Supermodel Gisele Bundchen wants there to be a law preventing mothers from using formula milk to feed their babies, making them breastfeed for the first six months of their baby’s life.
Some people here [in the US] think they don’t have to breastfeed, and I think, ‘Are you going to give chemical food to your child when they are so little?’ I think there should be a worldwide law, in my opinion, that mothers should breastfeed their babies for six months.”
As a side note, ladies, Gisele credits breastfeeding for helping her get back into shape so she could model swimsuits six weeks after giving birth! So, you should totes do it for you figure too.
I understand what she is trying to say, and that she has the best of intentions, but I don’t think a law forcing women to breastfeed is at all ok. To me (and I am a non-mother, so this is all really from an outsiders perspective here), it screams of privilege: I do believe that breastfeeding is awesome and should be promoted, but I think individual women’s experiences with their own babies should really be what dictates their choice to do so. Not all women have the privilege of an ‘easy’ or ‘good’ experience, and not all women have the privilege of someone (nurse/midwife/lactation consultant/family member/etc) who can advise them and maybe help them to make it a better experience. So while I all completely behind the promotion of breastfeeding, and think providing support to women who can/do breastfeed is very important, I don’t think that what is essentially a big fat dose of shame will help women who can’t/don’t (for whatever the reason). Women face so much pressure to be perfect, and do the ‘right’ things, and the pressure on women to be perfect mothers (do this, don’t do that, don’t you want what’s best for your child??, etc) already sets women up to feel like failures when they can’t meet expectations. So maybe less ostracism and villification, and more support, yeah?