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Research shows that children with highly involved fathers are healthier and do better in school. So consider handing Dad a bottle (formula or breast milk, whichever you can manage) and heading off to work while he stays home with the baby.
Yeah, because we all know that feeding is the only way to bond with a child. Forget playing, cuddling and bathing, it's all in the BOTTLE!

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there are countless other ways to help your child thrive. Hand-washing, limiting sweets, exercising and skipping the fries are all great for health. Lots of love, lots of books and lots of conversation will also boost IQ.
Now lets combine that with bf'ing!


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The health benefits of breast-feeding are unquestionably real, but except for infants in high-risk categories, they're not earth-shattering, and they taper off substantially after four to six months.
Obviously not too edumacated on the "benefits" of bf'ing now is she?

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There are countless factors that influence an infant's health and development. How ironic that the main issue seized by today's medical establishment - breast-feeding - should be the one that constitutes a substantial barrier to combining motherhood with work outside the home. What kind of feminist victory is that?
Sigh. Again someone is spreading the crap that bf'ing and working are mutually exclusive. Besides, I refuse to compromise my childrens health to uphold someones lame idea of womens lib.

I just love picking apart things like this.
 

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The health benefits of breast-feeding are unquestionably real, but except for infants in high-risk categories, they're not earth-shattering, and they taper off substantially after four to six months.
Where did she get this information? And you can wait tables if you are breastfeeding, just not at the same time. That is where breastpumps come in~ besides think if all the money mom would save if she wasn't buying formula!
 

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She seems to think that lactivists are anti-pumping???

Honestly, I'm not so pro-breast that I hate bottles. I'm a feminist. As a feminist I believe in a woman's right to choose anything in regards to her own body. Anything.

lactivist does not mean anti-bottle to me... it just pro-BF. I'm in favor of proper education, proper information, and LESS hassle.
 

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Apparently we need a section on these websites to explain that lactivism and feminism are not mutually exclusive terms. Its about the rights those of us who choose to nurse demand, it isn't about those who choose not to. At least not to me.
 

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GrrrrRRRRAAAARRGGGHHH!!!!

Here's the letter I just dashed off to the paper:

It was with great consternation that I read Rosa
Brooks short-sighted editorial, "Lactivists, Chill
Out!" While superficially claiming to support
breastfeeding, Brooks manages to support the
traditional structures of oppression that excuse
businesses from being truly family friendly, make
allowances for widespread ignorance and prejudice, and
put dollars in the pockets of formula companies at the
expense of public health.
Brooks certainly hit the nail on the head by observing
that it is difficult to juggle breastfeeding and work
in today's business environment. Does that,
therefore, excuse our society from providing infants
with complete nutrition, protection from disease, and
the ever-changing composition best suited to their
individual circumstances that ONLY breastmilk can
provide? The author's shallow analysis of the issues
facing breastfeeding mothers lacks the same
intelligence and scope as that of more openly
prejudiced commentators (such as Barbara Walters).
Breastmilk is not just best of a set of "good"
options. It is the only option for feeding infants
that does not put public health at a serious
disadvantage for the next century. Is it really too
difficult to imagine that the public has a vested
interest--and responsibility--to support
breastfeeding? It is not individual mothers who are
"at fault" for not breastfeeding, or who deserve a
break from lactivists, as Brooks posits. It is the
job of employers, our government, and our health
system to pay more than lip service to the benefits of
breastfeeding, and structure real options for the
well-being of our future.
Wake up, Rosa! You have a responsibility to your
children to help create a world we can all live in.
 

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Thanks for bringing up the fact that the difficulties many mothers have with working and breastfeeding rest squarely on the shoulders of a workplace that regards children, and employees who have them, as a liability. Breastfeeding often is not the problem, employers who won't allow flexibility to their employees, who are feeding the next generation of human beings, are. As feminists, I think we have a battle to fight in seeing this "female only" business of feeding children come out of the bathroom and into the boardroom, so to speak.
 

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I really resent that editorial. I'm a lactivist and I'm totally open and understanding to the difficulties some women face in breastfeeding.

This is the problem that LLL faces all the time - LLL members are painted as a bunch of crazed breast swinging maniacs rather then just a big group of compassionate women that are DONATING their time to helping other women. That editorial is depressing.


(Edited because I think it might have read like I didn't like the letter in response to the editorial because of my typos - the letter written in response I LOVED!!!)
 

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Ugh, she's at the law school here (I'm with the medical center.) I'll post my letter when I'm done. Or maybe I can go visit her? I'm taking the day off anyway.
 

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Quote:
When you're breast-feeding, you can't wait on tables,
Well... if you had that right kind of sling you could...
 

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:

I totally missed it yesterday (family is visiting and I didn't get a chance to read the paper.)

But I'm not as articulate as many of you...

: please write letters

I'll going to forward it to my friends.

:
 

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Okay here goes:

Quote:
Dear Ms. Brooks,

In your commentary "Lactivists, chill out!" in yesterday's LA Times, you raised some interesting points, but your piece also suffered from a misinterpretation of facts in this case and regarding breastfeeding in general.

