Over the past few years breastfeeding has become more and more of a controversy. You can see posts on Facebook, arguments on Twitter (and Oprah), pictures on Instagram, and hear about it by word of mouth. Many people are so uncomfortable with the possibility of seeing a nipple while out dining they have to make it into an issue.
The Center of Disease Control conducts a Breastfeeding Report Card every 2 years, and for the 2014 year, I believe the numbers are lower than what they should be at 79%. The CDC says,
“Breast feeding rates continue to rise in the United States. In 2011, 79% of newborn infants started to breastfeed. Yet breastfeeding did not continue for as long as recommended. Of infants born in 2011, 49% were breastfeeding at six months and 27% at 12 months.”
I completely understand all the possibilities as to why a mother would stop breastfeeding. The moms milk dries up, she’s unable to pump at work causing her not to be able to keep up her milk supply, formula is easier, her husband feels left out, her nipples are cracked and causing her pain, milk never came in, or the baby grew in teeth and has begun to bite her nipple. I get it, I really do.
In the report, the CDC includes the results of all 50 states. The state with the highest amount of breastfeeding reported is Oregon at 91.8% ever breastfed. Washington and Montana are trailing right behind with 91.8% and 91.2%. But the numbers significantly drop when looking at exclusively breastfed at 6 months.
State——-Ever Breastfed——-EBF @ 6 Months
The report covers a lot of interesting information that I suggest everyone to read. I’ll leave the link to the report at the end of the post. These numbers aren’t why I wanted to write this post.
Why do outsiders feel they can judge a mother feeding her baby? Why should a mother not be able to feed her infant in public? What is the real problem here? Who is the cause of this controversy? How do we stop the stigma?
*All of the answers to these questions are completely in my own opinion and will start with “in my opinion.”*
In my opinion, outsiders feel they can judge a mother feeding her baby because they know she is already vulnerable after giving birth or they have already sexualized breasts so much that they are unable to desexualize the breast when being used to feed a child. Why question to these people is, how did your mother feed you and why?
To me, there is absolutely no reason a mother should not be able to feed her child in public. Would you eat you sirloin steak and potatoes in a bathroom stall? Would you stop an outing to go home and eat? I will feed my child whenever she is hungry, wherever she is hungry, and I will make sure I am able to finish my doings before I retreat home.
The problem here is this: we, as a nation, censor everything. Why is a mans nipple able to be shown, but a woman’s is censored? It’s because of porn in my opinion. Now I’m not saying don’t show boobs in porn, but porn has to be the reason breastfeeding is such a controversial subject, right? When boys were children they would run around outside shirtless. I remember when I was younger doing the exact same, there was never a problem then. Again, we are the problem here and we are who started the stigma. We started this. We can finish it. We have to free the nipple. Normalize breastfeeding and take the sexuality away from the breast.
In the comments leave a picture of you breastfeeding your baby and tell me why you chose breastfeeding and how long you plan to feed for.
Thank you all for reading this and I would love to hear any feedback you have. As always, stay tuned for more Day in the Life.