April 16, 2024

Public Breastfeeding in Thai Culture

The Time magazine’s cover “Are you mom enough” showing a photo of a celebrity mom breastfeeding her son has stirred uproar among international readers. Critics assert the cover went too far. Breastfeeding is normally recommended for babies from birth up to 2 years old. However, the celebrity mom’s son in the Time’s cover was 3 years old at the time of the photo.

The Time magazine’s cover mom argued, mothers may choose to practice what’s known as “attachment parenting”, a school of thought where breastfeeding continues beyond 2 years of age.

And just when Time magazine breastfeeding cover controversy sparkled heated debate, photos of two moms posed in military uniforms breastfeeding their babies were recently posted on the internet for an awareness campaign to promote world breastfeeding week in August and to encourage moms to breastfeed in public, added fuel to the fire.

Many issues surrounding breastfeeding include whether it is fitting to nurse a child in public. Some societies believe that mothers should breastfeed behind closed doors although it is perfectly acceptable for others.

In Thailand, there is no Thai law that prohibits Thai or Expat moms to breastfeed their babies in public but Thailand’s culture normally requires modesty in public affairs.

Thai mothers in the upcountry sides breastfeed in the open but they are discreet by covering their breast with a towel or cloth so as not to offend the public. Just like in the west, mothers may breastfeed as much as their baby wants provided it is done somewhat discreet.

Breastfeeding is regarded as the healthiest option for babies in Thailand, there are actually malls and establishments in Bangkok that have a breastfeeding rooms for nursing moms!