Outrage after Paris cops ‘bar woman from breastfeeding’ in police station

The internet has reacted with outrage after a woman was allegedly told to leave a police station in Paris after asking if she could breastfeed her infant child.

Outrage after Paris cops 'bar woman from breastfeeding' in police station
Photo: AFP

The incident occurred at the police station in the second arrondissement of central Paris on Monday when a young couple was carrying out some administrative tasks. 

Then, according to the man's Facebook post afterwards, his partner asked for permission to feed their 2-month-old child while they waited. 
An attendant checked with her senior, only to return and say it was against the rules. This news was followed by a visit from a senior staff member, who “took a very hostile tone”. 
According to the husband the policeman said: “It's out of the question to nurse your child in public like this, you're not going to impose this on everyone.”
The couple then left, but returned to get the name of the senior police officer, information which was reportedly refused to them.
The woman later wrote that she was called a bad mother by a separate officer, who “attempted to humiliate” her. 
The couple later set up a petition in an attempt calling for France's interior minister and the police chief of the 2nd arrondissement “to denounce this act of misogyny and to public support breastfeeding in public and in police stations”.
The petition has attracted 13,500 signatures in the three days since it was launched. 
The mayor of the second arrondissement said he was “outraged” to learn of the altercation, suggesting it was an “attack on the freedom of women”, reported 20 Minutes newspaper
Public breastfeeding in France is legal, although breastfeeding isn't as popular among French womenas it is in northern European countries and the United States. 
One study in 2014 found that French women are among the least likely to breastfeed in Europe. 
French national health authorities says mothers should breastfeed for at least four months and note six months of breastfeeding is the best for the child’s health. According to the World Health Organization breast milk is the “perfect food” for newborns because it contains all the nutrients a child needs.

SEE ALSO: 'Breast is definitely not best if you live in France'

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Disneyland Paris apologises after mother stopped from breastfeeding at the park

Disneyland Paris, Europe's biggest tourist attraction, has apologised to a mother after two members of its security staff ordered her to stop breastfeeding her baby in public.

Disneyland Paris apologises after mother stopped from breastfeeding at the park
Photo: Jaime Reina | AFP

Another female visitor drew attention to the incident on Sunday, tweeting indignantly that two security agents had “prevented a mother from breastfeeding her two-year-old baby on the grounds that it shocked foreign clients. In France, in July 2021!”

The tweet was accompanied by a picture of the two agents standing over two women sitting on a bench, one of them holding a small baby. In another tweet, the witness said the mother was Australian.

Responding to the messages, on which the French government was copied, Disneyland said Tuesday it “profoundly regrets this situation and present once more our apologies to the mother in question”.

The agents’ actions were “not compatible with our regulations and our values”, it said, insisting “there is no restriction on breastfeeding at Disneyland Paris”.

It also added that it offered “different places” at the site “for those who prefer a dedicated place” to nurse their children.

In its first Twitter response to the incident on Monday, Disneyland had struck an unapologetic tone, saying only that mothers had the use of special rooms “with suitable and comfortable material such as special breastfeeding seats”.

It changed its tune after being castigated on Twitter by France’s minister for citizenship, Marlene Schiappa, who was previously minister for gender equality.

“Dear @DisneylandParis, breastfeeding a baby is not an offence. It’s good that you have dedicated rooms but no-one knows when and where a baby will be hungry,” she wrote.

“Don’t you also start stigmatising mothers, it’s hard enough like that elsewhere,” she added.