Successful breastfeeding is a great thing for both mother and baby and it can be a great start in life. From reduced risk of SIDS to increased academic performance later in life, exclusive breastfeeding until a baby is 6 months of age has been proven to create such beautiful benefits for new mothers and their babies.
Unfortunately, many women stop breastfeeding before they reach this crucial 6 months mark. One CDC study found that a concerning 60% of mothers do not breastfeed for as long as they originally intended to. When breastfeeding has been proven to have such life-changing benefits, why do so many women decide to stop breastfeeding prematurely? Many factors cause some others to stop breastfeeding before the recommended age range, but one compelling reason is due to social stigma.
For years, women have felt shame around the natural process of breastfeeding, especially when it comes to breastfeeding in public. Some women address this shame by only breastfeeding in private; however, for many women with hectic schedules or who live around lots of other people, achieving total privacy for every feeding can be an impossibility. When women fear judgment or ridicule for breastfeeding around other people, it can cause some women to stop breastfeeding too early.
We live in an era of freedom and human rights are often celebrated as something worth a battle. It happens that breastfeeding wherever is needed is an important human right and that’s why we want to spend some effort to talk about the stigma around public breastfeeding. We’re not afraid to start the conversation, so that’s why we’re bringing you the info you need about reducing the stigmatization of public breastfeeding.
Why Do Women Avoid Public Breastfeeding?
Making a change starts by changing our perception. One surprising study found that only 43% of adults in the United States believe that women have a right to breastfeed wherever they are. Breastfeeding is a natural process that is essential to providing new babies with the nutrients they need to live healthy and successful lives- so why do so many people disapprove of breastfeeding happening publicly?
According to the International Breastfeeding Journal, one reason for this widespread disapproval and stigmatization is the overly sexualized view of women’s bodies prevalent in western culture today. Many people see the breast as a “sexual” part of the body, even in a context as wholesome as feeding a hungry baby, and therefore view the exposure of a breast as inappropriate. However, there is nothing sexual or shameful about feeding your child, and no woman should ever be discouraged from breastfeeding just because others have made her feel bad about it.
Know Your Rights
Some women think that breastfeeding in public counts as indecent exposure, and is therefore always illegal. However, this perception is usually incorrect. In many countries, the right to breastfeed in public is protected by law. Australia and the UK both have laws on their books to ensure that mothers can feed their babies whenever they need to without fear of censure or shame. Within the U.S. and Canada, many individual states and provinces have enacted several laws.
Even in areas where breastfeeding in public is not explicitly protected in all public areas, your right to express milk in certain circumstances, for instance, at work, is likely ensured by law.
If you’re a new mother, make sure to check the laws in your area so you know your rights.
The Movement For Mothers
Across the world, groups are working to end the stigma surrounding public breastfeeding. A large part of this movement has centred around the creation and distribution of a universal breastfeeding sign, so women know they have a safe space to feed their babies. Other activist groups in many different countries have organized marches and other forms of protest to raise awareness of women’s right to nourish their babies in the healthiest way possible.
When you know your options, you can breastfeed confidently. Breast milk is without a doubt the best option for the minds and bodies of our little ones, and the magical bond of breastfeeding does so much to enhance the relationship between mothers and their children. Every woman should feel confident about making the right choice for her baby, and that’s why raising awareness of breastfeeding rights is a battle worth fighting. Everyone can play a part by being not judgmental, open-minded, respectful and if it comes the time, even confrontational. It’s not wrong to stand up and defend a nursing mother if you are a witness of abuse or discrimination. With everybody’s help, we can make the world a brighter place, one feed at a time.
Who we are
Despite our best efforts to create a world of destigmatized breastfeeding, there are still some times when many women simply cannot breastfeed conveniently or safely. However, this does not mean that you have to resort to formula feeding. It’s still possible to give your baby all of the benefits of breast milk even when you can’t breastfeed at certain moments. Pumping then freezing breast milk can keep it usable in a baby bottle until whenever you, or someone else, needs to feed your little ones.
To encourage breastfed babies to occasionally take a bottle, the risk of nipple confusion must be reduced. Sometimes, breastfed babies refuse to latch to a bottle if they aren’t used to bottle feeding. That’s where we at Teatle want to help. No new mother should have to worry that bottle-feeding might not be right for her just because of the chance of nipple confusion later on. That’s why The Teatle is designed to mimic a mother’s natural breast with REALATCH™ technology that makes it simple for breastfed babies to latch and feed.