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Should new mums be forced to breastfeed?

17:04 UK time, Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen says that all mothers should be made to breastfeed their babies for the first six months of their lives. Do you agree with her?

In an interview with Harper's Bazaar magazine, she said: "I think there should be a worldwide law, in my opinion, that mothers should breastfeed their babies for six months."

Sue Jacob, midwife teacher at the Royal College of Midwives, welcomes Gisele's aspiration that all mums breastfeed. She said: "We know breastfeeding is good for women and children, but we also don't want to marginalise women who can't breastfeed for whatever reason."

Should all mothers breastfeed their children? Did you breastfeed your child? Should there be more support for mothers wanting to breastfeed? Is there too much pressure on new mothers to breastfeed?

This debate has now been closed. Thank you for your comments.


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  • Comment number 1.

    No, I don't think this is the right approach at all. By all means remove any restrictions on breastfeeding mums, particularly in public places, and provide more facilities, but forcing them to breastfeed is wrong.

  • Comment number 2.

    It's almost mind-boggling the people who set themselves up as the arbiters of the public's behaviour.

  • Comment number 3.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 4.

    I think that it's abysmal that this woman is trying to make nursing mothers feel guilty for not doing what may be impossible.Some women have to work all day just to feed their children.

    Surely,it's more important to ensure that babies aren't put to harm than to worry about babies not receiving a dubious benefit.

    I should have thought that the disgraceful practices of pregnant women smoking and people smoking over small children was a far more important issue with far greater future health and development consequences.

  • Comment number 5.

    Oh Giselle, shut up and just look pretty. You can't force mothers to breastfeed for six months any more than you can force supermodels to eat pasta and chocolate for six months. What an utterly stupid statement.

  • Comment number 6.

    My blood is boiling !!! What planet is this woman on... it certainly isn't the same one as me.

    We had our first child three months ago and we tried very hard to get him to breastfeed for the first two weeks but he (NOT me or my wife) just wouldn't learn to latch on, always getting his tonge stuck in the roof of his mouth. Frankly it was the most stressful thing in my life, getting little to no sleep simply because he was hungry.

    We got little to no support from healthcare professionals because everyone was focused on hitting breast feeding targets not on helping us get to grips with feeding our child.

    Yes, breast may be best but rest assured bottle feeding isn't the easy option and such a comment to bring in a law that will further marginalise those of us for who through no fault of our own are having to formula feed our babies is quite frankly insensitive, ignorent and ill advised ! She should keep her opinions to herself until she has learnt the realities of the real world !!

  • Comment number 7.


    Any more stupid questions today?

  • Comment number 8.

    It's ok, no-one seriously thinks this is a do-able issue. Leaving aside the sheer impossibility of policing the issue, breast feeding for some women is a totally impossible procedure because of pain. It's hardly a worthwhile time for the child either. Encouraging more assistance for those who do breastfeed is a jolly good idea, so if Gisele Bundchen would like to turn her eyes to campaigning for better public breastfeeding facilities, I'm sure she would have a greater effect. While she's at it, sorting public facilities and sanitation in nations too poor to do it themselves, would be a great idea.

  • Comment number 9.


  • Comment number 10.

    Mums should be encouraged to breastfeed and given all possible help and guidance, but forced? No way. It is personel choice. And if a mother chooses not to breastfeed, she shouldn't be villianised.

  • Comment number 11.

    I'm disturbed by the rush to make a law about an extremely private issue, and (worse) one with many complex considerations. Some women can't breastfeed; their breasts don't make enough milk or there are other medical concerns. Some babies can't breastfeed; they may be allergic to their mother's milk (yes, this happens) or lack the proper sucking reflex (especially premies). But even if it were not for that fact, why do so many people (including, apparently, Ms. Bundchen) think that they have the right to dictate to people about private matters? That's shameful, and frankly rather creepy.

  • Comment number 12.

    Forcing mums to breast feed is crossing the line too much into nanny state mentality. I agree that more needs to be done to encourage mums to breastfeed though.

    It would help if people didn't act all freaked out at the sight of mothers breast feeding their babies in public and screaming to their local papers about how it's an act of gross indecency. No one’s forcing them to watch!

  • Comment number 13.

    No way.

    Not everyone can stay at home and raise a child. It's sexist and insulting. Men raise children too. Are we going to marginalise half of the child's parents for not being able to lactate?

  • Comment number 14.

    mmmmm.... It would be useful to read the whole interview. Given that I've had Radiotherapy and breast cancer, and can't breast feed, even if I wanted too, would I be breaking the law??? Not really doing anything to change the image of beauty but no brain for the modelling community. Steps back to gather all the evidence before commenting of the level of intelligence of this individual.

