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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 April, 2004, 19:19 GMT 20:19 UK
Mother's protest at feeding ban
Teresa Owen
Mrs Owen is planning a protest during Breastfeeding Week
A mother is planning a protest after she was banned from breastfeeding her baby in public at a JobCentre.

Teresa Owen said she was sent to a darkened room when she asked to feed her son during an interview at the JobCentre in Newhaven, East Sussex.

The Department for Work and Pensions said it felt a private environment was more suitable for breastfeeding.

Now Mrs Owen is planning to protest outside the JobCentre during Breastfeeding Week in May

I did not have a problem with feeding - it seemed to be everyone else
Teresa Owen
Mrs Owen said she was half way through her interview at the JobCentre when she asked if she could feed her son, Alfie.

She was told it was not the JobCentre's policy to allow breastfeeding in an open-plan office and was sent to a dark unused office.

A statement from the Department of Work and Pensions said: "We regret any distress but she was offered a private room to feed.

"The JobCentre is a very busy office and it was felt a private environment would be more suitable."

But Mrs Owen said: "It was not a busy office at that point - I was the only person there until the end of my interview.

"I did not have a problem with feeding - it seemed to be everyone else."

Mrs Owen is now planning a her protest in Newhaven during breastfeeding week from 9 to 15 May.


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