June 26, 2013
As the birth of the royal baby draws near, all eyes have turned from Kate's bump to Kate's bosom.
A British television reporter is challenging Kate Middleton to breast-feed in public. Beverly Turner wrote in an op-ed in the Telegraph newspaper, "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."
Turner, a mother of three herself, called on women with "power and influence to get their milky bosoms out and feed smiling in paparazzi pictures."
Leigh Anne O'Connor, La Leche League leader, agreed, telling "Good Morning America": "If we're seeing our role models and our iconic images positively breast-feeding, that absolutely will have a positive impact on breast-feeding."
If Kate Middleton does breast-feed, she may not be the first royal to do so. It was reported that Princess Diana also breast-fed her children. ABC News Royal Contributor Victoria Murphy said: "I think quite possibly what happened was it was the first time…as time went on, it became something that people talked about. Perhaps she was the first one that people were aware of having done it."
But breast-feeding a baby isn't a given for any mom, royal or not. Breast-feeding rates in the U.K. have dropped, with about 6,000 fewer women choosing to do so in 2012 as compared to the prior year.
In the U.S. the number of moms who choose to breast-feed is on the rise.
Mom of three and Babble.com blogger Heather Spohr tried breast-feeding all her kids, but was never totally successful. Still the pressure to do so was immense.
"It made me think that maybe I wasn't cut out for this whole motherhood thing," Spohr said. "The choices that she and Prince William make for breast-feeding are theirs and theirs alone. They don't have to be the poster child for breast-feeding or formula feeding for that matter."
Still, experts think if Kate can, Kate will.
"My opinion is absolutely that Kate will very much want to [breast-feed]," said Murphy. "She's going to be off with the baby, she's going to be looking after it and I think she'll be very keen to give her child that start.
"I see no reason why she wouldn't unless she can't, unless there is a reason. Some women can't, but I believe that she intends to."