Is Breastfeeding Primitive in Today’s Society?
Western culture has taught women that breastfeeding in public is wrong. People attach a stigma to the concept of a mother uncovered and feeding her young, an act implicitly regarded as primitive and vulgar. According to a new survey, only 13 percent of American women will breast feed their infant whether in public or private at the recommended guidelines of 6 months.This statistic shows the fundamental shift in attitudes and values, which says: a suckling child at the breast is an unnatural, unevolved act in today’s society.
The new survey out of Scotland “suggest that for many women this expectation (of 6 months exclusive breastfeeding) is not realistic.” This is, however the recommended guideline put forth from the World Health Organization (WHO) and American Academy of Pediatrics which urges women to breastfeed exclusively for 6 months, based on research. Support for this campaign is being enforced by social representatives in the U.S. called “lactation specialists” who teach and support new mothers in hospitals.
Despite renewed advocacy for breastfed infants, this new generation of mothers are not being swayed so easily. Dr. Pat Hoddinott, member of Public Health and Nutrition Research Group in London, says: “Women do not find breast feeding easy, and they require timely and appropriate support.” And mothers are not getting that support, at least not from the same society that has been trying to outlaw public breast-feeding, until recently.
But how did social norms get to this point where.nurturing your child, based on a basic need, has become barely tolerable, even reproached?
Public protests to public breastfeeding have sparked heated national debates on its legality. For this reason help lines and associations such as the Florida Breastfeeding Coalition Inc. have been established to support women.Continued on the next page