July 28, 2017 Health and family

Public Breastfeeding Still Leaves Some Serbs Uneasy

As the world readies to mark Breastfeeding Week, Serbian mothers share their feelings about their own experiences of this in public.

Breastfeeding in public may not be a hot topic in Serbia’s mainstream media, but it is often debated on social media and on forums for parents. Photo: Flickr/Aurimas Mikalauskas

Milan Radonjic

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Ahead of World Breastfeeding Week on August 1, Milica Markovic, a mother of two, told BIRN that she has breastfeed both of her children in public many times until they reached 12 months of age, and never experienced any hostility.

“I breastfed my children in the park in my neighbourhood, in restaurants, even on a plane, and it was all positive for me,” she said.

“Breastfeeding is the most important way to establish a connection with your child and one of most tender experiences any woman can have. In my opinion, a mother’s attention should be only on her child, not on the people around her,” Markovic added.

Her experience is shared by many other women. But some say they have faced judgemental looks.

Breastfeeding in public may not be a hot topic in Serbia’s mainstream media, but it is often debated on social media and on forums for parents, where women share conflicting thoughts on whether breastfeeding in public is acceptable or not.

In January, the model Bojana Barovic shared a photo on Instagram of her breastfeeding her baby daughter while preparing for a photo-shoot surrounded by make-up artists and hair stylists.

While the photo mainly drew supportive comments, Barovic’s comment thread saw a developing debate, with some claiming that breastfeeding should be done only in private.

Ivana Nikolic has breastfed her six-week-old son several times in public.

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