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Twitter Users, Others Criticize Bette Midler Over Her ‘Cruel and Insensitive’ Take on Baby Formula Shortage

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Bette Midler’s solution to America’s baby formula crisis has caused outrage across the Twittersphere this week in what critics say was a tone-deaf suggestion by the actress and singer.

“TRY BREASTFEEEDING! It’s free and available on demand,” Midler tweeted Thursday.

Ilyse Hogue, president of the social impact organization Purpose, helped lead the charge of angry responses.


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“Bette, respectfully, this is a very bad take. I had twins. I didn’t produce enough milk for both. Without formula, I would have had to have chosen which one got to eat. To say nothing of kids that get separated from the birth mothers very young,” she tweeted.

Hogue was not alone in her criticisms. One woman called Midler’s remark “cruel and insensitive,” tweeting: MY body didn’t allow me to do so. Mine dried up before I gave birth.”


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Midler later tried to make amends – sort of, tweeting, “People are piling on because of former tweet. No shame if you can’t breastfeed, but if you can & are somehow convinced that your own milk isn’t as good as a ‘scientifically researched product’, that’s something else again. The monopoly news is news to me, tho, no lie. #WETNURSES.”

But even that did not go over well.

Dr. Daniel Summers, a pediatrician in the Boston area, said Midler’s initial comment was “a terrible, thoughtless and unhelpful take,” according to KFOR-TV.

“Not every woman can breastfeed, no matter how much anyone says they can,” he said.

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Summers also took issue with Midler’s contention that breastfeeding is “free.”

“Saying breastfeeding is free means that no value is put on the mother’s time, because breastfeeding requires a great deal of time and effort,” he said.

“Some mothers do not have the resources necessary to give that time, in many cases because they need to bring home money to support their families and cannot dedicate the time to nursing.”

Summers said the argument that milk from a mother’s breast is better than formula is “supremely unhelpful.”

“It’s not a question of formula vs. breastmilk — it’s a question of formula vs. starving,” Summers said, saying that some moms do not produce enough milk to meet the needs of their babies.

Western Journal

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