Friday, August 8, 2008

Angry mothers pack a Vancouver clothing store in a breastfeeding protest

VANCOUVER — A menagerie of nursing mothers, their babies, older children, some fathers, baby strollers and the media crammed clothing store H&M Thursday in a breastfeeding protest.

The women were angry over a store clerk's request to Manuela Valle last week to move to a change room while she nursed her two-month-old baby.

Veronica Polanska, one of the organizers of the so-called "nurse-in", said the protest wasn't about Valle or H&M specifically.

She said the women wanted to draw attention to the outrage they feel when any business suggests nursing in public is shameful and should be hidden.

"It's about every business, whether it's an airline or whether it's a restaurant, whether it's a pool ... it doesn't matter where it happens, it's not acceptable."

Astrid Lalonde didn't know Valle, but brought her six-week-old baby girl because she said society seems to have a poor perception of women who breastfeed in public, yet cleavage seems to be predominant.

"Breastfeeding is not a sexual thing," she said.

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