Real Life

Breastfeeding mum stunned after bus driver said she was NOT ALLOWED on

Mum-of-two Katherine Guest was turned away from boarding a bus after the driver said there were health and safety risks associated with breastfeeding.

Katherine, 22, was breastfeeding her 10-week-old baby son, Zachariah, whilst waiting for the bus from Shrewsbury to Bridgnorth so that she could take her baby to a hospital appointment.

But when the bus turned up, she was left aghast after the driver would not let her on the bus - despite the vehicle having practically no other passengers.

Katherine with her partner Mike (Credit: SWNS)

Katherine, who lives with her partner Mike Forster and their one-year-old son Benjamin, explained what happened next: "I was on my way to a routine doctor's appointment at Bridgnorth Medical Practice when it happened.

"I had Zach just 10 weeks ago, and it was to look at both of us to see how we were doing.

"There was no-one else at the bus stop as we were waiting, and Zach was crying out for feeding, so I obliged, thinking that there would be enough time for me to feed him before the bus arrived.

"Evidently there wasn't, because when it got there he was still sucking."

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Katherine went on to say that she wouldn't have expected any problems: "I didn't think twice about it when the doors opened and I stepped on.

"But the driver turned around and said 'I can't let you on here'.

"When I asked why not, he said it was because of the potential health and safety risks associated with breastfeeding.

"That absolutely stunned me. When I asked him what health risks he could possibly be talking about, he said that there was a chance that he could choke to death on my milk."

Katherine needed to breastfeed her son (Credit: SWNS)

"But if there were a risk of that happening on the bus, surely there would be a risk of that happening anywhere and everywhere? I don't understand why it's different.

"You see mums breastfeeding on public transport all of the time. I don't know why it should be any different for me, really.

"The whole thing has been very hurtful.

"As a young mum, you expect to have the right to feed your child wherever you need to – I thought public attitudes allowed that."

The young mum then had to RUN to the hospital in order to make her appointment on time: "Because of what he did, I had to quickly finishing feeding Zach, and then run to the hospital to make it on time, which is probably more dangerous for a newborn than riding a bus. It's baffling."

Katherine has been left traumatised by the incident (Credit: SWNS)

Katherine is now demanding a public apology: "All I want is some sort of apology and recognition that mums should be allowed to breastfeed in public. It's a scary world for mums my age, and things like this don't help at all."

Jamie Crowsley, general manager of the Shropshire area at Arriva Midlands, said: "We are currently looking into this incident and unfortunately we cannot comment upon the individual circumstances until the investigation has been completed.

"Our drivers do have a duty to ensure the safety of our passengers as they get on and off our buses and during their journeys and are mindful of this responsibility at all times.

"We would like to reassure mothers."

Have YOU ever had an incident like this when breastfeeding in public? We want to hear from you - send your stories over via email, or get in touch over on Facebook and Twitter.

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