Disneyland Paris is facing widespread backlash after its security staff told a breastfeeding mum she needed to cover herself or move elsewhere.
Thirty-three-year-old Australian mother of two Laura, identified only by her first name, was feeding her nine-week-old daughter near a ride last Saturday when the guards approached.
“I had my daughter to my breast with three people around me berating me to stop something I consider a completely natural and normal part of life,” Laura told AFP.
“I felt completely vulnerable, totally intimidated and quite afraid.”
The incident gained much attention on social media when a fellow park-goer, Maire, posted a picture to Twitter, and a video by Laura was published by Le Parisien.
Disneyland has apologised, saying it regretted the situation and that security had not behaved appropriately.
In a tweet, the park reminded fans that it had dedicated private spaces for mothers to feed their babies.
However junior interior minister Marlene Schiappa, a vocal women’s rights campaigner, was quick to hit back at the comment, saying: “Breastfeeding a baby is not an offence. It’s good that you have dedicated rooms, but no one knows when and where a baby will be hungry."
Laura told AFP she hoped the outrage over her experience would help prevent future incidents of “mum shaming”.
Low breastfeeding rate
France has one of the world’s lowest breastfeeding rates despite World Health Organization recommendations that babies should be exclusively breastfed for six months.
Around one in three French children is fed exclusively with infant formula, according to data from UN children’s agency UNICEF.
In May a mother was slapped across the face for breastfeeding her baby in a street in Bordeaux.
The move has led to calls to make preventing a mother from nursing her child a punishable offence.