Breastfeeding is in the news again, and as usual it’s because some man has something to say about it.
The king of the nanny state, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is promoting “Latch On NYC” in an effort to pressure new mothers into breastfeeding. The new program asks mothers to give reasons for wanting formula bottles and for signing them out. Health care professionals are then supposed to talk to mothers about the benefits of breastfeeding.
When the mayor of your city starts dictating lactation policies, it might be time to elect a new
public health dictator mayor.
First he came for the cigarettes, then the soda, now the formula. Obviously, it’s Mike Bloomberg’s city and we’re all just living in it.
But is breastfeeding even a plausible option in a Biglaw environment?
You’d think that our businessman mayor would be one person to understand the working hardships of a breastfeeding mother. It’s a drain on her time and an even bigger drain on her energy.
Producing food from your own body seems miraculous. A draining, time-consuming, ridiculous, uncomfortable miracle.
Is it really fair to expect Biglaw women to perform this feat, on demand, for a year or more, while also trying to juggle billable hours and client needs?
Obviously, they can. But maybe breastfeeding nazis like Bloomberg could get off their high horses long enough to realize that there are different ways of being a loving mother. The science overwhelmingly suggests that breastfeeding is best for the baby, but the reality of working life means that it might not be best for the mother. That’s okay too. I’m sure that a Biglaw partner’s salary can purchase a lot of health care that can make up for whatever immunities were not conveyed for want of mother’s milk.
Of course, if you want to breastfeed while holding down a Biglaw job, you should be able to do that too. Interestingly, you don’t hear Mayor Bloomberg talking about how he’s going to make it easier for working mothers to breastfeed in his city. He’s focused on how he can shame mothers who don’t.
I want to ask the question that apparently Bloomberg never does: does breastfeeding make sense when you are working Biglaw hours? Take our poll (guys, you can just click “view results” unless your moobs are the consequence of something more than a poor exercise regimen), and tell us what you think.
Bloomberg the boob [New York Daily News]