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So, is breastfeeding a "choice" or a "duty'?

I responded to this article on The Stir.

According to one of the people who responded, breastfeeding is not a choice, but a DUTY, after I responded that breastfeeding was a choice. Silly me, I thought we had the right to do whatever we wanted with our own boobs.

I was a breastfeeding mother and I am a supporter of breastfeeding, but IMO, "duty" implies that it is something you MUST do.

So, what do you think? Is breastfeeding a "duty" or a "choice"?


Asked by Bethsunshine at 1:23 PM on Feb. 28, 2011 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 24 (20,230 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (17)
  • It's a choice, just like every other decision we make with our children. It is our duty to feed them, but formula or breast milk is a choice. It's our duty to clothe them, but pink/purple or blue/green shirt is our choice. It's our duty to diaper them, but cloth or disposable is our choice. It's also a choice not possible for every mother, my milk never came in and my son lost over 2lbs his first week of life because he was being malnourished. As soon as I switched to formula he gained the weight right back. I would love to choose to breast feed, but sometimes circumstances choose for us, and it's not something women should be bashed for in general.

    Answer by ba13ygrl1987 at 3:16 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • For my own self, it's my duty.  As long as I make breastmilk, I breastfeed.  Thinking that way gets me through the rough spots.  The sore nipples, the constant time. 


    Answer by MrsHouston47302 at 1:28 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • In general its a choice but I also feel it is my duty as a mother to provide my son with what is best for him. and obviously breast milk is best.

    Answer by DomoniqueWS at 1:29 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • Definitely a choice, and not always an option.

    Answer by anng.atlanta at 1:26 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • It is a choice, if you do it out of duty or guilt it is not quite the same, instead of it being a bonding experience, it becomes a sad one.

    Answer by older at 1:29 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • i never thought of it that way, but for me, it is kind of a duty. i couldn't imagine not doing it. Just like i couldn't imagine giving my children all processed food instead of cooking for them. i feel that cooking meals is my duty too, like laundry...i can't send the family out in dirty clothes.

    Answer by happy2bmom25 at 1:30 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • Well obviously it's a choice since luckily women aren't FORCED to do it

    Answer by Zakysmommy at 1:26 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • I made the choice to breastfeed and I did not think for one sec it was a duty I had to fulfill. It was a privlidge to be able to bond with my baby and give her the nurishment she needed. It is a personal CHOICE every woman has the right to make. It should never been seen as a duty and should never be made to feel any diffferent if they choose not to breastfeed.

    Answer by melliesmom1207 at 1:27 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • I consider it a choice. Although there is a school of thought that the BABY isn't being given a choice in the matter.

    Answer by gdiamante at 1:30 PM on Feb. 28, 2011

  • In the overall big picture of all women, it's a choice. For me, it wasn't a choice or a duty. It was just part of having my children, same as pregnancy or changing diapers. I never considered offering them anything other than breastmilk.

    Answer by JulieJacobKyle at 1:36 PM on Feb. 28, 2011