Breastfeeding in public debate seems to be endless. Many people both men and women find it quite normal to nurse a baby outdoors, others find it inappropriate.
This actually makes sense. A hungry baby who cries and needs to eat can never understand that his mother is out and it is “inappropriate” to feed him/her outside. All of that just because it happens so that others may not like it or it is forbidden by laws.
Anyway, in various societies, the phenomenon is treated differently. To be more aware of breastfeeding in public debate stay tuned! We are going to tackle all arguments- for and against. Besides, discover which side enjoys legal protection in different countries and regions.
How Was the Breastfeeding in Public Debate Risen?
Do you know that watching Mary nursing Christ was a blessing to medieval Christians? Consider Leonardo Da Vinci as well. His painting of Mary and Jesus simply shows Mary nursing little Jesus.
In fact, a lot has changed since those times. Societies have become quite intolerant about this issue. Why? Have people stopped understanding the numerous benefits an infant gets from breastfeeding?
In an accord with this, breastfeeding in public was kind of forbidden. Actually, there were no specific laws that banned it. But people in the past maybe intuitively found it immoral to do it in public.
However, since the 60s it has become an issue and breastfeeding in public debate is a controversy that probably will never end. Even today there are a number of for and against arguments among both men and women. So coming up next: the pro and against arguments on public nursing.
Breastfeeding in Public Debate | Pro Arguments
Breastfeeding in public debate is a common topic in nearly every corner of the world. People discuss it online, in newspapers’ print articles, activists overwhelm the streets of major cities and demand proper approach toward women’s issue including public nursing, etc. etc.
All of them bring for and against arguments based on personal experience or way of thinking.
- The very first pro argument refers to a biological function of breastfeeding. Quite a reasonable statement!Actually, nothing can replace the breast milk. Infants simply need it to grow up properly.
- Another evident pro is the convenience. Mothers need no additional tools to feed children.
- Thirdly, kids do not have to be stressed while waiting. They get what they want right at the moment.
- Besides, health professionals, doctors, and public health officials promote breastfeeding to improve infant’s health.
- It is good not only for kids but mothers as well.
- And last but not least, a woman can breastfeed even if she is at the Parliament, for instance.
Shocked? Read on to discover those who simultaneously breastfeed their children in parliaments, parks, and many other places. Some women, however, couldn’t avoid that unpleasant “side effects”.
Breastfeeding in Public Debate: Case #1 | Larissa Waters
Who said that you stop being a caring mother when you are in politics for instance? In fact, political conditions can be quite harsh but it is not the case with Australian senator Larissa Waters.
While making a speech in Australian Parliament she broke all the stereotypes and tough approaches about breastfeeding in public debate and breastfed her 3-month-year daughter.
She was the first woman to breastfeed in Parliament. Later on, her deed was the key to pass legislation that allows women to breastfeed in chambers.
Breastfeeding in Public Debate: Case #2 | Kelly Stanley
Kelly is a yogi and a mother of a daughter. Her case is much more interesting and somehow disappointing. She nurses even when doing yoga.
However, one day she was asked to leave the restaurant while breastfeeding. And can you imagine who treated her so? Her father!
He just demanded her to leave the place. Nevertheless, she doesn’t feel depressed or offended. She just advises other moms to be all right with nursing in public. She is sure they do nothing wrong.
Breastfeeding in Public Debate: Case #3 | Ashley Cooper
Ashley Cooper knows what to do in unpleasant situations she faces while breastfeeding. She is pretty aware of her rights and manages to protect both her child and herself.
Once at a Virginia Mall a security member asked her to stop nursing. All she did was to do live video on Facebook. You may believe it or not but she received the support of netizens.
Breastfeeding in Public Debate | Against Arguments
Despite these cases, there are many arguments against breastfeeding in public debate. In some countries, it is really regarded as an act of vulgarity. It is mainly connected with the strict religious or traditional concepts followed by the particular nation.
However, no one can understand what difficulties a woman undergoes to make up her mind to breastfeed in public especially when she lives in a kind of conservative society.
