A survey has discovered that 17 per cent of the UK's top restaurants prohibit breast feeding in public
Despite the health benefits and a high profile campaign to promote the practice headed by Charlotte Church, a survey has discovered that 17 per cent of the UK's top restaurants prohibit breast feeding in public, instead forcing mothers to go to toilets or lobbies to feed their child.
In some eateries mothers were even less welcome and seven per cent of restaurants studied placed a complete ban on mothers wishing to breastfeed in their establishments. Just 15 per cent said that breastfeeding was allowed as long as it was conducted in a discreet manner but would prefer to be notified of the requirement in advance.
In April the government announced that a new law will be introduced as part of the Single Equities Bill saying that mothers must not be asked to leave public places in England and Wales while breastfeeding their child. In November 2004 MSPs in the Scottish Parliament voted to impose fines of up to Â£2,500 on any cafe, restaurant, pub or shop in Scotland which bans breastfeeding on its premises. The law also applies to public transport.
Lucy Symons, spokeswoman for Kamillosan Chamomile Ointment that conducted the survey, said it is "ridiculous" that this situation still exists in the modern age.
"Breastfeeding is hard enough for new mums without worrying whether they will be allowed to feed their baby while meeting friends for lunch or be asked to leave like a criminal," she added.
A major health campaign is currently under way to encourage mothers to breastfeed as it is believed to have various benefits including combating disease and even boosting IQ.
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