Breast. No Bottle.

To nurse, or not to nurse: that is not a question!

Cognitive Dissonance to Maintain Formula Feeding Status Quo

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Looking back at the observable history medicine, science, philosophy, and government have put out massive amounts of breastfeeding propaganda. Paradoxically (or not), the more women come under medical control, the less they are able to breastfeed. The more women come in touch with governmental structures for breastfeeding support, the more they formula feed.

A woman lives in a society where everybody talks about the goodness of breastfeeding. At the same time family, healthcare workers, and everybody around does everything to undermine breastfeeding and make it impossible in the end: supplement with formula in maternity hospitals, advertise and distribute formula, laud formula feeding as clean and modern, condemn women as sources of disease, put down breastfeeding and breastmilk, and exclude breastfeeding women from public life. If a woman cannot distinguish between what is being said versus what is being done, she will be convinced that breastfeeding is supported and that her failure to breastfeeding can be attributed to some personal fault inherent to her. She will start passing on her story that women cannot breastfeed.

When breastfeeding advocates expose the difference between words and actions, women who failed to breastfeed understandably and predictably experience cognitive dissonance – the mental anguish of challenging the beliefs that “everybody supports breastfeeding” and “I failed to breastfeed because there is something wrong with me must be displaced with “everybody talks about breastfeeding support” (words) and “nobody supports breastfeeding” (actions). A woman is faced with a double whammy – “there is something wrong with me” and “society prevented me from breastfeeding”. This is a hard truth, especially, when she can never fix the problem in the past breastfeeding experiences.  For many the only way to avoid the mental anguish is to wall themselves off from the information about working out breastfeeding difficulties  and continue living with a belief that “breastfeeding-is-supported-I-just-got-unlucky”. Such a woman will support the current state of affairs because her personal mental peace rests on formula feeding status quo.  

Verbal breastfeeding propaganda conceals forced formula feeding, keeping women convinced there is something wrong with them if they cannot breastfeed despite all the breastfeeding “support”.  When women cannot breastfeed they keep insisting on their own inadequacies because it fits very well in the current system of female subordination. Posing a question to family, doctors, friends, teachers, and neighbors is much harder because it challenges the society that oppresses you.  

Thus creation of the cognitive dissonance by talking about breastfeeding while doing nothing to support breastfeeding is an effective psychological manipulation that allows to control women by maintaining their feeling of inadequacy.  


Written by Medical Nemesis

September 9, 2014 at 01:27

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To nurse, or not to nurse: that is not a question!

Breast. No Bottle.

To nurse, or not to nurse: that is not a question!

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