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Social stigma of breastfeeding in Public

Breastfeeding is not only an important part of your baby’s nutritional and health needs, it is also very crucial in the formation of a bond between the mother and the child. Breastfeeding is relatively easy and new mothers can quickly get accustomed and will eventually become comfortable doing it after several sessions. But breastfeeding in public can cause some mother’s stress and mental anguish. Breastfeeding in public has slowly become more common place. Some public places like malls even have designated places where mothers can breastfeed.

Social stigma

The social stigma attached to breastfeeding shouldn’t even be there in the first place, but since it is present – it has caused a lot of issues concerning breastfeeding with some sides who are for it and those that are against it. Let us now discuss the items influencing it.

Main reasons behind why people are uncomfortable with breastfeeding in public

One of the main reasons why some people are against breastfeeding in public is the comfort level. Some people feel uncomfortable seeing a woman with a breast out with her baby sucking on it. Actually, the only reason some people are against it is the fact that they do not know where to look. On the other hand, some traditionalists feel that breastfeeding in public is obscene in nature and is something that should only be done in the comforts and privacy of the home.

Breastfeeding past the age of one year and a half.

Another issue that raises a lot of eyebrows, especially in a non-supportive society, is on women who breastfeed their kids past the age of one year and a half. This usually occurs when the mother is practicing infant lead weaning – a practice where the mother does not refuse the baby the breast when he asks for it and at the same time she doesn’t offer it too. This type of weaning can last for as long as four years. Here, the stigma borders on the issue that she is breastfeeding an already grown up child or a toddler. A lot of people feel that the action is encouraging dependence on the part of the “wean-able” child.

Your right to breastfeed in public?

Those Pro Breastfeeding in public would tell you: It is your right to breastfeed your baby no matter where you are, because your babies needs should always be your foremost concern! They are absolute right. Women do not have to feel ashamed because they choose to breastfeed in public. It is a natural process and it should be celebrated. In fact, some states in the US have passed laws protecting the rights of women to breastfeed in public.

Breastfeeding tents or towels

Of course, there are those who feel uncomfortable about openly breastfeeding in public. The solution that can be offered to these women is the use of breastfeeding tents or towels that will help them conceal the action of breastfeeding. There are also a lot of companies out there that make special breastfeeding apparel for women. These outfits can make breastfeeding in public easier and discrete. This will avoid causing discomfort to the mother or to those around her.

Related links

Breastfeeding versus Bottle Feeding
Benefits of Breastfeeding
How to Stop Breastfeeding

  

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