By Alyce Collins
THIS DISNEY fanatic was SHAMED for breastfeeding in public after a Disney World photographer REFUSED to take her picture while she was nursing her toddler.
Business owner and blogger Natalee Jorge-Martin (28) from Miami, USA, wants to reduce the stigma around breastfeeding in public and encourage more mothers to feel comfortable nursing their children wherever they are.
Before Natalee welcomed her daughter, Delilah (15 months) in 2017, she had admired other women who nursed their children in public, regarding them as strong and powerful.
Natalee and her husband, Rogelio, have both always loved Disney and in particular, Disney World, so they try to visit there a few times every year. However, during one trip in 2017 a professional photographer at the resort refused to take a photograph of the family of three until Natalee had finished nursing.
Natalee is hoping to dispel any objections to breastfeeding in public which stems from women’s bodies being sexualised and not seen for their natural, nurturing capabilities.
“I knew I was going to nurse from the start, even before we decided to have a baby,” said Natalee.
“It’s completely normal in my family and something we don’t even think about. My mother breastfed me and my two brothers for almost two years each.
“For most women, a proper breastfeeding relationship is difficult to establish because there are a lot of different factors involved in getting it right.
“You have to learn how to latch your baby on properly, how to listen and watch for hunger cues and you’ll stress and stress about your milk production until you’re blue in the face.
“For me, establishing a breastfeeding relationship was nearly impossible and I went through hell and back to successfully nurse Delilah. I couldn’t produce milk for the first week of my baby’s life.
“Breastmilk is the best first food for a baby. It’s the most nutritional food created, and I wanted my daughter to benefit from that.
“Breastfeeding is difficult, frustrating and so, so demanding, but it’s also the most beautiful and magical thing you’ll ever do in your life.
“I’ve always seen women who breastfed in public as strong, powerful and wonderful mothers. It’s perfectly normal to be nervous to nurse in public because I was at first too.
“The problem is that women have been sexualised for years and our society oppresses us and wants our breasts on display only to fulfil sexual fantasies, not the way that they were intended, which is to feed babies.
“Because of this, you might feel like you’re doing something wrong when really all you’re doing is what your body is meant to do. Feeding your child is a basic human need that is essential to their survival.
“Although you may feel nervous, you should do it anyway, even if you’re covered up. The more people see a woman proudly nursing in public, the quicker it will be normalised.
“I’ve had plenty of nasty looks directed my way for nursing in public before. One time, when we were at Disney World, a photographer refused to take my photo until I was finished breastfeeding.
“The photographer plainly said, ‘you have to cover up or take the baby off for the picture’ and refused to take the picture.
“I was so confused, I honestly couldn’t believe what was happening and I was completely frozen. I couldn’t even react.
“Most of Disney World is completely breastfeeding friendly. You can nurse anywhere in the park and not be asked to cover up or leave – not by cast members at least.
“If you’re offended by breastfeeding, you’re probably staring too hard. It’s literally just a mother feeding a child, there’s nothing to be up in arms about.”
Natalee wants to change the sexualisation of women’s breasts in order to improve society’s acceptance of nursing in public.
Through sharing her own experiences and thoughts on her blog, Nat The Natural Mom, Natalee is trying to create a community for mothers to embrace nursing and share their personal experiences with one another.
“Women are strong, and we are powerful. We bring life into this world and many of us sustain that life for months after birth just our breasts,” said Natalee.
“We need to start reclaiming our power and our bodies because we are made of magic.”