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Mothers could win right to breastfeed in public

Under government plans, breastfeeding mothers may soon be protected by more rights when feeding in public.
The government is considering plans to support mothers with the right to nurse their babies in public.

At present, women can face prosecution under public order or indecency legislation if they breastfeed in public.

But ministers are considering plans to allow mothers to breastfeed babies up to the age of six months in public.

A spokesman for the Cabinet Office said: "Final decisions have yet to be made, but the Government is keen to give new mothers complete confidence to breast feed while going about their normal business, for example while on the bus or in a café."

Britain has one of the lowest rates of breastfeeding in Europe. Three-quarters of mothers give their newborn baby breast milk, but this falls to around 25 per cent after six months.

Francesca Entwhistle, of the Breastfeeding Manifesto Coalition, told the Daily Telegraph: "One of the reasons that many women do not currently breast feed is because they do not want to breast feed in public.

"If any place is made welcoming, I am sure they will have the confidence to breast feed in greater numbers.

"It is about making it the norm in society, rather that something women have to ask permission to do."

In Scotland, mothers already have the legal right to breast feed infants up to the age of two in restaurants and bars, and on public transport.

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I am Brazilian, and in the "third" world is normal a mother to breastfeed her baby in anywhere....... I did know I could face prosecution for be doing it in public, and I am shocked!!!! Breastfeed is the most wonderful and health thing a mother can give to her baby and the legislation should do everything to promote and incentive it and not "prosecute" !!!!!!
by Momasi 12th Oct 2009, 10:14am
It is laughable that a mother could be charged for public indecency for breastfeeding in public - I have seen girls wearing tops that show more cleavage than I do when feeding my daughter and I dont see them getting arrested...............
by Mummytoisla 12th Mar 2009, 9:08am
i didnt even realise you could face prosecution for breastfeeding in public, i think it is out of order. Breast feeding is one of the most natural things in the world and if it makes people feel uncomfortable then they shouldnt stare. I intend 2 breastfeed and if my baby is hungry in a cafe then i wil feed him/her
by gemznboys 4th Feb 2009, 8:48am
i believe that mothers should be able to feed their babies where they like why dont we have the same right as mothers in scotland? after all breast feeding is normal
by tigercharm3 6th Oct 2008, 9:51am
What are the reasons for breastfeeding in public to be against the law - who does it hurt? When I gie birth to my child I shall breastfeed wherever I see it appropriate. Unfortunately babies do not always choose a "convenient" time to become hungry so it's tough if I'm out somewhere and need to breasfeed - and shall NOT be forced to feed my child in a toilet.
by Tatiebee 1st Sep 2008, 8:55am
I thoroughly support the move to legislate to support breastfeeding mothers and their children but why is there a 6 month time limit? WHO and DOH recommend breastfeeding until 2 years. Surely the legislation should at least extend to what is internationally excepted at the minimum time children should be breastfed. In fact, why does there have to be a time limit on this at all. ALL breastfeeding mothers and breastfed babies/children should have this legal protection. Breast isn't 'best' it's the norm and 10/10 babies would choose it.
by JOJACK 19th Aug 2008, 8:40am

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