Me, Comment On Breast Feeding? May I?
It is time to comment on a story pushed by Publicola, about breastfeeding.
First I know I lack the tools and first-person experience to wade into this cultural morass, but here it goes. We breastfed our son, and my daughter-in-law is breastfeeding our grandchildren. "We", you say, what we? Well, although men, husbands, partners have only a "supportive" role, we do participate. Details? I made numerous trips to the nursery at all hours of the night and day to bring baby to the feeding bed. And, for those of you who have experienced this magical nutritional phenom, there are a lot of tools used in the process. Cups, caps, pumps, jars for storing, washing/sterilizing all the above and so on. Anyway, I did all I could, what I could, and there was a lot to do. When breastfeeding, partner's breasts can hurt, leak, and that's enough detail for now. The emotional support in a breastfeeding acceptance transitional society alone is a job. (try it in the 1980's, we had to carry cover blankets, leave the room...oh don't show any part of those boobies, you might offend someone, and that sucking noise, well, you get the point!!!!)
Second and main point, why the chip-on-the-shoulder approach to an ad on a train that encourages breastfeeding? I had to get to bottom of the story before I found the pitch for mandating employer's provide maternity leave and as usually..."more government please". If companies and businesses can afford it they should, and now with broadband deployment the way it is, good chance some "work-from-home" situations can help. My post is not anti-maternity leave.
There are women who choose not too, or can't breastfeed, and that's life. But to infer that an ad, on a publicly subsidized train or bus or anywhere else is causing undue emotional pain for lactatious (sic) females is a bit of a stretch. The writer points out some good reasons and conditions where breastfeeding does not or can not work. So be it. But don't, not for a minute try to stop the encouragement. First amendment, hello!
There is little evidence that mass produced formula provides anywhere near the remedy and nutrition human breast milk does. Yes, I have read a bit about it. You ought to take the time to look into a little.
Publicola needs to step back and think about what shoe the foot is on. Should we stop pro-bike anti-car ads and programs because some people lack certain appendages needed to peddle a bike, or have had a traumatic accident and just can't "mount" the wheel anymore, or...perhaps they think bikes on streets are a nuisance? Should Seattle stop its crusade for mandatory paid sick and maternity leave just because a small business owner would like to provide the benefit but financially can not? Do we worry about how the pro-ads make him/her feel?
Instead of slamming the ads the blog should have mentioned the many surrogate nursing programs now present in our society to assist those who want to but can't, or won't for some reason. BTW, these reasons are very personal. HelpingHands http://www.helpinghandsbank.com/?gclid=CJiytPbRsawCFQN-hwodCGw-8g, and milk sharing programs like this one featured in Healthland.Time.com, http://healthland.time.com/2011/04/12/milk-banks-or-milk-swaps-breast-milks-latest-controversy/
There must be more here than meets the eye, but let's respect the first amendment, the fact that breastfeeding is preferable if possible, and the fact that not all can, will, or chose to breastfeed.
On a positive note, thank you Publicola for raising the debate.