NUTR 1322 Basic Nutrition Discussion Post 8
NUTR 1322 Basic Nutrition Discussion Post 8
As I think about some of the negative comments I have heard about breastfeeding, I believe all of them were related to practicing breastfeeding in public. Women said that it is embarrassing and exposing, while men believed that it is sexually immoral and can be viewed as sexual exhibitionism. I agree with findings by Sheehan et al. (2019) that social disapproval of breastfeeding is attributed to the sexualization of the breast. The perceptions of breasts as sex organs has an impact on how women who breastfeed are perceived and treated. In other words, there appears to exist a conflict between seeing women as sexual beings and as mothers, which results in the discomfort with breastfeeding in public. In regard to breastfeeding in the comfort of their own home, I have never heard a single negative comment, as it is generally understood that this practice is beneficial for both the mother and her infant. Nevertheless, if I had to counteract negative beliefs and attitudes, I would educate people about the benefits of breastfeeding and why this practice should be encouraged.
Unfortunately, the media and advertising do not portray breastfeeding as a process that should be encouraged. Instead, we see promotion of infant formula and other products, claiming that those are as good and beneficial as breast milk. This, as DeBruyne et al. (2016) states, sends a misleading message that formula can substitute breast milk and perhaps even be favored over it. To increase breastfeeding support, I think that both men and women should encourage this practice by learning adequate and accurate information and sharing it with others in order to promote healthy perceptions of breastfeeding. As the experience of one of my friends showed me, when both the mother and the father of an infant have the necessary knowledge about breastfeeding, they can make informed choices. For instance, my friend, knowing how beneficial it was to breastfeed, continued this practice until her child reached 2 years of age, despite some of her relatives saying that she should have stopped after her child was 6 months old. Right now, my friend’s child is strong, healthy, and resilient, and the pediatrician attributes this to successful breastfeeding.
Dear William, great post post! You shared a very interesting perspective on breastfeeding. I agree that this process is not seen as normal in Western culture due to oversexualization of female breasts and appearance. Culture also discourages women from breastfeeding in public due to belief that that would be sexually immoral. I think that proper education of the public is key to normalizing breastfeeding. Our society should encourage mothers to breastfeed their infants, as this process is beneficial for both. However, I disagree with you take on how feminism views motherhood. Being a mother is not seen as servitude, according to this approach. On the contrary, it is encouraged, but only if a woman wishes to pursue this path. In other words, feminism emphasizes the importance of having a choice and not be pressured to do something a person might not want to do, including being a mother.
Hello Josh, it was very interesting for me to read about your personal experience with breastfeeding. I agree with your observations that this practice is not seen by many as something that is normal and something that should be encouraged. One of my friends also received many negative comments because she breastfed till her child reached the age of 2 years. I think that the public should receive adequate education about breastfeeding to change their attitudes and beliefs. I am glad that you had a person who guided and supported you during your breastfeeding experience. I hope that our society evolves and learns that this process is not something that should be sexualized and avoided or discouraged.
DeBruyne, L K., Pinna, K., & Whitney, E. (2016). Nutrition and diet therapy. Cengage Learning.
Sheehan, A., Gribble, K., Schmied, V. (2019). It’s okay to breastfeed in public but… International Breastfeeding Journal, 14(24), 1-11.
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