- Last Updated: 5:37 AM, August 2, 2012
- Posted: 12:54 AM, August 2, 2012
This is just creepy.
Acting more like a competitive Park Slope uber parent than the leader of New York City, Mayor Bloomberg has waded with both left feet smack into the middle of the Mommy Wars.
The 70-year-old mayor, who as far as I know has never latched an infant onto his bare chest, is waging war not on sugar, fat, cigarettes or soda. Bloomberg is scolding and harassing vulnerable new mommies on how they should feed their kids.
The war on women is complete.
Bloomberg’s latest Nanny State initiative is called “Latch On NYC’’ — a program destined to create shame, fear and anxiety among the people who reproduce. The mayor is not simply telling adults what to eat, drink and breathe. He’s virtually requiring new moms to nurse their newborns or risk social and cultural condemnation, not to mention hard-core bullying from City Hall.
Presumably, that is, if a mom’s breasts contain less than 16 ounces of milk.
Starting next month, the city is enacting the most punishing pro-breast-feeding program in the nation, if not the world. City health goons are not just suggesting that “breast is best.’’ They’re practically accusing new moms of child abuse if they don’t comply.
Here’s how it works: Captive audiences of postpartum moms in city hospitals will be pressured to breast-feed. Those who resist, due to their unwillingness or inability to nurse — or the financial necessity of returning quickly to work — must beg for formula.
Not so fast.
Before women get their hands on a lousy bottle, they must submit to an interrogation. Lecturing lacto-nuts want to know — why are you such a selfish, negligent idiot?
It gets worse.
The hospital will keep records on every bottle it dares deliver to a new mom — and provide a medical reason why. There’s no promise of privacy for those who don’t toe the breast-feeding line.
After all this, if the mother summons the strength to insist on formula, the poison must be checked out from under lock and key, like a narcotic.
Twenty-seven out of 40 city hospitals have agreed to stop handing moms money-saving swag bags of free formula.
In the Nazification of nursing, resistance is futile.
Then a funny thing happened. The bottle-feeding Mommy Underground is starting to peek its shamed head from the foxhole.
The Latch On NYC program “is awful!’’ whispered a friend, a single mom who confessed she stopped nursing after returning to work. “It should be a woman’s choice.’’
“The real reason why the Gotham policy is so objectionable,’’ wrote Gayle Tzemach Lemmon in The Atlantic, “is it infantilizes women by telling them they are no longer adult enough to decide for themselves what is best for their families and themselves.’’