[Parentsgroup-list] anti-breastfeeding article in the AtlanticMonthly

bagneris at fas.harvard.edu bagneris at fas.harvard.edu
Mon Mar 16 15:23:34 EDT 2009

I also enjoyed the article in the New Yorker (especially given that I was, at
the time, chained to my breastpump) and I found Lepore's attention to race and
class thoughtful and important.  In my view, the Atlantic article did pay some
attention to class, though, by admittedly considering a very particular subset
of moms who are under enormous social pressure to breastfeed and who happen to
be overwhelmingly white, well-educated, and pretty well-off...hmmm, I wonder if
my  breastfeeding failure can be attributed to the fact that, as a black woman
raising two kids on a graduate student stipend (and my partner's average
income), I am only one of the three. Rosin also mentions the absurdity of women
who are bus drivers or waitresses demanding spa-like places to pump, etc.  It
was a three page article in a popular journal, not a dissertation.

Also, I don't think it's entirely accurate to call either of the articles pro-
or anti- breastfeeding.  Lepore's article, which many might see as more
pro-bfing (if anti-pump) left me feeling like I'd been duped in deciding to
pump for 5 months...but for me, nursing was not an alternative, making it,
effectively an anti-breastmilk article, whereas, I found that even after
reading Rosin who's article I found realistic, I'm still pro-breastfeeding and
will try again when baby #3 comes along (after the dissertation!!!).


Quoting Ceceley Chambers <cchambers at hds.harvard.edu>:

> I personally liked Jill Lepore's article in the New Yorker much better:
> http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/01/19/090119fa_fact_lepore.  At least
> she discusses the class issues, which Rosin completely avoids.
> Ceceley
> Ceceley Chambers
> MDiv II
> Harvard Divinity School
> -----Original Message-----
> From: parentsgroup-list-bounces at lists.hcs.harvard.edu on behalf of Irene
> Newton
> Sent: Mon 3/16/2009 9:36 AM
> To: Harvard Parents
> Subject: [Parentsgroup-list] anti-breastfeeding article in the
> AtlanticMonthly
> 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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