Women are often shamed for breastfeeding in public, but now a mall in Colombia has launched a new initiative to help end the stigma.
Last month, breastfeeding mannequins were placed in store windows of Bogotá’s Centro Mayor, the largest shopping mall in Colombia. The mannequins — which consisted of a “mother” cradling a “baby” to mimic the act of nursing — were introduced as “part of an initiative to change attitudes about breastfeeding in public,” Ruptly reports.
The campaign was launched by Amigos de la Lactancia (Friends of Breastfeeding), an organization that supports mothers who have been shamed or criticized for nursing in public. One of their goals is to help make shopping centres a safe space for breastfeeding mamas. The campaign was created by global healthcare company Abbot which, interestingly, sells formula and other infant feeding products.
Not only do the mannequins help raise breastfeeding awareness, but they remind mothers of their rights to nurse in public, India Today reports.
Since launching their campaign, Amigos de la Lactancia has received positive feedback. On Instagram, people have praised the organization’s move to support breastfeeding moms, calling it an “excellent initiative” and a “beautiful gesture.”
Public breastfeeding became a hot topic in Latin America last year after an Argentine woman was harassed by police for doing so, despite the fact that it is legal to nurse in public. As a result, the incident sparked outrage and a nationwide protest where thousands of mothers gathered in public spaces to breastfeed their children.
Today, breastfeeding in public still has a stigma attached to it in Latin America and around the world. However, more public spaces and notable figures are making moves to try and normalize it.
Last year, for instance, a café in Sydney, Australia posted a sign outside its door welcoming breastfeeding mamas to make a pit stop there. And in honour of World Breastfeeding Week in August, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shared a photo of his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, nursing their youngest son.
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