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Countrywide breastfeeding protests after 'tramp' comment

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Anna Pollitt
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This is what happens when a woman is labelled a tramp for breastfeeding in public.

Hundreds of mothers across the UK took to the streets to breastfeed their babies in a mass protest yesterday, after Emma Slough was criticised on Facebook for breastfeeding her daughter outside a restaurant in Staffordshire.

Earlier this month someone in Rugeley, Staffordshire, took a picture of Slough nursing her eight-month-old daughter Matilda outside a restaurant in the town and anonymously posted the image on a Facebook page, with this comment: "I know the sun is out n all that but there's no need to let your kid feast on your nipple in town!!! Tramp."

Emma Slough pictured yesterday with her daughter Matilda at a mass public breastfeeding protest in Rugeley, Staffordshire

An "angry" Slough responded by organising a mass breastfeeding protest in the centre of Rugeley yesterday, but word spread, and women in locations across the country joined in the demonstrations.

"The mentality of the individual that attempted to shame me for feeding my daughter makes me so angry," Slough said after discovering the Facebook post. "I am very confident and comfortable with my breast feeding, but I know plenty who aren't and don't even humour the idea of nursing because of some ridiculous stigma attached to it and fear of embarrassment, humiliation and non-acceptance."

The Facebook page, 'Spotted Rugeley," on which the image of Slough was originally posted, has since been deactivated.

From Streatham to Swansea: As well as Staffordshire, public breastfeeding protests were held in locations including Newcastle, Milton Keynes, Swansea, Stirling and York. Here are some images that were posted on Twitter:

Advice from the NHS

"Know your rights. You shouldn’t ever be made to feel uncomfortable about breastfeeding in public. In fact, the Equality Act 2010 has made it illegal for anyone to ask a breastfeeding woman to leave a public place such as a cafe, shop or public transport."

Additional images: Rex Features. 

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Anna Pollitt

Anna is a freelance writer and editor who’s been making her dime from online since 2007. She’s a regular at Stylist.co.uk, ITV News and Emerald Street and moonlights as a copywriter and digital content consultant. The baby is borrowed.

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