Bette Midler slammed for suggesting women breastfeed amid baby formula shortage


Actress Bette Midler is facing backlash after suggesting that women should breastfeed in light of the current baby formula shortage.

Retail supply of formula has been spotty for months because of supply chain pressures and labor shortages, but was made far worse when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s recalled Abbott Nutrition’s baby food products.

“TRY BREASTFEEEDING! It’s free and available on demand,” the “Hocus Pocus” star tweeted on Thursday in response to a tweet about the issue.

Social media users were quick to condemn the tweet, saying that it failed to account for the many mothers who can’t breast feed. The shortage has also raised particular concerns for babies who need specialty formula for health reasons.

“What a profoundly offensive & ignorant statement,” Stephen Miller, a former advisor to President Trump, tweeted in response. “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.”

Author Ilyse Hogue wrote, “Bette, respectfully, this is a very bad take.”

US Congressional candidate Jenny Garcia Sharon noted that some cancer survivors don’t have the option to breastfeed.

“Tell that to the face of a mother who survived breast cancer, uterine or ovarian cancer & because of treatment no longer has the ability to breastfeed,” she wrote.

Midler later clarified her tweet, saying she wasn’t intending on putting down mothers who can’t breast feed.

“People are piling on because of former tweet,” she wrote. “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 shortage has led several major retailers, including Walgreens, CVS, Target and Costco, to ration customer purchases.

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