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Reporter Challenges Kate Middleton to Breast-feed in Public


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(LONDON) -- A British television reporter is challenging Kate Middleton to breast-feed in public. Beverly Turner wrote in an op-ed in the Telegraph newspaper, "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."

Turner, a mother of three herself, called on women with "power and influence to get their milky bosoms out and feed smiling in paparazzi pictures."

Leigh Anne O'Connor, La Leche League leader, agreed, telling ABC’s Good Morning America: "If we're seeing our role models and our iconic images positively breast-feeding, that absolutely will have a positive impact on breast-feeding."

If Kate Middleton does breast-feed, she may not be the first royal to do so. It was reported that Princess Diana also breast-fed her children. ABC News Royal Contributor Victoria Murphy said, "I think quite possibly what happened was it was the first time…as time went on, it became something that people talked about. Perhaps she was the first one that people were aware of having done it."

But breast-feeding a baby isn't a given for any mom, royal or not. Breast-feeding rates in the U.K. have dropped, with about 6,000 fewer women choosing to do so in 2012 as compared to the prior year.

In the U.S. the number of moms who choose to breast-feed is on the rise.

Mom of three and Babble.com blogger Heather Spohr tried breast-feeding all her kids, but was never totally successful. Still the pressure to do so was immense.

"It made me think that maybe I wasn't cut out for this whole motherhood thing," Spohr said. "The choices that she and Prince William make for breast-feeding are theirs and theirs alone. They don't have to be the poster child for breast-feeding or formula feeding for that matter."

Still, experts think if Kate can, Kate will.

"My opinion is absolutely that Kate will very much want to [breast-feed]," said Murphy. "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," Murphy continued.

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I strongly dislike people pressuring a new mother like this. I hope Kate ignores everyone and feeds her baby the way she wants and does it when and where she wants.

When my first child was born, we had to stay with my in-laws for the first couple of weeks because a bad snowstorm blocked the road leading to the remote area we lived in. Right away the pressure was on. My husband and I had both been bottle fed so I didn't really think about breast feeding. It was a shock to me to wake up from the emergency C-section to find a nurse standing over me telling me it's time to feed the baby and reassuring me they hadn't given her anything by mouth because my husband had informed them I would be breast feeding. Seems my husband had decided that I was to breastfeed both because he felt "Breast was best" and he didn't like the cost of formula.

The next afternoon my mother arrived from out of town and said "Uck!" and rolled her eyes every time I tried to feed my baby.

Then we found out that we couldn't go home and we all headed to my in-laws house. Once there, my FIL went outside and stood in the snow any time he even suspected I might be feeding the baby - I thought that he was embarassed but my husband thought that it was my own embarassement that made his dad stand in the snow all day. My MIL was either fascinated with the process, or she thought she was being supportive, but every time I fed the baby MIL would come in the room and put her face just inches from my breast and as "Is Baby nursing?" Then other relatives who lived nearby kept visiting and were treated to a 'progress report' on the situation. I got a lot of unsolicited advice on what I should be doing, with one particularly open (male) relative who found it all very funny encouraging me to "whip it out and go for it. I like to watch women breastfeed when the kids start teething - sometimes they get bit and that's always funny."

I asked my husband to help me out and ask these people to back off, but he was raised with the notion that any relative older than him, no matter if they were only a day older, had to be respected. In his book respect equaled blind obedience. It was a relief when my mom went home, and a bigger relief to be able to finally go to my own home. I continued to try to breastfeed for a few weeks and finally quit. My husband and his mother were terribly disappointed, but my FIL finally admitted that he was worried about the baby, he felt she was getting too thin. She did actually look thinner, but at her first well-baby visit the doctor said she'd put on 5 ounces and had grown an inch! It's too bad I was unable to continue, but when every feeding time brought on the bad feelings engendered by those first couple of weeks I just couldn't do it.

