Kate Middleton Urged to Breastfeed the Royal Baby in Public By Advocates
The birth of Kate Middleton’s royal baby is just a few short weeks away (if he or she comes on time, mind you!) and people are already talking about how she'll handle one of motherhood's first challenges: to breastfeed or not to breastfeed?
ABC News reports that Beverley Turner, a well-known British television reporter, recently wrote an opinion piece in the Telegraph in which she challenges the duchess to breastfeed in public. Turner writes, "What we really need is the Duchess of Cambridge to get her Royal orbs out to feed our future monarch. And to be applauded — not seethed at — for doing so." Did she just refer to Kate's breasts as 'royal orbs'? Oh yes she did!
If she chooses to do so, Kate may not be the first royal to make the choice to breastfeed. Princess Diana also reportedly breastfed William and Harry, although not in public, that anyone knows of. ABC News royal contributor Victoria Murphy said, "I think quite possibly what happened was it was the first time... Perhaps she was the first one that people were aware of having done it.”
Breastfeeding rates in the UK have dropped, with about 6,000 fewer women choosing to do so in 2012, compared to the previous year. Conversely, in the U.S., the number of moms who choose to breastfeed is on the rise.
Turner is a mother of three herself, and in her op-ed, she calls on women with "power and influence to get photographed by paparazzi breastfeeding their babies." On Good Morning America, the leader of the La Leche League, Leigh Anne O'Connor, agreed with Turner, saying, "If we're seeing our role models and our iconic images positively breastfeeding, that absolutely will have a positive impact on breastfeeding."
But some moms point out that breastfeeding a baby isn't a given for any mom, royal or not. The pressure to breastfeed is immense, but ultimately, it’s a woman’s choice how to feed her baby. According to Heather Spohr, a blogger for Babble, "The choices that (Kate) and Prince William make for breastfeeding are theirs and theirs alone. They don't have to be the poster child for breastfeeding or formula feeding for that matter."
Many experts do think, however, that Kate will breastfeed if she can, although nobody knows if she’ll do so in public. According to Murphy, "My opinion is absolutely that Kate will very much want to [breastfeed]. She's going to be off with the baby, she's going to be looking after it and I think she'll be very keen to give her child that start. I see no reason why she wouldn't unless she can't, unless there is a reason. Some women can't, but I believe that she intends to."
One thing is certain, no matter what the duchess chooses, she’ll probably have people judging her either way.