So buried within this Newsweek article was actually a bit of good news: more states are passing protective laws giving women the right to nurse in public.
But why on earth would we even need such laws? Isn't it sort of a no-brainer that breast-feeding is not "indecent exposure?"
Apparently not. Despite all the health benefits to mother and baby that come from breast feeding, people still freak out when they see it in public. And as a result, the Newsweek authors claim, breast-feeding is starting to decline again. They cite a study saying that 48 percent of women "would feel uncomfortable" nursing their babies in a park, store or mall.
This is crazy.
Crabby is going to trust Newsweek's fact-checkers on the health research behind this; they're a big Fancy-Pants Authoritative news magazine. Here's what they say:
"Nursing reduces a baby's risk of diarrhea, ear infections, urinary-tract infections and bacterial infections," as well as possibly "food allergies, obesity and diabetes." It also lowers the mother's risk of breast and ovarian cancer, burns 500 calories a day, and saves about $1,500 a year in formula costs.
Gosh, we sure wouldn't want to encourage that!
Breast-feeding isn't right for every mother; Crabby isn't saying every mom should. But it seems clear that overall it's a healthy thing, a normal thing, and something we shouldn't be making anymore difficult than it already is.
Squeamishness about breast-feeding seems so adolescent. Crabby is beginning to think modern Americans are idiots. Brutal violence is acceptable entertainment for everyone, including children--but the human breast is obscene.
Crabby could rant about this subject at great length but she will try to restrain herself. Do any of you folks have any interesting experiences or thoughts about any of this?