  • Comment number 15.

    Aside from disgust that yet another celeb gets their opinion broadcast, it should be entirely up to mums as to whether they breastfeed. I would very much like to see the restrictions removed in public places and more facilities in other places such as pubs and restaurants and m-way service areas (why do you have to sit in the mum & baby room - often previously inhabited by not too thinking people - or in your car!!). I was very surprised recently, in the over two decades since I last breastfed, when out with my Godchild and her new baby, things haven't improved that much!

    Such compulsion would harm mums who cannot breastfeed and make others who don't feel comfortable with it feel guilty and under-achieving - that's neither good for them or baby.

    Let this supermodel (who thankfully I've not heard of until today and am not keen to hear of again) go away, but let's have a decent discussion on the restrictions on breastfeeding - that would be far more useful.

  • Comment number 16.

    Nobody should be forced into doing something they don't want to do, or can't do in some cases. My sister in law desperately wanted to nurse my nephew but was unable as she wasn't producing rich enough milk and he wasn't getting enough to drink. I think it's awful that people feel they have the right to pigeonhole all mothers who bottle-feed as selfish. It's not for everyone and nobody should judge women who don't.

  • Comment number 17.

    The multi national super rich mega companys are against this, because doing that, would lead to a very sharp drop in profits, in many poorer countries, this has been said for years "Breast feeding is the best, for mother and baby" some thing to do with antibodys????? But become law is a bit over the top.

  • Comment number 18.

    I'm no expert on this but is it not the case that some women are not capable of breastfeeding (i.e not producing any/enough milk at the right time) etc.?

  • Comment number 19.

    Pity about those babies whose mothers die in childbirth. Men don't normally lactate.

  • Comment number 20.

    Breastfeeding doesn't make you a better Mother and not breastfeeding doesn't make you a worse Mother.

    Frankly, I'm astonished that someone is willing to make herself look a complete idiot by coming out with drivel like this.

    Do us all a favour Giselle, just stick to your day job of posing and pouting luv, if this is the best you can do when you open your mouth.

  • Comment number 21.

    Noone should be forced to do anything for the love of god great for women if they choose to breastfeed great also if they choose not too its not rocket science.

  • Comment number 22.

    Has this glorified coat-hanger realised that it is not always open to choice?

    I really, really wanted to breastfeed but produced a grand total of 25ml of milk - that wouldn't get a baby very far!

    Perhaps Ms Bundchen should stick to speaking on areas in which she has at least basic knowledge, as she clearly has none with regard to mothers and babies.

  • Comment number 23.

    If Gisele Bundchen really wants to control other people's lives for them she really ought to run for the Labour party leadership.

    Seriously though, this is a ridiculous HYS. If it were a matter of should mothers be recommended to breast-feed for the first six months then there could be decent debate and difference of opinion, but forcing mothers to breastfeed. Really!

  • Comment number 24.

    I kinda agree with her on this one but there will no doubt be people who cannot breast feed (because it is difficult/unachievable for some) which is understandable however there will also be the 'don't tell me what to do!' whiners who will simply misread something that is simply a natural phenomenon.

    The other side is that in this current economic climate, far too many people cannot afford to take the time out to breast feed their kids for 6 months.

    I am persoanlly pro breast though - it's also cheaper than powder!

  • Comment number 25.

    I'm afraid this is a women who doesn't live in a world where people can have real problems. Breastfeeding is proven to be beneficial and I'm sure can be a wonderful experience but forcing people is ridiculous. My son was born 2 years ago at 31 weeks, (so nine weeks early) due to a serious heart issue on my side which left me in intensive care. I was unable to breast feed, due to my location and his 2'5lb size, the nurses when I arrived were kind letting me express to try and get some breast milk into him. When he was finally large enough to begin breast feeding I was placed on a couple of really nasty drugs to help my heart, giving me a choice. Do I take them and breast feed (the implications unknown to my son), not take the life saving drugs, or not breast feed. I wonder the choice she would have made, I of course chose the third. My son now two is happy, healthy and perfect I do not think apart from a general 'that might have been nice feeling sometimes', not breastfeeding my child has made any difference, though of course if she gets her way I may have been in a great deal of trouble.

  • Comment number 26.

    What is good for human being must BE A MUST, and it is naturally natural and also it is for new born so if all the mothers are made for breast feeding is no big deal. All mothers must be taught of the good benefit of breast feeding and whatever else can be be done for this should be done. It is good for all future generations.

  • Comment number 27.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 28.

    Clearly this super model has no brains in making a statement like this. A great deal of women cannot breast feed and should never be forced to; this is a personal decision. She is really showing her ignorance.

  • Comment number 29.

