Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Should it be a law?




It is a simple question.

Should breastfeeding for at least 6 months be mandated by law?

Giselle Bundchen, the gorgeous supermodel with the hunky husband and the glamorous career just became a mom. Apparently, pregnancy and childbirth (at home...good for her) were a breeze which is great. Glad it was problem free for someone. She has embraced motherhood full on which is also wonderful. And, with the passion of the converted, she has taken on breastfeeding. In a comment she recently made that has gotten a ton of press she stated that there should be a world wide law mandating breastfeeding for the first 6 months of a child's life.

It was recently World Breastfeeding Week and so I thought this was a good topic to bring up in our Cloth Diaper Retailer Blog. What do you think? Should it be mandated? Should women who choose not to breastfeed or are unable to breastfeed be prosecuted? Who should stand in judgement of these moms?

Obviously, we should support breastfeeding women wherever they are. At least I think so. There are so many ways to do this. Provide long maternity leaves for working women. Make breastfeeding more acceptable by providing places for women to quietly breastfeed their children in public (breastfeeding room at Target!). Spaces for women to pump at work for those who choose that path. Destigmatizing the entire process.....

My own experience with breastfeeding is long and tortured. Prior to becoming a mom, I was a Maternal and Child Health Policy professional. I even sat on Federal Breastfeeding Support review panels. As crazy as it sounds, one topic of conversation I had with my future husband on our very first date was breastfeeding. When I was pregnant with our first, we attended child birth classes, infant CPR classes and breastfeeding support classes. Both of us. I was ALL about it. WE were all about it. Then, my precious little guy arrived and he would not latch. Just wouldn't do it. How can this be? Breastfeeding was what I was supposed to do. We hired lactation consultants. I drank the teas. I pumped 14 times a day in order to supply him breast milk. We did everything to make this happen and spent a FORTUNE in the process. And, in the end, he still would not latch. Finally, my wise and wonderful OB told me that "There are many ways to be a good mom. You don't need to check every box. Stop trying." Ultimately, reluctantly, with tears and regret, I did stop trying.

I shared this story on a very active and dynamic message board populated by other like minded, natural parenting moms. Within 30 minutes of posting, I got a very nice, but direct, note from the moderator stating that they were deleting my post as they do not allow postings that discuss a path other than breastfeeding. Huh? Like I was somehow no longer a member of the club because of the one thing I could not do. It kinda pissed me off.

Under the gorgeous Giselle's law, I would be what? Thrown in jail (and removed from my child)? Fined? Given probation?

At Cottontail Baby, we sell a lot of products that assist moms in breastfeeding. In addition to all the nursing pads we sell, we also sell some wonderful nursing necklaces, both in stock and customized. Even though we were never able to join their ranks, we at Cottontail Baby support breastfeeding moms. We just don't think those who can't breastfeed, for whatever rason, should be prosecuted. There are LOTS of ways to be a good mom.

Giveaway details....

We will giveaway one custom nursing necklace to a randomly selected winner. Enter by August 25, 2010.

Mandatory entry: Give us your opinion on the whole mandated breastfeeding debate.
Additional entry: Fan Cottontail Baby on Facebook
Additional entry: Join the Cottontail Baby newsletter

52 comments:

  1. I think the idea of prosecuting a parent for not breastfeeding, when some cannot do so is insane and ridiculous.

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  2. mandatory breastfeed is crazy and ridiculous. I think it should be encouraged sure, but should a mother be persecuted for her own choice? Give the parent the information and let them do what they wish with it. I know other mothers who tried in vain to breastfeed and ultimately had to give up and I know how much it hurt them.

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  3. Wouldn't it be wonderful if it worked like that? Too bad some of us (like me) have children who simply don't take to breastfeeding. Many of us beat ourselves up about it. I think that's punishment enough without getting law enforcement involved.

    coupon_mommy(at)live(dot)com

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  4. I follow on facebook.

    coupon_mommy(at)live(dot)com

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  5. I signed up for the newsletter.

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  6. I'd like to think that maybe she didn't mean it the way it came out. Maybe she was talking to the press about how wonderful breastfeeding is and all of it its wonderful benefits, and said something to the effect of it needing to be a law to breastfeed, but only in a half-joking manner. Does that make sense? I can't imagine how anyone would think that breastfeeding should be a law. It can't be. I do agree with you, though. I wish it were a law to support breastfeeding, to provide women a quiet, clean place to nurse in public and not make those of us to do breastfeed feel as though we have a second head growing out of our neck.

