An interesting thing happened at a session at the library this morning. Post story time, just as the kids (mostly babies and toddlers under 2) began to play, one mother started to breastfeed her baby. Nothing unusual there you might think, but it caused a storm of complaint simply because the mum refused to put a scarf over her shoulder while breast feeding.
I have to say I wouldn’t have even noticed her feeding had another mum not announced very loudly and quite rudely that she was offended and asked the mum to ‘cover up’. Even now I am not quite sure what she was offended about, a naked breast perhaps, or the fact someone was breastfeeding her hungry baby in a library? It was bizarre and caused a ripple effect across all the mums with people taking sides, and voices being raised.
I have to say the library staff despite being harassed by the ‘offended’ mum, didn’t stop the other mother breastfeeding or even suggest she cover up. And too right because the Equality Act 2010 makes it illegal for anyone to ask a breastfeeding woman to leave a public place such as a cafe, shop or public transport. Having said that the whole debacle did upset the breastfeeding mum and her baby, and she ended up leaving.
I still find it hard to believe people, especially other mums have such a problem with something as natural as breast feeding in public. My view is if it makes you feel uncomfortable look away or leave yourself, don’t harass someone who is simply feeding her child!
But what do you think? Let me know.