The Breastfeeding in Public Essay Example
The Breastfeeding in Public Essay Example

The Breastfeeding in Public Essay Example

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  • Pages: 8 (2113 words)
  • Published: April 19, 2022
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Breastfeeding is very important to a mother and child, yet rates are not as high as recommendations of AAP and WHO. Investigation of why more women do not breastfeed focus on breastfeeding challenges including issues related to breastfeeding in public.

There is a need to implement strategies which support public breastfeeding and change stigma surrounding public breastfeeding in order to help to increase the duration of breastfeeding. Health benefits of breastfeeding include fewer rates of gastrointestinal tract infections, respiratory tract infections, celiac disease, necrotizing enters colitis and inflammatory bowel disease (Acker 19). Breastfeeding infant for at least one month gives the infant cognitive benefits. Breastfeeding acts as a buffer for a negative relationship between the mother and the infant. Breastfeeding also reduces risk of breast cancer, type 2 diabetes and


ovarian cancer in mothers (Acker 19).

It also positively affects a mother’s emotional well-being. Although breastfeeding in public has yet to be thought of as the best choice for babies, breastfeeding is a vital and natural source of optimum nutrition to build a strong immune system and also has a positive effect in our society. It is advisable for mothers to breastfeed in private if possible this should be done with modesty (Flower 222). A calm and quite atmosphere allows for optimum breastfeeding for both the mother and the baby.

If it is necessary to nurse in public, mothers are advised to be discreet and always cover themselves using a scarf of a light blanket (Flower 222). This is because some mothers are uncomfortable when displaying their nudity thus they should at least cover themselves to ensure that they do the breastfeeding in an appropriate manner. Breasts are

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made for the purpose of nursing babies thus it is not against any public or personal law to breastfeed in public. Since some mothers today find it inevitable to breastfeed in public, they should ensure that in such cases they create a contusive environment for that because breastfeeding plays an important role in the development of a baby. Therefore, the environment should be quiet and calm.

Breastfeeding helps in protecting babies against wide variety of diseases (Granjuet al 256-257). The mother’s breast milk contains hormones, cells, and antibodies that help to boost the immunity of the baby. Some infections such as pneumonia, meningitis, cholera, urinary tract infections, and respiratory syncytial virus are easily prevented through breastfeeding to babies at a contusive environment. As per the Health Research and Quality, these diseases are easily prevented by the boosted immunity as a result of breastfeeding. Breast milk boosts intelligence and thinking capacity in infants (Flower 222). Studies done by different bodies on the benefits of breast milk shows that majority of children who are well breastfed at their early age have better intelligence and greater achievement in their future academics.

Such children are easy to deal with as compared to those denied the chance at their early stages of development. This acts as a warning to the mothers who may shy from breastfeeding their babies due to some public situations. Thus public breastfeeding should not at any reason be discouraged since by doing this denies the baby a great chance in their lives. Breastfeeding is of great benefit to the physical health and mental development of the mother. Through breastfeeding, mothers reduce the chances of contacting some health problems

and diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cancers, osteoporosis and post-partum depression (Granju et al 256-257). It also helps to eradicate the fear and mentality that public breast feeding can lead to loss of dignity.

This helps to develop a positive reaction toward the other mother who breastfeed. Mothers should therefore feel free to breast fore feel free to breastfeed in public. To find a calm and quiet atmosphere to breastfeed a hungry baby in public is quit challenging (Granju et al 256-257). The chances to get suitable place is impossible, hence no other option other to find an alternative way of doing it. Accessibility of a breastfeeding facility also becomes a great challenge in public.

Mothers should therefore not be ashamed since breastfeeding is a parenting practice that the mother does to the baby creating powerful and unique physical and emotional connection. The relatives should appreciate such situations in the community and encourage the mothers. Mothers should not be restricted to the homes. When this happens, the babies are denied the chance to have early exposure and interaction with the public (Flower 222). It also leads to the development of the idea that nursing mothers should be always staying around their home to care for their babies.

This notion denies them the chances be involved in development projects during the nursing period. Children should not be left in the hands of child-maids during their early stages of growth or even to the members of the extended family. Mothers should therefore train on other means of handling the babies and create a freedom for themselves such as public breastfeeding. Breast sexualisation is a key factor regarding why public

breastfeeding is uncomfortable. Breasts are commonly considered sexual objects. This makes people feel public breastfeeding is indecent and should be hidden.

When a sexualized part of the body is presented concurrently with maternity, people get uncomfortable (The Denver Channel, 2011). Thinking breasts are primarily for enhancing sexual activity results in discomfort when breasts go into babies’ mouths. American culture puts much sexual emphasis on the breast than other parts of the body resulting in profound effects (The Denver Channel, 2011). Women have internalized breast Sexualization and have in turn started to see their own body parts through sexualized lens.

Women who self-objectify are more likely to view breastfeeding in public as indecent. Self-objectification is unlikely to affect a woman’s decision about if to breastfeed or not. This is a good thing but still does not mean that social stigma against breastfeeding in public have no effect on the breastfeeding mothers’ habits (The Denver Channel, 2011). Breastfeeding arouses oxytocin release in the mother’s body, which promotes the development of motherly conduct and also affection between mother and baby.

Oxytocin is responsible for milk ejection reflex (Acker 21). It also helps the mother’s uterus contract and return to its pre-pregnancy size. Oxytocin also plays a very important role in mother and infant boning process. The surge of oxytocin during nursing is what makes the mother to fall in love with the baby. The baby benefits from this as the mother is more likely to interact and care. Oxytocin is a very powerful antidepressant (Acker 21).

