Argument: Breastfeeding is best for the health and development of babies

Issue Report: Breastfeeding in public


According to the World Health Organization, “Infants should be exclusively breastfed – i.e. receive only breast milk – for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health. ‘Exclusive breastfeeding’ is defined as giving no other food or drink – not even water – except breast milk.”[1]

Nancy Solomon. “Breastfeeding in Public Is a Basic Civil Right.” WEnews. August 7, 2002: “breastfeeding offers significant health benefits for the child. Babies who are breastfed have lower rates of meningitis, childhood leukemia and other cancers, diabetes, respiratory illnesses, bacterial and viral infections, diarrheal illnesses, allergies and obesity. For these reasons, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that breastfeeding continue for at least 12 months.”

Elizabeth Pantley. “It’s Society’s Responsiblity to Support Breastfeeding.” Author of ‘The No-Cry Sleep Solution’, on Opposing “Science has yet to create an artificial food more perfect for baby than mother’s own milk. The benefits that scientific research has uncovered are too many to present here in entirety, but here’s a partial list:

  • Breastmilk builds a baby’s immunities against disease.
  • Breastmilk prevents the risk of certain illnesses and infections, which, in turn, can decrease the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
  • Human milk provides all the nutrients a baby requires. It contains the perfect mix of protein, fats, carbohydrates and vitamins for human babies, in a form that’s more readily absorbed than the additives in formulas.
  • The composition of mother’s breastmilk changes according to a baby’s changing needs.
  • Breastmilk reduces a baby’s chance of developing allergies, certain cancers, and diabetes.
  • Breastfed babies are at less risk for obesity later in life.
  • Breastfeeding promotes proper tooth, tongue, and jaw growth required for language development.
  • Nutrients in breastmilk enhance baby’s brain development and actually increase I.Q.

In addition, breastfeeding can significantly reduce the mother’s risk of breast cancer.

Child heath is an important focus for our society, and the above reasons combine for a compelling reason to support breastfeeding as an important component of child health.

The World Health Organization, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Canadian Pediatric Society all recommend breastmilk as the ideal food for the growth and development of babies for a minimum of the first six months of life.

Babies need to breastfeed every 2 – 4 hours, and mothers should not be made to stay at home or retreat to bathroom stalls to feed their children. Therefore, it stands to reason that we should celebrate and support breastfeeding in public as a necessary component of child health and welfare. Let’s take away this entire argument by making breastfeeding a social norm.”