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:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/women_shealth/7857192/Breastfeeding-is-creepy-says-parenting-magazine.html

16 comments:

Reverend Boony said...

Miss blundell sounds like a selfish bitch to me...

1 : Drinking can be done in between feedings as long as the mother waits untill the alchohol is out of her system.

2 : Breastst are gonna droop anyways...Its called age.

3 : Breasts were meant for both babies and mates.

Sale said...

I totally agree with Miss Blundell.

Babies totally destroy the breasts, I mean they make them bleed for gods sake.

I really like boobs in a partner, if a baby has destroyed them part of my sexual feeling goes with that aswell.

In this modern day a woman does not have to be a "cow" supplying milk on demand.

I mean for crying out loud all this rubbish about "bonding" etc all overrated.

Breast feeding is ridiculous and only suitable for third world countries.

I totally respect Miss Blundell wanting to retain her sexuality. I wish more women thought like her.

You can be a mum but retain your sexuality.

You dont need a baby hanging off your "fun bags" 6 times a day to be a better mum.

Give the woman a break, let her have her opinion.

So many mums to be are "bullied" into breastfeeding, and if they dont do it they are made to feel they are a bad mother.

What a load of rubbish.

Valerie W. McClain said...

Another PR campaign made to appear as just the unbiased writings of an editor. Where do baby/parenting mags get their advertisements? Follow the money.

"Breastfeeding is creepy," is a catchy phrase... a PR propaganda technique that obviously works well.

Walking on two legs is creepy. It's embarrassing to look at someone walking, I turn away at such displays. "Walking is ridiculous and only suitable for third world countries." Walking is overrated. Why walk, when you can ride? Quit bullying people who prefer to ride. If people don't want to walk, so be it. Let them ride. Who would buy into an article extolling the virtues of not walking? Bodily functions are not choices. Choices happen, when technology steps in and convinces a population that bodily functions can be circumvented without adverse health effects. Circumventing nature always has ramifications.

George said...

I really can't believe the title. How can anyone see anything creepy in breastfeeding. breastfeeding info

Danielle Arnold-McKenny said...

WOW Sale, I sure am glad that I'm not your mate? If your sexual arousal is so closely mirrored to your partners boobs (at least their physical perfection), then I'd be continuously worried that you're going to run off with a younger woman (like say a teenager) when my bobs naturally start to droop- just like they do with EVERY woman. The fact that you're so wrapped up in the physical look of a pair of breasts, and can't get your head around the fact that Breastfeeding is NORMAL and BEST for your baby in every way possible... just goes to show what a shallow person you really are. I'll breastfeed my babies (and have done for years) because THAT's how I take care of their health the best way possible and give them the best possible start in life. My partner loves my baby chewed breasts, because they are a symbol of the love we both have for our children, like the stretch marks on my belly from bearing 4 of our children- something we created together and nurtured together. Your comments are a sad mockery of misguided ego.

Jillian Zavitz - Programs Manager said...

I'm a 27 year old mother to two beautiful totally healthy babies. I bfed one at first because i didnt have $ for formula. and continued for 27 months .. and am currently on month 18 with the last one.. and hope to go just as long if not longer.. the actual bfing is the furthest thing away from creepy.. and how would a mother ever feel like a cow? seriously? i have a baby to look after -- i decided to have the baby and to give it the BEST that i can.. whos to say I can't drink.. ? Im not going to get sloshed.. because 1) i am a mother and 2) been there done that..
get a life.. you are creepy

Wendy said...

This article is propaganda in the worst way - and irresponsible journalism at best. Every health organization in the world, including WHO (World Health Organization) and the CPS (Canadian Pediatric Society), recommend breastfeeding for two years and beyond. Yes, formula has a time and place in cases of emergency. It should be available, by prescription, in the rare occasion that a woman is unable to breastfeed. If you have children, it is your responsibility to take care of them to the best of your ability.

@ Sale - it's painfully obvious that you either don't have a partner who breastfed or you don't have breastfed children or maybe you have issues (that should be dealt with in therapy) about not having been breastfed yourself. Or, perhaps, you had a partner who breastfed her children and left you for being so unsupportive of the normal way to feed children.

Kat said...

Hm... 5 babies, years of breastfeeding and still nice boobs that I have had people shocked when I told them yes, they're real and yes, I breastfeed my babies ;)

76 months of breastfeeding = over 6 years of nursing, some of those years tandem nursing - that means I had 2 babies on my boobies at the same time! Oh no!

I'm still on the young side but I know for a fact, if I feed my children properly or not, my breasts are going to sag as I age. It happens.

Tanya said...

Sale, your comments couldn't be more wrong!

Breastfeeding should NOT make a woman's nipples bleed. If it does, it's not being done correctly, and they need to get help.

Pregnancy changes breasts. NOT breastfeeding, on the other hand, increases a woman's risk of breast cancer. Would you rather your partner have "saggy" breasts, or none at all?

Breastfeeding mothers are not "cows". Cows provide cow's milk. Last I checked, my breasts did not. Would you call a mother cat nursing her babies a "cow"? A mother gorilla? ALL mammal mothers provide milk for their young.

Breastfeeding releases oxytocin, which is the "love hormone", which aids in bonding. It just makes it a bit easier!