    My brain had rebelled and all I can see within Gisele's speech marks in the artice is "Derp de derp!"

    I wouldn't worry about someone with as much influence on health and police policy as a wet dishcloth.

  • Comment number 30.

    As a Man I know nothing about breast feeding babies, as a dad and grandad, I can firmly state that my wife and our daughter have there own opinions, and it was not in favour of breast feeding.

    The choice should be with the Mum, not with some idiotic law.

    There is enough pressure on women with newborns without adding guilt to it all.

  • Comment number 31.

    Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen says that all mothers should be made to breastfeed their babies for the first six months of their lives. Do you agree with her?

    So people will say and do anything to draw attention to themselves.

  • Comment number 32.

    why do celebrities who are new to childbirth think they know everything about children ? ...expect the book to be on the shelves in the autumn

  • Comment number 33.

    Now I know you were just being provocative. I watched my wife go through 10 days of pain attempting to breastfeed, under constant pressure from the medical establishment, before everyone was ready to conclude she could not produce sufficient milk. I can honestly say this Gisele genius should do as some have suggested here and simply shut up and continue her sterling work as a clothes horse...

    There, I have responded to some out of context, media led baiting....if Gisele said this and meant it, then she is a very silly person. If, however, she said something more subtle, then hey....we fell for it!

  • Comment number 34.

    what?! there are more important issues than this! this is stupid! I want a baby some time in the future and im sorry this really would put me off. Mothers and Newborns are stressed out as it is! and who the hell does she think she is!? she cant speak on behalf of women because every woman has different needs, if she can breast feed then good for her!! and should think her self lucky!

  • Comment number 35.

    What a narrow minded view from a woman who clearly lives in a bubble. What an ignorant statement to make!

    I desperately wanted to breastfeed my son, but it just didn't work. I tried and tried, but he lost so much weight by day 5 that we were admitted back into hospital. I spent hours desperately trying to produce enough milk to feed him. I then spent every hour of the day for six more weeks either expressing, feeding, or sterilising to ensure my baby had breast milk. It became totally untenable to continue like this. In an ideal world it would be easy and work for every mother and baby. A world in which this 'supermum' supermodel appears to live in. Perhaps she should visit the real world. Mums are already made to feel so tense and useless for trying to do their best.

  • Comment number 36.

    Well she's ok with her tiny figure and tiny boobs. Being of a larger size up top I found breastfeeding my children extremely difficult. I persevered for 4 weeks with my first child, with just about every midwife and specialist in my city seeing the pain which I was going through and being unable to fix it. Eventually I expressed for a period of time but this was difficult too. It doesn't work for everyone, agree mums should try it instead of opting immediately for bottles but aside from that, there is enough pressure to be perfect from society as it is.

  • Comment number 37.

    We're mammals, therefore we breastfeed. Simple as.

  • Comment number 38.

    Moronic question as not all mothers are able or willing to breastfeed, it's got to be choice.
    A mother forced to breastfeed against her will, could build up resentment against her own baby.
    Mothers who can't or don't want to breastfeed should not be pressurised.
    Babies on formula can thrive and be just as contented as babies on breast milk.
    Does this silly model need publicity?

  • Comment number 39.

    I think the likes of Giselle can keep these opinions to themselves. I'm fed up of women who either CHOOSE or are UNABLE to breast feed being vilified by all these goody two shoe women who think they should be exhalted to sainthood because they breast feed. We live in the 21st century. We have choices. And not every woman can or wants to breast feed their baby. I found it very difficult when my son (who was 6 weeks premature at birth and weighed just 1.5kg) was born to have him feed. I sat for hours with him too small to latch on. It was really emotionally difficult. I resorted to expressing my milk as I was so ashamed he wasn't getting MY milk, but this made me depressed as I just felt like this horrible ridiculous being. The hospital had small bottles of ready made formula but these were locked in a cupboard and if I asked for one several midwives made a point of making me feel like such a bad mother. Once we got home I perservered with expressing but my son just was too small to latch on properly. After 10 days at home in tears and afraid for my babies nutrition I finally decided enough was enough - bottles and formula turned things around instantly and he began to thrive. If only I'd not be so pressured to "keep trying. It's so much better for baby" nonsense. My son is now 9 (and healthy, above average intelligence, no allergies and no sickness days from school for over a year!) but it still upsets and rials me (as you can probably tell!) Just today on my facebook page someone had posted a thing about World Breastfeeding Week or somesuch accompanied by the whole righteous spiel that goes with these things and how adding a twibbon to your profile makes you stand out as a fantastic mother. I really had to stop myself ranting back at her (she's my husbands cousin) so instead I've done it here!

  • Comment number 40.

