A mother who has been accused of trying to ‘steal’ other women’s men by breastfeeding in public has shared nude photos of herself nursing her two-and-a-half-year-old child in defiance of her critics.
Reka Nyari, a 39-year-old photographer living in New York, 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.
One captivating image shows Reka breastfeeding Ilo while majestically sitting on a chair with an owl perched on her right arm.
In another stunning shot, Reka is lying on a sofa in an open robe while nursing her daughter. A black and white picture shows her breastfeeding in the nude.
She has also shared a photo of herself nursing Ilo while cuddled next to her husband, Ian, and their dog.
Reka has been breastfeeding her daughter since she was born in November 2015 and has never given her formula.
She has always been an advocate for moms who choose to breastfeed their children beyond the age of one and insists that the natural practice is beneficial for the mother and child in the long term.
Reka, who is 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.’
Reka noted that only a few people have given her trouble for breastfeeding in public, but, interestingly enough, most of those critics were women.
‘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 mom admitted that the judgment 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 to my child and for me, that what I am doing is somewhat selfish, disturbing or perverse. People are shocked.’