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Let’s talk about the ethics of breastfeeding

In the spirit of World Breastfeeding Week, I want to highlight all we can about breastfeeding; why it’s great for you and your baby, some ways to make it easier, and how to manage common challenges.

But one challenge that often gets ignored in the offices of doctors and lactation consultants is the issue revolving around the ethics of breastfeeding. That is, addressing uncomfortable questions like these:

  • Are moms who choose not to breastfeed “bad”?
  • Are babies who are denied breast milk missing out on their basic human right to nutrition tailored exactly for them?
  • Should we not educate women “too much” about breastfeeding so they don’t feel pushed into it?
  • If a mom is struggling with breastfeeding, should we just tell her it is OK to stop, so she doesn’t feel guilty?

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