Does it matter to you?
The blogosphere is abuzz with commentary on Jennifer Lopez's decision not to breastfeed her twins Max and Emme. It's all stemming from her interview with People Magazine, where she was quoted as saying: "My mom didn't breastfeed, and I think that was the thing for me. You read and figure out what'’s the best thing for them [i.e. her babies]."
Breastfeeding advocates have been quick to step up to the plate to rebut J-Lo's statement about what's "best" for babies, reminding the public about the wide body of scientific research that points to breastmilk as the best source of nutrition for baby (even the formula companies agree). If you need a reason to breastfeed, we've got 200 reasons for you right here.
I'm a strong proponent of breastfeeding myself. I nursed both of my kids for the recommended first year, and beyond. But, what if I hadn't? What if I couldn't? Would people be calling me an unfit mother? That's what a lot of bloggers are calling Jennifer Lopez right now. And after spending an hour or so reading their comments on her very public statement about her very personal decision not to breastfeed, I feel really sorry for her. Being a new mom isn't easy—especially when you're a mother of multiples. And when people are judging every move you make, it doesn't make it any easier.
The truth is, for some women, breastfeeding doesn't come naturally. Sometimes, it just doesn't work out. At the same time, some women think they can't do it, when—given the right support system—they really can.
I'm not going to jump on the bandwagon and skewer J-Lo for not breastfeeding her kids. That's her perogative. I'm sure Max and Emme are going to grow up to be just fine. And if they don't, it won't be because their mother didn't breastfeed them.
Still, I do feel a little sad for her, because I think Jennifer Lopez is missing out on some of the sweetest moments she can hope to have with her babies. And, I do wish she were setting a different example for other new mothers struggling with breastfeeding. For those moms, we've got everything you need to know about breastfeeding right here, including step-by-step photos on how to breastfeed. You really can do it—just like these five mothers who overcame somesurprising nursing challenges.
How do you feel about J-Lo's decision not to breastfeed? We'd love to know. Chime in below.
Dana Rousmaniere is FitPregnancy.com's Managing Editor. If it weren't for her husband's support, she never would have been able to overcome the intial challenge of nursing.