It is hugely encouraging to see the outcry that happened as a reaction to the vindictive photo posted on Facebook of loving mother Emily Slough in Rugeley.
I say it is encouraging but, to be honest, it is shameful that we live in times where these protests are even happening. Why should feeding your helpless and hungry child something to be discussed?
Anyway, it is still good that so many mothers, fathers and supporters made their voices heard with their feet, children and breasts!
I really love the story of Cydney Davis, who organised an event in Milton Keynes who, when asked whilst in a restaurant if she'd mind covering herself up with a blanket while feeding her baby, replied suggesting that the offendee eats her meal under a blanket. Way to go Cydney! A quip that should go down in the history of breastfeeding!
Kendal Clark, organiser of the event in York summed up the mood of all protesters when she stated "York is a very supportive city, but it should be like that anywhere you go." You said it Kendal Clark!
Julia Langley and her friend Janet Murphy expressed surprise at the sheer numbers of people attending their event in Newcastle. Janet, 32, said: 'This woman was labelled a tramp on a social networking site and we're here to try and make everyone aware that it's ok, normal and natural for a woman to breast feed wherever she wishes to. If someone criticised me, I'd tell them it's acceptable to do it in public. Animals do it. Breasts aren't a sexual thing they're for feeding your child.'
'I think that things like this can really put off new mums who are thinking of how they're going to feed their baby if they get treated like this for breast feeding in public, it might sway their decision towards bottle feeding instead.'
Treasure Chest, York's leading breastfeeding support group, also came out in support of the protests.
Katherine Odom, Chair of the group said: 'Many mums can feel that breastfeeding their child in public is a barrier for them and we hope this lone incident doesn't put mums or prospective mums off breastfeeding when there are so many benefits for both mum and baby.
It seemed as though the Gods where in favour of these protests as Swansea mother Jade Richards remarked about the weather, "Mothers, fathers and families came along. It was a great turn out and great weather." But on a more serious note, Jade went to the effort of printing flyers out with information on the Equality Act which says people can't discriminate against women breastfeeding. Great stuff Jade Richards!
In Stirling Dr. Lesley Taylor highlights a great point from a medical point of view which is "Given that there’s the message that ‘breast is best’ I don’t think there should be any stigma about feeding in public.”
Belinda Phipps, CEO of NCT has eloquently said "“For good reason mothers feeding their babies are protected by law. The Equality Act of October 2010 states that it is unlawful for mums to be discriminated against or treated unfavourably because they are breastfeeding in England, Wales or Scotland. Whether formula feeding or breastfeeding, it is important that mums are able to feed their baby whenever and wherever they need it.”
Meanwhile in Canada, Dozens of mothers are expected at ‘flash-feed nurse-in’ at Ottawa Ikea store after Brea Rehder, a nursing mother, reported that an Ikea employee called her act of breastfeeding her infant daughter in a checkout line this Monday ‘disgusting’.
Personally I am very confident and proud to be breastfeeding my child. How do you feel about breastfeeding in public? Were you out with your child today?