Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Breastfeeding is NOT Obscene

Facebook recently had virtual "nurse-in", protesting their classification of breastfeeding photos as "obscene".    Calling breastfeeding obscene, is well...obscene.

Is this an obscene photo, I ask you?


Most people would say it is beautiful....a lovely example of mother and child.  Words like pureness and serenity come to mind.

The question comes to mind what?  So what if facebook doesn't allow breastfeeding photos?  Does it really matter? 

The answer, is YES it does.  It matters a lot. The health and well-being of our nations mothers and babies depend on it.   Every time breastfeeding is thought of as something that should only happen behind closed doors, or something private, or something that needs to be covered up, or hidden then mothers and babies are harmed. 

Fact:  Babies are born to be breastfed.

Fact: Babies NEED to breastfeed VERY frequently.

 Fact:  Humans (and especially women) are social creatures and NEED  friendship and compani0nship with others.

Fact: Mothers learn how to breastfeed by watching other mothers breastfeed.

If breastfeeding is kept private or hidden then it will never be normalized.  Mothers won't learn by watching other mothers, women won't feel comfortable breastfeeding in front of others, and a mother who isn't comfortable breastfeeding around others is much more likely to wean prematurely.

  The AAP recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six-months and a continuation of breastfeeding for at least a year.   The WHO recommends breastfeeding continue until  2 years of age.

In order for most mother/baby dyads to reasonably meet those goals, the mothers needs to feel comfortable breastfeeding as she goes about her daily life.  Breastfeeding needs to be seen as the normal way one feeds and comforts a baby.  Breastfeeding needs to become the norm.  Hence, breastfeeding pics needs to be seen as normal...right up there with the obligatory first Christmas, or first Halloween pics.  A way that proud mothers can share pictures of their babies.

Hey Facebook, breastfeeding is NOT obscene.


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