Hungry babies shouldn’t be expected to wait. They have the right to be offered the breast whenever they need a feed. Your baby has a right to be breastfed wherever and whenever the need arises. And you have the right to do so. Remember, anyone who complains about breastfeeding in public is breaking the law.
The law in Australia protects you from being discriminated against because you are a breastfeeding mother. This includes if you are expressing milk by hand or with a breast pump to give to your baby later. According to the Australian Human Rights Commission, babies can be breastfed anywhere and anytime.
I still find it hard to grasp that in today’s society breasts have become so sexualised that it’s confronting for many to see mothers feeding their young. By the time my son weaned, we were no longer in the public eye, as it was something shared upon waking and sleeping snuggled up in our bed. In the beginning, although proud of my ability to nourish my son with my own body, I was quite self-conscious about exposing my breasts. Gradually my inhibitions lessened. I feel angry that we have placed so much emphasis on breasts being solely sexual objects when really, their primary purpose is for feeding and nurturing our young. They have a powerful, life-supporting reason for being there. The fact that they also feel and look beautiful is just an added bonus, but it should never overshadow their higher purpose.
Jamie, Gold Coast