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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 September, 2003, 12:08 GMT 13:08 UK
Australian breastfeeds live on TV
The Panel talk show ( image courtesy of Working Dog Productions)
Kate Langbroek appeared on the late-night show The Panel
An Australian talk show host has breastfed her child live on national television, sparking a heated debate on the issue.

Kate Langbroek, a presenter on the Ten Network programme The Panel, nursed her newborn son Lewis on Wednesday's show - her first television appearance since giving birth.

Her actions drew a mixed response, according to the network.

"It was definitely split," a spokeswoman said. "Some people were very supportive... others were of course having a bit of a hissy."

But Ms Langbroek won praise from Dr Ingrid Tall, the president of the Queensland branch of the Australian Medical Association.

"We need people who are brave, and to go out there and make a public statement," Dr Tall said. "They make it easier for the rest of us to follow through, so congratulations to her."

"People have to get over the embarrassment or concern about breasts being publicly displayed in this context," she told the Associated Press news agency.

This is not the first time the issue of breastfeeding in public has caused friction in Australia.

Earlier this year, lawmaker Kirsty Marshall was asked to leave the state parliament chamber in Victoria when she began feeding her baby.

Dr Tall said concern over public breastfeeding was an "old fashioned notion".

"We're advocating good health outcomes for both baby and mother here," she said.

Breastfeeding has been found to provide important nutritional benefits for babies.

Research also suggests that it reduces the risk of the mother getting breast cancer.


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