In today’s society we are faced with numerous local and worldwide issues that tend to stir up some level of concern and emotion. Some of those issues include such things as drug abuse, poverty, and gang violence. Another issue that surprisingly gets a lot of feedback believe it or not is the subject of breastfeeding. One might wonder, why would anyone make a big deal about nursing your child? However, society has found many reasons why it is such a popular topic. Opinions about breastfeeding in public and the body image it produces for women are among many subjects noted on the worldwide subject of breastfeeding.
First let us look at the controversial issues when it comes to breastfeeding. The main issues society has are breastfeeding in public, how long a mother should nurse for, and whether breast or formula feeding is the best thing for a baby. According to the latest poll of women who breastfeed, 51 percent of west coast moms believe that breastfeeding in public is perfectly natural (Wiessinger, 2009). However, there is a large percentage of people with negative opinions about it. For example, the latest Luvs diapers commercial stirred up a lot of controversy. The commercial focuses on a first time mom who is shown struggling to feed her baby in a restaurant under a blanket. The scene then cuts to a few years later and it shows that baby as an older toddler and the mother now has another baby, yet this time she is shown feeding her without a cover in the same restaurant. When the waiter’s eyes wonder downward, the mother catches his attention saying, “up here.” Then a voice intones, “By their second kid, every mom is an expert —and more likely to choose Luvs (Veciana-Suarez, 2012).”This commercial received both negative and positive feedback. Crowdedsalon.com said it was a “triumph for mothers who breastfeed in public,” and cafemom.com exclaimed, “Great job, Luvs, and thank you.” On the other end of the spectrum, an anonymous person on the Luvs website wrote, “Luvs should stick to selling diapers and stay out of politics! I found the ad tasteless and crude (Veciana-Suarez, 2012)!”
Another issue that breastfeeding mothers deal with is how long they chose to nurse their baby for. “The optimal length of time moms should breastfeed is also a question in the Lansinoh survey. Most moms surveyed believe 6 to 9 months is the ideal length of time, and only 19 percent of moms agree that babies should be breastfed for longer than 12 months (Lansinoh.com, 2013).” On the cover of Time magazine’s May 2012 issue 26 year old mom, Jamie Lynn Grumet is shown nursing her 3 year old son. Though the article is about Dr. Bill Sears and attachment parenting, the cover of the magazine got some very controversial feedback. When the magazine hit the shelves, society went crazy over it. “Bobbi Miller, a mother of six who lives in Arkansas, expressed disapproval in a tweet and said in a phone interview, ‘Even a cow knows when to wean their child.’ Of the cover, she said: ‘Why would this even be out there? It's ludicrous. It's almost on the verge of voyeurism (Foxnews.com, 2012).’” Jamie Lynn Grumet says, “People have to realize this is biologically normal, the more people see it, the more it'll become normal in our culture. That's what I'm hoping. I want people to see it (Foxnews.com, 2012).’” Through my experience, I have heard many different opinions and seen many programs about how long to nurse for. But in the end, I feel that it is nobody’s business but that of the mother.
Finally, probably the most common controversy in the world of breastfeeding is whether breast or formula feeding is the best for the baby. Many people say that breastfeeding is indeed cheaper and more economical. The LeLeche League says that “Statistics have been compiled and studies are still being made which reveal that allergies, notably eczema, are as much as seven to ten times more common in the artificially fed baby that the breast…