Breastfeeding mum was ‘humiliated’ by train conductor

A mother says she was left feeling ‘humiliated’ in public after being spoken to by a conductor for breast feeding her baby on a train.

Chantelle Nicholls, from North Somercotes, was on a train travelling from Doncaster to Sheffield last week when four-month-old baby Morgan needed feeding.

She sat behind her pram to breastfeed her. Chantelle told the Leader that when the conductor came to check tickets he requested that she breastfeed her baby in the toilet. She replied she was fine where she was and continued feeding Morgan but felt extremely embarrassed.

“I was completely humiliated in front of a full carriage,” she said. “It was awful. I’ve never had this before.”

Chantelle has had a lot of support on Facebook. Comments have included -

“Outrageous! Serious re-training is required for the idiots. All support to you!”

“I can’t believe this kind of thing still happens in GB. I breastfed all three of my children, and breast feeding twins is not a discrete practice, yet I did it wherever and whenever my babies needed feeding. I never experienced any intolerance but I would have refused point blank to feed them in a repulsive toilet cubicle had I been asked to. Utterly ridiculous!”

After reading online about The Equality Act 2010 which prohibits discrimination against women who are breastfeeding the family complained to train operator Northern Rail Ltd.

Pete Myers, Head of Customer Relations for Northern Rail told us: “We were shocked and disappointed to hear of the incident on one of our services this week and would like to apologise again to Ms Nicholls. We do not have a written policy regarding breastfeeding on our services as quite simply it is the law that a woman should not be discriminated against while breastfeeding on a public service. This goes beyond the law of course, because it is morally wrong to do so.

“We are taking this matter very seriously and have launched a full investigation into the allegations. I would like to assure Ms Nicholls and other customers that although one instance of this nature is one too many, it is the first I have dealt with on our services. That said, this has highlighted there is a need to remind all our employees of the requirements of the Equality Act. We are grateful to Ms Nicholls for bringing this to our attention.”