An article written by the deputy editor of a leading parenting magazine has called breastfeeding as "creepy", which has invited trouble and criticism on the Internet.
Under the headline "I formula fed. So what?", Kathryn Blundell, in this month's Mother and Baby wrote that she bottle-fed her child from birth because "I wanted my body back. (And some wine)... I also wanted to give my boobs at least a chance to stay on my chest rather than dangling around my stomach," reports the Guardian.
Advertisement"They're part of my sexuality, too - not just breasts, but fun bags. And when you have that attitude (and I admit I made no attempt to change it), seeing your teeny, tiny, innocent baby latching on where only a lover has been before feels, well, a little creepy," she added.
She admitted "there are all the studies that show [breastfeeding] reduces the risk of breast cancer for you, and stomach upsets and allergies for your baby. But even the convenience and supposed health benefits of breast milk couldn't induce me to stick my nipple in a bawling baby's mouth."
The blatantly outrageous article has once again started the breast-versus-bottle debate. The Department of Health recommends that babies be fed only breast milk for the first six months of life - an aspiration achieved by only one in 100 UK mothers.
As many as 500 people have made a campaign group on Facebook asking Blundell to apologise.
One member wrote: "As a formula-feeding mum who was unable to breastfeed, I am left wondering whether, thanks to this piece, people who see me giving my baby a bottle may assume that I am doing so because I could not be fagged to breastfeed/found the idea 'creepy'."
The article also attracted hundreds of comments on the Mumsnet website. One mother posted: "Even if it is intended to be tongue-in-cheek, you can imagine it having a bad effect on someone who's feeling vulnerable postnatally and struggling with breastfeeding."
One contributor to The Midwife Sanctuary, a website for midwives, wrote: "There are quite a few women that feel like this and are feeling alienated because of it. Not every mother has the urge to breastfeed and that doesn't make them less of a mother."
"Mother and Baby is a constant and vocal supporter of breastfeeding," said Miranda Levy, the magazine's editor.
Of Blundell's article, she said: "This was her personal experience, and has a place in the debate. We have been inundated by emails applauding her 'refreshing' point of view: we have made readers feel 'normal' and less of a 'failure' for not managing to breastfeed - a situation which is incredibly common.
"The way you feed your baby is not a moral issue and at Mother and Baby we seek to support all new parents in what is a glorious, but often difficult and emotional, time."
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