Let babies be breastfed – in public

The benefits of breastfeeding to babies and mothers are well-established by medical experts. Organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, for example, strongly recommend breastfeeding.

According to WebMD, breast milk gives babies the ideal nutrition to grow, it’s more easily digested than infant formula, it contains antibodies that fight off viruses and bacteria, and it’s even been linked to higher IQ scores in later childhood in some studies.

Breastfeeding: it's all natural.
Breastfeeding: it’s all natural.

For moms, WebMD says breastfeeding burns extra calories, which helps with losing those pregnancy pounds. It releases oxytocin, a hormone that helps return the uterus to its pre-pregnancy size. It lowers the risk of breast and ovarian cancer and may reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Given this well-accepted knowledge, it’s disheartening to hear of incidents in which moms are blasted for breastfeeding in public. So I was proud to learn, via  the mom-oriented website The Stir, about a kind server named Bodi at Des Moines’ own Fong’s Pizza: Diner Jackie Johnson-Smith was eating there last month when her baby got hungry. She was breastfeeding him but took him to the car when he got fussy. Her spouse paid their tab, on which Bodi had written, “I bought one of your pizzas. Please thank your wife for breastfeeding!”

Jackie found Bodi’s husband Facebook page and sent a message of gratitude for the server’s support. She noted the need for “normalizing breastfeeding and making breastfeeding mothers feel welcome and comfortable nursing in public.” She also emphasized the need for women “supporting and empowering one another” to do so, like Bodi had done.

Good on you, Bodi, for celebrating such a natural aspect of parenthood. Let those babies breastfeed!

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