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Milking It

We won't take sides in the breast feeding/bottle feeding debate. Eric Scheske's wife has breast-fed six babies and believes it's better for a variety of reasons. Nonetheless, the La Leche folks have kind of unnerved Mrs. Scheske on occasion, and we once laughed appreciatively at a friend's exaggerated speculation that La Leche might be a cult.

It would seem non-breast feeders are fighting back, at least in Britain, as evidenced by this column on Spike! If this kind of thing interests you, go ahead and check it out. The piece bored us, but we read it, sensing that the career-mom angle was looming behind this writer's borderline screed against the breast feeding proponents. We neared the end of the column, wondering if our cultural sense had failed us: there was no mention of catering to the needs of working moms. But then, toward the bottom, we weren't disappointed:

"Some women find it difficult to breast-feed, for physical reasons or for social reasons such as returning to work. Their decision should be respected as much as that of anyone else. For many other people, feeding their baby, like all other aspects of parenting, will involve balancing a number of concerns and desires - a baby's good health, a father's role in caring for the baby, a woman's need to sleep, desire to go out and ability to go back to work when she needs or wants to - all of which are valid, and none of which can be decried as merely lazy or selfish. To bully pregnant women and new mothers into making 'the right choice' in the way that current breastfeeding promotion campaigns often do is to add to the burden of anxiety and guilt that new parents already have. Is that best for baby? I don't think so."

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