Breasts are everywhere these days. Here are seven reasons not to put them away...

From Trump to Farage, Beyonce to Kim, the palaver over breastfeeding never lets up. It’s the most natural thing in the world. So what’s all the fuss about?

 

You are only centimetres from a breast. Wherever you are.

We are bombarded by them. And breasts are such a sensitive area.

Arguably, the primary function of the breast is to inspire sexual contact in the first place, but if a baby is the chosen outcome of heterosexual copulation, then attention turns to feeding the little bundles. And that is where the trouble starts.

The Irish Times is celebrating World Breastfeeding Week with a peek at the issues keeping us awake at night.

Irish mothers aren’t doing it enough
A new study published in the Irish Journal of Medical Science this week found that barely half of women giving birth in Irish maternity hospitals breastfeed at birth and one-third of them give up within two weeks.

By the time their baby is six to seven months, just one mother in 40 is exclusively breastfeeding.

Irish mothers are less likely to breastfeed than women of other nationalities giving birth here and by the time Junior is three to four months, only 16 per cent of Irish women are exclusively breastfeeding.

During World Breastfeeding week, the Irish are looking like they should all stay back after breastfeeding class.

Older mothers do it better
The younger you are when you have your child, the less likely you are to breastfeed. Mothers aged 40-44 years suck up the plaudits in this category. They are the most likely to be exclusively breastfeeding after three-four months

The World Health Organisation recommends doing it exclusively for the first six months of a baby’s life.

Donald Trump is a right tit
Unfortunately, breastfeeding is also linked to the blame game. Do it and you are in danger of incurring the ire of people like US presidential wannabe Donald J. Trump. Don’t do it and you are in danger of incurring the ire of your inner plait-wearing, vegan member of the breastfeeding police.

Proving that not every US Presidential hopeful is going to take medical or hairdressing advice, Trump recently got very irritated during a court case in the US.

When lawyer Elizabeth Beck asked for a medical break, Trump and his lawyers objected. Beck said it was urgent – she needed to pump breast milk for her three-month-old daughter, and she took the pump out to make her point.

Trump erupted. “You’re disgusting,” he told Beck, a remark that is not disputed by either side. He then walked out, ending the testimony for the day.

Nigel Farage is a far-right tit
Mothers may be put off by the thought of getting a mammary out in from of Great Uncle Nigel, but it turns out that Great Uncle Nigel is not that thrilled at the prospect, either

Last year, London hotel Claridges asked a nursing mother to cover herself up with a napkin to spare everyone’s blushes over the French Fancies. There’s still an enormous stigma for mothers who breastfeed in public spaces.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage backed Claridge’s decision, saying that mothers should “perhaps sit in the corner” when they breastfeed.

It’s a view.

For the next few days, Nigel had better steer clear of social media as breastfeeding women post breastfeeding selfies - or “brelfies”. Facebook used to remove brelfies on the grounds that they violated the its anti-nudity policy, but the site lifted its brelfie ban last year. Instagram followed suit in April.

Canute-like attempts to keep breasts off a very limited section of the internet were never going to stem the tide.

It’s good for them, it’s good for you
Yes, baby’s going to get good antibodies, and all their nutritional needs will be met, but Kim Kardashian has this breast-feeding game cracked.

So does her Mom.

Kris Kardashian and her US talk show cohost, breast-feeding expert Sean “Diddy” Combs, discussed Kim breastfeeding daughter North West. Some will be pleased to hear that Diddy fully believes that breastfeeding will help in Kim’s post-baby body “snap back”.

Breastfeeding is linked to a range of health benefits for newborn babies and mothers, and Penelope Cruz nailed it when she singled out weight loss as one of the perks of breastfeeding.

“I’m supposed to get extra calories because breastfeeding you burn, like, an extra 500 a day.”

Actress Naomi Watts is also a fan, telling People magazine: “He’s sucking it all out of me, it seems.”

Money for nothing, and your **** for free
If weight loss and having super-smart children (yes the evidence is out there) doesn’t sway you, in Britain they will pay you to breast-feed.

“New mums bribed to breastfeed,” a UK tabloid reported, after a pilot scheme offering women shopping vouchers, worth up to £200, if they breastfed their babies was extended.

Money to feed your own baby? That was what wet-nurses used to be for.

It doesn’t make your boobs sag
Worries about drooping persist, but breast-feeders need not worry.

Dr Esther Wanjohi, a gynaecologist at Nairobi Hospital, told The Nairobian that drooping is a result of age. The mere act of breastfeeding is not to blame. In her opinion, “exercise keeps everything aloft - effortlessly pinned on the chest. Corpus ligaments, that offer breast support, don’t degenerate with breastfeeding – which is what the fear-mongering suggests.”

Happy World Breastfeeding Week.

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