Many nutritionists and health practitioners have advocated that babies should be exclusively breastfed during the first six months of their lives and this should continue for up to one year. According to many scientific studies, breastfeeding is associated with various advantages, such as contributing positively to the general development and growth of the baby as well as increasing their immunity to fight chronic and acute illnesses. Despite its numerous benefits, the breastfeeding in public controversy rages on. Opponents feel that it should only be done in privacy while proponents do not see why it cannot be conducted in public. To understand the breastfeeding in public controversy, it is important to consider both arguments.
Those for Breast Feeding in Public
Brest feeding is the most convenient way of feeding a baby because the mother does not have to worry about the temperature of the milk or its cleanliness. At times, it becomes necessary to travel with the baby may be for a routine doctor’s visit or to attend to personal needs. At such times the baby can demand to be fed while you are in a public place and in most cases, the mother will just have to comply. On the other hand, breasts become sore and tender when the baby does not feed or the milk is not expressed. At times, this can lead to inflammation of the breasts and the mother can suffer from mastitis. Most mothers argue that it is tiring to keep on going back home to nurse the baby or express milk just because they are in a public place instead of just breast feeding the baby.
Those Against Public Breast Feeding
The breastfeeding in public controversy arose because of the indecent exposure laws that were passed in most states. A woman right to breast feed the child in public places, such as parks, squares, street and beaches can be limited by the indecent exposure and public nudity laws. All the states have some restrictions regarding public nudity. In some states, women breasts are viewed as private parts and should not be exposed in public. Some states have amended this law and addressed breastfeeding while others have excluded it from public nudity laws.
In the 21st century, most people would assume that the breastfeeding in public controversy would not exist. However, it still exists because women breasts have become a symbol of sexuality and not motherhood. Advertisers have used pictures of breasts to market their products, such as lingerie, perfumes, cars, clothes and shoes among others. Pictures of women exposing their breasts on music videos have become the selling point for many artists. Opponents of breastfeeding in public places argue that when a woman exposes her breast, it might arouse sexual feelings in a man, who views breasts in another way.