The mothers in Hong Kong had a loud message ahead of Mother's Day: breastfeeding in public is not a shameful act.
More than 100 new mothers participated in a breastfeeding flash mob in the city's subway to protest against discrimination against breastfeeding mothers.
The mothers covered themselves under blankets and breastfed their babies at Tai Wai station and on a train from Tai Wai to Che Kung Temple station.
The activity, which was staged ahead of the Mother's Day on Saturday, was organized by MamaMilk Baby Alliance calling on the government to pass laws on the mother's rights to breastfeed in public areas, according to the South China Morning Post.
Though breastfeeding during the first six months after the baby's birth is highly recommended by the World Health Organization, government figures showed that only 2.3% of mothers in Hong Kong did so. A spokeswoman for the MamaMilk Baby Alliance told SCMP that mothers are still facing many obstacles when it comes to breastfeeding, and insufficient breastfeeding facilities in public areas are among them.
In December, a woman in Beijing subway was harshly ridiculed for breastfeeding on the subway. A Weibo user posted a photo on the social networking site asking her “not to show private parts in public” and that “Beijing subway [was] not a bus from your village.”
The photo triggered a discussion on the women's right to breastfeed in public and the discrimination that still ensues in society.
In 2014, to promote breastfeeding in public spaces, Jinhua city in east China's Zhejiang Province introduced a seat to new moms on public buses. The seat with a special curtain allowed mothers to breastfeed their babies on the bus while ensuring their privacy.