17/11/2011 08:02 GMT | Updated 18/11/2011 14:05 GMT

Nicolas Sarkozy Describes Breastfeeding As 'A Kind Of Slavery'

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has sparked controversy with his outspoken views on breastfeeding, describing it as "a kind of slavery" to a group of young French mothers.

His wife Carla Bruni gave birth to their first child, Giulia, last month. He rather indiscreetly told the group that Bruni was "worried about not having enough milk".

He went on to share his feelings on breastfeeding in general. Though it may be "a joy and a kind of slavery" for the woman, Sarkozy said, he was pleased that it let men off the hook:

"It does free men of blame because we don't have the problem of bottle-feeding. You don't have to get up at night".

However, he did concede that out of spousal solidarity, "I do open one eye".

His comments have angered mothers who favour breastfeeding as good for babies.

A breastfeeding support group in London told the Daily Mail:

"It is hard enough to convince women to try breastfeeding as it is. This kind of antiquated attitude only serves to put discourage women even more."