Where is it legal to ask you not to breastfeed?

(52 Posts)
McBaby Wed 06-Mar-13 01:41:36

I went to visit my Dad in hospital yesterday and while I was there fed my baby. The ward had three other male patients who were paying no attention to me and were asleep most of the time and didbt even notice. Later that day my dad was asked by a nurse to tell me not to feed her. I am slightly confused if I have done something wrong?

Dottiespots Wed 06-Mar-13 01:48:39

Hi.....did you feed discreetly under the jumper type feed or did you get the girls out???

McBaby Wed 06-Mar-13 01:52:22

It was dicreet with jumper on and nothing on show?

Iheartpasties Wed 06-Mar-13 01:55:07

In a hospital? Wow, that's pretty bad on their behalf. I'd complain.

Eskino Wed 06-Mar-13 02:01:45

Nurse asked your Dad to ask you not to feed your baby on the ward??

How is your Dad with BFing in public? (Though its hardly public)

If there was a No Breastfeeding policy hmm on that ward then the nurse would have told you herself. Perhaps suggesting you'd be more comfortable in the day/family room.

Eskino Wed 06-Mar-13 02:07:33

This is taken from the Equality Act 2010. It's sex discrimination to treat a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding.

"Where can a woman breastfeed?
You are protected in public places such as parks, sports and leisure facilities, public buildings and when using public transport such as buses, trains and planes. You are protected in shops, public, restaurants and hotels regardless of how big of small. You are also protected in places like hospitals, theatres, cinemas and petrol stations"

Don't feel bad, you've done nothing wrong!!

McBaby Wed 06-Mar-13 02:09:13

My dad was the one who said to feed her there as all the other patients were asleep as I was about to go and find somewhere else. But as we had a limited time to visit and he has been told he may only have a few days to live!

So he is fine with me breastfeeding.

Dottiespots Wed 06-Mar-13 02:10:17

Maybe one of the other men was uncomfortable with it. Would you be happy pulling the curtain around when you feed?

That is horrendous! You have the right to feed your child whenever and wherever you need to. Am horrified you were asked not to in a hospital. I'd be making a huge comlplaint.

Dottiespots who gives a shit if the other men were uncomfortable with it! The op is feeding her baby.

Get the girls out?

There's a baby feeding, the op is hardly sat there waggling her breasts provocatively. Women shouldn't have to feel like they have to feed discreetly in case they offend anyone. Jeez.

Dottiespots Wed 06-Mar-13 02:19:11

Yes I know but the for the men on the ward it is their temporary home and maybe one of them has a problem with it and therefor the hospital has a duty to the patient. I breastfed my kids for 7 years in total so I know what its like. I was just trying to work out why the nurse might have said that.

Eskino Wed 06-Mar-13 02:20:25

I'm glad you have the support of your dad. Maybe he could tell the nurse to do one for you if she asks again!

Maybe if one of them has a problem with it they should close the curtain around their bed, or simply not look.

The hospital was out of order.
I would just ignore the person who said it and feed away. They are probably a one off and I doubt the other staff care at all, nor the other patients.
Put the curtain round your dad's bed if you want more privacy and not to be hassled by hospital staff who don't seem to understand the situation so as not to waste time with this nonsense when you could be feeding your baby and spending precious to with your dad.

Agree with Trucks.

So sorry missed the bit about your dad maybe not having long to live. Trucks advice is good. Don't concern yourself with this crap, enjoy your time with your dad.

EauRouge Wed 06-Mar-13 09:31:29

Well, quite frankly, BOLLOCKS to anyone who feels uncomfortable by a baby feeding. Their problem, not yours OP. Their feelings are not more important than your baby being fed and comforted.

They are not allowed to make you stop BF your baby in a hospital. Maybe a letter to the hospital to remind them about the law will prevent this from happening again.

MyNameIsAnAnagram Wed 06-Mar-13 11:46:00

I would be writing to the hospital, that is disgraceful on their part.

daisylazy Wed 06-Mar-13 15:54:09

pickledparsnip ....you are sooo rude. All advice is just that...advice....give your own but dont be so rude to other posters who are just trying to help as well. You will end up with high blood pressure if your not careful so calm down and take a chill pill will you. You obviously "hate" men and seem a very angry woman.

