New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced that he has put together a breastfeeding initiative program to help mothers with breastfeeding in hospitals. The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene page describes this as the following
Breastfeeding Initiative: Activities include encouraging breastfeeding by educating mothers, providers an d the public; seeking support for breastfeeding mothers in the workplace (see DOHMH Lactation Program); helping to establish hospital practices to assist women who breastfeed; and advocating policy to increase awareness and supportive services for breastfeeding.
Did you get mad reading that? No, neither did I, but Whoopi Goldberg certainly did. She sent a message to the Mayor telling him “This is not your place. Back off.” Ouch. But wait, it gets better. Whoopi explains that she did not want to breastfeed, and she goes on to call lactation consultants “boneheads” for trying to help women with issues.
You can watch the video below.
The way she describes women who help nursing mothers is completely disrespectful in my opinion, and her having a problem with a breastfeeding initiative is just ridiculous. If she had a bad experience with her lactation consultant, that’s one thing, but why call them all “boneheads”?
There are many women who suffer from an uncomfortable latch, tongue tie, positioning after a c-section, engorgement, milk blisters, mastitis, and so many other things that they need help from the professionals. They are nervous about returning to work and being able to pump at work, so they turn to others for advice. A baby friendly hospital could make all the difference between a successful nursing story and an unsuccessful one.
There are also many women who are forceful and have no shame in making others feel somehow “below them” for not nursing their baby. I’ve heard comments like “This is why I choose to do what’s best for my baby!” As much as these women frustrate me too, this initiative is aimed at helping mothers through a crucial time, and for Whoopi to say such things on national TV is irresponsible.
I am 22 weeks pregnant and still nursing my 19 month old. And what I look forward to more than anything is the support and help of the women at the hospital with breastfeeding when I give birth in September. So Whoopi Goldberg, YOU back off.
What are your thoughts on what Whoopi Goldberg said?