Bette Midler's Advice on the Formula Shortage Goes Over Poorly

Singer suggested women 'try breastfeeding'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2022 1:23 AM CDT
Updated May 21, 2022 10:00 AM CDT
Bette Midler's Advice on the Formula Shortage Goes Over Poorly
2021 Kennedy Center honoree stage and screen icon Bette Midler, center, daughter, Sophie von Haselberg, left, and Martin von Haselberg pose on the red carpet at the Medallion Ceremony for the 44th annual Kennedy Center Honors on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, at the Library of Congress in Washington.   (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)

Amid the nationwide formula shortage, Bette Midler had some advice for struggling parents: "TRY BREASTFEEEDING! It’s free and available on demand," she tweeted Thursday. Perhaps not surprisingly, that suggestion did not go over well, the Hill reports. A plethora of responses ranging from respectful disagreement to outrage could be found in the replies to that tweet, including one from former Trump adviser Stephen Miller, who wrote, "What a profoundly offensive & ignorant statement. There are countless reasons why breastfeeding is not an option for many mothers—too many to get into here. And if you’ve been using formula you can’t just flip a switch. Not to mention millions of babies with milk/food allergies…"

Commenters pointed out that, as one put it, "breastfeeding is only free if your time is worthless," and that there are many reasons (both medical and otherwise) a person might be unable to breastfeed. Even if breastfeeding is possible for them, others noted, their job situation or a number of other factors might make it unsustainable. Midler, who had posted her original tweet above someone else's tweet about the so-called "secret oligopoly" that is the formula industry, eventually followed up: "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." (Read more Bette Midler stories.)

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