18 mums breastfeeding in public together in Ipoh


breastfeeding together cover pic
Image adapted from: Kwong Wah

Mothers often find themselves entangled in breastfeeding debates. In Malaysia particularly, the topic of public breastfeeding results in heated discussions. The general community is split into 2 sides — there are those who find it offensive or improper, while there are advocates showing full support for nursing mums. 

To help shape a more supportive community that understands breastfeeding is a natural, healthy process, Breastfeeding Together was held in Ipoh, Perak in conjunction with World Breastfeeding Week 2019 on Sunday (4 Aug). 18 mums gathered on a hop-on hop-off bus to breastfeed together while enjoying a scenic ride around town. 


Raising awareness on breastfeeding in public


According to the organiser Malaysian Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Association, the event is an initiative to sensitise the Malaysian community to support breastfeeding mothers.

They want to encourage mothers to breastfeed their babies for at least 6 months and up to 2 years. This is so that the younger generation can have a strong foundation for their health and well-being. 

The event took place from 8AM – 10AM. Mums who participated could comfortably breastfeed in a supportive environment. 

Mums breastfeeding on the bus
Image credit: Oriental Daily


Breastfeeding in public a polarising issue


It’s always difficult for mothers with newborns to go out for the day as there aren’t many facilities available for breastfeeding mums. They may also be worried about nursing in public due to possible backlash from others — as depicted in the comic below.

A comic on breastfeeding
Image credit: Cilisos 

The dialogue box in the comic above can be translated as:

Nursing your child? How can you do this here?? It’s very improper!

To better support new mothers, the Perak government has plans to introduce breastfeeding rooms in government sectors so that mothers can nurse in peace. They hope to inspire other state governments and private companies to do the same.


A more supportive community with Breastfeeding Together


If a mother decides to breastfeed in public, we believe that she should be able to do it in peace. This means passersby shouldn’t stare, make rude comments, or ask her to stop while she’s in the middle of feeding her baby. 

To achieve this, Malaysians must be more supportive, and Breastfeeding Together is steering us in the right direction. Hopefully, we’ll see more of these events in other parts of the country, so that we can all celebrate motherhood and raise awareness on it.

 

A photo of the Breastfeeding Together event
Image credit: Kwong Wah