'I just want mums to feel that they can feed anywhere' - Xposé's Karen Koster on breast-feeding in public
TV3’s Karen Koster has described as “annoying” that people in Ireland would get offended about women breast-feeding in public.
The Xpose presenter (35) has joined a campaign to help try and encourage more women to feed their babies in coffee shops and public places, given that Ireland has the lowest rates of breat-feeding in Europe.
She said that she was baffled as to the reason behind the disappointing number of nursing mums.
“I wish I knew because I hate that this has to be a conversation. I hate that we have to say, ‘Oh did you know it’s legal to breastfeed anywhere?’
“It’s like saying, ‘Do you know it’s legal to blow your nose in public?’ It’s just annoying to me that people would be offended. It’s more offensive to hear a crying baby in a restaurant when you’re trying to have your lunch.
“Keep the peace and feed the baby and just look away if you’re offended. I just want mums to feel that they can feed anywhere.
“I’m pretty shameless because I’m just like, his need is over-riding any mortification on my part so I’m just going to feed him because a crying baby is just not worth any kind of awkwardness.”
Mum to baby JJ (12 weeks ) and Finn (17 months), she said she’s happy to help spearhead the First 1000 Days campaign and encourage other nursing mums to feed in public.
“The fact that we have to have this campaign shows that there’s a need for it and it’s really unfortunate that Ireland has such a low rate,” she said.
“Maybe it’s because we’re such a conservative culture and we embarrass easily and we’re so self-deprecating. It’s that attitude of ‘Don’t look at me, nothing to see here.’
“We’re not body confident as a nation . We’re happy to cover up and we’re not used to baring ourselves. But you don’t have to when you’re feeding a baby. I am very discreet when I do it. It’s a private thing and JJ doesn’t need people staring at him.”
She has joined forces with Neven Maguire and Bobby Kerr for the ‘Breastfeeding welcome here’ campaign.
It sees a consortium of Irish businesses using stickers and signs welcoming breastfeeding mums in a bid to make it more comfortable for them to feed in public.