It still surprises me to read questions like these on Facebook parenting pages
“Does anyone know where I can breastfeed my baby at Sydney airport?”
“I am hoping to go shopping at Woden Mall I am worried my daughter will be hungry. Is there a breastfeeding room?”
“Can anyone tell me the nearest place to breastfeed near Southbank?”
What surprises me about it is that the answers are usually along the lines of directions to bathrooms, or baby change facilities. What surprises me is that the questions are asked at all because the answer to all three questions above is simply the same.
Breastfeeding mothers in Australia have the right to feed their children literally anywhere.
According to Slater and Gordon Lawyer Vicky Antzoulatos if a person is legally allowed to be in a certain place, they also have the right to breastfeed there.
“A mother’s right to breastfeed any time or place they need to is now well established and protected by federal law,” Ms Antzoulatos said.
You would think that by 2015 we would just take it for granted wouldn't you? Hungry kid? Feed them. Simple.
But it isn't that simple sadly. And never has been.
Do you remember back in 2003 when Victorian Labor MP Kirstie Marshall was asked to leave State Parliament because she was breastfeeding her 11-day-old daughter?
At the time I remember watching the debate about her ‘right’ to breastfeed with detached interest as I was a journalist with the Today Show.
At the time for me it wasn’t a debate that had yet touched my world.
Twelve years later, and three kids later I now look back amazed that in that stretch of time so little when it comes to attitudes towards breastfeeding seems to have changed.
Here are four very funny reasons why women should NEVER breastfeed in public. Do you agree? (Post continues after video.)
Still week after week we hear stories of women being asked to leave cafes, shopping centres even sporting events because they were simply feeding their babies.
This week, the UN has marked World Breastfeeding Week with a call for stronger workplace policies for nursing mothers.