Do You Care Whether Jennifer Lopez Breastfeeds?

Listen to some TV and radio headlines, or sneak a peek inside People or US magazines, and you'd think the decision whether or not to breastfeed a baby was right up there with going to see the Pope. Jessica Alba gets pestered by Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet of the Oscars preshow. Jennifer Lopez decides not to breastfeed her newborn twins and watch out -- mommy blogs, People magazine, and even The Wall Street Journal all weigh in.

What's even more weird is that the question seems to be strangely impersonal. Not "do you want to breastfeed your baby?" Instead, the spotlight is "Is she breastfeeding?" In other words, we're being asked to care about whether other moms, even celebrities we've never met, should breastfeed their babies.

I do not care whether Jennifer Lopez or anyone else breastfeeds her babies. I sincerely doubt any other moms give a hoot what I think about how, where, or when they feed their infants.

Obviously, the media covers new mom's breastfeeding decisions because reporters and editors think we do care. So the question today: Do you care whether Jennifer Lopez (or any other of the four million new moms in America this year) breastfeeds her babies?

Do you care whether your neighbor does? Your sister? Your daughter? Your best friend? Why or why not? Do you care how long moms breastfeed? Where they breastfeed? Do moms, like Lopez, have the right not to breastfeed? Why do some people -- reporters, activists, the mom down the street -- think they have the right to weigh in on such personal decisions?

By Leslie Morgan Steiner |  April 23, 2008; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Breastfeeding
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I barely even knew that she had given birth. Don't we have our own lives to live?

Posted by: babsy1 | April 23, 2008 7:12 AM

I with babsy1. Why the heck would I care what a famous person does with their baby? I usually don't even know these movie stars anyway. I loved breast feeding my daughter and I do believe it is the most nutrious food for a baby in its first year. But for the 1,000 th time, breast feeding is a deeply personal decision. It takes a lot of work and committment for some women to breast feed. Some are not able (adoption, health reasons etc...) But what ever the reason, it is not our business. Besides, there are whole generations of healthy people who were bottle fed.

Honestly, I think this country should focus on what we eat post first year. Obesity is probably a bigger threat to our overall health.

Laura:Ignore your nay sayers. I think it is awesome that your mom went back to school. It is amazing that on this blog, people would actually criticize someone for trying to make their lives and the life of their child better. I swear some of these anonymous posters would criticize God if they could.

Leslie: I think everyone who uses a screen name are pretty much sick of the obnoxious useless anonymous posts that have come about since you stopped instituting the sign in requirement. It makes me think your more concerned with having a large number of posts-even at the expense of allowing trolls to make 1/4 of the comments.

Posted by: foamgnome | April 23, 2008 7:21 AM

I am in the process of weaning my 9 month old son from breastfeeding. I wanted to make it a year, but because I am a professional with a more than 40 hour work week, the pumping has just gotten to be too much. I am going to wean very slowly and expect we will make it 10 months and maybe longer with some breastfeeding and some stored breast milk and some formula.

This was a deeply personal decision that took an enormous amount of committment and planning and endurance and produced more than a little anxiety and bucketfulls of tears. I certainly would not feel comfortable making this decision for anyone else. So, while I think it's an important decision to make, it's also only the baby's mom's decision to make. Everyone else (including reletives, but especially strangers and the media) should back the he!! off.

Posted by: sunnydaze | April 23, 2008 7:41 AM

Let me preface by saying, I breastfed my daughter for nearly 8 months and loved it. I agree that it's a personal choice. I've been know to ask friends what their plans are, not because I'm going to lecture them on breast being the best, but to give them the heads up.

My sister gave me two bits of info that helped me get through a lot - the first 6 weeks with the new baby kind of suck and your breasts aren't used to breastfeeding, so it might hurt a bit until you and the baby figure it out. I like to pass those on. So, at 3:00 in the morning when the baby won't stop crying, you are leaking milk and everything hurts - oh, this is what she meant about it sucks. Ok, I'm normal.

Another thing I like to pass on is once you get the hang of it, you can be the laziest mom on the planet. Pick that baby up in the middle of the night, snuggle back in bed and snooze while the baby has a snack.

There is the flip side of the breast debate that needs to be up for discussion. When my daughter was three months old, I started hearing from older women, "Haven't you done that long enough? " This comment came from a 20-something, "Breasts weren't meant to do that." Much like the to work or not to work debate, there is judgment coming both ways. It comes down to whatever works for you.

Posted by: breastsibest | April 23, 2008 7:44 AM

I think it's ridiculous to criticize women who breastfeed or women who don't.

One never knows the reasons someone breastfeeds or not. I breastfed my son for 6 months. A friend had a baby at about the same time and found she couldn't breastfeed (wasn't producing enough milk.) Both kids turned out healthy and happy.

There's nothing wrong with breastfeeding but I don't think there's anything wrong with not breastfeeding.

Posted by: American mom abroad | April 23, 2008 7:46 AM

Leslie: do you really want to have this discussion without comment registration? I assume you at least skimmed the Juggle blog on this topic - it was fairly heated and they (normally) have far less trolls. (Yes I read both, regularly).

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | April 23, 2008 7:47 AM

Jennifer Lopez is ghetto.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2008 7:47 AM

And no, I couldn't care less what a celebrity mother does. She has an entirely different set of resources available to her.

To breastisbest: kudos to you for being candid about the start-up "investment" in breastfeeding.

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | April 23, 2008 7:52 AM

I don't care if Jennifer Lopez nurses, nor do I usually care what other people chose to do with their own bodies. However, there are two situations where I do tend to get judgmental (and I'm sure I;ll get flamed for at least one of them(:

1. When women who want to breastfeed are given bad or incorrect information, and thus end up quitting because they think they can't do it. This is depressingly common where I live -- our local hospital has some badly misinformed nurses who come up with such gems as "you need to give your (12-hour-old) baby some formula. You're starving her," "your nipples are too flat; you'll never be able to nurse properly," and "you milk is taking too long to come in (again, 12-24 hours after birth), you have to give the baby formula." I know a handful of women who were convinced by the nurses that they wouldn't be able to nurse their kids.

2. Women with no health, lifestyle or mental problems who nevertheless decide not even to try nursing. Yeah, they have the right to do what they want to do, but I have the right to judge them for it (though I would never, ever comment on someone's choice, neither would I ever quiz someone on how they're feeding their child or why.)

Posted by: NewSAHM | April 23, 2008 7:52 AM

certainly there are some who can't breastfeed, but i think this demonstrates how terribly vain and selfish she is. it is highly likely that she is capable but just doesn't want to committ. why someone who has supposedly waited so long, spent untold thousands of dollars on the "best" linnens, decor, nanny, strollers and clothing for her children would deny them the "best" food is beyond me.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2008 7:54 AM

"Obviously, the media covers new mom's breastfeeding decisions because reporters and editors think we do care."

No. They cover breastfeeding because it provides a "legitimate" reason to talk about her boobs. Heh-heh, heh-heh. :-)

Posted by: Laura | April 23, 2008 7:54 AM

Frankly, I really only want to hear about breastfeeding from celebrities if they are actually breastfeeding. It's a total double standard, I know, but I'm all for positive press on breastfeeding. I don't care for negative press on bottle or breastfeeding.

Like breastisbest, if a friend or family member is pregnant with her first, I don't ever ask her intentions, but I do tell her if she plans on breastfeeding, PREPARE and ASK QUESTIONS, since it's very rarely easy at first.

Posted by: atb | April 23, 2008 7:55 AM

Snore... How many times can we have this debate on this blog? Come on Leslie - earn your money with something original rather than this tired old rant-inducer.

Posted by: two terrific boys | April 23, 2008 7:56 AM

Why a photo today?
Why this photo of Jennifer Lopez?

Posted by: Gizmo | April 23, 2008 7:59 AM

What I actually find more disturbing is the watch on how quickly celeb women get back into shape post-birth. Where's the beer belly slim watch.

I breastfed for over a year and would again, but I myself was a formula-fed baby. The primary responsibility of parents is to make sure the baby gets fed. I think they need to decide how best to do that.

But I do think that breastfeeding support is important in society. It's much easier to go around criticizing women who don't and call that "support" than lobbying for reasonable leave policies, pumping workplace protection, laws that protect breastfeeding women from being required to leave public areas, and genuine help for new, sleep-deprived parents.

Posted by: Shandra | April 23, 2008 7:59 AM

No.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2008 8:03 AM

Reminds me of an old Johnny Carson joke.

He said that, unlike most other people, he had nightmares about Dolly Parton.

Johnny dreamed that he was Dolly's child and was bottle fed!

Posted by: Too Early for a Joke? | April 23, 2008 8:05 AM

NewSAHM

" Women with no health, lifestyle or mental problems who nevertheless decide not even to try nursing. Yeah, they have the right to do what they want to do, but I have the right to judge them for it "

The people who judge you for being obese use the same reasoning.

Posted by: Phoenix | April 23, 2008 8:14 AM

I am a staunch supporter of breastfeeding and am extremely proud that I breastfed both of my kids - but I support every woman in her right to make her own decision about whether to bottle feed or breastfeed. I wish that all women would try it and then decide, instead of saying right off the bat that they won't or they can't. But that's about as far as I go on this one. Signed, a card carrying member of La Leche League (still, even though I'm no longer nursing)

Posted by: WorkingMomX | April 23, 2008 8:15 AM

foamgnome

"Leslie: I think everyone who uses a screen name are pretty much sick of the obnoxious useless anonymous posts that have come about since you stopped instituting the sign in requirement. It makes me think your more concerned with having a large number of posts-even at the expense of allowing trolls to make 1/4 of the comments. "


Duh!

And Grammar Sheriff!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2008 8:18 AM

"Do you care whether Jennifer Lopez breastfeeds?" No.

Laura rocks! Her comment above is embarrassingly accurate.

(And Laura - great response to all of us at the end of the day yesterday. Anybody who didn't read it, should. I'm not sure I'd want to be on the other end of a case when she starts arguing. :-)

Posted by: ArmyBrat | April 23, 2008 8:18 AM

No words of wisdom from ArmyBrat? Aren't there enough unanswered questions in today's topic?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2008 8:20 AM

Thanks, foamy + AB. :-)

Posted by: Laura | April 23, 2008 8:21 AM

@Too early for a joke? : What was Sophia Loren's son's first thought?

Wow, all that for me?

Posted by: Never too early for a joke | April 23, 2008 8:24 AM

"What was Sophia Loren's son's first thought?

Wow, all that for me?"

Cary Grant was equally impressed...

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2008 8:26 AM

No, I don't care. And anyone who goes around judging people for that had better da-n well be sure to live a perfect life.

Posted by: Corvette1975 | April 23, 2008 8:30 AM

Corvette1975

"No, I don't care. And anyone who goes around judging people for that had better da-n well be sure to live a perfect life."


Go to the Head of the Class!

Posted by: Born Free | April 23, 2008 8:32 AM

Who is Jennifer Alba?

Posted by: linznicole | April 23, 2008 8:35 AM

The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new.

Posted by: Samuel Beckett | April 23, 2008 8:39 AM

Laura -- I think you are at least partially correct, at least on a subliminal level. Talking about breastfeeding is talking about breast. Some men can't resist...And as for women, well, we like breasts too, and this gives some a chance to be judgmental about other women, which is a national pasttime.

Shandra -- Good god, you are so right. It sickens me when magazines publish photos of mom a few weeks after a baby is born, critiquing her bod. Pretty soon I think we will have photos a few hours after birth, just to see who can "win" this ridiculous contest. I feel badly for the celebs under this kind of scrutiny, and of course the pictures make all the rest of us feel lousy about our after-baby bodies. I don't know about you all, but it too about three years after my third child was born before I felt okay in front of a camera.

Foamie - I am trying to delete the offensive comments as quickly as possible. Please email me or post a complaint if certain comments get to you, so i can click delete as quickly as possible. But A) I'm not perfect so sometimes offensive posts stay up longer than they should and B) the anonymity definitely adds value to our discussions here. It's not so much about volume of posts. It's the candor behind much of them that I find exciting and important.

Posted by: Leslie | April 23, 2008 8:44 AM

People are naturally attracted to beauty, and as I understand it, Jennifer Lopez is a very beautiful woman. given that breast feeding is the hallmark of intimacy that exists between mother and child, people are naturally curious about a beautiful woman in her moments of intimacy.

