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More on the Choice to Breastfeed

The blogosphere has been buzzing about Hanna Rosin’s article, “The Case Against Breastfeeding,” in The Atlantic. Since the article targets Babytalk as pressuring women to nurse, we wanted to revisit the topic and clear up a few things.

The position of Babytalk and Parenting on breastfeeding has always been that a mom should do what feels right for her and her baby -- nursing, formula-feeding, or a combination of both -- without feeling guilt-tripped by other people, the medical community, or even the federal government. If moms today are going to be able to have the choice of breastfeeding (and, yes, we believe that it should be a choice) and the chance to do it successfully, they need better postpartum support, more childcare options, longer and better maternity leaves, workplace lactation programs, and a society that doesn’t blanch at the sight of a mom nursing at the mall. Regardless of the degree to which “breast is best,” this country needs to do a much better job of supporting new moms and giving them realistic opportunities to choose what’s best for their family. Is it too optimistic to think that moms could be allowed their preferences -- without the constant struggle of having to defend their position or fight for their rights -- so that breastfeeding, rather than being a catalyst for judgment and vitriol, could return to being seen simply as a way to feed your baby?

--Lisa Moran