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."

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