Breastfeeding in Kmart: Coast mum's bold statement
PUBLIC breastfeeding can divide and shock - not that Coast mum Vanessa Fletcher cares.
The Nambour mum took to social media to prove a point: feeding her bub is normal and natural, and no one can tell her otherwise.
The picture, posted to 'The Australian Breastfeeding Project: Feeding the Change' Facebook page, shows Mrs Fletcher in Maroochydore Kmart openly breastfeeding her one-year-old daughter Maisie while she shops.
"How you like me now Kmart... Got some dirty looks from other shoppers but I held my head high and kept on feeding her," Mrs Fletcher said in her Facebook post.
She told the Sunshine Coast Daily that although she wasn't approached by staff, she got plenty of "dirty looks" from other shoppers.
"It's just one of those things," she said.
"Boobs are there to feed babies. If she wants boob then shell get boob, whenever and wherever she wants."
The Nambour mum's bold statement was partly in reaction to an incident in a Cairns Kmart a few months ago, when a shopper was told to "cover up or leave" by a male staff member.
The Cairns mum was told it was "offensive" to other shoppers.
The staff member said it was against company policy to allow breastfeeding in the store.
After significant public backlash, a Kmart representative apologised for the incident and said it would not happen again.
"We absolutely do not discourage women from breastfeeding in any of our Kmart stores, and we sincerely apologise for what has occurred," the representative said.
Mrs Fletcher said that she thinks it is a shame that breastfeeding is so looked down upon.
"There's people who tell mums to breastfeed in the toilets," she said.
"They're not going to eat their lunch in the toilets so why would you expect a baby to do that?
"The stigma has to go."
Mrs Fletcher's action on public breastfeeding comes only days after Greens Senator Larissa Waters made Australian political history, moving a motion while breastfeeding her baby daughter Alia.
"First time I've had to move a senate motion while breastfeeding! And my partner in crime moved her own motion just before mine, bless her," Senator Waters tweeted.
Do you think public breastfeeding is acceptable?
This poll ended on 03 July 2017.
Yes - it's completely natural
No - it's inappropriate in public
I don't have a problem with public breastfeeding, but I do think a cover-up should be used.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.