I am the creator of EvolutionaryParenting.com, a site dedicated to disseminating the science of parenting. My greatest creation, though, is my 4-year-old daughter who proves to me and my amazing husband daily that as much as we think we know about this parenting thing, we're really just deluded. I earned my BA at UC Berkeley and now live in the unaffordable and perpetual rain zone of Vancouver, BC where I received my MA in Clinical Psychology from UBC and am completing my PhD in Developmental Psychology with a minor in wine drinking (which is how I have managed to survive this long).
Most of us know of the many health and economic reasons to breastfeed for mothers and babies. We are told regularly that “breast is best,” and although there continues to be debate about the degree that not breastfeeding results in health problems for an individual dyad in a Western society, we acknowledge that whether one does it or not, breastfeeding is definitely a healthy choice. However, most mothers who continue to breastfeed beyond a year, especially those who continue to nurse at night, face backlash from an unexpected source: the dentist.
Many families face a dentist who is adamant that they give up breastfeeding or give up night feeds due to the higher risk of cavities despite the other benefits to the families that breastfeeding may confer. What are parents to do? Give up breastfeeding or accept the risk? Or can families have their breast milk and drink it too?
Gisele Bundchen. Miranda Kerr. Jaime King. Natalia Vodianova. All supermodels (or ex- in the case of Ms. King), all beautiful, all breastfeeding, all have shared photos of themselves breastfeeding, and all have facedbacklash over said photos. Although many people saw these photos as beautiful or just another way to support breastfeeding, some have seen them as being “too sexual” or even harming the societal push to normalize breastfeeding again (yes, “again,” as there was a time when it’s just what was done, no questions asked).