Breastfeeding is one of the most polarizing parenting topics in the U.S., but apparently New Zealanders really get their downunders in a bunch over the whole thing, too. First came the story of the woman who wasn’t given hospital meals because she didn’t breastfeed her baby (for medical reasons, btw!). Today, a new story emerges of a female coworker throwing a blanket over a baby’s head because her mother was nursing her in public.
Ashley Hollings was waiting for her partner at Henderson’s Work and Income office last week when the baby started getting fussy. "I was sitting at one of the nearby tables and Kaitlyn was getting a bit scratchy so I started feeding her," she said in an interview with Stuff. A female Winz employee came by and put a blanket that had been lying next to baby Kaitlyn over her head in order to conceal the breastfeeding.
"She said to me, ‘Can you use the blanket?'" Ashley said. "I pulled it off and said, ‘for what reason'? The woman told her that it was because there were males working there, but Hollings maintains that the two males and two females sitting at her table never “batted an eyelid” as she was feeding the baby.
After the employee tried not once, but twice, to cover the baby’s head, she went back to her desk and reportedly kept watching Hollings out of the corner of her (stink) eye.
"All people in our sites deserve to be treated with respect and what happened didn't meet our standards and expectations," Work and Income’s Auckland regional commissioner Isabel Evans said. While she defended the actions of the nursing mother, Evans also pointed out that all the Winz sites have private rooms for mothers to breastfeed.
This sounds like another case of body embarrassment, and it's so sad that another woman would push so hard for another to cover up while naturally feeding her child. We get the fact that it may have been uncomfortable for the others sitting at Ashley's table, but to us, if no one was complaining, then leave it be! It may have changed things if the woman who threw the blanket had admitted her own discomfort, but instead she tried to pass it off on the men who seemed to be fine with it!
What do you think about this, mom? Should women cover up out of courtesy or should the natural act of feeding a child not be hidden?