Protesting … Ash Zuko with baby Akiva. Photo: Marco Del Grande
MORE than 600 women have pledged to join a breastfeeding protest at Martin Place on Monday morning over comments made by Channel Seven's Sunrise presenter David Koch.
The women will gather outside Sunrise's studios in response to Koch saying it was ''fair enough'' a Queensland mother Liana Webster was forced to leave a public pool in Bribie Island for breastfeeding.
''I totally agree with breastfeeding in public but I think you have to be a bit classy about it,'' Koch said last Friday on the program.
Indignant mothers and breastfeeding advocates joined a Facebook group, ''Sunrise Nurse-In'', to promote public breastfeeding.
A Channel Seven spokeswoman said organisers of the event were invited to debate the issue with Koch on Sunrise at 8.10am. ''Kochie is not shying away from his stance,'' she said. ''He has no issue with breastfeeding in public but he thinks it should be done more discreetly.''
On Sunday afternoon, 614 women had accepted an invitation to converge on Martin Place at 7am. Another 272 had registered as ''maybes''.
A Redfern mother, Ash Zuko, 28, created the event with Amy Ahearn after meeting on a parenting forum.
''The more breastfeeding is hidden away and promoted as being something unnatural that should be done behind closed doors, the more young women are going to think it's something they shouldn't do or they should be embarrassed about doing,'' Ms Zuko told Fairfax.
She said the nurse-in was not intended to be an anti-Koch event but a peaceful movement to show there was no shame in public breastfeeding.
In response to the social media backlash, Koch took to Twitter to clarify his comments.
''Women should be able to breast feed in public. I have 2 breast feeding daughters at the moment,'' he wrote. ''But I don't think it's unreasonable to expect breast feeding in public is done discreetly. I think that's just a common courtesy to others.''