The big boob made her appearance in the streets of London’s Shoreditch on UK Mother’s Day. Her aim? To challenge stuffy, judge-y and downright creepy attitudes, and spark conversations about a woman’s right to breastfeed.
— Mrs. Patel's (@mrspatels) March 29, 2017
Dwindling breastfeeding rates
It seems Big Boob has her work cut out for her.
The Lancet revealed last year that the UK has the lowest rate of breastfeeding in the world and a recent Public Health England (PHE) survey found that women are avoiding breastfeeding because they are embarrassed.
It’s hard to know if the enduring Page 3 attitude to sexualised boobs is a contributing factor, but one can’t help but notice that England has a particularly Benny Hill view of breasts. This writer thinks this constant ogling and creeping on boobs must be taking a toll.
Viv Bennett, the PHE’s Chief Nurse told The Guardian the UK needed to work harder at making breastfeeding mothers feel more welcome and accepted.
“We can all help women feel comfortable breastfeeding their baby wherever they are. Creating a wider culture of encouragement and support will help make a mother’s experience all the more positive,” Viv said.
Free the feed
While the boob attracted a lot of attention, it’s hard to know if those who saw it understood why it was there. It bobbed over the Shoreditch streets, hoping to remind the passersby that breastfeeding is every mother’s right, if she so chooses.
This comes in the wake of the PHE’s findings that:
“Many women were not only embarrassed about breastfeeding in front of strangers, but also their partner’s family (59%) and around siblings and wider family members (49%).”
The crew behind the campaign are London agency, Mother London. They explained big boob was flying the flag for shame-free, guilt-free feeding choices, for all women.
“It’s hard to believe that in 2017, UK mothers still feel watched and judged when feeding in public, by bottle or breast. This is a celebration of every woman’s right to decide how and where they feed their children without feeling guilty or embarrassed about their parenting choices,” a rep from Mother London explained, tagging their update #FreeTheFeed.
Have you ever felt embarrassed to breastfeed in front of others?
Do you think the big boob will help spark less judgement and deter creepy attitudes to breastfeeding?