Bottled Up: How the Way We Feed Babies Has Come to Define Motherhood, and Why It Shouldn’t by Suzanne Barston
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Strident yet understanding and always smart, Bottled Up is a thoughtful argument for chillaxing on the women that formula-feed their babies as opposed to breastfeeding them.
As the "Fearless Formula Feeders" blog master, Los Angeles Family Magazine Editor-in-Chief Suzanne Barston stands as a sort of champion for reluctant-but-proud bottle feeders and those women who wanted to breastfeed, but for whatever reason, can not. In Bottled Up she fights back - not against breastfeeding, but against the nonsense flung upon mothers who nourish their infants on formula, a product much maligned recently.
With Barston's own sad-but-humorously-relayed tale and those of others woven into the argument, the book is highly entertaining and more importantly, informative. In fact, the notes, reference and further reading section takes up nearly a fifth of this thoroughly researched book. The real life stories are suspenseful, hair-raising and even occasionally blood-chilling. In some instances, this hot topic has affected life and death situations. It's not all doom and gloom, however, as Barston interjects welcome wit and mood-lightening humor just enough to keep things from becoming too depressing.
As a baby-less, non-breastfeeding man, I can't say that I was too aware of the apparently vicious battle going on between the two camps. Certainly I knew that breastfeeding was considered the healthier choice, but having come from a time when pretty much all people my age (including myself I believe) were bottle-fed formula as infants, I didn't think it was such a big deal. IT IS! Holy Moses, there are some mean-ass ladies out there casting down condemnation and fiery vitriol upon women who would DARE feed their babies formula this day and age. Barston does a hell of a job countering their arguments with very valid reasons for why, in some circumstances, the correct choice is formula. I welcomed this informative look into a sub-world war, if you will, that someone in my position would normally not be privy to.