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I don't know. According to Diana's biography she breastfed, and other royal princesses as well such as Mette-Marit, crown princess of Norway have breastfed their children. Well, in Nordic royal houses and in Monaco at least.

But I agree, they shouldn't pressure her.

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What a bunch of BS. It's no better to pressure women to BF in public than it is to shame them for doing so. I doubt Kate wants to deal with the brouhaha that will ensue if she reveals her breasts in public for any reason.

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I strongly dislike people pressuring a new mother like this. I hope Kate ignores everyone and feeds her baby the way she wants and does it when and where she wants.

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I strongly dislike people pressuring a new mother like this. I hope Kate ignores everyone and feeds her baby the way she wants and does it when and where she wants.

When my first child was born, we had to stay with my in-laws for the first couple of weeks because a bad snowstorm blocked the road leading to the remote area we lived in. Right away the pressure was on. My husband and I had both been bottle fed so I didn't really think about breast feeding. It was a shock to me to wake up from the emergency C-section to find a nurse standing over me telling me it's time to feed the baby and reassuring me they hadn't given her anything by mouth because my husband had informed them I would be breast feeding. Seems my husband had decided that I was to breastfeed both because he felt "Breast was best" and he didn't like the cost of formula.

The next afternoon my mother arrived from out of town and said "Uck!" and rolled her eyes every time I tried to feed my baby.

Then we found out that we couldn't go home and we all headed to my in-laws house. Once there, my FIL went outside and stood in the snow any time he even suspected I might be feeding the baby - I thought that he was embarassed but my husband thought that it was my own embarassement that made his dad stand in the snow all day. My MIL was either fascinated with the process, or she thought she was being supportive, but every time I fed the baby MIL would come in the room and put her face just inches from my breast and as "Is Baby nursing?" Then other relatives who lived nearby kept visiting and were treated to a 'progress report' on the situation. I got a lot of unsolicited advice on what I should be doing, with one particularly open (male) relative who found it all very funny encouraging me to "whip it out and go for it. I like to watch women breastfeed when the kids start teething - sometimes they get bit and that's always funny."

I asked my husband to help me out and ask these people to back off, but he was raised with the notion that any relative older than him, no matter if they were only a day older, had to be respected. In his book respect equaled blind obedience. It was a relief when my mom went home, and a bigger relief to be able to finally go to my own home. I continued to try to breastfeed for a few weeks and finally quit. My husband and his mother were terribly disappointed, but my FIL finally admitted that he was worried about the baby, he felt she was getting too thin. She did actually look thinner, but at her first well-baby visit the doctor said she'd put on 5 ounces and had grown an inch! It's too bad I was unable to continue, but when every feeding time brought on the bad feelings engendered by those first couple of weeks I just couldn't do it.

That is both horrible and really funny at the same time.

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What a bunch of BS. It's no better to pressure women to BF in public than it is to shame them for doing so. I doubt Kate wants to deal with the brouhaha that will ensue if she reveals her breasts in public for any reason.

I agree. Its one thing to breastfeed in public, its another thing to breastfeed in public when there is a 100% chance you will get photographed doing it. Not that its shameful or anything, but maybe famous women just don't want to be seen performing a bodily function in every single tabloid & gossip blog?

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Royal or not, this is her business alone. She deserves some privacy.

Just for the record, having nannies and helpers does not preclude breastfeeding. Many wealthy people do this.

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"Royal" children are raised by nannies and governesses. I doubt Kate will breastfeed.

They'll most likely have a maternity nurse who keeps the baby overnight. It's what English upper class people do, and it makes it very hard to establish breastfeeding.

But, if she manages to breastfeed I don't blame her for a second for not doing so in public. When I whipped mine out at a moments notice until my kids could ask politely no one was taking my picture. There was certainly no one who was going to get a pic of my stretchmarks and podgy belly and magnify them for the world to see.

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What a bunch of BS. It's no better to pressure women to BF in public than it is to shame them for doing so.

Thank you! It is none of their damn business how she feeds that baby, as long as she feeds it.

