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.
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?