This is a blog about breastfeeding by someone without children. It’s also a blog by someone who is clearly a judgmental bitch. And yet, even with those admissions, I can’t bring myself to walk around accusing women of hurting their babies because they, for whatever reason, choose formula.
Some moms out there are infuriated that Old Navy has a shirt promoting (I guess?) formula. The Globe and Mail trumps it up as a triumph for mommy-bloggers (which assumes that “mommy-bloggers” are just a bunch of women sitting in a room sharing a single thought – but that’s a different issue). I think it’s nonsense.
We’re not talking about feeding your child rat poison. We’re not talking about hitting, or abusing children. We’re not even talking about smoking while pregnant like some crazy commenter suggested. We’re talking about formula.
It’s food. It doesn’t have all the same benefits of breast milk, (it arguably has different ones) but it provides nutrition to children who need it. Why they need it that way is none of your business!
The Nestle Scandal is often touted as an example of why formula is bad. But formula wasn’t necessarily bad. Bad water, poverty, and exploitation of women was bad.
I was breastfed until I was two and a half or so – and it probably would have been longer had my mother not gotten sick. That was her choice. It certainly wasn’t a nutritional necessity. I can’t for the life of me understand why one would want a child attached to her breast for 3 years, but hey, whatever works.
I happen to believe the doctors who say breastfeeding is good. But that doesn’t mean that anything but breastfeeding is murder.
The minute women get pregnant our society treats them as commodities of procreation rather than human beings. The whole point of feminism is that women should have choice, and value beyond their organs.
One of my favourite feminists, May Friedman, wrote this article (PDF) about her thoughts on breastfeeding. It’s enlightening and it’s better than anything I can write.
Think what you want. Get angry even. But keep it to yourself. Mothers have a hard enough time as it is.