(MENAFN - AFP) Hundreds of mothers gathered to breastfeed their babies in a park in Bogota Friday, in a "nurse-in" demonstration aimed at raising acceptance of the practice and promoting its health benefits.
Nearly 1,000 families met in the city's Parque de Los Novios for the fourth event of its type in the city, organized by the mayor's office.
Similar protests have taken place elsewhere in Latin America and around the world in recent years, often in response to cases of women being told to stop feeding their babies in public places.
"The message is not only the importance of mothers breastfeeding their children due to its nutritional quality, but also that society should accept it without discrimination, understanding that it is a right for children and mothers," said Maria Consuelo Araujo, Bogota's social integration secretary.
Mother-of-three Yuri Corredor, 32, told AFP another woman recently told her to cover up while she was feeding her seven-month-old baby.
"Times have changed so much that nowadays, it is less of a problem to show your breasts on social media than to use them to feed your baby in the street," she said.
Breastfeeding is encouraged by the World Health Organization (WHO) as providing all the necessary nutrition for healthy growth and development -- but a 2011 report by the US Department of Health suggested that in practice mothers can face many barriers to breastfeeding.
According to the report, these may include social and cultural norms, a lack of opportunity or time if a mother has to work, or lack of knowledge about how to breastfeed and overcome lactation problems.