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Is Breastfeeding the New Vacuum Cleaner?

by Suzanne Murray on March 16, 2009 at 12:04 PM


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?



Filed Under: breastfeeding

Comments

84
  • aeneva
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    aeneva

    March 16, 2009 at 12:16 PM

    Hell no simpley because there is no man in the world who can nautrally noursih their child the way nature intended with the PERFECT food for them.  It is free and the time things doesn't matter because whether breast or formula SOMEONE has to give that child the nourishment so the time is moot unless you are propping a bottle which is NOT good for them.  I agree that it is not for everyone, but this article is telling half truths


  • Smile...
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    SmileyMoo

    March 16, 2009 at 12:28 PM

    Oh forevermore. I hate views like this.  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." 

    So nourishing your child is worth nothing?   By this woman's standards we might as well. Prop bottles, leave the baby unattended, never change the kid's diaper, never teach it to be potty trained or how to walk.

    After all its such a drudgery to do all those things for an innocent human being that didn't even ask to be brought into the world.


  • mrssu...
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    mrssundin

    March 16, 2009 at 12:32 PM

    breast feeding is not for everyone and to tell someone that they are a bad parent because they do not breast feed is outrageous.  first off none of us know why this person chose not to breast feed or if they have a medical condition that keeps them from breast feeding.  i hated the fact that none of my kids could breast feed because they were allergic to my milk no matter how i changed my diet.  but all of my kids are healthy and happy and i envy those who have gotten the chance to breast feed.  but since i haven't ever been able to i am still ok because my husband has also been given the joy of feeding our children.  and feeding your babies no matter how you do it is a wonderful bonding time.


  • sunmo...
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    sunmoonstars

    March 16, 2009 at 12:34 PM

    I have BF two babies while working full time and also finishing up grad school.  It didn't hold me down.

    As with anything, although there isn't alot of published data, that's no reason to believe BF isn't better. 


  • misss...
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    misssy2000

    March 16, 2009 at 12:41 PM

    "Yet the actual health benefits of breastfeeding are surprisingly thin, far thinner than most popular literature indicates"""??? or even "I want to hit them with a two-by-four. It’s only free if a woman’s time is worth nothing.". Are you kidding me? So people are just buying breast milk, and shipping it to African just for the fun of it? I really wish that these guilt ridden mothers that didn't even try to breastfeed would stop writing this crap, just to make themselves feel better. Nobody really cares that you didn't breastfed, but you.  Also is she saying that nourishing your child with the best they can possibly have is worthless. How is a mothers time worth nothing? Anywho I am so done with this and I am not even reading the rest because this is full of lies. If you are going to write something like this at least let it be the truth. argh! Some of us, actually had children knowing that they would be a big commitment and don't resent it.


  • rocke...
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    rockerchic

    March 16, 2009 at 12:41 PM

    Dude... I am SO TIRED of the Breast Feeding Debates!

     

    I don't remember anywhere... on any job application I've ever filled out... Answering wether or not I was breast fed!

    I was not breastfed, my daughter was not breastfed, and you know? We are Both Very intelligent individuals!

    My kid will have the same abilities and chances in life as a child that was breast fed....

    Just as I have!  I made the same grades as Breast Fed kids in School....

    So what I'm trying to say is this....

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


  • Lanasmom
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    Lanasmom

    March 16, 2009 at 12:45 PM

    This lady makes it sound like you can't leave the house if your bf'ing --it didn't hold me down, i still went shopping, went out--did what i normally did, but like any mother, i had to take the time to feed my child while i was out. --Maybe my child isnot' the norm, but she never ate for 30minutes at a time! --She got to be pretty efficient and it was more like 10min total for a feeding. --So 9 feedings a day, at 10min each, thats only 90min, a big difference.


  • LIZARD66
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    LIZARD66

    March 16, 2009 at 12:47 PM

    It took just as long to bottle feed until about 8 mo, when they could hold the bottle, so the time argument is stupid no matter what.


  • Elija...
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    Elijahsmommy9

    March 16, 2009 at 12:53 PM

    I was under the impression that motherhood was a full time job. I have nothing against FF moms. But I dont see what some FF moms have against me. I've never judged or bashed anyone for they way they feed their child. This whole topic is pretty ridiculous and it will never go away if we keep bringing it up!!! 


  • loli_...
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    loli_usn17

    March 16, 2009 at 12:56 PM

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

    Oh wow. I guess I didn't read anything that said that, or I wouldn't have breastfed at all. I work in a meaningful way. I'm in the MILITARY and when I went back to work after 6 weeks, I pumped. It was a huge fight in the beginning, but people got used to it....and you know what? I still did a great job at what I did. It didn't really hinder me. Is breastfeeding free? Well, almost compared to formula feeding. I had to buy a few bottles for daycare and a pump...instead of buying a year's worth of formula. It doesn't really compare prices.


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