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They'll most likely have a maternity nurse who keeps the baby overnight. It's what English upper class people do, and it makes it very hard to establish breastfeeding.

Heck, it's what I do and I'm hardly royal or upper crust... but I still breastfeed for 1.5 years.

In my case my night nurse was my husband, who slept downstairs with the baby nearby while I slept upstairs. This went on for months because of a wretched case of PPD and a uterine infection requiring i.v. antibiotics and surgery. My doctor insisted that I get at least six hours of uninterrupted sleep.

Thankfully skipping the night nursings had no effect on my milk production, nor did it cause "nipple confusion" in the baby. I've heard that Kate is not keen on having nannies. But if she can have a night nurse, I hope that she takes it!

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she may not be keen on nannies right now but I don't see her dealing with tantrums, spit on haute couture gowns or loaded diapers at 3 am. important royal children till a certain age are enjoyed and played with by their very busy parents and make cute photo ops. they are not raised by them . for the windsors hired help and then boarding school for boys do that.

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Kate Middleton's body is, of course, public property and what she does with it shall be dictated to her by open letters.

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Yeah, because the last time Kate Middleton went out topless that worked out so well for her. I can't see any reason why she would be hesitant to do that at all.

/sarcasm

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Personally who gives a shit how she feeds the baby. Her choice, her way end of discussion.

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I used to feel that I had some sort of moral obligation to breastfeed in public in order to Normalize the Act of Breastfeeding for the Masses.

But I finally acknowledged to myself that nursing in public makes me very uncomfortable. It's just me... it's this weird hang-up I have. But you know what? My feelings are valid and more important for me than what society thinks. So I started bringing bottles of breastmilk or formula along when we were out in public and that made me much more comfortable.

I am due in two weeks and have compelling reasons for formula feeding from day one. By now I have become an ardent supporter of Do What is Best for You and Your Own Darling Baby and society can mind its own dang business.

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They'll most likely have a maternity nurse who keeps the baby overnight. It's what English upper class people do, and it makes it very hard to establish breastfeeding.

But, if she manages to breastfeed I don't blame her for a second for not doing so in public. When I whipped mine out at a moments notice until my kids could ask politely no one was taking my picture. There was certainly no one who was going to get a pic of my stretchmarks and podgy belly and magnify them for the world to see.

The UK papers are all abuzz over the fact that no maternity nurse or nanny has been hired. She is likely due any day (the July 13 date was made up by the Daily Mail), so if they haven't hired a nurse by now, they clearly are not. The Palace has said both parents intend to be "hands on" and that is why she has an open ended "maternity leave" from royal duties that may last as long as the remainder of 2013. Speculation is that a nanny will be hired once she is ready to resume duties as she will be a working mother and need child care, but that nannies will not raise their children in the way they have raised royal children of the past.

Remember, Kate grew up in a normal family without all of that. It is not surprising that she is not embracing those customs. And, additionally, as long as William remains in the military, they are not "full time" royals which gives them more flexibility as well.

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I used to feel that I had some sort of moral obligation to breastfeed in public in order to Normalize the Act of Breastfeeding for the Masses.

I admit, I do breastfeed in public in part because I think it's important to normalize it. That said, I do so discreetly/modestly for my own comfort - including using a nursing cover when our babies are small or if I feel the setting is one where I don't want to risk exposing myself. When our older daughter got older she hated the nursing cover over her head so I resorted to layering a nursing tank and a normal shirt so that I could nurse without flashing more skin (not just boob, but stretch-marked tummy) than I wanted all and sundry to see. Our younger daughter is 2 weeks old and there's no way in hell I'd nurse her outside my own home or our breastfeeding support group without an additional cover. Getting a newborn to latch properly requires too much effort! I've had one or two militant breastfeeders IRL call me out about "breastfeeding burqas" (seriously), but the bottom line is that my first priority is to feed my baby in a comfortable way for both of us - I won't be banished to a back room, but I also recognize that I'm more comfortable when I nurse in public in a more discreet way.

