Breastfeeding: Your views

Supermodel Gisele Bundchen has clarified comments she previously made about wanting mothers to be forced to breastfeed for the first six months of their baby's life.

The Brazilian catwalk star, who lives in the US, took to her website to respond to critics who reacted to her quotes featured in magazine. 

She said "My intention in making a comment about the importance of breastfeeding has nothing to do with the law, it comes from my passion and beliefs about children."

"Becoming a new mom has brought a lot of questions, I feel like I am in a constant search for answers on what might be the best for my child.

In her blog, sthe mother of one said that she regretted that her statement sounded so "black and white."

"I am sure if I would just be sitting talking about my experiences with other mothers, we would just be sharing opinions. I understand that everyone has their own experience and opinions and I am not here to judge,"

"I believe that bringing a life into this world is the single most important thing a person can undertake, and it can also be the most challenging," she also added. "I think as mothers we are all just trying our best."

 


The 30 year-old had a natural birth at her home in Boston in December after meditating throughout her eight-hour labour.

She is defeneding the backlash against a quote she made calling for the ban: "Some people think they don’t have to breast-feed and I think, “Are you going to give chemical food to your child when they are so little? I think there should be a worldwide law that mothers should breast-feed their babies for six months. Breast-feeding really helped me keep my figure,'

The full interview is in September's Harpers Bazaar.

Your views:

Marion Shaw
There is too much pressure to breastfeed. For my little girl I ended up breastfeeding every 2 hours for the frist six weeks because I was told that her immune system would suffer if I didn't. I was exhaused and she seemed to be a very cranky baby. My Mom suggested that my husband give her a top up from formula at night so I could sleep - she drained the lot - it turned out that I was not producing enough mil for her and she was always hungry. She turned into a happy baby litterly overnight and we never looked back, She never had colic she hasn't been sick and is as health as can be now at 3. So my advice - give it a go, if it doesn't work out don't beat yourself up over it. If you are happy and your baby is happy then that is the main thing!

- I gave birth naturally to a healthy little girl 2 years ago.  When she was born, she had her first feed from the breast, but after that she refused to take to me feeding her.  At first I thought that it was just because of me being nervous and in hospital, but as soon as I got her home, I tried again.  But she still refused to breastfeed, so I had no choice but to give her formula.  This was the last resort for me as I really wanted to feed her myself.  To make this law is ridiculous as some people are just not physicaly able to. Hannah

- I think that is totally wrong to force breastfeeding onto new mums.  I have 3 children and have breast feed/feeding all 3, I know im lucky to have been able to feed all 3 children and love it.  I did my oldset till he was 15 months the middle till 18 months and the baby is a year old and im still feeding. I didnt get alot of advice when starting with the first. But to make it law is just silly.  Some mums just cant produce enough milk, physically cant breast feed.  To up the numbers of women breastfeeding what does need to be made law is not to discriminate women who are feeding in public. Hayley

- What a stupid thing to suggest - on a number of fronts. Both of my children were bottle fed and this allowed me, their father, plenty of opportunities to bond with them (okay at 3am bonding is not the first thing on your mind but you get the picture). Thank you for taking another thing away from the fathers. Breast milk is a natural secretion of a womans body, but any natural secretion will bring with it elements from the woman. So if the mother eats a lot of "chemical food" then some of these "chemicals" will naturally be passed on to the child. So is Gisele Bundchen going to 100% ensure she doesn't ingest any of these chemicals as well? I think not. How often do people (both men and women) complain about having their rights taken away and not being given a freedom of choice? I bet if we said women were not allowed to wear short skirts on a main road because it causes crashes (which is a fact) then Gisele Bundchen would be one of the first to complain and yet she wants to take away a mothers freedom of choice. Get a grip on life and let people make their own choices. Stephen

- I am really pro-breast feeding, and can never understand how people don't even give it a go.  Breastfed all my 4 children until they were each 10 months old, although I never actually enjoyed the experience.  However, lots of women can't breastfeed and I think Gisele really hasn't thought this through, I think it's just a publicity stunt. Victoria

- If we never had chemical substitutes for breast milk then what would we do?? Allow our babies to die of starvation??
I understand its sometimes difficult to breast feed but we should at least try to give our children the best start in life.. Breast feeding provides our babies with a stronger immune system and although i don't think it is wise to make it law for 6 months i would say for at least the first few weeks it should be compulsary to at least try. Pamela

- Ludicrous.  I was able to breastfeed my 4 children although at times it was really difficult so I know partly how mothers who can't do it feel.  How would you police it.  Would supermarkets have to see baby ID to prove that the child was over 6 months old??? I agree with Victoria, definitely a publicity stunt. Sara

- I think its totally freedom of choice,i have four children and it was only on my forth child i that i fed myself, and even then i only done this for 3 weeks as he got really poorly and ended up in hospital and with the stress this caused my milk dried up. How can Gisele Bundchen want this to be law, she clearly hasnt thought this through or considered anything. I wonder how she would feel if it was something she couldnt have done? Liane

Michaela Eyley
Breast is best and I kind of agree. However, depends on the amount of milk a woman has. Worth a try though before you use powder etc. My mum proudly sold her milk to hospitals and got paid for it. She was a good milking cow and keeps reminding me of this fact. V. embarrassing.

