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All worked out for the breast

22 March 2016 - 02:18 By Tanya Farber

The mother thrown out of Edgars for breast-feeding her newborn says the experience sucked - but she is happy with what happened next. Tasneem Botha's Facebook post about her treatment went viral and in response a group of about 30 mothers staged a "nurse-in" at the Edgars branch in Cavendish Square.Edgars welcomed them and apologised for Botha's experience."It wasn't a nice incident but I am glad about what happened since," said Botha, 29. "It has opened people's eyes to this issue."She said she had always been discreet about feeding her daughters, Rania, 2, and six-week-old Samia, and was shocked to find that some people found it offensive.Yvette Lambrecht, who joined the nurse-in, said: "When we shame mothers, we are discriminating against all women."Public opinion, however, is lagging behind what, according to Lambrecht, should be normal.A poll on debate.org found that one-third of people find breast-feeding in public offensive, calling it "indecent", "inappropriate", or "unnecessary".Radio host Redi Tlhabi is remembered for breast-feeding her baby, Neo, on air when she stood in for a colleague.She said: "I take exception to this twisted notion that the breast-feeding mom must constantly explain herself and demand her space. Most work and public spaces don't support us."After that came a Rhodes University lecturer who was asked to breast-feed in the toilet on an SAA flight, much to the anger of Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, who said the behaviour of the airline staff was "primitive".At 8%, South Africa had the lowest breast-feeding rate on the continent, he said, despite scientific proof that optimal early childhood development depended on it.Marion Stevens, a research associate at the Africa Gender Institute, said that although breast-feeding was "convenient, easy and healthy, breasts in middle-class spaces are confused with a particularly conservative approach to sexual and reproductive health"."Feeding a baby is the most basic exchange."..

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