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Should Breastfeeding Be Shown on 'Sesame Street'?

Living 2012/01/11 17:00:00
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Can you tell me how to get, how to get breastfeeding back on Sesame Street? This is the question that angry moms are asking regarding why the show no longer features breastfeeding moms. Back in the 1970's and '80s, the show often featured women nursing, as you can see in the snapshot below.



Since then, breastfeeding has been replaced with bottle feeding on the show, despite growing evidence that breastfeeding is preferable for the health of both mom and baby. Moreover, as Lani Michelle, the mother of a breastfeeding toddler, wrote in an email to Care2.com: "Women breastfeeding are the images we want to show to our sons and daughters, so that they will view a woman’s body as more then a sexual object."

Another breastfeeding mom, Jessica Williams, has created a petition asking "Sesame Street" to bring back breastfeeding. She has a good case: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby's life. According to babycenter.com, breastfeeding protects a baby from gastrointestinal trouble, respiratory problems and ear infections; can protect a baby from developing allergies; may boost a child's intelligence and may protect against obesity later in life. But does it need to be shown on "Sesame Street"?

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  • maryhanna.mpt 2012/01/11 18:50:42
    Yes
    maryhanna.mpt
    +27
    I totally support Lani Michelle: "Women breastfeeding are the images we want to show to our sons and daughters, so that they will view a woman’s body as more then a sexual object."

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  • DeejayS... Sagan 2012/01/13 23:04:09
    DeejaySpaniel
    +1
    No, but teenage boys do. If they learn that the female body, including and especially the breasts are there for a more important, more fundamental reason than their pleasure, especially at a younger age, it would teach them respect for women in their teens and adulthood.
  • Sagan DeejayS... 2012/01/21 03:24:23
    Sagan
    Yeah, but how many teenage boys do you know who watch sesame street?
  • DeejayS... Sagan 2012/01/21 11:00:30
    DeejaySpaniel
    +1
    No, but I know plenty that did as young boys.
  • Sagan DeejayS... 2012/01/24 02:07:54
    Sagan
    But do you honestly think that teenage boys want to take lessons from a show designed for kids 3-7?
  • DeejayS... Sagan 2012/01/25 11:01:24
    DeejaySpaniel
    I. AM. NOT. SAYING. THAT. I am saying teach them young and let them learn at a young age, so that when they are teenagers they will have the respect that they learnt at a younger age.
  • Sagan DeejayS... 2012/01/26 22:04:02
    Sagan
    I doubt kids could see the deeper meaning in these "lessons" your trying to teach them. Plus, most of the things teenage boys see in woman are from hormones and not from their past.
  • DeejayS... Sagan 2012/01/27 09:59:45
    DeejaySpaniel
    +1
    Almost everything you learn, you learn as a child. It's called your subconscious nature. If someone is taught as a child that they are the superior race, they grow up racist. Look at the Hitler Youth Program for example. You teach a child respect for the female body young, they will grow up with respect for it.

    Yes, they will still see it as a sexual thing, but not as a PURELY sexual thing.
  • Naked Sagan 2012/03/31 19:19:32
    Naked
    The do if they aren't exposed to them as anything but. Its mainly due to the media, but in some cases the parent are to blame for not teaching otherwise. I think its less about "women" being sexual and more about breast being sexual. They feed babies, and a lot of our society has forgotten that, thus forgotten to teach about it.
  • bye im out sodahead 2012/01/13 04:15:39 (edited)
    No
    bye im out sodahead
    +1
    who is sucking what.yeah just seen it so what baby has to drink somewhere
  • Yemi Hikari 2012/01/13 04:08:39
    Yes
    Yemi Hikari
    +1
    I voted for the wrong thing because my mouse moved as I was clicking by mistake. I say no because the target audience for Sesame Street has dropped from Elementary school students of the 70's and 80's to the preschoolers during this time frame.
  • Wizard Yemi Hi... 2012/01/13 09:35:35
    Wizard
    So...some of them are just getting weaned at home.
  • Yemi Hi... Wizard 2012/01/13 18:09:25
    Yemi Hikari
    Some is not all of them.
  • Dr.CleoDactyl 2012/01/13 03:57:35
    Yes
    Dr.CleoDactyl
    it wouldve freaked me out as a kid maybe
  • sjalan 2012/01/13 03:17:44
    Yes
    sjalan
    +7
    It is a natural process of feeding children. Don't need to show the breast, just show the kids that it natural Nothing more need be said.

