Over the past few years, in the UK at least, there seems to be a growing acceptance of breastfeeding in public.
And, as the 2010 Equality Act says, it’s discrimination to treat a woman differently because she’s breastfeeding – so it’s all good, right? Well, not really, apparently.
Because while pretty much all mums are agreed that if you want to breastfeed in public, that’s entirely your choice – we’re getting a bit more vocal when it comes to how people are doing it.
Covered or out-in-the-open uncovered…
Speaking to Vanity Fair, actress Mila Kunis shared how she breastfeeds daughter Wyatt in public, often uncovered:
“There were many times where I didn’t bring a cover with me, and so I just did it in a restaurant, in the subway, in the park, at airports, and in planes.
“Why did I do it in public? Because I had to feed my child. She’s hungry. I needed to feed her whether it’s out of a bottle or out of my boob – no matter where I was.”
It sounds as though there might have been an occasion or two where Mila had to defend what she was doing. She was certainly keen to point out in the interview: “If it’s not for you, don’t look.”
There are plenty of mums who totally get what Mila’s saying – actress Thandie Newton certainly would.
She shared a pic of herself breastfeeding her little boy Booker at a festival and captioned it: “This is what my body is made for. And the rest is my choice. #Freedom.”
On the other end of the scale, TOWIE star Sam Faiers shared a photo of herself relaxing in an airport lounge and breastfeeding baby Paul. She was all covered up, for which she received negative comments.
“Don’t hide your beautiful baby away, breastfeeding is the most natural and beautiful thing,” said a fan.
The star later shared another breastfeeding snap in what looks like a more private space, where you can see Paul feeding.
But Sam still had a cover to hand. So we’re guessing (though it is only a guess) that she might just prefer to have the option of coverage available to her wherever she is – something that Mila’s made clear doesn’t bother her a bit.
What all these stories boil down to is personal choice, of course. Each to their own.
Mila seems happy to bare all and not worry if she’s not covered up – even at a busy airport. It seems Sam, given exactly the same situation, would rather do it more privately.
Yet both women got knocked for their choices.
What gets reported
Certainly in the world at large, it seems you’re more likely to face opposition if you go uncovered – or at least, that’s how it comes across according to the press.
We recently shared the story of a mum who was asked to cover up while breastfeeding at a Scout meeting.
And then there was the mum who was asked to use a napkin to cover her baby up while breastfeeding in a hotel restaurant.
But – as the comments about Sam show – some people seem to think you’re letting the breastfeeding team down if you’re not out and proud about it all.
What’s a mum to do??