A photograph would probably be worth millions!

But let's make no mistake about it, a mother's willingness to breast feed her baby is a testament of her dedication to form that intimate bond with her child.

Posted by: DandyLion | April 23, 2008 8:44 AM

The same can be said for any kind of judging, yet I still do it. It doesn't mean I'm perfect, it means they did something I think is wrong and it reflects badly on them. I have no problems with people judging me, so what's the biggie? And, by the way, judging is pretty much the only way I have to determine if I want to associate with someone. Except that it's only called "judging" when you come to a negative conclusion. It we decide someone is good for us, using the exact same criteria, that's OK. Where's the problem?

"No, I don't care. And anyone who goes around judging people for that had better da-n well be sure to live a perfect life."

Posted by: atb | April 23, 2008 8:45 AM

I absolutely don't care if JLo breastfeeds. (I am jelous of her gorgeous hair though!) I breastfed both of my kids for nearly a year and, just like other posters, I feel that I gave them a great start in live and with a full time job and travel thrown in I am quiet proud of myself. But I am not gloating, it's a personal choice, just like some parents decide to make all organic homemade babyfood and others buy it.

Posted by: dc reader | April 23, 2008 8:46 AM

DandyLion

"But let's make no mistake about it, a mother's willingness to breast feed her baby is a testament of her dedication to form that intimate bond with her child."

How do you know? Are you a mind reader?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2008 8:47 AM

"But let's make no mistake about it, a mother's willingness to breast feed her baby is a testament of her dedication to form that intimate bond with her child."


Oh my God, are you serious???? And a woman who doesn't breastfeed obviously couldn't care less?

THIS type of drivel should be deleted.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2008 8:51 AM

Duh!

And Grammar Sheriff!


Posted by: | April 23, 2008 8:18 AM

------------------------------------------

Hey, I am just happy that foamgnome is using paragraphs!

Posted by: The Grammar Sheriff | April 23, 2008 8:52 AM

"But let's make no mistake about it, a mother's willingness to breast feed her baby is a testament of her dedication to form that intimate bond with her child."


"Oh my God, are you serious???? And a woman who doesn't breastfeed obviously couldn't care less?

THIS type of drivel should be deleted. "

Let it stand as an example of chowderhead thinking.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2008 8:54 AM

I found breastfeeding to be an astonishingly intimate way to connect with my infants.

But DandyLion, your comment struck me as too harsh. I cannot believe that my bonds were more intense than moms who didn't breastfeed, adoptive mothers, and all fathers.

But I have to admit, in the dark corners of my mind, I am always kind of suspicious of moms who don't even try breastfeeding. Terrible, I know--but I do wonder: Are they vain about their boobs? Grossed out by their infants breastfeeding? Emotionally cold? Not sure if I'm reacting to my own love of breastfeeding, or society's weird judgments about breastfeeding. But these thoughts do pop up in my head.

FYI Grammar Sheriff(s): there is a typo in my original entry. "new mom's" should be "new moms'." Can't change it b/c once a photo is put into an entry I risk deleting the pic if I make changes. Forgive me!

Posted by: Leslie | April 23, 2008 9:00 AM

No offense, but if you spend your day worrying whether or not Jennifer Lopez is going to breastfeed, you have too much time on your hands. The WSJ really had an article about this? Shouldn't they be spending more time reporting on what is going on with the economy?

I agree that it is a personal choice. I personally would not breastfeed in public, but if you are comfortable with it go for it.

Posted by: Thought | April 23, 2008 9:07 AM

Like atb, I'm all for celebs who get publicity because they ARE breastfeeding and I could care less about celebs who aren't. I think the evidence is quite clear that breast is best for babies though I'm perfectly aware that breastfeeding doesn't always work for some mothers and I wouldn't dream of condemning them for using formula. I've made plenty of *unhealthy* choices for my children since I made the one good one to breastfeed so I don't pretend to be better than anyone else. And personally I don't know how I survived pumping milk in a small bathroom at work, sitting the wrong way on the toilet with the breast pump balaced on the toilet tank. Ugh!
But there are health benefits to babies that make me think promoting breastfeeding is the right way to go.

Posted by: anne | April 23, 2008 9:19 AM

"The people who judge you for being obese use the same reasoning."

Yeah, I know. And I don't care, nor do I expect anybody else to care what I think. Doesn't stop me from judging sometimes.

Posted by: NewSAHM | April 23, 2008 9:30 AM

"The people who judge you for being obese use the same reasoning."

Yeah, I know. And I don't care, nor do I expect anybody else to care what I think. Doesn't stop me from judging sometimes.

Posted by: NewSAHM | April 23, 2008 9:30 AM

We all judge other people for different things. Your just honest enough to admit it.

Posted by: foamgnome | April 23, 2008 9:33 AM

foamgnome

"We all judge other people for different things. Your just honest enough to admit it."

Grammar Sheriff!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2008 9:42 AM

dc reader

"I feel that I gave them a great start in live and with a full time job and travel thrown in I am quiet proud of myself."

QUITE proud?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2008 9:45 AM

Bad-mouthing, gossiping, talking behind people's backs, that's all bad stuff, and I think people associate it with being judgmental. Am I the only one (besides NewSAHM) who is willing to admit that I quietly judge EVERYONE? Watching people's actions and deciding those actions do not fit into my idea of a person with whom I want to associate seems like a pretty normal thing to do. Obviously, I'm not going to agree with every decision a person makes, and some things are weighed more heavily than others, but isn't this how we choose our friends?

Leslie, that was a brave admission about the questions you have about mom's who choose not to breastfeed, and it's EXACTLY how I feel. If you ask why they don't, pretty much the only answer you'll get is "it's not for me," so I'm afraid you'll keep wondering. Though, I recently came across a post on BabyCenter where a woman admitted she thought it was disgusting and perverted. That did not go over well.

Posted by: atb | April 23, 2008 9:50 AM

Yes, I care.

On a personal level, I care because I think she doesn't know what she's missing. It's a special experience and while it doesn't work for everyone (e.g., adoptive mom or baby with certain medical problems), to me not trying it is like driving past Yellowstone National Park and not checking it out. Maybe you won't love it as much as others do, but there's a good chance you might find it really rewarding.

Beyond that, though, I care just like I care what kind of cars other people drive and if they are smokers. It affects everyone.
*Breastfeeding has very little impact on the environment. (It can have zero, or it can have some if pumping & storing frozen milk are involved.) Formula feeding has a big negative impact. Formula has to be processed, packaged, transported, heated, etc.
*Breastfeeding is better for health. We all pay for others' choices. Does that mean everyone ought to do the absolute best most health promoting behavior all the time, if we even know what that is? No, but here's something that really make a difference and that is very emotionally satisfying. I think she should have tried it for 6 weeks.

Posted by: Green Mtns | April 23, 2008 9:51 AM

"I feel that I gave them a great start in live and with a full time job and travel thrown in I am quiet proud of myself."

QUITE proud?

___________________

No, QUIETLY proud. Except for blogs like this she doesn't go bragging about it to strangers.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2008 9:52 AM

atb

"Leslie, that was a brave admission about the questions you have about mom's who choose not to breastfeed"

Grammar Sheriff!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2008 9:53 AM

Coming from someone without children (yet!) I find this topic comes up way too frequently on this blog. It is a choice and everyone has said this. I find the celebrity "trend" of having children without ever marrying is more interesting and wonder how that impacts the family. These relationships always seem to break up more often than marriages. Celebrites are definitely not the best source for guidance on how to live our lives!

Posted by: FloridaChick | April 23, 2008 10:02 AM

Greenmts: Your the first person who I have run into who thinks of breast feeding as an enviromental cause.

Couldn't you extend that argument to deal with adult eating choices? Why don't you grow your own vegetables rather then eating canned, frozen, or even ones sold at a farmers market?

Posted by: foamgnome | April 23, 2008 10:03 AM

The day my wife gave up breastfeeding our son was one of the best days of my life. Every day, every night, he'd be up screaming and pooping blood. We never did figure out what, if anything, in my wife's diet he was reacting to. She tried cutting out wheat, dairy, and umpteen other things, to no avail.

But we switched him to soy formula and ahhhhhh.... blessed sleep. Much happier baby when we finally gave him yummy formula.

Posted by: Bob | April 23, 2008 10:05 AM

The Sheriff is patrolling only for felonies not misdemeanor!

Posted by: The Grammar Sheriff | April 23, 2008 10:06 AM

I think I hate this debate more than SAHM v. WOHM.

The questions is...should we care if JLo breastfeeds? The answer is no. I don't even care that she had kids, let alone what she does with them (I'm assuming she will not abuse or neglect them). And no, I don't believe formula-feeding is "neglect" or "abuse."

Everyone always complains they have "no time." This is why...we spend too much of it focusing on the lives of a small group of overpaid, self-indulgent celebrities.

Posted by: hockeyfan | April 23, 2008 10:09 AM

Foamgnome: I agree with you. Anonymity leads down the rabbit hole. Though I can see Leslie's point too...what's someone to do?

hockeyfan - saying you're busy is just a way of saying you're important. In a ridiculous fashion, true. also, watch out for the Pens this year!

Off topic to ArmyBrat-Jimmy V was the man!

Posted by: dotted | April 23, 2008 10:14 AM

"Shouldn't they be spending more time reporting on what is going on with the economy?"

I have your answer - JLo = sexy, Economy = not sexy. Maybe if JLo talked about the econmy it would be sexy? Dunno.

Posted by: Moxiemom | April 23, 2008 10:30 AM

Is Cate Blanchett breast-feeding her infant son?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2008 10:40 AM

"I have your answer - JLo = sexy, Economy = not sexy. Maybe if JLo talked about the econmy it would be sexy? Dunno."

If ArmyBrat can't make numbers sexy, no one can!

Posted by: Here's a cheer | April 23, 2008 10:40 AM

"But I have to admit, in the dark corners of my mind, I am always kind of suspicious of moms who don't even try breastfeeding.
'Terrible, I know--but I do wonder: Are they vain about their boobs? Grossed out by their infants breastfeeding? Emotionally cold? Not sure if I'm reacting to my own love of breastfeeding, or society's weird judgments about breastfeeding. But these thoughts do pop up in my head."

This just deserves a Hax - wow.

"If you ask why they don't, pretty much the only answer you'll get is "it's not for me," so I'm afraid you'll keep wondering."

This is a perfectly acceptable answer -- anyone remember the OB blog a couple of days ago about how to answer inappropriate and personal questions? I guess not.

Posted by: Wow | April 23, 2008 10:42 AM

I think this topic goes perfectly with the topic from Monday about asking inappropriate questions. I think it's rude to ask anyone if they are breastfeeding, what gives anyone the right to know that besides the parents involved?

It's just one more thing for mothers to criticize each other on. Different things work for different people, once mothers start realizing that and stop attacking each other the better off we'll be.

Posted by: Kallie | April 23, 2008 10:50 AM

Kallie

"Different things work for different people, once mothers start realizing that and stop attacking each other the better off we'll be."

Not in my lifetime. Women are their own worst enemies.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2008 10:54 AM

All the "It's not for me" types of moms I've met have been well educated, career driven women. They didn't have the warm, fuzzy, coddling, huggy personality, but they were all good providers in other ways. So, good for them and their babies.

Where's the study that links breast feeding moms to helicopter parenting?

Posted by: DandyLion | April 23, 2008 10:55 AM

DandyLion

"All the "It's not for me" types of moms I've met have been well educated, career driven women. They didn't have the warm, fuzzy, coddling, huggy personality, but they were all good providers in other ways."

So what? How can you possibly know what goes on behind closed doors? How is it any of your business?

Posted by: Huh? | April 23, 2008 10:58 AM

BTW, as with everthing else, there is a middle ground between "Anyone who doesn't breastfeed is an awful mother who doesn't care about her kid/is emotionally cold/will never bond" and "Breastfeeding is perverted."

Both of those statements are rediculous. And Leslie, so is "being suspicious" of moms who don't -- after you just blasted Dandylion - "DandyLion, your comment struck me as too harsh. I cannot believe that my bonds were more intense than moms who didn't breastfeed, adoptive mothers, and all fathers."

