Amy is the head of news for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Editorial: It's each mum's choice

1 comment
Amy Wiggins.
Amy Wiggins.

The debate about if and when it is acceptable to breastfeed in public always gets people fired up and it is an issue that keeps popping up.

In the Bay of Plenty Times Weekend we ran the story of Tauranga mum Deijah Cook who was told off by a stranger for breastfeeding her 3-month-old son in a local supermarket.

My feeling is that whether to breastfeed in public or not is a personal choice. Some people prefer not to while other mums are quite comfortable with it.

If you are uncomfortable with a woman breastfeeding, just look away. You don't usually stare at a stranger while out in public so why is that any different?

I haven't had children yet. I imagine I'd prefer to breastfeed in private where possible but you can't avoid going out with your baby and there are times when you are probably going to be caught out.

Ms Cook was trying to get the grocery shopping done when her son started crying and couldn't be consoled so she "chucked a blanket over my shoulder and started breastfeeding him".

It sounds as though Ms Cook tried to be discreet about it by putting a blanket over her shoulder.

What else do you do when you are halfway around the supermarket with a crying baby and a trolley full of groceries?

I'm sure many of those in the supermarket at the time would rather Ms Cook feed her baby, than continue around the store with a screaming child.

So long as mums are trying to be discreet about it I have no problem with them breastfeeding in public.

It's natural. It's part of life.

Almost everyone was breastfed at some point in their lives. Many mums are so well practised you can hardly tell what they are doing let alone see anything.

Yes, perhaps if they are at a cafe or restaurant mums should be considerate of others who find it uncomfortable and find a more private corner or pop into the restroom but it shouldn't really be a big deal.

Sometimes there is no other choice. You can't tell a baby to wait 15 minutes.

If it makes you uncomfortable there is no need to make a big fuss about it, just don't watch.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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