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News

Supermodel Gisele Calls For Breastfeeding Law

23/08/2010

Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen has apologised after saying that women should be forced by law to breastfeed until their newborns reach six months of age.

By James Tweedie

In an interview with British magazine Harper's Bazaar which coincided with World Breastfeeding Week, 30 year-old Ms Bundchen went as far as saying that there there should be a worldwide ban on "chemical" baby milk formula should for young babies.

She told the magazine: "I think breastfeeding really helped (me keep my figure).

"Some people here (in the US) think they don't have to breastfeed, and I think 'Are you going to give chemical food to your child when they are so little?'

"I think there should be a worldwide law, in my opinion, that mothers should breastfeed their babies for six months."

Gisele later insisted in an entry to her internet blog that she was not trying to judge other mothers who bottle-fed their children.

She said: "My intention in making a comment about the importance of breastfeeding has nothing to do with the law." 

Her comments came after TV star Denise Van Outen claimed that she had given up breastfeeding her daughter Betsy after less than a month because she did not want photographers to take pictures.

"I probably should have persevered a bit longer than three weeks," Ms Van Outen said last month. "But I can't be sitting in Starbucks and breastfeeding, because they (photographers) are taking pictures."

Gisele is the world's highest-paid model and is married to American football star Tom Brady.

In December last year she gave birth to her first child - son Benjamin Rein - at her home in the city of Boston following an eight-hour labour, throughout which she claims to have meditated.

She said that she got up the next day and made pancakes and was back to work modelling swimsuits six weeks later.

Gisele told Harper's Bazaar that meditating every day had prepared her for giving birth.

"It prepared me mentally and physically," she said. "It's called 'labour' not'holiday' for a reason, and I knew that.

"You want to go into the most intense physical experience of your life unprepared? That doesn't make any sense to me.

"Then I was ready and I thought OK, let's get to work'. I wasn't expecting someone else to get the baby out of me."

In July the American College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (ACOG) warned women against giving birth at home, after publishing research which found that home birth increased the risk of infant mortality three-fold.

But professional association the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) disagreed,saying that the research based its conclusions on flawed data.

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