Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Breastfeeding Carnival Day 4: Language and Breastfeeding

Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe's Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today's post is about language and breastfeeding. Please read the other blogs in today's carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!

Language can influence society's ideas of breastfeeding.  I do feel this is an issue in society.  Most people squirm when they hear the word "breastfeeding" because breasts are seen as such a sexual thing.  I've also seen many people use graphic phrases like "Take the tit out of ___'s mouth," and other similar phrases in television shows and in public places that make it sound like breastfeeding is such an awful thing to do. When I was on WIC with Monkey I was CONSTANTLY asked "Are you SURE you're still breastfeeding?  Is he really getting enough?  Are you sure?  Don't you need formula?"  A lot of women also say things like "Oh, my baby just couldn't gain weight in the first few days so I was told I didn't make enough so I had to supplement and then I suddenly stopped making milk."  Unfortunately the horror stories and negative thoughts and words applied to breastfeeding cause many women to not even TRY breastfeeding.

As with most things I think breastfeeding mothers just need to stand up and educate others when negative things are said.  I think mothers should just stand up and nurse in public whether others are uncomfortable or not.  Breastfeeding NEEDS to be seen as normal to encourage the next generation of parents to choose breastfeeding for their babies.  Doing this will also cause people to not look on it so negatively.  The more people that breastfeed (especially around others) the more it will be seen as normal and the less negative comments.  I also make it my mission to try and give or encourage new mothers to get the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (the link is my Amazon affiliate link-I use proceeds to help buy school books for my homeschooled children-thanks in advance for bookmarking my link and helping us while my husband is in grad school!) because I feel it's the most comprehensive guide to help any mother succeed at breastfeeding.  The newest edition (as linked-it's the July 2010 version, edition 8) is really awesome.  If you have an earlier edition I'd encourage you to buy the new one.  I will do a book review later on about it.  If mothers are educated during pregnancy I believe it will make them more likely to try breastfeeding and with proper education and a support group they will succeed.  Like I mentioned before-the more women that breastfeed the more it will appear normal and the less criticism will arise.

For those of you (like myself) that have received negative looks, comments, etc.  Please please ignore them.  Please join in the fight when you hear or see anything negative to stand up.  No one gives dirty looks to women feeding a baby with a bottle which is simply a synthetic breast.  Breastfeeding is normal and needs to be seen that way.  It takes everyone that sees it as normal to stand up to those who think it's "disgusting" or "unnatural."

Here are more post by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

1 comment:

  1. So glad you mentioned this book as well. It was the best book I ever read pre-pregnancy by far!