If that's truly the case, then why are you suspicious and why do you care? You're waffling.

Posted by: Wow | April 23, 2008 11:02 AM

Hold up. I'm not talking about berating women in person about their choice not to breastfeed. I'm talking about it coming up in a blog. "It's not for me" is a non-answer, which is fine, but does not get to answering Leslie's (or my) point. I for one think Leslie's great about being honest and open for attack, especially when she's nowhere near anonymous, and chances are your honest opinions are going to offend someone. That's life.

Posted by: atb | April 23, 2008 11:02 AM

"If ArmyBrat can't make numbers sexy, no one can!"

Eight and one-half.
Thirty-four.
Twenty-five.
Thirty-six.
Seven to thirteen.
Four.
Ten.

Whooh - anybody else need whatever replaced a cigarette after?

:-)

Posted by: ArmyBrat | April 23, 2008 11:05 AM

I guess I don't understand what this debate is still about. Breastfeeding is the best choice. Years of studies prove that breastfed babies are healthier, happier, and smarter -- the most recent studies show that these kids gain 7-10 IQ points over those fed formula. Very few --almost no -- women are incapable of breastfeeding, though many need some coaching, either from grandma or a lactation consultant. There's lots of that advice everywhere, and you don't have to leave the birth center or hospital without help. Formula, a factory-produced conglomeration of powdered cow's milk or soy powder and chemicals, is simply substandard nutrition. To me, its like feeding your kid Easy-Mac or Chef Boyardee all day long because you don't feel like making something wholesome and balanced. It's perfectly fine to judge those who feed their kids from the drive-through every night, so I don't understand why we aren't harder on those who choose to provide their babies with food that's not going to allow them to be as healthy, happy, or smart as they could be. The issue now should be ensuring all women have access to pumps, refrigeration, and a reasonable place to pump at work.

Posted by: Still an Issue? | April 23, 2008 11:14 AM

"To me, its like feeding your kid Easy-Mac or Chef Boyardee all day long because you don't feel like making something wholesome and balanced."

What do you feed your kid all day?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2008 11:20 AM

Since you asked, my infant nurses, and my toddler eats what we eat -- and we try to do a good balance of healthy protein, whole grains, and fruit and veggies without resorting to the sodium and chemical-filled processed foods.

Posted by: Still an Issue? | April 23, 2008 11:26 AM

Maybe the economy should put on a red dress like JLo's and date Ben Affleck. Just a suggestion. I think the greater question is how does a creepy looking,bag of bones like Marc Anthony land a gal like JLo?

Posted by: Moxiemom | April 23, 2008 11:27 AM

Sure-

No, the most damaging thing to a child is being raised in a household where the parents fight constantly. Being raised by a single parent is significantly less damaging then that. And people forced to get married by pregnancy are most likely not going to have the healthiest marriage.

Posted by: Kallie | April 23, 2008 11:27 AM

Still an Issue only picks fresh veggies from her own garden and makes meals from purely organic materials. Her kids don't drink tap water (eww, not natural) or bottled water (bad for the environment).

Right? Right? Right? I mean, "there's a lot of advice out there" and with a little EFFORT these things can and should be accomplished to make sure their nutrition is perfect.

Oh, and NOTHING her kids eat is "factory-produced." Yeah.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2008 11:29 AM

Correct me if I am wrong but the studies show that breastfed people tend to have higher IQs. I believe the studies do NOT show that breastfeeding actually raises someone's IQ score.

The main reason you see the correlation is that more educated or people with higher IQs tend to breastfeed at a higher rate then uneducated people or people with lower IQs (BTW, I am not implying that all educated people have higher IQs than uneducated people).

Again, correlation does not equal causation. So breastfeeding in itself will not raise your IQ score. At least the data has not shown that it causes people to have an increase in IQ scores.

I did breastfeed my daughter and hope to do the same with my son.

Posted by: foamgnome | April 23, 2008 11:35 AM

Still an Issue uses cloth diapers, and recycles the poop from the diapers for fertilizer for her home garden. She doesn't own a car & she homeschools the kids....Wow! She has 2 kids? Is that best for Mother Earth?

Posted by: Is this still an issue? | April 23, 2008 11:38 AM

I'm a man, so my opinion on this subject doesn't really matter, but one of the most disturbing things I've seen was a woman with an infant and a 2-year-old breastfeeding each of them in sequence. The 2-year-old walks and talks fine, eats solid food, and it was just really weird. Isn't that a little too long to breastfeed?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2008 11:40 AM

foamgnome

You should know better. IQ is determined by DNA.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2008 11:41 AM

Kallie - Actually, the first longitudinal study with multivariate analysis of grown children of divorce disagrees with you. Children of "good divorces" are worse off (on average) than children of "bad" marriages (when abuse is not concerned).

Prebuttal - before you say statistics can prove anything you want, if you really believe that, then you don't have a leg to stand on because you could never prove that the children of happy single parent households are any better or worse off than those in an unhappy married household.

Posted by: Sure | April 23, 2008 11:41 AM

foamgnome

You should know better. IQ is determined by DNA.

Posted by: | April 23, 2008 11:41 AM
No, IQ is an intelligent quotient or score based a series of standardized tests. This score is an attempt to measure one's intelligent.

It is not anything directly derived from DNA or anything biological. In fact, a person can take several different IQ tests over a period of time and have multiple different scores.

Posted by: foamgnome | April 23, 2008 11:45 AM

Oooh, 11:40 dude -- you better duck!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2008 11:47 AM

The studies can say what the want, but in my observations from being from the first generation with widespread divorce- those of us with divorced parents fared much better than those who's parents fought, were loveless towards the other and slept in seperate bedrooms.

Especially now that we are starting to get married/be in more serious relationships.

Posted by: Kallie | April 23, 2008 11:47 AM

I don't understand why we aren't harder on those who choose to provide their babies with food that's not going to allow them to be as healthy, happy, or smart as they could be.

Posted by: Still an Issue? | April 23, 2008 11:14 AM

I don't understand why we don't shun insufferable know-it-all bores such as yourself - particularly the ignorant, uninformed ones who don't actually read any of the published research so that they understand and appreciate fundamental topics such as sample size, structure of the study, what it proved, what it didn't prove, whether the study was or wasn't controlled, so that they understand the scientists' conclusions and the applicability of the research to other populations. Understanding the science underlying what we know about breastfeeding, nutrition, and human growth and development, however, might require you to devote some of that precious time you're spending reading Child magazine and judging other parents choices to developing a real understanding of what's at stake.

What is most interesting is that the comments of the breastfeeding jugmentalists, including Leslie and atb, indicate an assumption that the decision to breastfeed or not is entirely the moms', as if dads aren't involved in, or don't factor in, a core parenting decision. Men are so irrelevant in your world and view of families. This speaks volumes about you.

Posted by: yada yada yada | April 23, 2008 11:49 AM

In my experience, the breastfed kids have higher rates of autism and the breastfed kids are socially awkward.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2008 11:49 AM

Same experience, different outcome. I guess this is why they do studies.

Posted by: Sure | April 23, 2008 11:52 AM

"I don't understand why we aren't harder on those who choose to provide their babies with food that's not going to allow them to be as healthy, happy, or smart as they could be. "

More evidence that women are their own worst enemies. Sheesh!

Posted by: WTF? | April 23, 2008 11:54 AM

I meant to say an attempt to measure one's intelligence.

Posted by: foamgnome | April 23, 2008 11:54 AM

Typical Leslie. Use a topic she supposedly "doesn't care about" to judge others with her opinion.

Anything related to balance here today?

Posted by: Amy | April 23, 2008 11:54 AM

Jessica Alba's name has been corrected in Leslie's original post.

Posted by: washingtonpost.com | April 23, 2008 11:58 AM

Do you care whether Jennifer Lopez (or any other of the four million new moms in America this year) breastfeeds her babies?

I only care when another person spreads mis-information. As with all aspects of celebrity some people such as Jennifer Lopez seem to have a lot of influence.

So I definitely care when a celebrity gives erroneous information such as I can't breastfeed because I have twins (I don't know that Jennifer Lopez said that - just using it as an example) or I chose not to breastfeed because I needed to go back to work a few weeks after the birth. Neither of these are insurmountable problems.

On the other hand the current trend of saying breastfeeding is the way to a red carpet-ready body bothers me even more. Most of us didn't have celebrity bodies before the baby came along and we're not going to have one 6 weeks after childbirth either - whether or not we breastfeed.

Posted by: cm9887 | April 23, 2008 11:59 AM

Bob

"In my experience, breastfed babies scream in pain and poop blood. That's what my son did, anyhow.

Now he's on formula and he's the happiest baby I've ever seen."

Doesn't matter. The Nursing Nazis are going to judge and judge and judge.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2008 11:59 AM


cm9887

"As with all aspects of celebrity some people such as Jennifer Lopez seem to have a lot of influence."

The people who are stupid enough to accept parenting advice from JLo deserve everything they get. It's called Natural Selection.

Posted by: Darwinism takes its course | April 23, 2008 12:20 PM

Hey, wait a second. Don't forget NewSAHM. She's one of us judgmentalists, too. ;)

yada, yada, yada- You totally missed the point. I asked for a reason, and instead of answering the question, you pointed a finger and called me judgmental (duh, I own that), providing another non-answer. "My husband doesn't want me to breastfeed" is an answer, though I'd have to counter with, why? My husband is completely involved with my daughter, and I can't think of one single reason why he wouldn't want me to breastfeed. But I do think it's hilarious that unless you give into your husband's demand to not breastfeed, you must find your husband irrelevant. Good one.

Posted by: atb | April 23, 2008 12:27 PM

From yada yada yada's 11:49 post: "What is most interesting is that the comments of the breastfeeding jugmentalists, including Leslie and atb, indicate an assumption that the decision to breastfeed or not is entirely the moms', as if dads aren't involved in, or don't factor in, a core parenting decision. Men are so irrelevant in your world and view of families. This speaks volumes about you."

Okay, is this serious? Does any man ever have any input into breast vs bottle?

Yeah, yeah, we hear jokes about fathers going "those are MY boobs and I'm not sharing them with some kid", but my wife had a "my body, my choice" approach to the breast vs. bottle decision.

I suspect (almost?) all women do.

So here's a good use for the anonymous posting privilege - who here wants to admit - even anonymously - that the husband/father had a significant input into the breast vs bottle decision?

Posted by: Anon for good reason | April 23, 2008 12:27 PM

11:29, your argument is poor. Breastmilk is healthier than formula -- hands-down, so that's an easy decision between two options. Choosing the best nutrition as your kids start solids is much more complicated because there are so many more choices. As with all things, you need to use the best information you have and do your best to make the right choice. We're all still trying to figure out what water is safest/best for environment, etc -- those debates aren't well settled. The breastfeeding debate is -- it is simply healthier and better to breastfeed.

I'd think we'd all pick beautiful fresh veggies from our gardens and feed our kids if it were as simple as doing that or giving them salty canned green beans everyday. But, its not. Like I said before, there are many complicated considerations when it comes to nutrition for older children (and ourselves), but the simple decision between the options of formula and breastmilk is obvious.

Posted by: Still an Issue? | April 23, 2008 12:28 PM

I have no children, so I really don't care about breastfeeding, as long as it's discreet. What I do care about is trying to parent my elderly parents from the opposite coast, and trying to avoid getting caught in the woman-vs-woman arguments that permeate this culture. Yes, experts prefer breastfeeding. But children have been raised successfully on formula, and neither choice is indicative of anyone's morals. Nor is that choice anyone else's business. Whatever happened to privacy?

Posted by: babsy1 | April 23, 2008 12:40 PM

And the baby who screamed and pooped blood was probably allergic or sensitive to something in mom's diet. Had mom (and dad!) worked together to identify and eliminate the most likely culprits (usually dairy--which is another great argument against cow's milk formula!), the baby could have kept right on nursing and the problem would have been resolved all around. One of our children had a sensitivity that resolved after only a day of my eliminating dairy, and that sensitivity passed in a few weeks and I was gradually able to add dairy back in to my diet. If you think your kids' nutrition and long-term health is worth it, you'll give this stuff a try rather than resorting to the canister of soy powder.

