Whether shopping, working, traveling or eating, many breast feeding mothers have to make the decision of whether it is okay for them to breastfeed in public. From Hollywood to China, mothers across the globe often face pressure or even danger for choosing to breastfeed in public.
Alyssa Milano rallies support after sharing breastfeeding pictures and experiences.
This past week, Alyssa Milano tweeted her disappointment when Heathrow Airport confiscated her breast milk due to security measures. Milano reported that she was “overwhelmed” by the support that she received. Mother of seven month old, Elizabella Dylan, and three and a half year old Milo Thomas, has since spoken out to encourage other mothers who face breastfeeding struggles. (1)
“I think that it just struck a chord and people ran with it,” Milano explains. “I think that breastfeeding moms feel like what they do needs to be hidden, or not feel like they’re getting the appreciation that comes along with being a breastfeeding mom, and it meant something that someone was being vocal.” (1)
Milano explains further that she posted about the milk being confiscated for the same reasons as she posts pictures of herself breastfeeding on Instagram. “When I post pictures of me breastfeeding Bella, it’s not that I’m trying to be very outspoken about breastfeeding, it’s that it’s a very special moment in my life,” she says. “What [other people] take from that is a whole other thing. Support from not only breastfeeding moms, but moms everywhere, has been really powerful and really overwhelming.” (1)
Breastfeeding demonstration held on Hong Kong’s Star Ferry to bring awareness and protection to public breastfeeding.
On May 3, 2015, about 50 mothers on Hong Kong’s Star Ferry held a demonstration calling for protection of breastfeeding rights in public places. Facebook Group, Mama Milk Baby Alliance, has urged the government to form a breastfeeding policy that encourages and protects mothers who breastfeed in public.(2)
“Many mothers face unfriendly treatment when they try to breastfeed their infants in public places,” Ceres Kam, a spokeswoman for the group, said. “There is also a lack of mother-friendly facilities to help them. They are under a lot of pressure.” (2)
The mothers breastfed their babies on the ferry ride together to increase public awareness.(2)
“Nurse-in” held in Oklahoma Walmart to support local breastfeeding mothers.
In February 2015 at a Walmart in Glenpool, Oklahoma, a local mother reported that she was stopped from breastfeeding her baby in public. This led to several mothers holding a “nurse-in” at the Walmart this past February. Elizabeth Moreno reported, “The manager came over and said ‘Can you please not do that?’ and I was kind of shocked like, do what? I didn’t know what I was doing wrong,” Moreno said. Mereno reported that the manager asked her to stop breastfeeding or cover up. Moreno replied, “Oh no, I’m protected by Oklahoma law that it’s OK to breastfeed in public.” When area mothers heard of the incident, they rallied together to bring awareness and support to breastfeeding mothers. (3)
Last December, a mother was asked by Claridge’s Hotel in London to cover up while breastfeeding. In response to this request, about 25 mothers organized a protest, Free to Feed, and breastfed outside of the prestigious hotel. (4) In 2013, hundreds of mothers breastfed outside of Copenhagen, Denmark’s city hall after customers in a café told a breastfeeding mother that the baby suckling was “disgusting.” (5)
As women across the globe, continue to take a stand, maybe future generations of mothers will have the freedom to choose their own method of breastfeeding without societal pressures.
Image source: instagram.com