It’s been less than a month since we last wrote about breastfeeding in public.
And here we are again.
A Gold Coast mother has told the media that she is too embarrassed to breastfeed in public after an attendant at Movie World in the Gold Coast told her to feed her daughter in a toilet cubicle.
Mimi Lo says that since the incident, which happened two weeks ago, she has breastfed her daughter in her car, or driven home to feed in the privacy of her own home.
“I feel so ashamed, I feel like I’ve done something very wrong,’’ she told the Gold Coast Bulletin.
“People were staring at me when it happened. I said, `Of course, I’m sorry’ to the man but when I went to the toilet it was dirty and I didn’t want to feed my baby there."
“He wasn’t really talking directly to me because he didn’t want to see it. He was telling my mum who doesn’t even speak English saying I was only allowed to do it in the toilet.”
Movie World have since issued an apology, however it beggars belief that a member of staff at a supposedly family friendly theme park could be so miss-informed about the rights of breastfeeding mothers.
In Australia, women are legally allowed to breastfeed their babies anywhere that permits children.
And as lactation consultant Anna Quenault told The Weekly Online, demonising women that breastfeed in public creates a vicious circle.
“If more women were breastfeeding in public then it would be seen as normal. But the fear of a backlash puts a lot of women off breastfeeding in public altogether,” she explains.
Stories like Mimi Lo’s are frustratingly common. So common that stories like this are met with groans of “oh not this again".
I sincerely hope that we will see the day that breastfeeding in public is considered normal and stories of breastfeeding mothers being told to cover up or feed in the toilets are a distant memory.
But this issue won’t go away on its own. And we owe it to breastfeeding mothers (and their hungry babies!) to keep talking about it until stories like Lo’s (and all the others we have reported) are well and truly a thing of the past.
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