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From Funbags to Feedbags: Breastfeeding Making Headlines Again

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Photo by timtom.ch on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Breastfeeding is in the news again, but this time it's not about nursing mothers being kicked out of retail stores or vapid celebrities (Hello, Kim Kardashian!) spouting off about how gross it is. For once, the news is somewhat favorable and the public is having a constructive discourse about breastfeeding. And since I am breastfeeding again, I feel like throwing my two cents into the money pit.

First there was the leaked Oreo ad designed for the Korean market that shows a baby holding one of their cookie sandwiches while nursing. The tagline reads, "milk's favorite cookie." The ad was never published, but word of it got out and the media jumped on it and tried to turn it into a controversy (check out this beautifully written editorial by a fellow mommy blogger). Despite the fact that the ad was killed and would never have been shown here in the U.S. anyway, I am encouraged that a large multinational company like Kraft and its advertising agency would even brainstorm this concept. It means progress.

Then there is Beyonce's cover interview in the current issue of People Magazine's "Most Beautiful People" edition in which she boasts that she breastfed her daughter for 10 weeks to shed the pregnancy weight. Her statement is ripe for controversy. People are taking issue with how long or short she breastfed and whether or not breastfeeding is a magic weight loss solution. In my humble opinion, the fact that a mega-celebrity such as Beyonce is publicly discussing her decision to breastfeed at all is progress. [breastfeeding media trend update: check out the latest cover of TIME magazine]

Progress means more mothers electing to breastfeed. Progress means nursing mothers getting the support they deserve for committing to feeding their babies naturally. Progress means no one telling you to take your infant into a unclean public restroom to nurse. No one telling you that you are spoiling your child by nursing. No mother being forced to give it up because she can't pump at work. No more social media platforms deleting pictures of nursing moms. No more ads being swept under the rug for depicting breastfeeding. 

It's time for breastfeeding to come into the mainstream. 
My little guy (aka Magoo) nursing


Maureensk said...

Yeah, it sure does get old the way our society is. Come on people, get over it. Breasts were created to feed our infants, not feed your neurosis and perversions! I still LOVE that photo of Mr. Magoo. It has that wonderfully cute, "drunk on Mommy's milk" expression!

AnnaZed said...

You have an interesting take on this so called 'controversy'. Really, I can't imagine how it ever became a controversy in the first place ... still it definitely is. Your assertion that every time this natural phenomenon enters the wider public conversation is a very good point. I would have to agree with you.

When I was nursing my baby (over 27 years ago! and modestly draped) I do recall a few people reacting in abject horror and this was in the progressive Greenwich Village of NYC.

Plus Mr. Magoo is adorable.

AnnaZed said...

Sorry ... I meant:

'that every time this natural phenomenon enters the wider public conversation it's a good thing'

A brain blip and I don't even have sleepless nights with a baby to blame.

Mama Up! said...

What a beautiful picture! :) Honestly, I do not get what all the controversy is about. Boobs are made for breastfeeding first and foremost, even if they do have *ahem* other uses. There's nothing dirty or gross about nursing. The fact that some people demonize it so much says a lot more about them than it does about breastfeeding!

Beth R said...

I can't believe how so many people see the most natural thing as gross. People what is wrong with you. That is what they are made for. Sorry just spouting. I just get irritated when people are ignorant about something that is so comforting to a newborn and a mama. Thanks for post and I wish they would have come out with the ad :)

Anonymous said...

Such a beautiful picture of Magoo! I don't get what the fuss is about, our breasts were made to feed, that's what happens with mammals. I love your point of view on it. To be honest, it never really should be a controversy in the first place.

Lee-Ann said...

So true. Progress in all those ways is great. I'd love to see breastfeeding be a normal thing that everyone is use to seeing so there is no controversy about it!

Marthalynn said...

I'm so tired of the controversy, too. So what if Beyonce just breastfed for 10 weeks. And who cares if she just did it to lose baby weight. This world is hard enough without us mothers attacking each other.

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