Around 100 mothers with their babies made an early Monday morning protest over David Koch's breastfeeding comments just outside of Channel Seven's television studios in Martin Place, Sydney. The "Sunrise" host apologized to the offended mothers after stating on air last Friday that they must be "classy" and "discreet" while breastfeeding in public.
David Koch's breastfeeding comments were made in reaction to a cover story about a mother from Queensland who was asked to discreetly breastfeed at a public pool. Though the TV host apologized to the mothers who took his comments as a shame, David Koch declared that he still remains firm about how mothers should properly breastfeed in public.
"I apologize if that's the way people have taken it but breastfeeding in public isn't new. We breastfed in public our four kids 30 years ago but we adopted a line of having the common courtesy to others. Others may not be as comfortable as we are with breastfeeding,'' he said.
During the "Sunrise" Monday broadcast, David Koch further explained that he just stated his personal opinion on the matter.
"Everyone's entitled to their opinion. I think you should breastfeed anywhere, any time at all. It's just that I think you've got to be aware of your environment and to show respect to others and common courtesy to others and they should show respect to you as well, but depending on the situation, to be discreet and to be modest," Koch said.
The breastfeeding mothers argued that they have freedom and legal right to feed their infants in public. "I don't go out thinking I'm going to be discreet or I'm going to be indiscreet or I'm going to flop my boob out or whatever people keep saying. I go out and if my baby wants to be fed, I feed him," an unnamed protester stated.
Emma Beddall, a 35-year-old midwife, was among the offended breastfeeding mothers who attended the Monday morning protest with her four-month-old daughter. "We don't want to be judged and have conditions put on how we care for our babies. It's certainly not personal but I was offended by comments like 'be classy.' I don't think breastfeeding is either 'classy' or 'unclassy', it's just the best health option for my baby," Beddall stated.
Amy Ahearn, one of the breastfeeding protest organizers, said she believes that Koch's comments were well intentioned but they had done more damage than he could realize. ''We just want to see public breastfeeding normalized. It shouldn't be something to be hidden," Ahearn stated.