Valerie Gommon Midwife’s Blog

Breastfeeding in public

Posted on: May 18, 2009

This evening I was asked to speak on BBC 3 Counties radio www.bbc.co.uk/threecounties/local_radio/ in response to an item in the press whereby a mother was asked to stop breastfeeding her 11 week old baby at her local Leisure Centre in Nottingham.

Staff advised the mother that she was contravening their health and safety regulations that forbid the consumption of food and drink on the poolside. Nottingham City Council later insisted there had been “a misunderstanding” and has promised to apologise to the woman.

I do believe this to be a relatively isolated instance, in general I think we are more tolerant and accepting of breastfeeding in public, however this and other rare cases sadly do reflect the need for the right to breastfeed to be enshrined in law as proposed by Harriet Harmen, Government Minister for Women and Equality who published The Equality Bill www.equalities.gov.uk/media/press_releases/equality_bill.aspx which is expected to come into force from Autumn 2010.  This right has been in force in Scotland since 2004 www.opsi.gov.uk/legislation/scotland/acts2005/asp_20050001_en_1.

Headline “Alfie, 13, not father of baby” http://uk.news.yahoo.com/4/20090518/tuk-alfie-13-not-father-of-baby-dba1618.html

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