Breast May Be Best, But Pumps Get All the Attention

Companies praised for allowing women to pump ... but contact has no substitute
By Sarah Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2009 3:54 PM CST
Jessica Salazar holds twins Matias, left, and Josue, as they take part in a breastfeeding contest in Lima, Peru, Aug. 26, 2008.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – The push for regulations that give US moms a place and time to pump their breast milk overlooks a major part of the age-old breast-feeding debate, Jill Lepore writes in the New Yorker. “Is it the mother, or her milk, that matters more to the baby?” Lepore asks. High-tech pumps and office “lactation rooms” promote a woman’s right to work more than anything else, she argues.

If encouraging breast-feeding is the goal, we should address the real obstacles: limited maternity leave and few workplace day-care centers. “Something you plug into a wall socket is a far cry from a whisper and a kiss,” Lepore writes. Regardless, the tide is likely to turn again: Breast-feeding has come in and out of fashion for centuries.