This mom breastfed in public, and a stranger's response nearly left her in tears.

New mom Briar Lusia Mcqueen was a little on edge.

It was the first time Mcqueen had gone out to eat at a restaurant with just her 8-week-old son. And as humans — especially human babies — tend to do sometimes, her little one needed to eat.

So Mcqueen started breastfeeding. And that's when she got scared.


Photo via iStock.

A woman approached her, and Mcqueen — like many moms in this situation before her — thought, "This might not end well."

"I was scared," she explained in a Facebook post, noting she thought the elderly stranger was about to scold her for breastfeeding her son in public. 

Thankfully, the exact opposite happened.

"What a good mama you are," said the kind-hearted stranger, who'd come over to cut up Mcqueen's breakfast for her. "We can't have your food getting cold, can we?"

The stranger's selflessness has struck a chord with folks around the world. The post, which was originally shared where Mcqueen lives in New Zealand, was picked up by Love What Matters and has been Liked more than 500,000 times. 

It may have been a simple, kind gesture, but with breastfeeding in public still an incredibly stigmatized act, it makes a big difference.

A mom breastfeeding her baby is totally natural. Yet, despite the fact the practice is very much encouraged by health professionals — not to mention legal to do in public in 49 states — breastfeeding moms are shamed time and time and time again. On the flip side, mothers who don't breastfeed (maybe they can't or maybe they choose not to) are shamed as well

Which begs the question: If there's one person who doesn't deserve to be shamed, isn't it a new mom who's trying to do what's best for her kid?

Photo via iStock.

Mcqueen won't be forgetting this stranger's selfless act anytime soon.

"I honestly could have cried," she explained in her post, noting the complete stranger turned out to be the "loveliest lady ever."

True

Shanda Lynn Poitra was born and raised on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota. She lived there until she was 24 years old when she left for college at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

"Unfortunately," she says, "I took my bad relationship with me. At the time, I didn't realize it was so bad, much less, abusive. Seeing and hearing about abusive relationships while growing up gave me the mentality that it was just a normal way of life."

Those college years away from home were difficult for a lot of reasons. She had three small children — two in diapers, one in elementary school — as well as a full-time University class schedule and a part-time job as a housekeeper.

"I wore many masks back then and clothing that would cover the bruises," she remembers. "Despite the darkness that I was living in, I was a great student; I knew that no matter what, I HAD to succeed. I knew there was more to my future than what I was living, so I kept working hard."

While searching for an elective class during this time, she came across a one-credit, 20-hour IMPACT self-defense class that could be done over a weekend. That single credit changed her life forever. It helped give her the confidence to leave her abusive relationship and inspired her to bring IMPACT classes to other Native women in her community.

I walked into class on a Friday thinking that I would simply learn how to handle a person trying to rob me, and I walked out on a Sunday evening with a voice so powerful that I could handle the most passive attacks to my being, along with physical attacks."

It didn't take long for her to notice the difference the class was making in her life.

"I was setting boundaries and people were either respecting them or not, but I was able to acknowledge who was worth keeping in my life and who wasn't," she says.

Following the class, she also joined a roller derby league where she met many other powerful women who inspired her — and during that summer, she found the courage to leave her abuser.

"As afraid as I was, I finally had the courage to report the abuse to legal authorities, and I had the support of friends and family who provided comfort for my children and I during this time," she says.

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