No, that's not my opinion. In fact, I used to secretly keep an eye on breastfeeding moms just in case. I know, creepy, right. But I'm nothing if not honest.
Those days are far in the past for me, though. I now just wish them luck as I watched my wife struggle with breastfeeding so badly that she gave up on trying to get Stella to latch. We had two breast pumps, one for the car and one for the home, and a chest freezer half filled with bags of frozen breast milk. She stopped pumping at around 6 months and our stockpile lasted until Stella was nearly a full year old. I think this is the smartest thing parents can do for their new treasure, provided mom doesn't gorge herself on junk food and other unhealthy options.
There is a reason for the title of this post, and, once again, kudos to my wife for finding the subject matter that set me off this time. Eventually you will notice a pattern: she finds the information, I go on the rant. What can I say, it works for us. She posted a link on her Facebook page for a blog called The Stir, which sites a separate article on Miller-McCune about the public perception that most people have about breastfeeding women. It turns out that, although studies show that breastfed babies end up doing better in school, the majority of people participating in THREE SEPARATE STUDIES thought that mothers who breastfeed are widely viewed as less competent than otherwise identical females. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? As stated above, I believe this is one of the most important gifts you can give your child. Everything that goes through your system as a mother gets passed on to your baby. If you live a healthy lifestyle and eat properly, your baby can only benefit. By the way, the studies also showed that this opinion is not limited to men. Just as many women hold the same perspective when it comes to this subject. Why? Well, let's speculate.
1.) People are lazy-It's just too much work to constantly have a baby hanging off your boob (I guess). We wouldn't want to have to drop everything for ten minutes every two hours or so to make sure our baby is getting proper nutrition. Sure, formula will give your baby essential nutrients, but it won't help baby get used to certain foods which are frequently associated with food allergies (just my opinion, remember, I'm not even a journalist let alone a doctor). Do your baby a favor and eat right, it will benefit both of you in more ways than I can list.
2.) It hurts-Really? YOU JUST GAVE BIRTH! Whether by Cesarean (surgery) or vaginally (enough said), I'm pretty sure it hurt way more than dry nipples. I have nothing else here, giving birth speaks for itself.
3.) Women are embarrassed to nurse in public-There are more styles and brands of breastfeeding cover-ups on the market than I can count on my hands and feet. With the variety in patterns, make a fashion accessory for ten minutes while you are out and about. Or do what my wife did and pump in the cat in the passenger seat (PLEASE not while driving) while zooming down Interstate 83 on the way to the Maryland Zoo.
I understand, there are certain circumstances where formula feeding is necessary, whether it be a disability that mom suffers from or multiples. I'm certainly not saying that those of you who may be reading this are wrong in what you are doing. I do believe, however, that there are ways around formula feeding such as pumping.
It all leads to this: there is a negative perception about women who breastfeed. So much so that one of the studies showed that it is a handicap for new-ish moms who are seeking employment! Can you say discrimination? The more public breastfeeding becomes, especially with our generation and those that follow, the more accepted it will be, and, eventually, public perception will change. People who have a problem with this are uneducated and ignorant. They just don't understand the benefits. Ladies, don't worry about who you might be making uncomfortable in public, use your head and whip out your boob, it will do your baby a world of good.