Posted by: Still and Issue? | April 23, 2008 12:41 PM

"I'd think we'd all pick beautiful fresh veggies from our gardens and feed our kids if it were as simple as doing that or giving them salty canned green beans everyday. But, its not. Like I said before, there are many complicated considerations when it comes to nutrition for older children (and ourselves), but the simple decision between the options of formula and breastmilk is obvious."

See, I disagree with this -- breastfeeding is neither clearly best, nor is it necessarily simple. Read the above posts re: the current state of the science -- correlation does not equal causation. Logically, intuitively, it seems like it should be best, but I don't think it's been proven yet.

And simple? Hahahahaha!!!! Sure, if your kid attaches fine, if you have plenty of milk, if your nipples don't crack and bleed, if you don't mind handling all the feedings yourself, if you don't have to go back to work and find a place/time to pump, etc. etc. etc. etc.

On the other hand, growing your own veggies? Piece of cake -- even if you have a condo, you can plant some potted tomatoes. Turn over the dirt, add a little mulch, toss some seeds in, spend 30 mins. a week weeding (or plant things like blackberries that grow above the weeds), and there ya go.

Don't get me wrong -- I chose to breastfeed my two kids. I did it because I do keep up on the science, and I wanted to err on the side of benefitting my kids. But it was a looooooooong way from a "simple" decision! It was hard, it was painful, it was a constant struggle for the 5-6 months I kept going.

Posted by: Laura | April 23, 2008 12:44 PM

7:54 a.m. wrote:

certainly there are some who can't breastfeed, but i think this demonstrates how terribly vain and selfish she is. it is highly likely that she is capable but just doesn't want to committ. why someone who has supposedly waited so long, spent untold thousands of dollars on the "best" linnens, decor, nanny, strollers and clothing for her children would deny them the "best" food is beyond me.

Well, 7:54, I hope you get your child into one of the "best" schools so s/he learns to spell. Mommy certainly can't.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2008 12:46 PM

Bite me, Still an Issue? In fact, bite all of us. You've done nothing to sway people. In fact, all you've accomplished is to remind everyone why women are their own worst enemies.

By the way, I'm assuming you mean 'Still an Issue?' rather than your signed 'Still and Issue?' If you weren't so busy telling everyone how to live their lives, you might have time to get your name correct.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2008 12:49 PM

"And the baby who screamed and pooped blood was probably allergic or sensitive to something in mom's diet. Had mom (and dad!) worked together to identify and eliminate the most likely culprits (usually dairy--which is another great argument against cow's milk formula!)"

Posted by: Still and Issue? | April 23, 2008 12:41 PM

Yup, she tried eliminating about 10 different potential allergens (including diary, of course) to no avail.

We tried everything the doctor told us and everything we could find online, but nothing would end his agony except for formula. Now, he is the happiest baby I've ever seen thanks to the formula. Maybe it's because he remembers how much he suffered on breast milk?

Posted by: Bob | April 23, 2008 12:50 PM

"Had mom (and dad!) worked together to identify and eliminate the most likely culprits (usually dairy--which is another great argument against cow's milk formula!), the baby could have kept right on nursing and the problem would have been resolved all around."

Please read before judging:

"We never did figure out what, if anything, in my wife's diet he was reacting to. She tried cutting out wheat, dairy, and umpteen other things, to no avail."

Posted by: Laura | April 23, 2008 12:50 PM

Babsy1,

You said it! My feelings exactly.

Posted by: magpie | April 23, 2008 12:51 PM

Still an Issue

"I'd think we'd all pick beautiful fresh veggies from our gardens and feed our kids if it were as simple as doing that or giving them salty canned green beans everyday. But, its not. Like I said before, there are many complicated considerations when it comes to nutrition for older children (and ourselves), but the simple decision between the options of formula and breastmilk is obvious. "

How is it obvious? Do you make the obvious, simple choice to use cloth diapers? Do you own a car? Why do you have 2 kids when there are plenty of people on earth? Why didn't you make the obvious choice in favor of the planet to not reproduce?........

Posted by: Huh? | April 23, 2008 12:56 PM

I don't particularly care whether Jennifer Lopez or any other woman breastfeeds or not. It is a personal decision. That said, I do care that babies, in general, get the best nutrition possible, and I strongly believe that breastmilk is the best nutrition for babies in general (although I understand that there are exceptions). Unfortuntely, these movie stars end up being the role models (snort) for a lot of women out there, and their decisions might impact others. If breastfeeding is considered unpopular, then perhaps some people who make their life decisions based on what they see on Access Hollywood might make a wrong-headed decision not to breastfeed. But this certainly does not mean that Jennifer doesn't have the right to her decision. I do think that women who do breastfeed should not feel shy about openly discussing the reasons for their decisions. Even in this day and age, women need support and encouragement to breastfeed (it can be very hard at first), and the more women who open do it, the better.

Posted by: Emily | April 23, 2008 1:02 PM

"I chose not to breastfeed because I needed to go back to work a few weeks after the birth."

I chose not to breastfeed after the first 2 months because I needed to go back to work and I had absolutely no interest in pumping. I'm an hourly employee, not salaried, and I don't have an office. My lunchtime is sacred - it's my time to run errands, share lunch with a friend, read, take a walk, look at this blog, etc.

It also makes a world of difference with sleep deprivation since DH can share nighttime feedings and I don't have to take time out of the day somewhere else to pump so that he can feed the baby.

So, that's my reason. I'm sure you won't like it any better than "it's not in the cards for us".

IMO, formula feeding is no worse for a baby than daycare is. Both formula feeding and daycare provide care for babies whether or not others believe that the care is 'best'. It's not like we're starving the children.

Posted by: lurker | April 23, 2008 1:06 PM

Emily

"Unfortuntely, these movie stars end up being the role models (snort) for a lot of women out there, and their decisions might impact others."

Again, if people are stupid enough to get parenting advice from celebrities, they deserve everything they get. It's called Natural Selection.

Posted by: Darwinism takes its course | April 23, 2008 1:07 PM

It's always something how people lash out when they are sensitive to the fact that they've made a poor choice for the people who are supposed to be nurtured and protected -- their children. People who choose to feed their kids substandard nutrition when the obvious best choice is not only available, but attached to mom's body, are making a poor choice -- bottom line. Shall we nod and smile at other obviously poor parenting choices? The fact that people are still questioning whether breastmilk is best is purely amazing. My initial point is that this debate should be dead and that we should focus on making breastfeeding easier and possible for everyone.

Posted by: Still an Issue? | April 23, 2008 1:07 PM

And "Bite Me" is a very clever phrase indeed.

Posted by: Still an Issue | April 23, 2008 1:09 PM

Okay, is this serious? Does any man ever have any input into breast vs bottle?

Yeah, yeah, we hear jokes about fathers going "those are MY boobs and I'm not sharing them with some kid", but my wife had a "my body, my choice" approach to the breast vs. bottle decision.

I suspect (almost?) all women do.

So here's a good use for the anonymous posting privilege - who here wants to admit - even anonymously - that the husband/father had a significant input into the breast vs bottle decision?

Posted by: Anon for good reason | April 23, 2008 12:27 P

Wow.

That's a lot of baggage you bring to the party. I'm amazed you can even see over the top of all that matched luggage.

If you and your wife are comfortable with the approach you took, all power to you.

In our marriage and family, NO decision of this significance would have been made by either of us solo. So, if a man doesn't have input on a choice this big, I suspect he may not have input on whether and when his spouse gets pregnant, what mode of birth control the couple uses, choice of pediatrician, ob/gyn, and schools, and any number of other significant choices relating to the couples reproductive and parenting decisions.

You're kidding yourself if you think everyone's marriage is just like yours. Thank goodness.

Posted by: MN | April 23, 2008 1:12 PM

Formula = fast food for babies!

Posted by: DandyLion | April 23, 2008 1:13 PM

Still an issue

"My initial point is that this debate should be dead and that we should focus on making breastfeeding easier and possible for everyone."

You are dumber than a tree stump if you can't recognize that 1. The debate is NOT dead and 2. You are doing a disservice to your cause with your high-handed tactics.


Posted by: Sheesh | April 23, 2008 1:15 PM

"It's always something how people lash out when they are sensitive to the fact that they've made a poor choice for the people who are supposed to be nurtured and protected -- their children."

Excellent nonresponsive answer -- really, you should consider a career as a talking head on CNN or Fox News.

Now, would you like to address the substance of the issues people have raised? Perhaps the state of the science? The problems breastfeeding that lead some people to quit? Or is it just easier and more fun to attack their parenting skills and character?

Posted by: Laura | April 23, 2008 1:17 PM

atb, "It's not for me" is not a non-answer. It's just not the answer that you want.

Why don't you go skydiving? It's not for me.

Why don't you like peas? It's not for me.

Why don't you ride roller coasters? It's not for me.

Why don't you vote Republican/Democratic? It's not for me.

You want a reason (that's acceptable to you) for why someone isn't doing what you are doing.

Still an Issue? You're getting flamed because you're a closed minded know it all. The fact is that no one is hurting their child or putting them in danger by feeding them formula, but that's how you make it sound.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2008 1:19 PM

"It's always something how people lash out when they are sensitive to the fact that they've made a poor choice for the people who are supposed to be nurtured and protected -- their children"

I formula-fed the babies and don't feel that I made a poor choice.

BTW, I don't care what JLo does, but the fact that she has twins has not even been addressed by the posters. I know that BF is still possible with twins, but I imagine it is more difficult than only one baby.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2008 1:20 PM

I chose to breastfeed because it is the best nutrition for the baby, and it a wonderful way to bond with the baby. I did it with my son, and he was a very healthy baby and toddler. He never had an ear infection, and has only had a fever once in his life (he is 8). I hope it keeps my daughter as healthy as it kept my son. I also came back to work 12 weeks after my daughter's birth, so I pump twice a day at work. My daughter won't drink formula (although my son did not mind it, and we supplemented with it). This second time around, my milk production has been much better than with my son, so we are not supplementing with formula at all. It is a commitment, but it is so worth it. I have to agree with Leslie. While I would never openly say anything to a woman who chose not to breastfeed for reasons of convenience, I do kind of judge them silently. Breastmilk has been proven to be best. Women spend tons of money on nursery furniture and other useless accoutrements for their babies. If you can afford all that, why not give them something that really matters, and that is free, and that will keep them healthy and happy for years to come? But I only think this. I don't actually say it.

Posted by: Emily | April 23, 2008 1:21 PM

Emily at 1:02 said:
"I don't particularly care whether Jennifer Lopez or any other woman breastfeeds or not. It is a personal decision."

Emily at 1:21 said:
"While I would never openly say anything to a woman who chose not to breastfeed for reasons of convenience, I do kind of judge them silently."

Same Emily? If so, I'd say Emily is pretty confused.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2008 1:26 PM

DandyLion: It is actually faster to breastfeed. You don't have to heat up the milk. :)

Posted by: foamgnome | April 23, 2008 1:26 PM

People who choose to feed their kids substandard nutrition when the obvious best choice is not only available, but attached to mom's body, are making a poor choice -- bottom line. Shall we nod and smile at other obviously poor parenting choices?

Posted by: Still an Issue? | April 23, 2008 1:07 PM

We nod and smile at the obviously poor parenting job your parents did when they failed to teach you both logic and humility. Why stop smiling now?

Leslie: I think everyone who uses a screen name are pretty much sick of the obnoxious useless anonymous posts that have come about since you stopped instituting the sign in requirement. It makes me think your more concerned with having a large number of posts-even at the expense of allowing trolls to make 1/4 of the comments.

Posted by: foamgnome | April 23, 2008 7:21 AM

foamgnome's comment from lo 7:21 a.m. still stands. Even if the stupefying rehash of a rehash of this topic -- the only purpose of which I can find is to run a photo of JLo's cleavage -- wasn't a bore, the trolls' participation renders it unreadable. Leslie, is this a permanent plan or should we be letting someone other than you know that we support registration?

Posted by: MN | April 23, 2008 1:26 PM

So here's a good use for the anonymous posting privilege - who here wants to admit - even anonymously - that the husband/father had a significant input into the breast vs bottle decision?

When my son was born, my husband and I were in agreement that breastfeeding was best. But we had a bumpy start, as I suspect a lot of new nursing mothers due, because of pain, sore nipples, milk supply issues, etc. I think I was able to continue, and eventually sucessfully breastfeed my son, because my husband was a constant source of support for this decision. Had he not been, I might have quit. But thanks to his input, I persevered. I did not want to fail our baby, and I did not want to disappoint him. Sometimes, the team approach does work.

