Friday, February 4, 2011


I was browsing the local newspaper (The Noise, January 2011, article by Sarah Irani), while eating lunch today and came upon this great article about a growing breastmilk sharing network called
The do not provide contracts or screen mothers for milk but rather create a platform for parents to connect and set up on their own a way to share and donate breastmilk.
For some reason sharing breastmilk is almost a taboo topic. But even just nursing can be a sensitive topic for some.

During my last visit to France people couldn’t believe that I was still breastfeeding my then year-old daughter. “Still?!” they would say, I mean it’s ok to indulge for a couple months but a year of breastfeeding is an oddity. Many don’t even breastfeed at all, They associate the act with primitive, poor, or uneducated people.
Old French formula ad

This link below is from an article in the French newspaper shows some of the reasons for the lack of breastfeeding in France, partly due to late education on the subject, mothers being too quickly discouraged with some issues related to nursing, or even daycare centers who refuse to have to deal with breastmilk.

Like the author of the eatsonfeets article said, people are afraid of bodily fluids, and they don’t see breastmilk as actual food.
I still don’t understand why. Breasts have been so commercialized and turned into visual chest jewelry that their real purpose is being overlooked or even regarded as dirty or offending.

The push for formula as being clean, super nutritious, practical, and modern has really played a huge role in undermining breastfeeding.

Benefits from fomula are NOT the same as breastmilk

I mean how can you beat breastmilk? It is as eco-logic as you can make it: it is virtually free, on instant tap, and the perfect combination of nutrients/vitamins for your baby. It boosts his immune system, helps him grow key flora in his gut, helps the mother recover, lowers her chances of cervical cancer, automatically adjusts itself to fit the baby’s needs, balances the Ph in the baby’s stomach, lowers the chances for post-partum depression, is always clean, the right temperature, and “sterilized,” and the list goes on!

But if I buy diapers at the store, the cash register automatically gives me coupons for formula. When I went to our first appointments for our OBGYN and visited the hospital before our son was born, they gave us a big “goodie bag” from Similac with coupons and free samples of ready-to-go and powdered formula. If we go to the pediatrician’s office, there are always informational pamphlets on formula at the front desk.
And I don’t necessarily want to say that formula is evil. I do understand that certain babies are allergic to breastmilk or have special circumstances for which they need additional sources of food and their diet needs to be supplemented. And let’s not forget adoptive parents, foster parents, gay parents, or single parents, who need formula for their children. It is nutritious and provides the essential ingredients for babies.
But there are special breastfeeding rooms at stores, cloth “tents” to wear over yourself so you can breastfeed in public, both of which in essence are good, but in reality are emphasizing to the public the idea that breastfeeding is a dirty thing that should not be seen. There is the myth that men will feel uncomfortable, children will be too curious, teenagers will be scarred, and that someone will be offended if breastfeeding in public.

You can post sexy/slutty cleavage pictures on Facebook, but if they are breastfeeding pictures, they will be deleted because of indecency rules. Yeah, that makes sense.

This story at the Phoenix International Airport also quickly became a popular story on the internet:

If you know your British celebrities, I guess this woman called Katie Price is a well endowed and very famous singer. She was criticized for promoting formula, which is not allowed in the UK when it is targeting children 6 months or younger. Her sexy picture emphasizes the fact that she is in sexy lingerie, using her boobs to look good rather than to feed her child.

This is from her 2007 interview with OK magazine:
“On breastfeeding: When asked, Katie shares that she has decided not to nurse. Instead, she’s using disposable bottles, which she finds helpful.

"It’s brilliant — I have 20 crates of teats and bottles. I don’t have to sterilize or heat anything, you literally take the teat out of the pack, screw it on, throw it away. I don’t care what people say – you don’t have to breast-feed. They gave me a tablet that dries your milk up so my boobs haven’t hurt or leaked or anything. I don’t want a baby drinking from me — the thought of it makes me feel really funny. I think only a certain person could handle my knockers!"

Unfortunately, the sensational stories always make the news and I hope that they are not representative of the actual state of breastfeeding in public.

We should focus on the resurgence and pride in breastfeeding in the US as of late, the success of La Leche League in promoting breastfeeding, the presence of lactation consultants at hospitals, lines of clothing for breastfeeding mothers, and the laws on breastfeeding at work or in public.

Here is an interesting link on the various state laws in the country related to these issues:

And with networks such as eatsonfeets, even parents who cannot breastfeed can give their children what is best for them. Please gals, if your boobs work, use them!


  1. Just read an article in this mornings paper - it is against the law to nurse a child over 1 in public! Can you believe it . .only in the south. Liz Hartsig

    check this out..

  3. The CBS evening news had about a 20-second-long story about feeding formula to babies under four months of age. Turns out babies who are fed only formula for the first four months of life are six times more likely to become obese later in life.

    Six times more likely!

    You would think that story would have demanded more than a 20-second slot.