Sunday, May 4, 2014

Searcher- Anti-breastfeeding Employers

This past week in class we discussed the differences in breast feeding habits between different countries. This article on New York Times states just why the United States has such a low level of breastfeeding. As a developed country much of our female population is employed and unfortunately we are one of the few countries that offers employed women help with maternity.  Many employers do not pay women for extended periods of maternity leave. They also do not provide adequate space for breastfeeding nor do they pay women during breaks needed for breastfeeding. Reasons for the lack of support for breastfeeding is that we live in a society that has access to different forms of nutrition for babies and clean water. As a result, it is more cost-effective for women to buy baby formula as opposed to breastfeeding. However, these different forms of feeding do not provide the babies with the proper immune supplements that would be provided in breastmilk. Due to this women have to choose between the nutrients they give their children or the amount of money they lose. Seeing as how only 35% of babies (3 months and older) are breastfeed it is clear to see that most American women chose to give their babies formula rather than losing money and jeopardizing their careers due to the lack of support from working environments. 

Friday, May 2, 2014


I think that breastfeeding at an old age is weird. A child should not need to drink his/her mother’s milk if they are able to ingest other types of food. I understand if a mother wants to give her child breast milk instead of formula, but when the child moves on to harder food they should not need to consume the breast milk. In this article I found it is talking about a women that breastfed her child until she was six years old. It goes into how this mother wrote a book on it and tells us some of the reactions that people had from it. Most of the reactions were negative because they thought it was inappropriate. The article says that some men that read it saw the breastfeeding as some type of pleasure the mother receives from it. They said that she probably gets turned on by it. I have some sort of the same reaction. I do not think that it is necessary for a child to be breastfed for this amount of time when there is other ways to have your child receive the same nutrients. I think that the mother secretly likes to do it because it keeps an attachment to the child, which is something that I see as selfish. I disagree strongly to breastfeeding a child past 3.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Searcher Response 5/1/2014 - Breastfeeding and Infant Health

While reading the articles and our posts on this blog about general opinions and first impressions of breastfeeding I became increasingly worried about society's viewpoint regarding breasts as taboo over the health of a child.  I am saddened by the fact that the over-sexualization of breasts has potentially decreased the health of a child.  I believe that educating not just mothers, but anyone a mother could encounter while breastfeeding in a public area, is incredibly important.  This way breastfeeding focuses less on the fact that the top of a breast might be peaking out of a shirt in a semi- public place (gasp - cover your eyes!) and more on the health of the baby, who is the primary concern of the mother anyway.  While I understand that formula saves some babies' lives, it is important to also realize, as the title of the blog "Mammals Suck... Milk" illustrates, that humans are mammals.  Would you find it odd if you saw a horse breastfeeding? A primate? A dog?  Just because humans are evolutionary advanced does not guarantee that every bodily function we possess has also advanced at the same rate as out social standards.  Although human brains have developed enough to formulate and understand the concept of socially acceptable behaviors around sexualization breasts and breasts milk have not evolved at the same rate or become less beneficial to life as they always have been.  I would appreciate seeing humans use those big brains of ours which, let's be honest, probably grew so nicely due to our own mother's breast milk and care, in order to think of the breastfeeding controversy in a more respectful way.  By spreading information about the numerous benefits of breast milk, bystanders of breastfeeding may be more able to understand the love and nurturing a mother is providing her baby by breastfeeding, and overcome the social standards set by the concept of breasts today.

While this was primarily more of a reaction to the articles, please check out the article below detailing the rise in mothers who breast feed (!!) and understand why it is helpful for their babies.

Also, this blurb about from about breastfeeding in North America:
"In North America and Western Europe, breastfeeding in public is not generally accepted.
Even if women are determined to breastfeed, they are often uncomfortable exposing their
breasts in public because breasts are culturally associated with sex. In many other
countries, breasts are seen as functional, so it is not immodest for them to be uncovered.
It is very natural to breastfeed in public and women are very comfortable doing so.
Some cultures may have a taboo against women breastfeeding in the company of men."

Searcher - 6 Reactions to Breastfeeding

I have never actually seen someone breast-feeding in public. When I first thought about it, I imagined I would be very uncomfortable if I did see it. I know many people who would even be offended by this. After the readings and discussions this week, I am beginning to think this is a little ridiculous. In the article I found, Supriya Kelkar talks about the six reactions to nursing in public. There is disappointment, embarrassment, WTF, bro, secret WTF, bro, judgment, and anger. She admits to seeing women breastfeeding in public bothered her before she had a kid of her own. She says that breastfeeding is actually difficult at the beginning, and without proper support, women can abandon it. People should start to see breastfeeding as a woman feeding her child and nothing more. When a child is hungry, the mother should not have to go through some large ordeal just to feed him or her.  As Kelkar points out, breasts are not sex organs so why is it such a problem for people? Men can walk around without their shirts and that does not offend most people. Men and women both have nipples. So what is the big difference? I’m not saying girls should just start to walk around shirtless, but I think it should be much more acceptable for women to feed their children in public.

Searcher- Nursing in Public

This week’s topic about breastfeeding has been very interesting to me, because breastfeeding in America has been a topic that has been lingering in my head for a very long time. As I mentioned in class, in Africa, women are free to nurse in public and no one looks at them with discuss or makes a judgment. Nursing in public has been embraced within our culture, and it is natural to us. Seeing that breastfeeding is not embraced within the American culture, and also that people get offended when they see women nurse in public, is very unpleasant. I really want to know when Americans started feeling this way towards nursing. This article that I found was written by a mother who was once ashamed of nursing in public because of a comment her brother made when he saw a woman nurse at a sports event. His reaction was full of disgust which actually frighten the author who I believe was a new mother at that time. These types of responses towards breastfeeding is why most women are embarrassed to nurse in public.

Searcher- More U.S moms embrace breastfeeding

This week we have been discussing the pros of breastfeeding, and how moms in America respond to it. When the class was asked how many of us had witnessed breastfeeding only about half had actually witnessed someone breastfeeding. We talked about how common it is for individuals in America to look at moms breastfeeding in somewhat of a shameful view, believing they shouldn't do it in public and it should only be done in home. When moms are being looked at shamefully it could discourage them from doing the whole thing all together.

During my research I found a good article that talked about how moms in America are turning to breastfeeding more, which is good because of all the benefits and importance that comes with moms that breastfeed. The article mentioned that in 2010 49% of mothers were breastfeeding at the recommended six-month mark while in 2000 only 35% of moms nursed at that six month mark. Another finding this article mentioned was breastfeeding has shown to increase the child's IQ points at the age of 7 if breastfed at the recommended marks in life. If the nation as a whole encouraged mothers to continue breastfeeding at the proper time marks, instead of discouraging mothers, then by having 90% of U.S families properly breastfeeding can save the United States $13 billion a year and prevent 911 deaths annually. These statistics are so relevant, because when talking about breastfeeding, a natural human thing to do is so essential to the successful growth of babies, and we should be achieving the proper rates.