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Another Breastfeeding Mom Asked to Leave

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Monday, April 10, 2006

We've not had a news story to get up in arms over for a month or more. (That's a good thing mind you...it means that people aren't out there trying to tell women to hide...)

Unfortunately though, it has happened again. Lactivist reader Lisa Stewart sent me an email with a link to the following article in the Leeds Today Evening Post.

Mum left 'humiliated' by breastfeeding ban.

Basically, a mom was nursing her 10-week old in a health club restaurant and was told to leave by management. She was also told that it was company policy that moms could not nurse in the restaurant.

From the article:


Lindsay Cooper was feeding 10-week-old Calum at Esporta in Cookridge yesterday when the manager told her she had to move to a different room.

The incident took place in full view of the restaurant and Mrs Cooper described the experience as 'humiliating' and 'upsetting'.


also...

A spokesman for Esporta admitted: "It's true that we do have a policy that breastfeeding is only permitted within certain areas of our clubs.
"All our clubs have large and diverse memberships and we have to try and balance the needs of individuals with the views of our members.


According to the article, certain areas of England do not yet have legislation protecting a mother's right to nurse her child in public. I was under the impression that there was actually an item moving through Parliment that would address this issue, but there was no mention of it in the article. Hopefully one of my British readers (Jax?) can clue us in a bit.

No coverage of this in other blogs yet either, so info seems to be sparse.

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  1. Blogger Maia | 2:43 AM |  

    Scotland has a law, but England & Wales has no law. There was an attempt to get one into the Health Bill currently making its way through Parliament, by way of an amendment, but this failed. There is also a Breastfeeding Bill currently wending its way through the private members process (i.e. not sponsored by the Government) but this is not due to be looked at again until October, will probably not get looked at even then, and is very likely to fail. Most private member's bills do fail (with the notable exception of the Abortion Act 1967). I've written to the relevant minister a couple of times - and even mentioned Esporta! - but essentially the government is set on promoting breastfeeding by "education and persuasion" rather than passing a law to protect the rights of breastfeeding mothers.

    :-(

    I have blogged extensively about it if you are interested!

  2. Blogger Tina | 5:08 AM |  

    Hmmmmm, if someone would just buy me 3 first class plane tickets, I'd be more than happy to participate in a nurse-in protest! ;-)

  3. Blogger Jennifer | 5:33 AM |  

    Thanks Angela! I appreciate the update on what's going on. That's dissapointing to hear as the last time I wrote about the issue in England, things were looking fairly positive. :(

  4. Blogger Jennifer | 5:36 AM |  

    And to note, Angela has the text of letters that she's sent back and forth with Parliment about the breastfeeding issue on her blog.

    You can read them here:

    http://touchinglynaivepolitics.blogspot.com/

    (Nice job Angela! :)

  5. Anonymous Safa | 9:05 PM |  

    Goodness, couldn't they just direct her to a nursing area of their little establishment instead of asking her to straight-out leave? It's amazing how backward we are considering how low and morally lacking our attitudes are concerning things of little to no benefit!

  6. Blogger Jennifer | 6:00 AM |  

    Actually, that's what they did, they told her to leave the restaurant to go someplace else in the facility to nurse.

    The point is...she was feeding her child in a restaurant. Duh...where else would you eat? There is absolutely no good reason that a mother and child should not be able to eat their meals together, in a restaurant, even if that child's meal happens to be coming straight from the tap.

  7. Anonymous Ren | 1:39 PM |  

    I was in Disney Land in Paris 2 years ago. I decided to nurse my 6 month old son while waiting outside of the scary mansion for the rest of the crew. The ticket boy approached and asked if I needed to go the bathroom. Of course this struck me as odd untill I realized he was referering to the fact that I was nursing the baby. I declined but then he insisted that I go to the restroom so as not to insult anybody. Imagine, Disney Land..It boggles my mind. It is supposed to be a kids paradise. Apparently only a bottle fed kid. Of course I refused to leave my spot and after some choice words were spoken(Im not flashing my breasts, Im feeding my child) he called security. By that time of course quite a crowd had accumulated but the baby had finished his snack so I moved on. I still can hardly believe this still goes on. Ren

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