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article imageWoman says she was ordered to stop breastfeeding or get off bus

By Lynn Curwin     Aug 11, 2010 in Lifestyle
Manchester - A UK woman says she was embarrassed and shocked when a bus driver told her that she had to either stop breastfeeding or get off the bus.
Lauren McKenna, 22, said that she was sitting in the front of a Stagecoach bus with her six-week-old son D'Marion.
“I started to feed D'Marion and like normal,” she told the Daily Mail. “I lifted up my jumper, pulled my tee shirt down and put a blanket over his head so nobody could see anything.
“I noticed the driver kept looking in his mirror at me and turning around and when we got to Ancoats he stopped and said: ‘Are you breastfeeding?’ When I said yes he said ‘You can't do that on here.’
“He said you can either 'put them away', which didn't make sense because he couldn't see anything, or 'get off the bus.”
McKenna, who is a nursing student, said she got off the bus and walked about half a mile to get home, pushing her son in his pram.
When she got home she called Stagecoach to complain, but claims the woman she talked to told her. “Well you shouldn't be doing it on a bus should you?”
She said she will not travel on another Stagecoach bus until they apologise, and is planning legal action.
“I've done it in a few places and have even had old ladies coming up to me and saying 'well done love, but this has just left me fuming,” she told the Daily Mail.
Breastfeeding in public is legal and is often encouraged because it provides health benefits for babies and their mothers.
Stagecoach Manchester spokesman told the Daily Mail: “We fully support mothers who wish to breastfeed their babies. There are clear health benefits from breastfeeding and we are more than happy for mothers to do so on our bus services.”
He said the company has reviewed CCTV footage from buses and spoken to regular passengers on the route.
“While we have identified the customer boarding the service as described, the voice-enabled CCTV footage quite clearly shows that there was no dialogue between the mother and the driver at any point during the journey regarding her decision to breastfeed her baby on board the service,” said the spokesman.
“The footage simply does not match the events described by the customer.”
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