    When my great grandchild (6 years old) asked what a lady was doing, (breast feeding her child) I answered him truthfully. He said "oh" and that was the end of the subject.

    Children take things like this very well when you matter of factly tell them the truth.
  • Ericka sjalan 2012/01/13 17:16:58
    Ericka
    Sure, but shouldn't it be up to the parents or other elder family members to teach them this and not have it be foisted on Sesame Street? How would you prefer your own children or grandchildren learn about other delicate social issues? Then, too...do they learn about sex from the schoolyard (and likely learn values you do not want instilled), or do they learn it wiith a carefully thought out and appropriate response from you?

    What I don't like is that too many kids are left with electronic babysitters...parents are distracted, and lately with everyone having a hard time in this Recession (that is supposedly "over"), they are largely ignored even more because the parents just don't feek they have time for raising their kids AND "me," or are just so stressed and pressured that they "forget" that their most important job is raising their kids.

    I just really would like to see parents more invovled in Every aspect of their kids lives, upbringing, and what they are exposed to...I'm not sure having a toddler or young school child learning reproductive health from Sesame Street is a good thing, or appropriate, but that's my view, I guess.

    :)
  • sjalan Ericka 2012/01/13 18:52:03
    sjalan
    +2
    I couldn't agree more, However, as you say parents are NOT doing their jobs. Where there are no infants in a household, then inquizitive child will see something, like Sesame Streets very short insert on breast feeding and then be able to ask the questions necessary for proper answers from the parents.

