Breastfeeding In The City

EL Hong Kong|June - August 2020

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Breastfeeding In The City
When it comes to breastfeeding, Hong Kong is a city of contradictions. LIZ THOMAS shares an update on the #Ittasteslikelove campaign
Liz Thomas

Women here dress as they please and scantily clad models adorn billboards and shop windows. Yet, public nursing is still something of a taboo. Government hospitals and maternal health centres extol the importance of breastfeeding, but nurses can often be more focused on ensuring “modesty” than guiding new mothers through the process. Breastfeeding in public is perfectly legal, but some 40 percent of mothers who’ve done so say they’ve experienced harassment.

For all its modernity, there’s no escaping that Hong Kong clings on to outdated attitudes in some areas, which can be a shock for new arrivals – and new mothers.

#Ittasteslikelove was set up to tackle the fact that while breastfeeding is natural – the biological norm recommended by the World Health Organisation – some people have become so unused to seeing it that it makes them uncomfortable or even react with hostility. We’re working with the community to ensure parents feel happy nursing however, wherever and whenever they need to.

Who’s getting involved?

Removing the stigma about public breastfeeding starts long before a mother leaves her front door. New parents need educated encouragement from friends, family and employers. They also need community support – there have been too many stories of women forced to nurse in toilets and storerooms or told to cover up or even leave.

Cafes, bars and restaurants are frequented by different parts of society – a rare crossover of multiple worlds. That’s why #Ittasteslikelove is teaming up with businesses to ensure that breastfeeding is not just tolerated but actively supported. This in turn will stop people voicing their disapproval and perhaps lead them to reconsider their disapproval altogether.

So far, we have more than 100 places backing us. Gyms, salons and education centres have all got involved – read on to hear some of their thoughts about the campaign. Everyone involved is taking a stand against discrimination and pledging that their space is a safe space for those breastfeeding.

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June - August 2020