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New law for breastfeeding

13th June 2007

The government is putting forward a law which would allow mothers the legal right to breastfeed in public places.

babyfeeding1The new proposed legislation follows the law passed in Scotland in 2005 which gives women the right to breastfeed their children in public.

The proposals in the Single Equality Bill are intended to improve figures which indicated only 20% of mothers in the UK breastfeed for the advised period of six months.

The National Childbirth Trust published the results of a survey in May suggesting that 79% of mothers were in favour of the law's implementation "everywhere."

Campaigner Alison Baum, of the Breastfeeding Manifesto Coalition, said many women do not start breastfeeding in public because they are worried they will be asked to desist.

She told the BBC: "The reality is it's often the younger mums or mums from lower social economic groups who might not even start breast feeding for fear of the problems they might encounter."

Communities Minister Angela Smith, told BBC Radio Five Live said: "If someone is discreetly breastfeeding, in public, and doesn't cause offence, surely [they] should be allowed to do so."

The World Health Organization advises that women feed their babies breast milk solely until their child reaches the age of six months. The British Medical Association says that breastfeeding gives children protection from illnesses, such as gastro-intestinal and respiratory infections.

Women who breastfeed their children have been shown to have a lower risk of certain cancers and hip fractures.


 


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Comments

charles linskaill

Monday 18th June 2007 @ 0:17

Its about time the law was changed, to let Mothers feed in public! Why was it ever against the law anyway? Breast feeding is a natural and beautiful event, and it takes a lot for a mum to breast feed. Most if not all women are discrete when breast feeding. Up here in Scotland, the Scottish Parliament passed the bill some time ago to let all mothers breast feed anywhere! But it should have never been against the law in the first place!


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