How this mum responded when she was shamed for breastfeeding in public is the best.

You’ll want to cheer when you read this mum’s story.

It’s hard to believe this kind of thing still happens in Australia, but it does.

Last Saturday, Harsh Ugarte was breastfeeding her eight-month-old baby girl on a couch at a shopping centre in the Sydney suburb of Marrickville. The security guard interrupted her and tried to move her on.

“There’s a room for that,” he told her. “You can’t do that here.”

Harsh let him know that she wanted to feed her baby there, not in the parents’ room. He kept telling her to move, “about three times” she remembers.

“I told him that it was my legal right to feed in public but he only left when my husband told him,” Harsh says to iVillage Australia. “I am thick-skinned and a second-time parent – I still felt embarrassed and shamed.”

Harsh explains that she didn’t want to use the parents’ room. “We were running late and hubby was simply paying for our stuff, and the child was hungry. The parents’ room is on the other side of the centre. Also, those places frequently smell horrible.”

Harsh knew her legal rights, and was prepared to stand up for them. Image via Facebook.

Some women would have just gone home and tried to forget the whole thing, but not Harsh. She went to speak to centre management, but the office was closed. So she shared her story with her mums' group on Facebook, and got a huge amount of support.

A couple of mums said they would have squirted the security guard with their boobs. Others were all set to organise a breastfeeding sit-in.

Some shared their experiences of being forced to feed their children in toilets at restaurants.


When Harsh rang the centre to complain on Monday morning, she didn't get much satisfaction at first.

"The girl who answered kept repeating, 'Yes, there is a parents' room,'" she remembers. "To be honest, even if facilities exist, it is my right to choose if I want to use them or not."

After emailing centre management and suggesting they educate their staff "to be more in line with the Federal law of Australia", Harsh finally got someone calling her back with the response she was looking for.

"He apologised, and promised to have a meeting with all centre staff to educate them about the issue," she says. "I'm happy with the outcome."

Harsh got the response she was looking for. Image via Facebook.

Harsh says she still can't believe that she was told to move.  "Like, if it's another mother's choice to go to the room/use a cover/express and feed in a bottle/formula feed, good going! Whatever works for you and your family. I simply want my right to do what works for mine."

She says she did what she did on behalf of all mums. "I simply don't want any mother to feel the way I did or worse."

Have you ever stood up for your right to breastfeed?

Want more? Try:

The one place you would never expect a mother to be shamed for breastfeeding.

The 17 things far more offensive than public breastfeeding.

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