His remarks followed a Queensland story about a woman who was told she couldn’t breastfeed her baby at Bribie Island pool last weekend.
Liana Webster told the Courier Mail last week, “A staff member came up to me and told me I wasn’t allowed to feed there, that I had to refrain from feeding out in the open.”
She has since received an apology from Moreton Bay Regional Council.
The story drew comment on Sunrise on Friday when Koch said it was ”fair enough” that an attendant had asked her to move.
“I totally think women should be able to breastfeed in public but I just think they should be a bit classy about it,” he said.
”I’ve never seen it done in such a high-traffic area,” he said.
The issue was debated on Sunrise during Kochie’s Angels but all three women, Sarrah le Marquand, Kate Waterhouse and Sarah Wilson all disagreed with Koch.
Liana Webster also posted on the Nurse-in Facebook page, ”I was … in an indoor pool with approximately seven people in and around the pool, which I would not exactly call ‘high traffic’. You do not know the facts so you may as well not comment,” she wrote.
Koch has since posted on Twitter:
For those who obviously didn’t see @sunriseon7 & are getting my comments 2nd & 3rd hand I did NOT say women shouldn’t breast feed in public
Women should be able to breast feed in public. I have 2 breast feeding daughters at the moment.
But I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect breast feeding in public is done discreetly. I think that’s just a common courtesy to others.
But a Facebook page is planning a protest outside the Sunrise studios from 7am tomorrow:
After David Koch agreed that a Bribie Island mother being told to move to a more discreet area while breast feeding her baby was acceptable, a nurse-in is without doubt needed at the Sunrise studio in Sydney. Join us on Monday morning to take a stand against this unfair view.
All parents – breast or bottle feeding – are welcome. Everyone should (and does, legally!) have the right to feed their babies however they choose, wherever they are and whenever they need to!
We are setting the meeting time for 7am so please aim to be there then so that we can have a huge crowd! Plenty of us are planning to hang around for the entirety of the show though so please pop down whenever you can to show your support
So far 542 Facebook users have indicated they plan to attend.
Update: In light of some comments I am linking in the Australian National Breastfeeding Strategy:
Breastfeeding protection is about enabling mothers to breastfeed their babies and young children anywhere a mother and child have a right to be, with confidence and without harassment. Breastfeeding protection includes legislative and regulatory environments, leave and employment entitlements, and the creation of baby and breastfeeding friendly environments in the health system and broader community. There is some overlap between the concepts of breastfeeding protection and promotion.