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  7. I think the fact that anyone is taking this seriously is ridiculous.

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  8. I think it's ridiculous that someone would propose a LAW. It is soooo not the government's job to legislate a personal mothering decision like that!

    girottih@yahoo.com

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  9. No way should it be mandated. There are so many reasons why a baby might not be breastfed that are really valid reasons.

    I think it would be much more appropriate to make it a law that hospitals have to provide accurate info about breastfeeding, and take steps to encourage breastfeeding in the postpartum period. Or a law that insurance companies must pay for lactation consultants. Or a law that gives parents some kind of financial incentive to breastfeed.

    But penalizing parents who don't breastfeed? what a way to stress out families that might be struggling as it is - let them worry the breastfeeding police will descend upon them, or report them to child and family services.

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    girottih@yahoo.com

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  11. I dont think that it should be the law but I do think that every women should try as hard as you did. I know that it can be hard but it is totaly worth it.
    I just read a story this last week about a women that exclusively pumped.
    Our bodies were designed to make this amazing food for our babies and I think that women should try everything possable to give it to there babies.
    My first born was a great nurser. My second born had a very hard time with it. I stuck with it and now she is much better at it.
    I really dislike pumping. I did for a little while with my son and I have not done it at all with my daughter but if that what I would have to do to get my child to eat breast milk than I guess I would do it.

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  12. I think that although a law may sound like a good idea to some because breastfeeding is definitely best for baby, it doesn't take into consideration all of the possible situations. If a mom is continually so stressed out about breastfeeding not working, she is not able to fully be a good mom, and that stress is not good for baby.

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  13. I think every mom should have a choice. I personally think breastfeeding is best and I am very happy I did it with my son. However, I was not breastfed and I don't resent my mother for it. I am healthy and happy. To each his own!

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  14. I signed up for the newsletter

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  15. I agree, breastfeeding should not be mandatory. I hate when celebs make comments that come out wrong, and in turn hurt causes like supporting breastfeeding. I believe her comment was stated poorly... I think it was more of a sarcastic comment. I often say, there shouldn't have to be a law to wear your seat belt in the car. It should be common sense to do so. I feel it is the same with breastfeeding. I think her comment is more toward people who don't even consider breastfeeding an option, or have a desire to do so. While, I believe each decision on how to feed you baby is a personal one, it is hard for me to rationalize why a woman would not want to try to breastfeed. (not an entry!)

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  16. I do not think breastfeeding should be mandatory. I think, and science has proven, that breastfeeding is best and the most beneficial for both parties.
    sarah.robot at gmail dot com

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  17. Cottontail Baby fan on facebook
    sarah.robot at gmail dot com

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  18. I signed up for the CB newsletter.
    sarah.robot at gmail dot com

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  19. I think that breastfeeding is best for children, but like your case, I couldn't breastfeed my oldest son. He wouldn't latch. I had a story much similar to yours and because he couldn't breastfeed, I fell into some post pardom depression. I thought that the only thing good for my son was breastfeeding. I ended up stoping putting him to breast and I pumped for 6 months. That is what worked for me. Making breastfeeding a law is overlooking most women. What about those who are on medicine where they have to take it to function, but can't when they are breastfeeding? Sorry. I will step off my soapbox now. Thanks for the giveaway!
    babyfickas@gmail.com

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  20. I subscribe to your newsletter!
    babyfickas@gmail.com

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  21. I totally support nursing babies and often find myself "looking down" on those who don't. I forget that it is not always a choice to not nurse. A law to nurse your baby for 6 months is as ridiculous as making expectant parents pass a test before becoming parents.
    theaguilars at verizon dot net

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  22. I like Cottontail Baby on Facebook
    theaguilars at verizon dot net

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  23. I joined Cottontail Baby's newsletter
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  24. I nursed my first for over 3 years and we're at months 4 months with my 2nd. I had a difficult start with the first due to a c-section, short NICU stay, formula given in the NICU, and one bad nurse, but with the help of one amazing nurse we got over it. I've had no issues with my second, she had a perfect latch right from the start.

    I do not think this is something than can, or should, be mandated. While I wish that every mother would be able to have the success we have had with breastfeeding because I loved it so much, I know that not all mothers can or want to breastfeed. It is no one else's decision or business but the mom and baby.

