Mum Told To Stop Breastfeeding At Leisure Centre

26/05/2009 04:55 | Updated 22 May 2015

The ham-fisted council then claimed that she was breaking their "no food or drink by the pool" rules, before later back-tracking and apologising.

This kind of idiotic behaviour is surely part of the reason we have one of the worst breastfeeding rates in Europe.

It's a vicious circle -- mums are made to feel awkward about breastfeeding, as though there was something weird about it -- so fewer people do it. Because fewer people do it, those of us who do feel even more awkward about it.

And I'm just waiting for some eejit to come along and tell me to stop, like the lifeguard at the leisure centre in Nottingham. He only said what many people are thinking. What they all want to say. "Stop that. It's embarrassing."

At birth, only 76 at six months, despite government and medical advice that babies should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months.

Even among mothers, there is a different kind of awkwardness about breastfeeding. Of those who are bottle-feeding, many wish they had been able to breastfeed. Which means they look at you feeding and think "show-off".

Then there are those who are evangelical about formula. I've had loads of mothers telling me that I really should put my baby on formula because she will sleep through the night, and it's much easier, and it will give me my life back...

There are places that are breastfeeding-friendly but they are few and far between. I only dared feed my baby in a department store café because I'd seen someone else doing it first.

There's safety in numbers. Perhaps those of us who are still breastfeeding should form a club and tour cafés, leisure centres, parks and shops until people get used to it!

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