Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The New Yorker Discusses breast vs. pump

I read this article today ( I both loved and hated it. For those that are interested in the history of the culture of breastfeeding, it is a great article mostly. It provides a load of information about why and when breastfeeding trends changed over hundreds of years. It also is incredibly supportive of breastfeeding and its importance.

My problem with the article is that it seems to show pumping as a negative thing, as if it doesn't matter what is in the bottle, the bottle itself ruins the positives. The question it poses, and in my opinion doesn't really offer an answer, is "What matters more to the baby... the milk or the mother?". I take great offense to this as I think it is both. There are health, developmental, and emotional benefits to be had from both.I think it does a great disservice to breastfeeding to make it appear that a woman who must return to work and pump for her child is providing less benefit or being selfish. Some women must pump while at work. And, yes, some women choose to pump exclusively, even if they could nurse. But I feel that at least those children are getting the benefits of the milk then. They are missing out on some of the connection that is provided from being at the breast, but they are still gaining so much. I personally applaud any mother that provides her child with breastmilk, whether through pumping or from the tap. I think it is a great blessing and gift.

I understand that the article points out that a pump is not as effective as a baby and that it is an "artifical" way of feeding (when compared to the "natural" skin to skin way). I just feel that the benefits of the milk are so great that they outweigh this type of judgement. I don't think anything can replace the benefits of the child at the breast, but we are not a society that can be so black and white. I think we should support women and their desire to give their milk to their children, no matter how they go about doing it.

No comments:

Web Analytics