Mums can breastfeed everywhere in the Dudley borough. Whether it’s in the town centre, enjoying the sunshine in the park, waiting to pick up the little ones at the school gate, at the shops, or just simply waiting for a bus, breastfeeding is a completely natural thing to do.

Breastfeeding is a natural thing to do

As well as being free and convenient, breastfeeding provides increased immunity for your baby and can help form the bond between mother and child. Breast milk is the perfect temperature and is available whenever and wherever your baby needs a feed making it easier for mothers who want to go out and about.

Healthy mum

Breastfeeding may also help the mother get her figure back faster, and protect the mother from premenopausal breast and ovarian cancers.

Healthy baby

Breastfeeding is the healthiest way to feed your baby. If possible, giving your baby breast milk only is recommended for the first six months of your baby’s life.

After that, giving your baby breast milk alongside other food will continue to give them protection and help them to grow and develop.

Any amount of breastfeeding will have a positive effect. The longer you breastfeed, the longer the protection lasts, and the greater the benefits.

Breast milk protects your baby against many health conditions including:

Chest infections

Babies have a limited immune system and they can’t fight infections on their own so all of your infection-fighting antibodies are passed on through your breastmilk, helping to boost your baby’s immune system.

Tummy upsets

Your breastmilk helps to coat the lining of your baby’s gut and contains enzymes that can kill harmful bacteria.

Ear infections

When your baby breastfeeds, the way the baby sucks helps to protect them from the risk of ear infections by building up their muscles.  The breastmilk can also help develop your baby’s immune system. Babies suck differently from a bottle, which makes it more likely to get ear infections.


Unlike bottle feeding, breastfed babies satisfy their own appetite, which is an important skill that will last a lifetime. The very first milk you will feed your baby is called colostrum and it’s packed full of nutrients and antibodies, which unlike bottle feeding, doesn’t stretch your baby’s tummy more than it should. The fact that your breastmilk is constantly changing helps your baby recognise when to stop feeding and it helps them to learn to control their own appetite.

What does the law say?

The new Equality Act says treating a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding is an act of sex discrimination. The new Equality act applies to anyone providing services, benefits, facilities and premises to the public, public bodies, further and higher education bodies and association.

Service providers include most organisations that deal directly with the public. Service providers must not discriminate, harass or victimise a woman because she is breastfeeding.

Discrimination includes refusing to provide a service, providing a lower standard of service or providing a service on different terms. Therefore, a cafe owner cannot ask you to stop breastfeeding or refuse to serve you.

How long does protection apply for?

There is no age restriction, the law protects you for as long as you wish to breastfeed your baby.

Where can a woman breastfeed?

You are protected in public places such as parks, sports and leisure facilities, public buildings and when using public transport such as buses, trains and planes. You are protected in shops, public, restaurants and hotels regardless of how big of small. You are also protected in places like hospitals, theatres, cinemas and petrol stations.

What can I do if I am discriminated against because I am breastfeeding?

Firstly, you should make a complaint to the organisation that has discriminated against you. Most service providers, educational bodies and other groups should have a complaints procedure, and if not, you should ask who to complain to.

If you cannot resolve the matter you can bring an action in a county court in England or Wales or a sheriffs court in Scotland but you should seek advice as these can be expensive cases to bring. You must start the case within 6 months of the date of the act you are complaining about. This time limit will only be extended where it is just and equitable. If you win your case the court can order compensation, an injunction or a declaration but if you lose you may be ordered to pay the other side’s legal costs. Compensation can include an amount for injury to feelings.

For more information about the law visit Maternity Action