The XX Factor

Breast-feeding Wars Round 256

Today’s New York Times hosts a bloggingheads debate on breast-feeding between me and Dr. Ruth Lawrence, a researcher from from the University of Rochester and a major breast-feeding advocate. The occasion was my recent Atlantic story taking issue with the science behind some breast-feeding research. When bloggingheads found my opponent I swallowed hard. Dr. Lawrence is a longtime advocate of breast-feeding and wrote the textbook for physicians on the subject. She is also affiliated with the United States Breast-feeding Committee , which organized a letter-writing campaign that brought in nearly 1,000 complaint letters to the Atlantic about my story. I got out my sword, put on my shield, etc.

Of course it turned out she was a lovely person with a thing or two to teach my generation. I was going on and on, complaining about how hard it was for us Gen X mommies, with kids and work and gourmet dinners to cook. Then Dr. Lawrence let out a bit of personal information she said she normally doesn’t reveal. She has nine children. She breast-fed them all, while working as a full time physician and researcher. So much for my “balance” issues.