    I think it should be mandatory for women to breast feed in public. Just so we know they're adhering to the new Gisele-inspired law.

  • Comment number 41.

    Neither of my sons was breastfed, because my wife simply could not produce enough milk and no doubt other mums face the same and other problems. Since there are plenty of appropriate milk powders on the market, it doesn't make the slightest difference to the health of the baby if it is breastfed or not. I suggest that Ms Bundchen should mind her own business!

  • Comment number 42.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 43.

    If this absurd idea became law (or if my children had been born in the stone age). The first would have starved to death,and I would have been jailed for child cruelty my second just might have made it but I may have had to cut my throat to put myself out of her misery and my third would still be hanging on for all his worth at the age of 14 years!!!!
    It is and should always be a matter of choice, but with all the anti's around it can be difficult for some mothers to feel comfortable in what is a natural activity. With some famous people i am amazed that 'wet nurses' havent made a comeback

  • Comment number 44.

    Is there nothing better to talk about. Is it a no news day? Why oh why beeb did you start this drival?

  • Comment number 45.

    I never breastfed any of my four children, this was out of choice. I do not feel guilty and my children are all healthy. Gisele has just shown why models get labelled "dumb". You cannot force any woman to breast feed their baby, especially those who are unable to due a medical condition, or their baby is in hospital unable to breastfeed. Baby products go under major testing before being allowed onto shop shelves, and it is very rare that one product will cause major problems. She cannot say that baby milk is full of chemicals when manufacturers try to get it as close to baby milk as they possibly can!

  • Comment number 46.

    And what planet does she live on? Her statement has the hall marks of a tyrant. I think that the world could do without Giselles comments.

  • Comment number 47.

    Well, we are used to a controversial way of putting it aren't we... but yes, having a law like this wouldn't be such a bad idea, come to think of it... After all, the practice is rather the opposite in the West; people are detached from bodily contact and breastfeeding in public is considered offensive (unlike in the past), they opt for epidural numbness instead of connecting with their newborn... In reality, even with a law like this (which seems hard to enforce)many non-believers would find a way around it anyway, like with any law, so it could serve as a good standard, definitely. I am all for it and I pity the slanderers - let's have some harmless frivolity... L'imagination au pouvoir!

  • Comment number 48.

    I think that this would be over-intrusion by the state.

    Once you have this then you may have mandatory diets for toddlers.

    Perhaps it could be illegal for expectant mothers to smoke, drink or take drugs. Desirable but putting an onerous duty on the state.

    Also, how would this measure be enforced? Blood tests on babies?

    I do not understand why the BBC dignifies such ridiculous suggestions with exposure on their website.

  • Comment number 49.

    In that case there should also be a law requiring models to eat 3000 calories per day until they reach the optimum weight for their height and stop promoting the "anaemic stick insect" look.

  • Comment number 50.

    Goodness me,what country do we live in? This isnt China or North Korea you know.If the idiots who dream up these stupid ideas had actually got children they would know that not all mothers or babies come to that take to breast feeding. You certainly dont want a stressed mother after birth because it reflects on the baby and besides mothers can express milk and feed the baby with a bottle that way.This is just another pathetic story from a busybody who has nothing better to do.

  • Comment number 51.

    What a load of cods wallop...another "zzzzzzzzzzzcelb" thinking they should spout off..if it works for you do it...if it doesn't don't...if she wants to spout off let her do so by encouraging young girls to eat and not be "stick insect"

  • Comment number 52.

    "there will also be the 'don't tell me what to do!' whiners"


    Gods forbid people should think for themselves!

    Saying that you do not want to be told how live is not whining. It is called thinking for yourself.

  • Comment number 53.

    I dont remember voting for gisele.
    As the Father of 5 children, 3 of which were breast fed you do what's best for your baby end of. Some babies prefer formula some don't. I do not think it is moral or correct for anyone to tell me what to feed my infant in legislation.
    That is going far beyond the pail get out of my house and mind your own business.

    A few years back we had and still have articles of clothing banned in shopping centres, hoodies, but you can wear a burka.

    whats next a law to tell you only to pass gas between sunset and sunrise as long as uranus is in the east and pluto is in ascension.

    Breast feeding is best for both mother and baby. But so is not smoking in a house where a baby lives, exposing children to drunkenness is harmful to children, there is so much that is just common sense and if it needs legislating for then were heading straight down a slippery slope that leads us to the government completely legislating everything that we do in our lives. I would much prefer the abolishment of parliament and have an sms based government system where the people voted on every political question . that will save some cash and it might even generate some income too. Come on cant be worse than the shower we currently have and the corrupt system they preside over .

  • Comment number 54.

