- Breastfeeding in Public
So today the media is reporting that a swanky hotel in London asked a mother who was breastfeeding in public to cover herself while she was having afternoon tea. Claridges apparently said this is their hotel policy. On top of this, Nigel Farage live on LBC suggested that it was “a matter of common sense” that women should “sit in a corner” if they are breastfeeding in public in case they upset someone who feels uncomfortable. Don’t worry about the poor mother – who wants to feed her baby in the best way possible – feeling uncomfortable. Perhaps she should just not leave the house?
The benefits of breastfeeding, as most people probably know, are massive, but in case Claridges and Mr Farage are reading this I’m going to list some of them (from the NHS website):
- Breast milk is the only natural food designed for your baby.
- Breastfeeding protects your baby from infections and diseases.
- It’s free.
- It’s available whenever and wherever [even Claridges] your baby needs a feed.
- It’s the right temperature.
- It can build a strong physical and emotional bond between mother and baby.
- Less chance of baby getting diarrhoea and vomiting and having to go to hospital as a result
- Fewer chest and ear infections for baby and having to go to hospital as a result
- Less chance of baby being constipated
- Less likelihood of becoming obese and therefore increasing risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other illnesses later in life
- Less chance of child developing eczema
- Lowers mother’s risk of getting breast and ovarian cancer
- Naturally uses up to 500 calories a day
- Saves money – infant formula, the sterilising equipment, and feeding equipment can be costly
- Saves packaging and plastic – no packaging necessary
- Can help to build a strong bond between mother and baby
Breastfeeding can be stressful enough as it is, what with getting the latch right, cracked nipples, leaking boobs etc. Please let’s support new mums rather than make them wear a napkin!
I don’t know who these people are that feel uncomfortable about seeing someone doing what’s best for their baby while having a life (if I do know any of them they haven’t told me). I was always breastfeeding in public and I wish more mums would. The more of us that do, the more people will get used to it and the less we will need to have this kind of thing happen.
If you feel uncomfortable while seeing a woman breastfeed, I think it’s common sense really, just go and sit in the corner.