Kuranda mum Kim Stedman was upset after a shop assistant compared her breastfeeding in public to walking into a restaurant and “eating like a disgusting pig”.
Kuranda mum Kim Stedman was upset after a shop assistant compared her breastfeeding in public to walking into a restaurant and “eating like a disgusting pig”. Supplied

Breastfeeding bub compared to 'eating like a disgusting pig'

A KURANDA mum had described feeling bewildered and upset after a shop assistant compared her breastfeeding in public to walking into a restaurant and "eating like a disgusting pig".

Kim Stedman said she was shopping in the village on May 4 when she was asked by an employee to "go out back" to continue breastfeeding her baby son, Jaiah.

"I have become accustomed to feeding my five-month-old on demand and didn't immediately understand, but it was soon made very apparent with words such as 'indecent' and 'exposing'," Ms Stedman said.

"I tried to gently respond until I eventually asked if they were so offended when walking into a restaurant and seeing people eat there.

"(The) response was that 'you can't just walk into a restaurant and eat like a disgusting pig without expecting to be kicked out'."

"At this point, several staff members stepped in supporting each other to explain to me that it wasn't right (and) what if a young boy had come in. (They said) the elderly man at the counter was embarrassed for me and it's 'just not respectful'.

Ms Stedman said she had taken to social media to share her story to highlight the fact that depite laws protecting them, discrimination against breastfeeding mothers was not a thing of the past.

"It is surprising this sort of thing still occurs today and I am thankful to know the law supports us to make the choice of how and where we feed our children," Ms Stedman said.

"I came forward to bring peoples awareness to this still happening. I felt shamed and don't want others to have to experience what I did."

Ms Stedman said on-demand breastfeeding was recommended to her by her midwife.

"I'm happy that we live in a time that recognises the benefits of breastfeeding to the point of having it protected under both State and Federal law," she said.

"I appreciate there has been a different view in past generations and it certainly isn't my intention to offend anyone. I was simply doing what came naturally, which was to feed my child when he fussed."

Australian Breastfeeding Association Queensland branch president Naomi Hull said she was "sorry to hear" of Ms Stedman's experience.

"Her right to breastfeed in public is protected, as it is against the law to discriminate against a breastfeeding mother," Ms Hull said.

"Mothers are allowed to breastfeed in public places, such as shopping centres, restaurants, hotels and on public transport and should be supported to do so."

She encouraged mothers who felts they had been discriminated against to call the National Breastfeeding Helpline 1800 MUM2MUM (1800 686 268) to speak with an ABA counsellor for support and information.



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