Mothering our infants by breastfeeding is being pulled under by the currents of an ideology that we need to understand. It is the ideology of a society enamored with monetary richness over personal connections. A male-dominated culture whose ideology is male-driven not female-driven. A culture that is always at war with people it does not understand. Funny thing is the people they least understand is women.
So not only is our society fighting wars around the world against cultures and religions they don't understand. But internally, our society is at war with women. A good friend of mine pointed out a few years back that most of the programs or movies had women that were useless sidekicks of men or were victims of rapes, beating, and or torture. We have young men growing up with the view that women are "victims." And women take on the victim mentality. We do the shuffle and dance for men even when we think we aren't shuffling and dancing. So what's this got to do with breastfeeding or breastmilk in bottles?
We value certain things in our society: beauty, wealth, and intelligence. We value success because failure is the "F" word. A person is valuable if they are employed. Society believes that all women should be employed. Babies and children are not damaged by day care or by the amount of separation from their mothers. Breastmilk in bottles is equivalent to breastfeeding. After all, the same "product" is being ingested whether by bottle or breast.
What is this equivalency of breast and bottle? Is the "product" the same substance? I don't think the product is the same. Why? First the product is not usually fresh, it is refrigerated or frozen. If for example you eat broccoli right from the garden, how does it taste? It tastes sweet, unlike the store-bought broccoli. We know it is full of vitamins and minerals. It's crisp, its delicious. Store-bought broccoli in the "fresh" produce section tastes bland, dull, and often is rubbery. And we know that the longer it is shelved, the less vitamins and minerals. Frozen broccoli tastes a little better than rubbery broccoli but we know that freezing means it has less vitamins and minerals. I have never seen canned broccoli. I don't think it holds up very well. But we do know that if it were canned, it would have the least amount of vitamins and minerals.
What happens when we put a food in a plastic container or store it in the refrigerator. Sometimes it tastes like the food stored next to it. Sometimes it goes bad fast, depending on where it is placed in the fridge. Sometimes it tastes like plastic that it is stored in, water in bottles often has that plastic taste. Storage of foods or liquids creates changes that most of us can pick up by taste and smell. On the molecular level, I have to believe changes are happening. In fact we know that certain plastic containers cause hormonal changes in humans.
What are other differences between breastfeeding and bottlefeeding breastmilk? Separation of mother and baby. A woman that regularly pumps her milk, will often find that her milk will release to the sound of the pump. Whereas, a woman who is breastfeeding will often find that her milk will release to the cry of her baby or to any baby. The release of oxytocin creates the bonds between a mother and her baby, or the bonds between a man and woman. Are we creating a biological attachment to a thing, a pump? ( I know alot of people won't like this train of thought) Hand expression is a very real option and makes more sense biologically.
Many women with babies have to be employed, no choice. Many can't even work out a situation where they could even bottlefeed breastmilk. Wouldn't it be more logical to pursue legislation that would support breastfeeding, such as allowances for women with babies to stay home? Isn't it better to create environments supportive of attachments between human beings rather than attachments to machines and products? Or are we too far gone as a culture to repair a society vested in destroying human attachment?
Copyright 2010 Valerie W. McClain