Susan Dent
I have 3 children, my 1st I breast fed, my 2nd wouldn't take to it so I had to bottle feed and then my 3rd breast fed. All 3 were different with it. It's silly to try and make a law on something like this!

Denese Hill
No way! Breastfeeding can be really hard for some people, especially if given insufficient guidance or medical reasons - my diabetes didnt help with mine at all - Very controversial subject!!!

Sue Mannix
What happed to freedom of choice. I had postnatal depression with my second child and couldn't have coped without the help and support of my family including the hourly bottle feeds!

Di Calveley Cooper
How can you make it law.?? I understand the 'breast is best' policy, but for some it is not always possible and the pressure put on new mums to breastfeed leaves them feeling, in a lot of cases, completely inadequate.!! congratulations to Ms Bundchen on her success, i'm sure the 8hrs of meditation helped beforehand, if only everyone had that luxury.!! having and successfully feeding a child does not make you an expert though and if Ms Bundchen has more children, i hope she doesn't have to eat her words...........

Alice Blakeway
What about the poor women who have been told by doctors that they can't breastfeed?

Tina McCoy
i think if u want to do if u dont dont.
but do it tastefully, i did it but no one saw my boobs out for all to see, and i think thats what upsets people.
if you were to walk around topless u would get arrested, so by all means breast feed when... u need to but a little thought 

Susan Dent
So what about children like my little girl who would not take to breast feeding no matter what I tried? I was successful with my 1st and 3rd child. Some children just wont breastfeed. Does that mean she would have to go without Rachel? I am pro breast feeding but I do feel too much pressure is put on mom's to breastfeed...should be freedom of choice (human rights and all that?)

Annette Randall
what a stupid remark to make, iwas lucky, 36 and 34 years ago i breastfed my children for over a year each, not everyone can do it for one reason or another. Super model should stick to modelling!!

Roy Ohren
BREN HERE what an idiot i didnt breast feed my choice my right my kids are 26 and 23 healthy is she just seeking publicity she needs to get into the real world not every one can anyway and what happens to the people who dont put them in overcrowded prisons and let the real offenders go what a t**t

Sarah Last
Clearly this woman is an idiot!
Breastfeeding is not for me (my 3 kids are all very healthy regardless), but I have friends who have done it and that's their perogative just as it's mine not to.We respect each other's wishes.
I can't think ...of a more stupid thing for someone to come out with! 

Steve Gill
Gisele seems to have proven that she does indeed have the brains of a supermodel.
If she's trying to come up with stupid, ill-thought legislation, wouldn't it be better to make it illegal for a pregnant woman to smoke?

Gemzykins Siret Devonport
No it shud not be made law i think its up to the mother what to feed i never did it and never wud but i havnt got a problem with people that do

Michelle Shulman
No, it shouldn't be made the law as every mother has a right to a choice and does that mean that mothers that can't would become criminals?!?!? I think it should be a law that nobody has the right to ban any mother breast feeding in public though.

Liane Mercer-Dallimore
this is impossible to make law, some people are not able to even do this, for a number of reasons, someone else that seriously hasnt thought before speaking!!

Gemzykins Siret Devonport
I dont like anything on my boobs liane lol

Clair Slater Spires
Of course not be made a law! What they going to do if u adopt a kid? Put u in jail cause u can't feed the child the way the law decided is right! Stupid stupid model saying that! She's not super in my books. My son was not breastfed and he is healthier than a lot of kids I know who have been!

Claire Bremerman
No, she's not right, not every mum can breastfeed & there's enough pressure on new mum's already without adding more.

Adele Lyle
claire AGREED!

Nicola Courtney
I agree with Claire, I was unable to breastfeed any of my children. I don't think any of them have suffered for it though, they're growing up healthy and happy, and at the end of the day, that's what matters!

Sue Ellis
no as everyone is different.I couldn't breastfeed as I didn't make any milk.I would have loved to experience it but was unable.don't we have enough stupid laws in this country as it is.

Sue Fitzpatrick
if it was law then all my kids would of died of starvation, as my 'milk' never came.... stupid law!!! .... it should be down to the individual. My brother and I were never breast fed and we have not suffered for it.... stupid law!!!

Lisa 'Nev' Patient
My son was born 3 months early & the pressure put on me to express milk by the hospital to feed him was immense. The worry I went through made the supply of breast milk dry up so he had to have formula milk instead. New parents have enough things to cope with without adding more pressure.

