A mother and her two-month-old infant were allegedly asked off a public bus in the New Zealand capital of Auckland, after a passenger complained at the sight of the woman breastfeeding her baby.
Jamie Deane, 24, told Stuff that as a result she was forced to walk 20 minutes to her destination with a fussy baby in sweltering temperatures.
— Stuff.co.nz News (@NZStuff) December 19, 2017
Deane told Stuff she was catching a ride across town on Friday, Dec. 15 at about 4:30 p.m. local time, when her little girl started to cry. So Deane began to breastfeed.
A passenger reportedly went up to the driver and complained.
Deane told Stuff that soon afterwards, the bus stopped and the driver asked both mother and child off the bus.
Deane demanded to know the reason she was being kicked off public transit. The response was because she was breastfeeding.
“You can’t be breastfeeding on a bus. That’s just wrong,” the bus driver allegedly told Deane, according to Stuff.
Deane said she was shocked by the attitude of the complaining passenger and the response of the driver, particularly since she says she was discreet when feeding her child.
“I was fully covered and had a cloth over me. You couldn’t see any skin,” said Deane.
She was upset at the treatment she and her baby were subjected to that day, but added that it wasn’t an isolated incident.
Earlier that same day she was told off by four young girls on a train for breastfeeding, the 24-year-old told Stuff.
“A lot of women around here are getting abused because of breastfeeding in public. I just don’t see what the point is,” the 24-year-old said. “It’s stupid how people are so offended by breastfeeding.”
Deane said that made the incident on the bus worse was that nobody stood up for her.
“Nobody said anything, which is sad.”
The mother said the backlash she’s faced against breastfeeding in public has made her anxious.
Stuff cited NZ Bus General Manager Claire Neville as stating that the incident had not been formally reported, but that an inquiry would be launched to investigate.
Neville said there was no official policy in place concerning breastfeeding on buses.