On December 8, 2016, a taxi driver was arrested in Hong Kong. His crime – uploading a picture of a breastfeeding passenger on Facebook.
As the report goes, Mr Chow snapped a photo of a woman who was breastfeeding in his taxi. He then uploaded the picture online on a Facebook group for Taxi drivers. The photo was followed by a comment where he stated that he could not believe that something like this could happen!
This created an uproar among the netizens, who called this a breach of privacy. Some even called it sexual harassment. Mr Chow removed the photo and changed his Facebook name, but was tracked down due to his internet use and arrested. A case is being prepared against him.
Breastfeeding in public
Breastfeeding in public has been increasingly looked down upon in the civilised world. There have been incidents where mothers have been told to ‘cover themselves up’, or go to a private place to feed the baby. A few mothers, under the pressure, end up feeding their babies even in toilets. A few others, in order to avoid breastfeeding in public, like to bottle feed the baby. While this is not something bad, it is a compromise at the end of the day.
Breastfeeding is the baby’s right
While this happens in the ‘civilised society’, the indigenous people in many countries continue to breastfeed the babies on demand. The openness of the societies may shock some of the puritans, but at the end of the day, the children get their nourishment and that is what matters!
Is it wise to breastfeed in a taxi?
While the actions of this taxi driver are deplorable, it is also not wise to breastfeed in a running vehicle. In fact, in the USA, it is illegal to remove the infant from a car seat inside a moving vehicle, even if the baby is crying. The mother should also have a seat belt on while the car is moving. This makes it illegal to breastfeed the baby in a moving car.
How to feed the baby safely in a moving vehicle? Read on to find out.
So what can you do?
If you are travelling with an infant, these are the things you should do for his safety.
- Use a car seat when in a car. There is no exception to this rule. Even if it is not mandatory by law in many countries, do it for your baby’s safety. The baby is vulnerable in your lap. If you cannot carry a car seat, try requesting a taxi that provides these facilities. Otherwise, use public transport.
- Use a pacifier. If the baby is uncomfortable and wants to suckle for comfort, a pacifier is your solution. It is quite useful while travelling by a taxi.
- Stop and feed the baby. If you are in your own vehicle, stop and feed the baby. It is unsafe to feed a baby in a moving vehicle. In fact, if you are in an accident while feeding the baby, there might be serious injuries to the baby.
- Carry a feed. If you need to feed the baby on the go, or if the child can hold the bottle on her own, carry a feed with you.
Mums, we are with you if someone denies your right to breastfeed your baby. However, ensure that you do so in a safe environment.
Source: The Strait Times
Also read: Mother was almost arrested for breastfeeding in public
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