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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Colts... ColtsFan1912

Oh no! *gasp* I have to SPEND TIME WITH MY SON TO BREASTFEED HIM! *gasp* who cares if my dishes take longer I'd rather spend that time with my son anyways!!

gdiam... gdiamante

Breastfeeding is an investment in your child. The argument is illogical in the extreme. The writer is basically saying that spending time with your child is worth nothing. So why not push 'em out and let the wolves raise them?

It is a serious time commitment that pretty much guarantees that you will not work in any meaningful way.

Bullcrap. The MOST successful breastfeeders I've known were wqorking full time outside the home. They understood priorities.

The author needs a lesson in logic or at least on in journalism.

Melis... Melissa6280

I don't understand why anybody cares so much about what another woman chooses to do... DO we make this big of a deal about what type of diapers are used? Everyone needs to do what works best for them and there family... That's what makes a GOOD mother. And if anyone has payed attention... this women does and has breast fed her children! She was just pointing out that everyone should back off the women who chose not to breast feed, for whatever the reason!!!

jeng1980 jeng1980

I can agree with this but at the same time, why does someone put up a question about why mothers nurse after the baby is a year old?  In the grand scheme of life, is it really hurting anyone else that a mother choose to nurse after a year old.  So what if there are no benefits which I know for a fact there is but if there wasn't...IT WOULD NOT MATTER.  I'm so sick of the breastfeeding debate too.  I've found that some FF moms are very insecure and some bash the BF moms to make themselves feel better.  It's the tale tale sign of insecurity.

In the grand scheme of life....  It really dosen't matter..... Because we all end up with the same chances... making the same choices....

rockerchic Mar. 16, 2009 at 12:41 PM

jeng1980 jeng1980

ANd by the way, the MAIN reason I breastfed was for the optimal health benefits.  The second reason was for the bond that is formed between my child and I.  Third, IT IS MOST DEFINITLEY FREE!  The author of this so called article definitley doesn't understand that those amount of feedings don't even go on but for maybe the first 2 months.  2 months out of a whole entire life is not much and most working moms are on maternity leave at that point.  So it is beyond my thinking as to why FF mothers care whether us nursing moms even nurse beyond a year and whether there's any healthy benefits. 

I think there's some people who have nothing better to do than to bash moms if they are not doing exactly what they think they should.

misss... misssy2000

What also make no since is she is doing exaclty what she is saying that bfing mothers do to her. The only odd thing is that she is a breastfeeding mom also. Shes nuts!

RanaA... RanaAurora

Melissa, if that's all you caught from the whole article, you're seriously mislead.  It was an offensive, completely degrading, lying waste of web space, designed solely to degrade breastfeeding and people who find breastfeeding to be important.

mama_l mama_l

Why does it not surprise me that a site that has formula sponsors put up such crap (for lack of a better word).  This article is pure opinion and the fact that it is plastered on here as fact makes me sick but is so telling of the type of administration that allows such misinformation not only to be passed along but highlighted.  Shame on you cafemom for allowing this as a highlight!!

JoyeA... JoyeAustin

I'm not interested in reading anything Hanna Rosin writes. Her tone is nasty and her attitude demeaning. Her point of view is downright negative.

You know what keeps women "down"? The responsibility of having children itself. Breastfeeding is a part of the whole scenario. You have kids, you're committed. Those women who resent that might feel tied into bondage, especially by the time demanded by the act of breastfeeding.

Snowc... Snowcorgi

As I knew my daughter was likely to have serious allergies, I never considered any other way.  I didn't know I could fail at breastfeeding, so I didn't.

DD did end up with allergies to food and everything else.  But the inhalant allergies and asthma was delayed to age eleven.  And I believe the breastfeeding is the reason why.

It also reduces my risk of breast cancer, which runs in the family.

Anyway, other mothers can feed their babies as they wish.  Breastfeeding was cheap and easy for us, and it did have health benefits.


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