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The world has changed a lot over the past 50 years. Back then it was generally expected that a woman would stay at home and raise the children whilst the men were the sole bread winners who went out to work. Nowadays many women choose to maintain their careers and even start their own businesses whilst raising a family. Neither one is more right than the other as it is really about what is right for you as an individual.
These changes, along with the increased openness of our society, have also started to change people’s opinions on breastfeeding in public. We have now moved from a time when mums had to stay cooped up at home to cope with the feeding demands of a new born to one where cafes and department stores are providing dedicated nursing areas for mums to use. Despite these advancements there is still a raging debate about whether or not it is appropriate for a mum to breastfeed her baby in a public area, be that a waiting room or restaurant and so on. One side of the argument tells us that breastfeeding is a natural process which we shouldn’t be ashamed of and there are many mums who have no problem breastfeeding in public places. The other side tells us that breastfeeding in public is inappropriate and makes people feel uncomfortable. A lot of mums actually feel uncomfortable breastfeeding in public and prefer to use a toilet or feeding room.
What does the law say?
The law varies from country to country. In the United States mothers are permitted to breastfeed their children at any ‘federal location or property”. This law does not however apply to private organisations but many states now have legislations that allow public nursing in these places. In the United Kingdom public nursing is permitted in public places, with 5 out of 6 Brits saying that they have no problem with it providing it is done discreetly. This may mean that a blanket, special nursing lingerie or maternity tops are used. In the Philippines the law dictates that a nursing mother who is working must be allowed breaks to feed her child or express her milk. Public establishments must also provide a nursing area that is separate from its toilets. In Taiwan anyone who ‘interferes’ with a woman who is breastfeeding can be fined.
It seems that this is a fairly subjective debate and that the opinions of even mothers themselves vary greatly. Many organisations have come under fire in recent years for asking nursing mothers to stop breastfeeding or cover up. This has prompted some mothers to organise ‘nurse in’s’ in protest. This is where a large group of mothers sit outside a store or restaurant and openly nurse their children. Even web giant Facebook has been under attack for removing pictures of nursing mothers which they claim violate their service agreement.
What’s your opinion?
About Vicky: Vicky loves to write parenting related articles. She works with Lorna Drew who provides maternity lingerie for nursing mothers.
I’ve been watching the move Mamma Mia for several times now, and sometimes hubby would sit and watch with me. Even though I have seen the movie quite a number of times, I still love to watch it again and again. I just love the movie and the songs from Abba and how the producers have arranged them so perfectly well. I bet the musical producers have used digidesign mbox 2 mini to record and edit the songs in the music or I guess some other high tech equipment to come out with the best production and music. I’ve also learned that one of the producers of Mamma Mia is a member of the famous singing group Abba.
I really am a music lover and so does hubby and watching Mamma Mia makes me sing along with their songs, and even when I rock the little baby to sleep, I would sing to him the songs from the movie! 🙂
Oh I just love Mamma Mia! “Honey, honey, how he thrills me, aha! (honey, honey)! LOL! I’m singing again! 🙂