Robin goes to great lengths to downplay the benefits of breast milk, saying she doesn't believe the studies that show formula-fed infants to be at greater risk of diabetes, allergies, and a whole host of other problems. She uses anecdotal evidence to support her claims, noting that of all the infants she personally knows about, the formula-fed ones are not any sicker than the breastfed ones - nya nya nya nya boo boo, so there, and take THAT fancy shmancy "science" (ok, so she doesn't exactly actually say that last bit, but you get the idea). How did this thing ever get published???
Robin emphasizes and exaggerates the few physical problems in parents and babies that can cause breastfeeding to fail, and she claims that feeding with a supplemental nursing system (SNS) is impossibly difficult. If you can't breastfeed exclusively, then don't do it at all, is her message. This is the exact opposite of Diana West's gentle and encouraging advice in Defining Your Own Success: Breastfeeding After Reduction Surgery. West insists that any amount of breast milk is beneficial and something to be cherished. As the proud user of an SNS for the past ten months, I must argue that after an initial learning period, it is really not so bad, and it does save the breastfeeding relationship. And to me it is worth any kind of effort to give my baby even a teaspoon of my own body's milk since it is exactly right for him.
Of course, Robin makes no mention whatsoever of the possibility of finding donated human milk if the parent's own milk supply is insufficient. Instead, she moves quickly to praising the ease and complete nutrition of formula (because you'd never heard of it before, right?).
Robin cites many bottlefeeding parents who have felt personally attacked by "breastfeeding militants." I am very sorry for anyone who has been given a rough time for his/her feeding choices. We should never make assumptions about why someone may not be breastfeeding or what he/she may have been through. Furthermore, in our culture we cannot blame individuals for low breastfeeding rates across North America - there is too much wrong with hospital care, breastfeeding support, and attitudes in general. Many parents don't get breastfeeding figured out, and this is a shame, but the last thing we need to remedy the problem is a bottlefeeding support guide.