Friday, May 2

Article on women breastfeeding..

According to a New York Times article "More Mother Breast-Feed, in first months at least." I thought the article was worth noting for a few reasons. First of all, I think it's great that people are breast-feeding their babies more! It passes along natural immunities and (in my mind) has to be more natural and healthy than something chemically. The only problem with the article, is that it follows the all too-standard medical practice of shaming women who don't breast-feed. While this may seem like such a little issue, when an articles says "studies have shown that children who are fed formula have increased risks of ear and respiratory infections, obesity, diabetes and even cancer," they're yet again placing women in an impossible situation. If they breast-feed they are doing the "right thing" according to medical advice, but if they can't or choose not to, they are somehow responsible for their child's possible propensity for obesity or ability to develop diabetes. Women are already told that if they don't eat the 'right' things or follow all the rules for childbearing and childbirth, their lax behavior or unwillingness to follow the advice of doctors is going to put their babies at risk. Think about childbirth--women who choose to have home deliveries or seek the services of a midwife (versus a hospital and doctor attended birth) are harassed and castigated by the media and medical associations for daring to work outside of the system. Instead of allowing them to make decisions about their own bodies, hospitals have medicalized a totally natural process. While I'm certainly all for breast-feeding when possible, I think it's important to recognize that it's not always possible and that scaring women into complying with conventional medical wisdom is NOT a good tactic.