    Yes every mum should have a police officer present at all times for surveillance so that they can be forced to breastfeed. Also mums could be forced to eat a green dye that will come out in the milk. Then they could monitor the babies skin colour. If the baby is not green when the stealth visitor comes to visit then the mother is obviously not feeding him by breast and can be prosecuted. It's easy to determine dye concentration by absorbance measurements. I do this a lot in my work in the UV range at 260 nm wavelength.

  • Comment number 55.


    I'd like a worldwide law that for at least 6 months all supermodels should only open their mouths to put cakes in them.

  • Comment number 56.

    Perhaps Gisele could explain how a mother who produces no milk plus a baby who refuses to latch on can be 'forced to breastfeed'? I'm sure she'll know all the right answers, being as she's such an authority on the issue!

    I know models generally have to be rake-thin, so maybe it's lack of food that's causing her to come out with ridiculous ill-informed statements like this or maybe she just wanted to get her name in the papers....

  • Comment number 57.

    What an idiot woman. Glad it's all perfect in the life of Giselle. Wonder if she's ever had to go back to an eight hour day away from her child, two months after giving birth. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could all breast feed for six months?! I did it for 6 weeks and too be perfectly honest was glad when I started with a bottle because my life certainly became much easier! Who cares anyway, as long as my baby is fed one way or the other. My mum didn't breast feed me or my siblings and there's nout wrong with us! Air heads like Giselle should keep their mouth shut!

  • Comment number 58.

    This is an offensive statement for adoptive mothers.

  • Comment number 59.

    What a wonderful idea - force every mother by law to breastfeed. That will help solve unemployment as every local authority appoints another army of outreach workers and co-ordinators to make sure the law is rigorously enforced.

    More seriously, why on earth do the media bother reporting drivel like this? Who cares what this woman (of whom most people have never heard) thinks about this or any other issue?

  • Comment number 60.

    This lady's suggestion is outrageous. Agree with other people's question - what planet is she living on? On a practical level also, it is very difficult for some people to breastfeed & for a variety of reasons.
    As to society's attitude to breastfeeding I don't mind when it is done discreetly & mothers are wearing clothes designed for this but I find the spectacle of the more exhibitionist minority very offensive.

  • Comment number 61.

    What's the penalty and how long do you have a criminal record?

    Is this six-months from day 0 or at any point during the babies career (as a baby)?

    What if you are unable to breastfeed and/or your baby hates you or your product?

    If other mothers see a bottle-feeding mother, would this lead to vigilante killings?

  • Comment number 62.

    What a lucky woman Giselle Buchen is to succeed at breastfeeding.

    I was bullied in hospital when my ill child had trouble breastfeeding and it was a factor in an unnecessarily prolongued stay. Birth and new motherhood are stressful enough without feeling like a failure when you can't breastfeed successfully.

    By all means provide mothers with lots of information on breastfeeding. Most of us can see that there's a strong likelihood that a mother's breastmilk will match her
    baby's needs. Extol the virtues - but don't lie or exaggerate. Nature appears only to be as important as nurture.

    And certainly do not legislate to require it. That would literally be a Nanny state.

  • Comment number 63.

    Should new mums be forced to breastfeed?
    Gisele Bundchen says that all mothers should be MADE to breastfeed their babies for the first six months of their lives.
    I can't agree with this on the simple principle of freedom of choice.
    Sue Jacob, midwife teacher at the Royal College of Midwives, lays out the situation in a more acceptable way: "We know breastfeeding is good for women and children, but we also don't want to marginalise women who can't breastfeed for whatever reason."
    That "whatever reason" could include illness, little or no milk production, poor quality of milk, and of course in these austere times of econmoic constraints - the need to go back to work ASAP.

  • Comment number 64.

    I was breastfed as have been all my siblings. I always thought that if I ever managed to have a baby I would definitely breastfeed my baby. However, I am now 9 weeks pregnant and I have a pituitary tumor, for which I need to take medication throughout my pregnancy. I am under the supervision of an endocrinologist and I am not sure yet if I am going to be allowed to breastfeed my baby after all. It breaks my heart but I need to be a grown up about it. Do I now have to add to my heartache the possibility that people may judge me if I can't breastfeed? Things are not always what they seem to be!

  • Comment number 65.

    Definately not, not every woman can breast-feed, sometimes the milk they have is just not enough and babies have to be bottle fed. There should be rooms set aside for mothers who wish to breast-feed in public but I do not think a public place is right as there is too many germs about.

  • Comment number 66.

    When even the "experts" disagree on this subject, the last thing we need to listen to are the ramblings of an airhead.
    In this instance for sure, Gisele is the embodiment of the stereotypically dumb, vacuous model.
    Ignore her ramblings and make your own decision based on your and your baby's needs.

