Northern Ireland Creates Law For Breastfeeding Mums

New Law For Breastfeeding Mums In NI
10 January 2017

In Northern Ireland, the Department of Health has announced plans for a new law to protect the rights of mums to breastfeed in public.

According to BBC News, the Health Minister said the new legislation would work to increase "awareness and acceptability" of breastfeeding, and improve breastfeeding rates in Northern Ireland, which are the lowest in the UK.

As a mum living in Northern Ireland I'm heartened to read about the new legislation but also disappointed that it's needed. I never encountered any problems around breastfeeding my baby in public - but I certainly didn't feel as comfortable doing so as when I lived in London.

The Health Minister said:

"I have listened to mothers and am convinced that specific legislation is a pro-active and necessary approach to ensure that the rights of mothers and their children are fully protected. The reasons why women choose not to breastfeed, or stop breastfeeding, are varied and complex. We need to provide support to mothers and address the negative influences. This legislation will contribute to increasing public tolerance and acceptability of breastfeeding, as part of a range of activities to improve our breastfeeding rates."

Meanwhile, Pope Francis recently told breastfeeding mothers attending a baptism ceremony at the Sistine Chapel that they should not feel inhibited about nursing their babies.

According to the Guardian, he said:

"The ceremony is a little long, someone's crying because he's hungry. That's the way it is. You mothers, go ahead and breastfeed, without fear. Just like the Virgin Mary nursed Jesus."

We'd love to hear your views on this story.

Have you ever encountered hostility from other people when breastfeeding your baby in public?

And if you live in Northern Ireland, do you think this legislation is needed? What difference do you think it will make to breastfeeding mums?

5 comments

  • Lou P.

    Love it, and yea, unfortunately it is necessary. X

  • Jenny C.

    Definitely need more awareness and acceptance, breastfeeding is the norm.

  • Dasa R.

    Live in NI. .. breastfeed and maybe am lucky but thought that people in general are quite accepting. Think it is differently looked at when feeding older toddler than a baby though.

  • Jody R.

    Lived in London and now NI too! I couldnt care less where i breastfeed ( 3rd bub now!) If anyone dared to say anything negative to me whilst feeding...!:punch: Totally agree that it's a shame that new mums are less likely to bf or at least stick with it over here :confused: Ive never felt judged doing it here though, but wish that more would try it!

  • Michael C.

    People should just leave woman and baby alone when it comes to breastfeeding it's natural and baby needs fed. I supported my partner when she breast fed in public.

What do you think?

Your comment