A breastfeeding flash mob of more than 100 mums took to Hong Kong's Mass Transit Railway (MTR) subway system to protest against discrimination. The mothers, who sat down and fed their babies under blankets at Tai Wai MTR station today, wanted to raise awareness of public breastfeeding ahead of Mother's Day in China on Sunday.
MamaMilk Baby Alliance, the group which organised the action, said many breastfeeding mothers were being discriminated for feeding their children in public areas. "Despite there being a rise in the awareness of breastfeeding being the most healthy option for babies, many [mothers] face a lot of difficulties," a spokeswomen for the group told the South China Morning Post.
The women joined were often being asked to feed their babies in toilets, since most shopping malls due to a lack of adequate breastfeeding facilities, she further explained, hoping the flash mob would help raise awareness of breastfeeding and help change attitudes to allow mothers to breastfeed their children in public places.
The group are now lobbying the government for sufficient breastfeeding and child care facilities in public spaces, as well as in the workplace. A video captured and posted on YouTube shows the mothers staging the sit-down protest in the middle of the train station as other commuters stood around watching.
Breastfeeding has been a long-debated and taboo topic in the UK, with mothers being asked to leave places when breastfeeding their children. Last year, mum-of-three Carrie Davies claims she was asked to leave a local restaurant in Cardiff while feeding her four-month old son.
In 2011, a group of 40 mothers braved the cold to feed their babies in public in Brighton city centre in protest against diners at a restaurant in the city who told Claire Jones-Hughes the sight of her breastfeeding was "unpleasant".
A mother in the US has posted an open letter to a stranger for judging her on buying formula instead of breastfeeding her baby. The status went viral with over 45,000 shares. Many mothers commented on how grateful they are for the post because they also struggled with breastfeeding.