Breastfeeding the baby is a right. Also an intimate moment, that each woman lives as she wants. In public, in private ... But what happens when you are forced to prove that you breastfeed your baby? The right turns into humiliation, and the most beautiful and worthy moment of the mother, into indignation.
Two women have been forced to express milk in front of a group of doctors to justify their permission to reduce working hours due to breastfeeding. And this makes us wonder: how can this happen?
These two mothers are nurses. They live in Porto, Lisbon. There, when the baby turns one year old, two hours off a day are granted so that they can continue breastfeeding the baby, as long as they carry a medical certificate each month.
This is the first time that two women have been forced to show that they are not lying, that they are still breastfeeding their children. They, nurses of the Sao Joao and Santo António Hospitals, they denounced the facts. The only response they received was: 'next time, refuse to do it'.
This has generated controversy over the act of breastfeeding itself and the unethical gesture of having to justify that you feed your baby. The two women were told that a 'milk evidence test' was necessary. However, Portuguese legislation only establishes the obligation to deliver a medical note stating that the woman continues to breastfeed the baby. The argument these doctors used to convince these women to take the plunge and express their milk is that many other women lie and take advantage of the reduced working hours when they have stopped breastfeeding their baby. The result has been a humiliating act for affected women.
It is not the same to live in the UK or Norway than in Spain or the US. The rights of mothers change, a lot. While in the United Kingdom 58 weeks of maternity leave are granted (more than 365 days), in Spain it is only 16 weeks. Worse is the case of the US, where maternity leave is reduced to 12 weeks (and without pay). In countries like Malaysia the rights of pregnant women are even worse. There, mothers only have 9 weeks (two months), something that violates the recommendations of the International Workers Organization, which establishes a minimum of 14 weeks of maternity leave.
You can read more articles similar to Having to show that you breastfeed your baby, in the category of On-site breastfeeding.