By Emily Bazelon: "Milk MeIs the breast pump the new BlackBerry?By Emily BazelonPosted Monday, March 27, 2006, at 6:11 AM ET
Ever since the breast pump began to catch on a decade or two ago, the device has been a fault line in the motherhood wars. The pump seems like the perfect have-it-all solution: Women can nurse without taking round-the-clock care of their babies. Other adults (fathers!) can help out with feedings, too. Yet La Leche League, the half-century-old pro-nursing organization, approaches the device with a curled lip. 'Before investing your money in a breast pump, you may want to consider whether it is something you really need,' the group sniffs in its seventh revised edition of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. 'When mother and baby are together most of the time'%u2014the group's ideal%u2014'a mother may have no reason to pump her breasts.' Likewise, some feminist writers disparage pumps for letting employers off the hook. Instead of bending to the needs of mothers and babies by granting extended maternity leaves, a workplace can designate a little room with an electrical outlet and call it a day."