Not being a woman, let alone a mother – I’ll leave it to them to decide on this one.
Here’s the bait:
Is it at long last possible – on this side of the Atlantic – to suggest that we’ve maybe taken “breast is best” a bit too far? That a mother’s need for some semblance of physical dignity is perhaps a right worth respecting? That supplementing with formula – if it makes for greater happiness (and emotional availability) in the baby’s most important caretaker – isn’t necessarily an act of gross irresponsibility?
Maybe. Maybe we’re even at a point where it’s permissible to insist that the needs of a mother and the needs of her baby, rather than being opposed are, in fact, linked, and that the best way to meet both is to scale down the demands now put on mothers and beef up support for them.
Read the full New York Times piece by Judith Warner, author of “Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety” (excerpt, NPR interview).
Here’s the much longer Atlantic piece by Hanna Rosin.
Regardless of all this discussion about breast feeding, their is still one fact that is indisputable: mother’s everywhere have too much on their hands these days. We went from the days of women “wanting it all” to women being expected to do it all. The fact that women (rather then men) are faced with just these sorts of quandaries during and after pregnancy demonstrates the added pressure the must deal with when a couple decides to have children.