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A Breastfeeding Doll, Really? Is that How We Are Fostering Early Childhood Development

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Breast is best? No, for me, breast is less. Less milk that is. Breastfeeding wasn’t a viable option for my baby. Yet, with the intense societal push to breastfeed these days, moms who don’t desire to or those who simply cannot produce enough milk, feel like failures. The “baba” has been shamed. Hence the new breastfeeding doll for little mommies in training.

No doubt about it, breastmilk is best. I wish I could have done it to receive the health benefits for me and my child, to boost early childhood development, and to facilitate bonding. It brings tears to my eyes to know I couldn’t do it—not at all with my first son. Without getting graphic, let’s just say he was aggressively tearing my nipple…sorry, TMI. “That doesn’t look normal,” my nurse said upon entering my room. “I’m not supposed to offer this,” she admitted while handing me a bottle. “But you might want to bottle feed and give yourself a break.”

My husband gave him that first bottle, and they’ve bonded like every father wishes and hopes to bond with his son. I missed out, big time. I breastfed my second son (briefly, but still) and we’ve bonded deeply. I’ve bonded with my older son as well; it just took a bit longer.

And I’m not alone. Other moms have failed at breastfeeding too. A simple Google search will deliver a plethora of breastfeeding “failures.”

And now, there is a breastfeeding doll on the market targeted to 6-year-old girls. Interesting, hospitals aren’t supposed to offer bottles anymore. Will doll bottles soon be banned? Are we replacing them with pseudo nipples for girls to wear while breastfeeding? There are many reasons to oppose this, but I’ll stick to the Cinderella complex. We just might be setting our girls up for disappointment, and leading them to believe they have failed at providing what’s hailed as best for their baby. Is that fair? Perhaps, we should instead be focusing on age-appropriate early childhood development.

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