Celebrate World Breastfeeding Week – when appropriate

As further proof there are now holidays to celebrate everything – from hobos to root beer floats – the first week in August is noted as World Breastfeeding Week.

Thinkstock image

We are not sure how we are supposed to celebrate this week if we don’t have a breastfeeding child, but we do know that breastfeeding is a natural thing that can be beautiful.

Or it can be wholly inappropriate.

Moms may want to refrain from breastfeeding while driving. Or in the smoking section of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

But let’s start with the positives, many of which are noted by Diane Medina, the breastfeeding coordinator for the Pinal County Public Health Services District.

“There are a lot of benefits for the newborn and the mother as well,” Medina said in a news release. “Early initiation of breast feeding just one-hour after birth helps protect the child from acquiring infections and also reduces infant mortality. The risk of mortality due to diarrhea and other infections increase with infants who are only partially breastfed or not breastfed at all.”

Adults who benefited from their mother’s milk as babies also often end up with lower cholesterol and blood pressure – unless they override that with a stressful job and a daily dose of a dozen eggs.

They also have less of a chance of becoming obese or inflicted with type-2 diabetes – unless the override that with a daily dose of 52 Mars bars following their daily dozen eggs.

A few more pluses Medina notes are babies benefiting from a hearty immune system and mothers benefiting from a reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

Now we’ll move on to negatives.

Breastfeeding may be natural, beautiful and beneficial, but it does have its time and place – not to mention age limit.

Breastfeeding is best for the infant’s first 6 months. Something may be amiss if a 5-year-old child is still clamoring for his mother’s milk. Something is even more amiss if she gives it to him.

And as open-minded as America pretends to be, we still have our fair share of prudes. Not all folks are comfortable with women breastfeeding in restaurants, at Broadway shows or on public transportation.

Yes, it’s a maternal need to feed a child. But a breastfeeding mother should also respect others.

A friend exposed a case in point that continues to make him fume.

One woman a few years back decided to breastfeed outdoors at the Desert Museum.

That’s fine and dandy if she had no qualms about the harsh Arizona sun, but there was a question about her decision based on the particular bench she chose.

The mother opted to ignore the myriad empty benches throughout the landscape and plopped right down on a seat in one of the only two smoking sections on opposite ends of the grounds.

When a man dared to smoke in the smoking section, standing as far from the mother and child as possible, the mom, along with her extended family who was surrounding her, started yelling at the smoker. They chased him away, saying he had absolutely no respect.

On that note – enjoy – and reap the breastfeeding benefits. But please bring also respect others in the process.


What do you think?

What’s your take on breastfeeding in public?

Have you encountered any irksome situations?

Have you ever been scolded for breastfeeding?


About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at ryngargulinski.com.
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13 Responses to Celebrate World Breastfeeding Week – when appropriate

  1. andrew farley says:

    Does this mean that Men’s Breasts are only pacifiers? No really, I know of two women who absolutley would not let the newborn breastfeed and it boggles my mind. They need those first nutrients for at least six months or more.  ” certain surfers” itc

    • Rynski says:

      dear certainly suffers,
      wow – that is boggling that a new mom would not let kid breastfeed. hmmm. maybe they know folks who work for the formula companies?
      haha on your pacifier pun/joke…but as far as man boobs go, surgery is an option to decrease them! hahahahhaha.

  2. tiponeill says:

    Americans are prudes. The story about the Desert Museum is more a commentary on the self-righteous entitlement of non-smokers than anything to do with breastfeeding.

    • Rynski says:

      hahaha! like your take on that one, tiponeill.
      do think the breastfeeding issue/mom was a pawn in this entitlement game to an extent, as well.
      on the prude issue – it’s funny because SEX SELLS so much in the great us of a (and continues to be a top advertising ploy). perhaps some folks are prudes in public and then hidden sex fiends behind closed doors? …or maybe they’re just prudes…

  3. azmouse says:

    I breast fed all three of my kids. With the first one, I was very self conscious about how and where I’d breast feed.

    With the second one, I found myself  a few times being out in public, but would cover up with a light blanket.

    By the third kid, I could just care less who saw what! HA!!!

    I personally find it a very natural thing and extremely unoffensive.

    • Rynski says:

      good for you! on breastfeeding kids – also hilarious to hear about your transformation from shy to heck with it – go, azmouse, go!!! hahahah.
      i agree it’s a natural thing – but it can be offensive, or at least tad twisted, in some circumstances: i just heard a story about someone who breastfed one of her kids at the age of 4. i was kind of kidding when i mentioned the age limit, but i guess it really happens. eek!

  4. Alan in Kent WA says:

    Is it safe to do this and text at the same time, excepting for driving, of course?

    • Rynski says:

      ha! thanks for chuckle, alan in kent wa.
      and i’ll bet you someone, somewhere WILL do a study (if it has not already been done) how cell phone emissions damage infants if placed close to the infant while feeding AND/OR how texting while feeding can harm the baby since a mother’s full attention is not on her child and the child may also pickup any negative emotions, language or harmful body language emitted while sending the message.
      so no, texting while breastfeeding is NOT safe – hahahhaha

  5. Dan says:

    This is the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation:
    “Exclusive breastfeeding for approximately the first six months and support for breastfeeding for the first year and beyond as long as mutually desired by mother and child.”
    For those of you that are uncomfortable with babies breastfeeding for longer than 6 months, relax!  It’s not only ok, it’s preferable. Human breastmilk is best for human babies.

  6. leftfield says:

    I think mothers should be able to breastfeed wherever they feel comfortable doing it. 

  7. Dont:GetIt says:

    Ok, that Museum story I dont think really has to do with BFing moms at all, it has to do with a growing class of oblivious people in general.
    Its kind of weird to me how people who are offended at public breastfeeding make it about the mother, breastfeeding is about the baby. Its about the baby’s equal rights to a bottle fed child. Would it be appropriate for a bottle fed child to eat (almost) anywhere? Yes. Clearly not in a smoking section, which should be more reprehensible on behalf of the child not the scorned smoker. Would you make the bottlefed baby wear a blanket over its head. No. It would get to look at its mother.
    I see my fair share of skin in public every day that can only be attributed to vanity and an oversexed culture. I don’t feel like Im being inconsiderate to anyone by my incidental exposure secondary to breastfeeding where ever I am at. Its intolerance that influences alot of mothers not to breastfeed, and that is truly a shame. It is not the child or the mother’s fault that we live in a society of “prudes” who are not all comfortable with public nursing. I find that backward way of thinking the greater sin in comparison to  nursing your child in public.
    Also, your research is lacking. Nursing is best for the first TWO YEARS not six months. The six month mark in regards to breastfeeding is the time period recommended for EXCLUSIVE breastfeeding, meaning no food other than breastmilk for atleast 6 months to preserve their little virgin gut. Any credible source worth its salt will spell that out.
    Shame on you. World Breast Feeding week is meant to encourage and support breast feeding for a healthier world, its sad that you feel you have to qualify its appropriation.

  8. fraser007 says:

    I used to run a public facility. ( Cant tell you because people will know who I am and I want my privacy!!LOL) When mothers needed to breastfeed it was OK with me and I would often let them use my office!

  9. Dont:GetIt says:

    And by the way, the normal and appropriate age for a child to self wean from the breast is anywhere from 2-7 years old. Yes, I said 7. Thats very rare indeed, but that doesn’t make it inappropriate or sick.

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