Saturday, July 3, 2010
Formula feeding is creepy!
No, I do not believe that! Yet imagine the uproar if I not only thought that, but used my position to publicly declare it! The accusations would fly and there would be immediate outpourings about creating guilt in bottle feeding women and I would probably be labelled that most offensive title of Nipple Nazi.
Yet, the reverse is apparently quite acceptable and we breastfeeding types have no right to be up in arms about it. Curiously, if we become so, we are also demonstrating the above trait!
This week, the media and blogosphere have been full of outrage regarding UK writer Kathryn Blundall's article in a parenting magazine.
Her personal opinion is that breastfeeding is "creepy". Her words. Confirmed in a radio interview on the BBC. She finds it impossible to allow twin roles for human breasts as sexual objects - "funbags" - and the source of food for her baby.
"They're part of my sexuality, too - not just breasts, but fun bags. And when you have that attitude (and I admit I made no attempt to change it), seeing your teeny, tiny, innocent baby latching on where only a lover has been before feels, well, a little creepy."
I wonder if Kathryn Blundell also chose to have a surgical birth, rather than see the non-sexual role of her vagina in action? And she must find the whole toileting scenario pretty creepy too!
She is fully entitled, as am I, to have a personal opinion. What is not acceptable though, is her using the publication she writes for to mis-inform readers who are or may be considering breastfeeding.
Anyway, the fall-out has been, once again, the "debate" of breastfeeding versus formula feeding and the old faithfuls have been dragged out once again - choice, guilt, embarrassment - and Lactavists have had to defend their position.
Why? The writer of the article is not asked to defend her opinion, in fact, everyone is at great pains NOT to deny her. But those who have made different choices are suddenly required to defend them. But not just their decision to breastfeed at all, but also the length of their breastfeeding experiences, the issue of breastfeeding in public and the "pressure" put upon new mothers to breastfeed (this "pressure" is replaced almost immediately after the baby arrives with "pressure" to introduce formula or wean completely).
Enough is enough! If you truly do not want to breastfeed, then that is up to you. I believe your baby should have some rights in the process, however formula is good enough to sustain your child. If you wanted to breastfeed but were faced with insurmountable problems, then I acknowledge your sadness and regret. If you continued to breastfed your baby despite problems or if you did so without ANY problems (rare in this modern society) then you have my joy and support to continue as you wish.
But please don't tell me that I cannot promote the default mammalian way to feed infants. Please do not complain if I point out the risks of formula feeding so others may make an informed decision, just as I hope you were able to.