Wednesday, 16 October 2013
One woman suggests it's partly the lack of breastfeeding photos in the media. If you never see pictures of it, it turns into something odd and furtive, something you feel uncomfortable about. If images of breastfeeding were everywhere, that sense of peculiarity would disappear.
It's not only photos we're lacking. It's any mention at all, other than in parenting columns. It seldom comes up in books or plays or movies. Or public health ads. Or people's photo albums. Even in ordinary conversation, it's a bit of a taboo.
Not so long ago pictures of heavily pregnant women were thought outrageous. Now they've become normal and nobody bats an eyelid. Breastfeeding photos need to become equally common. And not just photos in a domestic setting but in those public places we use all the time - restaurants, cafes, shops, cinemas.
Feeding your child with your own milk (or someone else's child for that matter) is one of the most natural and beautiful things in the world. It's far more natural than the sort of images routinely plastered over the media every day - images of death and destruction and disaster.
Newspapers fall over themselves to publish pointless pictures of buxom, scantily-clad women. Yet when breasts are put to their intended use, suddenly mass coyness descends and nobody must see this awful, corrupting sight. It's absurd.
If breastfeeding mums were as visible as page three girls or underwear models, maybe ordinary women with hungry children wouldn't find themselves relegated to a filthy toilet or dingy storeroom as if they were hopeless perverts.