Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Case Against Breastfeeding?

Posted by Kim:

While spending some time with my new Social Media friends online yesterday two articles came to my attention and I had to bring them to your attention. I was so shocked when I read about "The Case Against Breast-Feeding" written by Hanna Rosin. According to Rosin "Being stuck at home breast-feeding as he [her husband] walked out the door for work just made me unreasonably furious, at him and everyone else." She asserts that "In certain overachieving circles, breast-feeding is no longer a choice—it’s a no-exceptions requirement, the ultimate badge of responsible parenting. Yet the actual health benefits of breast-feeding are surprisingly thin, far thinner than most popular literature indicates. Is breast-feeding right for every family? Or is it this generation’s vacuum cleaner—an instrument of misery that mostly just keeps women down?" You can read her article on The Atlantic's website.

I then came across "The Case Against Breastfeeding: Is it Anti-Feminist?" article on the PhD in Parenting website and in this article the author intends to respond to Rosin's attacks from a "scientific and feminist perspective." The author of this article says "While I can concede that breastfeeding is not right for every woman or every family, I don’t see it as an instrument of misery that keeps women down." The author specifically addresses the following claims by Rosin

1. Rosin argues that women bear the strain of making breastfeeding work and that this exposes the ideal of an equal marriage

2. Rosin talks about a Babytalk story that calls breastfeeding induced “maternal nirvana” and goes on to explain that with her third child, nirvana did not describe her state of mind.

3. Rosin says that recently she and her husband noticed that they had reached an age at which friends from high school now hold positions of serious power, but they had to work hard to find any women on that list and she wonders why they disappeared during they years they had small children.

4. She also says that breastfeeding exclusively is not like taking a prenatal vitamin. It is a serious time commitment that pretty much guarantees that you will not work in any meaningful way.

Please read the articles and let us know your thoughts.

1 comment:

  1. I would guess that the first woman struggled with postpartum depression and did not have a healthy space and proper support to enjoy breastfeeding and all that it has to offer her child both physically and emotionally. Very sad for everyone involved! As for the second, I am speechless. I thought it was a good thing to be able to do something a man cannot. I think they both come down to needing good communication and support from the father.