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Old 01-14-2011, 07:57 AM   #11
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Re: "Breastfeeding is over-rated"-Joan Wolfe interviewed in Macleans...

I agree with Joan Wolfe, tbh.

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Old 01-14-2011, 08:58 AM   #12
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Re: "Breastfeeding is over-rated"-Joan Wolfe interviewed in Macleans...

I think it would be a mistake to stop trying to provide encouragement and support for the idea of breastfeeding, especially in poor and working class neighborhoods.

In some cases, the idea of EBF hasn't even permeated middle and upper-middle class neighborhood hospitals. Not 29 months ago, I had a nurse telling me they would probably give my newborn daughter sugar water to get her temperature up.

All I'm saying is that "up here," where we read the research, hear the anectodes and listen to the passionate stories, we feel saturated and perhaps pressured by this notion of breastfeeding. That doesn't mean it isn't best or that everyone has already heard the message.
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:14 AM   #13
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Re: "Breastfeeding is over-rated"-Joan Wolfe interviewed in Macleans...

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I think there is a very real pressure today for women to abandon themselves, and sacrifice all for their children. Obviously, we mamas would do anything in our power to nurture and protect our children, but sometimes I wonder if all the things we are doing - giving up tuna, fighting to bf when it's not possible, worrying over every immunization, abandoning careers, etc. is really beneficial to our children. I'd never really thought about it until I read this article, so, if nothing else, it has been really thought provoking.
Absolutely! I goof about it, & have goofed about it on the "elite" thread. There is a very real pressure to be perfect as a parent...though that perfection looks a lot different in different places (i.e. bf might be idealized in one place b/c it's natural, but judged in another b/c you're clearly too poor to afford formula). I notice it more on DS than in any other context in my life, but we seem all too happy to try to "out-mom" each other & to judge each other & put each other down. The essence of that being that "I know more, I do more research, I sacrifice more for my children, I am selfless, therefore I care more and am a better mom [than you]" b/c that pressure is so strong. Don't get me wrong, I love my DD, and I would sacrifice my life and the lives of plenty of people for her; I love her absolutely...but I don't stop being a person, with needs, wants, plans, goals, and dreams of my own, just because I have added this new dimension to my life. All of the other stuff doesn't stop being just b/c something new is (wow, that sounds philosophical ). Anyway, this article made me think of Joseph Epstein's essay on The Kindergarchy a couple of years ago; I thought it was brilliant then; I think it even more so now that I have a kiddo (who is coddled & the center of my life at 10 mos.) & most of my friends have kids (mostly ill-behaved little beasts who feel entitled to have a captive audience 24/7 at 2, 3, 4 yrs.). My friends' children remind me of the cast of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Reading this article, then the Epstein article again was like an awakening where I realized that I needed to make some changes to be the kind of parent and person I want to be .
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:54 AM   #14
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Re: "Breastfeeding is over-rated"-Joan Wolfe interviewed in Macleans...

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Originally Posted by Layney82 View Post
I think we need to look at this statement in context...it was following the interviewer's admission that she didn't eat tuna for 10 years before getting pregnant.

You try to design the optimal womb. What soap do I use, is Diet Coke okay, can I still dye my hair? And the truth is that in most instances, there is no evidence that what you do has any impact on the fetus.

It's true that pregnant women are largely paranoid about what they can and can't do. I even stopped using my favorite cosmetics because I worried they might not be good for the baby. Really, we don't know how all of these things affect the fetus. I think she was talking about these benign every-day things, not things that we know are harmful like drugs, alcohol, etc.

So I'm trying to figure out why caring about your child is a bad thing in this writers eyes?
Obviously there are some extremists who take it too far. It should be common sense that if your health is depleting because of breastfeeding and you refuse to give it up, then it's kind of your own fault. Why you wouldn't give it up is another story, but it's like smoking for 40 years and when you get lung cancer blaming it on society.
What is bad about a mother thinking breastfeeding her child is better, and doing it because she thinks/has been told it is healthier? I'm kind of at a loss for words.

