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#FreedomToNurse Campaign Takes Over Social Media After Breastfeeding Was Called A ‘Home Chore’

  • IWB Post
  •  December 4, 2018

A countrywide campaign #FreedomToNurse has taken over social media as a reaction to Abhilasha Arup Das’ complaint about the lack of facilities for breastfeeding women at a mall in Kolkata. The campaign empowers nursing women to step out and breastfeed in public spaces with confidence.

It all started when Abhilasha was asked by the staff to breastfeed her daughter in the washroom since she couldn’t find a feeding room in the mall. In a conversation with Scroll, Das shared, “I entered the toilet but felt like puking so left from there. I then started looking for a bench to breastfeed but alas there are so few benches and that too so uncomfortable. I thought of going inside INOX to feed but they didn’t allow me to enter. Finally, I thought of using a trial room and requested a shop which was totally empty to help me, and they did.”

After the incident, Abhilasha put a review on the Facebook page of the mall and she was surprised to see the reaction of the authorities. “Make sure you do your home chores at home and not in the mall,” read the comment by the mall authorities. It also said that she should have “planned beforehand” and that the mall had to safeguard the “privacy of other people in public places”.

The humiliating response of the authority made her take a screenshot of the comments which she shared with various Facebook groups. Many came out in her support and shared their thoughts on breastfeeding in public spaces. The post was eventually deleted and the authorities apologised to her for their behavior.

With the growing momentum of the campaign, many women are taking over social media to express their views.

Pavi Murlidhar shared a post on Facebook expressing why #FreedomToNurse campaign is important.

Breastfeeding Support for Indian Mothers

Such a fantastically worded post! What’s your reason to support this campaign?! Share your public post with us and we will share it on our page

In another post, Shyami Gomu Sathiaseela questions how long the mother will stay at home if she is confined within four walls to breastfeed?

Breastfeeding Support for Indian Mothers

How long would a mother have to stay at home if she stayed at home when she was breastfeeding?

There are also posts urging people to come out in support even if they are not breastfeeding. Sanyukta Bardhan (below) expresses that she supports the campaign because babies need extra love and care, they need to be protected, fed and kept clean!

Breastfeeding Support for Indian Mothers

FreedomToNurse #BSIMFreedomToNurse You don’t need to be a breastfeeding parent to support this campaign. Make your voices heard!

Abhilasha’s experience brings forward the issue of lack of breastfeeding facilities in public places like malls, and the campaign, as a result, helps to shatter the stigma around breastfeeding. Harassment of women breastfeeding publicly needs to stop and we have to create safer places for them and the babies.

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