Breast is Best (but this approach sucks)

Jodi Hilton for The New York Times

Jodi Hilton for The New York Times

This story is not new. In fact the only thing new and wonderful about it is the image – I simply adore the image of this couple breastfeeding at home – and I can think of about three better stories to go with it. This is an old story, leaving me to wonder –

Are we really having this conversation again? I am quite sure I did an interview for NPR and later GMA on this topic – oh you know – the new mother-slim down myth about 4 years ago. The one where we confuse and deflate new mothers by swapping out their job as a new mother (which absolutely includes feeding her baby and yes breastfeeding is the absolute goal) with that of a woman who uses her body and physical attributes to make a living (and by that I mean you Rebecca Romijn –actress who has a fleet of people helping you to lose weight WHILE you breastfeed). When interviewed years ago for GMA my quote was about looking in the mirror and seeing and accepting a newly born mother, beautiful as she was rather than looking in the mirror and seeing the pounds and subsequent shame. But wait, now there is more – now we will layer in breastfeeding and garble up the issue and confuse women some more. So in the spirit of my mood while reading Cathrine St. Louis’ piece from today’s New  York Times, I will simply say: NO NO NO – not okay.

I love breastfeeding. I support breastfeeding; I am educated, articulate and active in my support of women and their individual successes as a mother. I have spent so much time and energy on the topic – surrounded by intelligent, concerned and certianly connected women and organizations who consider the care and feeding of new mothers to be a near calling. One of my proudest accomplishments is the recent establishment of the Bravado Breastfeeding Information Council with my client Bravado Designs. We have brought our years of passion, commitment, and connection together in an effort to raise the level of dialog  to a place where women are not given mixed or harsh messages in the media around this important topic. What we have set out to do is empower women and I don’t see that articles like this do anything of the sort. This is not kind, nor  is it respectful, nor does it help to simply a complicated time in a woman’s life. Most of all it does not focus on the real issues at hand.

Tuesday I helped to launch the BBIC – the plan, the goal the intention is to help the media cover the category of breastfeeding in a responsible, non-judgmental and informed manner. Please watch the whole of it here. And as evidenced by the New York Times  today (yeah, ok it has only been two days) we have far to go…