[Parentsgroup-list] Re: Parentsgroup-list Digest, Vol 448, Issue 1

Susan McDonald mcdonaldsu at gmail.com
Fri Mar 20 09:24:11 EDT 2009


I agree that we need to find some sane, compassionate middle ground on
this topic. The breastfeeding "wars" remind me of the natural
childbirth wars. It's sad -- when did these activities become
competitive events?

Personally, I liked breastfeeding and nursed my son to 21 mos. It
wasn't easy -- I pumped at work, had a bout with flush, and struggled
to "up" my production. I was also a single mom, used cloth diapers,
and moved across the country when he was 18 mos. And I was lucky --
nursing wasn't super difficult for us and my baby took to it easily.
Some of my friends tried really hard and it just didn't work,
especially with small or sensitive babies.

On the other hand, I also tried everything to have a natural
childbirth and ended up with complications and an emergency c-section.
My 9 lb. baby was hard to deliver but easy to nurse. My friend's 6 lb.
baby was easy to deliver but wouldn't nurse. So, which one of us is a
better earth mother?? I try to empathize with moms who try to nurse
and can't (maybe because I keep waiting to meet another petite, older
first-time mom with polyhydramnios who gave birth naturally to a big
baby so she can tell me how she did it). Come on, girls -- there's
some luck and genetics involved in both processes.

For me, both breastfeeding and childbirth made me realize that
different women truly face different challenges. We really have to
stop judging each other.

Susan, MPA/HKS, mom to Adam (4 y.o.)

