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

Michelle Forman mlf534 at mail.harvard.edu
Thu Mar 19 14:21:55 EDT 2009

What I think that we need to be careful of, in our highly-educated circles,
is phrases like "you're doing worse when you give formula," or extolling the
many benefits of breastfeeding over formula. I say this because in our
circles we have been utterly, completely convinced of the benefit. What I
and many of my friends struggled with was the emotional fallout when it
didn't work perfectly. I have watched friends in and out of this program
spends hundreds of dollars on lactation consultants, smuggle drugs in from
Canada to increase production, be told not to let a drop of formula cross
their infants' lips, obsessively monitor the ounces they were able to pump,
shut down emotionally at the suggestion that their baby looked hungry, be
told that a baby rejected the breast was making unhealthy choices and she
should throw out every bottle in the house, and on and on.

The message that is not out there - again, in my experience - anywhere near
enough is that breastfeeding is wonderful IF its wonderful. And that if you
end up needing to supplement or switch to formula your baby will still be
healthy and strong, will not suffer intellectually or lack an emotional
connection to his/her parents. I remember a friend of mine saying to herself
"It may prevent an ear infection, Emily, it will not cure cancer."
Especially in the emotional insanity of postpartum hormones reassurance and
perspective are critical, and in my experience, sorely lacking.

2009/3/18 =E9milie cappella <emilie.cappella at gmail.com>

>  Hi,
> I wonder why everybody is always talking about breastfeeding PROS and CON=
> You're not doing better when you breastfeed, but you're doing worse when =
> give formula, that's the point. And you know that when you try to answer =
> question "what is formula ?"
> http://www.theecologist.org/pages/archive_detail.asp?content_id=3D586
> Of course breast milk is not a magical elixir, people and journalists who
> tell that are just doing some poetry. Breast milk is only the normal
> thing. The natural process is more reliable than the industrial one, and =
> don't need to count IQ points to know that.
> The Atlantic article shows that American propaganda about breastfeeding
> went too far : some women believed the propaganda and were disappointed, =
> now they are initiating a kind of revolt as naive as their first belief in
> the magic. It's unfair for the people who try so hard to obtain a better
> legislation for working mothers.
> Emilie Cappella
> ----- Original Message -----
>  *Sent:* Monday, March 16, 2009 9:36 AM
> *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 membe=
> of this listserve will make of it.
> http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200904/case-against-breastfeeding
> _______________________________________________
> Parentsgroup-list mailing list
> Parentsgroup-list at lists.hcs.harvard.edu
> http://lists.hcs.harvard.edu/mailman/listinfo/parentsgroup-list

-- =

Michelle Forman
Doctoral Student, Education Policy
Strategic Education Research Partnership
Harvard Graduate School of Education
617-895-6455 (cell)
617-495-7661 (office)
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