The problem with calling breastfeeding “natural”

Nice discussion of what sounds like a great paper by  bioethicists Jessica Martucci and Anne Barnhill.

In a new paper recently published in Pediatrics, bioethicists Jessica Martucci and Anne Barnhill argue that the emphasis on the “natural” aspects of breast-feeding can easily backfire. By endorsing breast-feeding as natural, they say, breast-feeding advocates are reinforcing the idea that natural is A) something that actually exists and B) healthier. By setting up this dichotomy, these pro–breast-feeding campaigns might serve as unintentional fodder for concerns against “unnatural” interventions like vaccinations.

 

 

Bad news for women in UAE – legally enforced breastfeeding

The United Arab Emirates isn’t best known for its efforts to uphold women’s rights. So it’s no real surprise that they have just passed another oppressive law – women are now legally required to breastfeed for two years. They can be sued by their husbands for failing to do so. You can read more here.

UPDATE: It turns out that reports of the situation by many news sources are inaccurate. The law has not been passed. The legislation was drafted, but reaction to it has meant that it has not gone through. Thanks to Ned Block for clarifying the situation.

Breastfeeding In the Classroom

American University professor Adrienne Pine speaks out about breastfeeding her daughter in class here. American University response here.

So here’s the story, internet: I fed my sick baby during feminist anthropology class without disrupting the lecture so as to not have to cancel the first day of class. I doubt anyone saw my nipple, because I’m pretty good at covering it. But if they did, they now know that I too, a university professor, like them, have nipples. Or at least that I have one.