The third world comment is just ridiculous...why should only babies/children in third world countries get the food they were born to consume??

I have retained my sexuality just FINE while breastfeeding. And my partner agrees!

If you think women are "bullied" into breastfeeding, you may be interested to know that, in North America, only 17% of babies are being exclusively breastfed at 6 months of age, and only about 30% are being given ANY breast milk at 6 months.

And from talking to MANY mothers over the past 5 years, I can tell you that a lot of these mothers have stopped breastfeeding because of pressure to STOP doing it. Or a lack of support.

Formula is doing perfectly well. After all 70% of babies are getting it by 6 months! It's the NURSING moms who need support and accurate information.

Terra said...

Clearly this journalist is uneducated and ignorant on the subject of breastfeeding. I am surprised that a journalist isn't more informed.

Just the first couple of sentences demonstrate her lack of knowledge. 1) She wanted her body back? ...No one has taken it from her. When she made the decision to become pregnant and bare children, she made the choice to share her body. To let in inhabit and nurture offspring. If she wanted only a nine month deal, having a child probably should not have been a choice for her.

2.) She wanted a glass of wine? Drinking an alcoholic beverage [in moderation] is totally permissible when following guidelines such as having the drink when or right after nursing baby, giving it time to get through the system, or even pumping and dumping.

3.) She did not her breasts to sag? Sorry to say but pregnancy AND age do that, not breastfeeding.

4.) Breasts are only sexual? Clearly she is also uneducated in the uses and functions, both singular and dual roles, of the body. Did she not learn in all her schooling that breasts CAN serve a dual purpose?

And lastly, it is a shame that ultimately she did choose the sexualization of her body over the nurturing and health of her child. Formula feeding may be a choice, but ultimately it is a health decision. It is one thing to have a true situation where milk supply is an issue. It is an entirely other situation to choose an option that potentially opens your child up to a plethora of health problems.

It is also sad to see that journalists, especially for Parenting magazines are not more educated. Listen up journalists, you DO influence some of the masses. Be educated! Be unselfish. Give children a fair chance at good health and bonding.

Terra said...

Clearly this journalist is uneducated and ignorant on the subject of breastfeeding. I am surprised that a journalist isn't more informed.

Just the first couple of sentences demonstrate her lack of knowledge. 1) She wanted her body back? ...No one has taken it from her. When she made the decision to become pregnant and bare children, she made the choice to share her body. To let in inhabit and nurture offspring. If she wanted only a nine month deal, having a child probably should not have been a choice for her.

2.) She wanted a glass of wine? Drinking an alcoholic beverage [in moderation] is totally permissible when following guidelines such as having the drink when or right after nursing baby, giving it time to get through the system, or even pumping and dumping.

3.) She did not her breasts to sag? Sorry to say but pregnancy AND age do that, not breastfeeding.

4.) Breasts are only sexual? Clearly she is also uneducated in the uses and functions, both singular and dual roles, of the body. Did she not learn in all her schooling that breasts CAN serve a dual purpose?

And lastly, it is a shame that ultimately she did choose the sexualization of her body over the nurturing and health of her child. Formula feeding may be a choice, but ultimately it is a health decision. It is one thing to have a true situation where milk supply is an issue. It is an entirely other situation to choose an option that potentially opens your child up to a plethora of health problems.

It is also sad to see that journalists, especially for Parenting magazines are not more educated. Listen up journalists, you DO influence some of the masses. Be educated! Be unselfish. Give children a fair chance at good health and bonding.

Corinne said...

Sounds like SALE should be on a different site, since his post had NOTHING to do with babies and everything to do with his wishes for a woman. How pathetic.

I'm tired of women looking for the easy way out, because they want an occasional drink of wine. It's called motherhood, and it's filled with sacrifice. If you don't want to put your child first, DON'T HAVE ONE. It's that simple. Get a cat. Then you can keep your ever-so-precious breasts in tact and have your mate fondle them all damn day with a jug of wine in your hand.

I'm so tired of the selfish, me-centered culture we live in. Done!

Colby said...

Breastfeeding is one of the most important parts of raising your infant. if you think that formula actually replaces what your body creates, then you are grossly mistaken. Not breastfeeding your child can be devastating in their development. It is entirely selfish to have this sort of outlook. If you have a medical reason not to breast feed then so be it, if not, suck it up and let your child do the same.

Stephanie said...

I don't get why bottle feeders need help feeling "normal." Most women do bottle feed, particularly because of all of the nonsense against breastfeeding. It is the breastfeeding women who need support.

People like Sale (one of the commentators agreeing with the Blundell article) are the reason formula makers are rich, rich, rich. I have to counter her statements that "bonding" is overrated. I formula fed one baby and breastfed the other and the experience was extremely different. Even to this day I am more attached to the child who was breastfed than the child who was formula fed. And, I felt more burdened by formula feeding than I ever did by breastfeeding. I had to be sure to have enough formula everywhere we went, plus water for mixing. Mixing bottles in the middle of the night was a nightmare. Breatfeeding, by contrast, was EASY.

Agnieszka said...

Breastfeeding should not be a choice but a right for babies.

I agree with Wendy. Formula should be available by prescription only for those who REALLY cannot breastfeed and should come AFTER milk banks.

Boobs are going to sag at one time or another and it doesn't have anything to do with breastfeeding.

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