  • Comment number 67.

    It should always be the mums choice on how she wants to feed her child.

    I was fully prepaired to feed my little one naturaly, I went to the parenting classes read all the informaion i could before he was born.

    The classes stated that not all baby's want to feed after birth and that some dont feed until after 18 hours after they are born as birth is a tramatic experance for them and as they are getting nutriant upto the point the cord is cut so not to worry if it took a while to get them to feed as they will let you know when they are hungry.

    After my little boy was born i got him to feed and then he slept for several hours. One of the hospital nurses then decided he needed to feed (as they are ment to be the profecinals i didnt argue) she then proceded to Shake him awake distressed him and me and then tried to make him latch on.

    as a result he had a negatave assocation with feeding naturaly so i had to express into a bottle to insure he got feed as i didnt want to feed him formula.

    The hospital then wouldnt let us leave until he either drank breast milk naturaly or was put on formula after 2 days I starting to feel deprested and decided it was best to discarged us both and go home where I would have the support I needed.

    I had several visits with the breast feeding coordinator who told me the nurse had used outdated methods and that the nurse was wrong to do it.
    the coordinator helped me try several techniques to get him to feed naturaly unfortunatly none of them worked.

    So I ask if the midwifes and nurses are not fully trained in the best techniques how is a new mum ment to get all the help and suport she needs to be able to provide the best for her child?

  • Comment number 68.

    if there were the resources to assist the mums and the relevant support, then there should be no reason, but unfortunatley the help isn't there.

    I was made very blinkered during my pregnancy about breatfeeding and it ended up my baby was shisked into the neo-natal unit. the reason we now was because she wasn't latching on - she ended up being fed via a tube.

    When i finally shed the bias towards feeding and found an alterative, everything was fantastic.

    All I can say is that there is always an alternative.

    Express and bottle feed as much as you can. As long as your baby gets some - it's better than none.

  • Comment number 69.

    What a stupid and naive question. How can you force mums to breast feed. Make it illegal ! I guess if Gordon Brown was in charge then he would force mothers to breast feed.....he did everything else wrong so why not this issue.

  • Comment number 70.

    How insulting and arrogant is this woman?

    What about women who have to go back to work, adopt children, have had mastectomies or just find it difficult to breast feed?!

  • Comment number 71.

    This woman's judgment has been clouded. She more than likely can afford time off to care for her baby-or pay a nanny, spend time relaxing down the gym and so on. The reality is that most women are knackered. I accept breast feeding has some health implications that are better, but if women just dont feel able or comfortable with the idea what right does anyone let alone the state have to force them. Many women eat unhealthily and how they can feed a baby let alone themselves on breast milk baffles me. Women have the right to make choices.
    secondly if so many people profess to caring about women and babies health then why make parents work longer and harder pay more bills and taxes and place them under immense pressure causing breakdowns etc that surely place families under more stress than caring what milk they have at birth. We seem to care more about this than wether children are abused or neglected or family's fall apart later on-it's all crazy middle class rubbish.-A Dad and Social Worker

  • Comment number 72.

    As a mother of 3 children, 2 grown up and a 5 yr old i think it should be up to the mother to decide whats best for both mother and baby. I didnt breast feed my first two but tried it with my youngest. I was only able to do it for approx 10 days and suffered sore and cracked nipples. I asked my midwife for help but everytime she arrived my baby was asleep and due to her only being allowed a certain amount of time at each visit she was unable to help. I was told that i did my best as the first 3 days are the most important!!! If our midwives are under so much pressure already and its getting worse as mothers are being sent home at times several hours after the birth if both mother and baby are ok then we need better support. One other thing is all mothers that do breastfeed should not be made to feel "dirty" etc and encouraged to feed anywhere, surely that is a "Human Right."

  • Comment number 73.

    What a selfish world we now live in, all the comments about "practicality".

    Then dont have a baby if it isnt Practical!

    What is natural, what is best for the child, certainly not the junk that comes in powdered form.

    As my wife always said, its the first month that hurts, then its wonderful.

    We have been sold the idea of powdered milk for 40+ years, heck they even gave you bottles and free milk in the 80's to encourage you to bottle feed, now its the norm.

    A lot of people care more about what their cat eats!

  • Comment number 74.

    Can someone explain to me what business it is of anyone how mothers feed their baby. For personal reasons my wife wasn`t able to breastfeed our children and this may be the case with other mothers regarding their baby. Other than that, why don`t people just mind their own business and let others get on with lives. Have we got fed up with venting our anger on women who refused to have children so that we now move onto something else. When and how did all this start that gives some people the permission to pry into other people`s private lives.Go away and get a life.

  • Comment number 75.

