White Paper – mymomshouldhavenamedmegrace

Extreme Breastfeeding 

Organized Content Description

  1. Extreme breastfeeding fad, children of all ages
  2. America’s controversy with parents who breastfeed older children
  3. Children damaged psychologically by extreme breastfeeding

Topics for Smaller Papers

  1. What is normal and accepted, breastfeeding in general
  2. Insight on families who extreme breastfeed

Practice Opening 1

When a newborn baby is welcomed into the world, nothing is more beneficial than the warmth of his mother’s arms and the nutrition of her milk. After a period of decline, the Center for Disease Control has recently reported that in 2013, up to 77% of American newborns were being breastfed. While to the delight of health care professionals this number has increased in recent years, so has a fad America is calling “extreme breastfeeding”.  The trend to breastfeed children up to and sometimes past 5 years of age is on the rise, stirring up controversies left and right. Psychologists and parents against this craze voice their opinions of what this could possibly do to a child, and how they could possibly grow up normal. While a mother thinks she is bonding and helping, she is really creating attachment issues and making it nearly impossible for her child to have a normal upbringing. The moment a child can eat regular fruits and vegetables, go to school, and verbally communicate their needs is the moment a mother should realize that breastfeeding no longer takes the front seat.

Practice Opening 2

It is no secret that the medical field encourages breastfeeding newborns and continuing throughout their infancy. It is a way to not only supply baby with food and nourishment, but a way for mother and baby to bond as well.  Thousands of controversies are argued daily by parents on social media and around town, but a recent controversy has left the majority of American parents stunned. What if a mother claimed that she bonded with her 5 year old son by breastfeeding him? A May 2012 TIME Magazine cover shows model Jamie Lynn Grumel posing with her preschool aged son, whom she is breastfeeding. The public display of what is being called extreme breastfeeding has sparked a mass amount of controversy in the parenting world. What does this boy do when he is at school? Does he eat real food? How will he grow up normal? Recently documented cases of extreme breastfeeding show children ages 5, 7, and even 8 years old breastfeeding, prompting psychologists to get involved. These children, who are in elementary school, will grow up with a different thought process. There is no way around the psychological effects this will have on children. They are being damaged by a parent who thinks that they are bonding with their child, when they are actually preparing them for a long, hard battle for a normal childhood.

Working Hypothesis 1

All over the country, healthy breastfed babies will grow into damaged breastfed children if the number of parents extreme breastfeeding continues to increase.

Working Hypothesis 2

The psychological repercussions will become evident as a child grows older in an extreme breastfeeding home, causing possible issues with school, peers, and self-esteem.

Current State of Research Paper

Although I know a lot about breastfeeding from majoring in the medical field, this topic has proven hard to convey in words. I need to do more research so I have more sources to cite, but I am looking forward to continuing this paper as the semester goes. My white paper gave me a chance to organize a lot of the jumble that was in my head and what was scribbled in my notebook.

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4 Responses to White Paper – mymomshouldhavenamedmegrace

  1. mymomshouldhavenamedmegrace says:

    Feedback was requested.

    Feedback provided.


  2. davidbdale says:

    Practice Opening 1.
    Breastfeeding at no time “takes the front seat.” I say this only as a caution against using metaphors for no good reason. Too often, they not only add nothing to your argument, they actually confuse readers. You don’t overdo it, grace; this front seat is the first in your opening. Maybe that’s why it’s so jarring.

    You might want to indicate what replaced breastfeeding from during its “period of decline” and why. Was there a good reason to reject the body’s generosity in favor of something made in a factory? Or does this just distract from your thesis? I ask because if you’re going to promote natural techniques throughout your essay, you might find some support for a “natural timetable” for weaning.

    You can strike your comment about “controversies” as unproductive, grace. You don’t have anything to say about the pro-extreme movement, so stick to your objections.

    Your own timetable is unclear to me. Regular fruits and vegetables can happen LONG before the child goes to school. Verbal commands for feeding could easily be made by two-year-olds. Certainly school-age is WAY too long for most mothers to want to breastfeed, but your sentence treats all the deadlines as equals.

    Opening 2.
    You appear timid about your claims, grace. You make them boldly, eventually, but you over-introduce them as if they needed time to develop.

    An example of what I mean is the sentence: “Thousands of controversies are argued daily by parents on social media and around town, but a recent controversy has left the majority of American parents stunned.”

