"People shouldn't confuse breastfeeding with sex..." Find out what Singaporean dads have to say about breastfeeding in public...
Breastfeeding in public: this is a topic that causes much debate in both the parenting community and the general public. Even among breastfeeding mums, opinions can differ.
Those who have an issue with mums nursing in public argue that it’s just not appropriate; that a woman’s breasts should not be on “public display”; that a toilet or nursing room should be used; that the child should be bottle-fed when going out; that a nursing cover should always be used; that the mum is just an attention seeker; and so on.
Those who support breastfeeding in public say there’s nothing inappropriate about it – if you don’t want to see it, look away; that what is inappropriate is asking a mum to give her baby a meal in the toilet; that some babies hate being covered while feeding; that wearing a skirt that barely covers your buttocks is attention-seeking, not breastfeeding.
In the background of all this divided public opinion, governments, researchers, and health institutes around the world continue to study and promote the stellar benefits of breastfeeding for both mums and their little ones.
With all this authoritative backing behind why breastfeeding is so important, surely nursing in public shouldn’t be the issue that it is today?
But it is.
One of the biggest reasons why breastfeeding in public has become the topic of contentious debate is because of the sexualisation of females in the media. Many men (and women) find it difficult to see beyond the sexuality of breasts… even when there is a child getting nourishment out of them.
It’s no wonder then that mums are hesitant, and even ashamed, to breastfeed their babies when others are around.
So, in the effort to de-stigmatise breastfeeding in public, it’s important for men – dads especially – to support breastfeeding, at home, and when out and about.
On the next page, Singaporean dads share their views on breastfeeding in public.