Posted by: Emily | April 23, 2008 1:28 PM

Funny, I don't feel flamed. You can answer "it's not for me" to anything, and it's still a non-answer. It's like answering "why" with "because." I'm waiting for an answer, and I'm fine with you not giving it. Maybe someone else will. I also didn't claim formula hurts children or puts them in danger. I always sign my name, so you know what I wrote.

Posted by: atb | April 23, 2008 1:28 PM

Interesting moral compass.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2008 1:29 PM

I think it's up to the one who is breastfeeding to decide what's best for her and the baby. I was breastfed and had a lot of ear infections as a youngster. My husband was all formula, and not sick at all when he was young.

Posted by: milk | April 23, 2008 1:30 PM

"If you can afford all that, why not give them something that really matters, and that is free, and that will keep them healthy and happy for years to come?"

So every breast-fed child is healthy and never gets infections or fevers? They're happy for years? Really? None ever get depression or cancer or diabetes?

Hmmmm, interesting, I'll alert the media.

Broad generalizations for any arguement are futile and cause one's credibility to flush down the toilet faster than green poop.

Meanwhile, I'll have to let all the people I know with the above problems that their moms should have bottle-fed them.

I think that acting like breast feeding is the cure for everything is hurting your arguement more than helping it. 'Cause guess what? Most reasonable people know that either one is fine.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2008 1:35 PM

"I did not want to fail our baby"

I nominate that for Martyr of the Year Award.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2008 1:37 PM

"Same Emily? If so, I'd say Emily is pretty confused."

Yes, it's me, and you're right. It does sound like a contradiction. It's a complex issue. I do think that breastfeeding is very personal, and you should not MAKE anyone do it against their will. I just don't see why women who can would not try it, for a little while, at least, knowing its benefits. Caring about it is different than having an opinion about it. Emotionally, I don't care what JLo does. It won't keep me up at night. I don't know what her reasons are, but if they are purely related to weight or convenience, then I do think it's a little selfish and vain. But if she were an acquaintance or friend, I would just keep my mouth shut, because I truly don't think it's any of my business. There is a difference between opinions that you voice, and opinions that you keep to yourself. I think most of us, has at some point, had an opinion about something that they realize would not be appropriate to share with the target of the opinion.

Posted by: Emily | April 23, 2008 1:37 PM

Funny, I don't feel flamed. You can answer "it's not for me" to anything, and it's still a non-answer. It's like answering "why" with "because." I'm waiting for an answer, and I'm fine with you not giving it.

Posted by: atb | April 23, 2008 1:28 PM

When did it became socially appropriate to ask value-laden questions of others? Why must they answer. I'd interpret "It's just not for me" as a more subtle version of, "you've crossed the line and should back off" or "it's none of your business" or "Wow."

Posted by: wow | April 23, 2008 1:39 PM

Well, atb, you're really good at signing your name, but not too good at reading since I was talking to Still An Issue at the end of my post:

"Still an Issue? You're getting flamed because you're a closed minded know it all. The fact is that no one is hurting their child or putting them in danger by feeding them formula, but that's how you make it sound."

You must have been bottle-fed and therefore can't read very well.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2008 1:39 PM

gEmily

"I have to agree with Leslie. While I would never openly say anything to a woman who chose not to breastfeed for reasons of convenience, I do kind of judge them silently."

Your wish is granted! Start judging Leslie. She breastfed each of her kids for 3 months only. It doesn't matter why, it's a b.s. reason of convenience!

Posted by: Go for it! | April 23, 2008 1:41 PM

"You can answer "it's not for me" to anything, and it's still a non-answer. It's like answering "why" with "because." I'm waiting for an answer, and I'm fine with you not giving it.

I really don't believe that answers are owed to anyone about topics in which they are not intimately involved. Why do I spend my money on baseball tickets? Its none of your business. Why did I spend my money on therapy rather than buying a house in my early 30s? None of your business. We dance around and around trying to find a polite way to say that we don't owe you an answer. You aren't raising the child/paying the bills/you name it, so please, butt out!

Posted by: babsy1 | April 23, 2008 1:41 PM

"I'm waiting for an answer, and I'm fine with you not giving it. Maybe someone else will."

I did give an answer - see 1:06

Posted by: lurker | April 23, 2008 1:42 PM

Emily- Stop admitting to all the perfect posters that you aren't perfect! You'll lose all your cred! What next? MN made a mistake once and came to a conclusion without consulting with her husband? Tsk tsk. Apparently, all the women on this blog are supposed to be perfect, and the men can do and say as they please without comment. What's going on here? Are women their own worst enemies or something? Wow. Wow.

Posted by: atb | April 23, 2008 1:43 PM

Really, is it anyone's business? Why do people in lines or on the metro feel compelled to comment on what everyone next to them are doing? Are you that bored? Most of the time it doesn't take a village.

Posted by: babsy1 | April 23, 2008 1:43 PM

For people who only breastfed for a few months, does anyone have a tip about getting the baby to take a bottle. We are having the hardest time with our daughter, because she just seems to hate the bottle. She only takes it when she is starving, and even then, grudgingly.

Posted by: Emily | April 23, 2008 1:44 PM

To view this topic from a slightly different angle, Jennifer's babies are going to have so much money and opportunities at their beck and call, I have a hard time believing her breastfeeding or not is going to make one flipping shred of difference.

Posted by: Corvette1975 | April 23, 2008 1:47 PM

Emily

"For people who only breastfed for a few months, does anyone have a tip about getting the baby to take a bottle. We are having the hardest time with our daughter, because she just seems to hate the bottle. She only takes it when she is starving, and even then, grudgingly. "

Whaaat? A bottle?????? At only a few months?? There better be your breast milk in that bottle!

Posted by: What goes around.... | April 23, 2008 1:48 PM

@MN "So, if a man doesn't have input on a choice this big, I suspect he may not have input on whether and when his spouse gets pregnant, what mode of birth control the couple uses, choice of pediatrician, ob/gyn, and schools, and any number of other significant choices relating to the couples reproductive and parenting decisions."

What mode of birth control? A joint decision (although I don't think I could have kept her off the pill if she really wanted to be on it; what was I going to do, keep throwing them away?)

When and if pregnancy occurs? A joint decision; it takes two to tango.

What schools? A joint decision

What pediatrician? A joint decision

What ob/gyn? Her decision. I can just picture the conversation: "Honey, I know you don't like Dr. Jones, but I think she's really the best one for you. I'm going to insist that you keep seeing her, even though the speculum's cold, there are too many tests, and you think she's too quick with c-sections. I have a say in this, too." I pick my own GP; she picks her own (although if one of us really thought that the other's choice was bad and had evidence to back it up, we'd listen).

Breast vs bottle? I can see that conversation too. Take your choice:

A. "Honey, I know that breastfeeding our baby is painful for you; and you're having trouble producing milk. I know that pumping is going to be difficult for you once you go back to work. I know that it might mean you're going to have to change your diet. But I want you to listen to me - I really, really want you to do this, and I think you ought to."

B. "Honey, I want our kids fed formula. On the plus side for you, I can take turns with those middle of the night feedings. On the plus side for me, I don't have to share your boobs with anyone. So, even though I know that you feel very strongly that "breast is best", and even though you've planned and studied for a long time, I want you to take that bottle I prepared and give it to the kid, now. I'll be busy playing with these."

Which would go over better?

Posted by: Anon for a reason | April 23, 2008 1:49 PM

"For people who only breastfed for a few months, does anyone have a tip about getting the baby to take a bottle. We are having the hardest time with our daughter, because she just seems to hate the bottle. She only takes it when she is starving, and even then, grudgingly."

Posted by: Emily | April 23, 2008 1:44 PM

So first, you silently judge formula feeders as horrible parents and then you have the gall to ask for bottle feeding advice from the very "poor parents" you so judge?

Well, I have experience getting a baby to accept a bottle, but I only have one piece of advice for you: "Go suck a lemon."

Posted by: Bob | April 23, 2008 1:50 PM

Oops. I thought "Still an Issue?" was a question.

lurker- You did answer, but you also breastfed, so it's kind of a different question.

babys1- I can ask anything I want on a blog to no one in particular, and you can choose to ignore the question. This isn't the real world. It's an anonymous blog.

Posted by: atb | April 23, 2008 1:50 PM

Yes, breastmilk in a bottle - I pump. But that's beside the point. How do you short time breastfeeders handle the transition to a bottle? Or is my little girl just more stubborn than most babies?

Posted by: Emily | April 23, 2008 1:50 PM

Emily

"Or is my little girl just more stubborn than most babies?"

No, she is stupider than most babies. It's called Natural Selection. No need to save up for an Ivy.

Posted by: Darwinism takes its course | April 23, 2008 1:53 PM

So first, you silently judge formula feeders as horrible parents and then you have the gall to ask for bottle feeding advice from the very "poor parents" you so judge?

No, I am not asking for advice from the folks who have only fed formula, because they wouldn't be able to give me any, since they have not gone through the transition from breast to bottle. This is a question for parents who nursed their babies and then went had to transition to the bottle. No gall there. Perhaps you did not understand the difference because you were bottle fed. :)

Posted by: Emily | April 23, 2008 1:54 PM

"How do you short time breastfeeders handle the transition to a bottle?"

I would imagine the same way longtime breastfeeders do.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2008 1:55 PM

Emily: I was a long term breast feeder. My daughter self weaned a week before her second birthday. I pumped till she was 19 months old.

But I did introduce the bottle at 6 weeks (filled with expressed breast milk) on the advice from my doctor. I continued to offer her one bottle a day till she went to day care.

I was very worried that after going to day care, she would not want to bottle feed (expressed breast milk) all day. Do you know what? She did fine. She did not like bottle feeding all day long but she was hungry and chose to eat. She did feed every two hours when home for a really long time. I think till she was around 10 months old. That was with 2-3 night time feedings as well.

I would suggest just giving her one bottle a day. She won't starve herself. She will eat what she needs to until the breast is offered again.

Posted by: foamgnome | April 23, 2008 1:57 PM

"Most reasonable people know that either one is fine."
Posted by: | April 23, 2008 1:35 PM

Hooray! It took an anonymous poster to say the most reasonable, rational words of the day.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2008 1:57 PM

atb: unfortunately, the pattern of conversation people learn on blogs spills over into face-to-face conversation. By all means, ignore my posts on line. But don't chase me down in the grocery store when I ignore your rude question and turn away from you. You are NOT owed an answer from me, just as I am not owed an answer when I ask you if you are pregnant, or merely overweight.

Posted by: babsy1 | April 23, 2008 1:59 PM

Fred, How long does Frieda recommend that mothers breast-feed, or pump for bottles?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2008 1:59 PM

This is a question for parents who nursed their babies and then went had to transition to the bottle. No gall there. Perhaps you did not understand the difference because you were bottle fed. :)

Posted by: Emily | April 23, 2008 1:54 PM

Ahh, but can you really know the contents of the bottle you see when you are silently judging the parents?

Enjoy your lemon.

Posted by: Bob | April 23, 2008 2:00 PM

"I would imagine the same way longtime breastfeeders do."

Actually, it is sometimes not an issue for babies who exclusively breastfeed for a long time, since they often go directly from the breast to a sippy cup. Which is what we may end up doing.

Bob - I don't think you and your wife are bad parents - of the breastmilk was hurting your baby, of course you had to switch to formula. I commend your and your wife's efforts to try though. I think you are being to sensitive, since I did say that I recognized that there were exceptions to breastfeeding, and it sounds like your baby was such an exception. But I would be happy to suck a lemon, if you still want me to. I always add some sugar to it. It's a wonderful treat, actually.

Posted by: Emily | April 23, 2008 2:03 PM

"Fred, How long does Frieda recommend that mothers breast-feed, or pump for bottles?"

Yeah- let the people that give a rat's a$s rag on Leslie for the rest of the day!

Posted by: ???? | April 23, 2008 2:05 PM

Emily:Are you going back to work? If you are going to work, how are you going to breast feed the baby from work? Or do you work exclusively from home?

