Earlier this week, a mom named Naomi Covert shared a photo of herself breastfeeding at a wedding — on Instagram and Facebook — and watched in surprise as the photo quickly went viral.
But unlike most viral breastfeeding photos these days, this one wasn’t met with a ton of backlash or vitriol. In fact, Covert got a virtual round of applause from most of the Internet.
According to Buzzfeed, Covert is a full-time Army wife in Germany, a fitness enthusiast, and mom to a 10-month-old baby boy, TJ. Soon after posting the picture, it was reshared on empoweredbirthproject’s Instagram account, where it has been liked over 13,000 times. As of today, the photo has also been liked over 4,000 times on Covert’s own personal Instagram account, and liked over 140 times on her Facebook page.
As the mom of one told Buzzfeed, she’s posted several breastfeeding pictures in the past, but was shocked that this one became so popular and spread so quickly. In the photo, Covert is seen sitting at a wedding table unabashedly breastfeeding her baby, with a kind of silly, “hell yeah” expression on her face.
As Covert later shared, “I made the silly face because it’s literally not a big deal to feed your baby.”
Indeed, Covert has a refreshingly honest, and totally kick-ass attitude about breastfeeding in public. As she puts it in her Instagram post:
“When you are at a wedding, wear fancy dresses and high heels. and your baby gets hungry, well … You give no shits and feed the kid.”
Seriously, can we get a standing ovation for this amazing mom right now? Because this is one attitude we definitely need more of out there.
Most breastfeeding moms will tell you that they don’t always feel fully supported breastfeeding in public. Here in the U.S., almost all states have laws in place to protect a mother’s right to breastfeed her baby in public, and yet we still hear reports all the time of mothers who are harassed while breastfeeding in public.
I myself was told to cover up and breastfeed in a bathroom a couple of years ago while dining at a Subway restaurant. (I later wrote a letter and received an apology, but the experience itself was still very upsetting.)
It’s no wonder then that so many moms feel hesitation about breastfeeding their babies outside their homes. But what I love about Covert’s empowering photo, is that it sends the clear message that it doesn’t always have to be that way.
Covert told Buzzfeed that she has no problem breastfeeding her baby wherever she is, and whenever he’s hungry. She’s breastfed him in church, at the airport, and even in grocery stores. As for covering up, she says her son doesn’t really tolerate a nursing cover; he would just “rip it off in no time.”
And for that, most commenters are just giving Covert a virtual high-five in support. “I want to become an awesome mother just like you seem to be!” wrote one user. “Happy to know that your picture and attitude helped to make such a difference.”
But unfortunately, Covert has gotten some flack for the photo. Just consider this comment from a user: “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Is it necessary for everyone present to witness that? I don’t think so. Go ahead and breastfeed your baby but not wherever you want.” (I should add that that was one of the more politely worded critiques.)
It’s hard to believe that people would have such a problem with a mother feeding her child in the most natural way possible. To the haters, Covert responds: “Here in Germany people don’t get mad about it. It is NORMAL. Nothing rude or bad about it. This is why I have breasts! Cause God gave me boobs for feeding my babies.”
Covert also points out how hypocritical people are about nudity on Instagram, explaining that people seem to have no issues looking at pictures of cleavage and scantily dressed women, but that somehow women breastfeeding their babies is what makes people freak out.
“It is nothing sexual,” Covert says of breastfeeding. “It’s just another person eating.”
And she is 100% right. Just the fact that she’s gotten the criticism she has proves once again that we have a long way to go in normalizing breastfeeding. Sometimes people say, “Breastfeeding is fine and good, but why do I need to see it?” Well, if it were as normal as people think it is, then a woman posting a picture like this wouldn’t even be news at all.
There is a power and a purpose in sharing our breastfeeding photos — especially pictures of moms breastfeeding with confidence in public. It lifts other mothers up. It makes them think: “If she can do that, so can I.”
So thank you, Naomi Covert, for adding another positive photo and sentiment to the conversation, and for doing your part in normalizing breastfeeding for all moms and babies.More On