Ledkr Wed 06-Mar-13 16:05:10

Some older blokes may be uncomfortable and they are ill too so although its ridiculous I do kind of get it.
Just pull the curtain round and tell the nurse to feck off.

nickelbabe Wed 06-Mar-13 16:08:11

the nurse was very wrong and should be complained about - this is a fucking hospital, they should be encouraging people to feed their babies like that.


nickelbabe Wed 06-Mar-13 16:10:02

daisy - sorry, m'dear, I'm with pickledparsnip on this - it's none of the other men's business how she's feeding her baby, who gives a shit how uncomfortable they might be about a human being being fed?

montmartre Wed 06-Mar-13 16:11:06

Wow daisy hmm
Obviously all people who complain about limiting the right to feed their child must hate men! confused

Your time with your dad is very precious now, please don't let this upset you or put you off visiting him. With a BF baby you have to take them with you.
That nurse would be in serious trouble if you complained. You need to decide whether to go down that route or not. If you do then you need to contact the PALS department.
You may feel able to speak to her quietly yourself? She was wrong to complain and even more wrong to do it via your dad.

How the hell did Daisy come up with the conclusion that Parsnip hates men?!

My sympathies are with you, OP. I was breastfeeding my son when my Dad was dying in hospital and at one point had to not visit as children were not allowed on the ward he was on. I guess I could've raised merry hell about it but as I'm sure you know, it was already a very stressful situation.

ilovepicnmix Wed 06-Mar-13 16:15:45

Hi mcbaby. I've fed my baby recently while visiting someone in hospital. You shouldn't have been given this message and I hope you can ignore it if your baby needs to feed again.

zipzap Wed 06-Mar-13 16:16:44

From the thread title I was thinking the only

I think you can't bf in court.
Or where patients are isolated because of immune problems - they don't usually let babies or dc in when peo

People recovering from transplants etc, sorry posted mid sentence.

ginmakesitallok Wed 06-Mar-13 16:26:26

Fine for a baby not to be allowed in a ward, but if they are allowed in then you have every right to bf. I would have complained to j the hospital.

Just carry on as you are - if anyone says anything again take it further...

I was thinking breast feeding might be frowned on in a nestle board meeting - but not illegal.

EauRouge Wed 06-Mar-13 16:34:12

I'm pretty sure that you can BF in court. The only exceptions to the rule are places that are single sex (I think there was a thread once about visiting a men's prison) and places where it would be a health and safety issue. This is a really good guide to the law.

nickelbabe Wed 06-Mar-13 16:35:31

Trucks - a quick google says that in 2011, there was a woman chucked out of a court in New Zealand for BFing, but there are no instances or references to not being allowed to BF in court in the UK.
It seems that judges don't like to have children in court, but you can ask the court for advice before gong.

nickelbabe Wed 06-Mar-13 16:39:43

sorry, not new zealand, US

zipzap Wed 06-Mar-13 16:44:06

From the thread title I was thinking the only place i'd be ok with being moved on when bf is if the police/etc were moving everybody else on too out of an area, say if there was a bomb threat etc. But if that's the case, chances are I wouldn't want to be hanging around anyway.

So sad about your dad - and angry about the nurse putting him in the position of telling you. Not to mention them wanting you not to bf there. Maybe if your dad was in with an ingrown toenail for a day or two, it would still be wrong but more a trivial annoyance.

But to ask you, through your dad, when it would cut down on limited time you have left together, is awful. Definitely complain to Pals, citing the references others have provided. Also see if the hospital has any sort of bf policy or claims to be bf friendly - I think they mostly include bf visitors as well as just being about establishing bf in newborns, so it could affect that creditation too.

HOrrid that this is happening when you have so much on your plate at the moment sad. Thinking of you over the next few days.

nextphase Wed 06-Mar-13 16:44:41

Sorry to hear about your Dad.
Does the hospital have Baby Friendly status? ie have the maternity wards been assessed to prove they follow 10 steps suggested by WHO/UNICEFF to encourage breastfeeding?
I'd speak to the infant feeding coordinator!

