Breastfeeding Backlash: Gisele Bundchen Backs Down

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REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Breast or bottle? Supermodel Gisele Bundchen thinks that breastfeeding should be mandatory for all moms.

In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar U.K. that hit newsstands yesterday, Gisele Bundchen declared, “There should be a worldwide law, in my opinion, that mothers should breastfeed their babies for six months,” she said. “Are you going to give chemical food to your child, when they are so little?”

Gisele provoked responses from CNN Marquee readers and breastfeeding advocacy group La Leche League International.

“One mother doesn’t have to be wrong so that another mother can be right,” the league’s executive director, Barbara Emanuel, told the New York Post. Emanuel notes that Gisele never contacted the organization to get involved: “There are lots of choices out there for women, and La Leche League respects those choices.”

Reader Angela’s address to moms, “Do your own research but please don’t get your information from some model that just popped out a kid and now she thinks she’s an expert. She’s quite self-righteous, judgmental and apparently she’s so intelligent that she knows what’s best for all children and mothers.” (Read about Kim Kardashian’s breastfeeding rant).

After all the angry comments and tweets, the 30-year-old Brazilian mother of 8-month-old Benjamin Rein finally issued a special message on her blog.

“It’s unfortunate that in an interview sometimes things can seem so black and white. I am sure if I would just be sitting talking about my experiences with other mothers, we would just be sharing opinions. I understand that everyone has their own experience and opinions and I am not here to judge.”

Thanks for the non-apology and helpful parenting tips, Gisele!  It makes us all feel so much better.

(Read more about Philippines mass breastfeeding event.)

Correction appended, Aug. 6, 2010: The original version of this article misattributed a quote critical of Bundchen’s breastfeeding comments to Angelina Jolie.