A new mum has been told to stay away from a WI group until she is no longer breastfeeding her baby.
Nicole Bentley, 37, gave birth to Scarlett Hope two weeks ago but now will not be going to the next meeting of her local group because she feels disgusted with people’s narrow minded attitudes.
She said: “This is the WI, their motto is inspiring women and the fact they had to vote on whether or not I should be allowed to breastfeed my baby at the next meeting is disgusting.” The mum-of-four and stepmum-to-one was attracted to the Sutton Belles group, which only started in October and meet at the Ashfield Play Forum, Morven Ave, Sutton, once a month, because she wanted to meet different people and learn things.
She said: “At the last meeting I spoke to the chairlady to be courteous and tell her I would be breast feeding and she explained she breast fed her baby too.
“I understand people don’t want kids running around screaming when they are at a meeting but a baby that needs feeding shouldn’t be an issue.”
Messages received from the chair of the Belles said: “I sent emails to all the email addresses I had from all the ladies that had come to the meets [sic], to give everyone a voice and thought it would be fair to go with the majority of answers, and I am so sorry but no was the majority of answers from the ladies.
“I am sorry if you are not happy with this but I don’t think it was fair to just have my opinion or answer so it is why I have aloud [sic] plenty of time to get replies. I do hope you can join us at a later date.”
Nicole said: “I don’t know what email was sent to the members but I would love to see it.
“I won’t be going to that WI group ever again, how will I be able to talk with people knowing they voted against me feeding my baby.
“We are all women and we shouldn’t be putting each other down and making people feel ashamed to breastfeed.”
Nicole, who lives on Mapplewells Road, Sutton said she was upset when she first read the message which came through on Tuesday, December 8 ahead of the meeting tonight, Wednesday 8, but is now angry and bewildered.
Breastfeeding mothers are protected by the Equality Act (2010), a law which bans unfair treatment. The Equality Act states that it is sex discrimination to treat a woman less favourably because she is breastfeeding.
The Nottinghamshire Federation has since apologised.
To read their response click HERE