Breastfeeding has been a topic of controversy within society, especially in this generation where breasts have become even more sexualised.
This taboo turns what is a natural, harmless act into a socially disapproved sin.
Lunya, a Catalan restaurant in Manchester, recognises the mothers’ struggle and provides a refreshing view on the matter by offering a free drink to breastfeeding mothers.
Owners Elaine and Peter Kinsella endeavour to create a ‘home from home’ atmosphere making people feel relaxed, secure, and welcomed.
As well as this beautiful inclusive idea, their Spanish menu is wonderfully varied with dishes even the kids can enjoy like meatballs, Spanish omelette, and crispy chicken strips.
This family-run restaurant is devoted to bringing the tastes of Catalan to life for people of all ages and welcomes families especially.
The Kinsellas are keen on the idea to “support the evolution of social order” and normalise breastfeeding because after all it is “feeding a baby, nothing else”.
They attract on average five breastfeeding mothers per month with their new scheme but plan to expand that number with more publicity. Everyone is welcome.
In Lunya they know that the taboo surrounding this topic derives from the hyper-sexualisation of breasts therefore they ensure that women know they are in an environment where they will not be judged or scrutinised for feeding their baby in the restaurant.
We then took this subject to the streets and asked members of the public their thoughts and experiences about public breastfeeding.
Responses varied slightly from “initially I felt self conscious but now I don’t,” to “never felt comfortable enough,” to “I was applauded in a fancy restaurant.”
Every woman’s public breastfeeding experience is different yet there is one obvious similarity – they all at one point felt scared. Could this be due to societal pressures?
Opinions also ranged with some remarking that it would be “normalised if more people have the guts to do it,” compared to other comments “don’t be so obvious.”
Clearly the subconscious shame of publicly breastfeeding is still an issue which is why public spaces like Lunya are especially essential to make women feel at ease because after all, they are simply feeding their child.
World Breastfeeding Week runs from Aug 1-7. For more information click here.
If you are interested in visiting Lunya find them in Barton Arcade on Deansgate – M3 2BB
Image courtesy of Chris Alban Hansen via Flickr, with thanks.