The Case Against Breastfeeding?

I came across this today reading through Kimya Dawson’s blog and it shocked me. Entire video library dedicated to discrediting the moto "Breast is Best". Apprently this push for all mothers to breastfeed their babies is taking away our rights as women to be out of the house and have a career ect…, and is setting back feminist everywhere?

Waaa? I though this was the most empowering thing a women could do, make magic growth juice with your own breasts, isen’t that what they were made for? I understand and support when a women is unable to breastfeed due to medical reason or true low supply issues, I am not a burn at the stake kind of girl, but saying that there is no proof that the health benefits of breastfeeding outweigh that of formula feeding is just ludicrous, and saying that La leche legue is just another way to opress women and make them feel lousy about themselves is pretty damned far stretched no?

I guess that’s the beauty of free speech, people can be as moronic as they desire.

About mommamaynard

β€œLife is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” β€” Albert Einstein. When it feels like your world has been shattered, and you have reached rock bottom, you must make a choice: Stay where you are and fade away, or keep moving forward. Thankfully I chose to move forward and was blessed with the two most wonderful children after the death of my first in early labor. Things are looking up.

Posted on July 28, 2009, in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. I can understand some of what she’s saying about not wanting to or being kind of obligated to and whatnot, but that’s an internal issue she needs to deal with being so caught up in other things she doesn’t view breastfeeding as number one priority of new moms. You know?
    (I say I can understand because I myself felt really tied down. I did it for 19 months, but I did feel like it was a huge burden.)
    However, I think both breast nazis and people like this woman can say whatever they want to say and make it sound credible. If you’re passionate enough about something any case you give will be all the more powerful. I think she’s mistaken, probably read through the articles that made sense to her and scanned the research saying breast was better. Plus, how can you really debunk something that’s all around the world, since the creation of mankind? Jeez.

  2. um…. pardon my french, but what a fucking retard.

  3. Playing Devil’s Advocate
    I listened to an interview with the author on NPR a couple of months ago and I have to admit that I agreed with her on almost every single point she made and I am what most people consider a boob-nazi.
    I was JUST thinking about this last week: if I were to to even tell people I know online that I was going to give my next child formula once in awhile in order to get a date night out with my husband I would be attacked, instantly. If I were to make the choice to not breastfeed at all? I would have no friends anymore. It’s a moot point, to some extent, because just like that author, I AM going to breastfeed any kids I have. But the what if is scary… how can we base the worth of a person on whether she chooses to breastfeed or not? How can we know her past, her pain?

    • Re: Playing Devil’s Advocate
      I am 100% pro educated choice, it’s your body and no one but you know’s what is right for you. EDUCATED choice. To say there is no evidence that breastmilk is better for your child then formula is ludicrous. To say the pro breastfeeding campaigns are just another way to make women feel lousy about their bodies seems ludicrous to me as well. I think if she choose not to breastfeed that is her choice and that is fine, it has 0 to do with her worth as a person, I don’t know her or her history as you said. But.. I think it’s retarded to go on the record as saying breastfeeding is repressing women all over and has not been proven to be really any better then formula? Well your gonna get judged, just as I would expect that if I got on here and said feeding your kids Cinnamon Toast Crunch for breakfast will help them to concentrate in school just as effectively as steal cut oat with flax meal and fruit would, ya know. It’s not judging her choice, cause what you do with your body is your business, it’s just judging the way she presented it, as fact.
      Now if your friends were to slander and judge you and stop talking to you because you choose to formula feed,after careful consideration of your options, then girl you need better friends πŸ™‚ A true friend should support your informed decision and the fact that you made the decision that was best for you. (Cloth diapering versus sposies for instance) I have many friends and relatives who choose to formula feed, and I was formula fed and tend to think I turned out ok. Basically breast is best, but more important still is a women’s RIGHT to make an educated choice and have access to factual evidence to arm her to do so with.
      That being said-educated choice would say, why not pump so you can leave your child with bottle of EBM instead of formula? Right? Again, you can choose not to, but knowing there are other options that allow you to get a break is important. The more you know, ya know?

