World Breastfeeding Week began yesterday and is sponsored by UNICEF to help support moms who choose to breastfeed their babies. There have been several instances where mothers are shamed in public for breastfeeding, either because people are offended or just uninformed about this natural and perfect acceptable form of infant nourishment. Doctors recommend that mothers feed their infants with breast milk as soon as possible, as long as possible, as breast milk is the best choice for infants. Breastfeeding isn’t new, it’s been around since the first baby was ever born, it is just natural, and mothers who choose to feed their babies in this way should not be shamed or humiliated.
While breastfeeding is perfectly natural, there is also a debate as to how long a mother should breastfeed her child. According to an article by Science World Report, extended breastfeeding, or feeding an older child up to age five or six, is a “healthy” practice for the child. In fact, The World Health Organization recommends that breastfeeding should continue up to two years and beyond. While mothers who breastfeed are shamed in public, women who breastfeed older children are looked down on even more by the public eye. A statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics supports the idea of breastfeeding older children, as well.
“There is no upper limit to the duration of breastfeeding and no evidence of psychological or developmental harm from breastfeeding into the third year of life or longer.”
The reason that breast milk is preferred by doctors over formula is because of the health benefits for infants. Breast milk naturally boosts the immune system of babies, and if continued after the first year, it increases the immune system even more. According to Health Medicine Network, breastfeeding during the second year produces 94 percent of vitamin B12, 75 percent of vitamin A, and 60 percent of vitamin C intake in children who breastfeed.
So, why is it that people are so quick to shame a woman who breastfeeds her child in public? Some people think it’s appalling for a woman to expose her breasts in public, but most women cover their breast with a blanket while feeding their baby. That doesn’t really stop the shaming, however. It seems that most people just can’t separate a woman’s breasts from being sexual objects, and that is the main reason men and women alike get offended by women who breastfeed in public.
There are lots of stories about moms being shamed in public while breastfeeding, a woman was berated at a Target store while breastfeeding, a man told her she was disgusting and called her a very horrible name, but employees came to her defense and asked the man to leave. That is just one of many times that women have been humiliated while breastfeeding their babies. Donald Trump is another person who takes offense at women breastfeeding, even if they are just pumping their breasts. Trump once berated a female lawyer, Elizabeth Beck, who wanted to take a break during a deposition in order to pump her breasts. Trump was appalled, called her disgusting and stormed out of the room. Trump defended his actions by saying that Beck was going to pump her breasts in front of him, even though she had asked for a break to leave the room to do so.
Donald Trump called Elizabeth Beck, an Asian American woman lawyer, "disgusting" because she wanted to take a... http://t.co/vO2M6A0u4f— TFC (@TibetanFeminist) July 30, 2015
Celebrities are not immune to breastfeeding shaming either, recently Mila Kunis shared her experience while breastfeeding her daughter in public, as reported in an earlier Inquisitr article. Kunis has a child with Ashton Kutcher, and they also have another child on the way. Mila said that she didn’t really care what people thought, and that she will still breastfeed the new baby in public when he or she arrives. Mila said that she supports every woman’s choice, but she chose to breastfeed and will continue to do so in public.
What are your thoughts on breastfeeding in public? Please share your comments below.
[Photo by Nikolas Giakoumidis/AP Images]