Lifestyle

Mother abused for expressing milk for her baby

Dallas Smith stood up for his mum Telaine when she was verbally abused for pumping breast milk for her son.
Dallas Smith stood up for his mum Telaine when she was verbally abused for pumping breast milk for her son. Valerie Horton

HERVEY Bay's Telaine Smith was left speechless when a woman told her to "put her tits away" when she was expressing milk for her five-month-old son in the carpark at Bunnings in Hervey Bay.

Fortunately, her 6-year-old son Dallas knew exactly what to say to the rude woman.

"He told her 'if you don't like it, you don't need to look,'" Mrs Smith said

"I'm very proud of my six-year-old."

Mrs Smith's younger son Pilot was tongue-tied when he was born, which affects his ability to breastfeed.

Because of that, Mrs Smith needs to express milk every two to three hours to keep up her supply and keep her son nourished.

Mrs Smith said she's found herself expressing milk in some pretty unexpected places, but she never thought she would be approached as she expressed in the Bunnings carpark.

Mrs Smith said she was in a car with tinted windows away from the crowds when a man and woman walked past and saw her.

The man kept walking, but the woman came over to the vehicle and told Mrs Smith to "put her f***ing tits away".

"I was a bit shocked," Mrs Smith said.

Ms Smith said the worst part was that getting tense meant it was harder for her to express milk.

She said she was proud of herself for persevering with expressing instead of using formula to feed her baby despite the "narrow-minded attitude" of some of the public.

Mrs Smith said she had also felt judged by breastfeeding mums in mothers' rooms at supermarkets who saw her using a bottle to feed, not realising she was expressing milk.

"I can't win," she said.

But she said plenty of places, including coffee shops around the region, had supported her right to express.

Mrs Smith said it amazed her that people still didn't realise it was illegal to try to prevent a mother from expressing milk or breastfeeding a baby.

"It's discrimination," she said.

She said people seemed to interpret breastfeeding and expressing milk as being "confrontational".

"People see it as sexual," she said.

"They have to realise it's not."

Topics:  babies breastfeeding in public editors picks fraser



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