Before Kate Middleton's decides how she'll feed her child, she should know the world is watching. No pressure.
On Wednesday, Beverly Turner, a UK television, radio presenter, and mother of three penned an op-ed in the Telegraph challenging Middleton to nurse. "What we really need is The Duchess of Cambridge to get her Royal orbs out to feed our future monarch. And to be applauded-not seethed at-for doing so." She also called on women with "power and influence to get their milky bosoms out and feed smiling in paparazzi pictures."
These days, the personal decision to breastfeed has become a public issue. When Beyonce breastfed at a restaurant, she became an unofficial advocate of the breastfeeding movement. Meanwhile, women have come under fire for publicly nursing—be it on an airplane or on the cover of Time Magazine. Perhaps as a side effect of all the attention, U.S. breastfeeding rates have risen by 5 percent over the last few years. The World Health Organization's advises new moms to breastfeed for the first six months of a child's life, but not everyone has the physical or practical ability to follow those guidelines. (Even Queen Elizabeth weaned Prince Charles before he was two months old because she developed Measles.)
Middleton is under pressure, nonetheless, thanks to lowered breastfeeding rates in the U.K. (about 6,000 fewer women choose to do so in 2012 as compared to the prior year). As the most influential woman in the country, and much of the world, advocates hope she'll use her power to set a precedent for new moms.
"Kate Middleton understands she's in the public eye, and if she does decide to breastfeed, which we hope she does, it would make a statement about how beneficial it is," Marsha Walker, RN and the Executive Director of the National Alliance for Breastfeeding Advocacy told Yahoo! Shine. "Deciding whether or not to breastfeed isn't the same as choosing whether to drink Coke or Pepsi. It affects the health of the mother and the health of the child."