Breastfeeding: Would You Eat In A Toilet?
The good news is that, as a nation, we are more accepting of mothers breastfeeding in public places, but 27 people who responded to our most recent survey felt that mums should breastfeed in a toilet.
The new Equality Act of 2010 says that ‘it is sex discrimination to treat a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding’ yet we continue to hear stories of breastfeeding mums being asked to leave restaurants and other public places.
To coincide with National Breastfeeding Week in September, the parenting website TheBabyWebsite.com asked 692 people for their thoughts and opinions on breastfeeding in public and were surprised to see how much more accepting people have become of public breastfeeding. Out of the 692 respondents, only 66 people reported having experienced negativity from others, and out of those, only 3 were asked to leave a place following a complaint from someone else.
This clearly illustrates how attitudes have changed for the better toward breastfeeding mums, with the public now being far more accepting of just how ‘normal’ and natural the act of feeding a baby in public really is.
Despite the vast improvement in attitudes, many mums still feel self-conscious about breastfeeding, with 145 of the respondents confessing to being uncomfortable with the idea of breastfeeding in a public place. 45% of those were fearful of other people’s reactions and others were concerned about having to find suitable and comfortable locations in which to breastfeed. Of the mums who felt uncomfortable, 37% were embarrassed and 30% felt too self-conscious about their bodies.
When asked directly, a massive 87% thought that breastfeeding in public was acceptable and only 16 people said that they felt uncomfortable around women who are breastfeeding.
However, sadly, 27 respondents said they’d agree with public breastfeeding only if it was carried out somewhere private such as a toilet cubicle and over 40 would be accepting if appropriate ‘cover-ups’ such as feeding under clothing or using nursing cover-ups were used.
Mum and Editor of TheBabyWebsite, Kathryn Crawford says:
“Breastfeeding a baby is the most natural thing in the world. How could anyone expect a mum to breastfeed a baby in a public loo? Would they eat in a toilet themselves?
“I continue to be shocked that anyone could ever complain about someone breastfeeding yet millions of copies of Page 3 circulate every day. Women breastfeeding are using their breasts as they are meant to be used - a biological fact!
“It’s encouraging though to see that the vast majority of mums breastfeeding have never experienced negativity! Long may it continue.”
The survey was run on TheBabyWebsite for Benenden Health in September 2014
Read the results here