Sunday, June 28, 2009

Gone too Far

Those who think that society has “gone too far” in supporting breastfeeding, that mothers who formula feed are demonised and breastfeeding mothers aren’t:

Show me the women who are losing their jobs for formula feeding.

Show me the women who are being kicked out of restaurants, swimming pools, gyms, childcare centres, and airplanes for formula feeding.

Show me the immigrant women whose babies are removed because, among other things, they planned to formula feed.

Show me the women who have been ordered to cease or interrupt formula feeding by family courts.

Show me the women who have been inappropriately ordered to stop formula feeding by doctors and child health care nurses because of concerns that the formula feeding is causing the baby to be too big, too small, too loud, too anything. Show me the Child Protection reports that ensue when mothers are sceptical and non-compliant with this uninformed “advice”.

Show me the people who, on seeing a bottle pulled out in a public place, will wrinkle their nose and say in disgust, “Are you going to do that here?”

Show me the people who won’t allow infant formula in an office fridge because it could be carrying disease.

Show me the people who insist that bottles of infant formula should be covered with a brown paper bag so as not to gross bystanders out.

Show me the people who insist that all bottle feeding should be covered with a blanket, you filthy sluts.

Show me the people who say that women who choose to bottle feed should just stay home until their child is drinking from a cup. They made their bed, so they should lie in it.

Show me the people who say that formula feeding shouldn’t be allowed in public because they don’t have time to explain such adult concepts to their children.

Show me the people who won’t allow formula feeding in an area because the area is designated “family friendly”.

Show me the women who have had a gun pointed at them for not stopping a bottle feed in a public building in which they’re entitled to bottle feed.

Show me the women who have been accused of formula feeding because they’re paedophiles.

Show me the mainstream media forums in which it’s just fine to call women “filthy”, “perverted”, “gross”, and “cow-like” because they formula feed.

Show me the women who have been followed back to their workplace and questioned by police for preparing a bottle of formula in a parenting room designated for that purpose.

Show me the shocked gasps and silences when a woman has a glass of wine, a second latte, or a painkiller while bottle feeding.

Show me the documentaries on “Extreme Formula Feeding”, followed by an outpouring of public outrage about how those kids will be psychologically and sexually fucked up for life.

Show me the explosion in unethical corporate advertising lies promoting non-formula-feeding on an unprecented scale. Show me the massive outpourings of free corporate-supplied breastfeeding support to developing countries and disaster zones. Show me the tens of millions of dollars donated by individuals and companies to urgently get breastfeeding support to women and children in need. Show me the giant hollow breasts used as money collection devices for children in need.

Show me the daycare centres who charge fifty dollars more per week for formula fed babies.

Show me all these things, and then we’ll talk.

This article was written by lauredhel
Lauredhel is a forty-something woman with a disability. She lives in her Western Australian family home where books, Lego, and soapmaking gear constantly compete for space. She blogs about feminism, reproductive justice, freedom from violence, the use and misuse of language, medical science, being disabled, her vegetable garden, and whatever else pops into her head. Lauredhel also blogs at FWD/Forward (feminists with disabilities), scribbles at her personal dreamwidth journal Selective and Arbitrary, and co-moderates Hollaback Australia. She joined Hoyden About Town in 2007.

lauredhel has written 1257 posts for Hoyden About Town. If you liked this post, you might like to subscribe to the feed via RSS or EMAIL to get instantly updated for more posts like this.


Lisette said...

You took the words right out of my mouth...

Pixie said...

I am SO glad someone put this out there!

Brenda said...

If I ran a daycare I would *totally* charge more for formula fed babies.

The smell of the formula and the smell of the poop is enough to require hazard pay.

Really though it all comes down to one thing, personal responsibility. Those women (and it is almost always women) who whine about the "breastfeeding nazis" simply want to blame their guilt on someone. Guilt is always internal, no one can "make you" feel guilty. Even if you feel guilty after someone says or does something its only because your own actions or inactions in the matter have gone against your own moral code. No one else is responsible for your moral code or your actions.

Oh and you missed a big one -dentists. I've been told to wean completely, night wean (to then discover that the PEDIATRIC dentist is unaware that "night" means 12 hours), not nurse on demand, and my personal favourite: brush after each time you nurse but its unnecessary to brush after any other food product including cow's milk, cola, candy, cookies, blah, blah, blah.

Clawzy said...

I applaud your article. I really do!
I breastfed my daughter for 6 months. She chose to stop on her own, but I was scared to go anywhere with her cause I might have to breastfeed her. I remember many a time in the car, uncomfortably breastfeeding my daughter. So, for the first six months of her life, we pretty much stayed at home. NO mother should have to go through this! why is this ok for breastfeeding mothers to go through? We're mammals plain and simple. To NOT breastfeed, for no reason, is really sad. If you can't that's one thing, if you WON'T then you don't deserve to have a child cause you truly don't think about what's best for your child!!
Anyway! great job!!!

Squirrel said...

well this sure doesn't make me feel any better about trying everything to boost my milk supply so that i CAN continue to breastfeed and throw out the formula and bottles. UNFORTUNATELY I have to formula feed now and I'm not happy about it but unless I want to spend the next month in my house doing nothing but pumping and nursing to bring up my supply, I will be bottle(formula)feeding... gee, you can't win for losin, can ya! give it a rest is what i say... let people do what they gota do to feed their kid... its really noone's business... and good for you if you're ABLE to exclusively BF for a long time but not everyone has that LUXURY... sorry!