      • Re: Playing Devil’s Advocate
        I think that’s the point she’s making, actually, what you said. There ARE woman who will spit/ talk nasty to random bottle feeding mamas… Not in my area, but in more Liberal ones…
        In terms of my hypothetical: I’m an overproduced and had over supply/ engorgement issues when I pumped for occasional outtings. I know of a new technique now, but might experience the same thing this time (or not) who knows. I’m still not sure I’ll even get pregnant again.

      • Re: Playing Devil’s Advocate
        and if that’s ‘all’ she had to say then I would not have been so taken aback. I know there are people who need to mind their own damn business, they are everywhere. Redy to judge anyone who does anything they deem innapropriate. They are the same people who would shun me for choosing to have an epidural with my next delivery. I know what’s best for me, I have looked into it, I know what the pro’s and con’s are so leave me to my body.
        BUT she was saying more, their is an MD interviewed in that video that goes on and on about Breastfeeding is just another way to hold a women down and repress feminism ect..It’s like whoa what? when? and then the whole Breast is not best for sure thing.

      • Re: Playing Devil’s Advocate
        Yeah, you know, I can see the Devil’s Advocate bit. It is hard to exclusively breastfeed and breastfeed on demand, especially when you have a baby who demands it a lot! I was NEVER able to put my firstborn down, day or night. It was bloody hard, and I did pump a few times, and give my mom a bottle and go out for coffee with my husband. But I almost think that this is more a fault of our culture than breastfeeding. Why was I so alone with my newborn? Why didn’t I have anyone who would come by and just rock her so I could do ANYTHING on my own? We prize independence, we prize hard work, and new moms are often left on their own with their baby. And that’s it. And I loved my baby, don’t get me wrong. But it was hard.
        You know, I don’t remember the article exactly… I do remember thinking she had some points, but I did see them more as being problems unique to our culture, not to breastfeeding. I truly see the mother and baby as a dyad… they should be always together… compared to other mammals, our babies are just fetuses when they are born, for 9 more months!
        I am sorry, alexisyael, if your friends would really react so badly to your hypothetical bottles of formula. Whenever I check out breastfeeding sites, and I see the harsh attitudes of some of those women, I get so upset. Breastfeeding is *so* nurturing, so why are you being so cruel to other women? It doesn’t help the cause, and turns a lot of people off. And I think, especially in the States, where so many women get minimal mat leave, and such little breastfeeding support, it’s really no wonder that they choose formula… why not enjoy those 6 weeks with your baby, rather than struggling to breastfeed for the entire time? Seriously, I blame our culture, and I blame formula companies. Read “Milk, Money and Madness”… formula started off as a necessity (feeding orphaned babies — they needed something that wouldn’t kill them) but it so quickly became all about profit. Well, that’s capitalism, right?

      • Re: Playing Devil’s Advocate
        I totally, totally agree. I guess it is nice for breastfeeding mamas to cheer themselves along in the communities and such, but if I cut out my friends who choose to use formula I’d be losing some important people in my life. Also I’d really feel like a hypocrite considering all the not so healthy foods I share with my son.
        I have a friend who’s 14 month old son won’t eat a thing and nurses all day, a friend who weaned her eleven month old onto formula when she got pregnant and I think she gave her toddler formula for a long time after he weaned, and a friend who told me it was such a relief with her third child when they asked if she’d be nursing and she confidently told them “no thank you”. It’s amazing how on the Internet we aren’t allowed to be friends. I’m not worried, my son hasn’t caught any formula germies from their kids.

  4. While I totally support a woman’s right to choose – after all, I was a formula-fed babe, and I turned out all right – I really think it just makes sense that breast is best. There is a reason our bodies make milk. Breastfeeding isn’t some elitist thing; it’s just natural.

