Thursday, April 23, 2009

Breast Feeding and The Mommy Wars

I am not aware of the Mommy Wars until I read this interesting article by Christine Gardner. As a practicing paediatrician, I always advise for breast feeding. I wish Christine all the best in her breast feeding.

The Politics of the Pump
How breast-feeding became the new front in the Mommy Wars — and why I'm going to breast-feed my first child.

The Mommy Wars are alive and well. In the latest skirmish, the attack is squarely on the most womanly of arts: breast-feeding. Harvard historian Jill Lepore fires the first volley in the January issue of The New Yorker. "Is human milk an elixir, a commodity, a right?" she asks. Apparently, it has been all three and more, including a weapon of terrorism and life-saving medication:

Can a woman carry containers of her own milk on an airplane? Before the summer of 2007, not more than three ounces, because the Transportation Security Administration classed human milk with shampoo, toothpaste, and Gatorade, until a Minneapolis woman heading home after a business trip was reduced to tears when a security guard at LaGuardia poured a two-day supply of her milk into a garbage bin. Dr. Ruth Lawrence, of the breast-feeding committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics, promptly told the press, "She needs every drop of that precious golden fluid for her baby"; lactivists, who often stage "nurse-ins," sent petitions; and the T.S.A. eventually reclassified human milk as "liquid medication."

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  1. I've had my wars - win some lose some. My late grandmother never understood me breastfeeding my son (I breastfed for 2 and a half years), I gave up pumping just after a couple of weeks when i started work in this company, the environment is just not for it. I have been called a milk making machine by a paediatrician, we stopped going to her.

  2. Hi Pearlie,

    It is an uphill task convincing mothers to breast feed. I am glad to know that you breastfed your son for two and a half year.

    Many working environments are not conducive to working and breast-feeding mums who wish to store their breast milk.

    I am shocked at the comment by your paediatrician.

  3. My current working place is better - nursing moms have a place to pump and store their milk. But timing is sometimes not easy in this industry.

    My mother-in-law was most encouraging in getting me to breastfeed, God bless her :)

    Well, it has been 10 years since and I hope that paediatrician is a changed paediatrician. It was the first one we went to and the first time was the last time. The one we finally stuck to is a lactation consultant as well, so it was good.