Total Motherhood?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Total Motherhood?
Thu, 02-14-2013 - 9:35pm

‘Total motherhood’

A rational approach to public-health policy would accept that breastfeeding has health benefits relative to formula feeding, but that these are specific and limited, and cannot justify the effort that the health service puts into exhorting new mothers to breastfeed at all costs - particularly when the consequence seems to be a great deal of misery and anxiety on the part of mothers.

I don't get it. Who believes in "total motherhood"? Is it anything more than a strawman? Does anyone "exhort" others to breastfeed "at all costs"? Who? I've posted some extreme positions of Lactivists and there is no indication that they have any inkling about coercing people to do anything. Are there mothers out there who buy into the "total motherhood" philosophy? Are mothers who buy into the TM philosophy more likely to relish blogs such as the Fearless Formula Feeder than other mothers? Have you noticed that the media attempts to link this philosophy to breastfeeding and/or attachment parenting? If you are a breastfeeder or AP do you buy into the "Total Motherhood" philosophy? If you didn't breastfeed or are not AP does this description of other mothers resonate with you?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-05-2008
Thu, 02-14-2013 - 10:47pm

I don't claim that it's widespread but when my near-term, low-birth-weight-from-IUGR son was still in the NICU a lactation consultant advised me to refuse formula. I have low milk supply (yes, really) which improved somewhat with my second child but I have never been able to completely sustain a baby by nursing. I later had better consultations with responsible lactation consultants and was able to nurse and supplement with formula, which was vitally necessary. It still irks me to remember it. It really shouldn't be all-or-nothing or "at all costs." 

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Fri, 02-15-2013 - 7:35am

So you are saying that there was an "all or nothing" LC in the NICU, but other LCs were not?

I'd have to agree that there are always bad apples and I'm sorry that it happened to you in the NICU, a time when you were likely feeling very vulnerable anyway. {{hugs}}

You are not alone:

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Fri, 02-15-2013 - 11:10am

Welcome to the debate Mamalovesmambo! It's great to see you here and I hope that you will post mor often, if you can.

I am sorry the LC at the hospital gave you such a hard time, but relieved that you were able to find the help you needed to work towards a solution that works for you and your little one.