Why is it suddenly this bad thing that women will go to lengths to stop drinking pop, which is bad for them anyway, your favorite cosmetics were probably bad for you as well, I fail to see how this somehow proves anything. All it proves is that most mothers have the deep maternal instinct to protect their offspring. This is not new, and I still don't get how it is a bad thing.

I don't think breastfeeding is the issue here, because there are TONS more conflicting parenting choices that are just as heated and just as fueled by unrealistic societal views/standards. Like I said, I just think this writer is confused about what issue she is trying to bring up. She jumps back and forth all the time about how breastfeeding has no benefits, to listing it;s benefits to saying it is harmful to saying it isn't.
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:01 AM   #15
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Re: "Breastfeeding is over-rated"-Joan Wolfe interviewed in Macleans...

I actually think the article is awesome. She's clearly not saying breastfeeding is bad; just that the benefits been overhyped due to "risk culture" and a confusion between correlation and causation. She even cites one scientifically established benefit: breast milk reduces gastrointestinal infections.

I was most impressed by this: “infant feeding is a fateful moment, one fraught with consequences for self-identity and opportunities for shame.” I think it's telling that so many people try to breastfeed then berate themselves when for whatever reason they cannot. I was lucky. It was easy for me. It isn't, for everyone. Still, I see all these reactionary "OMG is that a bottle?!?!?!" type comments in so many parent groups, with very little regard for nuance, and it makes me sick. Opportunity for shame, indeed.

I mean, if your appendix ruptured, you wouldn't hate yourself forever, right? And yet, there are lots of people out there silently judging themselves for not [breastfeeding/giving birth naturally]. Only a certain amount of that is under one's own control.

[ETA:]
you know, I hear breastfeeding makes your child attractive to unicorns...

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Old 01-14-2011, 10:07 AM   #16
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Re: "Breastfeeding is over-rated"-Joan Wolfe interviewed in Macleans...

I actually like this article because it is realistic. I live in an area where if you don't breastfeed, you are basically shamed. I have many friends who were in my moms groups who basically put their babies ahead of their husbands in terms of doing everything perfectly, constantly giving in to baby's every need, never letting their baby cry ever to the point they would stay up for months even at two and three because they were afraid their babies would be physically harmed if they ever cried. Sometimes babies cry out of boredom and I think their are times when it is appropriate to let them CIO. Of these friends I am talking about, none of their marriages lasted which they were putting these types of things like breastfeeding at the top of their lists and letting their families fall apart in the process. Their has to be balance. When I was nursing, I was a complete wreck emotionally, My third baby was adopted and I didn't nurse, and I actually was a much happier mom.
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Old 01-14-2011, 12:32 PM   #17
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Re: "Breastfeeding is over-rated"-Joan Wolfe interviewed in Macleans...

If their marriages are failing because of their choice to breastfeed, it has more to do with their own choices and lack of common sense than society. Society can only have so much impact on a person. Like I said, it may influence you (general you), but at the end of the day, it is your decision and your life. If these women are choosing breastfeeding their child over their husband, it's no ones fault but their own.
Despite the pressure I felt to try to continue to breastfeed for 7 months of physical and mental fights. I would stay up until 4am pumping. Then get up at 6 with baby, breastfeed her, give her a bottle because she was still hungry then play with her, then go to sleep when she was napping. For months I did this.
Finally it took it's toll and started to impact my quality of life, and in turn my daughters and my husbands. At which point, I said enough is enough, it wasn't worth it. If others can't see the line where it is enough and choose to continue going, it's their own fault.

Society has a very big double standard when it comes to breast vs bottle. You're damned if you do and damned if you don't, with either side of the argument.

To me this was a very tabloid-y way to get people to talk about this important issue, of unrealistic demands on mothers, and parents. And for it to be published in Macleans is why I thought it was inappropiate. I can tell you from the reaction people in Canada are giving it, they are not looking at it the same way.

