I have nursed all of my children. And when necessary, I did it in public. It was rare that anyone actually had the guts to say anything, but it did happen here and there. Those who have said something have been in one of two groups - men who believe breasts shouldn't be wasted on babies and women who don't want their sons or husbands to see a boob other than their own. In BOTH instances the breast is being viewed as sexual in nature.
Now, I have a G cup - naturally. And I can tell you first hand that YES, my husband happens to love my breasts - sexually. Breasts are in fact "sex organs," but this is not their first or primary use. The main reason for breasts is to produce milk to feed the next generation. I liken them to hands - without hands, sex would be rather boring, but hands are NOT meant solely for sex.
Through the world breasts are sometimes seen as sexual in nature, but every country in the world recognizes the breast as the best source of nourishment for infants. Even in countries like India, where public kissing is a HUGE taboo (similar to how Americans would view Public Sex) public breastfeeding is not only accepted, it's expected.
And if you do ANY research - even if you read the formula companies information - you will discover that breast feeding is the best, healthiest form of feeding! Yet, here in the "freest country in the world" women are often encouraged to use formula if they are going to feed their child while they are out. OR if they "must" breastfeed they are told to hide in a filthy bathroom or smother their baby under a "cover."
Recently this was posted on the Code Name: Mama Facebook page, in response to one woman's suggestion that nursing women should wear a cover to prevent boys and men from viewing a breast. And since I simply can't say this better, I wanted to share this mom's words with you all.
I simply can't agree more with this statement! Thankfully, my husband is mature enough to understand that while he loves my breasts in a sexual manner, they are there to feed his children rather than to entertain him. And he's never questioned my obvious choice to breastfeed. Nor has he ever asked me to cover or hide while doing so. - Not that I would anyways.
That first formula was made up of wheat flour, cow's milk, malt flour and potassium bicarbonate. And was meant to aid infants when a mother's milk was unavailable. But it wasn't until years later in the 1930's and 40's that feeding an infant formula became widely accepted and encouraged. By the time many of our parents were born breastfeeding was seen as "unhealthy" by many doctors and formula was the culturally preferred option. However most "lower income" families were unable to afford commercial formula and breastfed anyways. This lead to the idea that being formula fed was something to aspire to. Leading 2 whole generations of parents to teach their children that formula was the better option.
My Aunt was born in the early 1990's and even at that point in time my grandmother's doctors encouraged her NOT to breastfeed because it was "animalistic" and "unhealthy." Thankfully, by the time I had children this idea had pretty much disappeared. I was encouraged from day one to breastfeed. Although my hospital did offer, way to readily, to provide me with formula. I'm happy to see it though. It's difficult to get the opinion of the medical community to change, especially when it means they will loose money! Happily though, it's happened. And having the medical community change is the first step in having society change on this subject. So it may be a small step, but it's a BIG small step! So I'll take it.
Now, we just have to get rid of this "breasts are meant for sex" idea... And we'll be good!