Posted by: foamgnome | April 23, 2008 2:07 PM

"Ahh, but can you really know the contents of the bottle you see when you are silently judging the parents?"


Argh. I never said that I am assuming that a baby drinking from a bottle means that the baby is taking only formula. That's quite a stretch, since my son also drank from a bottle and often drank formula as well as breastmilk. We had to do that because my milk supply was a little low in the beginning.

All I am saying is that in the deep recesses of my mind, I do think that parents should at least attempt to breastfeed if they can (ie, if it is medically possible or advisable, if there are no health issues that prevent it, etc.). It sounds like you and your wife tried it, and gave it up for medical reasons. Stop trying to find offense when none was intended.

Posted by: Emily | April 23, 2008 2:07 PM

Emily, when life hands us lemons, we make lemonade, right?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2008 2:08 PM

"Fred, How long does Frieda recommend that mothers breast-feed, or pump for bottles?"

Till your boobs hang down to your knees.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2008 2:08 PM

For Emily -- My older baby would only take breastmilk in a bottle from someone other than me. My husband had good luck carrying her around the house facing forward (not in the traditional cradling hold) so she could look around a bit for distraction. Once she hooked onto the bottle, he pulled her close for a cuddle. Our babysitter suggested putting some on her lips first to get her revved up for the bottle, too. That seemed to help as well.

And for Laura...
The state of the science: Well, my ciphering skills may be a bit rusty, but I've not yet seen any evidence or studies or quite frankly any information suggesting that formula is superior. I've seen significant evidence that breastmilk is particularly tailored to the special nutritional needs of babies. Even the waffling American Academy of Pediatrics (who'd never have to buy a lunch again if they submitted to the formula lobby) says breastmilk is best. WHO, everyone. It's not complicated, really -- we're mammals, and one of our distinguishing characteristics is that we provide milk for our young. Not cow's milk or soybean extract -- human milk.

There are lots of reasons why women don't. The availabiliy of formula is one reason. When they send women home from the hospital with a bag of enfamil and no nursing instructions or support, that's a set-up for failure. Things like latch problems are easily solved. Milk supplies diminish when people start "supplementing" with formula, and it becomes a downward spiral. When husbands don't support the decision and understand that nursing moms need fluids, rest, and lots of support, that's another set-up for failure. When women have to go back to work and the only place to pump is the bathroom, that's another set-up for failure. There are many more.

Posted by: Still an Issue? | April 23, 2008 2:09 PM

Yeah- let the people that give a rat's a$s rag on Leslie for the rest of the day!

Posted by: ???? | April 23, 2008 2:05 PM


And you would prefer... what?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2008 2:10 PM

"It's not for me."

Breast feeding involves an exchange of body fluid, germs, it's both a slimey, yet sticky endeavor, and emits a sour smelling odor. In other words, it's gross.

The same can be said about sex, but that never stopped me from doing it, but I can understand why others could be adversed to it.

In any event, making babies is just a smelly, stinky, dirty, germy, snotty, sticky, slimey, greasy, grimey job. But somebody has to do it!

Foamy, I always used the microwave to heat up the bottles, 12 to 18 seconds. I know, BAD DandyLion! I'm sure that the only food substances known to mmankind that could possibly cause cancer from heating it up in a microwave oven are breast milk and formula. :-)

Posted by: DandyLion | April 23, 2008 2:10 PM

Emily, I wish I could help you -- both of mine were so happy to get food that they'd have licked it off a broom handle. :-) Did you try to start early? I don't know if that's what worked for us, but with both kids, we started in with a periodic bottle after the first week or two for various reasons, and they were both happy either way. Of course, for some kids, an early bottle means they reject the breast, so I don't think there's any perfect solution.

I don't know if this will help, but when my son kept detaching, the nurses put a dab of sugar water on my breast. He LOVED that; one drop kept him trying for a good 10 minutes. I hesitate to suggest any sugar for a baby at all, but if you're desperate, you could try it once or twice to see if it makes a bottle more palatable. Oh: and if you haven't already, try different brands of bottles and different nipples -- we ended up going through about 4 varieties before finding the one that my daughter liked best.

Posted by: Laura | April 23, 2008 2:11 PM

"I would imagine the same way longtime breastfeeders do."

Actually, it is sometimes not an issue for babies who exclusively breastfeed for a long time, since they often go directly from the breast to a sippy cup. Which is what we may end up doing.***

But, you implied that only short-time breastfeeders would have experience getting a baby to take a bottle. Many babies take a bottle even if they never take formula.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2008 2:14 PM

Breast is best for some people. End of story. I don't care who is nursing and who isn't. The Mommy culture is alarmingly judgemental and putting this on the celebrity scene, too, is just ridiculous.

Posted by: Mama | April 23, 2008 2:14 PM

To Anon for Now, or whoever asked about support from the husband regarding breastfeeding - I had support from my daughter's father from the start and it made a huge difference now that I look back. I was fairly young when I had my daughter and most of what I learned during my pregnancy came from books/magazines and older relatives. My mother didn't breastfeed (And I turned out more than fine) so she wasn't a good source of information/support, although she never tried to dissuade me from nursing. My daughter's father went out and bought me a pump, did his own reading so he could assist me if I needed it, talked to nurses and doctors, and just made the whole experience wonderful overall. Would I have nursed without his support? I'd like to think so, but one can never know what they'd do in a situation until they're IN that situation. With my future children it's a no-brainer that they'll be nursed. It was a beautiful experience that I can't wait to have again.

I'm fully supportive of women who choose to nurse and I'd only ask a woman's intent that I was close with - family, close friend, etc. If a woman chooses to bottlefeed that's on her. I wouldn't look down on her but I'd feel a little sorry that she was missing out on something natural and wonderful.

Posted by: Miss S | April 23, 2008 2:17 PM

To Anon for Now, or whoever asked about support from the husband regarding breastfeeding - I had support from my daughter's father from the start and it made a huge difference now that I look back. I was fairly young when I had my daughter and most of what I learned during my pregnancy came from books/magazines and older relatives. My mother didn't breastfeed (And I turned out more than fine) so she wasn't a good source of information/support, although she never tried to dissuade me from nursing. My daughter's father went out and bought me a pump, did his own reading so he could assist me if I needed it, talked to nurses and doctors, and just made the whole experience wonderful overall. Would I have nursed without his support? I'd like to think so, but one can never know what they'd do in a situation until they're IN that situation. With my future children it's a no-brainer that they'll be nursed. It was a beautiful experience that I can't wait to have again.

I'm fully supportive of women who choose to nurse and I'd only ask a woman's intent that I was close with - family, close friend, etc. If a woman chooses to bottlefeed that's on her. I wouldn't look down on her but I'd feel a little sorry that she was missing out on something natural and wonderful.

Posted by: Miss S | April 23, 2008 2:17 PM

babys1- I don't have any problem separating blogs from the real world. It's not me chasing you down. Oh, and I'm a size 4 with a flat stomach, despite the image in your head.

Posted by: atb | April 23, 2008 2:21 PM

Still an Issue: You are the reason I stay away from these discussions. Wishing I hadn't wasted the last 10 minutes of my life. Open up your mind, and your heart, for that matter a little bit and you'll see a whole new world in front of you...

Posted by: Mama | April 23, 2008 2:24 PM

All this high-flown commentary about breastmilk being the best nutrition for babies is pretty comical. These same parents, in a few years' time, will be giving their kids Twinkies, Froot Loops, and bologna sandwiches.

Yes, I understand about building their immune systems and the long-term benefits of breastmilk. But, you really only need to do that if you're planning on letting them graze on crap once they're big enough to demand it.

Giving babies formula is perfectly fine -- especially if you follow up throughout their childhoods with nutritious diets. I'm betting that not many of you will.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2008 2:24 PM

Foamgnome,
I exclusively breastfeed from home, and pump at work. She will take the bottle, but only when she is really hungry. At home, she breastfeeds every 2 or 3 hours, even through the night. I think she is compensating for the time that I am away at work. Since we started giving her rice cereal, we now mix it with the pumped breastmilk and she takes that pretty easily, with a spoon. But she hates the bottle. Our pediatrician recommended trying a sippy cup, and that seems to work better. I think this baby is just not going to ever take the bottle easily.

Posted by: Emily | April 23, 2008 2:24 PM


Miss S

"With my future children it's a no-brainer that they'll be nursed."

It's a no-brainer that you are too stupid to reproduce.

"If a woman chooses to bottlefeed that's on her. I wouldn't look down on her but I'd feel a little sorry that she was missing out on something natural and wonderful. "

More evidence of your stupidity.

Posted by: Who asked yu? | April 23, 2008 2:27 PM

DandyLion

Why did you and your wife have children you couldn't afford to support?

Posted by: Enquiring minds | April 23, 2008 2:31 PM

Dandylion -
Let me answer for you.

Because every sperm is sacred!!!!!

Posted by: Emily | April 23, 2008 2:34 PM

Leslie,
If someone says "it's not for me," how about maybe they actually tried and it didn't work, or maybe they are on some kind of medication (for seizures or depression or bipolar) they don't want to transmit to their baby, or maybe they had mastitis or some other chronic problem and needed to stop. Those are much more likely reasons someone doesn't BF than vanity or being "grossed out." Assuming they "didn't even try" is pretty harsh, and their reasons for not doing so are really none of your business.

As someone who fell into one of the above categories and knows several others in the same situation, I really didn't feel the need to give people a lengthy explanation of why I had a bottle when everyone else was whipping out a boob.

In terms of J.Lo, I'll admit I actually do care how celebs feed their babies. I was HAPPY to see her blatantly feeding her kids formula. Makes people like me feel better. How do we know she didn't try nursing and decided it wasn't working out? How do we know she isn't on medication? The point is, she is feeding her kids, and she is feeding them herself.

And after hanging out at a wedding with a BFing friend who had left her 1yr old for the weekend for the first time and who had to pump every hour for fear of her engorged breasts leaking on her bridesmaid dress, frankly I was kind of happy it didn't work for me. If you were J.Lo, how would you perform with your kids screaming backstage and boobs dripping everywhere? You can't really stop in the middle of a concert to go nurse.
--
"But I have to admit, in the dark corners of my mind, I am always kind of suspicious of moms who don't even try breastfeeding.
'Terrible, I know--but I do wonder: Are they vain about their boobs? Grossed out by their infants breastfeeding? Emotionally cold? Not sure if I'm reacting to my own love of breastfeeding, or society's weird judgments about breastfeeding. But these thoughts do pop up in my head."

This just deserves a Hax - wow.

"If you ask why they don't, pretty much the only answer you'll get is "it's not for me," so I'm afraid you'll keep wondering."

Posted by: CK | April 23, 2008 2:43 PM

"Couldn't resist an oppotunity to make sure everyone here knows you're petite and in shape."

Yeah, but atb forgot to mention that her vagina is a stretched-out bottomless pit.

Posted by: Who cares? | April 23, 2008 2:43 PM

Emily, my 4th kid regularly went over 12 hours without being fed. He didn't like the inferior delivery mechanism that the bottle offered, which makes me think that some babies primarily nurse for comfort and hunger is secondary.

One of the things that worked with limited success was for me (or my daughter), to wear one of my wife's unwashed, breast milk stained night shirts while giving him the bottle. Babies are very smell oriented, and I think the odor from mommy's shirt put him in the mood for nursing.

Posted by: DandyLion | April 23, 2008 2:43 PM

"So here's a good use for the anonymous posting privilege - who here wants to admit - even anonymously - that the husband/father had a significant input into the breast vs bottle decision?"

No need for anonymity on this one. DH had a huge influence on my decision to nurse, and it's something we discussed long before ever even trying for a child. It was very important to him that if we were going to have a baby, then we'd at least try to do what we thought was best for her. By the time I was ready to start our family, I was fully on board with nursing. Even if I hadn't been, though, I would have tried it just because it was so important to him.

Equally important, though, was his support after my daughter was born. I did not have an easy time of it at first (in part due to the ill-informed nurses I mentioned in my first post). DH was there to encourage me, to help me out however he could, and to let me know it was ok for me to quit If I really couldn't do it anymore.

Posted by: NewSAHM | April 23, 2008 2:47 PM

Emily, my 4th child regularly went over 12 hours without nursing or taking a bottle, which suggest to me that some babies like nursing primarily for comfort, not because they are hungry. Accepting nilk from the inferior delivery mechanism offered by the bottle just isn't for all babies.

