Mary Renee - posted on 04/23/2011 ( 68 moms have responded )
Growing up I always heard my mom use the term "nursing" when we saw a mother nursing or breastfeeding her child. Now that I'm a mother though, I always hear the term "breastfeeding". What I'm wondering is, what term do you use and why? What term do you prefer? Why do you think there has been a shift from one term to another? Do you think there is a reason for this shift, or (as someone who studied linguistics) do you think that the change in terms indicates something? Does it imply something different? Are there different associations with one or the other?
Or do they just mean exactly the same thing to you and you use them both equally?
I ask because as a child when I heard the term "nursing" it sounded very normal and everyday. While I knew it meant that the mother was feeding the child with her breast, it wasn't thought out like that in my head, it was just simply, the mother is feeding her child. I personally prefer the term "nursing." A lot of times I hear breastfeeding referred to negatively, like this crazy breast feeding mother, oh she's "one of those" lactivists or whatever. I know terms are often very regional, but to me nursing just rolls of the tongue better. I'd rather say to my boyfriend "Wait, I'm going to nurse the baby before we go" instead of "Wait, I have to breastfeed" I guess it sounds less intrusive to me.
What do you think?