Family and Society: January 2009 Archives

The New Yorker on breastfeeding

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The piece, by Jill Lepore, is actually rather good -- I don't think there's much La Leche League would disagree with and some information that I'd never heard before (like the fact that nursing is explicitly prohibited in some lactation rooms "This room is not intended for mothers who need a space to nurse their babies") as well as some great snark (Lepore: "A brief history of food: when the rich eat white bread and buy formula, the poor eat brown bread and breast-feed; then they trade places.")

At the end, Lepore misses one point. Yes, the pumping craze glosses over the child's need for her mother (Lepore: "'Should I take three twenty-minute pumping 'breaks' during my workday, or use formula and get home to my baby an hour earlier?'... is it the mother, or her milk, that matters more to the baby?"), but in real life, pumping is a real pain in the a** and many women give it up, thus depriving the baby of both mama and milk.

But that's a minor-ish quibble about a surprisingly good piece.

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This page is a archive of entries in the Family and Society category from January 2009.

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