Breastfeeding in Public and Discrimination

Breastfeeding in Public and Discrimination

For many new mothers, breastfeeding is an important element of their relationship with their child. The needs of a hungry infant tend not to run like clockwork, and new babies cannot wait until a more convenient time arrives to be fed. A mother will often need to feed her child when and where it is necessary.

In some cases, however, mothers can feel threatened or intimidated when breastfeeding in certain places. It important for women to know their rights, and where to access support if needed.

The law on breastfeeding in public

Under Australian law (the Sex Discrimination Act 1984), it is illegal to discriminate against a woman for breastfeeding anywhere, at any time. This includes on public transport and in dining areas.

Employers also must not discriminate against working mothers who need to breastfeed.

Further support if you have been discriminated against

If you feel as though you have been discriminated against for breastfeeding, or would like more support, you can

  • Contact the Breastfeeding Helpline on 1800 686 268.
  • Get legal advice from an employment lawyer on how your rights are protected in employment situations.

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