Postpartum depression is a common condition which is caused by hormone fluctuations after childbirth. Oxytocin is a very powerful tool against this depression. Successful nursing which

produces oxytocin increases mood and satisfaction in mothers (Acker 22). AAP recommends babies to be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life.

This means the infant has no need for additional foods except vitamin D or fluids unless indicated medically. The baby is supposed to continue to breastfeed for a year or for as long it is mutually desired by the baby and the mother(Acker 26). A physician should support breastfeeding for as long as it is the right choice for the mother and the baby. Solid foods should be introduced when the baby is around six months to ensure they get proper nutrition. Babies are born with an adhesive tar-like material named meconium in their intestines.

Breast milk is uniquely designed to help move this substance through the infant’s body. Breastfeeding frequently (every two-three hours as recommended by the AAP) helps remove the meconium faster. Public breastfeeding is the cultural norm in other countries and is growing to be in the United States as well. In both third world and some western countries, public breastfeeding is common and is mostly not regarded as an issue. Breastfeeding campaigns are becoming more common in the United States such as the National Alliance for Breastfeeding Advocacy (NABA) to support public breastfeeding (Acker 26).

These campaigns educate men on breastfeeding. They also support women who struggle to breastfeed. The campaigns encourage public breastfeeding and promote laws surrounding public breastfeeding awareness. Apart from the health and nutritional benefits mothers and babies gain from breastfeeding, there are also economic and environmental issues.

Under some conditions public breast feeding helps to keep environment and its surrounding clean considering some factors. Unlike other means

of nursing a baby, breast milk is renewable source of nutrition (Behan 98). This means, the source will continue to generate milk provided the mother is under good nursing conditions. Therefore, throughout the time breast milk will be available to the baby whether one is travelling or at stagnant point.

For instance, a mother will not be required to carry artificial food packed in bottles especially when travelling for long distance. The artificial foods carried in the formula bottles cause solid environmental pollution. This is because; some public places lack waste pits to deposit waste and hence careless mothers would litter the bottles to the environment. The fact remains that, these baby formula bottles are made up of polythene material and hence they are not biodegradable.

In long run, the accumulated waste to surrounding threats to develop unmanageable solid environmental pollution. Breastfeeding reduces the medical insurance cover which is a burden to the employers. Appropriate breastfeeding to babies helps to improve the body immunity which is very crucial in minimizing vulnerability of some diseases. This means mothers will not spend a lot o funds looking for medical attention since their babies have strong immunity to fight pathogens which may infect the body. This benefit relieves employers from spending a lot of capital in female workers whose children visits clinics often (Behan 90-91).

. Therefore, it is best idea to breast your baby as recommended by doctors to reduce medical expenses for growing babies. Explicitly, the amount saved can be used in other needs or development and investments hence increasing the earnings of an individual. Humphrey (34-35) suggests that, allowing mothers to breast feed in the public may help

to improve both quality and out performance.

Although lactating mothers may frequently apply for leaves to attend their children, mothers who adequately breast feed their children will take such leaves since they are assured of good health conditions for them. This will translate to more time being spent in workplace hence good performance. In contrast, poorly breast fed children develops health conditions due to poor immunity, which means their mothers will spend more time nursing or attending them(Behan 78-79). .

Such incidences will always force working mothers to be off duty or some period which threatens to the general performance and output o their workforce. In addition, parents with healthy babies are less likely to develop depression in workplace; hence they are able to have full concentration in their work duties and tasks. In a research study conducted recent it was revealed that, breastfeeding babies for not less than 6 months in every 90% of breastfeeding mothers will safe 1000 infant deaths (Humphrey 34-35) Death is one source of depression which may hinder performance in workplace. Therefore, encouraging breastfeeding for working mothers will reduce level of depression in workplace and it will be easy for managers and supervisors to manage psychology undisturbed employees. In summation, scholars and individuals have different perception regarding the concept for public breastfeeding.

However, the mixed reactions agree that, breast feeding is natural process which is essential for babies for nutritional value. For proper growth of children, it is advisable by specialist to breastfeed for at least first six months after birth, this is because, and breast milk helps to boost body immunity of a child. Public breastfeeding has also both economic and environmental

benefits which add value to the society as far as living standards and development is concerned. Despite all these benefits, the issue of public breastfeeding has developed a debate due to the mixed ideas on how and how it should be done. Despite the critiques of public breastfeeding for not being the best choice for children due to society ethics and value, it is investable since it is natural process which is vital in acquiring strong immune system which has general benefits to the whole society.

Work Cited

  1. Acker, Michele. “Breast is Best… But Not Everywhere: Ambivalent Sexism and Attitudes Toward Private and Public Breastfeeding.” 13 June 2009. Web. 10 September 2016.
  2. Behan, Eileen. Eat Well, Lose Weight While Breastfeeding.Ballantine Books, 2007.
  3. Flower, Hilary. Adventures in Tandem Nursing: Breastfeeding Through Pregnancy and Beyond.

    La Leche League International (LLLI), 2003

  4. Granju, Katie Allison and Kennedy, Betsy. “Attachment Parenting: Instinctive Care for your Baby and Young Child.” Pocketbooks 1999 6 April 2011.
  5. Humphrey, Sheila. The Nursing Mother’s Herbal. Fairview Press, 2004.
  6. “Mother Ticketed for Breast-feeding Son in Public Wants Apology.”Copyright 2005 by April 2011.
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