Why you can trust us

We independently evaluate the products we review. When you buy via links on our site, we may receive compensation. Read more about how we vet products and deals.

Michelle Branch says being shamed for breastfeeding in public was 'so upsetting': 'I just didn't expect it from another woman'

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Breast, bottle, whatever: How You Feed is a shame-free series on how babies eat.

Celebrity parents are no stranger to receiving trolling comments from keyboard warriors who want to criticize how they're feeding/holding/treating/raising their child. But sometimes mom shamers choose to confront someone in person, as Michelle Branch found out earlier this year, shortly after the birth of her daughter Willie.

While speaking to Yahoo Music editor Lyndsey Parker about her new album, The Trouble With Fever, last month, the singer-songwriter opened up about an incident last March in which another mom called her out for breastfeeding her then-6-week-old baby at a playground. A "fuming" Branch later took to Twitter to vent about the heated moment, writing that she was "in shock that this kind of judgment was coming from a fellow mom."

"It was really crazy," Branch, who is also mom to a 17-year-old daughter and a 4-year-old son, told Parker. The musician and her family were in Charleston, S.C. at the time, and had walked to a local playground so her son could play while she sat on a nearby bench to nurse her newborn.

"I had my stroller in front of me and I had a [nursing] cover, but it was like 90 degrees outside," Branch remembers. "And I was like, I'm boiling. I kind of took my cover off and I'm feeding her very discreetly and a mom across the playground just would not stop staring at me. She was holding a baby and I was like, Oh, there's another mom. Maybe she wants to be mom friends."

She soon found out that the other mom wasn't looking to play nice. Branch said the woman approached her two older daughters, who were playing near where the singer and her baby were sitting, and told them they were leaving — because of Branch.

"She was like, 'She's not being modest. We have to go,'" she said. "And I was in shock. I just could feel my face getting hot. And I was like, is she directing this at me?

"There were so many things that bothered me about the interaction," Branch added. "The main thing was that she was telling her daughters that what I was doing was not OK. And here I am feeding a 6-week-old and at a park with mothers and children. I just didn't expect it from another woman. .. I think motherhood is so hard as it is, to be made to feel that way by another mom was really upsetting."

The "Everywhere" singer said she was "shaking" when she got home afterwards, and regrets not responding to the woman.

"It was one of those things where she left and I couldn't believe that I didn't say anything back because I was just kind of in shock," she shared. "I kept saying like, 'Oh I can't wait to run into her at the park again because I want to talk to her,' and I never ran into her again."

Months later, Branch is still rattled by the mom-shaming she was subjected to, particularly the implication that she was being indecent by feeding her baby.

"What do you think boobs were made for, people?" she laughed. "Like, are you that upset that I'm breastfeeding at a park? It's not like I was, like topless and flaunting. I was really trying to be as modest as I could. And it was so upsetting."

—Additional reporting by Lyndsey Parker.

Wellness, parenting, body image and more: Get to know the who behind the hoo with Yahoo Life's newsletter. Sign up here.