Breastfeeding has come under much scrutiny in modern society. From the embarrassment of exposure in public to the critical comments and disgust expressed, the natural process of breastfeeding in today’s culture has certainly not been received well.
While many moms experience problems in getting their newborns to latch or deal with physical complications post-pregnancy, it is the restriction placed by society that has made it increasingly difficult to feed their children when in public.
Breastfeeding and the Workplace
Upon returning to the workplace, very few moms are provided support for breastfeeding their babies. More women are advocating for the availability of private facilities in their place of employment they can use to pump breast milk after their maternity leave.
Even the companies that offer these services leave most new moms feeling guilty and pressured to get back to their job and neglect the ability to pump. There is a clear disregard for women in professional careers who have children and are required to breastfeed.
Breastfeeding Moms Lack Access to Support
The availability of milk pumps and products are severely limited for new moms. Many are unable to afford the pump technology to address breastfeeding issues and lack access to quality healthcare to obtain important support.
Breastfeeding in Public
While the process of breastfeeding is a natural one, it has received much criticism from members of the public. Most people are uncomfortable at the idea and the sight of women providing their newborns their routine feed.
Society has placed negative connotations on the process that includes displeasure at the sighting of a woman having to breastfeed her child. While it is a very natural and necessary process, the woman’s body remains highly sexualized and many feel with public exposure, it constitutes public indecency and unnecessary exposure.
Women who need to breastfeed in public are best covered with a modest shawl or throw to ensure baby is protected and can feed in peace. In modern society, the more traditional ways of thinking still remains prevalent.
People are uncomfortable at the sight and the idea of mothers who breastfeed their children in the company of others. Women are still subject to finding private spaces and facilities where babies can be fed. Sadly it is inconvenient and even popular, contemporary restaurants do not cater for breastfeeding moms.
Breastfeeding in the Media
Images of bottle feeding across magazines and movies remain the norm. As long as these media platforms continue to depict these bottle-feeding images as what is considered normal or acceptable, the natural process of breastfeeding will always be met with disdain.
There are still many stigmas and limitations surrounding breastfeeding in today’s society. Despite advances for women’s rights and calling for transformation, society remains set in a certain depiction of how infants should be fed and the manner in which breastfeeding moms are expected to behave.
There is still much education and awareness needed concerning the benefits of breastfeeding. The media has the greatest influence and should incorporate the beautiful and natural message of breastfeeding rather than create a negative image surrounding such a gift.