[Parentsgroup-list] anti-breastfeeding article in the Atlantic Monthly

Manjari C. Miller mchatter at fas.harvard.edu
Mon Mar 16 10:13:27 EDT 2009

I breastfed my son for 15 months--it was one of the hardest things that I 
ever did. It was my choice--noone forced me into it--and I'm glad I did 
it. However, I do agree with the article that educated communities like 
the one we live in, there is a tendency to demonize women who do not 
breastfeed. I find it incredible and appalling how judgemental moms are 
about other moms. And I find it sad that moms compete to be the original 
"earth mother"--I still remember a mom in the Harvard community telling me 
that in developing countries women breastfeed their children for 2+ years 
and so women in this country have no excuse for not doing so. What I 
should have told her (and I didn't) was that although that is true--in 
India where I'm from, women in rural areas breastfeed for 3 years or 
more--this is because there is no availability of clean water. So formula, 
assuming they could even afford it, could kill their child. And this is 
certainly not true in developed countries.

Anyway bottomline: I think whether you agree or disagree with the science, 
this article contains some straightforward home truths.

On Mon, 16 Mar 2009, Irene Newton wrote:

> Hi parents,
> I wonder what you'll make of this provocative article.  I feel like I also
> had my issues with breastfeeding (especially the inequality it sets up in
> the parenting between mother and father) but I feel quite strongly that it
> is the best option for my child.  The article below brings up a lot of
> questions about breastfeeding and I wonder what the highly educated members
> of this listserve will make of it.
> http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200904/case-against-breastfeeding
> -Irene
> --
> Irene L.G. Newton
> Postdoctoral Fellow
> Tufts University - Microbiology Department
> Jaharis 424
> 136 Harrison Ave.
> Boston, MA 02111

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