Has anyone mentioned the childhood obesity/lack of breastfeeding link?
Since Oprah is so focused on weight loss, I would think this would interest her. Wasn't she big on realizing that she was "eating her emotions" - I would assume that Oprah herself was bottle fed?
BTW, the only reading I've ever done on AA and bfing was in this book - I'll attach my book review if anyone is interested. This may be helpful with understanding the point of view of various moms in America.
At The Breast
Ideologies of Breastfeeding and Motherhood in the Contemporary United States
Linda M. Blum
Beacon Press Boston, 1999 ISBN 0-8070-2141-5 282 pages
Review by Janice Reynolds
I wasn't sure if I was going to "like" this book. Unlike other "breastfeeding" books I have read, I didn't know how this book would end - pro or anti-breastfeeding?
Linda Blum teaches sociology and women's studies at the University of New Hampshire, and approaches this debate from the feminist point of view. She surveyed feminist books on mothering, breastfeeding articles in 30 years of popular magazines, reviewed medical journals, attended LLL meetings and interviewed a wide variety of mothers.
The book starts with a chapter on the history of motherhood and breastfeeding in the United States, and how society has always had a say in mothering and women's bodies, whether it was the state, maternalist socities, science, or currently, the economy. Rarely are mothering decisions allowed to be made on the basis of what is best for the woman.
Blum, chapter by chapter, looks at middle-class white mothers (through the LLL), white working-class mothers, and black working-class mothers. In questioning them about their mothering decisions (not just breastfeeding) she shows how these groups have very different factors that weigh into their motherhood decisions. For example, the middle-class mother sees the benefits of breastfeeding as an edge to maintaining her threatened middle-class position. She usually has a husband to support her, and sees the intact mother/father family unit as necessary to successful child-rearing. The white working class woman may lack the earnings of a man in the family, so her route to upward class mobility is to either get married to her man, or get him earning the money. So if that man is not supportive of breastfeeding, it may be much more important to her to keep him happy, than to gain the health benefits of breastfeeding. In contrast, the black working-class woman often doesn't look to a man to help her, but will work herself, and utilize her friends and family to help raise her child. So often her most practical decision is to bottlefeed, so anyone can care for the child. As well, Blum suggests that there are carryover issues of slavery to deal with. As slavery was often justified on the idea that "blacks were like animals themselves", any appeals to promote breastfeeding on the basis of its "naturalness" since we, too, are "mammals", may be totally repugnant to the black woman. The working class woman is much more open to scrutiny by the state through the welfare and health system, and these women may rather formula feed (the majority and approved method) than enduring the repeated interference that getting support for breastfeeding success may require.
As a feminist, Blum sees the woman and her own best interest lost in debate. She proposes that the pleasurable feelings, and the health advantages for the mother be emphasized more.
A number of the books she refers to throughout are on my reading list, and I wish I had read them before starting this book. These include Adrienne Rich's "Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution" and Sharon Hays' "The Cultural Contradictions of Motherhood".