I recently was examining an airline's section on child traveling when I noticed a line that stated, "we support a woman's right to breastfeed her child." This reminded me that there is controversy surrounding this issue. My friend recently had to fight with her family who were trying to physically block her from doing so. I stopped to wonder if women should have a right to breastfeed. My first instinct was no, but then I figured "yes, but that we are looking at it wrong."
I think putting Breastfeeding as a woman's right takes away from the real issue; shouldn't it be the baby's right to be breastfed. If you recall, I argue that a right is supposed to help us move towards our perfection. Breast milk is superior to baby formula. Not only does it contain the essential nutrients, but it provides the enzymes the body needs and antibodies to strengthen the baby's immune system. Baby formula still can't replicate everything to the point that it's a selling point when they finally get an ingredient. In addition, bottlefeeding had been studied to show an increase in obesity. Consider also that the bonding time between mother and child is of great importance. If the baby can get his mother's breast milk, then it is our duty as society to let him in peace.
Now what about the mother? I at first considered it more of it responsibility than right, but I can now see that it is her right. Breastfeeding has some conveniences such as not having to prepare a bottle or buy anything extra beyond pads. It also helps with the recovery from child birth. If you want to space out your children, it helps as well though with various success. It can prevent breast cancer, feel good, burn calories, and diapers are not foul smelling. However, is the bonding I mentioned earlier that convinces me that it is a right.
If there is only action that can increase your ability to love, bonding is a high contender. I saw this occur in my wife and my own love for her grew as well. Is there anything more beautiful than to see the love between a mother and her child?
On the other hand, women also have a right to choose to refrain from breastfeeding. This is because breastfeeding is also very intensive and draining. It takes a lot of effort and can be almost impossible for the mother who has to work full time. However, This also means that if a mother decides to breastfeed, we should give full support.
If we fight breastfeeding, then we naturally condemn breasts to be sexual objects. This is not their purpose nor should it be. Women are people who by nature is capable of great love. Babies are people with rights as well and both should be loved and respected by society.
N. D. Moharo