Sao Paulo Will Fine Anyone $150 Who Complain About Mothers Breastfeeding in Public
Despite it being a normal act, many are still offended by the sight of a breastfeeding mother out in public. The city of Sao Paulo in Brazil have approved a law that prohibits organizations - both public and private - from stopping a woman from breastfeeding in public.
Under the legislation, which is expected to be signed off by the mayor in coming weeks, violators could be fined the equivalent of around $150.
"We created this measure not only because of the fine, but to make people realise it is forbidden to veto (breastfeeding)," councillor Aurelio Nomura told the Guardian.
He added: "We understand that prejudices must be broken."
The legislation comes after street protests by nursing mothers who felt that despite the widespread recognition of breastfeeding's health benefits, including the World Health Organisation and the Brazilian government, they still faced prejudice.
"Unfortunately, society is still very puritanical," model Priscila Navarro Bueno told the Guardian. "During Carnival women can show their breasts, but it is not permitted to do so to give milk to your child. It is absurd that woman have to breastfeed in a hidden room."
The World Health Organization says breast milk is the "best source of nourishment" for a young child, and health authorities across the planet recommend mothers nurse their babies for at least the first six months of life to protect them against infectious diseases and optimize their development.
Breastfed babies not only have better chances of survival, they are also more successful in life. A long-term study released this week showed babies that were breastfed on average went on to have higher IQs, more years of education and higher incomes than those who weren't.