It seems like there is a story every day in the media about a breastfeeding mom who was shamed in public.
Some of these stories are nothing short of shocking. Breastfeeding moms have been told to go into a public restroom to nurse. They have been urged to "cover up," and they have been made to feel bad over engaging in one of the most natural behaviors of the human race.
Is it really so hard for people to understand that a hungry baby needs to eat?
Apparently, it is, which is why we are presenting a blog post in defense of breastfeeding and explaining, once again, why every breastfeeding mom should feel perfectly comfortable feeding her child in public.
It's also worth stating that she should be supported and encouraged at every opportunity.
Many Ways to Feed
Today's moms have many options for feeding their babies. Many of them choose to exclusively breastfeed. Others breastfeed, but supplement this with bottle feeding with expressed breast milk.
Some moms must use only formula, and others will use a combination of every conceivable feeding option.
Why? Because fed is always best.
Of course, the majority of moms prefer to breastfeed their babies. This practice has many benefits for both baby and mom. These may include:
- A stronger immune system for baby
- Less instances of stomach and intestinal problems
- Fewer ear infections
- Less chance of developing colds and respiratory illnesses
- Lower infant mortality rates
- Lower rates of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
Of course, it isn't just babies who benefit from breastfeeding. The practice is incredibly good for new moms as well. Some of these benefits may include:
- Faster weight loss
- Stimulation for the uterus to return to normal size
- Less chance of developing anemia
- Less risk of developing postpartum depression
- Less risk of urinary tract infections
- Promotion of soothing hormones like prolactin and oxytocin
The benefits from breastfeeding are not all immediate. Some of them are long term. In fact, studies suggest that breastfeeding may limit the risk of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer and breast cancer later in life among other benefits.
Clearly, it is critically important that moms be able to breastfeed their babies as frequently and for as long as possible.
This may mean that baby needs to be fed while attending a baseball game, at the mall, in a restaurant, on an airplane and anywhere else that babies may be found.
Babies Need to Eat Frequently
As children and adults, we are accustomed to eating three meals a day. Our bodies have gotten used to this schedule.
With babies, it's different. Their stomachs are tiny, which means that they can only ingest a small amount of milk at each meal. This milk is very easy to digest, and baby is able to absorb all of its nutrients in order to get the maximum benefit.
However, this means that baby is going to get hungry many times a day. Eating is one of baby's only activities, and it is by far his favorite.
Accordingly, he may eat eight to 10 times per day, or on an average of every one-and-a-half to three hours. Sometimes, baby will need to eat more often than this, and there also may be times during which baby will eat fewer times.
The bottom line is that infants need to eat whenever they get hungry. It isn't always convenient, and it doesn't always happen in the privacy of home.
What is the alternative?
A baby who does not get fed when she needs a meal is like a ticking time bomb. Get ready for crying, wailing and a great deal of unhappiness. If people are unhappy with a mom breastfeeding in public, how will they react when a crying baby disturbs their otherwise quiet dinner in a restaurant?
Fed is always best.
The Law Backs Moms Up
All 50 states have passed legislation that makes it perfectly legal to breastfeed in public. This leaves breastfeeding shamers without a leg to stand on.
The last states to pass such laws were Utah and Idaho. Thanks to the passage of this new legislation, it is now legal for moms to breastfeed in public in all 50 states as well as Washington, D.C., the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
Moreover, 31 states as well as the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico do not include breastfeeding in their public indecency laws. A total of 32 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have laws on the books relating to breastfeeding in places of work.
This is all decent progress. However, it seems like the situation could be improved if all states would recognize that breastfeeding should not be lumped in with public indecency and that breastfeeding rights in the workplace should be formalized with legislation.
Breastfeeding Is Essential on Flights
More than one news story has been written about a person who was upset about being seated next to a breastfeeding mom on an airplane.
However, breastfeeding serves multiple purposes in this situation. It satisfies the infant's hunger while also helping his ears to pop as the altitude changes. At the same time, it may make it easier for the baby to sleep during the flight, which helps to keep everyone more relaxed.
It would be helpful if airlines would recognize that moms breastfeeding on flights is actually beneficial for everyone on board. Moreover, if a passenger complains about being too close to a breastfeeding mom, then it probably makes sense to move that passenger, and leave the mother and baby in peace.
Breasts Are Not Solely Sexual Objects
When people complain about public breastfeeding, they frequently state that it makes them feel uncomfortable.
Typically, this is because western societies tend to see breasts solely as sexual objects. It would be beneficial for everyone to recall that breasts serve a critical biological purpose.
Those who are made uncomfortable by seeing breasts in public are encouraged to look elsewhere. No mom is breastfeeding for shock value or to create a sexually explicit display.
She is simply fulfilling a biological imperative to feed her hungry child.
Covering Up Is Not Always an Option
Some people have suggested in no uncertain terms that breastfeeding moms should be forced to cover up when nursing in public. The reality is that this just doesn't work for every mother and baby.
Some babies simply will not tolerate having something placed over their head when they are eating. Additionally, it is worth considering the climate and weather conditions. Covering up a baby while she is eating in extremely hot and humid temperatures is hardly comfortable or even humane.
Moreover, many moms prefer to be able to see their baby while nurses. This helps to ensure a good latch so that baby is getting all of the available nutrition.
Once again, people who are bothered by the sight of breastfeeding moms are encouraged to simply look elsewhere.
Championing Breastfeeding Moms
At Euphoric Herbals, we respect every mom's right to breastfeed her baby wherever and whenever it is necessary. We stand by this principle by offering a wide variety of healthy, organic teas and supplements that are specifically formulated to help moms maintain and stimulate their supply of breast milk.
As a new mom, you want to give your baby the best possible start in life. Frequently, that means breastfeeding your baby for as long as you can. This has incredible health benefits for both of you, and Euphoric Herbals wants to help you experience each and every one of these benefits.
Take a look at our wide range of teas, supplements and other all-natural, organic products that will help you give your baby a great start in life.