It is a great article. Sadly though, the author still writes from the perspective of formula as norm...i.e. breastfeeding "reduces" certain health risks or "lowers" a woman's risk of xyz. I try very hard when talking to avoid this, and instead say things like, "formula-fed babies have higher rates of..." and "women who don't breastfeed have higher rates of..." Just one of my little pet peeves to go along with people "delivering" babies :)
But come on! So a year of formula-feeding is upward of $1000 -- compared to what calculation of the cost of a year of being available to nurse a newborn to toddlerhood? Like the author, I am breastfeeding a baby who refused any and all bottles for her first 6months of life, bless her smart little soul. It makes me mad to read (especially from a fellow nursing mom) that hey, all breastfeeding requires is breasts. Breastmilk is free?! We must not sell ourselves so short! The majority of American women of childbearing age work. So for most American women, breastfeeding a newborn would cost them their livelihood. Who will pick up the tab? The price of breastfeeding is paid maternity leave. Paid leave that would exceed $1000 per month, not per year. Near universal breastfeeding is very very expensive in a modern society. It is absolutely worth it and I am all for it. But saying it's free is not helping.
Yes, our maternity leave in this country is really really shoddy. Even our friendly northern neighbor (ie, Canada) has generous maternity and paternity leave. My SIL got paid for a full year after her baby was born--I think 6 months was paid in full, and six months after that was paid around 50%. Another reason to join my dictatorship!!! Paid maternity & paternity leave in full for at least one full year!
Socialist boob nazis unite! Hail our fearless leader Rixa! :)If you would consider me for the office of minister of infant nutrition, here's my proposal. No baby will go hungry, although a few might still be malnourished by artificial feeding. Parents are entitled to one of three choices: A) free, quality breast pump and legally guaranteed breaks at work B) government funded local milk banks ensuring the availability of free expressed breast milk for babies and moms who need them for health reasonsC) stay at home nursing mom's benefits: paid leave from work. You have to breastfeed to qualify (like the WIC food checks now).Given these three alternatives, I bet not many moms would waste their hard earned thousand bucks on formula!
This comment has been removed by the author.
I agree all 'round and liked the article in general.The cost of breastfeeding for me was loss of sleep, loss of self, loss of freedom and loss of salary, theoretically, along with a few herbs and anitbiotics.the benefits? in the Trillions of dollars. Best thing I ever did and ever do for my babies and myself and my politics and my friendships and the list will grow as I get older, no doubt. But Judit, you are right--it was flippant and false to imply that there is no "cost"-- parenting costs, and that is ok. And ps I of course am all for the overthrow, count me in in in!
I didn't even mention loss of sleep and loss of freedom... it sounds too whiny on the face of it but yeah! We deserve major credit just for that!! One is just not quite an autonomous person when you have a nursling attached to your body. It is a truly humbling experience, such a loss of ego. As well as an enormous opportunity for personal and spiritual growth.