Kids & Parenting

What is the breastfeeding controversy

Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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Mother breastfeeding child
To breastfeed or not to breastfeed
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So what is the big breastfeeding controversy and why is everyone up in arms

To breastfeed or not to breastfeed, that is the question. An even better question is whether mothers should be doing it in public or not. Athough it's legal in way more states than not, breastfeeding in public is a huge controversy as it offends many people.

Here are what people at every end of the spectrum have to say:

Never in public


First, there are the people that think it's highly improper. These people see it as inappropriate as walking around in the nude; in other words, it's something that should be done in the privacy of one's own home. People who are offended by this argue that a woman should use a baby formula to feed her infant or prepare her breast milk in a bottle in advance if she intends to feed her infant in public.

When and where ever

Then there are the people who believe breastfeeding in public is totally acceptable. These people think of it as a natural part of life; people shouldn't have to go out of their way to breastfeed away from the public eye. Many mothers see it as a beautiful thing to show signs of nurturing their babies in public.

How much to show?

Also, there are other elements to the breastfeeding controversy. Some people who are okay with the idea of women breastfeeding in public are in a disagreement about how much of a woman should be exposed while doing this.

Many people think a woman should keep her shirt on and only lift a slight part of the shirt to accommodate her suckling infant. Or that a women should completely cover up with a blanket before nursing outside of her home. In other words, they think a woman should expose as little as possible when breastfeeding in public.

Others are a bit less conservative in their views and see no problem with a little bit more of the breast being exposed or a shirt being unbuttoned.

Is formula feeding equal to breastfeeding?


Another part of the breastfeeding controversary concerns whether formula feeding is as healthy for babies as breast milk. 

Commercial formula companies have touted the health benefits of their product. And it's true that many a baby has grown up healthy and strong on prepared formula. But research also shows that breast milk has many health benefits for mom and baby that a formula can't match. 

And yet fans of both sides are often unwilling to believe that the other camp has anything of value to contribute to the conversation. Breastfeeding moms (especially those who nurse beyond the first few months) are sometimes labled as primitive, tied-down or even sexually unwell. Bottle feeders are cast as lazy, unconcerned about their baby's health, or selfish because they want others to be able to feed their babies. 

Regardless of which side is "right", reality is that some women breastfeed and some women bottle feed. And all the debates in the world probably won't change that. 

And so the controversy continues. 





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