A mother expressing breast milk in a Bunnings carpark has spoken of her shock when a woman told her to “put her tits away”. Telaine Smith told the Fraser Coast Chronicle that she was surprised by the incident, which happened in Hervey Bay, Queensland.
Fortunately, Mrs Smith’s 6-year-old son responded to the woman’s comment with a perfect reply.
“He told her ‘if you don’t like it, you don’t need to look,’,” Mrs Smith told the newspaper. “I’m very proud of my six-year-old.”
Telaine was in her car with tinted windows expressing milk for her five-month-old son Pilot when a man and woman walked past. The man kept walking, but the woman stopped and approached Mrs Smith before telling her to “put her f***ing tits away”.
“I was a bit shocked,” Mrs Smith said, adding that she found it hard to express milk after the woman’s comment due to the fact the incident left her feeling tense.
Mrs Smith said she had expressed milk in some unusual places in recent months as baby Pilot was born with a tongue-tie which made breastfeeding difficult.
She expressed milk every two or three hours to keep up her supply and bottle feeds the expressed milk to her baby. Mrs Smith is proud of her efforts to continue expressing milk for her son despite the “narrow-minded attitude” of some people.
“People see it as sexual,” she said. “They have to realise it’s not.”
Ironically, Mrs Smith said she also feels judged in the parents room at shopping centres when she bottle feeds her son as other mothers don’t realise she is feeding him breast milk.
“I can’t win,” she said.
However, Mrs Smith has found lots of places, including coffee shops, in her local area who support her right to express milk for her son. Under Australian law, women have the right to breastfeed their baby or express milk anywhere they choose without being discriminated against.