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In Case You Missed It

As working mothers, the transition back to work is not always easy, especially if you are breastfeeding. Information is the best form of equipping ourselves as mothers so as Founder of BlueSuitMom.com; I like to post articles and tv segments that provides a new twist on subjects related to work and family balance. Breastfeeding falls into that category. For that reason, I am posting the transcript of a recent Today Show segment on the subject, in case you missed it.


DATE 03/16/2009
NATALIE MORALES, co-anchor: Back now at 8:13. An issue that every new mom faces–to breastfeed or not. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends women breastfeed exclusively for the first six months. But is it really the best option? Hanna Rosin writes an article in the new issue in The Atlantic; it’s called "The Case Against Breastfeeding." And she’s here along with Dr. Nancy Snyderman, who’s NBC’s chief medical editor. Nice to have you both here. Good morning.

(In Unison) Hi.

MORALES: So as we mentioned,Nancy, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for six months exclusively and then, what, up to a year?

Dr. NANCY SNYDERMAN reporting: Then really up to a year. They really recommend the breastfeeding is the best, and so those are their recommendations and here are the reasons why. The science behind it is the idea that you get immuglobulins, you get extra protection for your immune system and with the belief that you lower the risk of ear infections, diarrhea, bronchitis and pneumonia, even problems like obesity and sudden infant death syndrome. Now, others are countering–

MORALES: So for the baby it’s good.

SNYDERMAN: That’s the advantage for the baby.

MORALES: For the mother–

SNYDERMAN: The question is always about, you know, bonding, losing some extra weight because it takes extra calories to breastfeed, but some challenge the science is not so strong. And I think what we’ve come down to is this argument, and I keep–frankly, I’m always amazed that we circle back to this, we almost pit mothers against each other. You’re a bad mother if you don’t breastfeed. You know, get off my back, I want to bottle feed. Nonetheless, that’s where the American Academy of Pediatrics stands.

MORALES: And Hanna, you are, in fact, breastfeeding now your third child…

Ms. HANNA ROSIN (Contributing Editor, The Atlantic): Indeed, yes. Exactly. MORALES: …and you breastfed the first two…

Ms. ROSIN: I did, yes.

MORALES: …despite the fact that your article is a case against breastfeeding.

Ms. ROSIN: I know. I know.

MORALES: You’re not actually anti-breastfeeding.

Ms. ROSIN: No, I’m not anti-breastfeeding.

MORALES: It’s just you talk about the societal pressures. Explain.

Ms. ROSIN: Yeah. I’m kind of amazed when I finally–new moms are really vulnerable, you go into the doctor’s office, you read these magazines and they make you feel like you’re putting your child in grave danger if you don’t breastfeed them. You know, you’re putting them at risk at getting obesity–being obese or getting diabetes or all these other different diseases, and then you read the scientific literature, and frankly, there isn’t the solid evidence you’d expect to support all this. And we all know what a time commitment breastfeeding is. I mean it’s a pretty serious commitment. It’s not like a prenatal vitamin–

MORALES: And yet, you chose to breastfeed. Why did you choose to breastfeed if you felt that there is the societal pressure? I mean I breastfeed my two as well, but I didn’t go the full six months. I didn’t feel like a failure, though. I know I tried and I gave it my best.

Ms. ROSIN: You’re a strong person. I feel like many people do feel like they fail if they can’t breastfeed or if they have a trouble breastfeeding or they want to stop breastfeeding. They just feel like, ‘Wow, I’m, you know, I’m giving my kid poison if I’m giving them formula,’ and it really isn’t like that.

SNYDERMAN: I think one of the problems is for those of us who go back into the workplace, it makes it sound so easy, you breastfeed for six months, you pump your breasts, you go back into the workplace. I have workplaces where there were quiet rooms for breastfeeding mothers. I’ve worked other places and I would say television news is probably one of the most inhospitable landscapes for mothers where it’s like, ‘What do you think?’

MORALES: Yeah, I would agree. I pumped in the bathroom at MSNBc. Not exactly a private space.

SNYDERMAN: It’s a very different ball game. So I think we as a society have not addressed the issues and if you want to clear a zone of inhibition around your lunch table, breastfeed your baby in public and watch the businessmen think that you’re a real social pariah.

Ms. ROSIN: And you ask me why I breastfeed, I actually really like to breastfeed, I think it’s really nice to breastfeed, I just, you know, this idea that it’s medicine, it’s dangerous not to do it, I think that’s what I object to. It’s not the breastfeeding itself. It’s really nice. I mean it’s lovely. It’s like you’re loving on your kid.

MORALES: It’s a bonding experience.

Ms. ROSIN: It’s a bonding thing and it’s really sweet. It’s not medicine. You know, they’ve turned into this kind of vaccine and you have to give it to your kid or your putting your kid in danger.

MORALES: And formula, Nancy, these days formula, is it just as healthy an alternative to breast milk?

SNYDERMAN: Look, formula’s wonderful and I think every woman should be encouraged to try breastfeed. Some women just can’t. And for those women who can’t, you know what, we need to back off and let them be and enjoy being mothers. There’s no one perfect formula for everybody and most women will try a combination of both. And then, you know
what, as a society we need to support young mothers. I think we do a very poor job right now.

MORALES: It’s hard enough job getting started anyway as a new mom.


2 Responses

  1. We’ve got a great article on BlueSuitMom on Pumping at Work

  2. Here is a great response from Tanya Lieberman (Motherwear Breastfeeding =
    Blog) that addresses the Hanna Rosin article et al.
    Wendy Armbruster Bell

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