Yes, really. Mums planning to attend a breastfeeding event in Edinburgh next month were initially told that the venue “couldn’t accommodate breastfeeding”.
The Scottish Sun reported that attendees were told the stadium, famous as the home of Scottish rugby, “is not designed to accommodate breastfeeding” and asked that mothers don’t bring their children.
Delegates were also told in a statement posted on the event website:
This event is mainly aimed at professionals and service providers, working with women both pre and post birth to support them to breastfeed for as long as possible. The views of women who have recently been supported by these services is key to informing our wider thinking in this area.
However, this conference has not been designated to accomodate mothers who are still breastfeeding and wish to bring their babies or infants to the event. We will look at other opportunities to engage with mothers, in a more appropriate setting, in the future, but we would ask that for this conference, babies and infants are not brought along.
Dr Lesley Taylor, who runs the Normalising Public Breastfeeding in Scotland Facebook group, said to the Sun:
A few [delegates] asked if they could bring a nursing child or requested an aisle seat in case they needed a quick getaway with their baby.
But they were told the summit could not â€˜accommodate’ breastfeeding. The advert for the event said the government is trying to break down the barriers to breastfeeding.
But now the organisers have relented and a space will be provided.
A Scottish government spokesman told MailOnline:
A statement was put on the event website advising attendees that the conference was mainly aimed at professionals and service providers, and that facilities for mothers were limited.
However, the number of mothers with babies planning to attend the event was underestimated. Consequently we have already arranged for an extension to the baby changing facilities, and a quiet area for mothers and babies to ensure that all who wish to attend can.
Taylor said on Twitter that her group was happy with the reversal.
The conference, which takes place on 24 February, is organised by the Scottish government and will hear from experts discussing the latest evidence on the health benefits of breastfeeding.
The event is aimed at helping to tackle the static level of breastfeeding in Scotland, where many mothers move to formula milk when their babies are six to eight weeks old.
Women in the most wealthy areas of Scotland are almost three times as likely to breastfeed as those in the most economically deprived, it is claimed.