Should child-feeding facilities be required by law?

First published: 22nd November 2007

Pang Chi-ming (letters, 22 Nov) appears to think that breast milk can be turned on and off like a tap, but it takes time to be produced. Pumping and storing breast milk takes extra time, and increases the risk of infection. There are also more subtle effects: milk changes during a feed, the early milk is higher in fat, later higher in protein, meeting the babies needs, but stored milk is all mixed together.

If we talk of inequality, why are certain members of our society (babies) discouraged from feeding in a healthy, clean manner in public places; forced instead to use less hygienic equipment? Breast is best for babies, pumped breast milk is second best, and artificial formulas a poor, though convenient and sometimes necessary, third.

The advantages of breast feeding have been known for decades, shopping malls and department stores have had plenty of time to consider mothers privacy but have not acted. A law will make them act.