To The Reader's Forum:
Public breast-feeding is a necessity, not a privilege.
In modern society we have come to find scantily clad females acceptable. Through movies, TV, and advertising images surrounding us daily. Yet a discreetly, partly shown breast by a mother, in public, is considered, to some, highly immoral and even shocking.
Knowing these reasons it is deplorable how often publically breast-feeding mothers are met with disdain, looks of aversion, and at times even harsh words. All this because a mother wishes to make sure her child has the best source of nutrition available to a new citizen of this great country. Some may object and say that the parents can use a bottle with formula. While this is certainly true, there are many reasons why feeding straight from the breast is superior.
Breast-feeding serves the purpose of nutrition for a hungry infant. In effect it is utilized to sustain life. It supports vital feelings of security and safety for the child. For some parents, tired and hollow-eyed from lack of sleep, it also serves as a momentary oasis of calm as the child quiets down.
Mother's milk provides the best nutritional value. It strengthens the immune system. It reduces the risk of several diseases. It supports the mother's mental well-being. These are only a few of the, heavily researched, reasons why breastfeeding is a highly important and critical part of both the mother's and the infant's nutritional cycle. Breast-feeding in public is not done in order to upset someone. It is done because of the symbiotic bond of mother and infant and is a natural part of the life cycle.
By experiencing breastfeeding the child becomes secure. By experiencing negative glances and comments the publicly breastfeeding mother takes blows to her self-esteem. Security and self-esteem are two elements in life of where no single individual should be deprived. This has been recognized and discussed to the point where a decision was made.
In New York State, public breastfeeding is protected by law. Those who govern our State found breastfeeding in public such an undeniable right that it was written into law. Should we, can we, do any less than support breastfeeding in public? Instead of scowling or air a negative comment in passing, remember that the mother is supporting a new life. Grant that mother a smile, or an inspirational comment. She has worked hard to earn both.