Just a little over a year ago, Facebook shut down profile accounts with photos of women nursing their kids. There’s now a revolt within the social network with more than 500 groups on breastfeeding, including the “Hey, Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene!” group with more than 180,000 members, and “Breastfeeding in Canada, a call to our Government!” which is petitioning for funding for Newman Breastfeeding Clinic in Toronto.
Also, less than six months ago, a woman who was breastfeeding her child in a Vancouver H&M was escorted to a change room to feed her hungry child, which sparked a protest at the retailer. Has the controversy over breastfeeding in public overshadowed the whole point? Perhaps we need a few health-boosting reminders. Here’s the latest research on why women nurse:
• Breastfeeding at night reduces the risk of tooth decay for babies, shows a study in the journal Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology.
• Boys who weren’t breastfed are more likely to be overweight or obese, according to the medical journal Pediatrics International.
• Infants who weren’t breastfed are less happy than those who were, reports the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics.
• Kids who are exclusively breastfed may end up smarter indicate findings in the Archives of General Psychiatry.
• Breast milk boosts babies’ immune systems, shows research from Pediatric Nephrology.
• And for mothers, nursing burns roughly 300 to 600 calories per day, which can help them lose the weight gained during pregnancy.
Is breastfeeding a public decency issue or a health issue? How do you feel about women nursing in public? Have you gotten any reactions from feeding your own child?
By Lisa Hannam