Shaming a woman for breastfeeding in public is unacceptable!
Since when did breastfeeding in public become offensive in Kenya? And what type of person would look at a mother feeding her child and become disgusted to the point of telling her to go do it in the toilet?
Does it mean that the person in question never fed from their mother’s breasts? Or were they disgusted whenever their mother would put her boob in their mouth?
It is not only infuriating but utterly inconceivable as to how a respectable establishment in Nairobi would condone having such ignorant and discriminatory employees.
What is even more appalling is that the restaurant, instead of issuing an apology to at least seem humane, preferred to write a lengthy statement saying no one has lodged a formal complaint!
My heart goes out to the mother identified as Betty Kim who was reportedly humiliated on Monday evening at the restaurant located on Accra Road in Nairobi.
What happened to her cannot and should not be brushed under the carpet!
Not with breastfeeding champions such as Murang’a Women Rep Sabina Chege who in 2017 pushed for her colleagues in Parliament to pass a Bill making it mandatory for employers to create special rooms for lactating mothers.
I fear for any female employees who may be working at the damned restaurant. Is this how they were treated or would want to be treated when they became mothers?
Such incidents are the last thing a woman needs when she has to deal with other challenges of motherhood such as sore and inverted nipples or reduced milk supply.
Stories are awash on social media of how people are quick to point fingers when they see a mother giving her baby formula instead of breastmilk.
Don’t get me wrong; my baby is also on formula after milk began to disappear when I returned to work. But the point here is that everyone knows how invaluable breast milk is!
As much as the African society may need lessons on benefits of alternative milk to a distraught mother, we all appreciate that a woman who is lucky enough to have surplus milk should feel free pull out her boob and feed her baby whether in a matatu, kibanda, city council bench, government office or ‘fancy’ restaurant.
The World Health Organization (WHO) even set aside Breastfeeding Week from August 1-7 to highlight the importance of breastfeeding to the world!
“Early and exclusive breastfeeding helps children survive, but it also supports healthy brain development, improves cognitive performance and is associated with better educational achievement at age 5,” WHO website says.
I support those who are calling on all of us lactating mothers to pay a visit to the restaurant and let them know that such discrimination is unacceptable and intolerable.
Breastfeeding is not a luxury, it is a necessity!
Those who can do it should do it anywhere and anytime!