If you spend any time on social media, you likely saw the viral note from a bride asking her wedding guests to breastfeed in a spot that they had set up in the ladies room at the reception. Well, almost a month later, the bride is explaining why she told moms to breastfeed in private at her wedding. It's a pretty controversial story, as things always are when it comes to breastfeeding in public.
In case you missed it, Shelby Platter and her husband Garret got married in September, and it was likely a lovely day. Except that, since her wedding day, she's been bombarded on social media about a note that she included in her wedding invitation to nursing moms, as she told a local news outlet. The note was originally posted to the Breastfeeding Mama Talk Facebook page by Ceara LaFrance, a nursing mom whose husband was actually the best man in the wedding.
The note read:
We have designated an appropriate place for you to feed your baby so that you do not have to do so in public in front of our family and friends. For your convenience we are accommodating you with a comfortable and private area with chairs.
According to PopSugar Moms, LaFrance said on the Breastfeeding Mama Talk page that she has had arguments with the couple in the past about feeding in public. "They have multiple times voiced that I need to go elsewhere to do that in 'private'" she wrote.
Platter was not happy that LaFrance posted the note to social media. She told WFAA8, a Dallas, Texas ABC affiliate news station, that she and her mother had come up with the "private" area together and assumed it was a great idea.
"We had photography and we have videography there too, so we didn't want anything to be not private,” she told the local news station. She added, "We did have a 'Plan B,' but nobody asked, and nobody said that 'Plan A' was a problem.”
“Plan B” was allegedly office space on the second level of the venue where guests would have been welcome to breastfeed, according to WFAA8. Platter said, "I know it's an important issue and that's fine. I'm all for breastfeeding."
Platter said in the sit-down interview that she was upset with LaFrance for not addressing the issue personally or having her husband talk to the groom. However, it does appear that the two women have talked about this before.
Platter said in an interview with wedding planner Sandy Malone after the note went viral, "We used to go out to dinners together, spend Halloween together... We always got along until she started having kids and shoving breastfeeding down everybody's throat," according to Malone's site.
Platter added, "And it's not that we have a problem with breastfeeding, but we have a problem when we see her boob, see her nipple. That's where we have a problem." The couple alleged that they sent the note to five other couples, not just LaFrance.
LaFrance originally sent the note to the Breastfeeding Mama Talk Facebook group asking for advice on how to handle the situation, writing:
Hubby and I were just gonna make it a date night... But apparently that wasn't okay either. So I said would just bring my littlest baby to the wedding then, but no way in hell I will leave and nurse her in the bathroom (no matter how "nice" they make it!) I don't eat in the bathroom I'm not feeding my child in there!... I want to be "nice" as possible but what should I do!? Go ahead and leave her with my friend (who by the way has nursed her multiple times) or take her!? Help!
In the end, LaFrance decided to just not bring her kids to the wedding, according to PopSugar Moms. Platter told WFAA8 that she wasn't aware whether it was the breastfeeding policy or not that persuaded LaFrance to leave her kids at home that night or if other guests were bothered by it.
Because social media is the anonymous cesspool that it is, Platter said that she has received tons of messages from angry women about her choice to ask her guests to breastfeed in the bathroom and that it has left a "dark cloud" over her happy day. Point blank: No one should be bullied online.
However, it's understandable that women were upset. Women in Texas have a right to breastfeed in public and if privacy were an issue for the breastfeeding mother, she would likely figure something out for herself.
Asking a photographer or videographer to edit someone out of a clip, if one really couldn't stand the sight of a woman feeding a baby, wouldn't have been hard to do without anyone knowing the wiser. Requesting someone go to a bathroom to feed their kid feels personal, even if it was done with the best intentions. It might have been nice to tell nursing moms that there was a comfy office space upstairs if they wanted to get away from the crowd.
There are two sides to every story and in this case, it seems like many things could have been done differently by everyone involved. Still, it's a shame that the topic of breastfeeding was such a contentious issue.
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