Is Breastfeeding the New Vacuum Cleaner?


the case against breastfeeding, breastfeeding not healthy

Is breastfeeding our generation's
vacuum cleaner?

"In certain overachieving circles, breastfeeding is no longer a choice—it's a no-exceptions requirement, the ultimate badge of responsible parenting. Yet the actual health benefits of breastfeeding are surprisingly thin, far thinner than most popular literature indicates. Is breastfeeding right for every family? Or is it this generation's vacuum cleaner—an instrument of misery that mostly just keeps women down?"

This is from "The Case Against Breastfeeding," an article by Hanna Rosin in the current issue of The Atlantic magazine. Hanna is certainly not against breastfeeding—she has three children, all of whom she has breastfed.But she does have a few choice words for La Leche League.

The article is well researched and well thought out. I don't agree with it all, but I highly recommend you read it and would love to hear what you think in the comments below.

Here's a bit I found interesting:

"The debate about breast-feeding takes place without any reference to its actual context in women’s lives. 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. Let’s say a baby feeds seven times a day and then a couple more times at night. That’s nine times for about a half hour each, which adds up to more than half of a working day, every day, for at least six months. This is why, when people say that breast-feeding is 'free,' I want to hit them with a two-by-four. It’s only free if a woman’s time is worth nothing."

What do you think? Does breastfeeding keep women down?



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lions... lionslambs

So u the poster wants 2 be violent with a mom b/c she believes Breast feeding is free?? now that is screwed up.  God created man/woman, who inturn, created a breast pump, so if ur not by ur baby u still can give them the best stuff.

Hey if u have a carpet, u gotta vacume it.  If u have a baby, u gotta feed it, why not feed it the best stuff on earth.  ur carpet u can always get a new one, ur baby u can not.

Bella... BellaBlondie

As a stay at home mom I have nursed all my children.  In MANY ways the more children I have the more I treasure nursing because it is a moment that I HAVE to dedicate to the baby...even diaper changes can be done in 3 seconds while I am teaching school or going about the day, and others CAN change him/her.

Nursing is something that ONLY I can do for my sweet baby....

WillDoDa WillDoDa

Um.... Just ignoring the bit about breastfeeding, because while I don't agree 100% with La Leche League I am a big breastfeeding supporter. I don't think it's for everyone, and that's fine. But that woman sounds bitter.

What I'm wondering is what makes the OP think that the vaccuum is just an instrument of drudgery for women? Does it not perform a valuable service. I would hate hate hate to have to pick up every tiny thing off the floor. Also... My husband does all the vaccuuming.... :)  I mean.... Is it not useful? Does it not make it easier to clean the floor?

On that same token, isn't breastfeeding easier than formula feeding. Ok for those who don't breastfeed that doesn't make sense to you. However, for me, there are huge time benefits. I don't have to mix milk, I dont' have to clean bottles. I dont' have to store bottles and formula. No expense either. Seems like both the vaccuum and the act of breastfeeding seem to cause less hassle rather than more.... That's just me.

BaisMom BaisMom

It could keep a working mother down, which is why working mothers generally don't exclusively BF. Other than that, I think it's up to the individual. Even a SAHM mom could be inconvenienced by BFing a newborn if she is the only one at home with several other children. I think BFing is great, but so is expressing or FF if that's the best option for the family.

Ashley53 Ashley53

This woman just seems bitter about motherhood in general. 

staya... stayathomehero

This article kinda makes me laugh b/c I can see it from all sides.  i have both breastfed and bottle.  My oldest stopped taking my milk at 6 months.  So she had to go on formula.  I was upset AND reliefed!  I have felt that confined to the breastfed baby part but I also have felt I had no choice this is what is best.  And there are times when I look at my middle dd and wonder what she would be like if I had breastfed past a month!  But all in all she has the same issues as my oldest who was breastfed for 6 months!  What it comes down to is you have to do what is best for your child and yourself!  This is honestly NOT worth a big to do over.  I have a friend who could not (and she tried hard) breastfeed and I know moms who are all about it who would probably insult her b/c she didnt!  That is wrong!  If you are all about breastfeeding great!  But for those of us who have had our struggles..we aren't you but at least we tried!

celti... celticreverie

The health benefits are *surprisingly thin*. Sounds like ignorant formula pushing to me! Wow, you're right?! The health benefits of HUMAN milk for HUMAN babies is thin, that's why we breastfeed and have mammary glands! Duh!

This article is awful. My daughter rarely  nursed for 15 min, let alone 30 min each feeding. I wasn't aware that doing what was BEST for your child meant your time is worth nothing?!

I'll tell you one thing, the over 400 dollars my sister will spend on formula was NICE pocket change for this nursing mother :)

Also, what do bottle feeding moms do? Prop the bottle? Ignore their child during feedings? From my understanding a FORMULA fed baby can eat just as often as a nursed baby, and for just as long. So by this arguement just FEEDING a baby makes your time worth NOTHING! :)

Katie... KatieCrandall

I see how you agree and disagree.  While I don't have to pay for formula, I do feel that I have less freedom--not that I'm complaining.  I can't just hand my boobs off to someone else to feed the baby, and I can't just spend the day away without pumping a time or two.  I can still go out, but I need to keep a closer watch on what I eat and/or drink, and oftentimes need to tote my pump around.  Last week, when I left my son with a different sitter I didn't leave enough expressed milk (he went through it VERY quickly).  Thankfully he didn't get hungry again, or I would have felt AWFUL.  This isn't an issue when you can leave a can of formula...

Katie... KatieCrandall

Oh, and I LOVE my vacuums...I've practically started collecting them, so take that Hanna Rosin!

teamq... teamquinn

This article that you quote is it by a doctor?  Or some wanna be feminist?  As a mother it was my priveledge to nurse my children.

"You will not work in any meaningful way?" Being a mother is the most meaningful work a woman can do.  Do realize or do you care that mothers have the power to shape a whole generation of people? 

If your child is such an inconvenience to you why did you even have them?  Stop degrading motherhood!

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