So this might come as a shock, but that’s why you have breasts

An editor of a parenting magazine in England ignited a firestorm with her assessment of breastfeeding as “creepy.” 

From the UK Guardian:

Under the headline “I formula fed. So what?”, Kathryn Blundell says in this month’s Mother & Baby that she bottlefed her child from birth because “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.”

She goes on to say: “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.”

Heh.  You weren’t creeped out by birthing the kid, but feeding him is a problem? 


She concedes that “there are all the studies that show [breastfeeding] reduces the risk of breast cancer for you, and stomach upsets and allergies for your baby. But even the convenience and supposed health benefits of breast milk couldn’t induce me to stick my nipple in a bawling baby’s mouth.”

She continues: “I don’t think I’m the only one, either – only 52% of mums still breastfeed after six weeks. Ask most of the quitters why they stopped and you’ll hear tales of agonising three-hour feeding sessions and – the drama! – bloody nipples. But I often wonder whether many of these women, like me, just couldn’t be fagged or felt like getting tipsy once in a while.”

The drama, indeed.  Breastfeeding does more than prevent allergies.  Via Live Science a few weeks ago (h/t Pundette‘s Recommended Reads):

A newborn gulping breast milk may be doing his or her genes good, researchers say.

Breast milk, but not formula, may improve the functioning of a baby’s genes in a way that protects the infant from illness, according to a new study published in the May issue of the American Journal of Physiology, Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology.

Scientists have long reported that breast is best. Breast milk-fed babies have stronger immune systems, fewer allergies and may be more resistant to chronic diseases, such as asthma, digestive disorders, and perhaps diabetes (Types I and II) and obesity.

And we now have our first clues why.

Researchers have shown that an infant’s first food affects his or her gene expression, giving a possible mechanism for how breast milk impacts health. (Gene expression is the process by which instructions in a gene are used to synthesize a functional gene product, mostly proteins. When genes are expressed, it is as if they are “turned on.”)

“Genes are really sensitive to nutrition,” said study researcher Sharon Donovan of the University of Illinois. “And we now have genes that may explain many of the clinical observations of how breast-fed and formula-fed infants differ.”

Using a novel noninvasive technique, researchers compared 10 formula-fed 3-month-olds with 12 breast-fed infants of the same age. Capitalizing on the natural sloughing off of intestinal cells during digestion, the researchers looked for signs of gene expression, in the form of messenger RNA, in the babies’ poop.

Breast milk and formula have different effects on at least 146 genes, the researchers found.

Read the rest.  It’s absolutely fascinating. 

(And not the least bit creepy).

H/T Hot Air Headlines

UPDATE: linked at Retriever.  Thanks!

4 Responses

  1. Self centered much?

    • That’s why I’m surprised she even had a baby. I’m not suggesting moms need to make martyrs of themselves, but an unwillingness to forego booze in order to nurse? Or to see one’s self as something other than a sexual object? Heck, I’m awed she could “give up her body” for the duration of pregnancy.

  2. What’s creepiest of all is “fun bags.” We’ve come a long way, baby, to be able to participate in our own denigration. Ugh.

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