Breastfeeding law

Do we need a law telling women that they are allowed to breastfeed in public? I think not.

As far as I am concerned you shouldn’t need a law telling you that you are allowed to do something, the assumption should be that it is legal unless the law says that it is not.

Susie, my wife, breastfed both the boys while getting on with the daily business of living and she had no trouble fitting breastfeeding into that schedule. That meant breastfeeding in public where and when necessary.

It is perfectly possible to feed a baby discretely in public, the choice whether to or not is very much dependant on how confident the mother is with the whole process. While I am completely in support of women who want to breastfeed in public I can’t help but feel that this is rather unnecessary legislation.

That said I have never actually had to do it myself. Obviously!

22 responses to “Breastfeeding law

  1. Hear hear! What has this minor matter got to do with the state?De minimis non curat lex. The law does not care about small things.

  2. Probably part of Helene Hayman’s legacy in Labour – did not the Baroness breastfeed her baby in the Commons Chamber ?and i thought it was a creche anyway

  3. Breastfeeding law…It is terribly sad that we need this law, but having been banned from feeding my baby, for the first six months of his life, anywhere on the premises of the junior and infants school where I had two older children , and was a governor – with no means of redress for myself – I know is is totally necessary. In the village where I live I have a twenty minute walk to the school, and was made to feel very self conscious and unable to stop in the library or on a bench to feed for fear of the anti-‘exhibitionist’ locals.

  4. Isn’t there a constitutional preference for not “changing” the law by statute unless there’s a problem which needs fixing?No problem here.

  5. As a retired Health Visitor, and breast feeding teacher of many years standing, I applaud James for this stand. In my experience, it the flog ’em and hang ’em, and go to church sundays brigade that seem to head the opposition. I think it is the slurping noises of a contented baby that upsets them. Over heated imaginations, and they dont get out much. There is nothing to see, in fact, apart from a baby buried under a lifted Tshirt. Such a pity. It is the reason many mums feel they cannot go through the gauntlet of the fevered imaginings of these weirdos. The only loser is the baby, deprived of the perfect nourishment. signed Annabel H.

  6. Dear James,Please teach your wife some decorum.She should know better than to get her tit out in public.Harsh words?Perhaps but probably necessary to get through you and your wifes disregard for common decency.

  7. As a good Conservative I agree that this is an issue that should not need legislation and I am sceptical as to how much difference it would practically make. However, the last comment by ‘Anonymous’ shows exactly why I can see there is a need to do something. And as a father of two, I am aware that this is a real issue. As society we should be promoting breast feeding as a social benefit as there is clear evidence leads to better health outcomes. If a nursing mother finds it helpful to have the backing of law then maybe in this case establishing what should be an obvious right in statute would help to reduce the burden on our NHS.

  8. If ‘Anonymous’ really thinks that then s/he ought to have the moxie to sign their name – so as to stand up and be counted as an idiot. ‘Common decency’ indeed! Anyone looking to ban bare midriffs, or builders’ bums?

  9. If the government wants to legislate on something important, they should consider the inequality of women being barred from being topless in public whereas men are not.

  10. No Anonymous is not joking.There was a time when people understood that you did not do certain things in public. You did not urinate in flowerbeds, fart in lifts, vomit in gutters or get your tit out and breastfeed at (an example that happened to me the other day) a restaurant table. The fact that we are even having this conversation is a sign of how far things have slipped.I think we also need to examine why the OP felt it necessary to bring up his wife’s exhibitionist tendencies on this blog.Are the Labour control freaks about to bring in yet another pointless nanny state law? Well yes they are but so what? At a time when we are about to be railroaded in to the European constitution it’s hardly our biggest problem is it?I suspect the OP did so for two reasons:1. He wanted a group hug from all his fellow Nappy Valley breeders.2. He understands that what his wife is doing is wrong and he sees the disapproving looks of the majority, and yes I am in the majority here.Lets can one myth immediately. I find nothing sexual about breastfeeding and because I object to it does not make me repressed in any way. I am entitled to my opinion and if you look beyond your comfort zone you will see that I am in the majority. It is simply unpleasant and also unhygienic when done in inappropriate places and it always seems to be done in the most inappropriate places.Further it is yet another example of the NOW (pun on an American feminazi institution intended) culture that we have become. The baby wants feeding NOW so it is fed NOW, the concept of waiting 10 minutes to find an appropriate place never seems to enter in to their heads.Yes I understand that as a new father his child is to him an unending miracle and the sight of his wife breastfeeding probably sends him in to a paroxysm of delight and re-affirms his belief in life the universe and everything. I understand that when it vomits and shits simultaneously it is to him a miracle of the universe and he probably doesn’t even register the smell. And yes this view may be shared by his immediately family and other new breeders but to the rest of us its just a baby and we no more want to see it noisily attached to his wife’s tit than we want to see builders bums or tramp stamps on 11 year old girls or hoodies spitting in the street.As I said at the beginning the fact that I have to explain this to you is a sign of how far things have slipped. Such things used to be just known.

