In case you missed them, there were two unsettling breast- feeding stories in the news this past week: one, that a woman in North Dakota has managed to avoid jail time but had her baby taken away from her for breastfeeding while apparently drunk, and the other, that a Spanish toy company has come out with a doll called “Bebe Gloton” (Baby Glutton) that little girls can pretend to breastfeed using a halter top with flip-up daisy pasties.
I usually don’t post news stories here unless I have a point of view on them. I’m just not sure what my point of view is on either of these stories. Certainly a mother who is blotto should consider pumping and dumping, but 1) it is not expressly against the law to nurse while drunk, 2) the police said she “seemed drunk” but did not administer a blood test, and 3) for this transgression, this woman has lost custody of her baby for six months. And counting. As far as the doll goes, the people who are saying this doll might “speed up maternal urges” and promote early pregnancy are, I think, wackadoos. On the other hand, I would never buy a doll that makes sucking noises and burps, and I think there is no need for a breastfeeding doll, since children who see their mothers nurse come up with the idea of nursing their dolls on their own.
I think what both of these stories have in common is the prevailing idea in American society that breastfeeding is altogether ooky. This despite the insane pressure pregnant women get to nurse their children. I think those cops walked in and saw a mother breastfeeding and slurring her words, and they just arrested her, because there’s just something wrong with that picture. Same thing with this doll. “It’s just…weird,” the Fox and Friends gang concluded, and even though I nursed three children, I have to agree with them. Most of us, to one degree or another, still have breastfeeding hangups. That’s the conclusion I’m drawing here. Anyone else?