Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

“#discrimination”: The online response to a case of a breastfeeding mother being ejected from a UK retail premises

Grant, Aimee ORCID: 2016. “#discrimination”: The online response to a case of a breastfeeding mother being ejected from a UK retail premises. Journal of Human Lactation 32 (1) , pp. 141-151. 10.1177/0890334415592403

Full text not available from this repository.


Background: Stigma is a significant barrier to breastfeeding. Internationally, mothers have reported stigma surrounding public breastfeeding. In the United Kingdom, the Equality Act 2010 gives women the right to breastfeed in public, including within private businesses. In April 2014, a woman who was breastfeeding in a UK sports shop was asked to leave, resulting in a localized protest by breastfeeding mothers. This resulted in the issue of public breastfeeding being highlighted in local, national, and social media. Objective: To examine online opinion regarding breastfeeding in public and protesting about the right to breastfeed in public within the context of a single case. Methods: Online user-generated content relating to the case of Wioletta Komar was downloaded from Twitter and the comments section of a UK online news source, Mail Online. Data comprised 884 comments and 1210 tweets, collected within 24 hours of the incident. Semiotic and thematic analysis was facilitated by NVivo 10. Results: Comments from Twitter were supportive (76%) or neutral (22%) regarding the protesting women and public breastfeeding. Conversely, Mail Online comments were mostly negative (85%). Mail Online posters questioned the legality of public breastfeeding, while Twitter comments acknowledged and supported women’s legal right to breastfeed publicly. Many Mail Online commenters stated that they found it uncomfortable to watch breastfeeding or thought it was unnecessary to breastfeed in public. Conclusion: If the UK government is serious about increasing breastfeeding, interventions to promote public support for public breastfeeding are urgently required.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 0890-3344
Date of Acceptance: 27 May 2015
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2022 10:33

Citation Data

Cited 14 times in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item