Thousands protest in support of breastfeeding 'tramp'

media captionA photo of Emily Slough breastfeeding her baby in Rugeley was posted anonymously on Facebook

Thousands of people have attended breastfeeding protests in support of a Staffordshire mother who was labelled a "tramp" for feeding her baby in public.

Emily Slough, 27, was secretly photographed in Rugeley on 7 March and the picture posted anonymously online.

A demonstration, organised by Ms Slough to campaign for breastfeeding in public, was held in Rugeley town centre.

Several similar events were also being held across the country.

Ms Slough said between 600 and 1,000 people turned up in Rugeley, and women breastfed their babies on steps opposite The Shrew pub.

"I'm really pleased, the support has been great," she said.

"It's no longer about the individual who did it [posted the photo on Facebook], it's about making mums feel comfortable and not ashamed of doing it."

image copyrightFacebook
image captionThe picture, posted anonymously, was taken while Emily Slough was on a shopping trip with her daughter

'Really uncomfortable'

Cydney Davis, who organised an event in Milton Keynes, said she had also encountered negative comments while breastfeeding.

"I was in a restaurant and I was asked by an elderly lady to use a blanket because it was disturbing her eating," she said.

"It makes you really uncomfortable, especially as my daughter was only a few weeks old at the time.

"I asked the lady if she'd like to eat her dinner under a blanket instead. She just walked away and very quickly finished her meal and left the restaurant, but that was her choice."

She said there had been great support at the Milton Keynes protest, as well as a few "dirty looks and stares".

More than 100 people also took part in a protest in Swansea.

Kendal Clark, organiser of the event in York, said people were keen to show their support for Ms Slough in particular, but also all women who choose to breastfeed in public.

image copyrightCydney Davis
image captionAbout 60 mums plus supporters attended an event in Milton Keynes

"York is a very supportive city, but it should be like that anywhere you go," she said.

Ms Slough's campaign has attracted considerable support with thousands of "likes" on Facebook, as well as comments on Twitter, and several online forums.

The National Childbirth Trust and the National Breastfeeding Helpline also publicly supported her protest, as well as local councils.

Ms Slough said: "There are plenty of mums that breastfeed publicly, I can't say that I've noticed them because normally I don't tend to notice mothers breastfeeding as it's a pretty discreet act.

"I don't think any mother should be labelled a tramp for feeding their baby."

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