And upon further research, the author in question has gone on the record saying breastfeeding is bad, and all prior research is wrong and basically contradicts what she says in this interview She is clearly biased, though she claims she is not.

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Old 01-14-2011, 01:13 PM   #18
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Re: "Breastfeeding is over-rated"-Joan Wolfe interviewed in Macleans...

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Originally Posted by novemberlily View Post
So I'm trying to figure out why caring about your child is a bad thing in this writers eyes?
Obviously there are some extremists who take it too far. It should be common sense that if your health is depleting because of breastfeeding and you refuse to give it up, then it's kind of your own fault. Why you wouldn't give it up is another story, but it's like smoking for 40 years and when you get lung cancer blaming it on society.
What is bad about a mother thinking breastfeeding her child is better, and doing it because she thinks/has been told it is healthier? I'm kind of at a loss for words.

Why is it suddenly this bad thing that women will go to lengths to stop drinking pop, which is bad for them anyway, your favorite cosmetics were probably bad for you as well, I fail to see how this somehow proves anything. All it proves is that most mothers have the deep maternal instinct to protect their offspring. This is not new, and I still don't get how it is a bad thing.

I don't think breastfeeding is the issue here, because there are TONS more conflicting parenting choices that are just as heated and just as fueled by unrealistic societal views/standards. Like I said, I just think this writer is confused about what issue she is trying to bring up. She jumps back and forth all the time about how breastfeeding has no benefits, to listing it;s benefits to saying it is harmful to saying it isn't.
The author has nothing against caring for your child...instead the issue is that women are bending over backwards to do things that probably have no effect anyway...either good or bad.

You also just related bfing to smoking, wondering why women didn't quit when their own health was endangered. Smoking is all around bad...there is nothing good about it. Bfing, on the other hand is usually good, but that doesn't mean we should be blind to the aspects that are not good. This is exactly the issue the author is getting at. Women are afraid to quit because it's perceived as doing something harmful to their child. There is nothing wrong with a mother thinking that bfing is better...it is. However, breastfeeding at any cost is not best.

With respect to the deep maternal instinct to protect - it's wonderful that we have it, but we need to think about our actions. Odds are that not dying your hair, or ceasing to use sunblock do absolutely nothing to protect your unborn child. There is no evidence that they help, so why deprive yourself of the things you enjoy in life for no reason.

I definitely agree with you that the author's message is mixed, though. Sometimes she says it's great, other times she says it's not that great. I think it just serves as a reminder that there are multiple sides to the issue.
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Old 01-14-2011, 01:29 PM   #19
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Re: "Breastfeeding is over-rated"-Joan Wolfe interviewed in Macleans...

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There were SO many false claims from this self-proclaimed feminist, just things we KNOW for a fact she is wrong about. For example:

Quote:
there is no evidence that what you do has any impact on the fetus.
I mean, guess I can go back to drinking heavily next time I'm pregnant if she's right about that.

You've totally taken that quote out of context. The entire quote says:

Quote:
You try to design the optimal womb. What soap do I use, is Diet Coke okay, can I still dye my hair? And the truth is that in most instances, there is no evidence that what you do has any impact on the fetus.
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Old 01-14-2011, 01:42 PM   #20
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Re: "Breastfeeding is over-rated"-Joan Wolfe interviewed in Macleans...

I actually liked the article. I do think her critique of breastfeeding studies was vague. It sounded like she was really stretching to discredit some studies but without knowing how the studies were conducted I can't be certain.

Now I haven't read her book so I really don't know her whole ideals but the article was okay. I did like that she was allowing women to come down from the pedestal of motherhood that we sometimes put ourselves on.

I still think breastfeeding is better but I also don't think formula is "poison" or going to ruin your child. My son thrives better on prescription formula then he did on breast milk because of health issues. He was never fully on breast milk even when I gave it to him because my body was making 20 calorie milk and he needed 24 calories just to gain weight and even then he was rarely on the growth chart. I still remember being ecstatic when his height and weight made it into the 5th percentile.
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