Mother and Baby, a British parenting magazine, ran a July 10 article entitled "I formula fed. So what?" in which the author referred to breastfeeding as "creepy." Now mothers around the 'Net are speaking out against the magazine.
The article, written by Mother and Baby's deputy editor, Kathy Blundell, was a defense of formula-feeding as opposed to breastfeeding. "After nine months of denial, lardiness and bad shoes," Blundell wrote, "as soon as the birth was out of the way I wanted my body back. (And some wine)." Blundell chose to formula feed. She also had trouble with her breasts' new function as food sources: "They’re part of my sexuality, too – not just breasts, but fun bags. And when you have that attitude (and I admit I made no attempt to change it), seeing your teeny, tiny, innocent baby latching on where only a lover has been before feels, well, a little creepy."
After Blundell's article was published, a Facebook "fan" page quickly sprang up, calling for an apology and a retraction. The page's description read: "We would like The Deputy Editor to apologise for insulting the breastfeeding community, and we would like Mother and Baby to publish accurate information." The page currently has almost a thousand fans.
Breastfeeding moms weren't the only ones to complain about the article. Bottle-feeding mothers objected to Blundell's wondering if other formula users, “like me, just couldn’t be [bothered], or felt like getting tipsy once in awhile.”
Moms on Facebook say Blundell's article spreads misinformation about breastfeeding. One user said, "I would like [Mother & Baby magazine] to quote proof that breastfeeding does not make your breasts sag, that you can have a drink and breastfeed, and to retract the [article's] statement "apparent health benefits," as breastmilk has proven health benefits."
Blundell responded to the uproar on British website AskAMum.co.uk. "My motivation behind writing this feature was to give a voice to those many women who simply do not want to breastfeed, and as a result of this choice have felt guilty, alienated and distressed.
"I also wrote with humour as I wanted to take a more relaxed approach to the topic, in a climate where unfortunately the type of milk a woman feeds her baby seems so open to serious judgement and criticism.
"As a supporter of all mums and mums-to-be, Mother & Baby magazine continues to promote breastfeeding as the norm and offers support and advice on feeding – which is just one part of successful parenting.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends mothers breastfeed their babies for at least one year.