Homework Question on Breastfeeding in public
- Blenkinsop, Laura. “Should Nursing Moms Cover Up in Public?” Globe and Mail. September 12, 2010. (Available online). http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/parenting/infant/breastfeeding/should-nursing-moms-have-to-cover-up-in-public/article1704670/
- Blenkinsop tracks the numerous instances of women being asked to ‘cover up’ when breastfeeding in public. This seems to confirm the stigmatization of breastfeeding in public. Although it is legal for women in Ontario to go topless and breastfeeding is considered a human right in Canada, the ongoing emphasis on ‘hiding’ breastfeeding tells us a great deal about the place and value of breastfeeding.
- Take a moment to reflect on this, the relationship to social reproduction and the value of breastfeeding: If breastfeeding is so important and valued, then why must it be hidden?
- Can you think of instances where you or someone you know breastfed in public?
- Why is breastfeeding in public such a challenge to popular ideas about ‘appropriate’ behavior and public space?
- If breastfeeding was more widely recognized as an economic activity (reducing health care costs, for example), do you think it would be more publicly accepted?
Homework Answer on Breastfeeding in public
Breastfeeding is a universally accepted activity that provides health benefits to mothers and their babies. It is affirmed that breastfeeding is recommended to be performed after every three or four hours to prevent mastitis to the mother and low milk supply (Asuri Sirisha, 2011). To the infant it decreases infant mortality and morbidity both in the developed or developing countries. There have been different arguments of whether women should be allowed to breastfeed in public places or not, the media has reported cases where women have been forbidden from breastfeeding their babies in public.
Reasons against breastfeeding in public
Even though breastfeeding is good and protected by the law that stipulates the right of equality that allows people to breastfeed in public other people have had different views on the issue. Their assertions are that it should be hidden or done privately. According to them they find breastfeeding disastrous since it has to do with breasts. Breasts are one of the private components that make a woman and should not be seen leave alone talked about in the public.
Their views are that anything remotely sexual should be hidden or made private and that a decent woman should strive to hide such parts of the body to appear modest.On the same note, they point out that covering up when breastfeeding is good for those people who feel a little shy about themselves and their body. For new mothers who are learning breastfeeding and may not be in a position to do it well are encouraged to cover up themselves while doing it to avoid embarrassments as they expose their private body parts to the public (Blenkinsop Laura, 2010).