Breastfeeding in public has been considered a controversial issue that has affected many new mothers who are caring for an infant. You're probably familiar with the issue or have at least heard of it on the news. And with more women traveling on planes, the issue of whether breastfeeding in public should be considered appropriate has had a more profound effect.
The problem is that many people still consider breastfeeding in public to be inappropriate. This is due to many people believing that it is sexual and offensive. In addition, people say that breastfeeding doesn't have any benefits to the child. Many people who are making this argument are proponents of feeding a child through a bottle or don't have any children themselves. Many of the women who are arguing against breastfeeding have never had a newborn child. What many people are not considering is that it has been scientifically proven that breastfeeding has a number of benefits to the child.
According to Parents magazine, breastfeeding has numerous benefits for newborn babies such as helping reduce the risk of viruses, urinary tract infections, ear infections, respiratory infections, SIDS and gastroenteritis for the baby, whereas formula-fed infants were three times more likely to suffer from ear infections or viruses. It not only helps protect babies, but studies have also shown that babies who were breastfed had higher IQ scores later in life.
Let's be honest, this issue is not really centered around those who are proponents of breastfeeding or bottle feeding. This issue is centered around the rules and regulations along with certain perceptions that women have been required to uphold. There is a double standard on women just as there is a double standard on men. Women are required to act modest or follow rules forced on them by others such as not being allowed to show too much of their emotions at work.
This relates to breastfeeding since a lot of the people who are against breastfeeding in public argue that women are sexualizing themselves. They say that women need to be modest and not show their breast in public. They aren't considering the fact that there is nothing sexual about a woman feeding a child that's hungry. They are simply enforcing the double standard that women should always be modest and have rules to follow in society. We have constantly set rules for genders, and this issue is no exception.
I'm not saying that when a woman decides to breastfeed, she is doing so in order to be a feminist or actively go against the double standard placed on her gender. No woman would think while she is about to breastfeed in public, "Hmm, maybe I'll be an activist and breastfeed in public today!" Most of the women are thinking about how they need to feed their child who's starving, and they don't have time to search for a bathroom so that they don't offend anyone who is around them.
Breastfeeding in public should not still be considered an issue or something offensive. It is not something that has ever been considered sexual in the past. So why is it now? There is a reason why it is now legal to breastfeed in public in the United States. And that's because most of the other countries have allowed women to breastfeed in public. In other countries, breastfeeding has not been attributed as something that is offensive or sexual. It is simply a woman trying to feed and care for her child.
It is not fair for women to have to worry not only about caring for their children but to also worry about what other people's comfort level will be if the woman decides to breastfeed. They also shouldn't have to constantly worry about upholding the double standard that women have to follow rules and regulations created by others on what they can and can't do. They should be able to feed their children and breastfeed in public without worrying about others' opinions. If our culture wishes to rid ourselves of the double standard placed on certain genders, then it is time that we let go of the stigma placed on women who breastfeed in public and move on from the issue.