While having a nice quiet drink in his local pub, Sheldon Sparks, 49, noticed a woman feeding her baby. Not only feeding, but openly breastfeeding the newborn. This annoyed Mr Sparks very much, so much so that he posted a note on Facebook saying that the mother had literally ‘flopped a breast out’ to feed the infant. He noted that this was after drinking two glasses of Pinot Grigio, and his comment added that the baby must have had milk with an alcohol content of 14%!
It seems that the post backfired when hundreds of women rallied in favour of the mom, who later recognized herself in the post. Defending her actions, the mother, who wants to remain anonymous, said that she had not had a drink for nine months, and it was her first Mother’s Day. It was not like they got drunk all the time.
“I just can’t believe that in this day and age it is still a big problem for people. I can’t believe someone has actually gone that far to complain about it.”
“It was my first Mother’s Day and I haven’t been able to drink for nine months so we just wanted to enjoy the day.”
“Women used to cover up completely back in the day and I think he must have felt uncomfortable. But if it was that bad he could have just come up and said something rather than writing it online.”
The mother was at pains to assure everybody that she had in fact gone home and bottle fed the infant, and the drink she had in the pub was a lemonade spritzer. She felt that Sparks was out of order to pass judgement on her actions.
“When I was there I breastfed and when we got home he was bottle-fed. I wouldn’t have done it if it wasn’t safe,” she explained.
“This man had no idea that my drinks were half lemonade or that we came home and bottle-fed him afterwards but decided to judge me. We’ve still got to have our lives and we’re not getting drunk all the time.”
The mother’s view was that the people in the area are mostly families with babies, and feeding them is a natural thing to do. Perhaps Mr Sparks should move elsewhere, where he would not see anyone, so that he is not offended.
“People have different views on breastfeeding but it is a natural thing. We were born with boobs to feed babies,” she said.
“All the people in the area are families with babies. Maybe he should move and live in the middle of nowhere by himself.”
Mr Sparks’ comment went on to say that perhaps the mother could have taken the child into the park instead, where he could have had some fresh air, and perhaps socialize with other kids, he is of the opinion that children should not be in pubs. Even years ago, when a woman breastfed her baby, she did it discreetly and in private, not parading around in the pub.
“I just don’t think it should be seen in the pub,” he said.
“If you went to pubs or restaurants years ago people used to cover themselves up with a blanket. But to do it in full show without… I’m not going to say any more.”
After receiving more than 300 comments favouring the mother, Mr Sparks deleted his post on Facebook. The post had also been condemned by some women’s support groups.
Lorna Cahil encouraged the mother to not be discouraged, and to fed her baby wherever she needed to: “Please don’t ever feel embarrassed to feed your babies in public.”
“The early days of motherhood are scary and overwhelming and many women assume they’ll receive a negative reaction from some people for breastfeeding in public.”
“I feed my daughter wherever I am whenever she needs it and have never had any negative feedback.”
Lauren Tobia wrote: “Mind your own business and stop feeling you have a right to pass judgement on women.”
“This is a brilliantly reassuring thread. I thought they’d be at least a few dipsh*** in support of Sheldon but no, no one,” Joel Myer Nicholas wrote.
Sarah Robertson wrote: “I was asked why my kid was in the pub once when she should be out playing. I had walked her and the dog from Clifton, through Leigh Woods and Ashton Court, stopped at the play park for an hour and had picnic and a coffee and cake on the way.”
“Thought when the sun went down at about 7pm it was OK to stop for a drink on the way home, but I guess we should have been home watching Peppa Pig..”
Mr Sparks stands by his point that it is not necessary for babied that young to be brought into pubs, there is a time and place to breastfeed, and doing it while walking around a pub is not the place. He declined to apologise as he felt he was entitled to his point of view, – which he thinks many men may agree with.
“I’ve been told not to say anything. Obviously just for something to be put on Facebook and then just to go stupid like this… ‘No comment, I’m sorry. It’s just been blown out of proportion.'”
“I may be old fashioned, but do newborn babies really need to be introduced to pubs at such a young age.”
“Maybe they are unaware of local green spaces…you never know if they ventured to one of those spaces they may at least be able to interact with other children and parents with other children of the same age, and actually (god forbid) interact with their own child, they have brought into this world…instead of chucking it in a pram and parading it around the local pubs and cafes within the area,” Mr. Sparks added.
The mother has said that it has made her more conscious of what she does. She feels that if he had a problem with her, Mr Sparks should have come and spoken to her, instead of posting it on facebook, where it got out of hand. She has said that she is very annoyed at the whole incident, it is quite a big deal to expose your breasts in public, and takes quite a lot of courage to do it, she would probably not be doing it again.
“I’m a bit p***** off about it all to be honest. Getting your boobs out is quite a big thing,” she added.
“I think it might stop me doing it somewhere so busy because I don’t want it to happen again. I just can’t believe he was offended by it. It is ridiculous.”
Source: Daily Mail