    It should be a matter of personal choice. Some mothers for medical reasons or otherwise may not be able to breastfeed and I know that and have seen it and there should be support for those that can breastfeed and want to as that helps mothers to bond with their new born babies as well as passing on antibodies against diseases. But only if they can breastfeed.

  • Comment number 76.

    Mothers should be encouraged to breast feed if they are able to do so and public areas should have areas which are breast-feeding friendly, but to "force" mothers to do so is absurd and would need to involve police state tactics. What police entity would enforce such an edict and how would they do so? Next there will be a proposal to ban people from using more than an appointed number of sheets of toilet paper!

  • Comment number 77.

    My wife wasn't physically able to breast feed either of our children, and was initially vilified by the NHS. It was only when our first child lost 20% of her body weight in a few days that they accepted (and even suggested) formula. My wife should not be criminalised for not being able to breastfeed nor should anyone like her. So, are my children any worse off. The simple answer is no. They are healthy and developing very well in comparison to other kids of their respective ages. In fact feel that I have a closer bond to them than I would otherwise have had as I was able to share the feeding. That is a good thing.

  • Comment number 78.

    In the words of Homer Simpson, "Mmmmmmmmmmmm Breeeast feeeed"

  • Comment number 79.

    I'm not even going to bother answering the question because its too daft.
    However I would like to point out that a lot of medical studies have shown huge advantages for infants that do breast feed. They have better health, are more likely to be in the correct weight range and probably most importantly have less chance of developing an allergy. They also gain immunity to diseases via the mothers anti-bodies for the first few months.
    Thats the ideal. In reality, some women find it really hard if not impossible to do and should not be made to feel guilty if they can't manage. In the long term the jury is out as to whether the benefits are long lasting or only apply for the first two years.
    So I think health workers are right to encourage it to a point. But its not the be all and end all.

  • Comment number 80.


    What prevents a mother from putting the marker into bottle milk instead of eating it? If you're going to force-feed the mother... you might just as well be there to force her to breast feed.
    Or is it something that appears as a metabolite?

    You would have to put a dye into all bottle milk mix instead. If the baby tests positive you know, for sure, it's been drinking bottle milk.

    There would be a rampant black-market for unmarked milk mix though.

    Perhaps you could incentivise Dads to grass on renegade mothers.

    It's a tough one... but this kind of extortion is potentially a mint... I'm in.

  • Comment number 81.

    I couldn't care less whether natural of bottled milk is fed to someone else's offspring as long as it is not done in public. Nothing to do with repression but everything to do with dignity and a sense of occasion, something obviously not taught in this "modern" era.

    I once witness (in France) a mother complaining about being watched by a couple of diners (men) whilst breastfeeding her child in a restaurant. To which they replied, "Its you providing the show Madame - we are simply in the audience" She was quite properly asked to leave.

  • Comment number 82.

    I was appalled to read this article this morning. I had a baby 9 months ago and luckily found breastfeeding relatively straight forward. But for many of my friends breast feeding was not easy, and was in some cases, not possible. Breastfeeding has taken on a militancy that is completely inappropriate - both within the NHS (as I observed first hand) and some of those organisations that provide private health support. A close friend's baby nearly starved to death because her lactation consultant refused to recommend formula. Women have the right to choose how they want to feed their babies, and more to the point, babies need food - whether it is breast milk or formula.

    Because of ignorant attitudes like those spouted by Gisele bad, irresponsible advice is being given to new mothers and in some cases this is putting the health of babies at risk.

  • Comment number 83.

    Stick to being vacuous, Giselle; thinking clearly doesn't suit you.

  • Comment number 84.

    After reading this article I felt compelled to respond. I cannot agree with this 'SuperModels' comments, she obviously had an easy birth and all the support she needs and good luck to her. However her own beliefs should not be bestowed upon other women. I unfortunately did not have an easy pregnancy and when my son was born I had difficulty in breastfeeding, he was demanding food every hour so exhausting. After 6 weeks and my son not gaining weight I resorted to baby powder, he grew into a healthy little boy. If I had not gone down this route I think I would have certainly suffered with Post Natal Depression which I was borderline at the 6 week review.

    It was only after further research that I found that as I had diabetes whilst I was pregnant that this could effect milk production, I was not told this at any stage and could have helped me more in those first few weeks.

    We should support mothers in their own choice on how to feed their child and give them the freedom to do so.

  • Comment number 85.

    Encouraged, not forced. Smiled at, rather than scowled at in public.
    I don't get the thing about work getting in the way though. I managed to study 9-5.30 for my MA whilst breastfeeding my son to 14 months (deranged with tiredness admittedly and full to burst by 6pm! but he didn't succumb to bugs - and still doesn't now)
    Nothing compared to my fabulous greatgrandmother who was one of Britain's first female doctors and worked whilst raising 8 breastfed children... she even fed one of the babies brought to her whose mother was sick, saving its life. All this while delivering social and paediatric care free to the most deprived areas in Sheffield, which halved the infant mortality rate in 2 years.

