We discuss the push-pull mothers feel when it comes to making decisions about breastfeeding. Some mothers who opt not to breastfeed say they are judged for choosing to bottle feed. And some breastfeeding women say they face challenges with nursing or encounter other issues like the stigma surrounding feeding their babies in public. While research supports mother’s milk as the healthiest for children, not all women are able to or want to breastfeed.

This hour, we discuss a range of issues related to breast and bottle feeding, and how to help all new mothers find the best options for their children and themselves. Our guests:

Breast milk is considered the gold standard for protective nutrients fed to newborn babies, especially premature infants. But what if mothers aren't able to produce enough milk? The American Academy of Pediatrics, among other groups, recommends that underweight infants without access to their mothers' breast milk be given priority access to donor milk. Easier said than done: donor breast milk is expensive and rarely covered by insurance, especially in New York State. 

WXXI's Karen Shakerdge has produced a two-part report on issues surrounding donor breast milk. She joins us on Connections to discuss the accessibility (or inaccessibility) of donor milk, a new milk bank in New York State, the health benefits of donor milk, and more. Our guests:

The parents of a toddler that got into a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo have taken a remarkable level of criticism and abuse since the incident. And that has sparked a discussion about parent shaming: why are we so quick to judge the actions of other parents? Why do we assume certain things couldn't happen to us? Parent shaming extends to discussions over breast feeding, school choice, even how kids are born.

Our panel discusses how to help parents make the best choices while making sure the "Mommy Wars" don't escalate. Our guests:


New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Tuesday an agreement with a downstate retailer related to a woman’s right to breastfeed. One breastfeeding authority says it’s a reminder that state law allows women to breastfeed anywhere they legally be.

Century 21 Department Stores were fined 5 thousand dollars and agreed to change their policies about breastfeeding. The settlement relates to an incident this summer when a mother was asked to take her child to a dressing room to breastfeed.

With breastfeeding rates increasing, we look at the latest research, as well as the efforts to make breastfeeding more accessible for working mothers. And yes, we'll talk about the implications of Donald Trump's comments to a woman who paused a meeting to pump breast milk. Our guests:

Democrats in the Monroe County legislature are asking for more designated space for mothers to either breastfeed or pump breast milk. We'll talk to Carrie Andrews, Democratic leader of the legislature, who will explain the proposal. More broadly, we'll talk about American hangups with breastfeeding in public spaces with Diane Cassidy, board member of a new nonprofit organization called Parenting Village.