Thursday, May 17, 2012

Breastfeeding in the Media (AGAIN!) - Time Magazine Cover

I thought I'd just make very quick commentary on this week's Time magazine cover (although I don't want to engage in the "mommy war" discussion that the cover question wants to provoke, I fully agree with Katie Granju on this one, we're all "not mom enough"  at one point or another in our mothering lives).

The photo didn't bother me -- although anyone who has ever done extended breastfeeding, including the mom portrayed, will know that that's just a posed shot and NOT the way we normally nurse older kids, see my link below. And why/how would it have bothered me considering that I shared similar ones? Long-time readers will remember my own photos in this blog in this post and the ones linked within it. After 5 years and 5 months lactating the only thing I regret is that I didn't nurse Linton as long as I nursed Kelvin. In that post I talk about it very calm and rationally, but later I regretted it more intensely.

I won't really get into the discussion and I didn't much like the Time cover article (I haven't finished reading it), but I will say that Dr. Sears' The Baby Book was extremely helpful to me. (Laura @ 11D did a good round up of discussions of AP from around the web -- I really like Lisa Belkin's -- that Katie Granju followed).

One last thing that irks me:

Pediatricians have little or no training in breastfeeding in nutrition (just ask a pediatrician how many class hours he had about the subjects in medical school, I'd be surprised if they would say more than a few classes), who are they to say that breastfeeding has no nutritional value after 1 year of age and that it could be detrimental to the child's development!! Moreover, lots of pediatricians receive tons of free formula to give away to their patients and are in a way "brainwashed" by formula companies.

I liked this article in Mother Jones that explains "Why Mitt Romney is No Friend of Breastfeeding." Both of my sons were born in Massachusetts and we came home from the hospital with one or two hospital bags from two different formula companies. My pediatrician also had formula samples to give me as well.

So... yeah... I'm a "lactivist" alright, and when Laura (11D) asked her readers whether the cover was "Gross or Cool" I responded:
I dig attachment parenting and all, but... I don't know if a cover like that is good for breastfeeding awareness... maybe it actually does a disservice. . . . I'm generally in favor of anything that brings awareness to breastfeeding, but I hate it when they keep making it such an "extreme" choice when it shouldn't be so. :(
Yeah... but I know it's way more practical to formula feed and that for many moms breastfeeding is very hard at the beginning (it was awful for me, I had to pump for an entire month. It's been TEN years and I haven't yet had the strength to write a blog post about my experience!). But if one perseveres, breastfeeding can be just awesome!

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