  • Comment number 86.

    Proof positive that beauty is only skin-deep - in her spectacular display of an absence of useful brain cells.

    No - new mother's should certainly not be 'forced' to breastfeed their babies. Medical or physical reasons dictate why it might endanger the child, the mother, or simply she's unable to produce milk.

    Is that numbskull even aware that less than a couple of centuries ago 'wet nurses' were the norm - ie. another woman in the household or village, specifically for the purpose of breast-feeding a mother's baby. At least nowadays formula milk enables mothers to enjoy the art of feeding their own offspring. So go button it Gisele!

  • Comment number 87.

    She may be a "supermodel" - what ever that is...but she certainly does not have super brains! The woman has no IDEA about real life....and that is from a non-female!

  • Comment number 88.

    I think Gisele needs to stick to whatever it is she knows best. I work in a NICU and there are many mothers who would love to breastfeed their babies but cannot do so for many reasons, medical or otherwise. Just be thankful you could do it, Gisele, and keep your comments about milk formula to yourself. You are hurting many people with your comments.

  • Comment number 89.

    Why is it that just because something works for them people automatically assume they have the right to dictate to others? Being a new Mum is daunting enough, particularly if its for the first time without beating yourself up over wether or not you should be breastfeeding. It works for some people and thats great but for others it doesn't and that's fine too. We are not in the 1800's milk substitues for babies have come along way and alot of children positively thrive on them, the thing ALL babies and children need is lots of love and attention so lets let Mum's concentrate on what they can do rather than beat themselves up over what they can't.

    For the record I fed my son till he was about 18 months old but only because it worked for us. Yes I did go back to work and no I didn't find it helped me loose an ounce of baby weight!!

  • Comment number 90.

    Who the hell is this Gisele Bundchen anyway? Who does she think she is?

    Having had two children (now 46 and 44) that my wife breast fed successfully all I can say is it is up to the individuals concerned.

    Quite honestly this subject just gets on one's tits when there are far more important things to think about!

  • Comment number 91.

    #69 gillian wrote
    'I guess if Gordon Brown was in charge then he would force mothers to breast feed.....he did everything else wrong so why not this issue. '
    That is as about as sensible as the rot gisele is spouting.

  • Comment number 92.

    There is only one type of man who gets a thrill from watching a breast feeding mother. If there is going to be a law, Best keep an eye on them!

    Boobs all over tv and the press and yet breast feeding in public is seen as something bad?

  • Comment number 93.

    #81 wrote that you should'nt feed either by breast or bottle in public. So you would make a baby go hungry? Thats child abuse!

  • Comment number 94.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 95.

    You don't want to breast-feed your child? Up against the wall with you.

    Or how do you expect to enforce such stupidity?

  • Comment number 96.

    she is insane, and wealthy, she can afford to have the best proffesionals help her and the baby learn to feed, most of us are not THAT LUCKY, midwives rushed around the ward, giving no or little notice, no family around, just books to guide us through the first weeks...and sometimes we fail, no matter how much we devoted ourselves to making it work, we make ourselves feel guilty enough, do not need anybody else to do it for bundchen is immature, narrow minded, egotistical and completely detached from the real world!

  • Comment number 97.

    I'm astonished at the majority of postings that have treated this idiotic remark seriously.

    How could such a law, compelling mothers to do this, be compatible with the Human Rights Act provision: "Respect for a person's private and personal life"?

  • Comment number 98.

    To everyone going on about what a pointless feature for the BBC...
    Notice the milk-related thread.

  • Comment number 99.

    This woman is completely ridiculous, she needs to stick with what she's good at, being pretty, and leave real life to the rest of us. Of course you can't force mothers to breast feed. We all know that in an ideal situation, breast is best, but in reality we don't all live in an ideal situation and there are many many reasons why breast feeding may not be possible. Mothers should be given help, support and facilities in order to breast feed if they choose but force! and what if they are unable are we going to take their babies away from them?

  • Comment number 100.

    I am not going to answer that question, as it is stupid. However, I disagree with the way some health professionals ram this "breast is best" down the throat of women. They made their point; everyone knows breast milk is better than formula. Now they can stop harping on about it, as it is making this experience more stressful than it needs to be and its making perfectly good mothers feel guilty and inadequate.

    As far as women breastfeeding in public is concerned, this can be done discretely with the aid of a shawl. There is no need to show everything while breastfeeding.


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