A new mother has just delivered a healthy, crying cherub of a baby. It's time to feed the infant. What could be more natural or healthy than breastfeeding?
The New Jersey Department of Health has just issued what may become new rules for hospitals to encourage and teach their new moms to breastfeed their infants and wean the mothers off using baby formula.
The goal is "to increase exclusive breast-feeding rates, improve health outcomes of mothers and infants, reduce childhood obesity rates and contain health care costs," the Department of Health told the Star-Ledger.
That would make New Jersey one of four states with written guidelines for hospitals on breastfeeding.
By doing so, the Department of Health may have walked into a field of landmines. The topic of whether to breastfeeding - or not - has been a highly charged one among various mothering groups.
Some militant moms go to one extreme, that not only is a bottle mom risking her child's health by not breastfeeding, but that she is selfish and lazy for not doing so.
Mothers who have been stung by the barbs of the breastfeeders strike back by calling them Nursing Nazis (and worse.)
And then there are a few mothers who believe in live and let live, whether it's breast or bottle. The battle to make mothers who don't conform feel as if they are bad mothers may be a strong incentive for them to turn their backs on formula and go back to Mother Nature.
Some who believe that breastfeeding is a mother's choice don't think that the government should be forcing hospitals to put pressure on new moms to breastfeed.
TELL US: Should breastfeeding be a private decision? Should mothers be pressured, whether by the hospital or by breastfeeding moms, to give up the bottle? Should the government be involved in this? Do you think that mothers who use formula for their children are selfish, while breastfeeding moms are saintly?
What do you think?