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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This was just posted to Lactnet, thought people here might be interested in responding.<br>
Janice.<br><br><br>
"Annie's Mailbox" - a syndicated column in the US, had a letter today<br>
complaining about "women exposing their breasts and nursed their babies.<br>
They didn't bother to use anything to cover themselves up." This shocking<br>
display of breasts took place at an all female baby shower. The<br>
columnists-Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar completely missed the boat with<br>
the response "We're all for nursing babies, but it is rude to make one's<br>
guest uncomfortable...it would have been considerate for these women to<br>
acknowledge that not all the party guests were keen on observing the<br>
process."<br><br>
You can email a response/rebuttal to them at <a href="mailto:anniesmailbo[email protected]">[email protected]</a> or<br>
write to Annie's Mailbox, PO Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611.<br><br>
Millions of people read this column, we cannot let this go unchallenged!
 

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Didn't this column also recently have a letter stating something like the safest place for baby is in the crib and basically advocating crying it out in a ferber sort of method? Does anyone have a link?
 

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Here is the letter, the third question down on this page <a href="http://www.u-entertainment.com/Stories/0,1413,210%257E23412%257E1700345,00.html" target="_blank">Anne's Mailbox</a><br><br>
Letter written and sent!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The letter actually said"<br><br>
"There were 25 women in attendance, rang ing in age from 6 to 89.<br><br>
While my niece was in Lamaze classes, she met several ladies, five of whom attended the shower with their newborns. During the shower, these wom en all exposed their breasts and nursed their babies. They didn't bother to use anything to cover themselves up. When my niece's new baby began to cry, she, too, nursed him in front of everyone."<br><br><br>
So almost 25% of the women attending this party were women nursing like this! Both the aunt, and "Annies writers" need to "get it", that obviously breastfeeding, and breastfeeding in public is becoming the norm.<br><br>
Janice
 

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Dear Annie,<br><br>
You do women a great disservice when you suggest that we should hide our breasts under a veil of shame when we breastfeed. You also do babies a great disservice. The more women you can convince that breastfeeding is somehow shameful and needs to be hidden, the more women will not even try to breastfeed at all. Breastfeeding should be done openly and proudly. It is important that people get used to seeing this process, and in so doing, get used to the idea that this is what breasts are for. When you suggest that breastfeeding should be hidden, you perpetuate the notion that breasts are sex objects, rather than mammary glands for nourishing babies. This is a very harmful notion, indeed. Women do not want to feed their children with sex objects. It is "gross." You would not believe the number of young mothers who use the word "gross" when describing their reasons for not breastfeeding, or who say that they would be embarrassed to breastfeed in public. No one should be embarrassed by breasts or by their function, which is breastfeeding. It is time to put the breast taboo away forever. It is time to bring breasts into the light of day. It is time to celebrate breasts as the beautiful sources of wholesome nourishment that they are.
 

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Here is mine:<br><br>
Dear Annie's Mailbox,<br>
The advice that "generally babies don't mind a light blanket" is great -- now could you convince the babies of that? I have two boys, both breastfed, and neither would ever nurse while covered under a blanket. As much as I would have liked it, they had other ideas. In fact, trying to nurse using a blanket to cover-up would make us more of a spectacle than just allowing my babies to nurse without cover.<br><br>
Your advice was way off -- in this country we already have enough skewed ideas attached to breastfeeding -- we do not need people in positions such as yours to hand out more. There was a huge movement in the 50s and 60s where doctors pushed women to use artificial baby milk instead of their own breastmilk. I have a sneaking suspicion this aunt did not breastfeed her children (indeed if she had any). Many women affected by this movement have personal feelings they carry about breastfeeding because of this.<br><br>
This kind of attitude is predominantly found in the United States -- all around the world mothers gently nourish their babies at the breast and it is a normal, natural occurrence. Many of our stigmas here are related to the fact our society has entangled breasts so deeply with sex. Even in cultures where women veil their faces it is not unusual to see a mother nurturing her baby at the breast.<br><br>
I would like to think you could have responded to this backwards aunt by saying something like this: While it may have bothered you to see these mothers properly nourishing their babies, we are, after all, mammals. Especially in the comfort of a friend or relative's home a mother should be allowed to feed her baby just as easily if she were choosing to bottle-feed. Breastfeeding mothers need our support, not our disdain. Another way to look at this would be to think, how many times (outside of a breastfeeding support meeting) would you ever have the chance to be in a room where that many mothers are all choosing to give their baby breastmilk, versus artificial baby milk?"<br><br>
My Name,<br>
Breastfeeding Mother of Two (so far)
 

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Off to write my email right now. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/splat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="splat">
 

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I was soooo angry. I don't have a copy of my letter, but basically I asked her if she would like to eat with her head under a blanket isolated from everyone around her? I told her that eye contact is important in nuturing a baby. I also provided her with a copy of U.S. legislation stating that breastfeeding is never indecent, even if a womans nipple accidentally gets shown. I probably could have done better, but I was soooo angry.
 

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So that one of thier Leaders can "offically" make a statement?
 

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Thank you for that great suggestion! I just sent an email to <a href="mailto:p[email protected]">[email protected]</a> alerting them (in case they weren't aware) and asking if they would "officially" respond.<br><br>
Does anyone know if this has been posted in the other message boards? Like the Militant Breastfeeding Cult?
 

