Mr Sarkozy aired his views on breastfeeding while chatting to young mothers at a family benefits agency in south west France yesterday.
He said: 'Carla is feeding the baby. I think it's much better for protecting against allergies and illnesses.
'But the woman, it's both a joy and a kind of slavery.
'However it does free men of blame because we don't have the problem of bottle-feeding. You don't have to get up at night, although out of solidarity, I do open one eye.'
The president added: 'But you know, she is worried about not having enough milk.'
But his comments were branded as 'macho' by France's popular News de Stars website.
It wrote: 'In speaking about these details of his private life, it might show Nicolas Sarkozy wants to get closer to his voting public.
'But it also displays a certain machismo in his views.'
Mothers groups expressed dismay at Sarkozy's comments.
'It is hard enough to convince women to try breastfeeding, or to continue long-term as it is. This kind of antiquated attitude only serves to put discourage women even more,' a representative for a west London breastfeeding support group said today.
'And the idea that Sarkozy merely opens one eye to watch as his wife struggles to feed baby Giulia is terribly sad.
'Wouldn't it be better if he should support her more actively? For a husband or partner to be present and involved in breastfeeding helps women continue feeding much longer'
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