Mom Breastfeeding In Public Irately Told To ‘Cover Up’ But She Has A Comeback Ready

Nov 18, 2022 by apost team

While on a family vacation to Austin, Texas, one new mom was surprised when someone asked her to stop what she was doing. Melanie Dudley, a 34-year-old mother, was told to "cover up," while she was breastfeeding her baby in public. Since she was not told which body part to cover up, she took it upon herself to make that determination and simply threw a blanket over her face while she continued to nurse.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), breastfeeding has many benefits for babies. "Breastfeeding has many known health benefits for infants, children, and mothers and is a key strategy to improve public health," it stated.

The CDC also stated that 85% of infants in Texas are breastfed. 

After Dudley was approached by a stranger, she was left stunned. But her immediate witty reaction was noted by not only her husband but the world wide web as well. After Dudley covered herself, her husband snapped a photo to capture the moment and later sent it to a family member. Eventually, that family member, Melissa's mother-in-law, posted the photo on Facebook. It didn't take long before the internet went wild over it.

The photo also caught the attention of major news outlets like NBC's “The Today Show.” The message of the photo has rung loud and clear to the world on what mothers and fathers expect when it comes to breastfeeding their children in public. Read on to see what the family has said about the incident, as well as the positivity the moment has created around the world.

For Illustration Purposes Only (With Models) - Cajkovic

Carol Lockwood shared a picture of this ingenious moment on Facebook, adding, "A friend's daughter-in-law was told to 'cover-up' while feeding her baby, so she did! I've never met her, but I think she's AWESOME!!!" In the picture, Dudley was shown nursing her 3-month-old baby with a blanket covering her head. One of her 4-year-old twins could also be seen next to her while the other and Dudley's husband were out of the frame.

Lockwood later added some more details of the situation to share with those coming across her Facebook post, saying that a man had come up to ask Dudley to cover up while it was 90 degrees and "extremely humid." Lockwood also added that Dudley wasn't disrespecting any local traditions by doing what she did. 

Unsurprisingly, the post has gone viral, with almost a quarter of a million people sharing it and tens of thousands posting their own comments on the situation. One user got right to the point with his comment, "Good for her and the baby. She should have told the man who asked her to cover up, to grow up... that is what breasts are for..!"

Meanwhile, other users were more concerned with other frustrations that, of "everything else going on in the world today," people select something like this to be so upset over and feel the need to walk up to a complete stranger and get involved with a natural act between mother and baby. Adding that if the man was so offended, he was free to look or walk away.

It also turned out that Dudley's response was timely as it had taken place during National Breastfeeding Month.

For Illustration Purposes Only (With Models) - Stiahailo

The Dudley family spoke with Today, where they shared that while they do have other children, Melanie hadn't been able to breastfeed in public because it was too difficult with two children. 

“It was impossible to do both at the same time when we were out so I never had this problem," she said. "With my little one, it’s so much easier to nurse out in public,” she added. She admitted that the day this happened was extremely hot, which made it difficult to be fully covered. 

“I did have the cover on, but it was so hot. It was like, 95 degrees, and my little baby was sweating," Dudley recalled. "I said, ‘You know what? I'm on vacation, I'm taking this off.’”

“I just put it over my head. I don't know why," the mom of three said. "It wasn't like a salacious fight or anything. That was just my response. I had no words so I thought, I'll just cover my head instead."

That's when her husband snapped the picture that impacted the internet. The post has more than 136,000 reactions and 224,000 shares. This huge wave of positivity came as a large shock to the mom.

“I just can't believe it. It's wild to me,” she said. “If there's a larger message to this, it’s just be supportive," the mother added.

Dudley also said that she hopes that her photo can continue the conversation about breastfeeding in public. “I hope the momentum keeps growing. Let's be supportive of women who want to nurse in public, with or without a cover," she said. "I mean, just do your thing. It's not hurting anyone."

What would you do if you were breastfeeding and were requested to "cover-up?” Do you agree with how the mother reacted? Let us know, and be sure to pass this along to your friends and family to see what they think.

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