A nursing mom found a lot of unexpected support when she stood up to a breastfeeding bully.

By Hollee Actman Becker
June 15, 2016

After mom Jessie Maher was verbally assaulted for breastfeeding her baby in a Target store, she's reaching out to thank the customers and employees who defended her.

This is what went down: Maher was nursing her newborn in the store cafe when a random man glanced over and immediately started cursing at her. "He asked me if I could do it somewhere else," she told WFSB News. "And then he started to say it's disgusting, and he just kind of kept repeating that."

Pretty sad to see such ignorance in this day and age. So Maher started videoing the guy while she kept right on breastfeeding. "Because I'm feeding my baby, this man is going crazy," she said into the camera. "And I'm shaking. He wants a refund because I'm breastfeeding my baby."


The footage then shows a woman in a green shirt and a bunch of Target employees quickly swooping in to Maher's aid. "Look at all these wonderful people coming to my defense," Maher says in tears. "Thank you so much."

"You shouldn't be ashamed of feeding your baby," the woman in green—who has since been identified by Maher as Sarah Pasquariello-Pera—responds. "This is a beautiful moment. If he doesn't like it he can go."

YAS, Sarah! A bunch of Target employees then confront the man and escort him away from the cafe.

Both Connecticut state law and Target policy protect nursing in public. In fact, Target told WFSB in a statement that "Guests who choose to breastfeed in public areas of the store are welcome to do so without being made to feel uncomfortable."

Sadly, uncomfortable was probably the least of what this guy made Maher feel.

Which is probably why the proud breastfeeding mama chose to later post her video of the encounter to Facebook, where it has now racked up more than 5 million views. In a follow-up post, Maher reached out to thank Sarah, the Target staff and all of her supporters.

"I choose to openly breastfeed my child when ever and where ever she happens to be hungry," she wrote in part. "I choose not to cover up because I am not ashamed of what my breasts are intended for. I stand with all mamas breastfeeding, bottle feeding, covered or not. It is hard enough being a mother, period. We need to build new mothers up not tear them down. Let's be kind, let's be gentle. Let's teach...future mamas that they have rights when it comes to breastfeeding! Let's normalize breastfeeding, because that is exactly what it is, normal, nothing more nothing less."


Hollee Actman Becker is a freelance writer, blogger, and a mom. Check out her website holleeactmanbecker.com for more, and then follow her on Twitter at @holleewoodworld.