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A bright road to normalising breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding is one of nature's most beautiful acts in the sense that a parent is directly providing nourishment for her young ones just as much as she did when she was pregnant.

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That human instinct of wanting to nurture the baby when they are still very young and fragile to make sure they are receiving the best nutrition to set them off well in life is usually at its peak when the baby is born. As a parent, you feel protective, responsible, full of love and want the best for your child from the word go. It is because of this that the majority of women will usually consider breastfeeding their babies when they are born and it is only because of external factors that causes this figure to drastically drop after the baby is born. Reasons vary from a lack of support to it being too stressful especially in the first few weeks when most women usually need the support more than ever.


It is sad to say but in the UK we rank as one of the worst countries in Europe statistically when it comes to breastfeeding. Why is this so? I often find myself asking this question. How can this be when we are constantly told how beneficial it is for both the mother and baby? Research has shown the amazing benefits time after time and yet most women still choose not to breastfeed. I am sure most will have justifiable reasons and they don't have to explain themselves to anyone for choosing not to breastfeed. It is their choice and they have every right not to if they decide not to. I respect that just the same way that I think other people should respect my choice to breastfeed. The burning question though is why is breastfeeding so "unpopular" in certain communities as opposed to others? Are we ever going to normalise breastfeeding and if so, how are we ever going to do this in a society where most women are frowned upon or verbally abused for breastfeeding in public? It is surprising just how many people still think that breastfeeding shouldn't be done in public.


The puzzling thing is that we all know that babies still need feeding when they are hungry regardless of where you are. They don't have the mental maturity to wait for you to get back home and most women don't go out thinking "I will go wherever and be back in about 2 -3 hrs, nurse my baby and go out again". Moreover, when you breastfeed, it is usually done on demand so you can only go by your baby's cues to know if they need breastfeeding or not. This usually doesn't give you a lot of time to find somewhere to hide especially because most places are still not yet breastfeeding friendly. With this said, most people usually come back with the argument that why can't they just cover up? Or go and do it in the toilet! Now I find this quite hypocritical, why? Women are encouraged to breastfeed and given all these facts about how great it is, on the other hand they are given the impression that they have to do it behind closed doors as if it's something shameful! In other words it's the best thing since sliced bread as long as it's done behind closed doors? How does that work exactly?


Breastfeeding is a very demanding job and requires a lot (and I mean A LOT) of support and patience to be successful (even though it's the most natural thing!). It doesn't help if the environment we live in already has barriers towards breastfeeding from the word go. Society needs to change as a whole and we all need to sort out our priorities. Stop embracing vanity and making other people's lives a misery because of our own selfish reasons. Its ok for people (women AND men) to go around half naked but not ok for a woman to breastfeed her child? What is so offensive about that?? Don't get me wrong, am not a fan of exposing oneself in public but certain things do call for exceptions just the same way you wouldn't go to a black tie event in your jeans unless you had a very good reason! Life is all about flexibility and without it, we are all destined for failure because no matter how good or bad an argument, people will always have different views and it's because of flexibilities and compromise that we can all learn to accept other people's views and choices (within good reason of course). I am sure you letting a hungry baby breastfeed in public is not going to end your world or do you any harm!

So next time you see a breastfeeding mother, just remember these words and look away if it bothers you. This very act may just be what that mother and baby need to succeed at breastfeeding!


By Stylish mamas.

Dated: 25/03/2016

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