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Guilt and Breastfeeding: Who’s Really to Blame?

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Guilt and Breastfeeding: Who’s Really to Blame?

I hardly blinked last week when yet another study heralded the benefits of breastfeeding, titled, “Breastfeeding Would Save Lives, Money.” It found that feeding babies as nature intended, rather than with formula, could also improve the state of our economy. Yet, our country still acts as though the majority of mothers could happily nurse their babies exclusively for 6 months without real financial and in some cases physical hardship. Why?

Perhaps because when breastfeeding doesn’t work out, mothers assign blame to themselves, rather than our social and institutional structures. And maybe, certain institutions have an interest in keeping mothers uninformed and beholden to second-best options.

I suggest this because of what was NOT the article’s title: “Formula Feeding Costs Lives, Money.”

Why is the most natural way to feed a mammal so often framed as a benefit, an added bonus? How can one hope to persuade people to breastfeed their babies if it sounds like some kind of special “gift” only people with enough time or education or job flexibility can offer their children? If you’re stressed about finances, frazzled in your relationships, or struggling with making the “right” parenting choices, do you really prioritize “special” relationships and “added benefits,” or do you just try to get through it all without making big mistakes?

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11:28AM PDT on Oct 23, 2010

Unfortunately some women can't breastfeed... due to them not producing enough milk or it hurts too much. These issues do arise every now and then. My mother didn't produce enough milk for me and my brother refused to latch so although she REALLY wanted to breastfeed she couldn't and people like her should not be made to feel guilty about things that aren't their fault. Who are we to judge these women?

12:03PM PDT on Aug 27, 2010

I wanted to breastfeed but couldn't for medical reasons but I still felt guilty about it because every where I went people (who sounded like some of the people commenting on this article) who saw me bottle feeding would feel like it was their right (their duty even) to come and tell me what a bad decision I was making. I got everything from back handed comments implying I was selfish or uninformed, to people blatently telling me how unfortunate it was that I didn't care enough about my baby to give her the best and that I was a bad mom. In my normal frame of mind I would have realized that they didn't know the situation, and that they were being rude and ignorant and I shouldn't listen to them, but I had a new baby... I was overwhelmed, sleep deprived, and still in incredible pain from bad birth complications and all these comments left me feeling like a giant failure, unfit to be a mother.
I would caution people to think of something as a black and white issue when in reality there are many shades of gray.

11:17AM PDT on Jul 26, 2010

I breastfed both children and am still bfeeding my youngest, now 1 1/2 y/o. I hate to see the battle being played out regarding this issue... While breast is absolute BEST, it also requires that women have access to correct information and support...Many health professionals are ill equipped to help new mothers out...hospitals don't help out either and lastly if there are no policies at the workplace it can make it even more difficult, BUT it takes a lot less effort to bfeed than formula feeding..with the right support and personal determination it CAN be done, Equip yourself with info BEFORE the baby aarives, check out sites such as and
Don't get discouraged and try try can do it!!

11:21AM PDT on Jul 9, 2010

I'm not sure whether I want to breastfead or not. I really do want to breastfeed, but I am might be traveling and leaving my husband left at home to care for my children... But I want to breastfead if I can!

3:14AM PDT on Jul 1, 2010

I didnt breastfeed.
At the time my daughter was born my husband was away at university and was only home for weekends. Bottle feeding allowed him to do all of the weekend feeds which gave him more bonding time with her.
Breastfeeding certainly has benefits but i really think far too much emphasis is put on it. My daughter is healthy, clever and perfectly well balanced emotionally and i don't regret using formula at all.

11:12PM PDT on May 6, 2010

Enough! Women fought for freedom in the 70's. Now, we are free to decide how we bring up our kids, and how we feed them. Don't try to show us the right way because governments, and corporations have created this mess.

4:07AM PDT on May 2, 2010

I have breastfed my five children. It went well. It was comfortable.

3:24PM PDT on Apr 22, 2010

My wife gave all of our 4 children the colostrum, but stopped after then. It was a ball and chain for her and she was far happier when she could have a drink or eat some spicy food and generally not have to worry about when she was going to feed or express and could get on with enjoying our new child rather than resenting it.

9:18AM PDT on Apr 22, 2010

I love this article thank you I breast fed both of my children well past 2yrs of age and I didn't care what others said or thought, actually I never got any complaints from anyone and I did feed everywhere we went I just covered up

5:03AM PDT on Apr 18, 2010

Breastfeeding is best and natural. Too many women and young girls are brainwashed by this over modernized world and need to get back to what is natural and safe.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

i had forgotten about the dandelion acting as a diuretic

Make a cup of tea.....

Cool ideas. Thanx


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