Campaign news. We have been inundated with testimony from mothers hitting London with their babies who are suffering from discriminatory behaviour at the hands of local proprietors. Needless to say: this, folks, is not on. It’s really important we keep this conversation going. And so we wanted to share with you this quote, from Alice Matthews of the excellent MotherHustler UK blog, who spoke exclusively to us about this.
‘It’s a real shame that people still make such a big fuss about breastfeeding in public. It’s something which we have to overcome in so many ways. It’s still so rare to see mothers out and about breast feeding. Breastfeeding should be a common every day occurrence, and the government needs to do more to normalise it. I’ve lost count of the amount of disapproving looks I’ve got. I’m confident enough to laugh at prejudice and ignorance, but it makes me mad because if I was a less confident person I think I would have stopped very early on.’
She also pointed us in the direction of this longer interview with Vanessa Christie, the breastfeeding expert, we spoke to below, who argues that Mums need more support and encouragement to stand their ground in places of leisure and community. Check it out.
We at GoodTimes stand firm on this issue all away all the way. Please keep sending us your stories and we’ll keep pushing for change.
So, The Gap features a woman breastfeeding her baby in their latest social media campaign. Rightly, this is praised as a huge win for our times. But here’s the rub: according to new research out today, outside of the playgrounds of corporate PR, the overwhelming majority of mothers STILL remain uncomfortable breast feeding in our cafes, restaurants and open spaces.
— Gap (@Gap) February 26, 2018
New research unveiled by The Baby Show, which hits London this weekend, has revealed that despite overwhelming cultural support for breastfeeding, attitudes in public remain distinctly Victorian.
While a huge 93% of new parents believe that breastfeeding mothers should feel safe to do so anywhere in public, a whopping 85% say that a real stigma around it remains.
The research surveyed 1344 people across the UK.
The vast majority agreed that changes were needed to make returning to work easier for breastfeeding mothers. Those who responded to the survey had some excellent ideas.
- 87% think that workplaces should be required by law to provide breastfeeding breaks to feed or express.
- Over three quarters (77%)of respondents believe education is needed from a much younger age and that children should in fact be taught about breastfeeding at school, to help normalise the practice.
- 68% of new parents believe government doesn’t provide enough funding for breastfeeding support
- 36% of those polled said that NHS breastfeeding counselling services weren’t accessible enough
At The Good Times, we are often writing about organisations and people that do amazing things to shift the needle on big issues like homelessness, refugee integration and so on. Brilliant organisations in the moral marketplace. And we are proud to say that the organisations we feature here are often most progressive in terms of normalising breastfeeding and providing facilities.
But, look, it’s also in the everyday culture that the true test of our civilisation can be found. And so here we have more work to do.
Vanessa Christie, Lactation Consultant and Breastfeeding Expert at The Baby Show, agrees. ‘Time and time again we hear stories about women given a frosty reception when they are breastfeeding or banished to the toilets.’
Across London’s venues we want to see more support for breastfeeding, from proprietors and patrons alike. We also want to see more support for brilliant social enterprises like BabyCafe, which operates pop-up drop ins for mums everywhere. As London’s leading magazine for ethical entertainment, we will be calling out bad practise and pushing for the shift we need.
Watch Amy Brown on normalising breastfeeding https://t.co/llrF0ORVgv
— Women's Health Today (@WomensHealthEdu) February 21, 2018