Breastfeeding in Public - Why it is so important!

A few days ago, I wrote an article sharing tips about how to comfortably breastfeed in public. In my mind, all women should have the freedom to breastfeed their babies/toddlers/children in public regardless of the age of the child.  To me, it is definitely a human rights issue.   

Then, I came across this article today about why it is so important for our children to see how normal it is for a mom to breastfeed her child in public.  To be honest, this thought crosses my mind on a daily basis, as I am a lactation consultant raising two boys.  My kids are in that 'potty-talk' stage and all body parts and bathroom words are hilarious to them.  My boys know that breasts feed babies and that I help moms every week overcome breastfeeding challenges, yet they still think it's funny that boobs are involved in the equation.  

So, how can we, as a society, fix this, so that women will not feel ashamed to breastfeed their babies in public?  I guess that is the million dollar question of the day.

So why, you may ask, is this important?  Well, when women feel uncomfortable to breastfeed in public,

 

  • Happy mom = happy baby!It raises the rate of postpartum depression.  Moms feel that they HAVE to be home whenever their babies are hungry, which leads to them not leaving the house as often as they would like to.  They may feel trapped and resentful.
  • Breastfeeding rates go down and moms wean earlier than they may have wanted to, which leads to a higher rate of illness in children. 

The list goes on and on.....

This wonderful article, Why Children Should Witness Breastfeeding In Public, succinctly shares the differences between two societies, North America and Scandinavia, and their perceptions of breastfeeding in public.  The differences are astounding!  

So, what are your thoughts on the topic?

How can WE change the negative perception in our societies regarding breastfeeding in public?