Calling it Breastfeeding is Problem #1

breastfeeding woman

As we all know, infant feeding is repeatedly sexualized. Over and over again, breastfeeding parents are condemned for exposing their instruments for feeding, or… breasts, in public.

Breasts, you know… similar to udders on cows.

Yet somehow, we don’t call it “Udder Milk.” We call it cow’s milk or simply… milk.

While beautifully designed, breasts were primarily physiologically designed for one purpose. FEEDING.

When any other mammal is feeding their young, we don’t refer to the organ by which nourishment is offered. We simply call it feeding or nursing.

Rarely in the English language is any act defined by the body part or instrument that is mobilizing it, unless intended to sexualize the action.

When we walk, we’re not foot walking. When we listen, we’re not ear hearing.

In fact, throughout the rest of our lives when we are eating we do not refer to whether we are using a spoon or fork, or even using our fingers in the process we are simply… eating.

A body part is ONLY mentioned when we are breastfeeding.

Even in the most sexual act, intercourse, no one says they are Vagina-ing and penis-ing.

So why the need to include our breasts in the title of feeding?

Does use of the term chestfeeding reverse the eroticism of this natural act? Or, is it our responsibility to remove the prefix all together and call it what it is… feeding.

Check out the ProDoula Infant Feeding Specialist Training to learn more about the history of infant feeding and the exploration of the sexualization of breastfeeding.

The ProDoula Infant Feeding Specialist Training is approved for 17 American Nurse Association Continuing Education Units.