Adele Lyle
i think 90% of new mums WANT to do it - but sadly not all of them can! i couldnt, despite trying!!!! ;-(

Jo Pamalaa Martin
I agree with the people above, I wasn't able to feed my first child & managed for a while longer with the 2nd two, however, my first born is far healthier than the ones that did have breastmilk!!! never gets sick and no echema which the other two do so don't think it did him any harm at all! Also, feeding my 1st was far more enjoyable as when I started struggling with the 2nd two I got so depressed as I felt I was letting them down

Sarah Matthews
On the whole, I totally agree this would be a stupid idea. But I suppose a small part of me SORT OF understands where she's coming from with this. There are some new mums that won't even TRY to feed their babies themselves when they're comp...letely able and that annoys me.
I tried desperately with my baby girl, as I wanted to feed her myself til she was at least weaning. But I could only manage two weeks at a push as she didn't latch on properly so the pain was ridiculous :(

Stuart Cloke
Surely wether the mum can on cannot breastfeed is the mothers choice, it does not matter wether she is able as it's the mothers choice

Julie Owers
crap crap and infuriating. There is more than enough pressure on a new mum without being forced to breastfeed. Some women are just unable to do it. I tried with my first and ended up going through hell. I felt useless and depressed. Even down to midwives grabbing my breast and forcing it to my babys mouth. My children are fantastically healthy and have never suffered because of it. Its a personal choice and should be left to be that way. People like her make me sick, you had your choice so let us have ours.

Carol Cooke
I'm sorry but what a load of tosh. I never had any inclination to breast feed which some people find horrific and have even called me a bad mother for not wanting to. But my son is fit, healthy and we have a really close relationship. Every mother should be able to make her own choice without any judgement from others.

Sarah Matthew
Of course it's their choice! But it is MY personal opinion, that you should at least try. Breastmilk is biologically and naturally designed to be perfect food for babies, formula milk isn't as beneficial, for example it obviously cannot have any of the mother's antibodies in formula milk.

Tina Markham
Stupid suggestion! It's down to every individual woman. I didn't breast feed my eldest and I regret it now. But I did breastfeed the other 3 and it was great. So easy too. No sterilising involved, no standing at the sink for ages washing bottles etc. It was great and gave me more time to enjoy my babies

Julie Owers
I'm not anti breast feeding, and yes if you WANT TO try it, some mums find it amazing, it just wasn't for me. But the pressure put on women to do this is emmense and unfair. I was treated disgustingly by medical staff because 'its best for baby' without some stupid woman preachin it should be law! lets hope for her sake she has the same wonderfull experience with baby number 2 and 3 maybe. Any mum can explain that not all births run thier course by the book.

Xenia Louise Robeson
I was unable to breast feed my son and I really wanted too, it is up to the person if they want to. I think its a stupid idea!!

Kaylea Reynolds
How stupid is that. I bottle fed both of my children and they have never been ill, apart form the odd cold. They are perfectly healthy kids and we have a super strong bond. I have nothing against breast feeding but to be made to feel guilty when you dont do it is just bullying in my eyes. And what about the poor mothers who try and cant do it and end up feeling like bad mums...How is it goin?? totally pointless exercise

Tracey Holdstock-Brown Graham
I bottle fed all 3 of my kids out of choice, they are all healthy, intelligent and we are close. It has to be left to personal choice.

Vanessa Harvey
i had this arguement with a self-rightous aussie hippy just 2 days ago... there is medical evidence for and against BOTH. everyone has a choice to do what they think is best. also, before the comments start about breast being best written on all formula tins... there is legislation in place so that they have to print that in order not to discourage breast feeding. in today's world of working mums, it just isn't always possible to slap your tits out to feed your screaming babe, and quite frankly, who wants to see it!

Julie Owers
Just a thought my friend had, on a lighter note... how excatly would it be policed? who would be there to enforce it? just imagine some nice young policeman waiting to snatch the bottle and whip your boob out for ya! now how many fellas would that attract to the force lmao

Sarah Matthew
Who wants to see it?? It's a completely natural thing, and it angers me when people stare at you or glare whilst you're feeding your baby!

Amanda Waite
Can anyone tell by looking at someone whether they have been breast fed or not? No? Then how can it make that much difference?

Vanessa Harvey
sorry, sarah, i didn't mean to offend you. i just think it's better to breast feed at home or in a designated area. i plan to breast feed my baby if i'm able to, but not eg on the bus or somewhere completely inappropriate. it's personal time for you and baby and deserves to be treated as such, not for all and sundry to be watching. there are some proper pervs out there! pumps are available to make feeding easier in public, and all going well, i'll be trying one out!

Alison Abdullah
I think it is ridiculous to make breastfeeding compulsory. Not everyone is able to breastfeed successfully, very often the baby is not fully satisfied. I have 3 children and the longest I was able to feed was 3 months. With my first I had great difficulty and was only able to manage for 6 weeks.  There is enough pressure on new mums to cope with the physical and lifestyle changes after birth without adding the enforcement of breastfeeding, Get real Gisele, it's a free world and individuals should be able to choose for themselves, it is an arrogant assumption that everyone is able, or for that matter, wants to breastfeed!