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Video says:Breast is best research is faulty

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um, nope nope nope 

& that's all I'm gonna say 

cause I'm an IBCLC since 2002 and I'm kind of tired of still having this talk 

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From the studies and information I've read, if you're comparing modern formula prepared with clean, lead-free water to breastmilk, I don't think there's any significant difference. And I say this as someone who is still breastfeeding a twenty-month-old, so I'm not bitter or jealous or whatever breastfeeding proponents like to claim. I agree with the video that it's all the other factors that make a difference, not the breastmilk itself. And the argument that, "My breastmilk changes colors so it must be better!" is the silliest thing I've ever heard. It changes color depending on diet, just like how raw cow's milk or chicken eggs look or taste different depending on the animal's diet. That doesn't make it superior to modern formula. I mean, my pee turns pink if I eat beets but I'm not going to squirt it in my kid's ear if she gets an ear infection. 🤣

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I am a huge breastfeeding advocate but breast is not always best. No one can say what is best for every situation. My sil nearly starved her son because she was so scared of formula because of all the negativity surrounding it and she didn't know she was producing enough milk. 

I think breastfeeding certainly needs to be emphasized as the likely best option but care providers who are going to promote it so heavily need to be open to the fact that formula can be necessary.

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30 minutes ago, hornblower said:

um, nope nope nope 

& that's all I'm gonna say 

cause I'm an IBCLC since 2002 and I'm kind of tired of still having this talk 

I suspect you didn't watch the entire video.

 

I have a child who spent a week in a childrens hospital with Failure to Thrive, after 4 months of exclusive BF.   Exclusive BF caused him to lose 3 pounds between 2 months and 4 months.  

 

Feed the kid is best.  

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34 minutes ago, hornblower said:

um, nope nope nope 

& that's all I'm gonna say 

cause I'm an IBCLC since 2002 and I'm kind of tired of still having this talk 

 

Oh lordy, same. 

Countdown to breastfeeding nazi's, yeah....

Edited by StellaM
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This is a silly video.

Obviously if there is a problem with breastfeeding in a situation, there is a problem.  Just like ifthere is a problem with formula in a situation, there is a problem.

There are advantages though to breastmilk that formula just doesn't have, number one being factors related to immunity and digestibility.  The former in particular has really never been in question.

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30 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

Oh lordy, same. 

Countdown to breastfeeding nazi's, yeah....

Well and it’s tough to discuss because it feels so personal to so many women.  Calorie for calorie, the nutritional factors and quality of breast milk is still superior on counts that can’t really be synthesized in formula.  

But of course sometimes supply struggles, or mom is taking substances that filter into the milk and can hurt the baby, or time and touch with caregiving lead to others needing to be primary feeders and pumping just doesn’t work for everyone.  Oh, and then there are the kids who simply cannot eat well by mouth.  Trying to pump exclusively for an NG fed baby is damn hard.

I’m firmly in the breastfeeding is ideal if one can make it work category.  Breastfed all my kids, including the one who couldn’t swallow.  That was hell.  But of course I’ve also had older infants move to formula for weight loss, pumped my brains out until I couldn’t anymore, and yeah, even fed a kid pediasure for a year  so one didn’t starve.  

I don’t personally feel judgment on this - fed is best but breastfeeding is really the optimal choice if the situation and mom/baby’s health allows.  I don’t think that’s even an argument.  But bringing it up often raises all the hackles because so many women feel judged no matter what they choose, however legitimate their reasons.

Edited by Arctic Mama
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7 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

This is a silly video.

Obviously if there is a problem with breastfeeding in a situation, there is a problem.  Just like ifthere is a problem with formula in a situation, there is a problem.

There are advantages though to breastmilk that formula just doesn't have, number one being factors related to immunity and digestibility.  The former in particular has really never been in question.

Well of course there are advantages.  I just think the point of the video (which I don't think is silly) is that if all other things are equal, the advantages of breastmilk are not so dramatic that they make BF'ing the better choice for all  or even most people.  IOW...whether or not breast is best is more situational than the phrase implies

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DS13 watched that YouTube video when it came out as he is a fan of Hank Green. The “news” that went around before this video was breastfeeding increases IQ.

Extended breastfeeding linked to higher IQ and income in study (2015, CNN) https://www.cnn.com/2015/03/18/health/breastfeeding-iq-income/index.html

Breast-Feeding Has No Impact on I.Q. by Age 16 (2018, NY Times) https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/09/well/family/breast-feeding-has-no-impact-on-iq-by-age-16.html

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7 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

DS13 watched that YouTube video when it came out as he is a fan of Hank Green. The “news” that went around before this video was breastfeeding increases IQ.

Extended breastfeeding linked to higher IQ and income in study (2015, CNN) https://www.cnn.com/2015/03/18/health/breastfeeding-iq-income/index.html

Breast-Feeding Has No Impact on I.Q. by Age 16 (2018, NY Times) https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/09/well/family/breast-feeding-has-no-impact-on-iq-by-age-16.html

 

It's so ridiculous that the first linked study didn't try to control for any other factors at all. Which is the problem with so many of the studies that announced bfing will make your child a wealthy genius. Pretty sure the home environment and family income might have played a role there, too.

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19 minutes ago, Arctic Mama said:

Well and it’s tough to discuss because it feels so personal to so many women.  Calorie for calorie, the nutritional factors and quality of breast milk is still superior on counts that can’t really be synthesized in formula.  

