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Breastfeeding Debate, 12/06/14 [S]

Debate in the Scottish Parliament on 12 June 2014 on celebrating and supporting breastfeeding in public. The debate was introduced by Elaine Smith (Lab).

The motion was debated without any question being put:

<UNSPECIFIED> That the Parliament notes with concern reports of a recent incident in which a mother, Emily Slough from Rugeley in Staffordshire, was labelled a “tramp” on a social networking site after a stranger took a photograph of her as she sat on steps breastfeeding her eight-month-old baby; notes that the photograph, which was taken without Emily’s permission, was then uploaded online and believes that the misogynistic, derogatory and disrespectful comments that were subsequently posted could cause upset and concern to nursing mothers; understands that, as a result of this scandal, Emily organised a mass breastfeeding protest on 15 March 2014 in which thousands of mothers came out in support of breastfeeding in public across the country, including across Scotland; recognises that, in Scotland, mothers are protected under the Breastfeeding etc. (Scotland) Act 2005, which makes it illegal to stop, or attempt to stop, mothers breastfeeding in public; notes the view that, to reassure mothers and to help breastfeeding in public become a social norm, this legislation should be used and publicised across the country, including in Coatbridge and Chryston; acknowledges what it sees as the huge health benefits of breastfeeding; understands that a recent UNICEF-commissioned report, Preventing disease and saving resources: the potential contribution of increasing breastfeeding rates in the UK, outlined how increased breastfeeding rates could improve public health, produce long-term health benefits, allow considerable savings to be made by the NHS and provide a mechanism for improving health outcomes across a range of social groups; congratulates Emily Slough on her campaign, which it hopes will help raise awareness of the need for changed attitudes towards breastfeeding in public, and believes that mothers who are engaging in normal, nurturing maternal behaviour should be celebrated and supported by society.

For full details see the Scottish Parliament Official Report 12 June 2014 which is available from the Scottish Parliament website.

Further Information

Scottish Parliament Official Report 12 June 2014