‘You MUST have your camera on to receive credit.’ I asked to turn it off to breastfeed my daughter.’: Student shamed for needing to breastfeed, ‘This is a child, not a phone’

“Originally, I didn’t want to share this picture with the world because I just wanted it for me. But now I feel compelled to show that I CAN focus in class WHILE breastfeeding my child. But let’s rewind.

My professor recently changed the requirements for class and said we needed to have our camera and microphone on in order to receive credit for attendance. I told him I obviously don’t have a problem with having my camera and microphone on, but I might need to turn them off to feed my daughter from time to time. His response was, ‘That’s not what you should be doing during class. Do that on your own time.’  

didn’t respond and went to class about a half hour later. The first thing he says to the whole class in our zoom meeting was, ‘I got this really weird email from a student stating she needed to do inappropriate things during lecture time. You guys need to understand that you have priorities now and you need to put all those distractions aside or be creative when your child needs you and give your full attention to my class.’  

If you know me, you know how angry this made me. It was one thing to send an email telling me what I can and cannot do in my house with my child, but it’s a whole other thing when he announced a ‘weird’ email he received about ‘inappropriate’ things. I felt so unmotivated during class. I was so hurt that an actual human said these things about me and my breastfed baby in public to other students. I was humiliated.  

Then, I realized he should be humiliated. He discriminated against me and many others when he said, ‘Put those distractions aside or be creative when your child needs you.’ Like, what the heck?! This is a child we are talking about, not our phones or TVs or any other THING.  

I hope this man thinks before he decides to continue his career, if he even has one anymore. Breastfeeding mamas and any mama who is trying to juggle school, work, and a child should be praised, not put down and humiliated. I love my baby. I would choose her health over anything or anyone, any day of the week! 

But for the record, I CAN focus in class WHILE breastfeeding my child.”

Courtesy of Marcella Mares

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Marcella Mares. You can follow their journey on Facebook. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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‘Breast is better,’ they said. I cried for days, unable to feed you. I heard I could never feel that connection with you, nor you with me, because I didn’t nurse you.’: Mom shares emotional breastfeeding struggle, ‘Did I love you any less?’

‘I breastfeed in front of my teens. May ALL teens see breasts whipped out in public and have the mystery of titties ruined for them.’: Former teacher mom calls for normalizing breastfeeding, ‘They can handle it’

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