Society and Breastfeeding

Today, I had an awesome playdate with two new Moms from a group I started on Facebook for our area. In this group, we baby wear, cloth diaper…and breastfeed. Today we discussed how society views breastfeeding Moms. Both Moms still breastfeed their babies, one is around 13 months, the other 14 months.

My son is 10-months-old, unfortunately, I can’t breastfeed anymore as I wasn’t producing enough milk to provide for my son so I started supplementing with formula. I am not writing this blog to suggest in any way that if you don’t breastfeed, you are wrong. Far from it. I wish I could have longer, but with both my daughter and my son I had to stop and supplement and then of course after supplementing, they only want the bottle not the boob. And it all goes down hill from there. Nonetheless, my son is healthy and happy. That is what matters. Not that you breastfeed until they are 2-years-old, or you never breastfeed and only used formula.

This blog is because I can not stand the view that society has on breastfeeding. It has gotten ridiculous. To the point that Joey Salads did an experiment with a busted, sexy girl and a Mom breastfeeding. This was the public’s reaction:

Is that sick? Does it bother you that a Mom can’t do something as natural as breastfeed in a public place. Her breast wasn’t even out! She was covered. But reactions like, “that’s gross.” show society prefers sexy over natural. How is something that is NATURAL, and the reason we have breasts, gross or disgusting!? It upsets me sometimes. Well…all the time. Why is it that I can dress sexy and have my boobs out but heaven forbid I whip out my boob…covered…and feed my baby. How does that make any sense to someone? How do you rationalize that is ok?

In case you have no idea about breastfeeding, let me share some of the benefits:

Breast milk contains antibodies that help your baby fight off viruses and bacteria. Breastfeeding lowers your baby’s risk of having asthma or allergies. Plus, babies who are breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months, without any formula, have fewer ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and bouts of diarrhea. 
According to BabyCenter:

Breastfeeding protects your baby from a long list of illnesses:

Numerous studies from around the world have shown that stomach viruses, lower respiratory illnesses, ear infections, and meningitis occur less often in breastfed babies and are less severe when they do happen. Exclusive breastfeeding (meaning no solid food, formula, or water) for at least six months seems to offer the most protection.

Breastfeeding can protect your baby from developing allergies:

Babies who are fed a formula based on cow’s milk or soy tend to have more allergic reactions than breastfed babies.

Scientists think that immune factors such as secretory IgA (only available in breast milk) help prevent allergic reactions to food by providing a layer of protection to a baby’s intestinal tract. Without this protection, inflammation can develop and the wall of the intestine can become “leaky.” This allows undigested proteins to cross the gut where they can cause an allergic reaction and other health problems.

Breastfeeding may boost your child’s intelligence:

Various researchers have found a connection between breastfeeding and cognitive development. In a study of more than 17,000 infants followed from birth to 6 1/2 years, researchers concluded from IQ scores and other intelligence tests that prolonged and exclusive breastfeeding significantly improves cognitive development.

Another study of almost 4,000 children showed that babies who were breastfed had significantly higher scores on a vocabulary test at 5 years of age than children who were not breastfed. And the scores were higher the longer they had been nursed.

Breastfeeding may protect your child from obesity:

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding as a way to help reduce your child’s risk of becoming overweight or obese. An analysis of 17 studies published in the American Journal of Epidemiologyshows that breastfeeding reduces a child’s risk of becoming overweight as a teen or adult. The strongest effect is in children who were exclusively breastfed, and the longer the baby was breastfed the stronger the link.

Breastfeeding may lower your baby’s risk of SIDS:

A large German study published in 2009 found that breastfeeding – either exclusively or partially – is associated with a lower risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The researchers concluded that exclusive breastfeeding at 1 month of age cut the risk of SIDS in half.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends breastfeeding for as long as possible to reduce the risk of SIDS.

Breastfeeding can reduce your stress level and your risk of postpartum depression:

The National Institutes of Health reviewed more than 9,000 study abstracts and concluded that women who didn’t breastfeed or who stopped breastfeeding early on had a higher risk of postpartum depression.

Many women report feeling relaxed while breastfeeding. That’s because nursing triggers the release of the hormone oxytocin. Numerous studies in animals and humans have found that oxytocin promotes nurturing and relaxation. (Oxytocin released while nursing also helps your uterus contract after birth, resulting in less postpartum bleeding.)

Breastfeeding may reduce your risk of some types of cancer:

Numerous studies have found that the longer women breastfeed, the more they’re protected against breast and ovarian cancer. For breast cancer, nursing for at least a year appears to have the most protective effect.

With all those benefits…why do you think Moms want to breastfeed…HELLO?!?! Come on! It is just self-explanatory. The benefits that it gives you and your baby health wise verses formula are amazing! I breastfed our son until he was 6 months. Would have longer, if I could. But the benefits is not the reason for this blog. Although you know I love sharing health awareness! 😉

Why is it that something so natural, healthy, and important for a woman to provide to her child is “gross” or “disgusting?” When did society go…nope, that is not what your boobs are for. But being pornographic with them…yep, that is ok. It has even affected the military community with active duty, breastfeeding Moms being attacked for doing so.

A recent blog post by Breastfeeding In Combat Boots has raised an issue based on a new card game similar to CAH (Cards Against Humanity) but the military version. One of the cards is “Breastfeeding in Uniform.” As if this is lewd, gross, or inappropriate. If you are at work in uniform and you have to pump, or go to the daycare to feed your child on lunch…what is wrong with that!?

“Let’s face it, breastfeeding is still a delicate issue in the military.  Take a look at the comments on Army, Navy, or Air Force Times or even more mainstream news outlets like CNN anytime an article about breastfeeding in uniform (or the military in general) is posted.  The vast majority are all about how disgraceful and disrespectful breastfeeding in uniform is, and that the military is for killing people, not for feeding babies.” -BFinCB

I know, I know, it is a game. But it is the point that people look at breastfeeding as something that should not be allowed in public. Babies need to be fed. Yes, you can pump and put it in a bottle but most babies don’t like to eat from a bottle that are breastfed. And sadly, sometimes when you do bottle feed them, they don’t want to go back to the breast.

There is something magical that happens between a mom and her baby when she breastfeeds. A special bond. And it saddens me that society has a view that twists it in to something that perverted. I could write so much more on this but I think I have made my point. Society needs to change their view on what is “sexy.” A woman who is taking care of her baby in the most natural way possible is sexy!

What do you think? What are your thoughts and views on the subject? Comment below! And feel free to share as well!

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2 thoughts on “Society and Breastfeeding

  1. I absolutely loved breastfeeding! Aside from the nutritional value, the bond that it helped me established with my children is undeniable and so super sweet. While our society is so accepting of many things, that really don’t matter, we’ve gotten away from the most important of them all…our children. Their innocence is lost to media and the opinions of others and that is why I love that women are standing up (and together) and forcing people to get comfortable, with being uncomfortable and if that means seeing my exposed breast (s), oh well, look the other way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Domonique, thank you for your comment and your views. I agree that our children’s innocence is being lost in the media. Sadly, instead of media bringing people together because of the ease of access to one another, it seems to divide more.

      Like

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