Culture

Bette Midler upsets moms by tweeting ‘try breastfeeding’ amid formula crisis


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Amid a worsening nationwide baby formula shortage, Bette Midler tweeted out what she seemed to think was an easy, common-sense solution to parents’ struggle to feed their hungry infants.

The outspoken film and theater star declared Thursday evening that moms should just “TRY BREASTFEEDING. It’s free and available on demand.”

Whether breastfeeding truly is “free” turned out to be one of the points raised by many who didn’t respond favorably to Midler’s tweet. In fact, her tweet set off a cascade of reactions that showed the extent to which breastfeeding is a fraught issue for many women in the United States, with one person saying, “Please don’t be so cavalier about this.”

Respondents agreed that breastfeeding offers the best food for infants, packed with antibodies that protect them against many common childhood illnesses.

They also said that many women can’t breastfeed for various reasons, but wear themselves out physically and mentally trying. Others noted that many women lack social or economic support to pump milk or to take time off work in their baby’s early months to be available to feed on demand.

Amid the current crisis, it’s also not possible for a mother to suddenly start breastfeeding again if she already started her baby on bottle feeding and formula, as TV writer Amanda Deibert argued in a TikTok video shared on Midler’s feed.

“What’s really blowing my mind is the stupid way people have been reacting to this (shortage), like ‘Why can’t women just breastfeed?’”  Deibert said. “As if that’s just a thing all women can do, or a thing women can just turn back on when they haven’t been doing it for, say, three months or six months, and their baby’s been formula fed, or as if babies with allergies don’t exist, or as if babies who’ve been adopted don’t exist, or babies with single fathers, or same-sex fathers or a myriad other situations in which babies need formula to eat and live.”

People do not understand how boobs work pic.twitter.com/bPu4g8R4Da

— Amanda Deibert (@amandadeibert) May 13, 2022

Pamela Barroway, a freelance writer and editor urged Midler to “Please, please rethink this. Many of us, for many reasons, are unable to breastfeed, myself included.” Barroway explained she couldn’t breastfeed after a C-section and despite many visits from lactation consultants.

Author Ilyse Hogue added: “Bette, respectfully, this is a very bad take. I had twins. I didn’t produce enough milk for both. Without formula, I would have had to have chosen which one got to eat. To say nothing of kids that get separated from the birth mothers very young.”

Midler came back on Twitter several hours later to lament that people were “piling on.”

“No shame if you can’t breastfeed, but if you can & are somehow convinced that your own milk isn’t as good as a ‘scientifically researched product,’ that’s something else again,” Midler said.

The actor then indicated that she was just learning about “the monopoly” in baby formula manufacturing in the United States that has contributed to the shortage, but …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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