Old man in DTs tells breastfeeding mum 'that's disgusting'
A SUNSHINE Coast mother breastfeeding in public for the first time was reduced to tears after being told by a stranger it was disgusting.
Jess Eva was feeding her 13-day-old son Fred outside Loo With A View on the Mooloolaba Esp on Monday when she was approached by an elderly man wearing Speedos.
He stood in front of the breastfeeding mother, who had her son covered with a cloth, and pointed at her.
"He shook his finger and said 'that's disgusting, that's disgusting. Go home you little girl, go home'," Ms Eva told The Daily.
"I apologised and stopped feeding. But I wish I didn't. Not at all."
Ms Eva, on maternity leave from her role as breakfast co-host on 91.9 Sea FM, said the encounter had just thrown fuel on the doubt she already had on herself being a first time mum with the baby blues.
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"His reaction made me doubt everything again. I was made to be felt about an inch tall," she said.
"If it had happened in a couple of months I would have shrugged it off, but being my first time in public I was already nervous about it.
"I wish I stood up in some way. It's just justifying his opinion."
Yesterday was her first time back out in public since the incident.
She fed Fred with a bottle, saying she didn't have the confidence to breastfeed in public again yet.
"I'm not going to let him stop me," she said.
"The more mothers doing it, the more accepted it will be in the long term.
"If we keep going and doing it, it will be accepted."
The experience was detailed in her blog Just Jess earlier this week.
Since then, mothers in similar situations have reached out to her.
"It turned into a nice support network. I've found other mothers have experienced the same thing," Ms Eva said.
"We're not alone. There are a lot of new mums on the Coast and they're great people."
Australian Breastfeeding Association Queensland spokeswoman Dr Maya Griffiths said some people saw breasts as a sexualised object and had difficulty viewing them for any other purpose.
"It's just disappointing some members of public have such a narrow and old way of thinking," she said.
"We don't tell adults to go home when they're hungry."
BREASTFEEDING RATES IN AUSTRALIA
96% of mothers initially breastfeed. Thereafter, exclusive breastfeeding rates drop off. Less than half (39%) of babies are still being exclusively breastfed to 3 months (less than 4 months) and less than one quarter (15%) to 5 months (less than 6 months).