North Vancouver MLA receives support after being criticized for breastfeeding baby in public

Bowinn Ma, B.C.’s minister of emergency management and climate readiness, was the target of online criticism after she breastfed her three-month-old child in public.

A North Vancouver MLA’s decision to breastfeed her child in public is getting a lot of reaction online.

While most of it is positive, it’s not entirely unanimous. The decades-old debate over breastfeeding in public is seemingly not over quite yet.

The latest incident saw Bowinn Ma, B.C.’s minister of emergency management and climate readiness, speaking to a group of people with three-month-old Azalea present.

Ma apparently needed to feed her little one, and did so.

Not a big deal for most, except for a few who took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to blast Ma, questioning the decision.

For her part, the MLA for North Vancouver-Lonsdale said she is not going to apologize for feeding her child when she’s hungry. She’s since received a ton of support.

“I am so sorry that you’re facing such public abuse and scorn,” one X user said.

Princeton Mayor Spencer Coyne shared: “When I was in the gallery at the Throne Speech I was so happy to see you & Azalea. I thought about how our culture cherishes children and [was] so happy to see you both there.”

“Thank you for demonstrating what is not only appropriate but a good model for others. Keep it up!” another X user said.

“Let’s be better and lift each other women up. A mother feeding her baby isn’t the issue, you are!” one person said in support of Ma.

The latest criticism of Ma comes after just over a week ago, she took to social media to push back against outdated and sexist thinking of working mothers.

Ma took to X on Feb. 19 to share an image of the setup in her legislature office for her child.

“She’s here! She’s here! Baby Azalea has arrived at the BC Legislature,” she wrote.

While her post garnered hundreds of “likes” and many supportive messages, one in particular caught the North Vancouver-Lonsdale MLA’s attention.

The X user told Ma to “stay home [and] be a mother” and went on to say “This is not needed now or ever in the legislature.”

Ma responded sarcastically, saying, “A woman’s place is barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, amirite?”

The post also drew criticism from other social media users, who came to Ma’s support.

Ma welcomed her baby in November 2023.

With files from Sonia Aslam and Hana Mae Nassar

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