London’s giant breast balloons spark national conversation about breastfeeding

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Giant inflatable breasts were placed on rooftops at four locations in London Sunday to coincide with the U.K.'s celebration of Mother’s Day as part of a campaign to de-stigmatize breastfeeding and pumping in public.<br data-cke-eol="1"> (iStock)

It may be April Fools’ Day but these boob balloons are no joke.

Giant inflatable breasts were placed on rooftops at four locations in London Sunday to coincide with the U.K.'s celebration of Mother’s Day as part of a campaign to destigmatize breastfeeding and pumping in public.

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Elvie, a smart tech company for women, launched the #FreetheFeed campaign and perched boob balloons of different sizes and skin tones around London in order to inspire all women to feel safe and comfortable breastfeeding whenever and wherever they might be while nursing their child.

“We know the giant boobs will raise a few eyebrows, but we want to make sure no one overlooks the way that this stigma has been used to repress women,” Tania Boler, CEO of Elvie, told The Huffington Post.

“The #FreetheFeed campaign is an invitation to everyone to stand with all those women that have felt shamed or confined when breastfeeding or pumping,” Boler said.

The campaign looks to fight back against the stigma around breastfeeding, as instances involving businesses telling women to cover up while nursing their child in public continue to make headlines. One out of every three breastfeeding women said they had to use the restroom at work in order to pump milk, according to a survey conducted by law firm Slater and Gordon earlier this year.

In a pool of 2,000 women who breastfed in the last five years, more than half were forced to pump in an “unsuitable place,” including a staff room, car or at their desk, exemplifying the lack of workplace support for new mothers.

Almost 1/3 of the women surveyed reported having problems with their supply, infections and anxiety. And almost 30 percent of these mothers stopped breastfeeding their children earlier than they would have preferred due to the issues mentioned.

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U.K. employment law mandates breastfeeding employees have a place to rest but does not require staff to have paid breaks to pump milk or feed their infant, reported The Huffington Post.

The #FreetheFeed inflatables appeared at Tanja’s Roof, in the heart of east London, Neutral on Colombia Road, Ely’s Yard in Brick Lane and Huntingdon Estate, Shoreditch, from March 31 until April 1, the Irish Independent reported.

Campaign founders hope the balloons spark conversations about breastfeeding and what it means to be a nursing mother.

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