Speaking as World Breastfeeding Week drew to an end, Green Party leader Natalie Bennett has called for England to follow Scotland’s lead in introducing a law making it an offence to stop nursing mothers from feeding their babies in public places.
The Breastfeeding (Scotland) Act, making it an offence toÂ '…..deliberately to prevent or stop a person in charge of a child from feeding milk to that child in a public place or on licensed premises' came into force in 2005.
Natalie Bennett's call comes after a mother of five was ordered out of a Jobcentre meeting when she started to breastfeed her baby.
Natalie said: “Tara Powell has had an unreserved apology from the Department for Work and Pensions, but incidents like this just keep reoccurring, both in public institutions and private spaces such as cafes.
“Given that we’ve just seen figures released indicating that the percentage of new mothers in England at least attempting to breast feed has fallen for the first time in a decade, it’s important that action is taken, both to improve funding of medical and education services, and the general attitude towards breastfeeding.”
Sarah Cope, chair of Green Party Women, said "Many women who want to breastfeed are prevented from starting or continuing to because of lack of adequate support and advice, as well as the continued stigma about breastfeeding in public spaces. This is despite the fact that it is one of the most natural acts on the planet.
"The more women that are supported to breastfeed, the more normalised breastfeeding will once again become. The wealth of evidence about the multiple health benefits of breastfeeding to both mother and baby means this is something we need to urgently support, and a change in the law in order to bring England in line with Scotland would do just that."
Information on the World Breastfeeding Week 2013 can be found HERE.