Woman in France ‘slapped for breastfeeding in public’

A woman was asked whether she was “ashamed” while breasteeding her baby in public in France
A woman was asked whether she was “ashamed” while breasteeding her baby in public in France

A woman in France has claimed she was slapped in the street for breastfeeding her son in public.

She said another woman hit her while she was still holding her baby in her arms.

The incident reportedly happened while the mother, reported in the French media only as Maÿlis, was queuing outside with her six-month-old in Bordeaux.

Speaking to French site Doctissimo, the mother said she had gone to pick up a parcel with her son, who woke up and was “really hungry”.

“I wear clothes that are really well-adapted that open the sides and do it really discreetly,” she said. “And, what’s more, I hid myself with my jacket as there were people around.”

But as soon as she had put her baby in place, she said a woman started shouting at her, asking: “Are you not ashamed?”.

Maÿlis said she was also told: “There is a red light, cars are stopping, and children can see you.”

The mother said the woman also said: “You are a mom. You should make sure your son is fed. You should have done that at your house.

“It is not something that is done in public.”

But Maÿlis said it did not stop there. She claimed the woman, while insulting her, was moving closer to her.

“I didn’t have the time to realise what was happening. I was slapped right in the face, with my baby in my arms,” she said.

“The woman behind her in the queue, congratulated her. A much older woman. So I had absolutely no help from people who were there.”

“The rest of the queue lowered their heads, ignored it and nothing happened. No one defended me. No one had a go at the woman. No one reacted. Absolutely no one.”

After this, she said she put her son back in the pushchair, pick up her sunglasses which had fallen on the floor, and to go home and cry.

“I really wanted to react but with a baby in your arms, what can you do?”.

Claude Didierjean-Jouveau from the Leche League France, a group which supports woman with breastfeeding, said after the incident there is “nothing in the law that prevents breastfeeding in a public place”.

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