17 March 2009

The Case Against Breastfeeding

It was bound to happen. Perhaps the pendulum is now swinging back against breast feeding, or at least against the social pressures to breast feed.
Quotes from the video: Breastfeeding has become another way to control women, and make them feel insecure about their identity as women. It becomes this measure..."are you a good mother? Do you breastfeed?"

..I liked the idea of being central to my child's existence. It's not about the milk...

It's supposed to be empowering, not about the science, (which is weak in support of breastmilk)...

...We don't have maternity leave in this country...just breastfeeding at night is a disaster...that moment when women go back to work is a crux when judging begins...

...the formula container says 'breastmilk is best'...

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was sort of glad to see this. The breastfeeding nazis are a bit much to take. I nursed my first exclusively for six months, and didn't nurse the second at all (she was adopted at almost seven months and I didn't want to give her one more thing to adjust to). The first has pretty much had a running ear infection for the past six years, while the second, who never had a drop of breastmilk, has never been to the doctor for anything but a checkup. I know it's anecdotal, but it doesn't surprise me that the health benefits are overrated. Breastfeeding is a good thing to do and I'm glad I did, but women should be able to choose not to without guilt.

corrinesan said...

I think regardless of what choice a mother makes, the pressure she feels from the "other" camp is immense. EVERYONE feels like they can give you their opinion on what you are doing WRONG. Women who give bottles are judged for not breastfeeding, women who breastfeed are called freaks & told "It's just ONE bottle" when gramma wants to feed the baby... There's no choice a mother makes that isn't second and third guessed by everyone.

mel817ski said...

~Melissa
www.nursingbirth.com

Rosin's article and her appearance on the Today show deeply saddened me. The only thing I agree with Rosin about is that mothers need to stop judging each other and support each other. But the agreement stops there. Rosin's research is shoddy, incomplete, outdated, and inaccurate. If it was complete she would have written about a meta analysis published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (AHRQ) in 2007 entitled “Breastfeeding and Maternal and Infant Health Outcomes in Developed Countries,” which reviewed over 9,000 abstracts, 43 preliminary studies, 43 primary studies on maternal health outcomes, and 29 systematic reviews or meta-analyses that covered approximately 400 individual studies on breastfeeding and concluded with the following:

“A history of breastfeeding was associated with a reduction in the risk of acute otitis media, non-specific gastroenteritis, severe lower respiratory tract infections, atopic dermatitis, asthma (young children), obesity, type 1 and 2 diabetes, childhood leukemia, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and necrotizing enterocolitis [for the child]. For maternal outcomes, a history of lactation was associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, breast, and ovarian cancer…Early cessation of breastfeeding or not breastfeeding was associated with an increased risk of maternal postpartum depression.”

If you are a woman who decides breastfeeding is not a choice you want to make, then fine. Even pro-breastfeeding health care providers and educators will agree that there are plenty of reasons why a mother might have to feed her baby pumped milk or formula via bottle. But for Rosin to go on national television and say that "the scientific literature regarding the benefits of breastfeeding is thin" is just WRONG. She thinks this article is an "I've got your back" to all the mothers who choose not to or can’t breastfeed. But in reality it is just going to hurt the breastfeeding community by spreading a doctrine that tells women, their families, their bosses, and their legislature that "it's unnecessary to support the rights of breastfeeding mothers." Healthy living takes a time commitment. Being a parent takes time and sacrifice. If you are a mother who doesn't want to make the sacrifices necessary to breastfeed OR if situations beyond your control prevent you or your baby from breastfeeding OR if you just bond better with you baby by not breastfeeding , that's your choice and you’re right, you shouldn’t be “judged” for it. But to call breastfeeding an "instrument of misery that mostly just keeps women down" is sickening.

~Melissa
www.nursingbirth.com

WestEnder said...

Scientific data overwhelmingly show that breastfeeding is better for infants than formula. There's really nothing else to say except that overwhelming data to the contrary would need to be shown to indicate otherwise.

This issue has been closed for years. Sorry about mothers' guilt, but guilt doesn't trump science.