A mum is planning to hold a 'peaceful breastfeeding sit in' after being told she could not feed her baby in a public area of a Gold Coast shopping centre.
Shannon Laverty, who is mum to toddler Harper, almost two and newborn son Shep says she sat down to breastfeed her bub in the Pacific Fair centre when she says a concierge approached her.
Laverty says the woman first suggested she'd be more comfortable using one of the centre's private feeding rooms, before telling her she'd need to move away from the high-end stores if she wanted to continue feeding.?
Posting about the experience to Instagram, Laverty?describes how the experience shook her, but as a second time mum she wasn't about to let this go. Instead, she's put out a call to arms for other mums to join her for a 'sit in' to collectively feed their babies.?
"You may think that your words intimidate us, beat us down, wilt us, break us.. but it's those EXACT (extremely unwarranted) words that create a movement. A movement, in this case, to continue to 'normalise' breastfeeding," she writes.
"If you've chosen to prod the parenting community, the breastfeeding mothers, the very community that nourishes our children, our future, our life ahead.. you've chosen the wrong one. A village of lioness', where nothing will come between our children and us. Good luck to you!!"
Laverty?continues to explain the toll post-partum?depression and anxiety can take on mum, and how comments like these can have very real consequences for women.?
"Comments such as today's, could be life threatening," she says. "To the concierge today, you're lucky I'm a stronger mama the second time around. You're lucky (that today), I'm not filled with self doubt as I was with my first. The statistics prove that I am not one of many."
She then calls on fellow mums to join her Friday morning outside a high-end skin care store to hit back at the suggestion breastfeeding should only be done in private.?
"With our glorious breasts, our feeding children and our wide smiles. As we stand together to normalise our bodies, our breasts and breastfeeding in all its GLORY," she continues.?
Her post resonated with many, who threw their support behind the idea.?
"If I lived closer I would be there! I'll make my over three-year-old BF again just for this. I'm so sorry this happened to you!!," said one.
"Where and when ... let's shut them up!," added another. "We are standing strong and proud right by your side and we will be there," agreed a third.?
"I am a first time mum and if this would have happened to me I would have been extremely impacted," shared another. "Thank you for standing up for all us mumas."
A spokeswoman for Pacific Fair described the incident as a misunderstanding and said staff would undergo additional training in light of Laverty's claims.
"Pacific Fair is committed to being a safe and welcoming space for every customer and we apologise for the misunderstanding between a customer and a concierge team member who was trying to highlight one of the many dedicated parents areas in the centre.??At no point was any customer asked to move on whilst feeding,' a statement provided to Essential Baby reads.?
"We would like to reaffirm that mothers are free to breastfeed wherever they are most comfortable and at any time throughout the centre."
"We have committed to undertaking additional training with all staff to ensure our customers have access to an inclusive, safe and welcoming environment when they visit Pacific Fair."