Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Celebrity Advice For National Breastfeeding Week ( If You Choose To Take It )

Ah celebrities - they say the darndest things. And celebrity mums say even darndier ( ok, yep, not actually a word ) things. I had planned on doing a post for National Breastfeeding Week , but after reading the news this morning, and finding this post on Holly's blog , i've decided to change my original idea up a bit. First celebrity on my chopping block? Gisele Bundchen.

Gisele has made headlines today for saying that she believes an international law should be passed decreeing that women MUST breastfeed their babies for at least 6 months. You would think this something that would be supported during Breastfeeding Week but... i gotta say, the whole notion is a bit silly ( for lack of a better word ). Let me just start by saying that i believe that what Gisele is saying comes from a good place but, in reality, its just not do-able for everybody. Not every woman is able to breastfeed, and those that are able arent always able to keep it going for 6 months.There are many complicated factors in whether a woman can or can't breastfeed, whether she chooses to or not - to then pass a law which would only make this decision all the more harder ( and then make a criminal of women who are not able to breastfeed through no fault of their own ) is just ridiculous. The last thing new mothers grappling with mastering the skill of breastfeeding need is the added pressure of worrying whether or not they're going to break the law. I admire Gisele for her passion for the good old booby juice - that was until i read the part of the article where she implies that one of  the other good reasons for passing such a law is because breastfeeding helped her keep her figure. I think her willowy, gorgeous Brazilian supermodel genes may have played a part in that too....

And the second celebrity to step up to the plate ? Jacinta Tynan, an Australian newsreader and part-time author. Ms Tynan is a columnist for one of the Sydney newspapers, and published an article this weekend entitled " The Big Easy "  , in which she writes about how easy she has found motherhood. I wont delve any further into the details of the article ( i'll let you read for yourself ), and i know i'm not the first blogger to post about Ms Tynan today, but i had to say my piece. And what i've got to say is - i didnt like it. I'm all for celebratng motherhood, and on my own blog i'd like to think i give a pretty balanced view of how my mothering experience is moving along. I love to hear stories from mums about all the great things they've done and times they've enjoyed with their bubbas but... i dont want to hear how you think the whole mothering gig isnt hard. The tone of the article, and its written in the first person so it must be representative of Ms Tynan's personal opinion, is that being a mum is not hard, and that anyone who believes otherwise is a whinger. She comes across as a quite smug and arrogant, and as if she believes that women who do find motherhood hard, regardless of their situations ( single parent, post natal depression, more than one child ...) are making a fuss. Its fine to be happy, and to love your child, and to enjoy the whole experience even when it does involve sleepless nights and crying jags, and its wonderful that you arent phased by it all - but dont dismiss the women who are. Don't dismiss the first time mum who, after 6 hrs of constant crying, is curled up on the lounge bawling her own eyes out because its HARD to listen to the child she loves suffering, knowing that she's tried everything she can think of to make him stop. Don't judge the mother who is struggling in the first few weeks of breastfeeding, crying in pain because learning to breastfeed successfully is HARD. And don't look down upon those mothers who maybe suffering PND and find everything so overwhelming that its HARD to even look at their baby.

Mothering is hard, but its also joyful and amazing - or so i've learned in my first 7 months. We need to be told about both sides of mothering, both good and bad, but we need to appreciate them both, no matter our own experience. What a pity that Gisele Bundchen and Jacinta Tynan couldnt appreciate that....


  1. Amen sister *click click click*

  2. I'm not a mom, but I'm an aunt, so I'm saying this with a little bit of first hand experience being with my sister while she raises her kids - being a mom is VERY hard. There's no such things as coffee breaks, downtime, vacation pay, etc. etc. I don't understand how people don't see that!

  3. Giselle is a moron. She also says her son is already potty-trained. Until they can go buy themselves and take off their own clothes, I don't consider them potty-trained. Personally? I couldn't breastfeed. I had a really awful birth and an emergency c-section. They had me too drugged to do anything.

  4. Awesome post Amy! *round of applause*

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