Breastfeeding is a sensitive issue. It shouldn’t be; babies need to be fed, and we all know where the milk comes from. Sometimes babies get hungry in public, and moms the world over are growing tired of being told when and where it’s appropriate for them to tend to their little ones’ needs.
Whitney Renee Huntwork, from Portland, Oregon, was one such mom.
Whitney, a self-proclaimed “breastfeeding advocate and activist,” experienced a lot of criticism for breastfeeding in public. Being called “disgusting” while nursing her second child in April of 2016 was the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back; Whitney decided that enough was enough.
The mom of two, who has a compelling way with words, decided to take direct action using the best tools at her disposal: her voice, and social media. But did she give the critics a harsh taste of their own medicine? No, she did not; Whitney was much smarter than that.
She penned an amazing open letter to defend breastfeeding moms everywhere and posted it with a triumphant public breastfeeding snapshot on Facebook. Naysayers, back off! Whitney’s words spread like wildfire, but the young mom had no idea quite how many people she would reach.
“Anytime. Anywhere. You can stare, I don’t care,” Whitney’s rousing anthem began. “I’ll feed my hungry child, here or there, if you don’t like my boob I still don’t care.”
Anytime. Anywhere. You can stare, I don't care. I'll feed my hungry child, here or there, if you don't like my boob I…
Whitney listed restaurants, stores, theaters, and museums as some of the places she had encountered resistance to feeding her little one. But as her clever, rhyming open letter continued, it became clear that Whitney didn’t intend to stop anytime soon. “You still think I should cover? You should run and tell your mother!” she penned.
“Pull out your phone and take a picture? But I’m the one who’s the problem? Don’t you wish we could all mind our business? That would sure solve them!” Shunning the suggestion that breastfeeding moms are seeking attention, Whitney spoke for mothers everywhere when she said she was only “worried about the comfort of my baby and me.”
The awesome mom finished her verse by signing off as “Whitney, the badass breastfeeder & her badass son.”
To date, Whitney’s post has been shared more than 179,000 times, and people love it. “You’re so awesome,” one Facebook user exclaimed. “It’s sad we live in a world where people have to be afraid of what people think of them feeding their child.”
“Good for you girl!” wrote another advocate. “Love your statement. This is why we have those ‘double containers.’ Thank you for sharing your view on breast feeding.”
Whitney herself was taken aback by how readily her post was liked and shared by other moms. However, a year after her original post, she revisited the thread to add how pleased she was that her message was still being used to educate.
“We’re educating and exposing people all over the world and that’s what it’s all about!” the feisty mom wrote. “Being the change I want to see in the world is my mission everyday!”
Whitney certainly succeeded in challenging her critics. Here’s hoping her smart, funny, and very relatable message continues to empower breastfeeding moms everywhere.