Kate Middleton Breastfeeding: Should Duchess Of Cambridge Do It In Public?

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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the naming ceremony for the ship 'Royal Princess'. | Getty

It seems like all the attention surrounding Kate Middleton's baby bump has now shifted to her soon-to-be nursing habits.

Earlier this week, U.K. TV presenter Beverley Turner wrote a piece for the Telegraph on the declining numbers of women breastfeeding in the country and how women who refused to breastfeed were "fighting the wrong war."

Turner also encouraged women of high power, like the Duchess of Cambridge, to breastfeed their babies. "As if there wasn’t enough pressure on her already, 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 wrote.

But should Kate, who is supposedly due next week, be pressured into breastfeeding? We know breastfeeding definitely has its benefits: it protects infants against disease and illnesses, gives them brain power, and recently, one study even found kids who are breastfed are more likely to climb to a higher social class than their parents.

For Prince William and the Duchess, some observers say the couple is likely to stick to the healthiest ways of feeding.

"The Duke and Duchess have already shown that they have formed views on doing certain things their way, so I would not be surprised to hear that they intend for the Heir apparent to be breastfed initially," says Rosemary Albone, an expert on royal nannies at caregiver services site Care.com. "As the royal family continues to publicly modernize their views, this decision would be in keeping with that."

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But some don't agree with this pressure at all. Alice Gomstyn, writer for Babble.com, says no one should be scrutinizing Kate's feeding choices.

"If she's not comfortable doing it in front of a camera-wielding public, perhaps there are alternatives? Have the royal photographer take some shots of her nursing in a private setting and let her choose which ones she wants to release?" says Gomstyn.

Meanwhile, writer Jeanne Sager says breastfeeding is a personal issue and "demanding a woman breastfeed in public is, in a word, unfair."

Whichever form of nursing Will and Kate end up choosing, nanny expert Albone says it will probably be different for this new Heir compared to royal babies of the past.

"On extended tours, the royal babies would be fed in line with their established routines. These routines would be encouraged early on in the baby's life in order to provide a consistent pattern which every endeavour would be made to stick to," she says. "I sense that Kate and William would opt for feeding on demand rather than a very rigid routine if their circumstances were different, but they do appreciate the very unique situation that their firstborn is about to enter into."

What do you think about all this pressure on Kate? Let us know in the comments below:

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