A bit too easily offended…
While I was writing this article, I tried to think of the things that are generally offensive in 2010. I invite you to ask yourself the same question I did – what would you be offended by? Racism? Sexism? Maybe homophobia? Now imagine you were to see a young lady on the bus discreetly breastfeeding her baby. It’s a sad fact that in 2010 there are still people out there who are disgusted when a woman chooses to feed her baby in the healthiest way possible. This may well have come as a shock to Amy Wootten, a young mother from Bristol. She was kicked off a bus into the rain because she refused to stop feeding her daughter when a passenger complained. Apparently the passenger was offended by the tiny bit of breast shown by Ms Wootten and would have preferred her daughter to go hungry.
Humiliating incidents like this only serve to prevent mothers from breastfeeding their babies despite the health benefits to both mother and child. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of cot death, strengthens the baby’s immune system, reduces the baby’s risk of diabetes and reduces the mother’s risk of breast and ovarian cancers. Breastfeeding also promotes bonding between mother and child and, unlike formula milk, is totally free! For the sake of both mum and baby, I think we could all tolerate a little bit of breast being on show.
Thankfully, the law in Scotland is on the right side. Women are free to breastfeed anywhere they like in Scotland and anyone preventing them can be fined. Unfortunately for Amy Wootten, this law does not apply in England and in Scotland we still have the problem of mothers feeling uncomfortable. Attitudes are changing for the better but unfortunately there are still cases like that of Amy Wootten to deter women from breastfeeding.