First, the "nurse-in" in New York City was in response to numerous comments made over an extended period of time on the television show "The View" where breastfeeding was disparaged. This included Barbara Walter's comment, but also included countless derogatory comments, jokes, and faces made by Star Jones, a comment by Joy Behr that she "did her time," and a celebration by the hosts and audience of a milestone "accomplishment" when Elizabeth Hasselbeck's infant first had a bottle of formula. As they are in the position to influence not only countless numbers of women but also to contribute to a general societal prejudice against and discomfort with breastfeeding, their irresponsible characterization of breastfeeding is entirely relevant.

Your characterization of breastfeeding as an insurmountable "barrier" to work outside the home is also largely erroneous. As a general surgery resident who returned to work after 6 1/2 weeks maternity leave, I have successfully breastfed my child with no supplemental formula. I have friends who are computer analysists, neonatologists, family practitioners, and yes, waitresses who have done the same. Rather than being a hindrance to my success at work, my child's improved health and my ability to feel a connection to him through the day has made me a more productive worker. The $3000-5000 saved annually in avoiding formula purchases is meaningful for any mother, but particularly one who is working to make ends meet. The impact on the health care system in general by not breastfeeding has been estimated at more than $3 billion.

Where barriers in combining breastfeeding and work do exist, the true feminist solution is to eliminate the barriers so that women are free to choose among their options, not abandon women who must give up an important part of mothering, of their womanhood. I wish you had mentioned Representative Carolyn Maloney's Breastfeeding Promotion Act, HR 2122, which aims to remove these barriers for working women.

Additionally, I think your understanding of the medical literature is limited. The studies of which I am aware have demonstrated that babies who are not breastfed have higher rates of ear infections, respiratory infections (including RSV), diarrheal illnesses, necrotizing enterocolitis, allergies, asthma/atopy, SIDS, leukemia, childhood obesity, cardiovascular disease and lower IQ. Studies support similar findings regarding diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, and other illnesses. Babies who are not breastfed have a 25% higher risk of death in the first year of life compared with babies who receive any breastmilk. (Chen, et al. Pediatrics 2004) These findings are across the board, not just in premature or high risk babies. Also, many of these studies define "breastfed" very loosely, including babies who may have breastfed for as short as 4 weeks or who were supplemented with infant formula throughout the period. Therefore, the potential benefits from exclusive breastfeeding for six months continuing with solid foods to a minimum of one year are likely to be exponentially higher. From a public health standpoint, this offers one area where intervention could make a tremendous difference, one that I believe you underestimate.

The health effects on the mothers has been underplayed as well. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer, up to 50% with a year of breastfeeding in susceptible populations. It also reduces the risk of osteoporosis, postpartum hemorrhage, postpartum depression, and may have other effects that haven't been studied yet.

Finally, you gravely misrepresent the research that involved fathers improve their children's health and school performance. These studies are not meant to suggest that paternal involvement should be in lieu of maternal involvement. Certainly, paternal involvement is not limited to feeding, but includes reading stories, rocking to sleep, bathing, holding, rocking, singing, massaging, etc. In fact, the main study looked specifically at whether or not fathers bathed their children, not whether they fed their children.

When we live in a society where the University of *** Health Care System daycare center asks me to hide in a private office to breastfeed my son, when a mother is asked to leave a restaurant on the *** because she is breastfeeding her infant discreetly in a sling, and where countless mothers across the nation have endured disgust and criticism because they have chosen to feed their babies appropriately, then is it any surprise that women are angry? It may seem trivial to you, but then again, sitting in the back of the bus was seen as a trivial distinction by many as well.

In truth, fear of societal disapproval or lack of support is the main reason women give for failure to initiate or maintain breastfeeding. A woman's decision how to feed her child is not mine to make, but her's and her family's. But, it is my responsibility as a physician and a feminist to ensure that she is fully informed and that her decision is not constrained by societal prejudice that is sadly perpetuated as much by women as by men. Categorizing other women with such derogatory language hurts us all.

Shannon ***, MD, MS
__________________________________________
Shannon ***, MD, MS
Research Fellow
Surgical Infectious Diseases Research Laboratory
Department of Surgery
Unviersity of ***
 

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WOW - You guys write some AMAZING letters


I'm going to work on one myself but now the pressure is seriously overwhelming to make it a good one :LOL
 

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That woman is clueless... love her creds - that she breastfed her babies for SIX WHOLE months... woo hoo.

Sorry, SINGLE WORKING (FT) momma here - my "baby" is 28 months and continues to nurse - he only ever got 4 oz of formula (during my severe PPD days at the insistence of a ped who told me that he wouldn't recover from his severe jaundice otherwise - I gave him the 4 oz once, realized what a line of [email protected] that was, tossed the rest and here we are, nursing and healthy 2.5 yrs later!).

Daycare, if properly educated, can and WILL give pumped breastmilk to breastfed babies... there is no need for formula just because a momma has a job. I work in a psychiatric hospital and STILL managed to pump enough for T. How silly of this writer to assume otherwise... time to get educated before one goes writing nonsense.
 

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Just wanted to say that I'm impressed by the responses you guys have sent in to this uninformed writer. It irks me no end that people are allowed to send out in print such drivel to the masses, thus perpetuating their own uneducated beliefs on many more women!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sistermama
Her understanding of feminism really bothered me, too. Feminism means women all go out to work and men stay home????

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I was a little confused by that also!
The letters that you guys posted are perfect!!!
I keep trying to write a letter to her but I get so
that the letter makes no sense :LOL I think I will just think about it for a little bit and come back to it. I am just amazed at her moronic comments!
 
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