The Feminist Movement
Good or Bad for Breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding and Feminism


I'm very much in two minds about the effect of the feminist movement on breastfeeding. I've combined my two blog posts - one about the good and one about the bad points - here into one page.  It's an interesting discussion and I'd ove to hear your feedback about how you think the feminist movement has effected your breastfeeding journey at the bottom of the page.

The Bad Points

I heard a really sad story the other day (which I think is all too common) about a new mother who is beginning to wean her little one at only 6 weeks because she will be back at work full time by the time her newborn's 3 months old.

This image was reproduced with kind permission from Strawberry Mohawk's blog.

It made me think about the value of working. Certainly many families need both parents to work and I am in no way denigrating this mother for her choice because I know that her wage helps them pay their bills but.....

I just really feel that the whole job of being a mother (or a parent for that matter too because guys have similar drive to earn money for their families sometimes putting that above having time with their family) has been belittled by the feminist movement.

I've got lots of friends who agree on this point, and I know that it's very easy for s because we are fortunate enough to have stable home lives with less need for us to earn some extra cash.

We do however feel as though some parts of society would see us as taking the easy option by staying at home, but I really feel that all paths for parenting are just that - paths for parenting.  No one is having it easier just because they choose to stay at home.

In saying all this I don't know that I can see a way for things to change though in this capitalist, consumer world we live in.

I also think there's a lot of rhetoric out there encouragin mothers to "reclaim their breasts" or "get the sleep they deserve" which in some ways ties right in with those feminist beliefs of not being controlled by someone else, and having freedom.

To even think that it's bad that you need to do something as basic as feed your is ridiculous! You chose to have a baby, what did you want it for? To look at while it's sleeping?

Besides it's been well proven by EEG studies that the brain isn't even aware of conscious control over a situation until you reach at least 2, so to call a baby controlling is quite outdated.

I do want to say though that I would like to send out some "well done" and "good work" messages to all you other stay at home mothers out there who are nurturing the next generation to hopefully create a bit more of a stable, happy world for the next generation.

The Good Points

Okay, so the feminist movement has also been good for breastfeeding - particularly breastfeeding in public.

After my little rant the other day I thought I'd clarify that I do think the feminist movement women have made some great advances for us. I enjoy having my say with the vote and being able to work , and also being able to choose to stay at home rather than being forced to.

In particular for breastfeeding though I think we're pretty lucky to be able to breastfeed in public. I can't imagine how difficult it would have been to maintain exclusive breastfeeding if I hadn't been able to breastfeed on demand while out and about.

Breastfeeding in public is so popular now that there's a huge range of breasstfeeding tops and dresses to choose from, making you feel less uncomfortable.

It's also really helped many women get rights to have breaks to pump at work, sometimes even a private place dedicated to pumping!

I'm also pleased that we as women are more able to find help when we need it rather than battling alone and being told to get on or give in, with no real support mechanisms.


Some of the other pages you may be interested in:

Public Breastfeeding

Breast Pumping

Breastfeeding Tops

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