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  26. I like Cottontail Baby on Facebook

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  27. I think women should be given resources to make the best decision for themselves and their families and not forced to breastfeed. I am not opposed to education to encourage women with all the benefits of breastfeeding, but I am opposed to forcing them.
    ktiegen at yahoo dot com

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  28. I think the biggest challenge of getting more moms to breastfeed is lack of support. You cannot ask (or demand) someone breastfeed when there is little support to help them along the way. Even with help from 2 lacatation consultants my LO and i are still battling poor latch issues. And the only reason I got that help is because I was very active in seeking it so that I could sucessfully breastfeed. There need to be more LCs available and more resources in the community such as breastfeeding clinics to help moms CHOOSE to breastfeed. Not feel forced into it.

    Katie
    katiejaneallen at gmail dot com

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  29. I'm a fan of cottontail baby on Fb.
    ktiegen at yahoo dot com

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  30. Mandated by law? No, I don't agree with that. I breastfed my son for 1 year, and although I think it's best for baby, I completely understand that it won't work out for everyone. I think it should be encouraged and that women should be educated about it, but you can't force it by law.

    katiekstewart@gmail.com

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  31. I think that is a crazy thought to mandate breastfeeding. I do feel that each person should give it a try, but I also believe that it is each person's decision how they want to feed, treat, and raise their children. Also, there are some situations, like you mentioned, where a mother just simply cannot breastfeed (be it complications with the baby or the mother). A mother should most definitely not be prosecuted if she chooses not to, or cannot breastfeed for one reason or another. You have to look out for the best interest of the child, and taking a mother away from their children for something like this is not in the best interest of the child!

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  32. I am a fan of Cottontail Baby on FB.

    piper990206 at yahoo dot com

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  33. It just doesn't work for some moms. Some babies are lactose intollerant. No mom should be prosecuted for not breast feeding, but I do think every mom should try it!

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  34. I am a fan of Cottontail Baby on facebook.

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  35. I signed up for Cottontail Baby's newsletter

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  36. There are so many times you can want to do something like Breast feed and it just doesn't work for whatever reason. For me it was a C-section and being put back into hopital with infection and all the medications and being away from new baby who is drinking a bottle when I am in the hospital....You cannot punish people for what is out of their hands or making decisions based on their individual experience.
    Sticemichelle@aol.com

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  37. Fan of Cottontail Baby on facebook
    Sticemichelle@aol.com

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  38. I signed up for Cottontail Baby newsletter
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  39. I don't think that she literally meant it should be law, but I also think that making formula by prescription only would be an OK idea. I think it's wrong for moms to not even TRY to breastfeed, which does happen. Formula is just not good enough when it isn't medically necessary. It will always be a far second best choice.

    J@Hollowstar.com

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  41. I can appreciate what she's trying to do, however making it law is taking it way too far. I think that just having more information and support available for those who are trying or want to try would be awesome. There are still many doctors out there who are not breastfeeding minded, and I really wish there were more!
    holly_furlong at msn dot com

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  42. I like Cottontail Baby on Facebook. :)
    holly_furlong at msn dot com

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  43. I would never argue that breastfeeding is not best. However, I think the whole idea of mandating it is absolutely ridiculous and unfair!!! Many moms out there (including myself, right now) are formula feeding AND LOVING their babies! enlehman86 at gmail dot com

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  44. I like Cottontail Baby on Facebook. Erin Lehman. enlehman86 at gmail dot com

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  45. Although breastfeeding is the best way to feed an infant, making it is crime not to do so is a bit extreme. There are many reason valid why a mother cannot or chooses not to breastfeed and it is her body and her right. I do believe that breastfeeding should be more strongly encouraged. So many of the hospitals are pushing formula samples on new parents and under emphasizing the great benefits of breastfeeding.

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  46. My opinion on the breastfeeding debate: Ideally, I would like to see more milk banks for women who for whatever reason cannot breastfeed. Ideally, I think formula should be available through prescription only. In reality, breastfeeding rates will likely remain low because maternity leave in this country is abysmal. I know women who have breastfed while working and provided their babies with pumped milk while they were gone, but for many women this can be too difficult. In order for any kind of breastfeeding mandate to occur, women must be allowed longer and PAID maternity leave.

    kacyrellis [at] gmail [dot] com

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  48. I like Cottontail Baby on FB (Kacy Sandidge Ellis)

    kacyrellis [at] gmail [dot] com

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  49. BF'ing definitely shouldn't be a law... but i think it should be given a shot. but it doesn't work for everyone.

    taraz9 at excite dot com

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