Kayla Martinez was enjoying a family afternoon with her two daughters at a local indoor trampoline park when her 8-month-old baby was ready to be fed. So while Martinez, of Amarillo, Texas, simultaneously kept a close eye on her 3-year-old, she began to breastfeed her little one.
But their moment of peace got interrupted when a worker approached her to inform her that others in the park complained about her breast being exposed, according to a July 3 Facebook post from Martinez that has brought 3.9K reactions and more than 2,000 shares.
“I am feeding my child, she is hungry, and it was time for me to do what any mother would do — take care of her baby,” Martinez tells Yahoo Beauty while recounting the incident.
The 26-year-old was told by the worker that they could provide a separate room for her to breastfeed in private. But Martinez declined the man’s offer.
“I felt such shame for doing what should be considered normal and a beautiful moment between a mother and a child,” she says. “Breasts are for feeding your sons and daughters.”
Martinez changed locations to a more secluded part of the park. However, that wasn’t comfort enough for the woman who had complained in the first place.
“The woman went out of her way to verbally attack me,” Martinez says. “She was enraged and began to degrade me, calling me ‘indecent,’ and saying that I was sexually exposing myself to her nephew.”
Martinez says the woman looked like she was in her mid-50s and wonders if it was a case of a generational disconnect. But she wishes mothers would be supportive of other woman and their choices.
“I choose to breastfeed my child whenever she asks me for it,” she says. “What people don’t really realize is that breastfeeding is extremely difficult. I can’t put a blanket over my child because she gets hot and uncomfortable, she won’t eat.”
The complaining woman threatened to call the cops if Martinez didn’t cover up. This is when Martinez’s ex-husband, a police officer, stepped in and educated the lady on Texas law, which states that mothers have the right to feed their children however and whenever they feel comfortable doing it.
The woman didn’t back off, though, and continued to cause a scene.
“I had to be strong, not just for me but for the many other mothers that have gone through this,” Martinez says. “There is nothing wrong with your body, and there shouldn’t be a stigma in our society that breasts are meant to be sexual body parts for enjoyment. The reality is that they are solely for mommies feeding their babies.”
Martinez stood her ground until the woman left — but not before complaining to management for an extra 20 minutes.
“Once she was gone, I broke down in the corner,” she says. “I was as strong as I can be, but her nasty words were too much. I don’t wish this experience on anyone.”
She took to Facebook to share her upsetting experience and has been gaining support from her community.
Martinez works in the school district with special-needs children and is also finishing her teaching degree. She wants to use her newly gained platform to normalize breastfeeding.
Still, she also recognized that there are still people who are bashing her for doing it, as they have gone out of their way to comment on her post.
But regardless of these few negative commenters, she says, “I am overwhelmed by the love I have received. I think it’s time for women and men alike to come together to protect babies and their mothers when it’s time to breastfeed.”
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