I’ve grown increasingly frustrated and offended by all of the material regarding the benefits of breast-feeding that is circulated in hospitals, doctors’ offices, and online. I’m offended not only as a parent, and a father, but also as a critical thinker: the arguments in favour of breast-feeding babies are all so impoverished that it’s a wonder they pass any kind of serious inspection at all.
First, there are the arguments from doctors like Dr. Sears, who recently addressed the American Academy of Podiatrists (video): “Breast-feeding is the only certain way we know of to prevent cell-mutations like those that lead to Incredible Hulk Syndrome. Children who are not breast-fed are fourteen times more likely to develop a greenish cast to their skin, develop multiple-personalities, and have anger-control problems later in life. So, breast-feeders, never give it up.”
I don’t know where Dr. Sears got this “fourteen times more likely” figure; it looks to just be made up. No where in the video does he provide a peer-reviewed scientific study showing that children who are not breast-fed are more prone to Incredible Hulk Syndrome. Nonetheless, Dr. Sears persists in offering this as the greatest single reason to breast-feed.
Lactivists and Attachment Parenting advocates seize upon unconfirmed data like this in order to push their nipply agenda, and it really leaves those who choose not to breast-feed, for whatever reason, wondering if we are actually committing child-abuse by not breast-feeding. “What about IHS?” they ask. “Don’t you want to make sure your baby doesn’t develop IHS and rampage through the city?” Frankly, I think the evidence that IHS is caused by exposure to gamma radiation is much more convincing, but the Lactivists and Dr. Sears artfully ignore that data because it doesn’t support their agenda.
But their agenda is inhuman, and inhumane. Because at the end of the day, at the end of inquiry, at the end of evaluation, breast-feeding is not good for the child nor for the father.
Because fathers produce no milk, and forcing us to breast-feed is dooming our children to malnourished beginnings and ourselves to sore nipples to no purpose.
So, Dr. Sears and Lactivists everywhere, please stop telling me to breast-feed.