I don't think that any mom owes it to anyone to nurse in public (with or without an additional cover) unless she wants to - that includes Kate. I can certainly see why public figures/celebrities who breastfeed might choose to bottle feed in public, and would never fault them for not nursing in public.

That said I have read quite a bit in UK newspapers about how they have not hired a maternity nurse or nanny yet, and that William and Kate want to be more hands-on than other royal parents before them. It's been a progression over the last few generations; I believe Prince Charles was the first (UK) royal father to be present at the birth of his children, and Diana did indeed breastfeed both of her sons for at least some time. I wouldn't be surprised at all if Kate at least attempts to breastfeed - if she does, great for her, but she doesn't owe it to anyone to do it at all, much less in public.

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Queen Victoria's daughters breast fed their own children (Victoria was not amused!) and several biographies of the current Queen state that she nursed both Andrew and Edward. So it's not at all unusual for a royal to breastfeed. Kate should do what is best for her and for her baby. I nursed- everywhere- but that was my choice. Secretly because I kind of hoped someone would challenge me so I could enforce my rights. Closest I came was a Delta flight attendant who handed me a filthy blanket "in case I wanted to cover up". I declined.

Yes, the evidence shows breast milk (in most cases) is best for babies on a population level, BUT the actual difference between outcomes for formula and breast fed babies on an individual basis is small and is certainly not enough to support ANY harranguing about what is an individual choice.

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:? What if Kate struggles to breastfeed?

Seriously. And even if she didn't have problems in the privacy of her palace, can you imagine trying to breastfeed with an absolute wave of jabbing, giant camera lenses teetering over you? What's she supposed to do? Close her eyes and think of England?

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I won't be banished to a back room, but I also recognize that I'm more comfortable when I nurse in public in a more discreet way.

I missed most of a family Christmas celebration when I had my first baby, who was a newborn at the time. I banished myself to a back room and missed out on all of the fun! I never did that again.

Yes, the evidence shows breast milk (in most cases) is best for babies on a population level, BUT the actual difference between outcomes for formula and breast fed babies on an individual basis is small and is certainly not enough to support ANY harranguing about what is an individual choice.

You haven't by chance read any Suzanne Barston or Dr. Amy have you? They say the very same thing, which most lactivists ignore and even distort. Hey, you don't happen to be Dr. Amy, do you?? :)

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I strongly dislike people pressuring a new mother like this. I hope Kate ignores everyone and feeds her baby the way she wants

The next afternoon my mother arrived from out of town and said "Uck!" and rolled her eyes every time I tried to feed my baby.

Then we found out that we couldn't go home and we all headed to my in-laws house. Once there, my FIL went outside and stood in the snow any time he even suspected I might be feeding the baby - I thought that he was embarassed but my husband thought that it was my own embarassement that made his dad stand in the snow all day. My MIL was either fascinated with the process, or she thought she was being supportive, but every time I fed the baby MIL would come in the room and put her face just inches from my breast and as "Is Baby nursing?" Then other relatives who lived nearby kept visiting and were treated to a 'progress report' on the situation.

I had similar issues with my first baby. Anytime I asked for advice or complained that it hurt it they would automatically say "Switch to formula, it's easier!" Either that or ask very personal questions out of the blue. I ended up quiting after two weeks.

With my second child I had read up a lot more on the subject and when anybody tried to bring the subject up I made it clear it wasn't up for discussion. It was just between me, my husband, and the docter because those were the only people who I could count on to be supportive and really its nobodys business anyway. I breastfed her for 18 months! Its amazing the things you can accomplish when you weed out the negative nancys in your life!

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I don't understand why people try to make her a spokesperson for something that she hasn't shown any interest in. It would be great if she breastfed in public! Or not. She's the only one who can decide that.

Also, I love Heather Spohr. I was sure she was going to be a voice of reason.

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