A breastfeeding mother and her child have been kicked out of a Melbourne court because the judge was concerned she would be a distraction.

The woman was feeding her child while observing a matter in the Victorian County Court on Thursday when the judge addressed her directly.

“Madam you will not be permitted to breastfeed a baby in court,” he said.

The County Court of Victoria.Credit:Wayne Taylor

“It will be a distraction and I’ll have to ask you to leave.“

The woman then got up and left the courtroom with her child.

Melbourne obstetrician Nisha Khot said the incident was appalling.

“We’ve tried so hard to get past so many barriers for women who want to breastfeed and to have this happen in a court of law is just not acceptable at all,” Khot said.

“Babies have been breastfed in the Parliament of this country and in other parliaments.

“I don’t think there is any public space in which breastfeeding a baby should be unacceptable.”

Khot said breastfeeding had long-term implications for mother and child so anything stopping that could impact their health.

“Babies don’t get fed on a schedule of breakfast, lunch and dinner like adults,” she said.

“They get fed when they’re hungry and so when a baby is hungry a mother should be able to feed her baby.”

The County Court has been contacted for comment.


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