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You mean the original letter, that we're all responding to? It's here, second question down:<br><br><a href="http://www.u-entertainment.com/Stories/0,1413,210%257E23412%257E1700345,00.html" target="_blank">http://www.u-entertainment.com/Stori...700345,00.html</a>
 

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Stacie and Devrock your letters were really good! Devrock thanks for the link.<br><br>
I sent a letter to the editor and will also send that copy to Annie's mail box. Here is mine.<br><br>
Dear Editor:<br>
I was shocked and horrified to read the advice given by Annie. We have an epidemic in this country where babies are not being breast fed. In fact only 17% are breastfed until their first birthday. Breasts are for feeding babies. Not sexual objects for men or for the use of selling products. We need more women to be supportive of breast feeding if we are to have more breast feeding children.<br><br>
Nursing is a natural, beautiful thing with more benifits than I have time to write about. If we are to get breast feeding rates up in this country women are going to need to feel comfortable nursing anywhere and everywhere with out limitations. Annie should be more thoughtful and articulate with her replies.<br><br>
Here is the letter that I am referring to. I hope you know that this letter has a lot of breast feeding mother's fired up.
 

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Glad you posted this. Just sent my letter!:<br><br><br><br>
Dear "Annie"<br><br>
Count me among the members of your breastfeeding readership who were disturbed by your response to 'Denver Aunt', who complained that women would dare expose their breasts while nursing their children.<br><br>
Your response indicated that the breastfeeding women should have considered the comfort level of their guests, and put a blanket over their babies' heads, so no glimpse of breast might offend. I'm not going to mince words: your advice belongs in the trashcan! Women's breasts were created to nourish children, not to sell cars, beer, or lingerie. Your advice is impractical in many cases, and ignorant in general. It should not be the problem of breastfeeding women that our society is so confused as to complain about a possible glimpse of breast when a woman breastfeeds, but to accept the fact that advertising, and even young girls display far more (and with overtly sexual intent) than can typically be seen of a nursing mother.<br><br>
Attitudes such as the one expressed by 'Denver Aunt' and yourselves contribute, at least in part, to the fact that many women feel that breastfeeding is 'gross' or 'uncomfortable' or should be hidden.<br><br>
I am proud to give my daughter the milk intended only for her. I nurse her wherever we happen to be if she needs it (and *gasp* she is a toddler!). I am not embarrassed, and while I am as discreet as I can be, I do not hide the fact that I breastfeed.<br>
I hope that my example will bolster the confidence of other women who just need a little support to be comfortable doing what nature intended!<br><br>
BF mom in Ontario, Canada.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by Hannah's Mom</i><br><b>Didn't this column also recently have a letter stating something like the safest place for baby is in the crib and basically advocating crying it out in a ferber sort of method? Does anyone have a link?</b></td>
</tr></table></div>
October 6, 2003<br>
Doctor's advice about crying baby is to help sleep deprivation<br><br>
ANNIE'S MAILBOX<br>
Dear Annie: One of my co-workers has a 10-month-old baby. Her pediatrician gave her some disturbing advice. He said it's time to teach the baby to sleep through the night. To do this, the mother must not respond to her cries. The pediatrician said that sometimes babies cry so hard they vomit and that, if this happens, the parent should just enter the nursery, clean up the vomit and leave. I am horrified.<br><br>
We would never let an adult cry that hard without giving comfort and reassurance, yet the medical community advises us to do this to an innocent baby. Are pediatricians united around this idea? Is there a healthier alternative?<br><br>
-- Worried in Washington<br><br>
Dear Worried: The reason some doctors tell parents to cover their ears and let the kid scream is for the benefit of the parents, not the child. There's only so much sleep deprivation a person can take.<br><br>
If the child is not due for a feeding or changing, and nothing else is wrong, it is best to comfort the child and then place the baby back in the crib and leave. The parent may need to do this several times before the child understands that Mommy and Daddy are nearby but are not going to play all night long.<br><br>
Parents should place more trust in their own judgment about a baby's needs at night. If your co-worker is uncomfortable with her pediatrician's advice, she should discuss it with the doctor or seek a second opinion.
 

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Did Annie's mailbox ever post a follow-up column? I know it's a bit early, but they're usually pretty fast...
 

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I've been checking every day. Nothing.
 

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letter composed and sent. and not a happy one!<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry">
 

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Here is the response I received from LLL:<br><br>
"Thanks for sending the information on Annie's Mailbox. Yes, we have been aware of the letter and Annie's response. Several mothers have contacted us and said that they were planning to respond. Let us know if you see anything else in the column relating to Annie's unpopular reply."<br><br>
They didn't answer my question (Does LLL intend to respond), so I asked again.
 

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Devrock - thanks for posting that prior column. It's not as bad as I remembered, but it's not great either.<br><br>
This part is what bothers me:<br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">If the child is not due for a feeding or changing, and nothing else is wrong, it is best to comfort the child and then place the baby back in the crib and leave. The parent may need to do this several times before the child understands that Mommy and Daddy are nearby but are not going to play all night long.</td>
</tr></table></div>
Where is the advice that parents need to follow their instincts and make their parenting choices based on what's best for their family? Instead, it's "the best thing to do is..."<br><br>
I'm still waiting for a follow-up to appear about the bad breastfeeding in public advice. Annie's Mailbox is just not the same as Ann Landers. I didn't always agree with Ann Landers, but the advice wasn't as consistently flippant as Annie's Mailbox.
 
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