Sunday, June 27, 2010
Breastfeeding is 'creepy' says parenting magazine
An article in Mother & Baby magazine that described breastfeeding as “creepy” has prompted a backlash among mothers and midwives on the internet.
By Alastair Jamieson
Published: 10:43AM BST 27 Jun 2010
The Department of Health recommends breastfeeding Photo:
In a candid discussion about the decision to use milk formula, deputy editor Kathryn Blundell said she bottle fed her children because "I wanted my body back. (And some wine) …”
She added: “I also wanted to give my boobs at least a chance to stay on my chest rather than dangling around my stomach."
The article – which appeared under the headline "I formula fed. So what?" – has reignited the often ferocious debate about the choice between breastfeeding or using powdered milk.
It has already prompted a Facebook campaign supported by about 600 users of the social media site, and at least six complaints to the Press Complaints Commission.
The Department of Health recommends that babies are fed only breast milk for the first six months of life but many women are unable to do so or opt for formula milk out of choice in the case of an outspoken pro-breastfeeding lobby.
The article said: “The Milk Mafia can keep their guilt trips. Bullying other mums about something as special and nurturing as feeding their babies (and yes, bottle feeding can be lovely and intimate) is a depth that even Vicky Pollard wouldn’t sink to.
“So, let’s hear it, ladies, for modern nutritional science, but most of all for our freedom of choice.”
Describing her own feelings about using her breasts for feeding, the author wrote: "They're part of my sexuality, too – not just breasts, but fun bags. And when you have that attitude (and I admit I made no attempt to change it), seeing your teeny, tiny, innocent baby latching on where only a lover has been before feels, well, a little creepy.”
The article did concede that " are all the studies that show [breastfeeding] reduces the risk of breast cancer for you, and stomach upsets and allergies for your baby.”
Among those to complain through Facebook were bottle-feeding mothers who objected to the tone of the article, which pondered whether formula users “just couldn’t be fagged or felt like getting tipsy once in awhile”.
On the Mumsnet website, the article was the subject of hundreds of comments. One contributor said: “People pay attention to these sorts of articles and if anyone who is having any wobbles about [breastfeeding] this may be the one article which steers them away from it, if they think that being seen to [breastfeeding] is in any way 'creepy'.”
However, other contributors welcomed the article as “tongue-in-cheek” and for dealing with a “taboo” subject.
Miranda Levy, the editor of the magazine, said the publication was “a constant and vocal supporter of breastfeeding” and that the article was reflected “personal experience” and had been praised by some bottle-feeding readers for making them “feel 'normal' and less of a 'failure' for not managing to breastfeed”.
For the full article and comments, visit: