First of all, I would like to thank the folks at Kellymom.com for sharing the link to this blog post on their Facebook fan page. I believe that is the reason my blog has gotten more hits than it ever has - over a hundred people "liked" the link, while 30+ moms commented on it. So, giving credit where credit is due - thank you Kellymom for mentioning me, and for being an awesome resource for breastfeeding mothers everywhere! (I point all new moms in their direction).
Secondly, I had time to mull over my thoughts overnight and would like to share them. This mama has a point - everyone has a right to their own opinion and women have a right to know all sides of the story. Please know that I appreciate and acknowledge that the author's views are her own and she has every right to say it (because, in my mind, its not about breast VS bottle - no matter what your argument is, breast wins for being the best thing out there to feed their baby). What I'm disappointed in is that a major mainstream parenting publication would add yet another element in their magazine to glorify formula (in addition to the dozens of formula ads) without allowing for an alternative side to have their say. In this case, they could've featured someone who had the same qualms as Blundell but fought through it to breastfeed their baby.
Too many people are being told that it is "ok" to feed their baby formula, that they can "survive" on it just fine. First of all, while it is "ok" and they do "survive", is that really all we want for our babies? For them to meet the bare minimum of survival (which, in the case of rural countries/areas and areas with no access to clean water, is not even true)? Why can't we make the conscious decision to do what we can in order for them to flourish? Secondly, I have nothing against those who promote formula as the best thing since sliced bread, if they had bothered to really give breastfeeding a go. For moms like Blundell who didn't even bother, its yet another part of the frustrating situation breastfeeding advocates have to put up with.
What I'm worried about is, as I've said before, how the article might've swayed some on-the-fencers to not give breastfeeding a chance. Articles like this are a disservice to babies everywhere. It purports the fallible notion that breastfeeding is unnatural, that it is not normal, that breasts' SOLE purpose is for sexual gratification. Breasts are a wonderful, multi-functional, multi-tasking part of a woman's body. I couldn't be more proud of my breasts - not only do they provide enjoyment for my husband and I, but they also provide nourishment to my children. Breasts are breasts are breasts are breasts - you see them in porn, you see them ensconced in lacy bras on billboards the world over, you seem perky ones, saggy ones, large ones, small ones, and sometimes you see them in a baby's mouth. Breasts are allowed to do all that. Why do some people insist that the last one is the most abnormal situation in which to see them, to the point of labeling it "creepy", when all those other situations are arguably far creepier?
I know I can't change the minds of formula-feeding moms, but I hope that expectant moms are able to see the entire picture for what it is, get their facts right, and then make a decision. The article is an indication of what's wrong with society these days. De-normalizing the multiple purposes of the breasts and seeing them only for their sexual function will result in more than just a shift in people's mindset - it could very well rob the next generation of babies a chance to be breastfed.