10 Most Controversial Debates about Breastfeeding

5/21/2012
by Grace Murano +
Misc
294,253 views
Tags: controversial breastfeeding
     
If you've turned on your computer lately, and done much browsing at all, then chances are you've stumbled upon Time Magazine's provocative new cover showing a woman breastfeeding her nearly 4-year-old son.

In its May 21, 2012 issue, Time Magazine dives head first into a two-decade-long parenting debate that has boiled over in the past couple of months. The cover shows Jamie Lynne Grumet, a slim, blonde, 26-year-old California mom, breastfeeding her 3-year-old son. TIME photographer Martin Schoeller also photographed three other families on the same day. The photos became an instant Internet sensation. (Source)


Facebook, the popular social networking website, provoked a squall of maternal wrath when it yanked photos of breastfeeding babies that women had posted on their personal profiles, because it deemed them a little too revealing. This, by the way, from a website that allows photos of women in thongs and bikinis and of couples making out; it has even accepted paid advertising for a dating website that featured a topless model. (The topless ad was taken down after angry women noted the hypocrisy.)

In response to the terse notices alerting mothers that they were violating Facebook's decency policy, "lactivists" responded with a virtual nurse-in; 11,000 women posted photos of themselves breastfeeding and/or updated their profiles to read: "Hey, Facebook. Breastfeeding Is Not Obscene!"

The pro-breastfeeding group has attracted over 250,000 members. (Source)


This yoga mom is famous all over the web and causes a lot of debate on breastfeeding websites. (Breastfeeding Yoga Mama - Kauai, HI) (Source)


New York City artist, Daniel Edwards, caused controversy with his latest work, "Landmark for Breastfeeding", which was unveiled for the first time in Norman, OK in 2009.

Edwards (who has created celeb statues before) sculpted Angelina Jolie tandem nursing two babies. Its mission? To reduce the negative stigma of breastfeeding in public. Edwards hopes his Hollywood creation will inspire people to accept public nursing as the natural, normal way to feed a human baby. He had been planning to create a breastfeeding sculpture for quite some time, and after Jolie's twins, Vivienne and Knox, arrived, he felt inspired to do so. Edwards chose to unveil the statue in OK because Brad Pitt, Angelina's husband, is from Shawnee, OK.

Sandy Wilson of Phantom-Financial, the company that backed the project, agrees wholeheartedly with Edwards' mission, “We believe the statue sends a beautiful message by promoting the acceptance of public breastfeeding. Mothers should be encouraged to nurture their babies anywhere.” (Source)


In the United States, there's often a bit of a controversy over whether or not breastfeeding is healthier than feeding a baby formula after it's born. In Cambodia, breastfeeding seems to be the winner, even if it is from a cow.

This toddler has been suckling milk directly from a cow ever since his mother went away to find work when a storm destroyed the family home. Tha Sophat's grandfather revealed the 18-month-old had been feeding himself this way since his parents left Cambodia for Thailand. After he stopped breast-feeding with his mother, the boy became ill, said the 46-year-old grandfather with whom the youngster is staying.

The boy watched a calf nurse from its mother, and began to do the same thing, feeding direcly from the cow each day, Um Oeung added. (Source)


We've seen dolls that cry, dolls that drink and eat, even dolls that soil themselves. But in 2009 one Spanish toy company came up with a controversial way of making their products even more authentic - a breastfeeding doll.

But the company was slammed by parents who complained the bizarre toy promotes the sexualization of young girls. Bebe Glotón, meaning greedy baby, looks like any regular toy, but comes with a bra-like halter top featuring symbolic flowers for the child to wear. To play with the doll, it is latched onto the petals, where it emits a suckling sound, before it has to be burped to stop it from crying.

The bizarre electronic creation, which was designed by Berjuan to promote breastfeeding, has sparked outrage among some parents who have branded the toy 'inappropriate.'

Posting a comment after watching a demonstration video online, one user wrote: 'This toy would never work in the U.S. because the public would sexualize the act of breastfeeding, thereby deeming it inappropriate for little girl to engage in.' Another wrote: ' Honestly, I think this is awful. Now let me just be clear, I think breastfeeding is wonderful and wholeheartedly encourage it, however, it is completely inappropriate to allow a young girl to mimic it. (Source)


South Korean marketing and communications agency Cheil Worldwide released an ad for Oreo cookies entitled "Basic Instinct," depicting a baby at his mother's breast with the tagline, 'Milk's favorite cookie.' Though many in advertising circles believe this to be a 'spec' ad, rather than one approved by Oreo's parent company Nabisco, the backlash it is producing speaks to the taboos that still exist for breastfeeding women. (Source)


In October 2011, supporters started rallying behind a Montreal mother who was asked to stop breastfeeding her five-month old baby in the play area of a downtown children's store. Shannon Smith was shopping at a store called Orchestra when her infant got hungry, so she began to nurse him in a semi-secluded seating area for kids.

A store clerk approached soon afterward, Smith said, instructing her and another mother who was breastfeeding nearby to stop. Smith told the clerk she had a right to breastfeed in the store, and asked to speak with a supervisor. She got the same answer.

Smith said she complied with the request and left the store soon afterward, but grew angrier about the incident upon reflection. "It's shocking to me that in 2011, people still have an attitude that women shouldn't breastfeed in public," Smith said.

Smith's blog post about the incident spread quickly online, and supporters were planning to stage a nurse-in at the store.

(the image is not related to the story) (Source)


Oliviero Toscani was the man behind some of the most controversial advertising campaigns in history. The Italian photographer, who served as creative director for Benetton between the years of 1982 - 2000, not only transformed the Italian clothier into a household name; he changed the face of advertising.

Benetton's 1989 campaign for equality between black and white caused a strong reaction across North America, but it was an image of a black woman breastfeeding a white baby that stood out from the rest of the ad campaign. The photograph not only generated controversy, it also became the most-awarded image in Benetton's advertising history. (Source)


Breastfeeding is awkward for some moms. Showing some skin isn't necessarily the issue, but negotiating a garment quickly enough to accommodate a little one's on-the-fly feast can turn into a frustrating game of Twister. Designer Daniela Bekerman lends moms a hand—or shall we say a magic blanket and super cape?—with her thoughtfully conceptualized, if somewhat avant-garde, clothes for breastfeeding. (Source)

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