Not long after Jackie Johnson-Smith gave birth to her third baby, she and her husband took a family trip to a local restaurant. The infant was old enough to be outside the home. Plus, mom and dad needed a treat for themselves with all their childrearing. However, as a baby will do, the infant grew hungry, and Jackie was forced to feed the child in the public place by her breast.
Although breastfeeding is completely natural, people still flinch when they see women feeding their children in public places. Critics argue that breastfeeding should only be done in private because a woman’s breast should never be exposed to wandering eyes. Moms who have breastfed often disagree, claiming that the act of breastfeeding has no sexual connotation and is only a life-giving act for the child, which is true.
After Jackie breastfed her infant at the restaurant, the server could not let it go without saying something. But instead of coming to Jackie and telling her the words to her face, the server scribbled a note on the receipt and slipped it to Jackie’s husband after she had excused herself for a bathroom visit.
Jackie knows all about how some people are “offended” when moms breastfeed their infants in public. But she is fearless when it comes to public perception because she knows she’s doing it for her child.
“I have breastfed three children. I have breastfed them in countless of places both pleasant and unpleasant, discreetly and out in the open. I have gotten many looks and stares.”
During this family night at a pizza joint in Des Moines, Iowa, the waitress Bodi watched as Jackie opened her shirt and put the hungry infant to breast. At first, she held her tongue, but when Jackie was in the bathroom, she swooped in to share her comments.
Jackie wrote about the note later on Facebook.
“The waitress gave this receipt to my husband. I was speechless and emotional.”
So what did the waitress have to say about Jackie’s act of mothering? As you might have guessed, it was a positive response!
The scribbled note on the receipt read:
“I bought one of your pizzas. Please thank your wife for breastfeeding!”
Jackie was encouraged by the response and wrote on Facebook.
“Although I don’t need a pat on the back for feeding my child, it sure felt amazing.”
Because of people like Bodi, the ones who believe breastfeeding is natural and should be encouraged, Jackie was flying high the rest of the day.
“It is amazing how we women can make each other feel when we empower each other.”
In the end, Bodi did not have to do anything for Jackie. She owed her nothing. And as Jackie said, she was just “feeding my child.” Nevertheless, Bodi understood the undue stigma breastfeeding has in the United States. Because the waitress understood mom’s struggle, it lifted her higher and empowered her.
How do you feel if you spot a mom breastfeeding her infant in public? Does it offend you? Or do you consider it part of a normal life?
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