Saturday, 25 September 2010

Library staff tells breastfeeding mother to “face the wall”

Unlike my last post, this one does have to do with breasts.

Friday’s papers reported the plight of a woman breastfeeding her nine-week old daughter in a Haringey library who was told to “face the wall” by a male member of staff. When she told him it was against the law to ask her not to breastfeed, he suggested that she be more discreet next time.

Ahhh the cheek, naiveté and rudeness of this man! As a breastfeeding mom I am well schooled in trying to feed tactfully in public. I’ve learned that this comes with different challenges depending on your child’s age; young babies may take time to latch on, at 8 months LLC wants to frequently pop off and look around. It’s not always simple but I do my best to do the deed while protecting my dignity. I’m certain this mother was only doing the same and did nothing inappropriate to warrant such remarks.

Importantly, this story highlights how such a seemingly flippant remark has the potential to seriously put a woman off breastfeeding in public. And when you feel like you can’t feed in public, you’re probably only a step away from quitting breastfeeding entirely because no one wants to sit in the house all day and babies, particularly young ones, feed a lot.

Breastfeeding is a very personal choice but those that do try to get on with it shouldn’t be made to feel guilty for doing so. And particularly from a public sector worker! I think I hear disciplinary action calling…..
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