Fitness + Well-being

Mall displays breast-feeding mannequins to help normalize the practice

A mall in Colombia has displayed breast-feeding mannequins to help normalize mothers feeding their babies in public.

In April, Bogotá’s Centro Mayor installed the display, which was the brainchild of Amigos de la Lactancia (Friends of Breastfeeding), an advocate for stopping the stigma of breast-feeding in public as inappropriate, Ruptly reported.

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And it seems the movement needs some help.

A quick Google search of the phrase “breastfeeding in public” is associated with these terms:
breastfeeding in public controversy
breastfeeding in public laws
breastfeeding in public wrong
breastfeeding in public debate
anti breastfeeding in public

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In fact, Women’sHealth.gov offers an entire section under their breast-feeding page on how to handle criticism for breast-feeding in public.

“If someone criticizes you for breast-feeding in public, remember that the law protects your right to feed your baby any place you need to,” the site advises. “You do not need to respond to anyone who criticizes you for breast-feeding. If you feel in danger, move away from the person criticizing you and look for people who can support you.”

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It may seem surprising that some moms feel insecure about nourishing their infants in public, especially when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed in 2016 Breastfeeding Report Card that 8 out 10 mothers breast-fed their babies at birth. Perhaps more shocking, research in 2015 conducted by the Public Health England’s (PHE) parenting advice service, Start4Life, found one-third of women feel embarrassed or uncomfortable nursing in public.

Some breast-feeding advocates say Bogotá’s Centro Mayor signals a positive shift for those women.

Leigh Anne O'Connor, a spokeswoman for the La Leche League of New York, told FoxNews.com it’s not surprising the United States, let alone the world, has difficulty accepting breast-feeding outside the home.

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“Breast-feeding is a complex issue,” said O’Connor, whose nonprofit aims to raise awareness of the practice and benefits of breast-feeding. “In current American culture we use breasts to sell products. Breasts are seen as commodities and as sexual objects. We also associate baby feeding with bottles. Bottles have become the cultural norm.

“Because we hide breast-feeding behind closed doors, blankets and bottles, it is not seen,” she continued. “Something not seen regularly makes people uncomfortable. Breast-feeding in the media is portrayed as either ideal or comical instead of just normal. Normalizing breast-feeding will help to make more people comfortable with breast-feeding and make it more acceptable.”

 

Fox News.com Reporter and FOX411 host Diana Falzone covers celebrity news and interviews some of today's top celebrities and newsmakers.  You can follow her on Twitter @dianafalzone.