Women win right to breastfeed in public

Mothers are to get the legal right to breastfeed in public places, under a new law being proposed by the government.

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Restaurants, cafes and shops that tried to ban breastfeeding mums would face court action and fines of up to £2,500.

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It will mean that mothers of children up to 1 year old will be able to feed them “discreetly” in public – despite the misgivings of restaurant managers or the possible embarrassment of other diners.

The measure in the Single Equality Bill aims to boost figures suggesting only 20% of UK women breastfeed exclusively for the recommended six months.

Breastfeeding campaigner Alison Baum said some mums never started breastfeeding in public, for fear of being asked to stop.

Mothers who breastfeed are regularly asked to leave business or public premises. In recent months, women have been asked to stop feeding and cover up in the National Gallery and Hampton Court palace in London.

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Campaigners said they were “delighted” that the needs of nursing women out with their children had been recognised. But the National Childbirth Trust said the change should be extended to cover children more than 1 year old.

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