An incident at SM Davao

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

There's an ongoing discussion on mommy treats' page about a mother who was reprimanded by the SM guard for breastfeeding in public. You may not believe this but it happened to me as well.

Last Friday, we were at SM Davao. We were doing some grocery shopping and the kids wanted to ride the carousel and the train ride. However the carousel was down so they rode the train instead. By this time, my 3-month-old son was crying 'cuz he was hungry. I always bring a nursing cover with me, whether it's a shawl, a boncho or a nursing cover. There was no chair in this part of the mall. The only thing near the train ride was the stairs so I decided to sit there. If you live in Davao or have been to SM Davao, you know what I'm talking about.

So I was feeding my baby, with cover and all, when a guard came near me and told me not to sit there. I said, "saglit lang po. Nagpatotoy ko." (Just a sec, I'm breastfeeding). Then the guard said, "Bawal man gud maglingkod diha ma'am." "Didto lang ka sa breastfeeding station magpatotoy mam." (Sitting on the stairs is not allowed. You can go to the breastfeeding station to feed your baby.)

At first I felt ashamed. I thought breastfeeding in public (in SM) was not allowed. Only with my son did I have the guts to breastfeed in public and what did I get? I got reprimanded for it. That was what I thought at that time.

Having read of a similar incident stirs again my emotions on that day. It made me realize that breastfeeding in any public places should not make me feel ashamed of myself. I am not alone.

I am a mother. I got ignorant of my rights as a breastfeeding mother. Good thing there are a lot of resources online that tells me of such. One of which is from Chronicles of a Nursing Mom. I hope you read this too. Discrimination with breastfeeding mothers should be stopped. And everyone should be educated about breast milk and breastfeeding. Some mothers may not like it but we should have the right to breastfeed whenever and wherever we want.