Julia Wykes of Ottawa was running errands last week when her baby became hungry while she was in line at Starbucks. In order to soothe the infant and (likely) keep the baby's cries from irritating the other customers, she sat down to breastfeed her baby. That's when an irate customer demanded that she be forced to stop.
The customer, a middle-aged woman, referred to Wykes' breastfeeding as disgusting and demanded something be done about the monstrosity that was going on right before her sweet and innocent eyes. Because we sometimes live in a civil and reasonable society, however, the teen barista didn't kick Wykes out (why would he?), but offered her a free refill, gave her a coupon for a drink of her choice and apologized for the fact that she had to deal with customers like the one who was complaining. Awesome work, Starbucks barista! Glad you didn't get fired.
The woman who had complained was so enraged by the fact that she wasn't getting her way that she stormed out of the store, sacrificing her expensive cup of coffee rather than just minding her own business. Because there's absolutely nothing wrong with breastfeeding in public. Like nothing. And anyone who's against it needs to think about why it's so problematic for them instead of having a knee-jerk reaction and demanding that the offending breast, nipple and all, be tucked back into the mother's shirt. Breasts aren't de facto sexual objects, so seeing one shouldn't warrant such a negative reaction.
The story went viral after Wykes posted it on a local parenting group's Facebook page and Starbucks later confirmed the event did happen. For Wykes, who's worked as a midwife, this was a reminder of what a controversial issue public breastfeeding is.
"My opinion has always been: if your baby is hungry, feed him. It doesn't matter how or where, just make sure your baby is well fed and happy."
She added, "My friend and fellow midwife and I have a mantra that we repeat to all of our clients: 'just feed your baby!'"
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