Discrimination Against Breastfeeding in Public Still A Problem for Many Mothers
Here is a story regarding breastfeeding, which is relevant due to the recent changes to laws to protect women who breastfeed in public.
On Saturday the 4th of November myself and my son attended a games night at a local Community Centre.
I had been once before 5 or 6 months ago. The majority of attendees are young males.
After we paid to enter I was taken aside by the person at the desk. He told me there had been some complaints by the parents about me breast feeding my youngest child the last time I was there. He said if I want to feed her again I have to go into another room (which he pointed out to me). I asked how many parents complained, and he said three or more. Though my toddler is now bigger and breastfeeding in public is no longer an issue, I felt quite shocked.
I thought back- it was late, my toddler was tired, so I held her to me to suckle for about 15 minutes to get her to sleep. I am sure very little would have been revealed. I have always been discreet whilst breastfeeding.
Later that night I saw a little boy who looked no more than seven whose card covers depicted a raunchy, scantily dressed woman on the back of each card. This is accepted, and I am discriminated against! It's not fair!
I don't want to make trouble for the community centre who do a good job in providing facilitated fun for kids. But I assume the centre made the decision to allocate me a room in which to breastfeed, based on arcaic beliefs. I would have preferred that they suggest to the parents who complained that breastfeeding in public is acceptable. The parents could perhaps tell their children to leave the room if they see someone breastfeeding if they do not wish for them to be exposed to the sight of some bunched up clothing and the back of a babies' head.
This occurred in a community centre, I think they may even have brochures on display promoting health issues such as breastfeeding.
I felt I had to bring this out in the open as breastfeeding for as long as possible is easy, healthy, natural, cheap, efficient and should be a much more acceptable way to nurture our children than some people regard it today. I feel there need to educate the ignorant, in order to help people for the future.
I contacted the Australian Breastfeeding Association who were fully supportive of me, and are quite happy to comment on the subject should anybody wish to contact them.
I telephoned the Community centre that following Thursday and spoke to the co-ordinater there, expecting maybe a little apology and a mention to pass it on to the people involved, and let it lie there.
Before I had finished outlining the details of the incident the co-ordinater of the centre cut me off and said that he hadn't heard of the incident but he totally agreed that I should go into another room to feed my baby in order to protect the children. He sounded disgusted that I had ever breastfed in the same room as children. He then stated that they (at the centre I believe) are mandatory reporters, and will report me for child abuse on the basis of exposing them to sexuality. I was livid. Even when I told him I was writing everything he was saying down he still was adamant in his belief that I should breastfeed away from the sight of children.
I have been breastfeeding for 5 1/2 years straight now, (more than one child) and this is the first time anyone has said anything.
I have become so accustomed to breastfeeding in public, (and so we all should be) that I had no defences when confronted by these people!
for more reading:
Was this article helpful? Was it worth $1.00 to you?
Your gift of $1 or more helps to keep this site operating
and reassurance to families
better outcomes for their children.
Beverley Paine with her children, and their home educated children, relaxing at home.
Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active supporter of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
"You've been an inspiration to me, I love the way
you really listen to people." Vanessa
"Whenever I read your writing I always come away
with increased confidence in my ability to provide and
share a wonderful learning journey with my family!" Davina
"Your guidance, understanding, support and words of
wisdom changed our lives. We now offer support and
organise many homeschooling events for others." Lesley
"Thank you once again for your prompt and friendly service.
I am convinced that your books are going to add
quality and peace of mind to my journey of teaching my kids
at home! Just from studying your website, until almost
in the morning, I 've been encouraged!" Louisa
"Thank you for all your many,many reassuring words
over many, many years. You probably don't know exactly how
valuable you are to the Australian Home Education community.
I've been reading your stuff for maybe 8 years or more now.
And I'm very grateful." Gythaa
Want to learn how to write your own education plans to suit
your unique children's
individual learning needs?
Looking for quality curriculum and teaching tips ?
Over 1000 reassuring and
informative articles to help
build your confidence as an Educating Parent
You are invited to join Home Education Australia!
One well-organised space to find and share information,
resources links and
more to support all home educators
across Australia, including a directory of posts and threads , where you
can source all your needs related to home education and
find what others are seeking and finding within Australia.
Welcome to the World of Home Education
and Learning without School!
We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine
The information on this website is of a general nature only and is not intended as personal or professional advice. This site merges and incorporates 'Homeschool Australia' and 'Unschool Australia'.
The Educating Parent acknowledges the Traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Owners, the Custodians of Australia, and pay our respects to Elders past and present and extend that respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people viewing this website.
"Your guidance, understanding, support & words of wisdom changed our lives." Leslie
"I feel specially inspired by Beverley's words and, the more I read her comments, the more inspired I feel, since
my need for support, respect for different parenting styles, and information are fully met." Marijo
and Unschooling Pack
Each Pack contains a copy of the following:
Natural Learning Answers
A5 or A4
Learning Naturally Diary
Learning Maths Naturally
A Sample Approved Natural Learning Program and Review
Only $29 or $33
Home education is a legal alternative
to school education in Australia.
State and Territory governments are responsible
for regulating home education and have different
requirements, however home educating families
are able to develop curriculum and learning programs
to suit the individual needs of their children.
Without revenue from advertising
by educational suppliers and Google Ads
we could not continue to provide information
to home educators. Please support us by letting
our advertisers know that you found them on
The Educating Parent. Thanks!