Boobs for everyone!

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.

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One thought on “Boobs for everyone!

  1. I am not anti-formula. Babies have to eat. Not everyone succeeds at breastfeeding no matter how hard they try. I’ve seen and heard too many stories of women making themselves crazy trying to nurse their children through pain, supply issues and illness. Happy moms make for happy babies and if formula is what works for you and your baby, then there should be no shame in that.

    Breastfeeding is a great thing that is often misunderstood. It’s great that people want to get accurate information out there (because there are a lot of myths still being touted as fact), but I don’t think it should be at the expense of formula-feeding parents.

    Maybe Old Navy should have had a “breastmilk-powered” shirt to cover its bases. But I suppose that would have caused another type of war. Maybe they just should have said “milk-powered”. Whether it’s breastmilk or formula, it’s all ultimately some type of milk. That would have covered all the bases.

    I was lucky. I wanted to breastfeed my kid and I was able to nurse my daughter till she was 15 months-ish (not exactly sure when we stopped) When I was preparing to return to work when she was nine months (yay for splitting parental leave!), I started supplementing with formula because I wanted to be sure her nutrional needs were met. She was eating other food by that point and still nursing, but the formula made me feel more confident that she was getting enough nutrients throughout the day. (I had a pump but my production using it was hit and miss. I also wanted to spend my after-work time hanging out with my family, not constantly hooked up to a pump.) I met my daughter’s needs and my needs – that made for a happy family. And isn’t that the end result we all want as parents, and members of society?

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