Nurse-In at Westmead Children’s Hospital

entranceTomorrow (6th of June 2014) between 1pm-2pm Lactivists Australia are hosting a Nurse-In at Westmead’s Children’s Hospital after a mother, Alison Smith, was told by staff in the sibling childcare centre of the hospital that she couldn’t breastfeed her crying child there – she was told she would bother the children and was directed to breastfeed in a nearby storeroom.

The Westmead Hospital has since issued an apology to Alisson Smith in writing and are putting up signs around the hospital regarding women’s right to breastfeed.

The Nurse-In is going ahead as planned and Lactivitist Australia have made a statement regarding why they host Nurse-Ins:

Why do we hold nurse-ins?

Lactivists Australia holds nurse-ins for three main reasons.

Firstly, to encourage the institution at which discrimination has occurred to take the opportunity to educate its staff, so that such an incident will never take place there again.

Secondly, to use the incident to bring attention to the laws in the wider community, so that other businesses, individuals and institutions who may have thought it was okay to discriminate against a breastfeeding mother and child understand that such an action is illegal and unacceptable.

Thirdly, we hold our nurse-ins to show solidarity with the thousands of women across the world who experience this discrimination and harassment on a daily basis, and to lend support to mothers who may have felt discouraged to breastfeed in public for fear of harassment and intimidation.

When we hold nurse-ins, the most positive outcomes occur when businesses/institutions investigate the matter, admit that it took place and commit to educating their staff about following the relevant State and Federal laws, which protect a woman’s right to breastfeed whenever she needs to, wherever she is legally entitled to be.”

–       Lactivists Australia

Details about the Nurse In can be found here – Nurse-in At Westmead Children’s Hospital. 


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Rachel Stewart

Rachel is the founder of Parenting Central Australia. She is raising two children, boy and girl, with her partner.She has a background in early childhood education, but right now is content to be a stay at home mum.She is passionate about birthing rights, breastfeeding and mental health. She enjoys crafting, drinking coffee (sometimes wine) and spending a little too much time on Facebook.

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