    • I also grew up on formula and turned out A-OK, but even my mom’s says she wished she would have breastfed. It’s free and it’s made tailor to your babies needs and always ready with no need to add water, or shake or warm, so it just makes sense to me as well, The health benefits are just a huge bonus.
      It just seems to be that every other mamal who can, does feed their young from their breast, it’s only humans that want to feed our young another species of mamal’s milk.
      Again, not that someone should be burned at the stake for deciding they don’t want to breastfeed, i respect the freedom to choose, I am just saying it’s seems common sense to me that if you can, why wouldn’t you?

  5. Every now and then I go off on a breastfeeding rant, and that article just enraged me. Here’s the link to my post about it (sorry, I don’t know how to do the LJ link in a comment), which has two great responses to that article, plus two more articles that I really liked.
    I think the second article (Taking Down the Almighty Bottle)really shows just how brainwashed as a culture we are to expect babies to feed out of bottles. And it’s that brainwashing that causes people to speak out against “breast is best”, linking LLL and the oppression of women and blah blah blah. Breastfeeding as anti-feminist (which it is was, back in the day). I can’t remember… I have a friend who takes women studies courses… are we on third wave or fourth wave feminism? Where natural birth and breastfeeding are seen as very strongly feminist. The author of that article is a little passe, really.
    I also saw something on youtube once, a talk about why “breast is best” just isn’t working, as a campaign. It puts the onus on breastfeeding to prove itselt, when really, the onus should be on formula companies to prove they’re not harmful. And so far, they get off the hook on that one. They can nod and say, “You know, breast *is* best, but when breastfeeding just doesn’t work out, here’s your fabulous, perfectly safe second best”. More like fourth best! After the mother’s EBM and donated breastmilk. I think formula should be available by presciption, and I think we have to go about changing cultural expectations, and it won’t happen with our generation, but it should happen with our kids. World breastfeeding initiation rates hit an all-time low in 1985. That’s a lot of brainwashing to overcome.
    I share your frustration. I could go on and on, and if I ever organize my notes, *I’m* going to write one mother of a pro-breastfeeding article. (which reminds me… two recent books on the culture and politics of breastfeeding, if anyone wants to join the Lactation Nation with me: Milk, Money and Madness (which I’ve read) and Unbuttoned (which I haven’t read, but have on hold at the library)(and I can’t remember the authors, and am too lazy to look them up!)

  6. Breast better be best, because I worked very hard so he would nurse forever and still be healthy despite the amount of junk food we share.

  7. Hi, random blog stalker here…
    That is so ridiculous!! “Breast is Best” is the motto because breast IS best! So many studies have proven that. Why the heck would anyone think “hmm, this liquid coming out of my chest is disgusting! Why would anyone subject their baby to this? Oh, yay, smelly powder in a can! I’ll mix + shake this with some tap water and heat it in the microwave! Delicious!” LOL but really… I cannot understand how anyone would want to use something synthetic to feed their baby when they have something natural and free!
    I understand if, like you said, they cannot breastfeed, or even if they have to work full time and can’t pump, but those reasons still don’t make formula better than breastmilk, or even equal.
    I can’t even talk about the feminism thing because that is just hilariously stupid.
    Thanks for the laugh!! You just have to laugh and shake your head at these people…and be grateful that you’re part of the club that knows what really IS best.

    • Re: Hi, random blog stalker here…
      Hi Random Blog Stalker πŸ™‚
      Thanks for popping by and adding your two cents to the equation. I am forever greatful for my brain πŸ™‚

  8. yep, people are allowed to be as stupid as they please, AND they get to breed too….and probably have no problems procreating and never go thru the horror of loss….meh….but you know what they say about opinions….LOL!!
    The thing that irks me about this all, is that NO ONE is holding a gun to women’s heads and saying “you MUST breastfeed!!”—-so obviously it’s this author’s own internal problem…or inadequacies…..possibly just her own feeling inferior that she feels the need to justify her actions and even turn it into something bigger…..whatever….it sort of tries to take the responsibiliy off of ones self and blames “society” or “the anti-feminist” for making her feel the way she feels, when in reality, she needs to just take accountability of her decision to not breastfeed and just own it, instead of blaming.
    ok, I’ll just stop there…

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