Bendigo mums have joined forces for an event this Friday in support of a breastfeeding woman asked to leave the food court of a popular shopping centre.
Almost 60 Facebook users have already said they will attend the Boobs for Babies event at Bendigo Marketplace, where a staff member reportedly told a woman to take her child to a feeding room yesterday afternoon.
Many of the supporters plan to breastfeed in the food court on Friday to protest the young mum’s treatment.
The incident first came to light after a friend of the woman shared the story with the Bendigo Mums Facebook page’s 2600 followers.
“I think there needs to be a mass breastfeeding session in that food court to educate the neanderthals out there that no-one has the right to tell a mum where to feed her child,” Samantha Purden posted.
Ms Purden said in her experience the rooms were often smelly and not equipped with enough seating for more than one woman.
Bendigo Marketplace was contacted for comment and said management was preparing an official response for release later today.
READ MORE:Brisbane mums stage ‘nurse-in’
Your legal rights
“In Australian Federal Law breastfeeding is a right, not a privilege,” the Australian Breastfeeding Association website says.
Under the federal Sex Discrimination Act 1984 it is illegal to discriminate against a person either directly or indirectly on the grounds of breastfeeding.
“For example, it is discriminatory for a waiter to decline to serve a patron who is breastfeeding,” the Australian Breastfeeding Association website says.
The website says mothers should feel confident stating their legal right to anyone who scolds their breastfeeding.
The website also quotes former sex discrimination commissioner Susan Halliday saying “common sense dictates that hungry babies be fed”.
“It will be a particularly sad day when, in Australia, a woman is penalised for properly caring for her child in a public place,” she is reported as saying.