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Public-Professional Barriers to Breastfeeding


© ChildForum
By Sarah Alexander (first published in 2006)

 

The good thing about being a woman today is that there are fewer obstacles to participation in the world of work.New Zealand was the first country in the world to give women the right to vote. Today all the top government positions in the country are held by women, including a female prime minister.

It is not such a good thing for young children, however, because this usually means reduced opportunity to be breastfed and cuddled by their mothers, especially since there is no widespread support for breastfeeding in New Zealand early childhood services.

One would think that people with knowledge of child development, working in a profession that exists to support families with child care and early education, would be strong advocates of breastfeeding for young children. One would think people in this field would actively support mothers in developing this nurturing bond with their children. Unfortunately that is not the case. 

I have seen the barriers first hand while trying to breastfeed my own children and working in the field of early childhood education.


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