On Fri, Mar 20, 2009 at 1:27 AM,
<parentsgroup-list-request at lists.hcs.harvard.edu> wrote:
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> Today's Parentsgroup Digest:
>
> Today's Topics:
>
>   1. Re: RE: Parentsgroup-list] anti-breastfeeding     article in the
>      AtlanticMonthly (Michelle Forman)
>   2. Advice about public schools and neighbourhoods in Somerville
>      - moving from Ottawa to Boston next year (Elizabeth Muggah)
>   3. Re: RE: Parentsgroup-list] anti-breastfeeding     article in the
>      AtlanticMonthly (Michal Herzfeld)
>
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Message: 1
> Date: Thu, 19 Mar 2009 14:21:55 -0400
> From: Michelle Forman <mlf534 at mail.harvard.edu>
> Subject: Re: [Parentsgroup-list] RE: Parentsgroup-list]
>        anti-breastfeeding      article in the AtlanticMonthly
> To: ?milie cappella <emilie.cappella at gmail.com>
> Cc: Parentsgroup-list at lists.hcs.harvard.edu
> Message-ID:
>        <e6cd1b180903191121k632507a5i5d6979d5a7b1e197 at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
>
> 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=
> S.
>> You're not doing better when you breastfeed, but you're doing worse when =
> you
>> give formula, that's the point. And you know that when you try to answer =
> the
>> 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 =
> we
>> 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, =
> so
>> 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=
> rs
>> 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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> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 2
> Date: Thu, 19 Mar 2009 21:14:17 -0400
> From: Elizabeth Muggah <emuggah at hotmail.com>
> Subject: [Parentsgroup-list] Advice about public schools and
>        neighbourhoods in Somerville - moving from Ottawa to Boston next year
> To: <parentsgroup-list at lists.hcs.harvard.edu>
> Message-ID: <COL119-W25A847E3877166B2332892BB970 at phx.gbl>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
>
>
>
> Hello parents! =
>
>
> My husband and I and our two children (age 4 and 6 years) will be moving fr=
> om Ottawa, Canada, to Boston this summer as each of us will be completing a=
>  one year mid career masters at Harvard in 2009-2010. Our kids will be in K=
> indergarden 2 and Grade 2 next year. We are looking forward to a great year=
> .  =
>
>
> I am hoping you can help me with a bit of advice. We are looking to live in=
>  Somerville -  one of the main reasons for this is that the lottery system =
> in the public school system in Cambridge seems to makes it impossible for u=
> s as renters who will register late to predict what school our kids will ge=
> t into. =
>
>
> We have found two apartments which look good to us as outsiders in terms of=
>  the "family-friendliness" of the neighbourhood. The first apartment is up =
> the street form the JF Kennedy public school and a short walk to Benjamin B=
> rown school. The second is near Washington St/Beacon St or Kirkland Village=
>  (the latter may just be real estate lingo but that is what the map says) a=
> nd the local school is Lincoln Park school. We have heard good things about=
>  JFK and BBrown school but know that the reputation of Lincoln Park school =
> isn't so good, although the facility is apparently lovely. =
>
>
> We are really wanting to walk our kids to school and move to a friendly nei=
> ghbourhood where the kids can play outside and meet other children, use the=
> ir bikes etc.
>
> Your advice about the above would be appreciated, particularly as it concer=
> ns Lincoln School. My concerns about the school are less about the acadmic =
> rigor, as they will be there only one year, but I want them to be happy at =
> the school. =
>
>
> Thank-you in advance for all of your insider opinions. =
>
>
> Cheers, =
>
> Liz Muggah
>
>
>
> _________________________________________________________________
> Experience all of the new features, and Reconnect with your life.
> http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=3D9650730
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> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 3
> Date: Thu, 19 Mar 2009 22:24:18 -0700
> From: "Michal Herzfeld" <mherzfeld at law.harvard.edu>
> Subject: Re: [Parentsgroup-list] RE: Parentsgroup-list]
>        anti-breastfeeding      article in the AtlanticMonthly
> To: <mlf534 at mail.harvard.edu>
> Cc: Parentsgroup-list at lists.hcs.harvard.edu
> Message-ID: <291aa01c9a91c$1dfa4850$496a010a at mail2world.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
>
> Michelle,
> Thank you so much for your post.  It was pretty much exactly what I
> wanted to say, but in a much nicer tone than I would have been able to
> manage.  You can't overestimate the power of the combination of
> post-delivery hormones, lack of sleep, and the sudden discovery that one
> just doesn't produce enough milk for one's child.  People make it seem
> like the single most important thing a mother can do for her child is to
> breastfeed, and to find out that one can't makes one feel like an utter
> failure, less of a woman, and an unfit mother.  Hearing phrases like
> "you're doing worse when you give formula" simply reinforces that.
> I realize this debate centers around the choice to give formula rather
> than giving formula out of necessity, but I wanted to give some voice to
> the minority of women whose children would simply starve without
> formula.  For those who find themselves judging parents who give
> formula: next time you see a woman or man feeding a child formula, try
> to tell yourself that formula feeding is their decision, and a perfectly
> acceptable one.  But if you can't bring yourself to believe that, just
> think that perhaps the child is only alive because of the miracle of
> formula.
> Michal
>
>
> <-----Original Message----->
>
>                 From: Michelle Forman [mlf534 at mail.harvard.edu]
> Sent: 3/19/2009 1:22:55 PM
> To: emilie.cappella at gmail.com
> Cc: Parentsgroup-list at lists.hcs.harvard.edu
> Subject: Re: [Parentsgroup-list] RE: Parentsgroup-list]
> anti-breastfeeding article in the AtlanticMonthly =
>
>
> 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 milie cappella < emilie.cappella at gmail.com
> <mailto:emilie.cappella at gmail.com> >
>
>
>        Hi,
>        =
>
>        I wonder why everybody is always talking about breastfeeding
> PROS and CONS. You're not doing better when you breastfeed, but you're
> doing worse when you give formula, that's the point. And you know that
> when you try to answerthe 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 thanthe
> industrial one, and we don't need to count IQ points to know that.
>        The Atlantic article shows that American propaganda about
> breastfeeding wenttoo far : some women believed the propaganda and were
> disappointed, so 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 members 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
> <mailto: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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>
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> Parentsgroup-list mailing list
> Parentsgroup-list at lists.hcs.harvard.edu
> http://lists.hcs.harvard.edu/mailman/listinfo/parentsgroup-list
>
>
> End of Parentsgroup-list Digest, Vol 448, Issue 1
> *************************************************
>


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