Sometimes regulations by laws do not even matter. But still many social restrictions, religious viewpoints, and cultural restrictions continue to pose obstacles against the most natural aspect of motherhood. So here are the main arguments against public breastfeeding.
- It might sound strange but calmness is very important for nourishing babies. Noise in public places my distract children. So they feel some tension and mother may not be able to calm them down. Besides, stress can cause milk reduction.
- The view of a female breast can be of interest not only for male passers-by but also for children. So improper reactions are inevitable.
- Others argue that public breastfeeding lacks sanitary safety.
Is it Really a matter of Sanitary or It’s Just Culture?
After all, this breastfeeding in public debate is not only about for and against arguments. In Islamic societies, for instance, mothers may worry about feeding in front of others. Having big families and visitors is another concern of Muslim mothers.
They are sure that it is almost impossible to feed without showing a little skin which is considered very vulgar. To avoid any reaction bottle-feeding seems the best option. This is just an example to show how a simple debate can turn into a moral taboo.
And one more important thing! When an issue turns into a taboo it is nearly impossible to think of better solutions. However, there is a single way out from any deadlock. Allowing women to breastfeed in public with a covered sheet is one option.
States can follow California’s example and make clean and private rooms in public places such as airports. And lastly, know the LAWS. In many countries, legislation operates in favor of nursing moms. So here are the boldest and legal participants of breastfeeding in public debate.
Laws about Breastfeeding in Public in Different Countries
As we see breastfeeding in public debate detects reports, personal stories and even rumors that moms are mostly given a hard time while nursing somewhere public.
Case studies show that these women are even asked to leave restaurants, stores just because they’re nursing. In other words, breastfeeding moms are told to cover up. But still, state laws regulate the issue as well. Here is the list of regions that deal with the issue either on legal level or just morally.
Breastfeeding in Public Debate & Laws | Africa
No specific laws regulate public nursing in Africa. There are nearly no for and against debates either. The phenomenon is simply an encouraging NORM. Such a norm solves several problems.
Women who work outside their houses commonly carry their babies on their back. So she doesn’t have to rush to her home to feed the kid. Whenever baby feels hungry she breastfeeds it publicly.
There is an interesting point as well; if a baby is seen crying in public it is assumed that the woman carrying it is not the child’s mom since the real mother would have fed her child even in public without any covering shield.
Breastfeeding in Public Debate & Laws | Asia
Throughout Asia breastfeeding in public is approved both by laws and by traditions that go beyond any law. Breastfeeding in public is considered embarrassing by some, but others accept it.
In China, for instance, people demanded facilities for baby nursing in public places. In other words, Asia is uncontroversial about the issue.
Breastfeeding in Public Debate & Laws | Saudi Arabia
In this state with core Muslim traditions, women can never show their body in public. But people realize the importance of breastfeeding and it is kind of an exception.
Women CAN breastfeed in malls, parks and in other public places.
Breastfeeding in Public Debate & Laws | Europe
Civilized Europe knows how to protect basic human rights and other important things. Governments of European countries enact laws which allow moms to nurse in public places. The practice is also widely accepted by many people.
However, Europe has its exceptions as well. In some parts of the region people simply feel awkward about it and moms sometimes have to face the warnings of security members or a passer-by.
For instance, Armenia which is a small country in Eastern Europe or Southern Caucasus is not bold about one side of this issue. It is a democratic state and there are no strict laws or rules that violate human rights. The same goes about breastfeeding in public. No law forbids it.
However native Armenian mentality takes over any regulation. Women prefer nursing their children in private rooms, sections or cars, but not outside in public. This is perhaps for avoiding awkward public reactions. You may also come across rare cases where women nurse their children in public with a covered blanked.
Breastfeeding in Public Debate & Laws | USA
Many incidents of harassment of nursing mothers in the USA gained media attention. Such stuff just went viral on youtube and social media.
So protests and campaigns enlarging upon for and against statements on breastfeeding in public debate made US state governments. However, U.S. legislation on breastfeeding varies from state to state.
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