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British Magazine Article Asks: Is Breastfeeding “Creepy?”

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I’m a bit tired of the pro-breastfeeding, anti-breastfeeding back and forth.  But here we are, once again, in the war of words.  In the July issue of the British magazine, Mother & Baby, the deputy editor Kathryn Blundell wrote an article titled, “I Formula Fed. So What?”  And here’s a quote from the piece:

I wanted my body back. (And some wine)… I also wanted to give my boobs at least a chance to stay on my chest rather than dangling around my stomach… 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.

On the magazine’s website, there is now a post giving Blundell’s explanation of why she wrote the article.  Of course, the British press has been all over this.  The BBC reported on the resulting internet brouhaha.  And today, the New York Times blog Motherlode, jumped into the fray, as did Babble.  And there’s even a Facbeook page called “Mother and Baby Magazine-  Please Support Breastfeeding.”

There’s no need here to go into the arguments that pit breastfeeding against formula feeding.  We’ve heard it all before.  The issue, I think, is one of the magazine’s editorial judgment.  I don’t fault the magazine for publishing the piece, but perhaps someone on the magazine’s masthead is not the right person to write the story.  It sends the message that the magazine has an agenda.  If the same piece had been written by a contributing writer or a freelancer, it might seem less didactic.  Even juxtaposing it with another piece, a pro-breastfeeding piece, might have been a better editorial choice.  Maybe the standards are different in the British press.  I don’t know.

I’ve been poking around on line, trying to find a link to Blundell’s original article.  No luck at the moment.  But I did find a blog that says it has transcribed the piece. And if you happen to find the actual link, please let me know.  And as always, please weigh in, and tell me what you think about the story.

4 Responses to “British Magazine Article Asks: Is Breastfeeding “Creepy?””

She’s right – it is a bit weird or creepy or… but that is a result of the social stereotype. Had she gone that direction with her article, delving into how the media and society has changed the perception of the breast instead of agreeing with it – it would have been an entirely different article. She could have gone with how she knows better but still, it was there and mentally she couldn’t get over it and… and there would be a lot of women who could probably relate to that.

Personally, it was weird nursing a baby. Natural, perhaps, but when there are so few examples of women around you doing it it is easy to stay in the mentality of social media. Luckily, I found a great breastfeeding support group and ended up nursing my girl for 17 months… Then again, the entire experience of pregnancy is weird and Alien-esque in addition to being wonderful and life changing and all of the other warm fuzzy stuff… :)

Hello. I don´t think pregnancy is a weird experience, for me is a wonderful one. You need to realize that you are gifted, you´re carrying a human being inside you.
Regarding the article ..breastfeeding creepy.., it´s a matter of opinion, but the breast exist not only for give pleasure to a long term lover or a casual one, it´s real purpose is to feed, but if you can give them a 2nd use it´s good too.
I believe that women have a choice you should consider breastfeed or not. But francly those reasons for not breastfeeding are certainly NOT valid.

I breastfed my youngest for over a year…and my boobs are nowhere near my stomach. I am not sure why this mother has this ignorant image in her head but I feel sorry for her! Not only are my boobs still on my chest and not sagging…my husband must have no complaints…he still gravitates toward them as if we are both 18!
Functional, Yet Fashionable For The Breastfeeding Mom!

Great job on this Andi, and I particularly like the first comment too. The focus should be on the cultural and institutional boobytraps, not on stirring up the age old war in the hopes of creating a media frenzy and to get the most hits.

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