South West Wales

Swansea mothers in breastfeeding protest over 'tramp' abuse

Emily Slough Image copyright Emily Slough
Image caption Emily Slough started her campaign after being called a "tramp" on Facebook

More than 100 people have supported a breastfeeding protest in Swansea after a Staffordshire mother was labelled a "tramp" for feeding her baby in public.

Emily Slough launched a campaign after finding a photograph on Facebook of her feeding her daughter in Rugeley.

In a show of support, Swansea mother Jade Richards organised a breastfeeding protest in Castle Square on Saturday at midday.

Ms Slough staged her own event in Rugeley.

Ms Slough, 27, said she had "discreetly" stopped to feed her eight-month-old daughter Matilda during a shopping trip on 7 March.

Her campaign has attracted thousands of "likes" on Facebook and more than 1,000 people are expected to attend her mass breastfeeding protest.

Swansea mother Ms Richards, who is originally from Staffordshire, said she was inspired to launch her own event after hearing about Ms Slough's story.

"We had about 120 people join us to support Emily," said Ms Richards.

"Mothers, fathers and families came along. It was a great turn out and great weather.

"We handed out flyers explaining that we were here today in support of Emily and the flyers also contained information about feeding babies and why public feeding is necessary.

"There were details about the Equality Act which says people can't discriminate against women breastfeeding.

"During the event, one lady came up to me and said it was the first time she had breastfed in public without covering her baby's head with a blanket to conceal what she was doing."

Ms Richards said it was hard to explain why Ms Slough had received such a harsh reaction while breastfeeding in public.

"People are not used to seeing mothers breastfeeding in public," she added.

"Mothers are normally discreet when they're feeding, I'm not saying they should be, but when a mother is spotted they sometimes receive odd reactions."

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption The picture, posted anonymously, was taken while Ms Slough was on a shopping trip with her daughter

She said people were used to seeing breasts as sexual objects and were "freaked out" when they saw them being used for what they were designed for.

"I think the breastfeeding protest in Swansea will serve as a confidence boost for mothers and it'll give them a chance to meet like-minded people," Ms Richards said.

"Perhaps this could become an annual event and then breastfeeding wouldn't be seen by some as a problem and would help normalise it."

In Staffordshire, up to 1,000 people turned up to the protest organised in Rugeley town centre on Saturday.

Similar events were also taking place in Newcastle, Milton Keynes, Stirling and York.

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