Yes. Yes. Yes.
Breastfeeding in public is allowed in almost every country in the world. There is no African country where breastfeeding in public is condemned. No laws are forbidding the act of public breastfeeding.
However, there are many who see the act of breastfeeding in public as sexual. This ought not to be so.
Breastfeeding is a natural process and it is very important for the baby.
Society needs to change its perceptions of breastfeeding and support women. It should also stop viewing breastfeeding as a woman’s only responsibility. Making women feel uncomfortable and embarrassed is counteractive to the WHO breastfeeding policy.
Many people understand the importance of breastfeeding, yet too often, the responsibility for it is placed entirely on the mother without any consideration of the political, social, and environmental factors that shape breastfeeding.
“It’s an indictment on our society that we tolerate topless models in our fashion magazines, but that breastfeeding mothers are chased out of public spaces on a daily basis,”says Stasha Jordan, breastfeeding activist and executive director of the South African Breastmilk Reserve (SABR).
Despite these setbacks. The following are tips to follow while breastfeeding in public.
- Try using a cover. This is a personal decision. You must or should not be forced into it. You can try using a cover over the breast. Ensure it either does not cover the baby or if it does it is well ventilated to avoid suffocation.
- Wear your baby. A sling can make public breastfeeding extremely convenient.
- Ask for special accommodations. Many public places, including large stores, shopping malls, airports and even amusement parks, now offer special nursing rooms complete with comfy chairs and changing tables.
Tell us about your experience breastfeeding in public. Were you ever harrassed? How did you handle the situation?
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