Friday, March 20, 2009

Kelly Rutherford Talks Cleaning Green and Extended Nursing

Currently expecting her second child, Gossip Girl star Kelly Rutherford has kept busy throughout her pregnancy, filming the hit show in NYC while caring for son Hermés Gustaf Daniel, 2.

On Wednesday, the actress took time out to sit on Seventh Generation’s healthy home panel, which launched Health eHome, a partnership between WebMD, Healthy Child Healthy World and Seventh Generation. The website lets families see the potential dangers and hazards in every room in their house while offering safer alternatives with quick bites of info and videos.

"I discovered [Seventh Generation] products a long time ago — maybe 10-15 years — because I’m very sensitive to smells. I [was] very sensitive to the products my mother used around the house. For me, it was heaven to find products that are biodegradable. They’re not bad for you, and also not bad for the future of your kids and the environment. It’s such a huge concern for all of us. It’s such a comfort as a mom to know that he can help me clean everything and he’s fine. Especially being pregnant, you’re wondering ‘What am I around?’ It’s nice to know that when you’re home, at least within your reach, you can do what you can to protect your kids."

Last December, you revealed that you are still nursing Hermés at age two and plan to nurse your daughter when she arrives. CBB readers Ruth and N.S. wanted to know more about this. Can you share your thoughts?

"I believe you should breastfeed as long as it’s right for you and your child — if that’s three months, six months, three years — that’s your business, and between you and your child. It can only be beneficial whether it’s nutritional or nurturing — you shouldn’t be limited by what other people’s opinions are.

[However,] I don’t judge anyone who doesn’t do it because it’s very difficult to do, especially in the beginning. For me, the people I had talked to when I got pregnant all believed in nursing, but it took me forever to be able to do it."


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Case Against Breast-Feeding

If you have not yet heard the chatter about Hanna Rosin’s article in The Atlantic this month, you will. Called “The Case Against Breast-Feeding,” Rosin examines how nursing became gospel, a measure of committed mothering, and asks whether the science behind the belief that “Breast is Best” is really as definitive as we all seem to believe:

I noticed a 2001 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association open to an article about breast-feeding: “Conclusions: There are inconsistent associations among breastfeeding, its duration, and the risk of being overweight in young children.” Inconsistent? There I was, sitting half-naked in public for the tenth time that day, the hundredth time that month, the millionth time in my life — and the associations were inconsistent? The seed was planted. That night, I did what any sleep-deprived, slightly paranoid mother of a newborn would do. I called my doctor friend for her password to an online medical library, and then sat up and read dozens of studies examining breast-feeding’s association with allergies, obesity, leukemia, mother-infant bonding, intelligence, and all the Dr. Sears highlights.

After a couple of hours, the basic pattern became obvious: the medical literature looks nothing like the popular literature. It shows that breast-feeding is probably, maybe, a little better; but it is far from the stampede of evidence that Sears describes.

Rosin said the response to her article so far was what she had expected – an email box filled with personal stories of women thanking her for writing it, and an internet full of women calling her “a loser, saying I have a bad marriage, telling me I’m a bad mother and saying I’m wrong.”

What does it say about modern mothers, she wonders, that such energy is spent judging how other women feed their children? What are we reflecting about ourselves when we so readily apply the word “selfish” to any Mom who doesn’t do things our way? (And why, while we are at it, is it so wrong for a mother to think of herself — and her job and her marriage — first once in awhile?)