Venezuela Considers Banning Bottle Feeding Because What Women Do With Their Bodies Just Isn’t Legislated Enough

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shutterstock_134062673__1371302803_142.196.156.251The Venezuelan congress will be discussing legislation next week that would ban the use bottles for feeding infants. Proponents of the legislation say that it would encourage more breastfeeding. Anyone with a brain knows that what it will ultimately do is put undue stress on mothers and cause a lot of anxiety during the already anxious and stressful time after a baby is born.

From The Telegraph:

Odalis Monzon, from Venezuela’s ruling Socialist party, said the proposal would “prohibit all types of baby bottles” as a way to improve children’s health.

“We want to increase the love (between mother and child) because this has been lost as a result of these transnational companies selling formula,” Ms Monzon said.

She said, however, that exceptions would be allowed, such as in the case of the death of a mother, or for women with limited breast milk production, as determined by the health ministry.

Okay, we have all read the studies that show that breastfeeding is great for baby. But I think we have also read the studies that show that having an anxious, depressed mother is not. As if the choices that women make about their bodies aren’t legislated enough. Women really need their governments intervening on another issue. Ugh.

I am two weeks into breastfeeding my newborn. She is doing what my doctor calls “cluster feeding” which apparently builds milk supply. It also ensures that pretty much every waking moment she has is spent on my breast. My nipples are chapped and cracking. It actually physically hurts to nurse her. I am trying to tough it out – but I am seriously beginning to wonder if breastfeeding is something I can endure for much longer. I can’t believe this may be a decision that women would be forced to make with their “health ministry” instead of on their own.

I remember reading an interview with supermodel Gisele Bundchen, in which she insisted that breastfeeding should be a law. I remember thinking, “Well, it’s a good thing your opinion doesn’t matter at all.” The notion of legislating breastfeeding just seemed so ridiculous and far-fetched. Another sobering reminder that women can never take their personal liberties for granted. There always seems to be someone who thinks we need help making these basic decisions for ourselves and our families.

(photo: Whiteisthecolor/ Shutterstock)