14 March 2009

Is breast best?

Bold piece on the the case AGAINST breastfeeding in The Atlantic this month:

"In certain overachieving circles, breast-feeding is no longer a choice—it’s a no-exceptions requirement, the ultimate badge of responsible parenting. Yet the actual health benefits of breast-feeding are surprisingly thin, far thinner than most popular literature indicates. Is breast-feeding right for every family? Or is it this generation’s vacuum cleaner—an instrument of misery that mostly just keeps women down?"

Don't agree with this woman's argument at all but she's ballsy for putting it out there and acknowledging that breastfeeding is not easy and does not come 'naturally' to all women....

Thoughts?

4 comments:

Cherryskin said...

Like most things, breastfeeding is a learned skill, and the circumstances under which you have to learn it are difficult: physical exhaustion, sleep deprivation, emotions running riot, demanding baby (it's what they're designed to do!), family/friends/society's expectations, etc, so yeah, it's not necessarily easy.

But nobody can argue with nature. As if some man-made, factory-produced, highly-processed, unvarying formula is going to be as good for babies as the natural breastmilk with which humans have evolved. The woman may be ballsy (and she does raise some interesting points), but she is misguided, and sounds very bitter.

I wonder who funds all the "medical" studies showing breastfeeding has only marginal benefits, considering many of the formula manufacturers happen to be big fat drug companies.

Anonymous said...

After reading her story and watching the videos it seems she is not trying to say breast isn't best, but trying to validate her resentment. I'm a breastfeeding mother nursing my 4th baby in 15 years. Breastfeeding isn't for everyone, it is a personal choice. But to say it's keeping a woman down like the vacuum cleaner is ridiculous. She wants it all, the career, baby, etc. Sometimes something has to give and for me it was the career. I have no resentment over that at all. Imagine later when her son reads this story that she was impatiently tapping her feet as he nursed? How sad. I love breastfeeding, and if I didn't I wouldn't be doing it. It is a CHOICE. Our breasts were designed to do this. If she believes it is not the best thing for her baby then why is she still doing it??

Spr0ut said...

I think the whole "breastfeeding isn't for everyone" makes sense in our culture today, but in the greater scheme of things sounds pretty ridiculous. You know, our being mammals and all. Leave it to the human race to screw everything up, as usual. Not saying that against the women, but how our society runs today, maternity leave issues and all that stuff. Also, this woman has some pretty cool friends. I have to work to find other moms that breastfeed, or at least breast feed longer. I'm on an attachment parenting board and I posted this there. There are just so many inaccuracies in the article, they don't know whether to be angry or to laugh. And there were a couple sympathetic comments of "Oh, sounds like she is suffering some burnout, or maybe marital problems..." Whatever the situation is, I think it was irresponsible to write and article like this when BFing rates in our country are so low. I wish the "breast is best" motto was more stressed than it is. I don't know what world THIS woman lives in but I want to be there.

Spr0ut said...

I think the whole "breastfeeding isn't for everyone" makes sense in our culture today, but in the greater scheme of things sounds pretty ridiculous. You know, our being mammals and all. Leave it to the human race to screw everything up, as usual. Not saying that against the women, but how our society runs today, maternity leave issues and all that stuff. Also, this woman has some pretty cool friends. I have to work to find other moms that breastfeed, or at least breast feed longer. I'm on an attachment parenting board and I posted this there. There are just so many inaccuracies in the article, they don't know whether to be angry or to laugh. And there were a couple sympathetic comments of "Oh, sounds like she is suffering some burnout, or maybe marital problems..." Whatever the situation is, I think it was irresponsible to write and article like this when BFing rates in our country are so low. I wish the "breast is best" motto was more stressed than it is. I don't know what world THIS woman lives in but I want to be there.

 
Creative Commons License
The Baby Bump Project by Meredith Nash is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.