People walking through a Tulsa park Monday might have gotten a bit of a surprise: nearly 30 moms breast-feeding their babies right out in the open. But the fact that it may have surprised them is why the moms were there in the first place.
“Get with it. Let’s realize that this is going to be normal,” says organizer Carrie Fulgencio.
She’s a photographer who arranged for the women to get together in the park so she could take pictures of them with their babies. But it’s not your average playdate or photoshoot. They were there to breast-feed — out in the open.
Fulgencio said women couldn’t wait to participate.
“Just because of the looks you get, or it’s not socially acceptable really around here yet,” breast-feeding mom Ashley Roberts told KOKI-TV.
Those disapproving looks are a common concern. Many moms said they have experienced those looks in public, and some have even gotten looks when they tried to go somewhere private, such as the bathroom of a restaurant.
“I overheard girls talking. I was like, 'Are you serious?' They were making comments about me feeding him in a stall, and so it really hurt my feelings at that point, and I didn’t understand,” said new breast-feeding mom Chelsie Root.
Fulgencio was there to photograph the birth of Root's son, and now Fulgencio is trying to help her feel comfortable breast-feeding in the open. Fulgencio said it’s unacceptable that bathrooms are sometimes the only option.
“I should not have to take my baby into an unsanitary place to feed them, and neither should any other mom. You don’t go eat your lunch there, so why should I take my child?” she said.
Plenty of dads came out for moral support. Taylor Roberts said rude treatment in public bothers them, too.
“You have to be able to stand there and take some of it, but it gets annoying after a while,” Roberts said.