Breastmilk is hands-down the most optimal nourishment for a baby, and also the single most important factor in both short- and long-term health in children.
But the ability and possibility to breastfeed doesn't always "just happen" by itself. Some women may, of course, have medical or personal reasons for not breastfeeding their baby, but for the majority of us it is absolutely achievable yet our culture or politics may make it more difficult.
An important factor to promote and establish healthy breastfeeding practices for a mother/child is HOW we (as a community/country/culture) SUPPORT these women.
Babies breastfeed on demand and there’s really no way to foresee when your baby wants to feed. It will not take your whereabouts into consideration, that’s for sure ;-)
Yet, for some (incomprehensible!) reason breastfeeding a baby in public has become quite controversial in some countries/cultures today, and you have to wonder why?
There’s been much debate and ranting on ”improper exposure of the breast”, nudity, sexual references etc, but personally, I believe it has NOTHING to do with any of those.
When people react negatively to breastfeeding in public, I believe it is because they are mostly unwillingly ignorant, because, who in their right mind would deny a little baby something that has such an amazing effect on its health, unless they are uneducated about the amazing properties of breastmilk?
Let me ask you a question: If you could choose, would you (as a parent /parent to be) deny your child the very thing that is the single most important factor to your child's short- and long-term health?
I didn’t think so…
Breastfeeding a baby can be both challenging and arduous at times, and we can't just expect women to automatically succeed in this unless we facilitate and support them properly, right?
Today, that means that we have to make a collective effort to raise everyone's knowledge and awareness of the health benefits of breastfeeding. And politically, each country has to look at introducing proper interventions and circumstances to it for women who chose to breastfeed their child.
Each person holding a negative attitude towards breastfeeding in public should also be willing to re-educate themselves, as well as remind themselves of who is really the main benefactor here; our children!
Norway is on the forefront on breastfeeding practices much because our welfare system facilitates and supports it. However, we too have cultural challenges concerning breastfeeding,- especially long-term breastfeeding.
Read what these Norwegian mothers have to say about breastfeeding practices in Norway, and exactly how Norway as a culture/country supports breastfeeding.
PS! Be aware of stunning photos is this article.