What worked with limited success was if me or my daughter put on one of mommy's unwashed breast milk stained night shirts before trying to give him the bottle. Babies are very smell oriented and I think the odor from DandyLioness's got him in the mood.

Posted by: DandyLion | April 23, 2008 2:48 PM

177 comments and counting! Wow!

The nominees for most idiotic OB topics are:

Posted by: And the Oscar goes to... | April 23, 2008 2:48 PM

Thanks, Dandylion.

I guess I will just have to tell my husband to start wearing my flannel nightgown when he tries to feed baby the bottle. :)

The only way she takes it now is if she is really hungry (like nothing for 10 hours), and he was to walk her around, in an upright position, which she is drinking it. If he stops walking, she stops drinking.

Posted by: Emily | April 23, 2008 2:54 PM

NewSAHM

" DH had a huge influence on my decision to nurse, and it's something we discussed long before ever even trying for a child. It was very important to him that if we were going to have a baby, then we'd at least try to do what we thought was best for her. "

Great! Is it equally important to DH that you try to do the best about your obesity? Haven't you been obese longer than you have been a mother? What's up with that? Is your identical twin sister also obese? Isn't that a big health concern for DH???????? Isn't your DH the one who "hides from his family" by doing a lot of prolonged yard work? Huh?

Posted by: What a hypocrite! | April 23, 2008 2:56 PM

Still an Issue? -- Thanks for the substantive response. I do disagree on the state of the science -- that is, I agree that there is a lot of science out there that suggests that breast milk is better than formula, but not so much that makes it such a "simple" choice. We have epidemiology that provides a correlation, but we still don't know physically or chemically why or how -- and we can't really do a double-blind, controlled study to demonstrate that breast milk is the cause and not something else. Intuitively, it makes perfect sense that our bodies evolved to do this, so it should be best. Which is why I breastfed my own kids. But the science hasn't yet gotten to the point to make it a clear no-brainer.

I also agree with your list of causes that stop people from breastfeeding. But you have skipped over some of the harder ones that lead women to give up after trying. One example: with my first, I had a lot of blood loss and ended up in the hospital for 4 days; as a result, my milk was very late, and I never produced much. Despite that, I kept trying for 5 months, nursing as much as I could, then pumping until my nipples bled. Until finally my husband found me sobbing over the breast pump, and just said, "Stop. It's not worth it."

The attitude that comes through some of your earlier posts is that breastfeeding is the only choice that won't damage your baby; that any problems are either trivial and easily corrected(ie, bad latch), the mom's fault (ie, low production must be caused by supplementing with formula) or can be overcome with just the tiniest bit of effort (ie, if Bob's wife had only thought about her diet); and that therefore moms who don't breastfeed are bad, selfish people because they've put trivial, easily-fixed problems above their child's health.

That's not my world. It's not my friends' world. Every mom I know has tried breastfeeding; for some it was the easiest thing in the world; for others, it was so difficult that they gave up after only a few weeks; and most of us were somewhere in the middle, struggling through the best we can. Belittling the very real problems that women face -- and the amount of time, effort, and thought that goes into that choice -- is really counterproductive. Because all of us who have come up against those problems can tell you that they are very real, and very hard, and that we did the best we could with the hand we were dealt for a baby we love very much.

Posted by: Laura | April 23, 2008 2:56 PM

Laura - you rock!

Posted by: CK | April 23, 2008 3:00 PM

I've been too busy deleting offensive comments to comment myself today. But I have to say (defensively) that I breastfed each of my three kids for between 8-10 months each. Not the 3 months someone keeps insisting upon. The record stands corrected!

That having been said, those comments about how long I breastfed just go to my original point -- it's none of my beeswax how long you breastfeed, and none of yours how long I do.

And it also goes to my original point that I was bothered enough by the "criticism" that I only breastfeed for three months that I felt I needed to stand up for myself.

Love the Men and Breastfeeding discussion, by the way. Women's bodies = women's choices. Clear cut for me. But I like hearing the different views.

Posted by: Leslie | April 23, 2008 3:00 PM

Emily, if the flannel nightgown still doesn't work, try geting him to wear one of your nursing braws. LOL! :-)

Posted by: DandyLion | April 23, 2008 3:03 PM

Laura,
Good post at 2:56. I would like to add this. Sometimes, militant breastfeeding advice can be as bad for the breastfeeding experience as out-and-out resistance to breastfeeding. Getting started can be a very bumpy ride, due to all the things you mentioned. Which means that sometimes, it is necessary to supplement with formula. But a lot of people will advise you that if you ever give formula, you are jeopardizing the ability to continue breastfeeding, and advise against it. I was given this advice with both my son and daughter. My milk tends to come in late, so if I had been hell-bent on exclusively breastfeeding for the first few weeks, my children would not have had enough milk, and I might have quit. Instead, I offered the breast regularly, supplemented with formula, and eventually increased my supply to the point that the formula was no longer needed. I just never saw it as an all or nothing situation. And being flexible about it allowed me to ultimately breastfeed for longer.

Posted by: Emily | April 23, 2008 3:07 PM

Oh, come on. I could be lying. How come no one called me on that? Have I told how how many people have asked if I'm a model? I was just responding to babys1's sly little attempt to imply I'm fat. I'm a lot of things, but fat isn't one of them.

Posted by: atb | April 23, 2008 3:07 PM

Emily, if the flannel nightgown still doesn't work, try geting him to wear one of your nursing braws. LOL! :-)

hahaha. I don't have one. Just not enough support. I need a real bra.

Posted by: Emily | April 23, 2008 3:09 PM

By the way, who is the anonymous poster who keep a dossier on each of the regulars just to try to be nasty? That's a psychotic hobby.

Posted by: atb | April 23, 2008 3:15 PM

"I'm a lot of things, but fat isn't one of them"

What's the most offensive thing a mother can be, a formula-feeder, or an overweight mom?

If only these were the worst things about mothers in this country...

Posted by: hmmmmm | April 23, 2008 3:16 PM

Have you noticed how people will accept all sorts of insults, but take umbrage at being called fat? I once had a boss who was called a fat liar by an ex-employee. He took no offense at being called a liar, but vehemently disputed that he was fat.

Posted by: Emily | April 23, 2008 3:19 PM

"By the way, who is the anonymous poster who keep a dossier on each of the regulars just to try to be nasty? That's a psychotic hobby."

Eh. If he/she gets his/her jollies by being a jerk, it's pretty sad. But no skin off my nose; as I've mentioned before, judgment from strangers doesn't bug me.

But I will feed the troll a little:

1) my sister's weight issues (or lack thereof) are her business to share, not mine; and

2) No, I don't recall ever saying anything about DH hiding from his family. But I'm sure you'll correct me if I did. The issue's moot, anyway, since we got a lawn service. :-)

Posted by: NewSAHM | April 23, 2008 3:21 PM

Unfortunately, due to her illness, Frieda had to resign from her job a few months back. Right now, she has other goals in her life but I did ask her about the question posed.

First,

Frieda's Big Rule

As long as the mother is happy and the baby is thriving, Frieda is quite satisfied that she has done her job effectively.

Of course she would prefer to see the baby BF but knows that is sometimes impossible for a lot reasons.

As to how long a baby should nurse, whatever the mother AND the baby are comfortable with is her answer. It could be six months, it could be 2 years.

As to how long should someone pump, it depends on why the woman is pumping (preemie, going back to work, so hubby can participate), how effective the pumping is, if solids are introduced, if a supplement is given. These are some of variables that she would talk about with the mother and baby with to achieve effective lactation.

On the issue of what influence a male partner may have in the decision. A male can have a huge amount of influence that may overwhelm the mother. Frieda has been told to her face, in front of the mother that "No way that baby is going to be using those!"

Posted by: Fred | April 23, 2008 3:26 PM

u"Like it or not, celebrities are looked up to in this country. "

If people are stupid enogh to accept parenting advice from celebrities, they deserve everything they get. It's called Natural Selection.

Posted by: Darwinism takes its course | April 23, 2008 3:40 PM

If nursing is so natural, why don't babies do it naturally? Why is it difficult and why do so many babies have a tough time latching?

More BS from the peanut gallery.

Posted by: Um | April 23, 2008 3:49 PM

Leslie: On breastfeeding and input from men. I tend to agree that it is the woman's choice. This one of those things that you can't decide before marriage and be held to. If a woman is adamantly opposed to breast feeding (for whatever reason) but the husband insists, and there is no common ground...... the mother wins. A woman should consider it, it is best for the baby, but I don't think anyone, even a husband can make that decision for a new mother.

Note that I breastfed both my kids close to a year each. My husband was supportive and whatever my decision was fine with him. If he had been an ass about it, I would have been really disappointed and irritated but still done what I felt was right for me.

Posted by: Get Real | April 23, 2008 3:51 PM

Darwinism takes its course, who would you take advice from?

Good question. It's been so many years...

Posted by: Darwinism takes its course | April 23, 2008 3:52 PM

MN made a mistake once and came to a conclusion without consulting with her husband? Tsk tsk.

Posted by: atb | April 23, 2008 1:43 PM

Take your pick:

Wow.

WTF?

or Leslie's suggestion: "Bite me".

If your view is, take his sperm and make all other decisions yourself, I hope for the sake of your marriage that he shares that view.

Posted by: MN | April 23, 2008 4:00 PM

so its not important to nurse them, its not important to raise them (daycare) - why exactly are you people having babies?

Because every sperm is sacred!!!

Posted by: Emily | April 23, 2008 4:01 PM

And the number 1 answer:

To take care of us when we are old and decrepit.

Posted by: Emily | April 23, 2008 4:04 PM

Whether a man has any influence over his wife's decision to breastfeed or not can be discussed, but the influence of the choice have a significant effect on the overall family dynamic.

For instance, with our first baby, whenever i was holding her and she began to cry, mommy lion would walk over to me, take her out of my hands, whip out the heavy artillery and put her on the nipple. Great! I would do the burping as my contribution.

That's just great, but when I had a screaming baby that wouldn't take a bottle and mommy lion wasn't going to be home from work for another few hours, do you know what I had to put up with? I'll tell you, put a recording of a crying baby on your MP3 player and listen to it for a few hours, then you'll know.

Well, I lived and learned. By my 2nd child, I was the one taking the fussy baby out of mommy's arms when the nipple wasn't working. I learned very quickly that babies love to go outside, breathe fresh air and listen to the noises of surburbia. Great way to put them to sleep, and you don't have to burp them and get spit up on to do it.

Posted by: DandyLion | April 23, 2008 4:07 PM

"Every egg is sacred too, so we should be holding funerals for menstrual periods."

YES, YES!!! In fact, you could justify PMS by saying you are in mourning.

Posted by: Emily | April 23, 2008 4:09 PM

DandyLion's example is excellent. There are an unlimited set of circumstances to be considered on any number of baby related topics, and lifestyle and family dynamics are huge. It's great to agree and work together when you have a new baby, but survival and sanity are the goal on some days.

Posted by: Get Real | April 23, 2008 4:15 PM

There is a saying in Spanish. Every baby is born with a loaf of bread under her arm.

I think, to a certain degree, it is true. People seem to make do, and raise their children despite the odds. Money is a part of it, but just a small part.

Posted by: Emily | April 23, 2008 4:16 PM

Why is there even a discussion on this issue. You either chooses to breastfeed, or you choose formula. Either one is fine--and kids grow up healthy, happy, and intelligent--regardless of how they were fed. My son was bottle-fed and he's in all of the accelerated classes; and he's a well-adjusted young man.

Posted by: Kattoo | April 23, 2008 4:33 PM

Why did the comments shrink from 217 to 199 just now?

Posted by: Huh? | April 23, 2008 4:38 PM

Leslie,
Why would you be skeptical of women who didn't even try to breastfeed? I took a breastfeeding clss when I was pregnant, and realized that choice didn't fit with my personality. So, I chose to bottle-feed. It doesn't make me any worse of a mom than you just because you breastfed all of your kids. I'm still an EXCELLENT mom! Again, this discussion is so silly because it's a personal decision and the results on children are inconsequential. My son proves it!