    Yes it is intrusive into the family, but to open the lines of communications between parent and child that is what may be needed. Of course since most parents are not around right now or have been over the last 25 years or so, then it is whom ever the parents have abandoned their children to to educate them. And sometimes that opens a whole new can of worms.
  • Ericka sjalan 2012/01/13 20:22:41
    Ericka
    Yes, and this is exactly why I don't believe it should be on Sesame Street...it is still up to the parents to raise their kids, and if they're not doing it, then maybe Sesame Street or other Children's programming is Not the answer, but more adult programming and public interest stories on the effects of this on the 6 or 11 o'clock news wouldn't be a bad idea...heck, with the way the world seems to be experiencing a disconnect on this issue, put it on Jerry Springer or other "reality" shows - that way we'll KNOW people are actually WATCHING it ;) Seems they don't pay attention to much else, and that's How things like this end up on Sesame Street ;)
  • aslan 2012/01/13 03:13:34
    Yes
    aslan
    +3
    Well, I am not sure if bottle feeding, or breast feeding are necessary to show on a
    T.V. show. However, breast feeding is certainly preferable and has so many important factors. It is not only for better health, but is creates a stronger bond between Mother and child. It is much cheaper and easier. It amazes me that women with less money chose to spend money on formula and bottles. Also, women who wear next to nothing, on the beach, think that breast feeding is indecent. Breast fed is best fed!
  • lmj9433 2012/01/13 02:57:22
    Yes
    lmj9433
    +1
    I am so glad we are starting to be more accepting of breast feeding so that moms aren't inconvenienced and babes aren't forced to eat in disgusting public bathrooms. The body is natural and beautiful anyway & anyone who has a problem with seeing a little boob is a pervert themselves!
  • kay29 2012/01/13 02:54:25
    Yes
    kay29
    +3
    In a way, young children need to know that it is a natural process in life and that it is nothing to go 'Eww' to. Just as long as she doesnt...ya know....show the whole picture or anything....
  • Bigbrowneyes 2012/01/13 02:30:34
    Yes
    Bigbrowneyes
    +3
    My little sister, being the last one born was SHOCKED when she found out about breast feeding, because it was so hidden in the media. She vehemently said that it was disgusting. On the other hand, my other three siblings and I have all witnessed my mom breast feeding, and it was one of those things we accepted without question. When we became parents, our babies would be breastfed. That is just the way we thought. But why is this natural act trying to be suppressed? The more people who view it as abnormal, the less babies will be fed.
  • Kidasha 2012/01/13 02:20:57
    Yes
    Kidasha
    +4
    This is one thing I never understood when I came to America. Why do American's hide the most natural things? I was breastfed and I grew up in a village where women openly breastfed and I turned out ok. Although I must add I didn't have access to a TV until later in my life and even now I don't watch TV that much.
  • SamanthaLima 2012/01/13 02:02:37
    Yes
    SamanthaLima
    +2
    As long as they don't show boobs its not a problem. I mean most of the kids tht watch sesame street are kids who aren't tht old tht they don't remember breastfeeding
  • miss 2012/01/13 01:54:08
    No
    miss
    +1
    ummmm let me put this out. why would a bunch of children watch a woman breast feed. it makes no sense. you've done it he's done it so let's move on not learn bout it. but if like it was to teach am still not sure kids should learn about that aren't we supposed to protect their innocence till we can. you might be like why is that not protecting their innocence well am not sure but it just doesn't seem right. like when you say i bread need you know it's not right.
  • aslan miss 2012/01/13 03:21:27
    aslan
    +3
    With your spelling, and use of the English language, I am not quite sure what you are trying to say.I see nothing that would hurt a child's innocence by showing a woman breastfeeding.
  • Naked miss 2012/03/31 19:22:02
    Naked
    What about breastfeeding would make them lose their innocence?
  • miss Naked 2012/04/02 01:10:40
    miss
    a child might go around trying to touch another woman's boobs saying i wanna see the milk squirt. how embarrassing would that be? My friend's cousin did that luckily with family. But let me ask if or if you do already would you want your child to see another woman breastfeed on TV?
  • Naked miss 2012/04/02 02:15:05 (edited)
    Naked
    It would not bother me in the least bit, I signed the petition. I think the major issue that stigmatizes breastfeeding is that we are a society that sees bottle feeding as normal and natural feeding not. It needs to be re-normalized. We are mammals. And in the case of the child... as the same with anything they do that would be inappropriate... Teach them that its not right. Teaching what is socially appropriate and not is a part of proper parenting. If you can teach your child to use a toilet and not to pick their boogers, you can teach them not to do that.
  • Naked miss 2012/04/02 02:18:25
    Naked
    Also, I have no problem with my child seeing a woman breastfeed in public. So many of my friends nurse, she's already been exposed to that. She knows that mommys make milk for babies.
  • miss Naked 2012/04/05 20:09:22
    miss
    Well all i can say is that we see things differently.
  • Naked miss 2012/04/06 02:02:35
    Naked
    And thats okay. I understand that people think differently and see things differently. I will however, continue to stand on my soap box to normalize and teach anyone who wants to know all of the wonders of breastfeeding. Thanks for the conversation! Have a wonderful easter =D
  • miss Naked 2012/04/09 20:04:17
    miss
    Same to you (even though as i am typing easter was yesterday) And your welcome. and I hope no one stops you
  • thksfrthmmrs 2012/01/13 01:54:05
    No
    thksfrthmmrs
    +5
    Because young kids need to learn why a baby is sucking on a boob at an early age.I know it's natural but its unnecessary.If I had watched this I would've had plenty of questions for mommy.
  • Naked thksfrt... 2012/03/31 19:24:31
    Naked
    There is nothing wrong with children questioning it. How hard is it to explain to a child that the baby is eating? I've done it plenty of times. So what your saying is people shouldn't breastfeed/ breastfeed on tv because parents like you are too lazy to talk to their kids and explain it? There is nothing wrong with breastfeeding. You can explain how a baby calf eats from a momma cow fairly easily, right? Why is this concept so hard for you to grasp?
  • chris 2012/01/13 01:23:13
  • aslan chris 2012/01/13 03:25:54
    aslan
    +5
    What a foolish, and uneducated, comment!
  • chris aslan 2012/01/14 07:24:38
  • kobidobidog 2012/01/13 01:19:37 (edited)
    Yes
    kobidobidog
    +2
    Breast feeding is as normal as sex, why hide it. Breast feeding is as normal as the leaves you see on the trees. Humans accept a human that will have your children march to their death, but grimace about breast feeding seeing a breast? Seeing testicles, and a human or non human penis real or fake is not bad ether. God made them, and said they are very good. Have God in us, and we will say they are very good too. I can't see God fussing about the things humans fuss about.
  • Wizard kobidob... 2012/01/13 09:45:37
    Wizard
    +1
    That is similar to an attitude I encountered in SE Asia when I met my Filipino wife I was with. Asian do not see modesty that same way as Americanos. It can be very unsettling for people who have led a sheltered life...to be told...need to go? And they point to the cement wall next to the busstop...with a serious look. Breast feeding isn't even on that scale.
  • kobidob... Wizard 2012/02/26 01:12:34
    kobidobidog
    Breast feeding is nothing. Had humans not played the blame game in the garden The toilet in any form would,d not be known. It seems the Asians understand that we are animals, and that nakedness is not a bad thing ether. Humans not used to it would be shocked by it at first. Nudity, and breast feeding is an easy thing to have humans get used to if the fear of being arrested was lifted.

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