Sunday, February 11, 2007

The tyranny of breastfeeding

Yes, breast feeding is better for baby. Yes, there are multiple benefits. Yes, more breast feeding is better than less. Yes, I try to live all holistic and stuff...

BUT!!!

I've had it up to here with the tyranny of breast feeding. I'm disturbed by the recent trend of government health campaigns encouraging breast feeding...or rather...I'm truly pissed by the completely biased and ill focused nature of these campaigns. The campaigns focus exclusively on shaming and bullying mothers to the complete exclusion of trying to change the social conditions that often prevent women from breast feeding for 6 months.

The campaigns may increase maternal guilt but they don't provide any viable solutions for mothers to utilize. I don't see any legislation being introduced that would guarantee mothers 6 paid months of maternity leave. I don't see any programs that encourage corporations to adopt workable flexibility policies or legitimate career pathing that won't punish women from taking maternity leave or having a family! Or maybe some true tax incentives that make having a child more affordable - thus eliminating the need for both parents to work two high-pressure/high-income careers.

If you want women to nurse for 6 months provide us with the social support structure that will allow us the time and emotional space necessary to breastfeed our babies!

1 comment:

noyah said...

Not to mention how those campaigns conveniently leave out the fact women can't do much of anything OTHER than breastfeed for the first 2 months. They can barely step out for a cup of coffee, let alone make time for work they like.
I was shocked by how overwhelming breasteeding is. To me these campaigns are another way of stripping women of their right to chose.