Saturday, 8 January 2011

Another post about boobs!

But this time, it is not about my boobs!

This week, in a baby / kid store a few feet from my office in downtown Montreal, two women were asked to stop breastfeeding their babies by a salesperson.

The Qu├ębec charter of rights and freedoms protects women against discrimination on the basis of sex. And preventing someone from breastfeeding in public exactly constitutes discrimination on the basis of sex.

So let me tell you that when I read about this story I was outraged! I know that breastfeeding in public can be a delicate subject depending of where you live and that not every society is open about women showing some skin when their baby is hungry. However, I always believed that Montreal was a place that respected women who decided to breastfeed in public places.

So on January 19th, between 1:00 and 1:30, I will walk my pregnant belly to that baby / kid store and give my support to the women who will participate in a
nurse-in (women rendez-vous at the store and, at a given time, they breastfeed together).

And I'm curious, where you live, is breastfeeding in public acceptable or is it a big no-no?

Got Breast Milk Onesie

11 comments:

anneemall said...

That's really untolerant, especially from a baby store!

I work in a public library, and yesterday there was a woman sat on a couch breastfeeding. It would not have occured to us to tell her to stop. People who are uncomfortable are not forced to stare at her breast!
We do tell people and kids not to eat in the library for obvious reasons and because there is a rule against that (and we sometimes get bad remarks for this: "does it means we have to go outside so that my kid eats her cookie?" as if it was the cruellest thing to ask) but when it's breast or bottle feeding there is no risk of smearing food everywhere... beside on the mummy's top ;)
Fight for your right!

Ali said...

How sad - I was never asked not to breastfeed in public. Don't know how I would have responded. It's easier to be an advocate for others than when it's you with your boob out. So good for you for being proactive and standing up for your sisters!

Renae said...

In Melbourne it's always a topic of debate. I would say mostly accepted, but not always. I personally will go to the parent's room in shopping centres to feed as I'd feel a bit self-conscious.

Mon Petit Lapin said...

I am really shocked by this Claudia. In the UK right now there is a huge push towards encouraging breast feeding, poster campaigns are all over my hospital and health care staff are advised to offer strong encouragement on this factor. The danger of banning or creating stigma of breast feeding in public is that mums will stop breast feeding altogether which has significant health risks for baby. Breast feeding has been shown to have many health benefits for baby and also helps form the strong bond between mother and baby which at times can be problematic. On top of this I personally also think it is so disappointing that people can find something so natural and human shocking and is no doubt a result of the over sexualised female image created by our society. I wish you luck in standing up for something so important.

Ulla V. said...

It is crazy indeed! I see why you got upset and good for you that you will support the women - and your own right to breastfeed in public places when that time comes.

Luckily brestfeeding in public places is allowed here in Denmark. I have always seen it as very natural thing to feed your baby when it's hungry. (And don't think that I didn't consider where and when was the proper time and place. ;)

In my opinion breastfeeding is such a fine way to feed your child - and every time creats a magical and bonding situation between you and your baby.

Too bad that I won't be doing that again...

Take care. :))

Marianne said...

Here in Norway breastfeeding in public is very encouraged and tolerated. There are probably those that have experienced raised eyebrows, but in my experience most people don´t care. People here are quite relaxed about ´nudity´ in general so an exposed boob does´t really ´bother´people.

Cadiedid said...

That's really surprising! I would be mad too! Here in GA it isn't something that you normally see. So whenever we would go out to eat and I had to feed my daughter, despite being covered, I would get odd looks from people.

ingrid said...

I read about this in the paper this morning. I breastfeed EVERYWHERE and I never think twice about it. I try to be relatively discreet, but I've breastfed the newt in countless restaurants and in a few stores. I've never had any problem with it.

UK lass in US said...

I fed my kids all over the place and only once got a funny look from an elderly couple. I did believe in being discreet, though - it's pretty easy to feed in such a way that none of the breast is visible anyway.

I did feel sorry for one young lad serving a woman that was breast feeding while making a large clothing purchase. She displayed her entire boob a couple of times and the lad could not have turned more red...

Pauper said...

That's terrible! Good for you planning to go to the store in support.

Here in Toronto, I have never had a problem with bf in public though would sometimes get sort of embarrassed looks from people at times especially as my daughter got older. I would have been incensed if I had been asked to stop feeding in a public place--I'm quite surprised at this happening in Montreal.

La Franglaise said...

If I lived in Montreal, I would come to the nurse-in with you. I cannot quite believe it when I read stories like this. Especially coming from a baby/kiddie shop. Why be so intolerant to something so beautiful? I breastfed my son in public all the time in Paris and got so many looks that said "aw, that is so beautiful". I guess I was lucky. But I was always very discreet about it. In fact, it often happened when I was breastfeeding my son in public that people would come right over to take a look at my baby - and I'd be like "em, what are you doing?" - because they thought he was asleep in my arms!