Mom Faces Harsh Criticism and Rude Comments Trying to Normalize Breastfeeding in Public
In 2019, Jennifer Mancuso, a 38-year-old mother of four, confronted personal convictions and societal norms while navigating the challenges of breastfeeding her 18-month-old twins in public. Despite encountering prejudices, she has since become a vocal advocate for the right to breastfeed in public, empowering other women to join her in breaking down societal barriers.
Jennifer Mancuso, a mother of four (Parker, Piper, and the twins Aria and Asher), extended her breastfeeding journey with her elder daughters until they naturally chose to stop. Desiring to continue this practice with Aria and Asher, she initially faced challenges when attempting to breastfeed both babies simultaneously.
However, once she found a solution, nothing deterred her. Unprepared for the stigma surrounding double breastfeeding, Jennifer, a professional photographer, skillfully manages her busy schedule and her children’s needs. This often leads her to breastfeed the twins during drop-off and pick-up times at the nursery. Unfortunately, during one such instance, she was approached and asked to relocate to the staff room — an area no larger than a wardrobe and shielded from view.
She fiercely fought for her rights.
Rather than swiftly transferring her children to a different nursery, Mancuso chose to hold her ground and address the issue head-on. It proved to be a challenging struggle. Multiple exchanges took place, with neither side showing a willingness to yield. Jennifer remembers that abruptly withdrawing the twins and arranging alternative childcare wasn’t a feasible option.
Jennifer highlighted that the center was dedicated to revising their handbook to prevent similar incidents in the future. They actively sought her insights on double breastfeeding, signaling a commitment to fostering a more supportive environment for nursing mothers.
It wasn’t the first time it happened.
Jennifer frequently utilizes her social media platform to share her experiences and expose the prejudices she encounters. During the initial instance of double breastfeeding in public, she observed a mother and her tween daughter passing by, with the mother instructing her daughter not to look and whispering, “Disgusting.” Another incident unfolded at a water park when Jennifer chose to double breastfeed her babies at the lazy river, eliciting an exclamation from a lifeguard, “What the hell is that lady doing over there?!”
While these situations could have discouraged her from breastfeeding in public, they only served to fuel Jennifer’s determination to advocate for the cause.
She still encounters criticism.
Jennifer is firm on her decision to keep breastfeeding her babies in public. Still, to this day, she constantly publishes photos of this moment on her social media. But this doesn’t stop negative comments from coming. The most common feedback she gets is that she wants attention and that she wants to appear nude in public to exhibit herself. People tend to say that Jennifer is trying to shock by being photographed in this situation and posting on social media.
But Jennifer believes this kind of comment keeps appearing because people don’t get to see women breastfeeding regularly. So now, Jennifer aims to normalize breastfeeding, empower other mothers, and challenge societal norms. Jennifer, now confident in her right to breastfeed openly, believes that her experience could help other women breastfeed without fear of judgment or criticism.
Jennifer Mancuso’s challenges initiate a conversation about the necessity for increased awareness and acceptance of breastfeeding practices. Recognizing breastfeeding as a natural and essential aspect of maternal care is crucial for the well-being of both the mother and the child.