As a mom of 3 who breastfed, I advocate for moms to seriously consider breastfeeding their children because there are so many wonderful benefits. I also believe it is important for families as they prepare for the arrival of a new baby to share things with their children including how mommy will feed their sibling.
I recently came across and article about a Breastfeeding Baby Doll for Children called “The Breast Milk Baby Doll” that has stirred up a lot of controversy. Most retail stores in the US refuse to have it on their shelves not because of the controversy itself but that it would potentially upset the customers. According to the information I have come across, this doll has been popular in Europe since breastfeeding seems to be more open and accepted there.
I do see breastfeeding as a touchy subject here in the US and to introduce a Breastfeeding Baby Doll only adds fuel to the fire, especially when it involves children. There are some who advocate for breastfeeding while others advocate for formula. Breastfeeding is not exactly widely accepted. We still have issues with businesses, the workplace and other public places who shun breastfeeding as if the breast were solely a sexual instrument and should not be accessible unless one is in the comfort of their own home. I do believe that this has lead to women choosing not to breastfeed because they are self conscious about others opinions on it.
Would I have bought this doll when my daughter was smaller? Probably not. For one the price is astounding at $89. Another reason is that my daughter was not much into dolls except when she was under the age of 3. She is primarily a tomboy.
If I had a child who had shown interest in the doll I would probably consider it. I believe it is ultimately up to the child if this is something that interests them. Now I do believe this would be a useful tool for facilities that teach soon to be parents about breastfeeding and how to position them, etc.
To sum it up, there should not be so much controversy over this doll. I believe it is mostly about being self conscious, treating the breast as a sex object and shame. It is an unfortunate stigma that hinders the minds of people about something that is an important part of life that has potential health benefits for both the mother and child. Having a doll to help explain it to a curious child can be a beneficial part of a child’s development as it teaches them that breasts can have an important role in life when they are older. It is better than a child growing up only being taught that breasts are viewed as a sex object.