Jessica Pickler Bernardini gave birth to her daughter just over two months ago, but she recently experienced being shamed for breastfeeding in public for the first time — and the story is going to make your blood boil.
On the Breastfeeding Mama Talk Facebook page, Jessica explained that she usually feeds her 2-month-old daughter before they leave the house but wasn't able to do so before a trip to the bank. Jessica decided to breastfeed her baby in the bank lobby after the unexpectedly long visit because she "felt bad strapping her into the car seat and making her wait until we got home," but one employee was not happy with this happening in the bank's waiting area.
"I went to sit down and a lady who worked at your bank asked me if I needed any help. I thought that was nice and said, 'No ma'am.' She then noticed what I was proceeding to do and said, 'Would you like to do that in the bathroom? That would be better.' I answered again, 'No ma'am.' She repeated, 'That would be better.' Me: 'No, thank you.'
She asked a couple of more times expecting me to give in and run off to the restroom, I suppose. What kind of demeaning behavior is this? Set aside the fact that she was confronting me while my baby cried in hunger and was making me feel as if I were doing something wrong or vulgar, what kind of ignorant question is that? Let me see — would I rather nurse my child here in one of these four comfortable chairs in your EMPTY lobby by this adorable Christmas tree or would I rather go feed my daughter sitting on a cold, nasty toilet seat? It's the most ignorant question I have ever been asked."
She continued by exposing the dire need for more education about breastfeeding in the workplace and how employees should handle customers naturally feeding their babies without scorning them.
"We need to build one another up. The only thing anyone of your employees should have asked me was if I were comfortable," she wrote. "It's not just about the mother because it's a situation that involves a very young and impressionable child, my sweet child whom I waited for and is immeasurably precious to me. Please educate your employees. It could have a great impact on our community."