Thursday, August 13, 2009

Controversy over a Breastfeeding Doll?

No, I do not listen to Fox News, but someone at work sent this to me and I thought the angry reactions were interesting. A doll that “allows” girls to pretend they are breastfeeding. Some folks seem to be rather upset by the idea, saying that it could traumatize young girls, or lead to teen pregnancy. I work with lots of teen moms, and while most got into the situation by accident, I've met a few who just wanted a baby to love. I've never met one who got pregnant because they were so excited about the idea of breastfeeding though. I'd say many of them are afraid of, or at least freaked out by the idea.

Besides, when a mother with more than one child is breastfeeding the baby, surely the older ones are aware of the fact. So it's not like the doll is introducing the concept. It's just a normal part of having a baby. And how is feeding a baby an "adult concept" anyway? Personally, I find it amusing to think that kids need a special doll to let them pretend to breastfeed. My kids (both male and female) were perfectly happy to pretend to nurse stuffed bears, giraffes and elephants in addition to baby dolls. This is not because any of these toys were marketed that way, but because we hung out with families who had breastfed babies. It wasn't a big deal because they saw it all the time in everyday life. When a baby cries, someone picks them up and takes them to the mom to nurse, then the baby is happy. It's pretty simple really, and they never felt the need for a cover up either.