A mother who has been accused of trying to ‘steal’ other women’s men by breastfeeding in public has hit back at her critics.
Reka Nyari, a 39-year-old photographer, has revealed she was on a flight from New York City to Budapest with her 34-month-old daughter, Ilo, when the woman sitting in front of them degraded her for breastfeeding her little girl.
‘She called me “disgusting” followed by a litany of degrading swear words,’ Reke recalled. ‘Apparently she thought I was trying to steal her man by quietly breastfeeding my baby during the landing of the plane.’
Reka, who has more than 31,000 Instagram followers, uses her social media platform to educate critics about the benefits of nursing by sharing photos of herself breastfeeding her little girl, shared Daily Mail.
Reka has been breastfeeding her daughter since she was born in November 2015 and has never given her formula.
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WORLD BREASTFEEDING MONTH! Shout out to all the ladies that define the stereotypes and feed their children past “since they can ask for it”. I am an independent woman who’s raising an independent child. Thank you for the amazing pediatrician and photographer @gulphoto fpr the beautiful photos! @isewhite @grisellerosarioproductions @edwinirizarrynyc @rafelynailsnyc @billy.jim @steventphoto @sofia_brunet #noshame #normakizebreastfeeding #milkmaker #pumpingmom #pumpingmama #modelmom #motherhood #workingmom #nurture #breastfeeding #breastfeedinginpublic #love #nourish #nourishing #biglatchon #global_family
Reka, originally from Finland, unapologetically breastfeeds her daughter anywhere she would want to be fed, including public places.
‘Breastfeeding is natural, and our breasts were made for feeding our babies. Associating breastfeeding with sex or perversion is disturbing,’ she said.
‘I breastfeed everywhere my baby would want to be fed. It doesn’t happen that often anymore as my daughter is older, but when she was a baby, I would do it everywhere; restaurants, shops, meetings, streets, the subway, you name it.
‘Looking back at it, it was my way of defying societal norms — I was waiting for someone to start complaining to me so that I could educate them about it.’
‘It has been irritating how judgmental people can be about women who breastfeed, and how sexualized the breast and nipple have become,’ she said.
The mum admitted that the judgement has only gotten worse because of Ilo’s age.
‘Now that my daughter is thirty-four-months-old, I get judged and criticized a lot,’ she said.
‘Friends and family roll their eyes, give unapproving stares, and tell me that I should quit. ‘They tell me that it’s somehow harmful for my child and for me, that what I am doing is somewhat selfish, disturbing or perverse. People are shocked.’
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I wanted to touch on the subject of “extended breastfeeding”, as it’s often referred to when done past baby’s 1st year. Too often I get dirty looks and snide comments, even from friends and family, regarding breastfeeding my 2 year old daughter. It’s often, disturbingly, regarded as mother-obsessive, and bad for the independence of the child. That could not be further from the truth! Breastfeeding your child past 2 years is incredibly healthy, both physically and psychologically, for both the mother and the baby. Please don’t take my word for it, just google it. Moreover, the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for children to 2 years and beyond. It’s been an incredibly bonding and beautiful experience, and it goes way beyond giving them milk. I will not be breastfeeding her forever, but for the short time that it’s beneficial to her, and possible to me, we will continue. Stop judging, and educate yourselves. And love! #lactivist #motherofdragons #breastfeeding photo by @gulphoto
A post shared by Reka Nyari (@rekanyariphotography) on
‘Why does a breastfeeding mother anger and irritate people so much? I have found that most of this anger is unfounded. As soon as people read on the matter, they become less judgmental.’
Reka believes that ‘breastfeeding and extended breastfeeding should be normalized,’ and it upsets her to read stories about mothers who hide the fact that they are breastfeeding their children past a year out of shame or fear of judgement.
‘The more women speak publicly about this; the more people are exposed to the idea and the more acceptable it becomes,’ she said.
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