06 May 2009

Is breast best?

Well, it seems as though the debate surrounding whether breast is best has been revived after the tragic death of a British mum, Kathy Isden, who committed suicide by falling off the roof of her New York apartment block as a result of feeling so distraught about not being able to breastfeed her son. Due to see a lactation consultant on the day of her death last November, the 29 year old first-time mum was found by her husband on a neighbour's patio early that morning. Although Isden was thought to be depressed at the time, it is still not clear whether she jumped or fell from the roof.

As so many mothers know, breastfeeding is not always easy and it is definitely not 'natural'. As horrific as this incident truly is, it is not surprising that something which is supposed to be a 'choice' for women, can have such devastating effects on those women that cannot perform according to our quite narrow social views of what makes mothers 'good'. While there are certainly other factors that probably contributed to Isden's death, nevertheless, the pressure to be a 'good' mother clearly had a hand in her decision to take her own life (if indeed it was suicide).

Thankfully, the Australian Breastfeeding Association has been blessed with some extra cash to better resource its national breastfeeding helpline. According to recent reports, the line has experienced a 30 per cent increase in calls since March, with more than 28,328 calls received between October and April.


Cherryskin said...

This is why breastfeeding needs to come out in the open!

It just shouldn't be a big deal either way.

It's a natural bodily function and society shouldn't be FORCED onto the idea, or continue to deny it's what we were meant to do.

This woman obviously had some serious problems unrelated to breastfeeding.

swankette said...

What, exactly, is not 'natural' about breastfeeding? It's basically why women have breasts - seems pretty natural to me.

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