nursing the body politic

Every so often I stumble upon a travel sweeps that wrankles my sensibilities. This one, for a spa getaway, gets under my skin because it’s sponsored by a formula brand, Similac, not just plain old regular Similac, but Organic Similac. Now, who could the target market for this be? No doubt women in a certain demographic, women who statistically are more inclined to breastfeed but for whatever reasons are contemplating using formula instead. I am not some sort of lunatic breast-is-best lactivist, but I find the trend of women in this demographic choosing formula over breast to be perplexing, to say the least. Yes, breastfeeding is inconvenient. And yes, the American Academy of Pediatrics, which published recommendations in December 1997 and then revised them in February 2005, suggests some highly impractical things.

Two things get lost in all this. First, the history. Formula was created for women who were medically unable to nurse, not to make motherhood a more convenient proposition. Second, the marketing. People rile against the formula makers and their reaching out to pregnant women. But they have accomplices. Who is giving formula makers the names and addresses of women who are pregnant? Obstetricians? Laboratories? There’s a story there. I’ve moved on to other matters (like failed science projects – HELP!) or I’d investigate myself. If someone’s already looked into this, I’d love to read the article.

I am not going to provide a link to the sweeps. Call it indirection action. I will mention the spa, because it looks amazing: THEGREENHOUSE.

Funnily, the last time I nursed Isaac was on a commercial flight, coming back from Ireland. He was nine months old. After I stopped, I think I missed the experience a grand total of ONE TIME.