  11. to edI like your flag.How do you arrange this on comments ? can i do it ?to jamesI was surprised to learn that EU law is premised on Roman and starts from the point that everything is illegal unless expressly permitted thus guilty unless your innocence can proven.(Scottish law is thus.)English law is based on “Common law” essentially stemming from judicial creation . Thus everything is permitted unless expressly forbidden thus innocent until proven guilty with evidence.Given that some 70% of English law is now promulgated in Brussels and only administered by westminster we have little choice.Social policy law is not an English “competence” within the EU frame work.We might all well say the law has gone completely “tits up” on this one.

  12. The other ‘anonymous’ writes in exactly the same way as my ‘fellow’ board of governors member speaks. very scary!does this person think that it is more ‘hygenic’ for a mother to feed her baby in the restaurant toilet? Or maybe sat on the pavement outside? Or maybe she should go home again? Or feed her baby some reconstituted cows milk, despite the fact that to his immature gut this will be detrimental, setting him up for future problems, gastro-enteritis, with allergies, asthma, higher risk of obesity and hindering of the development of his still-forming neural pathways therefore potentially affecting his IQ. Of course that’s not to mention that by a woman allowing normal physiology to take place she is not depriving her own body of the protection that breastfeeding will afford her own body against various cancers.‘Anonymous’ is either very ignorant, or very very up her or his own arse. Maybe I could suggest some education – or some counselling?

  13. Dear James, – Having cared, as a midwife, for women who have had panic attacks at the idea of being stuck ‘out’ somewhere with nowhere to go and feed their baby, as well as women who have found breastfeeding impossible because the nature of breastfeeding means that (unlike the ‘christmas dinner’ style of cow’s milk substitutes after which a baby will sleep while they try to digest the indigestible) babies’ needs are not at reliable time intervals, and can often be ‘small amounts often’. If women feel uncertain or unconfident about feeding their baby anywhere public, they will often make the baby wait, which is potentially harmful to the baby in terms of lack of nourishment, and herself in terms of breast engorgement and an effect on how much milk she is able to produce. If she decides to give the baby substitute milk from a bottle when she is out of the house, this milk will stimulate alteraions in the lining of the babies stomach, which is harmful, and will expand the baby’s stomach hugely so that he is difficult to satisfy with breast milk again.She also perpetuates the idea that it is not appropriate to feed ones baby in public, as it becomes a sight rarely seen (by adults in restaurants, or children alike – who will then grow up with the same disturbing attitudes as we are seeing here)

  14. To anonymous – the fact that you are the only attacker of women’s rights to feed their children as they wish on this comments page clearly displays that you are not, contrary to your myopic belief, in the majority opinion. In fact, I believe that you have given us an excellent example of the sad reason we seem to require such a law – that attitudes held be previous generations seem impervious to change or evolution. Even if you do not accept that we live in a society which can tolerate the sight of a mother breastfeeding her baby, I sincerely hope that you can understand why providing the opportunity for such a society to develop is important. In any case, I believe that the majority of the country has accepted that breastfeeding in public, preferably discretely, is perfectly acceptable.

  15. Oh dear Jon you were doing so well with your PC blather. Hitting all the right buzz words, ‘women’s rights’ ‘myopic’ ‘tolerate’ then you go and blow it all with this:‘preferably discretely’Why in your happy clappy PC lovefest world would a women need to be discreet when breastfeeding? Surely she should be loud and proud. Out with those tits! Squirt that milk! Burp the baby! To hell with those old fashioned fuddy duddies who believe in good manners and decorum! Outlaw them I say!Hoist with your own petards there Jon. Hoist with your own petards.

  16. To anonymous,I don’t see how you dare attack breastfeeding mums, when you are being so crude yourself, is it more acceptable to call breasts TITS than to feed a baby its meal whilst out? Would you have the same issue with a bottle feeding mum I wonder? is that too offensive?

  17. Dear Anonymous against feedingHow dare you make such crude reference to parts of womens anatomy.. where you taught nothing at school? You obviously go out of your way to be offensive.The way you are behaving would have people think that breastfeeding is a new fangled act and not a practice that after all, womens bodies were designed for! and the way in which mothers have been feeding their babies for millenia!

  18. I happily breast fed my daughter in public – you would never have known.Could have been giving her a cuddle. People are entitled to their opinions, but at the end of the day, nature designed our breasts to feed our babies. that is its NATURAL, and the crude comments that idiot was making simply identify them as a prat. A sad one at that.

  19. I am sure ‘anonymous’ must have been fed cow’s milk and not breast milk. He has forgotten that he lives in a city where nude cyclists parade.

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