A beautiful breastfeeding photo from the Xingu region of Brazil. Source: fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net via Kate on Pinterest
Breastfeeding in public is not a novel concept. It’s covering up and hiding the act that is a recent development. Here are some anecdotal insights into breastfeeding around the world.
For instance, did you know that:
- In Iran, “Even though women are forced to wear head covering in public, people breastfeed everywhere in public and it is considered not a sexual act. Similarly women breastfeed in front of their family members and friends openly.”
- Ghana is a very conservative country, yet women breastfeed “without cover and without shame.”
- In Ghana, If you don’t breastfeed your baby in public when it cries people will think the baby is not yours.
- In Egypt “Not breastfeeding is sometimes frowned upon.”
- In Ghana, “Bottlefeeding is for orphans, babies whose mothers cannot produce enough milk, upper class wannabes and expatriates. Ghanaian women breastfeed – everywhere and anywhere.” And that “…this is not the ‘Africans run around naked’ thing. There are very high levels of decency and even tight pants are frowned upon. But your baby’s gotta eat!”
- In Kenya, “Breastfeeding in public is normal” and that “Breasts, especially of a nursing mother, are not regarded as sexual.”
- In Kenya, Breastfeeding until 2 years old is quite common.
- In Liberia, “People don’t have problem with mothers breastfeeding their kids anywhere in public. Mothers breastfeed wherever the baby request for food, they feed him/she to be satisfy. Our babies Mother don’t have problem of breastfeeding their in public.” They are proud of the fact that they are a mother.
- In China “Breastfeeding is viewed as a positive thing, and breastfeeding in public is fine.”
As I mentioned, we (meaning those of us in the U.S. that feel that breastfeeding women need to hide in the bathroom) really need to catch up with the rest of the world. Economic and technological advancment should not result in behaviors that are actually backwards in movement. Sexualizing the breast to the point that feeding your child in public or in uniform, be it military or otherwise, is discouraged and looked upon in disdain is a social, ethical and moral crime.
For more anecdotes on breastfeeding around the world, visit http://www.007b.com/public-breastfeeding-world.php
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