
Kendall wouldn’t reveal the name of the man out of respect for his privacy, but in her post she said she wrote to him directly in a private message, telling him that she did nothing wrong and explaining that she didn’t use a cover while feeding her son because he “fights them, screams, and doesn’t eat at all while under them.
“If he had been screaming because he was hungry then I would be a bad mom for not feeding my hungry child. I did not pump before leaving home, A-because my son does not like to take a bottle and B-because it is my right to feed him any way I see fit wherever I see fit. I wanted to thank you for showing the public your ignorance and for shedding light on a topic that is near and dear to my heart,” she continued, adding that the man had shown his “true colors to many and you've exposed others who are likewise simpleminded.”
Kendall told ABC News: “I let him know that it was not OK to make me feel bad for feeding my child. I showed less than ... you see every day walking down the street.”
Kendall’s post garnered a flood of support, with one poster writing: “Good for you Mama. Way to turn a bad situation in to a positive one!” while another wrote: “Way to stick up for yourself and all of us breast feeding mamas!!”
Kendall said the man later apologized to her in a private message.