Monday, March 16, 2009

Dads and Breastfeeding

The piece of writing that is now burning up the intertubes is Hannah Rosin's Atlantic attack on breastfeeding. It's one of those articles that needed to be written, but I must admit to having read the piece only *after* DaddyType's elegant takedown. DT should be required reading alongside the Atlantic piece.

My brief pass through the data seems to suggest that the breast-is-best argument is well-supported in a statistical sense, but that the benefits -- at the individual level -- are exceedingly modest. This isn't an argument against breast-feeding, but a sense that the benefits ought to be put in a broader perspective. Rosin is right that -- in certain communities -- breastfeeding has become part of the parenting canon, and that's not a view that has been well-examined.

And for all the ink spilled, Rosin pays little attention to dads. I've done the bottle thing, with both breastmilk and formula, and I have little sympathy for guys who use breastfeeding as an excuse to check out (or moms who let them).

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