Mum says stranger called her 'unhygienic' for breastfeeding in GP waiting room
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Featured Image Credit: Coco Rio
A mum has spoken out about the stigma surrounding breastfeeding in public after being branded 'unhygienic'.
Mum and co-founder of creative nanny agency, CocoRio, Lea Henry has opened up about being condemned for feeding her child in the waiting room of her GP surgery, despite the fact it's completely legal for people to breastfeed in public in the UK.
Henry went to the GP to get her baby's 12-week jabs, but shortly after having the injections he 'needed some soothing'.
The 27-year-old mum subsequently began breastfeeding her son in the waiting area of the surgery, but quickly received comments from another person in the room.
Henry tells Metro: "I was told I was being highly irresponsible and unhygienic by a stranger."
Feeling 'vulnerable' and 'lost for words', Henry explained she didn't fight back or defend her case.
The mum admitted she even 'questioned if the person was right'.
However, she soon became 'really saddened' by the idea of mothers feeling uncomfortable breastfeeding in public - the issue other mums have spoken out about too, with one incident similarly taking place in a GP surgery.
A Twitter user wrote: "It upsets me that, as women, we are sometimes judged by women. I once had a woman get cross with me in a GP surgery waiting room for breastfeeding my new baby 'in front of her husband' ( I was being as discreet as I could possibly be)."
Another Twitter user argued: "Breastfeeding in public is only weird for people bc of how much we have sexualized women’s bodies and have been told to keep them covered."
A final said: "I am very happily childfree and not a big fan of children for many reasons. But if I see/hear someone negatively judge or criticise a mother for breastfeeding in public I am right there telling the critic to get over themselves & supporting the mother. It’s completely natural FFS!"
It's actually illegal for anyone to ask a breastfeeding woman to 'leave a public place, such as a cafe, shop or public transport,' according to the NHS.
The NHS page continues: "You should not ever be made to feel uncomfortable about breastfeeding in public."
Henry has since 'made a point of breastfeeding in public' to try and combat any stigma around it and make other mothers feel more supported.
"[I'm] forcing myself to not make a big deal about it in the hopes that it would help empower at least one other woman to do the same."
She added: "For me, breastfeeding in public is about feeling free to feed your baby wherever you want. Some women prefer privacy and that’s totally fine, but it should be their choice, and they shouldn’t be hiding away to make others more comfortable."