Real Life

V&A Museum 'Very Sorry' After Breastfeeding Woman Told To Cover Up

One of London's leading tourist attractions has been forced to apologise, after a guest was told to cover up while breastfeeding.

The woman, known as @vaguechera on Twitter, said she "flashed a nanosecond of nipple" when on a visit to the Victoria and Albert museum this weekend:

She was in the courtyard at the time, and said she was "perplexed" to be told to shield herself.

The mum highlighted the irony of being requested to cover up in a museum filled with voluptuous nude statues.

"On the upside, I had a lovely day at the V&A exploring depictions of breasts through the ages and making lovely mammaries. I mean memories," she wrote.

"Reason it’s important. Embarrassment about breastfeeding one of [the] most common reasons that women give up … Thanks all for support. I was so surprised partly because this was the first time it’s ever happened to me in 3.5 years of breastfeeding."

A statue depicts a woman breastfeeding at the V&A museum in London

The director of the V&A, Tristram Hunt, tweeted that he was "very sorry" about the incident - and insisted that the museum holds an open policy on breastfeeding:

Being told to cover up while breastfeeding is the kind of sorry affair that still occurs far too frequently in 21st Century Britain.

The UK has one of the world's lowest rates for breastfeeding - despite research that shows it helps babies fight infections and is good for the health of mothers, too.

A recent poll by Public Health England found that less than half of women in the UK breastfeed after two months, with 63% of mums saying they are embarrassed to do so in front of strangers.

Confrontations like the one at the V&A certainly don't help that sense of unease. But breastfeeding mums should rest assured that it is illegal for anyone to ask a breastfeeding woman to leave a public place - such as a cafe, shop or public transport - under discrimination clauses of the Equality Act 2010.

So, if someone makes you feel uncomfortable for doing so, they are in the wrong and could be breaking the law.

Find out more on breastfeeding in public, with tips and advice, right here.

Read More: Women Who Breastfeed In Public Are Not The Problem, Says Lucy Vine

Read More: One Third Of Women Find Breastfeeding In Public Embarrassing

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