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Brazilian City to Fine People Who Shame Breastfeeding

The city of São Paolo in Brazil is sending a clear message to its citizens: If you're bothered by the sight of a mother breastfeeding, get over it. And they've followed that sentiment up with action by recently passing legislation that would fine organizations—both public and private—who prevent a woman from breastfeeding in public. Under this new law, violators will be fined around $150.

Councillor Aurelio Nomura told the Guardian, "We created this measure not only because of the fine, but to make people realize it is forbidden to veto [breastfeeding] ... we understand that prejudices must be broken."

The legislation comes after nursing mothers took to the streets of São Paolo in protest of regularly facing discrimination while breastfeeding their children. Common incidents included being called a "slut" by passers-by and being scolded by officials for "embarrassing" other people. Brazilian model Priscila Navarro Bueno—who was shamed by a security guard for nursing her 7-month-old in front of a museum last year—says, "Unfortunately society is still very puritanical. During Carnival, women can show their breasts, but it is not permitted to do so to give milk to your child. It is absurd that woman have to breastfeed in a hidden room."

The World Health Organization and various health authorities across the globe state that breast milk is the "best source of nourishment" for infants and recommend able mothers to nurse their babies for at least the first six months.

MORE: Israeli Mom Refuses to Breastfeed in Bathrooms

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