    I don’t have a clue why it’s there, unless you think the transition is too blunt from:
    1) Breastfeeding is nutritionally sound and a wonderful way for babies to bond with mothers, TO:
    2) But a mother who claims she was still bonding by breastfeeding her 5-year-old son before and after daycare stunned Americans who saw her on the cover of TIME Magazine.

    That transition seems so natural to me that I can’t fathom the need for the intervening sentence.

    This paragraph contains another of those “sparked a big controversy” sentences too.

    These aren’t fatal errors, mind you, but they pad, and weaken, and delay, the argument and give readers a chance to get WAY ahead of you. It’s never good when readers think you’re slowing them down.

    When you do make claims, make them bold and specific. These are too vague:
    —These children, who are in elementary school, will grow up with a different thought process. (Different isn’t worse. You mean worse. Say worse. Better, say what kind of worse.)
    —There is no way around the psychological effects this will have on children. (Psychological effects are not psychological damage. You mean damage. Say damage. Better, say what kind of damage.)

    Hypothesis 1
    Vague or Specific? “Damaged” is good. But damaged how? Will the babies grow up damaged only if the numbers of extreme breastfeeders increase?

    Do you mean: Babies that start out healthy develop pathological dependency when they are breastfed after they start eating solid food?

    Or something like that? Maybe it’s too specific (or flat-out wrong, I’m not trying to be right), but it’s certainly not too vague.

    Hypothesis 2
    Repercussions such as? Extreme meaning what? Issues with school such as?

    Reply, please, grace.


  3. mymomshouldhavenamedmegrace says:

    This was a lot of feedback to take in, but it did not lack detail or specificity. I will keep all of this in mind. Transitions and development of claims seem to always slow me down, and I am vague in fear of over-writing, if that makes sense. I’m afraid my paper will be choppy and drag on due to the mass amount of information I want to put in. I am unsure how to connect the paper without starting another paragraph every time I have a new point, or just writing blunt sentence after blunt sentence.
    I appreciate this comment and will do my best to apply the suggestions to my final paper. Thank you for taking the time to write back to me.


  4. davidbdale says:

    I understand all of that, grace. To your point, starting a new paragraph for every point is exactly the right approach. Each paragraph should thoroughly develop a single small topic and then give way to the next paragraph and its small topic. The transitions between them can be very brief, not draggy, such as: “On the other hand.”

    As for dragging out a paper with details, the opposite occurs. Vagueness prolongs the paper because it delays the eventual revelations that must finally come if anything at all is to be said. Here’s an example of that problem:

    Prolonged breastfeeding creates several problems for the developing child. Except for the few that are nutritionally based, most of those problems are psychological. The psychology of a healthy developing child requires that the youngster gradually grows a sense of his own self. This growing self slowly distances itself from the mother on which it has been dependent for so long. Breastfeeding beyond the age at which this developing sense of self should naturally occur creates a prolonged sense of dependence that is the primary psychological problem for children who were breastfed too long.

    Granted, that’s an extreme case that doesn’t resemble your writing except as a caricature. But clearly it’s the resistance to promptly making bold clear specific claims that creates the draggy, tortuous prose.

    The obvious solution is to build the needed details into a single sentence that makes the right choice of Subject and Robust Verb, then adds complexity around a strong core.

    Prolonged breastfeeding thwarts a child by frustrating the natural and compulsory growth of his independent self. The mother unwilling to sacrifice her greed for bonding will raise a stunted, dependent child that expects its needs to be fulfilled by others.

    Notice we avoided all the vague category statements. There’s no “several problems,” no “most of them are psychological,” no “that is the primary psychological problem.” The “transition” between sentences is just a logical advancement of the argument. The mother of the second sentence is only implied by the “breastfeeding a child” of the first sentence. She’s there; she’s just not identified. The second sentence ruthlessly identifies her.

    You’re a skillful writer who could certainly achieve these techniques, grace, with practice.

    Let’s try it on your Practice Opening 1.

    Nothing benefits a newborn more than mother’s milk. 77% of American babies get their nutrition from mommy’s warm embrace. But a disturbing number are staying on the nipple past the age of 5, when psychologists warn the child must develop independence or suffer prolonged psychological damage. Mothers so hooked on bonding that they provide breast milk on demand create dependent, emotionally stunted children who expect their every need to be fulfilled by others. The parent-child relationship needs an adult.

    There’s a start. The last sentence is a good one, but it doesn’t quite flow. “Mommy’s warm embrace” and “stays on the nipple” border on creepy, so they need work. So: better but shreddable.

    Is this helping?
    Reply, please.


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