Wednesday, May 01, 2002

JUST FEED YOUR KID: I don't call myself a "breastfeeding advocate," because I hate the word "advocate." I prefer "nipple nazi," if I must have a label, although I never accosted a mother in the grocery store, absent-mindedly stuffing a bottle in her baby's mouth while she tried to do her shopping, to tell her "how much good nursing would've done your child." Most likely she'd hate me, think breastfeeders are nuts, and decide never, ever to nurse any future children. And even if I won her over to the cause, relactation is difficult and often impossible. Now I have another reason not to harass formula-feeding moms: at least they feed their kids -- unlike these two NYC vegans who nearly starved to death their baby daughter on a diet of "ground nuts, fresh-squeezed fruit juices, herbal tea, beans, cod liver oil and flax seed oil." Apparently the parents, who practice veganism like religious devotees, didn't believe breastmilk or even soy formula were proper for their child. By sixteen months, she weighed only ten pounds and was near death when authorities removed her from her parents' custody. Whatever the demerits of formula-feeding, it sustains children and keeps them fairly healthy. I'll never enjoy seeing that mom propping up that bottle, but I'll be glad she's actually feeding her child.

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