Mom sparks debate after breastfeeding on Disney ride

Tuesday, 05/12/2023, 17:56 (GMT+7)

A mother breastfed her daughter on the Frozen Ever After ride at Epcot while visiting Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and the act was captured on camera by the theme park.

Pittsburgh resident Barnayak, along with her baby daughter her husband Jeremy, their 3-year-old son Graham, and her mother and stepfather, embarked on a memorable trip to Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

After a while, her daughter began to feel hungry and kept asking for milk. Barnayak made a personal choice to breastfeed her daughter while on the Frozen Ever After ride.

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The moment of a mother breastfeeding her baby was captured by the theme park's camera. Image Credit: Disney World

Coincidentally, the amusement park's camera captured this moment between mother and child.

This incident has sparked discussions about normalizing breastfeeding in public spaces and the importance of supporting and empowering breastfeeding mothers.

Mom Meredith Barnayak expressed her perspective, stating that she saw no issue with breastfeeding her one-year-old daughter, Poppy, while on the Frozen Ever After ride. For Barnayak, providing nourishment to her child at that moment was a natural and essential act of motherhood.

“She would just pull on my shirt and I thought, ‘OK, it’s dark out. We’re all humans. We’re all honestly going to enjoy the ride a lot better and you’ll be happier being fed,’” Barnayak told Today.

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Barnayak found no issue when breastfeeding in public and believes it is a natural action for a mother. Image Credit: Instagram

“I am a pretty big proponent of any way you can feed your baby you should be able to do it — in any place,” she explained.

When Meredith Barnayak noticed the flash of the ride camera capturing her breastfeeding her baby, she became aware that other passengers on the ride would also see the intimate moment.

While this unexpected visibility might have caught her by surprise, it did not deter her from her conviction that breastfeeding is a natural and beautiful act to be celebrated.

“As soon as I saw the flash, I was like, ‘Oh no, I think all these people have a picture of (me) breastfeeding my baby on this ride,'” Barnyak said. 

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The incident of a mother breastfeeding her baby on a Disney ride is currently going viral, sparking debate on social media. Image Credit: Getty

After sending the image to other family members, Jo Goddard, Barney's cousin and owner of the women's lifestyle website Cup of Jo, requested permission to share it on her business's Instagram page.

“My cousin @meredithbarnyak being an absolute MOM on this Disney ride,” she wrote along with the photo and heart emojis.

The post quickly garnered online users, sparking debate about the mother's incident for safety and politeness in public.

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Many people are harsh about breastfeeding in public without anything covering sensitive areas. Image Credit: iStock

She could sit down with the baby before or after the ride (that’s not so long after all!) and feed it not ruining other people’s fun and memory. At least she could be a little bit more discreet instead of all this show that she made. This situation also could be simply looking for attention on the internet, one person said.

I’m so confused, I used to work at an amusement park and you couldn’t even bring a purse or backpack on a ride never mind a whole baby?? the second left a question.

Inappropriate. You're not special just because you gave birth, another commented.

Ridiculous I am not comfortable with women feeding their children in public places without a covering of some kind it’s just being respectful to others, someone concluded.

You want to breastfeed, breastfeed, but show some class, added another.

Others defended the mom.

See the other child on a lap? See the other adults not belted in? Trust that Disney is fully aware of physics and laws. This is the Frozen ride. It’s slightly more thrilling than Small World but perfectly safe and within the rules to have a child in your arms, wrote someone.

Love it. Taking care of that baby in every circumstance, one user said.

@meredithbarnyak I just got home from Euro Disney where I nursed my gigantic toddler everywhere- including in lines and the security line at the airport lol. This picture made my day! You’re amazing, another expressed.

I nursed babies on many rides in Disney World. Any ride without a seatbelt is safe, someone insisted.