Breastfeeding in Public

Topics: Breastfeeding, Breast milk, Milk Pages: 9 (3275 words) Published: March 26, 2013
Breastfeeding in Public: A Woman’s Right or Crime
Women were born blessed with the ability to offer the most natural and beautiful act a mother can do for her child. Breastfeeding is a treasurable bond shared between mother and child. Controversy arises when nursing mothers choose to perform feedings in public areas. Select groups of people view breastfeeding in public places as indecent and offensive. It is to be determined if it is a women’s right to breastfeed her child anywhere she deems suitable.

According to the medical dictionary, breastfeeding is defined as feeding a child human breast milk (""). A lactating mother produces this milk. Lactation is the process of producing milk. Human milk is secreted by the mammary glands, which are located within the fatty tissue of the breast (""). Mothers unable to produce adequate amounts of breast milk are in the minority. Most women begin to lactate before the birth process takes place. After a baby is born the mother is able to immediately begin nursing. The number of women that choose to breastfeed their children has begun to dwindle significantly over the decades. Is this because society as a whole has become lazy? Is it because breastfeeding does not have enough proven benefits over formula? Or is it because society does not approve of women breastfeeding in public, making it increasingly more difficult for nursing women to continue their lives after giving birth?

It would be impossible for every individual in America to agree on any one subject. The topic of breastfeeding is not excluded. Advocates turn a cheek at the sight of a bare breast or smile in the beauty of the natural gift. Anti-breastfeeding individuals frown upon the sight due to morals, beliefs, and preference. The issue comes down to whether breastfeeding should or should not be allowed in public. Those who whole-heartedly believe in breast milks benefits support mothers being allowed to breastfeed in public places and those that disagree view breastfeeding as non-necessary, unimportant, and disturbing. Both of these groups not only include the average citizen on the street, but also the business owners of America. Breastfeeding mothers may have a need to feed their child in a park, airplane, retail store, grocery store, restaurant, and even one’s office. How do we deem areas as appropriate or inappropriate when babies rely on the breast of their mother for their nourishment? Should mothers be restrained to their holms until the breastfeeding has ceased? There must be solutions to these questions. The facts and myths of breastfeeding need to be clear and known by the citizens of America. Mothers around the world make the decision everyday to breastfeed or bottle-feed their newborn babies. The factors that help them in the decision making process are not always well-defined. Women must know the reality of the beauty and harshness of breastfeeding. The ease of being able to carry on with their daily lives is a chief factor. Therefore breastfeeding in public must be contemplated. The practice of breastfeeding originated when the first woman gave birth to a baby. In earlier times, breastfeeding was the only source of food and nourishment for babies. What was a common practice has changed dramatically over the generations. In history breastfeeding was as necessary as going to the restroom. Human breast milk was the only food accessible for babies. It was, and still is in many poverty-based communities, crucial to breastfeed young children. According to Wikipedia Encyclopedia, before the 20th century breastfeeding was the most common form of nutrition used for infants (Wikipedia).

Lactating women are not only crucial to their own children, but to offspring of others as well. These women are referred to as wet nurses. A wet nurse is a woman who breast-feeds and cares for another's child ("Wet Nurse"). It used to be fact that if a mother died then the child was...
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