Lactaboobiephobia. It’s a real thing. Well, by real I mean it’s a real video that has been put together by a Melbourne documentary and film maker to address the experiences of fear and stigma associated with breastfeeding in public.
Anna Kaplan, the lady behind the lens, says that she was inspired to put together the film after her own experiences breastfeeding her son. She appealed to other mothers and found a similar theme. Asking them to share their stories with her, she found that despite all of the knowledge of the benefits of breastfeeding, many women were still experiencing negative responses to feeding in public.
“With the constant stories of breastfeeding women being shamed or told to cover up, it’s not surprising that so many mothers hide away in cramped toilet cubicles, smelly nappy change rooms or stuffy parked cars when they need to feed,” she says. “It’s really sad that the negative stories often get amplified, because the majority of people actually have no issues with breastfeeding.”
Lactaboobiephobia has been released to coincide with the launch of Bosom Buddies, a global social impact campaign which aims to get people talking and change our beliefs to reflect a more overt community in support of breastfeeding mothers. It’s an online campaign which aims to put mums at ease about feeding their babies in public spaces.
The campaign itself started from statistics which found that while 96 per cent of new mothers start out breastfeeding, only 15 per cent of these mothers are still nursing at the six month mark, the recommended minimum age to breastfeed according to the world health organisation.
Many women said they had experienced negative responses to feeding in public. Image: istock