Say NO to the Anti-Breastfeeding Campaign
© by Jennifer McLeod writing as jenjen0703, all rights reserved.
I recently logged into HubPages to check my numbers, and I had received a notification warning that I had a broken link. I corrected this mistake, and the site where the Anti-Breastfeeding Campaign was located has either been deleted by the author or pulled by Google. However, because at least 15% of my followers here agreed with the campaign, I am going to leave this story published. This article also analyzes the benefits of breastfeeding, both for the mother and child.
~ I don't understand how something that is so natural is so offensive to others. What do people think humans did before there were bottles and formula? A majority of these people were probably breastfed themselves... ~ KellyPittman, HubPages writer
I am a mother and have four children, and all of them were breastfed as babies. I was also breastfed by my mother and knew many women who breastfed their babies over the years. When I breastfed my first child, it was awkward. The thought of having someone sucking on me was not appealing, but my baby knew what he was doing, and the experience changed my mind on breastfeeding.
According to the campaign, many people are offended by mothers breastfeeding their children and consider it an act of indecent exposure. I researched this, and according to the Breastfeeding State Laws by National Conference of State Legislatures, President Obama recently signed acts that require an employer to provide reasonable break times and a private location for nursing mothers to express their milk while they are at work. Also, I researched the definition of indecent exposure. In Washington, indecent exposure does not include the act of breastfeeding or expressing milk. It does not sound like a campaign that will pass.
Breastfeeding is a natural, God-given ability that only women possess, and prohibiting a mother from nurturing and caring for her child naturally defies the basic maternal instincts that are deep within her soul. If women's breasts were not meant for feeding their babies, then they would not have been given the ability to produce milk.
Women have been breastfeeding their children since the beginning of time, before the invention of formula and before pasteurized cow's milk was available. Breastfeeding is the most nurturing and healthy thing you can do for your baby.
So, when I logged onto Facebook recently and saw the post about the Anti-Breastfeeding Campaign, which has been posted on Google Sites, I decided to write this article to address this author's issue, who happens to be a woman.
Figur8 creates a wonderful story about extended breastfeeding and why she chose to continue nursing her child in the toddler years.
LyndseyLou provides an excellent analysis of the benefits of breastfeeding, the proper way to hold a baby while nursing, and the proper way to help a baby "latch on."
The Theories Behind The Campaign
The woman behind the Anti-Breastfeeding Campaign does not look at the proven facts about the benefits of breastfeeding. She attaches sexual desire behind a mother's decision to breastfeed her children. The author suggests that women who breastfeed their babies are more likely to sexually abuse that child. He here are more details to the campaign:
- Women who breastfeed their children are pedophiles. Women enjoy breastfeeding will become sexually aroused, using the baby's sucking ability to fulfill their sexual cravings. This could cause the child to become a pedophile when he or she becomes older, or the mother could inflict more sexual abuse upon the child later on in life. The author suggests that breastfeeding a baby can cause orgasm in the mother or cause the mother to perform or receive oral sex from the child.
- No way to measure if the baby is getting enough milk. Because a woman cannot see how much milk there baby is getting, they are not giving their baby enough to eat.
- Breast milk is not healthy. Breast milk is not pasteurized and is provided straight from the mother to the child. Breastfeeding passes disease to the child, especially in the cases of HIV and AIDS.
- Breastfeeding increases the likeliness of the father molesting the child. The author of this campaign suggests that any man whose significant other breastfeeds is more likely to sexually abuse their child because he feels left out and neglected by her due to her "sexual preoccupation" with her child in the breastfeeding process.
- Babies who are breastfed have lower IQ's. Breastfed babies are obsessed with the breast and have little or no interest in their surroundings. A baby has a higher IQ because of the quality and health of the parents brings healthy unity between the sperm and the egg cell.
- Breastfeeding is the "root of most sexual evil." If a woman breastfeeds her children, their is a higher risk of rape and incest between her children when they become older.
Chris Telden shares the truth, mixed with great humor, behind the myths of breastfeeding.
Does breastfeeding make a baby smarter? Read what Write On has to say about it...
Benefits of Breastfeeding for the Mother
According to Women's Health, a project of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health, there are several benefits of breastfeeding for the mother that is not mentioned in this campaign. Years of study and research have been done to prove that breastfeeding is a great choice to make for your baby, and the author of this campaign gives no credit to the following benefits:
- Burns calories! Yes, I am serious. Breastfeeding burns up to several hundred calories a day, therefore helping the mother lose weight and get back to her pre-pregnancy size.
- Stops post-pregnancy bleeding faster. Breastfeeding causes the release of oxytocin, a hormone in the mother, causing the uterus to contract and shrink back to its original size, prior to the pregnancy. This will help you stop bleeding faster after the birth of your child. Oxytocin also causes the mother to calm down and relax.
- Reduces the risk of certain diseases in the mother. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, diabetes, and postpartum depression in the mother.
- Saves money and is convenient. Parents can spend close to $1500 a year in bottles and formula costs. Breastfeeding is free, and the mother does not have to take time to make a bottle. She has a steady supply of nutrients for her baby, and does not have to carry the extra weight of formula and prepared bottles when going someplace with her baby. Her milk is always ready.
Overflow of Milk?
Just for the new fathers, a guide to help you interact and bond with your baby through the breastfeeding process.
Some people feel awkward when they are around women who are breastfeeding. Get the facts on breastfeeding in public here.
Benefits of Breastfeeding for the Child
Breastfeeding not only benefits the mother, but it also benefits the child in ways that formula cannot compare to. The following benefits are contributed by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
- Increases physical contact between mother and child. When breastfeeding, the mother has to hold and touch her baby. I have seen many parents set their baby up in an infant seat and prop the bottle up on a blanket in order to "take a break" or "do something else." This limits your bonding experience with your baby.
- Strengthens baby's immune system. Breastfeeding passes antibodies to the body that are not available in formula. These antibodies help the baby fight diseases and wards off respiratory illness and ear infections, which are common in infants. This reduces the need for antibiotics because the baby is not ill as often.
- Decreases chances of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) form occurring. This is self-explanatory. SIDS causes a baby to stop breathing and die during the early months of infancy. To learn more about SIDS...
- Lower rate of allergies. Breastfeeding lowers the rate of allergies in a child, even if the parents have serious allergy issues.
- Prevents cavities. Breastfed babies have a lower chance of developing cavities at a younger age.
- Decreases risk of obesity in later years. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of obesity by 20 to 30%.
- Prevents many illnesses later in life. A few health issues mentioned by NRDC that have lower risk rates, as a result of being breastfed, are diabetes, certain cancers, blood pressure, and heart disease.
- Fewer trips to the doctor's office. Because breastfeeding is so healthy for the baby, there is a reduced need for physician care, thus reducing the amount of times you have to take your baby to the doctor.
Here are two specific and recent cases about women who breastfed in public and had their legal rights infringed upon.
- Simone dos Santos and the Washington Post describe her experience when she was confronted by security guards in a D.C. government building and accused of indecent exposure while nursing her baby.
- WOOD TV and Natalie Hegedus share her recent story about what happened when she was breastfeeding her sick baby in a VanBuren County courtroom in Michigan.