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"Not every building is suitable for breastfeeding"

(58 Posts)
BartletForAmerica Wed 13-Jul-11 12:50:09

Apologies for linking to the Daily Mail but I was disappointed to see a councillor supporting the decision to ask a BF woman to leave the council offices where she was going to see the CAB. Unusually and happily, the DM comments are surprisingly supportive!

I've emailed the councillor concerned with this:

Dear Mr Akhtar,

I'd be grateful for clarification regarding your comments in today's Daily Mail. The full article can be found at

The article quotes you as saying, "Not every building is suitable for breast-feeding and that is the case with the very busy, open-plan layout of Access Oldham."

As both a mother who continues to breastfeed her 11 month old son and as a doctor, it would be helpful if you could tell me what buildings are suitable for breastfeeding and what buildings are not.

In my experience, it is possible to breastfeed in any place where both I and my son are present. I was not aware of any other special requirements, but will found your answer educational.

You will, I am sure, be aware of the Equality Act 2010 that made it illegal for anyone to ask a breastfeeding mother to leave a public place, such as a cafe, shop or public transport. Government guidance regarding this can be found at:

BartletForAmerica Wed 13-Jul-11 12:51:01

Sorry, links didn't work:

aliceliddell Wed 13-Jul-11 12:53:25

Most buildings are unsuitable. You should almost definitely use breasts every time.

BartletForAmerica Wed 13-Jul-11 12:53:57


Eglu Wed 13-Jul-11 12:56:33

I love your last paragraph. Does England not have the law now that is in Scotland? Where you have the right to breastfeed in any place.

Kendodd Wed 13-Jul-11 12:57:36

I don't think buildings need to be 'suitable' do they? You just need a pair (or even one!) of boobs and a baby not you? Did it do it wrong before not having a suitable building with me.

Eglu Wed 13-Jul-11 12:57:45

Oops just read the bottom of your post. It's no wonder we have low bf ratres in th UK when people are faced with this crap.

MotherPanda Wed 13-Jul-11 12:57:47

That is very silly - talking about offending muslim visitors.

Even in countries where full hijab is worn - women happily breastfeed their babies IN PUBLIC(!) without anyone batting an eyelid.

Very shocked that somebody in such a position of power would have such awful views. It does give the message that breastfeeding is something to be ashamed of and that should be hidden away from the public.

aliceliddell You made me smile smile

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Wed 13-Jul-11 12:57:49

i'll reserve judgement. I've only ever tried to bf human infants...

worldgonecrazy Wed 13-Jul-11 13:00:12

I'm guessing Mr. Akhtar isn't Muslim himself, otherwise he would know that the Quran stipulates women should breastfeed for at least two years.

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Wed 13-Jul-11 13:00:44

or maybe the problem is that mr akhtar is yet to find the nipple on this particular edifice.

BartletForAmerica Wed 13-Jul-11 13:00:55

I did also copy it to the Council legal team so the councillor concerned can be 're-educated'...

aliceliddell Wed 13-Jul-11 13:10:18

Nice that I made you smile, as did Moonface, but that man is a prize oaf. You see, when this is the calibre of elected representative it does make you wonder. Do the Egyptians, Libyans etc realise what they have to look forward to?

aswellasyou Wed 13-Jul-11 13:21:01

What?! I've breatsfed infront of plenty of (mostly male) Muslims and none ever batted an eyelid.hmm Where are they getting this rubbish from?

Miggsie Wed 13-Jul-11 13:23:18

If it is not suitable for breastfeeding then all publications featuring breasts (such as the Sun newspaper) should also be banned too as they might cause offence as well.

MotherPanda Wed 13-Jul-11 13:24:16

It is interesting how breastfeeding isn't a multicultural thing...

Can someone please explain to me how women of non white-british cultures feed their babies?

BartletForAmerica Wed 13-Jul-11 13:59:37

I decided just to focus on the attributable quote, but it does sound so daft. Their solicitor is on leave so I just got an out of office reply from him, but I hope they are all reminded of the law!

ohanotherone Wed 13-Jul-11 14:11:19

Let us know the response.

beanlet Wed 13-Jul-11 14:23:47

My sister works in public health in a Muslim country. She says it's the most pro-breastfeeding places she's ever lived. All the women, who are covered from head to toe, nonchalantly flip out a breast in full view in public to feed quite big children.

In addition to which, BF rates in the UK are far higher amongst ethnic minorities like Pakistanis who are mostly Muslim.

Mr Akhtar is spouting bollocks.

Secondtimelucky Wed 13-Jul-11 14:26:11

I'm trying really hard to think of a building that might not be suitable for breastfeeding in...


HarperSeven Wed 13-Jul-11 14:32:18

Mr Akhtar talks about the lack of "breastfeeding facilities" in the building. Happily, most women bring their own breastfeeding facilities, so he needn't worry about providing any. Problem solved.

hermionestranger Wed 13-Jul-11 14:39:52

I'm in the mood for a fight*, anyone fancy a mass breastfeeding session there?


*too much bureaucracy head against wall banging today.

Kendodd Wed 13-Jul-11 15:07:40

Found the email address for somebody in the family legal dept I might email her about it, and Councillor Shoab Akhtar,

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 14-Jul-11 05:01:31

Is a coal mine a building, I would draw the line there? I have also BF in front of Muslim males. Not an eyelid was batted.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 14-Jul-11 05:17:20

AliceLiddell, that cracked me up.

Hope you get a response, Bartlet.

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