Let’s stop talking about breastfeeding like it’s weird
I’d like to start off by saying that I’m not obsessed with boobs.
Yes, I wrote about them in my last post. I hadn’t planned to write a whole boob series, okay? But I recently read two boob-related stories that filled me with rage, and I kind of couldn’t help myself.
One was about how the Trump administration reportedly threatened other nations to try to get them to back off a resolution promoting breastfeeding. They apparently went apeshit over a phrase from the draft text that would ask governments to “protect, promote and support breast-feeding,” threatening other countries with trade sanctions and withdrawal of funding if they supported the measure.
The resolution did eventually pass – after the Russian government reintroduced it with modified text – but it begs the question: what is it about breastfeeding that the Trumpers object to so much?
Is it that breastfeeding takes money away from multi-million dollar infant formula business? That supporting breastfeeding mothers may eventually lead to – shocker – having to actually guarantee them mandated paid maternity leave? That they just don’t like the idea of ladies getting their fun bags out?
The Republican party likes to brand itself as the ‘family-friendly’ party, so one would assume that they’re pro-baby. A 2016 Harvard study estimated that adequate breastfeeding could prevent 3,340 premature deaths a year among both mothers and babies in the US alone. Boob milk is good for babies, guys! The babies you want to force women to have because you want to restrict their access to abortions! The babies you want women to pump out before returning to work two weeks later because they have no paid mat leave! You know. Those babies.
The other boob-related article was about model Chrissy Tiegen being internet shamed for sharing an Instagram photo of her breastfeeding her baby along with her daughter’s Luna doll. While she received a lot of support for her post, she also had people saying things like, “Excrete your bodily fluids out of the public eye, thanks” and “Nasty, keep yourself covered in public.” The post was so ‘controversial’ that it made it onto the BBC News website.
There’s nothing nasty about feeding a baby. There is, however, something nasty about trying to make a woman feel bad for doing it. She shouldn’t feel like she has to lock herself in a bathroom stall when her baby is hungry because you might feel a bit weird if you accidentally see a nipple. Your discomfort isn’t her problem. Her baby’s hunger is her problem.
I kind of can’t believe that with all the obvious health benefits to breastfeeding – and the fact at that mothers have been doing it literally since the dawn of time – we’re still talking about it as though it’s contentious.
Breastfeeding is normal. If you can (and want to) do it, you should. Do it everywhere. Do it anytime. Do it on Instagram. Do it at work. Do it in the street.
And, most importantly, do it because Donald Trump doesn’t want you to.