A woman currently undergoing a court case in Malta is facing prolonged complications due to breastfeeding currently not being allowed in Malta’s law courts.
The discussion was sparked on local group ‘Women for Women’ a platform intended to serve as a community for raising awareness about issues related to women in Malta.
The mother, who has chosen to exclusively breastfeed her child, was angered by the realization that she could not take her baby with her to court, causing unnecessary issues.
“Why don’t the courts allow breastfeeding in court? Why does the mother have to prolong an already prolonged separation? What is wrong with breastfeeding in court? It’s not like a newborn will know what is happening,” she questioned.
Other women ended up participating in the discussion, recounting their own experiences with this outdated law in place.
“I was once chosen to be a witness and was not allowed to take my two-month-old baby to court. I was also breastfeeding and explained to the police over the phone that the baby needs to be with me but it was all in vain. This was five years ago and it seems that things are the same. When I told them I couldn’t attend I was told there is a hefty fine,” one said.
Some also suggested that there should at least be a side room that can be utilized for breastfeeding in courts.
Another woman spoke of the discrimination that this creates towards these mothers:
“This is discrimination against mothers with babies and breastfeeding women… I understand that children over 4 years can be left at school but babies are a different story. Many mothers may have nobody to leave them with whether breastfeeding or not.”
The National Breastfeeding Policy expired in 2020 and has not been renewed since.
The policy recognises and highlights the biological, health, social, cultural, environmental, and economic importance of breastfeeding.
It also was created to provide direction for priorities and action for the Maltese government working in partnership with mothers and society to promote, protect, support, and maintain breastfeeding.
Do you think mothers should be allowed to breastfeed in court?