A Study On The Public Breastfeeding Controversy Essay

A Study On The Public Breastfeeding Controversy Essay

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For my SLP 1 controversial public health paper, I’d like to take a look at breastfeeding in public. It seems that over the last few years that breastfeeding in public has received so much attention, both negative and positive that I feel it is a perfect topic to analyze. First I’d like to take a look at how the public breastfeeding controversy is related to economics, as well as the ethical issue behind the controversy. We’ll also look at some historical information related to breastfeeding, and try to identify what spurred the controversy, as well as stakeholders and their role.
First, let’s take a look at the economical side of breastfeeding. I believe that economics plays a major role in promoting breastfeeding specifically direct economic benefits and cost incurred to purchase formula by the family. For example, there are several direct benefits for infants drinking breast milk that include; increased resistance to disease and infection compared to formula fed children, reduced chance of contracting juvenile diabetes, heart disease and multiple sclerosis (NRDC, 2005). The reduction in infant illness can have a direct impact on the workforce as mothers are not forced to take time off to be at home with a sick infant. Also, breastfeeding is one of the most economical ways to feed an infant for the first 12 months of its life. A quick search on Amazon lists formula at nearly $40 for a 31 ounce box of formula. Doing some mental math, I figure you can make approximately 25 bottles (four ounces each) which can last about 4-5 days depending on the age of the infant. That’s roughly $240 dollars a month spent on formula. With these and other benefits, why is there such a pushback on breastfeeding in public?
Boobs. These are ...


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...“Undernutrition accounts for 45% of all deaths of children under five. An increase in breastfeeding rates could prevent 800,000 of those deaths annually” (Unicef, n.d.). Both Unicef and WABA are working from a positive public health standpoint and strive towards education and promotion on the positive effects of breastfeeding.
Ultimately, breastfeeding has such a positive impact on the health of infants; it should be something that is encouraged not looked down upon. Having looked at the economic and health benefits, breastfeeding in public should be encouraged versus having a negative stigma. Our society needs to move past the ethical dilemma of how breasts and breastfeeding is looked at. Lastly we can look at the stakeholders and the wealth of information to see how making breastfeeding a positive can effect hundreds of thousands infants in a positive way.

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