“Reprimanded “ because she was breastfeeding her daughter on a bench. On July 3, three security agents at Disneyland Paris park asked Laura, a 33-year-old Australian to cover up or go to a dedicated “mother and child” area to feed her two-month-old baby, while she was near an attraction.
“I felt completely vulnerable”
Today, Laura calls for a change in mentalities on the subject. “I had my daughter on the breast with three people around me berating me for something that I consider a completely natural and normal part of life“, she tells AFP.”I felt completely vulnerable, totally intimidated and quite scared“, she added.
This mother of two says she answered the guards “quite firmly“She would not follow their instructions, but they insisted.
Read also: Breastfeeding in public: when an American mother rebels
No law prohibits public breastfeeding
“I asked what was the reason for this kind of request and they said it was for other park patrons who are here from other cultures and religionsLaura explained. In France, however, there is no law prohibiting breastfeeding in public.
The case began to circulate on social networks and Disneyland initially reacted by saying that the mothers had the use of special rooms “with suitable and comfortable material, such as special seats for breastfeeding “.
The Minister of the Interior, Marlène Schiappa responded on Twitter that “breastfeeding a baby was not an offense“.”It’s good to have dedicated rooms, but no one knows when or where a baby will be hungry“, she stressed. Which prompted another response from the park who said”deeply regret this situation and apologize once again to the mother in question “.
End the shame
Laura, who has lived in France with her husband for five years, said the problem was “bigger than disneyland“, that other friends had suffered unwelcome remarks or glared looks while breastfeeding in public.
“I want to urge to end these methods of shaming mothers and intervening when you see mothers being harassed“she said.
She herself benefited from the reaction of an unknown mother: “She sat down and began to feed her child in solidarity with me. I burst into tears, I was overwhelmed by his kindness“.
A law to protect breastfeeding women?
In June, following reports that a mother was slapped in Bordeaux for breastfeeding in public, MP Fiona Lazaar proposed a law that would make preventing a mother from breastfeeding her child punishable by fine of 1,500 euros.
Journal fact-checkers Release have since questioned whether the woman was slapped.