YOUR VIEW: Echo readers have their say on Sunderland University breastfeeding art show

A self-portrait of Leanne Pearce, the artist, and her first daughter.
A self-portrait of Leanne Pearce, the artist, and her first daughter.
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Have your say

An upcoming art exhibition focusing on breastfeeding has led to a debate across Wearside.

Echo readers came in their dozens to share views on the topic, which has become publicly controversial in recent years.

And mostly, you think it’s the most natural thing in the world.

The display, by Sunderland graduate Leanne Pearce, features portraits of babies being breastfed, and was inspired by her own experience with her daughters.

READ MORE: North East artist to challenge breastfeeding views with art display at Sunderland University
Writing on Facebook, reader Fiona Mouter said: “It’s seriously weird that people have any opinion on it at all.

“Baby has to eat what they need, when they need it whatever their age and location may be - let’s uplift and empower women to feed the way they want to without limits or restrictions.

“People need to understand we don’t feed our babies with anyone but our babies in mind.

“I’d advise anyone who didn’t want to see a feeding baby to simply stop staring.”

Joanne Dodd said: "This is the most natural thing in the world.

"The human race wouldn't have survived millions of years without it. It's the people who have a problem with it that are abnormal.

"They've been so warped by the shameless sexualisation of women's breasts by the media that they're embarrassed by women using them for what they are primarily for instead of them being used to sell you something."

A poll on the Echo website revealed that 94 per cent of you agree that it is appropriate to breastfeed in public.

But some readers, though agreeing breast is best, called for women to be more “discreet”.

Bradley Hudson said on Facebook: “[It’s] not abnormal in the slightest and yes it is natural and if you want to do it fine but still, have a slight bit of decency to realise some people don’t want to see it.”

Others agreed with his call, saying there were ways to do it "tastefully" - while many argued that there was no need to cover up.

Michael Cunliffe added: "Lots of people calling for 'discreet' breastfeeding. If you don't think there's anything wrong with it, why should there be a need to be discreet?"

Breastfeed will open at Sunderland University’s Design Centre on April 19, running until May 6.
Leanne will host a Q&A session on Thursday, April 21, between 5.30pm and 6pm. Sunderland University Alumni, as well as members of the public, are invited to attend.

Contact 0191 5153664, or email alumni@sunderland.ac.uk. For more information about the artist, click here.