Posted by: Kattoo | April 23, 2008 4:39 PM

Let's see: When commenters had to sign on, the number of posts was generally < 50, except on an exceptional day when a topic really inspired input. That's probably not enough traffic for the WP to justify the column blog.

Then things changed back, and posters could be anonymous, and the numbers have gone up dramatically. Quality questionable, but that's not what the suits are concerned about. It's quantity, not quality.

Leslie -- You're an MBA: What's your value proposition for the WP? Most of the topics on this site are a rehash of discussions going on in many other places.

Posted by: gottabeanon | April 23, 2008 4:54 PM

Kattoo - I'm really not sure why I'm judgmental (silently -- it's clearly my issue). And part of it is that a woman who doesn't even try to breastfeed doesn't share my values as a mom. Doesn't mean I wouldn't like and respect her, just a signal to me that she's different. In some ways, that's what our judgments tell us. They are not all bad.

Posted by: Leslie | April 23, 2008 5:27 PM

There's nothing wrong about pointing out that this blog is supported by advertising revenues from the links listed under Syndicates at left above. The Post is a for-profit business, not a charity.

Posted by: Stop the censorship | April 23, 2008 7:16 PM

Actually Leslie, that is the definition of judgemental, not judgement. Breastfeeding really has very little to do with values. I know too many women that choose the bottle and have impeccable judgement and are raising well adjusted children, and the opposite holds true. I know plenty of women that breastfeed children till they are 3 and are raising total brats. I don't think it is the means of food that is the Value, it is the approach and reasoning one uses to parent.

Posted by: Get Real | April 23, 2008 7:17 PM

"On the issue of what influence a male partner may have in the decision. A male can have a huge amount of influence that may overwhelm the mother. Frieda has been told to her face, in front of the mother that "No way that baby is going to be using those!""

Wow, this is a surprise to me. I actually thought that the huge amount of influence that may overwhelm the mother would be the dad who insisted on BF when the mother wasn't in agreement or was in agreement but had difficulty.

I'm lucky I guess. DH said, "It's your body and your decision. I'll support whatever you decide." I was actually on the fence, and his attitude and support contributed to my decision to try BF since I wasn't concerned that he would give me a hard time if it didn't work out.

It's ironic that BF was a piece of cake for me who was ambivalent about the whole thing, but my friends who really thought it was the most important thing had a hard time with it. One friend whose child is now ten regrets trying as long as she did. She said she has few pleasant memories of her time with him as an infant because of the mastitis, constant crying because he wasn't getting enough, and sleep deprivation. She now wishes she had gone with the bottle as soon as she had trouble instead of trying to work through it and being miserable.

Posted by: a mom | April 23, 2008 8:14 PM

Get Real -- Good distinction, and I agree totally that breastfeeding has very little to do with raising good kids. No idea why I am judgmental. And also, the truth is that I also find breastfeeding kind of gross -- at the same time I find it wonderful. The truth is complicated. For me, the bottom line is live and let live. If I am judgmental about something I shouldn't be, I at least can keep it to myself and keep it as my own issue to resolve.

Posted by: Leslie | April 23, 2008 9:03 PM

Finally getting back on-line -- from 2:56: Laura, I'm not a biology expert, but I know that breastmilk is "alive" -- that its teaming with all sorts of cells, including the white blood cells that have been proven to be the immunological bridge that helps keep breastfed babies healthy until their own systems develop. This is why neonatologists nearly always "prescribe" that mothers of preemies express milk so it can be fed to their developing babies. I understand that there are questions of causation, but the vast number of studies that show correlations are convincing just in volume. Obviously, you faced a significant challenge, but also believed breastfeeding to be so important that you gave it your best try, pushing yourself emotionaly and physically to do what you perceived to be the best for your baby. I, too, shed lots of tears, but I was fortunate not to struggle with major breastfeeding challenge. When TSA made me throw out 16 ozs of milk I'd pumped on the first business trip away from my baby is one sad memory I'll have forever. Moms who've adopted and those with certain health problems are not usually fortunate enough to be able to make the choice to breastfeed. So, they do the best they can. My point today has been that everyone needs to make the best choice they can when it comes to what they feed their babies -- and I believe strongly that if you've got the option (and most of us with at least one lactating breast have that choice), then breastfeeding is that best choice. I think breastfeeding has gotten complicated because the process of birth and job of mothering has gotten overly complicated. Women all over the world somehow nourish their children without special pillows or nipple shields. It works beautifully for them because there is no worry -- and there isn't a black microfiber gift bag from Enfamil sitting on the kitchen table with "formula supplements" waiting for them to fail. It's just natural and it seems to work. And for some reason, a shocking few in the United States see breastfeeding as the natural, the normal, the perfectly biological option. Some apparently believe that the endless cycle of pouring, mixing, filling, and washing bottles is easier. And obviously others believe its gross or unnatural. Many believe that they will never be allowed to or be able to express milk at work, or they'll be forced to do it in a toilet stall -- this is saddest of all. Those who try and ultimately find that they can't breastfeed for health or other reasons are very few -- I think they're vocal in these forums because they care very much about their children and parenting issues. The vast majority of those who choose not to even try to breastfeed are just that -- those who choose not to. And they, as I've said before are simply making a poor choice.

Posted by: Still an Issue? | April 23, 2008 9:05 PM

"Oh, come on. I could be lying. How come no one called me on that? Have I told how how many people have asked if I'm a model? I was just responding to babys1's sly little attempt to imply I'm fat. I'm a lot of things, but fat isn't one of them."
ATB, I wasn't implying you are fat - that was merely an example of the crass remarks people make to those they don't know. The "you" was directed to all who do so, not to you directly. I don't know you, and I wouldn't presume to offer a comment on your figure even if I did. Such comments are not made in polite society, and I aspire to inherit Miss Manners' crown when she retires. Please accept my sincere apology. I would never knowingly do anything that would earn the sobriquet "sly."

Posted by: babsy1 | April 23, 2008 9:36 PM

I'm just amazed that this topic stirred such vehemence from people. Why does anyone care about it? Isn't raising moral, well-educated, kind children more important than the source of their nutrition? I suspect that breastfeeding never garnered this degree of self-congratulation from its proponents when it was the only way to feed infants. When you had no choice but to breastfeed, you could not attach any feelings of superiority to its practice. Surely we should only condemn those who don't feed their infants at all, not those who opt for one method over another.

Posted by: babsy1 | April 23, 2008 9:42 PM

"Wow, this is a surprise to me. I actually thought that the huge amount of influence that may overwhelm the mother would be the dad who insisted on BF..."

Frieda has also seen dads were extremely supportive and helpful of the BF experience. She has seen sisters and mothers and grandmothers telling the mother NOT to bf. She has also helped mothers with their babies who were the babies of the newly minted grandmother she had helped previously.

(Frieda cannot go out much in public without someone, both mothers and fathers, giving her an update on their little bundle of joy. Even though that bundle of joy may now be 15!)


She has advised on just about every problem with BF mentioned here today (including nursing twins.) The best advice that I can give is if you want to nurse or are having problems nursing, seek out a lactation consultant. If the one you have is just not clicking with you, try another.

Posted by: Fred | April 23, 2008 10:35 PM

I know this discussion is over but had I read it yesterday I definitely would have responded because the breastfeeding debate is one of my most favorite. To me it is the ultimate "look, I'm a better mom than you are" thing--women who are breastfeeding advocates think the future of the planet revolves around whether a woman chooses to breastfeed or not.

Back when my kids were infants and I sweated it out for 6 weeks with each kid because I had been brainwashed into believing my kids would end up sick and stupid I did go the extra mile the zealots talk about: went to a lactation consultant. It was the absolute worst experience of my life--she told me--verbatim--that formula fed babies sometimes sleep so deeply they don't wake up.

At any rate, my feelings about the whole thing now are that if women choose to focus on one issue with such single-minded passion, good for them; but, just as new SAHM said she is judgemental in some situations, I'm admittedly smug when a woman who made a huge show of breastfeeding for a year or more and looked down on anyone who didn't do the same ends up with a kid with allergies, frequent illnesses and/or less than genius level IQs. Catty maybe, but these were the same people openly clicking their tongues at me for formula feeding--yet my kids are healthy and allergy-free.

Posted by: Maggie | April 24, 2008 8:25 AM

I breastfed and pumped, even though I had low milk supply and my daughter was only getting about 25 percent breastmilk most of the time. Lugged an expensive, rented hospital grade pump back and forth every day for months (though I did have the luxury of pumping in my office with the door closed). Why did I stick with it? Because we have diseases in my family that may be helped by breastfeeding, and because I felt a short-term inconvenience to me was worth a long-term benefit to my child.

We are very quick to judge others, though, even when we don't know what their circumstances are. Some women don't breastfeed because they need medication so they don't have postpartum depression. I absolutely think breastfeeding is one of the best ways to give your child a great start in life, but I have to say that all the messaging about breastfeeding being the gold standard made my situation even harder to bear. I desperately wanted to be able to feed my child, and it made me feel like a failure as a mother to not be able to fill her needs. And of course, everyone pooh-poohed me two years ago when I thought we should get glass baby bottles because of BPA, and now that's one more guilt load for me to bear. How many chemicals was my daughter exposed to because I didn't insist, and because I couldn't breastfeed exclusively?

Posted by: restonmom | April 24, 2008 8:46 AM

I know this conversation is "over," but I also want to give my 2 cents on this. Why, why, why do moms judge other moms on this issue???? There are lots of good reasons to BF, and there are plenty of good reasons not to.

I have a good friend who tried desperately to BF. She saw several lactation consultants, and because of some developmental problems with her baby combined with her milk supply it just didn't work for them. But when she was out in public, the Breast Feeding Police criticized her for formula feeding. On the flip side, I've seen women critized for breast feeding in public. It seems like as women we just can't win.

I do think we go a little overboard with pushing the "breast is best" message. People who can't BF (like my friend) end of feeling like a bit of a failure when they can't do it. In her case, formula was just fine.

I've also known people to formula feed because they didn't want to BF. They gave it a try, and it was too hard for them. Not my place to decide at what point they should draw the line and give up.

And for the record, I'm not defending formula to justify my own choices. I breast fed my son for 18 months. I pumped in all sorts of places, including an airport bathroom in full view of everyone because that was the only electrical outlet (I was covered with a jacket, but I was not discreet).

We all must do what's best for our individual families -- and sometimes that means we do what's best for mom. This blog is all about balance and how we achieve that. Some people find balance by formula feeding. Others don't. It's not for me to judge the complicated give and take that goes on in each family dynamic.

As to the original question: I don't really care what JLo does with her breasts. But that's because I think she's a little icky and I already know too much about her anyway.

Posted by: San Diego Mama | April 24, 2008 7:47 PM

For the person asking why posts were downsized from 217 to 199 blogs. I noticed that many comments were deleted also. So much for Freedom of Speech in America!

Posted by: LOL | May 7, 2008 3:24 PM

It is not that I care so much WHAT J-Lo does or doesn't do with her breasts. The problem I have with this issue is that as with most celebrities, J-Lo is looked up to by many Latinos and other minorities and her breast feeding (or attempting to successfully and failing, etc.) could have spurred a healthy trend for new Moms. Nothing wrong with that IMHO. And, yes, I agree. J-Lo does have a ton of resources that the average mommy does not so it appears rather shallow on her part. Don't get bent out of shape over my comment. That's just how I feel about this whole issue is all.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 7, 2008 3:29 PM

If nursing is so natural, why don't babies do it naturally? Why is it difficult and why do so many babies have a tough time latching?

More BS from the peanut gallery.

Nursing is natural of course, as breasts are a part of the human anatomy. However, infants are not "born" walking, talking, etc. and so these tasks (like eating) must be learned. Duh! If you rub the side of a baby's cheek he/she will attempt to suck in that direction which is called rooting and is a natural reflex. It is difficult at first to learn how to latch onto the breast since the nipple doesn't necessarily petrude outward in the early nursing stages. But, eventually baby does catch on as does mother. Back in the day, you had many "authorities" usually family members and friends who were experienced in nursing for many years and could coax and help new moms along. How unfortunate today that this group has dwindled down to practically zero. So when women have the 'normal problems' of lactating they think it is a big deal or insurmountable when it is not!

Posted by: Excellent Q! | May 7, 2008 3:44 PM

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