by Stefanie Wilder-Taylor
So I recently became aware of the comments that supermodel Gisele Bundchen made to Harper’s Bazaar UK about breastfeeding: “Some people here think they don’t have to breastfeed, and I think, ‘Are you going to give chemical food to your child, when they are so little?’” And then she went on to say, "There should be a worldwide law, in my opinion, that mothers should breastfeed their babies for six months .” Really, Gisele? Don’t get me started on why you suck. I’m just saying that you of all people shouldn’t be pretending to stand on moral high ground. While we’re deciding on new laws, I personally feel there should be a worldwide law preventing supermodels from shacking up with pregnant women’s boyfriends. I have a feeling Bridget Moynahan will be the first person on the congressional floor to help push that bill through to law.
Why do so many women pop out a kid and then suddenly decide they should be able to tell other women what they should or should not be doing? In my first book, Sippy Cups are Not for Chardonnay , I wrote a chapter about my bad experience with attempting to breast feed. For me personally, it was a terrible trauma that entailed nonstop crying on my end and the baby’s, exacerbated my post partum depression and in the end, wasn’t even worth the month (okay three weeks) I endured it.
I am approached by a lot of women at various functions (okay, fine, the few – very few- book signings I’ve had) who tell me how relieved they were to read my first book and find out they weren’t alone about breastfeeding becoming a huge ordeal for them. Quite a few of these women told me they quit breastfeeding but were afraid to tell their friends because they’ve been openly judged. Women like Gisele have no idea how many women among us don’t breastfeed but will lie and say they do. Why is that?
I’ll tell you why – the anti-breastfeeding attitude of the 50′s and 60′s has experienced a backlash so huge it’s gone completely the other way. I know that there are moms out there who still feel they are stigmatized by their breastfeeding. I get it – sure, someone was booted from a plane and Facebook announced that they don’t want to see your nipples – okay…but I don’t feel it nearly competes with what is going on in the opposite direction. Women like Gisele, are proud of openly judging other moms who don’t breastfeed and have the audacity to tell women to their face that they are lesser for their choice (or non-choice for many many women). I’m afraid that it’s exactly this attitude which has become so prevalent that makes perfectly wonderful moms hide their fears and insecurities and challenges from others. And all of this hiding leads to depression, isolation and an all around bad experience with new motherhood. And it doesn’t need to be this way!
I’m just saying, it would be nice if we could maybe feel good about our own choices and let others feel good about theirs. I know “breast is best” but guess what; we all fucking get that at this point. Some of us can’t or choose not to do it, even knowing that it may be best. Here is my opinion: If you want to breastfeed but are finding it difficult yet you really want to try – by all means, do it! There are lactation consultants, breastfeeding support groups many other breastfeeding mamas who will be there to support you. In fact, call Gisele and ask her to come over in the middle of the night and help you work on your latch! But, if breastfeeding doesn’t work for you, and you are dying for a voice to tell you that you are still a great mom and are making the best choice for you and your baby – I’m here! Please do not feel guilty; formula has come an awful long way and is the next best thing.
Being more confident as a second timer (third timer really) I proudly fed formula to my twins and I’ve even been known to mix it with tap water in a pinch! My first daughter, Elby, has never had an ear infection, is a good eater, rarely has more than the common cold and is as smart as the day is long! I don’t know if it’s just good genes or if there’s some smart juice added to that Good Starts powder. My preemie twins who couldn’t breastfeed past their hospital stay are thriving and rarely sick. Formula is an absolute necessity and lifesaver for millions of moms out there and, yes, I am a fan.
So, Gisele, if you see one of my friends out there mixing their powdered “chemicals” and you have something to say – I warn you – it’s on like Donkey Kong, mother fucker!