This Mom Was Shamed for Public Breastfeeding in the Most Ironic Place

This mother was told to cover up while feeding her child...despite the fact that she was sitting in a gallery of nude paintings. In the words of Alanis Morissette: "Isn't it ironic? Don't you think?"

Christie Rea Christie Rea/Facebook
While moms are shamed for breastfeeding every day, Christie Rea was one of the lucky ones: The mother of four had reportedly never been asked to cover up while breastfeeding. Unfortunately, that changed recently.

Rea was on a family trip to the National Gallery of Australia when her three-month-old got fussy. So she did what so many moms would do in that situation: She began to breastfeed her child. She found a seat and started to nurse...but then a security guard approached her and asked her to stop—he said there was a "parenting room" downstairs where she could resume nursing.

But the mom wasn't ready to accept that, and she (rightfully!) argued her point. (In Australia, the breastfeeding laws support mamas who want to feed their babies in public.) "I told him that we only have a short time here [the gallery] and I didn't want to leave my husband or the girls to sit in a room away from them," Rea told Daily Mail. "I realized he thought it was an issue of modesty, but I was being discreet."

The irony of the situation? Rea was sitting in a room full of nude artwork when this happened.

nude art -breastfeeding  IrinaKorsakova/Shutterstock
Eventually, Rea and the guard reached a compromise—she would cover up with a wrap if she could stay close to her family. Interestingly enough, the guard told the mom the museum staff was concerned about Rea's breast milk getting into the art—but that reasoning didn't exactly play out. After all, if Daily Mail's reports are any indication, the museum was fine with Rea breastfeeding close to the artwork as long as she was covered. 

This story is definitely frustrating, but it's also very much in line with other stories we've shared. One mom was forced to cover up while shopping at a department store that displayed lingerie ads. Another made a strong point by covering up while breastfeeding....with an image of a model's breasts. It seems that while we're A-OK with women baring breasts for art or a catalog, if it's for breastfeeding in public—feeding your babies—that's still problematic.