Sexualization Of Breastfeeding

1077 Words 4 Pages
Sexualization of Breasts and Confidence
Another cultural consideration is the sexualization of breasts, affecting personal body image, attitudes of public breastfeeding, and internal measures of the confidence of infant feeding decisions. Breasts specifically play a role in being part of a woman’s idealized view of her sexual body, and it is this sexualized view of breasts that can undermine breastfeeding (Johnston-Robledo et al., 2007). Objectification theory “postulates that, in a culture that objectifies a sexually mature woman’s body, women are socialized to view and evaluate their bodies from the perspective of an outside observer” thus self-objectification is women’s internalization of that objectification (Frederickson & Roberts, 1997,
…show more content…
99). If the promotion of breastfeeding is portrayed as a role one plays instead of an inherent part of the body and the identity of the mother, are promotional campaigns only leading away from breastfeeding success? In fact, shortened breastfeeding duration can be directly linked to self-reported lack of confidence: perceived insufficiency in supply, fatigue, and inconvenience, as well as returning to work or school (Blyth et al., 2002; Brown et al., 2014). This is further enforced by relationship status’ wherein mothers “feel more capable and confident about breastfeeding when they perceive their partners are supportive by way of verbal encouragement and active involvement in breastfeeding activities” (Mannion et al., 2013, p. 1). Thus, maternal confidence is as much a predictor of breastfeeding intention as it is …show more content…
In this care setting, professionals used “fact-based approaches to promote breastfeeding behaviour (sic) amongst women in Kenya” (p. 258). “This practice only imposes messages to women without considering their opinions and beliefs posing a challenge to optimal breastfeeding behavior” (Mutuli & Walingo, 2014, p. 258). The same theory was used separately to try to explain pregnant women’s feeding intentions, this time showing that “(b)reastfeeding intenders reported more positive attitudes towards breastfeeding (mean 4.7 (SD 0.7)), than mixed feeding intenders (3.8 (0.9)) or bottle-feeding intenders (2.5 (0.8))” (Cabieses et al., 2014, p. 4). In fact, the themes associated with breastfeeding related not only to positive feelings towards breastfeeding (19.3%) and ease (15.1%), but also to greater “health benefits and convenience (64% of all reasons)” (Cabieses et al., 2014, p. 6). Mixed feeding in the Cabieses et al. (2014) study was the most complex group, with perceived benefits from both sides and not viewed as a separate feeding style by the participants. Bottle-feeding mostly related to negative emotions with breastfeeding (22.3%) and a desired convenience or ease with feeding (32.2%), as well as confidence towards bottle-feeding (16.5%), again a behavioral belief about infant

Related Documents

Related Topics