Breastfeeding Roundup

Breastfeeding Roundup November 30, 2011

At the top of the list for weirdness in breastfeeding news this week, the UK’s biggest restaurant, Cosmo, charged a woman 3 pounds for her exclusively breastfed 6 week son to “occupy space” in the restaurant. To their credit, the restaurant apologized, indicating that the employee who charged the fee was in error.Next up, protests were scheduled to be held in Paw Paw, Mich., yesterday, following the incident in which a woman, Natalie Hegedus, was called out by Judge Robert Hentchel for breastfeeding her baby in court. “Do you think that’s appropriate in here?”  The baby was sick, she said, and he was hungry. And, for the record, breastfeeding in courtrooms is perfectly legal.

{I wonder, would the judge have been upset had Ms. Hegedus been bottle-feeding the baby?}

And in both the Daily Mail and Cafe Mom highlighted the unusual but admirable effort of adoptive mothers to breastfeed their adopted babies–sometimes with the help of medications, sometimes with supplemental feeding systems. Mothers who’ve breastfed adopted babies cite the desire for physical bonding–as well as health benefits–in explaining their decisions.

Rounding out the week’s breastfeeding news is this story in the Washington Post: Rhode Island has become the first state in the Union to eliminate those free bags of formula from its hospitals. Just 38% of RI mothers nurse their babies 6 months after birth, compared to 44% nationwide. Rhode Island’s health director hopes that ending the formula giveaways will bring the state’s breastfeeding rates up. Giving away formula in hospitals and at doctor’s offices sends a mixed signal, many health and lactation professionals say–with their mouths doctors and nurses say “breast is best,” but when they hand you a bag of free formula, it looks a lot like an endorsement.

And that’s the week in breastfeeding news! Clearly, breastfeeding sometimes complicated, sometimes messy, sometimes embarrassing yet still very, very worth it.

{You can read previous breastfeeding posts here (Breastfeeding and Justice) and here (Advertising Formula Works…But for Whom?}

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