“Try breastfeeding”: Netizens slam Bette Midler for making light of baby formula shortage

Internet slams Bette Midler for formula shortage comment (Image via Wire Image)
Internet slams Bette Midler for formula shortage comment (Image via Wire Image)

Hocus Pocus actress Bette Midler sparked outrage on Friday, May 13 after commenting on the nationwide baby formula shortage in the U.S. The 76-year-old responded to a tweet by MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle which led to severe backlash on social media. Netizens are now calling out the comedian for her “insensitive” and “tone-deaf comments.”

On Thursday, May 12 MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle tweeted about the scarcity of baby formula claiming that it reveals an “amazing secret oligopoly.” She claimed that three percent of American corporations dominate the majority of the market, and the tight laws encouraged by lobbying resulted in a lack of sale of baby formula. She added, “Name another industry/sector/product like this.”

As the journalist commented on the ongoing crisis, Bette Midler gave her two cents on the matter as well. She said:

“TRY BREASTFEEEDING! It's free and available on demand.”
TRY BREASTFEEEDING! It’s free and available on demand.…

Internet slams Bette Midler for her tweet

Unsurprisingly, the stage and screen star’s tweet did not go over well with the public. Many stated that some mothers do not produce enough milk to feed their new-borns. They also mentioned that some children experience latching challenges or that their parents may have adopted children, making breastfeeding difficult. Some also shared that baby formula is beneficial for balancing employment requirements for those mothers who find it cumbersome to feed their infants while working.

Several Twitter users slammed Bette Midler. A few tweets read:

The craziest thing about this week is discovering that I, a childless homosexual male with extremely limited exposure to such things, know more about breastfeeding than most men and also Bette Midler
@BetteMidler *Try breastfeeding* in response to the #formulashortage is about as helpful as *buy an electric car* as a solution to high gas prices.It's not an option for millions of women.Once again @BetteMidler is acting like the Danny Devito character in Ruthless People.Ratio deserved
Bette Midler is taking heat for her own "Let them eat cake" moment. On Twitter the Hocus Pocus actress offered her own magical solution to the nationwide baby formula shortage, tweeting that everyone could just ‘try breastfeeding.’ Typical rich, leftist dummycrap! She's useless!
@BetteMidler Bette- do better. Breastfeeding doesn't work for all women. It's really hard work. not all kids latch on. Some are allergic. For adopted kids. For premature kids. For working mothers who don't get breaks to pump, or a fridge to store it in, or a room for privacy.
I breastfed my kid in the 80’s. After eight months, SHE STOPPED FEEDING. I had no choice but to turn to formula.“Try breastfeeding” is an attempt at shaming, elitist, rude, and unnecessary.In other words, sit down, apologize, and sit the rest out. @BetteMidler #Breastfeeding
76-year old Bette Midler, a rich white liberal, just told young mothers to be quiet, stop complaining, and make your hungry baby shut up too. Try breastfeeding, she says @POTUS @VP @PressSec @WHCOS @DrBiden @AmbassadorRice @BarackObama @nytimes @WSJ
Is Bette Midler actually this STUPID? @BetteMidler Breastfeeding IS NOT "available on demand" to all mothers! MANY, MANY women are not able to breastfeed!…
@BetteMidler So, for babies in the foster care system. The foster parents should just try breast feeding? As someone who's family has taken in DOZENS of newborn foster babies, I can tell you, no female in my family was lactating at the time. How do you propose they TRY BREASTFEEDING?
@BetteMidler You’re grossly ignorant regarding breastfeeding & it’s sad. Not all women are fortunate enough to produce milk, not every woman has that choice, even with medical help many women cannot produce. But since it’s so easy, why don’t you start breastfeeding for the moms who can’t?
@BetteMidler Bette, this is a bad take. You can’t just start breastfeeding several months after giving birth. Many women don’t produce enough, or have a job that won’t let them pump. Trans men who have had top surgery who have given birth won’t be able. It’s not that simple.

Bette Midler responds to criticism

The Ruthless People actor received blowback within minutes after posting her inflammatory tweet. About 20 minutes after sharing the questionable tweet, the actress, who is a mother herself, clarified that she did not wish to shame those who were unable to breastfeed for whatever reason. Her tweet reads:

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

According to experts, breastfeeding will not fix the formula crisis. Dr. Rebekah Diamon told NBC News that most new-borns may be able to nourish themselves with their mother’s milk however, others require formula to boost their nutrition. Furthermore, nursing moms' hectic lifestyles and health concerns can result in a lack of time to pump milk throughout the workday. Allergies may also make it difficult for new parents to produce enough milk for their new-borns.

The nationwide scarcity of baby formula has reached 43% with areas including Tennessee, Delaware, and Texas reporting "out of stock" situations. The baby formula shortage came into being in February after America’s biggest formula producers announced that their facility was contaminated. It also resulted in the death of two babies after they had consumed their products.


The factory shutdown has led to a shortage of baby formula and supply chain issues, which were already present owing to the covid pandemic.

Baby formulas produced in Europe cannot be imported as well as they are not FDA approved.

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Edited by Babylona Bora
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