Dear Dr. Amy Turner ***: RE Time article “Why I'm not celebrating Word Breastfeeding Week”
An Open Response.
I was baffled as I read through your article so purposefully titled. I kept thinking, “Why the hell are you not celebrating World Breastfeeding Week?” After all, you say, “It’s not because (you) don’t understand the benefits of breastfeeding; (You’re) an obstetrician.” and you remark that you enjoyed breastfeeding.
What gives, Dr. Amy?
Maybe you should hear the perspective of a mother who 1. struggled to breastfed her babies herself, 2. supplemented a bit with formula when needed for her children’s sake, and 3. (most importantly) celebrates ALL mothers, breastfeeding and formula feeding.
Seriously, how dare you decide that you will not celebrate a mother who breastfeeds her infant?
To me and many, World Breastfeeding Week celebrates the normalization of breastfeeding. However your precious babies are nourished in their infancy, it is only important to the point that they are nourished! The struggle of breastfeeding in this "breasts are solely sexual" culture is the primary battle - not the difference between formula feeding and breast feeding. Defiantly not the mommy guilt of how you feed your baby. An incredible mother provides nourishment for her children, whether she is getting up at night to pull down her shirt or getting up at night to make a bottle.
You say that the benefits of breastfeeding are “trivial.” Well, I say that you are an idiot. The benefits to breastfeeding can mean the difference between a happy mom and a sad mom. The benefits to breastfeeding in a third world country can mean to difference between a healthy baby and a sick baby. The benefits to breastfeeding can change the course of a mother’s life, and, in effect, change the course of her baby’s life. I’ll speak for myself since that’s the case for me.
With my oldest child, I had to express milk into a spoon and spoon feed him for the first two weeks of his life in order to successfully breastfeed past a year. It not only made me more determined of a person, but it built a stronger bond between my husband and myself and I 100% feel like it made me a better mother.
I whole heartily want to believe that you are joking when you say ”It appears that we are celebrating World Breastfeeding Week in the US to extol mothers who breastfeed and to shame those who don’t.” Unfortunately, I know you are not joking but the human in me says “She HAS to be” so I will give you the benefit of the doubt. My friends, past and current clients, neighbors, family members, colleagues… NONE of them have attacked formula feeding by posting about their accomplishments, struggles, life altering moments, happiness, etc while breastfeeding. Us breastfeeding folk are not attacking mothers who choose formula feeding. We are simply stating that it sucks to be judged for feeding our babies. That’s it. Grow up.
Oh, and thank God we have gotten to the point that someone is speaking up for breastfeeding to be the cultural norm. Huzzah to you - World Alliance for Breastfeeding Advocacy (WABA)!!After all, you didn’t exact make a good point why it shouldn’t be. I am happy to live in a world where culture is not a stagnant concept. I mean, maybe soon I can feed my baby in peace and not have to hide out in a bathroom stall to do it.
Cat LaPlante, CD(DONA)
Written in response to “Why I will not Celebrate World Breastfeeding Week” http://time.com/3983936/world-breastfeeding-week-2/ ---
*** I have since found out that Dr. Amy Turner is deemed a "troll" in the natural birth community and I didn't mean to "feed the troll" but I'm happy to expose the troll. G away and stop shaming moms, "Dr." Amy.
Cat is the founder of Birth Freely Birth Services. Her passion is empowering women through education and providing them with continuous labor support so they can have the birth they desire!