Society ignores breasts in lingerie ads, but it seems to have a lot of issues when it comes to breastfeeding in public. People don't seem to know what to do with a breastfeeding mom. Spoiler alert: you just leave mom alone and go about your business. Breastfeeding can be hard enough in itself, and the last thing a nursing mom needs is to be shamed. So we certainly hope none of you have ever said the following -- and if you have done so, we hope you kindly don't repeat.
1. "You should cover up." A SmartParenting.com.phpoll showed that most Filipina moms do prefer to use a nursing cover when in public, more for other people's sake than hers. But some babies don't like feeding under a cloth. So a mom needs to consider her baby first before yours.
2. "Move to a more discreet spot." Many establishments do not have lactation rooms. That can be a problem when babies feed on demand. Don't expect moms to walk far or move to the back of a store as her baby cries of hunger.
3. "Do it in the bathroom." None of us would never dare to eat in a public bathroom. So we should not put a baby in such a position either. Besides, our public toilets are not like the powder rooms you find in hotels -- there are no chairs, for one thing.
4. "Men will see your boobs." Any person who says that probably means this: It's making me feel uncomfortable. Well, it's not the mom and baby's problem.
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5. "The children will see your boobs!" Simply explain to the child the baby is feeding milk from her mother's breasts. It's not going to traumatize him for life. Remember, children don't automatically see malice. It's when someone makes the suggestion when it becomes so.
6. "You're still breastfeeding?" The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends breastfeeding for babies at least six months to two years -- and even longer. Even when toddlers are already eating solids, they still get nutrition from breast milk or get comfort by feeding.
7. "Just switch to formula? The debate between feeding breast milk and formula covers many points. Each has its pro and cons and unique challenges. Again -- and we can't stress this enough -- it's the mother's choice to breastfeed or switch to formula, and she'll make that decision with her family in mind and not you.
8. "I support breastfeeding, but..." If you support breastfeeding, there are no but's. And it shouldn't matter if a mom pumps or does a direct latch. If you see a mom nursing her baby, don't stare. You don't even have to say anything. If you just happen to catch her gaze, smile, nod and move along.
Mom-shaming, whether in person or online, is never okay. Let's stop putting other moms down, and instead work harder to respect a mother's decision and support each other. After all, moms need all the help she can get.