Is it totally inappropriate or a terrific idea?
Woman breastfeeding baby

Along with sex ed, why not learn about breastfeeding in school? Students in the Liverpool area in England are doing just that. What do you think about it? Read on and decide for yourself.

U.K. school hopes to increase awareness

Puppet babies and knitted breasts are helping teenage students in the U.K. learn about breastfeeding. And even though it’s hailed as a way to expose youth to the natural act of nursing (many of whom have never seen a mother nursing her baby before), some are finding issue with the practice.

Inappropriate

Norman Wells, from the Family Education Trust, felt that the lessons were inappropriate — the age of consent is 16 and kids this age have no need to learn how to breastfeed. “'The benefits of breastfeeding can be far more appropriately and effectively communicated to expectant mothers by GPs and midwives at antenatal appointments in the weeks and months immediately prior to the birth of a baby,” he told The Daily Mail.

"These idiots should be locked up... "

“Any girl who has to be taught how to breastfeed or how to be a good mother should never have children,” shared one commenter on The Daily Mail’s article. Glenn from the U.K. agreed. “These idiots should be locked up so they cannot do our children any more harm,” he wrote. “It’s idiots like these that only make underage pregnancy worse.”

Read why this mom loves breastfeeding her preschooler >>

Fabulous idea

Other parents felt that not only is this an awesome idea, but that it should be taught just as sex education is — a course many adolescents take both here and abroad. “I would venture to say it's not making them want to have babies any more than sex ed is making them want to have sex,” explained Melissa from Texas. “To me, it's just giving them more knowledge about the subject.”

"Letting teen girls know what their boobs are for... is a great thing."

“Throw it in with sex ed,” Kelly, mother of two, said. “I think letting teen girls know what their boobs are for (other than for their male counterparts to oogle) is a great thing.”

Jessica from Florida completely agreed. “We hand out detailed pictures of genitals, teach about menstruation, safe sex, STDs, pregnancy, child development and more — but how do we forget breastfeeding?” she asked. “If more girls are taught and shown that it's normal, less young mothers, or mothers in general, would think it's 'weird' to do so.“

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Maybe use a different method

And still other parents felt that it was a good idea but another method should be considered instead of the puppet babies and fake breasts. “I think it is kinda odd,” noted Talei from New Zealand. “Why not just invite some nursing moms to talk to them and feed their babies in front of them?”

This unique program is in its beginning stages in the U.K., but plans are in place to roll it out further across the country.

Tell us

How do you feel about a similar program being run in the U.S.? Would you want your daughter to learn about breastfeeding in school? Leave a comment below and tell us how you feel about the topic.

More on breastfeeding

Celebrate National Breastfeeding Month in style
Breastfeeding photos: Moms with their babies
Why you should breastfeed your toddler

Tags: sex education

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Comments

Comments on "Is 14 too young to learn about breastfeeding?"

Teresa October 02, 2012 | 9:30 PM

I'm a lactation consultant, doula and La Leche League leader. I think education should include breastfeeding information. It should describe the benefits of breastfeeding and include detailed information about it. I believe that in order to become a breastfeeding culture, we need to quit being squeamish about breastfeeding. Just because they are learning about breastfeeding, doesn't mean they will go out and get pregnant as a teenager. Also, when do we teach breastfeeding information? There is no regular place. It isn't in health class even in college. Doctors in the U.S. learn very little about breastfeeding, even if they are becoming OB-GYN's or pediatricians. Remembering that this is breast cancer awareness month, women who breastfeed reduce their chances of breast cancer for themselves and also for the daughters that they nurse. Ignorance hurts. Knowledge heals.

barb October 02, 2012 | 2:28 AM

It's never too early for girls to learn that they can breastfeed, that they should breastfeed, that it's a joy to breastfeed, and that anybody who doesn't want to see a mother breastfeed can put a blanket over his/her own head. We wouldn't dream of teaching girls that they aren't capable of doing almost anything a man can do; why would we not teach them how perfectly capable almost all of them will be to feed their babies without using products invented, made, and sold by men? In health class, we teach girls about all their body parts; when we teach them about their vaginas, ovaries, and uteruses, why not teach them about their breasts too? It would empower them to know that they are made to give and sustain life, not to be toys for men.

Louise September 30, 2012 | 12:53 PM

I think the idea of showing them real nursing mothers is great. And, it is never to young to learn about breastfeeding. It should be considered "normal", it is unfortunate that most women have never seen a woman feed her child naturally.

Shannon August 12, 2012 | 11:27 AM

I think it's a good idea, but not necessarily for the classroom. I think it's the parents job to teach girls about breastfeeding and when they're ready. If a 14 year old is curious, then great! If not, I don't see the point in teaching it to them. Is shouldn't be a "big" deal - it's natural and necessary.

Patty August 11, 2012 | 3:55 AM

I think it's brilliant! Maybe the method/technique can be altered to better suit the audience but the message as Kelly in the article stated " to teach girls what their breasts are for....." needs to be sent. Fact is these girls are having and having babies-I don't think the information is encouragement or permission to do either but education to be knowledgable. I work in a clinic where I see many young teenage moms-some are successfull breastfeeders some think "oooh boobies" ?? I think it's a very appropriate health topic and should be a public health initiative. Breasfeeding is normal and the best for baby, we need to get over our own insecurities and see it for what it is.

stephanie elliot August 10, 2012 | 6:21 PM

I think it's a good idea and I like the thought that one woman suggested real nursing moms come into the class to explain the process. But I also think 14 is a little too young. Some of these girls are just dealing with getting their periods for their first time. I say hold the classes for juniors and seniors in high school.

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