Breastfeeding doll controversy

2:22 AM, Jul 28, 2011   |    comments
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Breastfeeding Doll

(NBC) - There have been dolls that burp, dolls that need to be fed, and dolls that can cry. And now for the first time, there's a doll that can be breast fed.

 It's not available in the United States yet, but already controversy is surrounding the new toy.

  Maizy Wright likes to cook and clean. And even take care of her dolls. In fact her mom has seen her pretending to breast feeding them.

  Her mother says: "they just pick up any old doll and start nursing it."

  And as a member of La Leche,  a breast feeding advocacy group she's happy to see a doll that promotes it.

Anita Wright saysL "I love the idea of anything that promotes breast feeding and exciting to see that toy are recognizing that not all babies need a bottle."

 Soon what's called "The Breast Milk Baby" will be sold in the U.S. with the doll designed for ages two and over, a girl puts on a halter top, and the doll sucks on two appliquës. Sensors activate motions and suckling sounds once it attaches. It cries when it needs burping too.


Critics say the doll pushes kids to grow up too soon, ultimately promoting teen pregnancy.


 But Wright says: "I think if you are going to say that you are going to say breast feeding is a sexual act which its not is nourishing your child."


Psychologist Dr. John Petersen says: "If we are modeling sexualize behavior that is too young but this is as a nurturing behavior then its not too young."


Petersen sees the doll as just another doll with fancy features and snazzy marketing: "kids will imitate behavior and whether you have a dollar ot not boys and girls alike will imitate breast feeding if that is what they are exposed to at home."


Wright says: "they've seen mom doing that and seen other women nursing their babies."


The doll will sell for around 90 dollars when it hits the stores.


The toy has been very successful in Europe for years, and will debut at a toy show this weekend in Las Vegas.


Here's a statement from the United States spokesman for the company that makes the dolls: "The Breast Milk Baby has sold millions throughout europe . It is a wonderful, high quality product that mimics one of the world's most natural mothering abilities. We've been asked by millions of U.S. Women to offer the doll here and we've been graciously embraced by dozens of advocacy groups that endorse the doll."











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