Hope your Dad gets to see his granddaughter again.

zipzap Wed 06-Mar-13 16:45:39

Oops managed to post the first sentence of my post by mistake, sorry blush

McBaby Wed 06-Mar-13 16:49:50

Thank you all. I think I was feeling paranoid I had done something wrong and equally don't want to upset the other very ill patients (who didn't notice!)

He is being moved to his own room which should solve my problem I just so annoyed with the nurse for upsetting my dad over it rather than speaking to me if she thought it was a problem (she obviously didn't say it to me as she knew I would refuse).

I just re-read Parsnips posts 3 times and I still don't understand Daisy's rant... confused
OP. sorry to hear abut your dad, that must be really hard without rubbish like this. You can BF were you like. You shouldn't 'have' to pull the curtain 'round but it might mean less agro during your precious time with your Dad thanksthanksthanks

You can BF anywhere you like in a bloody public place, the nurse was very wrong. thanks

narmada Wed 06-Mar-13 17:18:14

Unless there is a health-related reason (and really, there can't be!) then the hospital needs to be alerted to the bad advice the nurse is giving out. IT could land them in serious hot water (court cases etc.)

Really sorry about your dad OP sad

bellablot Fri 08-Mar-13 14:31:11

I can't believe that this sort of shit happens and especially in a hospital! This is the type of crock that puts women off breastfeeding! confused

ReallyTired Fri 08-Mar-13 14:33:14

The only place where I think its illegal to breastfeed is a laboratory where radioactive substances are used. In fact it is illegal to eat or drink or bottlefeed in such an enviroment.

KatAndKit Fri 08-Mar-13 17:34:02

A casino. Because it is illegal for your baby to be there. Anywhere that your baby is allowed to be, they are allowed to feed (with the exception of the biohazard zone mentioned above!). Your baby is allowed in the hospital so your baby is allowed to feed there.

You might want to check if the NHS trust is signed up to the Baby Friendly Initiative, if they have a maternity unit anywhere in the trust the likelihood is that they do and they have breached their agreement.

Either way, you can BF wherever the heck you like and you are entitled to do so without you or people you are with being hassled about it BY LAW.

tabulahrasa Fri 08-Mar-13 17:39:00

You can be asked not to breastfeed anywhere that you'd be asked not to feed a baby at all, it's not discrimination if there's a health or hygiene reason why food shouldn't be allowed.

you really should complain about that nurse, she needs retraining. she is advocating the opposite of what she should be.
Someone is free to be racist, disablist, bigoted or whatever in their own home but as a patient in a hospital they don't get to inflict their prejudice on others, so if the other patients were uncomfortable, that's tough for them. lucky they have their own curtains.

midori1999 Fri 08-Mar-13 19:22:54

According to the booklet my midwife has just given me, you can legally breastfeed in any place open to the general public. It doesn't mention any restrictions on this for any reason.

I would imagine a prison would be excluded as its not open to the general public.

SirBoobAlot Fri 08-Mar-13 20:00:49

You can legally breastfeed anyway. ANYWHERE.

The nurse was not only wrong, but highly out of line to have said something to your dad. Complain.

Very angry for you OP.

FamiliesShareGerms Fri 08-Mar-13 20:18:23

I completely agree that you are allowed to bf on the ward, and the nurse has handled this so badly.

The only thing I would say is that those posters shouting about how outrageous this is and the feelings of the other patients is irrelevant should stop for a minute and consider that by the sounds of things they will all be men, probably older and frail, possibly in their last few days of life. Why on earth should they be made to feel embarrassed or awkward? Their feelings are completely relevant, and I'm saddened to see a lack of compassion for them.

OP, I'm sorry to hear about your father, I hope you are able to spend some quality time with him and his grandchild. If he does stay in the ward, maybe draw the curtain round partway to create some privacy, but please don't feel you are doing anything wrong by feeding your baby.

While I always advocate bf anywhere and everywhere, I do think this is slightly different. In general, if ppl are uncomfortable with seeing bf, they can go somewhere else. In this case, they prob couldn't. I do think the nurse handled it badly though

And hospitals, yes. Any and every ward...not sure

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