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What Real Moms Think of Gisele's "Breastfeeding Law"

Last Friday I was invited to appear on the ABC web show “Moms Get Real”. The topic du jour was breastfeeding, inspired by Gisele Bundchen’s recent suggestion that there should be a law requiring new moms to nurse their babies. The show tries to show how real moms do things rather than how they feel they’re portrayed in the media, and this episode’s panel featured a range of moms with different breastfeeding experiences, from moms who didn’t breastfeed to a mom who’s a lactation consultant.

Gisele clearly hit a nerve. The conversation got pretty intense. Emotions ran high. Half of the moms on the panel cried at some point during the taping.

Video link and more behind the scenes details after the jump.

“Moms Get Real” host Juju Chang and regular guest Lee Woodruff did most of the talking, and the main gist was about compensating for Gisele’s hard line. The message was focused on how breastfeeding is really difficult and women shouldn’t feel bad if they can’t deal with it. I ended up feeling kind of bad afterwards, because it seemed a bit lopsided, emphasizing the hard parts of breastfeeding rather than the equally true reality of how breastfeeding can actually make things easier for many women. The financial part came up a few times (formula can be so expensive), but not the other benefits.

The result is, I think, really empowering on the subject of doing what’s right for you and not feeling bad about it. Which is, after all, the main mission of the show. But I kind of wish I’d gotten a chance to talk about the positive parts of my breastfeeding experience rather than just how hard it was in the beginning.  Gisele’s comments were so extreme, everyone felt they had to spend all their energy defending the other side of things.

Two notes:

Those ladies were not actually laughing at my comment about Gisele being judgmental…I had to play that part twice before I realized it was an edit. And my skin is not actually that weird fake tan color. Apparently the makeup artist decided I was too pale and needed to be “darkened up”. She said it would look normal on camera, but I think I look a little George Hamilton.

Moms Get Real Responds to Gisele:
Part 1

Part 2

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