BFing is free...if you "place zero value on sleep, time, and dignity"

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-20-2009
BFing is free...if you "place zero value on sleep, time, and dignity"
15
Wed, 04-04-2012 - 9:58am

http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/03/the-true-cost-of-breast-feeding-this-milk-isnt-free

Here are a few quotes from yesterday's NYT article called "The True Cost of Breastfeeding:

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2007
I liked the conclusion:

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But frankly I challenge the value of a study on this subject that studies subjects at 19 years old and as much as 32 years old. Back in 1993 (the latest year of the study), only 60% of infants were ever bf (meaning even for a day or two), compared with 80% nowadays. And the percentage of babies still bf at 6 months has climbed from the low 30s to the low 40s.

In terms of consideration for parenthood, 1980-1993 really is a very long time ago. 1993 is the date of the passage of FMLA, which required companies to protect a person's job in the event that they needed to take unpaid leave, most commonly to have a baby. Before that, to take time off after your baby was born was to risk losing your job. It is much harder to successfully establish bf if you have to go back to work at two weeks. So it makes a lot of sense that women who were bf six months or more at this time would suffer a loss of income over time. Either they quit their jobs and stayed at home, or they lost their jobs. Not in all cases, of course, but companies were not renowned at the time for being bf and mother-friendly.




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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-15-2007
I ebf and I haven't experienced lost wages. I don't see the correlation at all. It is difficult to work and ebf but its doable.
Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
jesshoperose wrote:
I ebf and I haven't experienced lost wages. I don't see the correlation at all. It is difficult to work and ebf but its doable.

welcome

Welcome to the debate board. It's wonderful to see you posting here and I hope that you will stick around and post more often.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009

I think it's really difficult to calculate the "lost wages" effect.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008
bordwithyou wrote:

I think it's really difficult to calculate the "lost wages" effect.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-30-2008
I sucessfully pumped at work until my son was a year. I had zero lost wages. I know that it's not easy for everybody to pump at work but I think the study is flawed. I think a better way of stating it would be to say that working mothers choose formula in higher numbers. I think more SAHM or those who work fewer hours might be more commited to making breastfeeding work for financial reasons. Also there are people for whom a pump just doesn't work very well that are forced to use formula. Also wouldn't pumps in 1993 be less effective then modern ones? I felt like the article despite that wonderful last part about breastfeeding mothers needing support comes off very discouraging about breastfeeding.
bigbro
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008
furke wrote:
I sucessfully pumped at work until my son was a year. I had zero lost wages. I know that it's not easy for everybody to pump at work but I think the study is flawed. I think a better way of stating it would be to say that working mothers choose formula in higher numbers. I think more SAHM or those who work fewer hours might be more commited to making breastfeeding work for financial reasons. Also there are people for whom a pump just doesn't work very well that are forced to use formula. Also wouldn't pumps in 1993 be less effective then modern ones? I felt like the article despite that wonderful last part about breastfeeding mothers needing support comes off very discouraging about breastfeeding.

All of what you say is so true. It really was only in the early 1990s that effective home electric pumps seem to have become a thing that has been an option. So even at that time, working and pumping was not a well-known choice to make, simply because it would have been very difficult. I W & P, in 1985. In my current job, I would now get some paid leave if I had a baby, and also be able to get part-time work if I had a child under two years old. Others can seek part-time work but it is not guaranteed. I would also, as of last year, get paid pumping breaks !!!!!!!!!!! Which is an amazing breakthrough.

I pumped once a day, in my shortish lunch break, often while gulping down some food at the same time. I used to go to my in-laws who minded our children. If the baby was awake, I would pump one side and feed him on the other.

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010

That reminds me of the biggest motivation for me to keep going with Michael. One of the first women I met at LLL was an exclusively pumping mom with a baby with cleft palate. I think the baby was a year old - and I was in awe, I didn't even know it was possible at that time to pump and feed a baby, let alone do it for a year! This was 1977 - so I doubt she would have a better pump than the one you used.

Any time that I felt it was all too much and I just couldn't continue to nurse Michael, I would think of her - and tell myself if she could do pump for her baby for a year, I could at least nurse my baby at my breast.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009
My first baby was born in 1992. At the time I'd had several friends and relatives who'd gone back to work and used EBM, so I just naturally thought I would, too. I had no trouble finding a home daycare provider who was comfortable feeding EBM.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008
bordwithyou wrote:
My first baby was born in 1992. At the time I'd had several friends and relatives who'd gone back to work and used EBM, so I just naturally thought I would, too. I had no trouble finding a home daycare provider who was comfortable feeding EBM.

Yes, it was around that time (early 1990s) a friend of mine who was also a leader for NMA (later Australian Breastfeeding Association, so similar to LLL) asked me to come along to an information afternoon for mothers and mothers to be one weekend. She got me to talk to other mothers about nursing and pumping, basically how it worked out, and also to encourage them that it was doable and so on. So it was becoming more known as an option by then. She wanted them to meet someone in real life too, and chat, so that it was seen as an 'option' for all working mothers.

Teresa

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