CREATES BOND: Toowoomba mother Nicole Woodward has been abused for breastfeeding in public. Photo Contributed
CREATES BOND: Toowoomba mother Nicole Woodward has been abused for breastfeeding in public. Photo Contributed Contributed

WATERCOOLER: Breastfeeding mum tired of public criticism

A TOOWOOMBA mother is fed up with others criticising her for breastfeeding her son in public.

Nicole Woodward said she was often stared at and abused just for nourishing her baby.

She is regularly told to do it in the toilet but said that was not an appropriate place to feed a child.

In one episode she was in Grand Central Shopping Centre when her son, now 19 months, was about one month old.

"I was doing some shopping and my son got hungry so I went to the food court to get myself something to eat and feed him.

"While feeding him I was told (by a woman) to take him to the toilets and feed him and also to cover up.

"I already had a wrap - a light baby blanket - covering his head and my breast."
 

How do you feel about women breastfeeding in public?

Do mums need to cover up or do others need to get used to it?

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Ms Woodward defended her right to feed her baby.

"I told the lady that I have every right to feed him, that I was not exposing my bare breast.

"I don't know about you but I wouldn't eat my lunch in the toilet. Why should he?"

The lady responded very angrily and said, "You should be ashamed of yourself. My children don't need to be exposed to this," and walked away.

In another confronting experience she was feeding her baby in her car at North Point Shopping Centre when an elderly man knocked on the window.

He told her "very rudely" to cover up and that it was inappropriate to breastfeed in public.

Ms Woodward said it was difficult to answer why people were opposed to it.

"I guess like homosexuality there are people for and people against and honestly I don't see why people are against breastfeeding.

"That's why females have breasts - they are originally for breastfeeding - not for our partners to have fun with and to show off like most female clothing does these days.

Is it okay to breastfeed a child in public?

This poll ended on 11 February 2016.

Current Results

Yes

90%

No

9%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

"I don't understand how it can be alright for females to wear clothes that barely cover their breasts and that exposes them more then what a baby's head does."

Ms Woodward said she had witnessed other women being verbally abused for breastfeeding in Toowoomba.

"I have my close family and friends who support me and I'm sure many other people will support me just like I would support them."

She said breastfeeding was the best thing a mother could do for her child.

"It provides everything they need and it creates a bond between a mother and child."

The abuse got so bad that she decided to stop breastfeeding her son in public.

She switched to formula in public and only breastfeeds at home.

"I'm one of those mothers who can breastfeed and I intend to keep doing it with my daughter," she said.


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