"I'm in favor of breastfeeding, but..."
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|Fri, 08-24-2012 - 7:08pm|
…but not in public!
…but a 2 year old? That’s just wrong!
…but, there was pumped milk in a sealed bottle in the refrigerator at work. That’s, like, a health hazard, right? And besides, eew.
It’s not breastfeeding per se that’s the problem, but surely it’s not ok to expose your breasts in public. Only… I wonder how many people have actually seen an exposed breast on a mother nursing in public. On at least 3 occasions, I have seen hasidic women breastfeeding in public. I have a very hard time believing that the average modern secular person is more concerned with indecent exposure than those who practice traditional Jewish modesty, like, say, Mayim Bialik. It’s not about nudity. It’s about being uncomfortable with breastfeeding.
I figure, most new parents, whether breastfeeding or not, have enough to deal with without such constant judgment.
Of course, mothers who do not breastfeed will chime in that they get their share of judgment. Alissa Quart articulated this position well, but came to the novel and much needed conclusion that the solution lies not in demonizing the other side, but in providing practical support for breastfeeding, rather than dogma. Unfortunately, her fiercely anti-formula doctor seems to have neglected to inform her that it is normal for babies to lose weight in the first few days. This is precisely the problem. Mothers do not get accurate and useful information.
For some reason, the women who desperately wanted to breastfeed, and who tried unsuccessfully, are usually the ones who feel guilty. The ones who made a conscious choice to use formula are generally ok with it. Now it would be great if mothers could all be free of that guilt, but wouldn’t it be better for the issue never to come up? Wouldn’t it be better to get the support needed to enable breastfeeding for those who want it in the first place?
Which brings us back to the initial point. If you oppose any practices that might actually make breastfeeding less inconvenient (like pumping at work, or being able to feed your baby when out and about), or the rights of parents to make their own choices about weaning, then you are, for all practical purposes, opposing breastfeeding.