But of course sometimes supply struggles, or mom is taking substances that filter into the milk and can hurt the baby, or time and touch with caregiving lead to others needing to be primary feeders and pumping just doesn’t work for everyone.  Oh, and then there are the kids who simply cannot eat well by mouth.  Trying to pump exclusively for an NG fed baby is damn hard.

I’m firmly in the breastfeeding is ideal if one can make it work category.  Breastfed all my kids, including the one who couldn’t swallow.  That was hell.  But of course I’ve also had older infants move to formula for weight loss, pumped my brains out until I couldn’t anymore, and yeah, even fed a kid pediasure for a year  so one didn’t starve.  

I don’t personally feel judgment on this - fed is best but breastfeeding is really the optimal choice if the situation and mom/baby’s health allows.  I don’t think that’s even an argument.  But bringing it up often raises all the hackles because so many women feel judged no matter what they choose, however legitimate their reasons.

 

Yeah, I was a breastfeeding counsellor, providing woman to woman support for women who wanted to breastfeed. Also breastfed all my kids, for extended periods, including the kid with a severe tongue tie.  So that's my personal bias - we're mammals, it's clearly natural for us to feed our young.

It's good that there is another solution for women who can't or don't want to breastfeed, but there's no need for people to run down breastfeeding, or those of us who have devoted a considerable amount of our time to help other women - freely - to breastfeed their babies.

In these discussions:

1. I always see inaccurate info, mostly around supply, but often around other issues. 

2. someone always starts trash talking breastfeeding counsellors and calls them nazis. 

I don't disagree with any of your post, really, but man, I am getting a bit tired of being called a nazi by implication when it comes up (not by you, obviously), but ask any b/f counsellor and they'll tell you how much aggro they get from people. 

( Fwiw, I was trained to also support women who had decided to formula feed, and needed to wean, or who wanted the support of the local breastfeeding association for other reasons (community, parenting resources). I've welcomed bottle feeding mothers into groups I've led.)

It's just such a boring, predictable conversation. Like the one I saw the other day, where women were being shamed for calling their unmedicated, vaginal births 'natural'. Ridiculous. 

 

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The IQ thing was correlated with income, and that's been known for a while. It's nothing new.

People should be working towards proper maternity leave, so women and their babies have time to establish feeding, and breast-feeding friendly employment, so women who want to breastfeed can continue to do so when they return to work. That would be an excellent thing to focus on, instead of mommy wars issues, like 'breast isn't best, yay!'.

I also don't know anyone who wanted to b/f because they thought it would make their kid smarter. 

Edited by StellaM
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My line on this is that it's really no different than any of the other millions of parenting decisions we make. There are tons of things that we know are better or worse and there's no way that even Mommy Magazine Perfect is doing all those things "right." Breast is best assuming there's not an issue specific to a mom or baby. We don't support breastfeeding enough in a systematic way and lots of doctors subtly undermine it and lots of societal factors not at all subtly undermine it. But no one should feel bad about making a different choice, just like no one should feel bad about starting with the "wrong" solid foods or allowing their toddler a little screen time or not spending the requisite time outside every week or whatever the "best" is. Prioritize the "bests" that are most important to you and your family and drop the guilt and mommy shaming.

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21 minutes ago, StellaM said:

I also don't know anyone who wanted to b/f because they thought it would make their kid smarter. 

 

My MIL and BIL’s wife does when my DS14 was born so the IQ thing has been going around way before the 2015 news article. That was BIL’s wife reason to breastfeed. My MIL claimed my husband was the smartest of her kids because he was breastfed but FIL and his sisters claim he was formula fed. 

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18 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

 

My MIL and BIL’s wife does when my DS14 was born so the IQ thing has been going around way before the 2015 news article. That was BIL’s wife reason to breastfeed. My MIL claimed my husband was the smartest of her kids because he was breastfed but FIL and his sisters claim he was formula fed. 

 

Well, that's pretty silly.

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Please understand. For those of us who were unable to breastfeed for whatever reason, it is very comforting to know that feeding formula likely did not harm our children. 

I once told someone I trusted and respected that I wasn't able to breastfeed long-term. You know what their response was?  Paraphrasing: "I was so angry when I found out that [relative] had stopped breastfeeding early. I believe that is why [young relative] has the problems she does--because she was fed formula." Gee, thanks. 🙄

ETA: I almost forgot...a well-meaning relative told me to "just relax" and "drink a lot of water" and that would solve the problem. Aye. It's like the people who told me to adopt a baby and then I would conceive. LOL. 

Edited by MercyA
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26 minutes ago, Farrar said:

My line on this is that it's really no different than any of the other millions of parenting decisions we make. There are tons of things that we know are better or worse and there's no way that even Mommy Magazine Perfect is doing all those things "right." Breast is best assuming there's not an issue specific to a mom or baby. We don't support breastfeeding enough in a systematic way and lots of doctors subtly undermine it and lots of societal factors not at all subtly undermine it. But no one should feel bad about making a different choice, just like no one should feel bad about starting with the "wrong" solid foods or allowing their toddler a little screen time or not spending the requisite time outside every week or whatever the "best" is. Prioritize the "bests" that are most important to you and your family and drop the guilt and mommy shaming.

This exactly.

No parent can give their child every optimal advantage, that just isn't how life works. I've got 15 solid years of breastfeeding under my belt, with half of that being tandem nursing. I'm one of those women who can apparently produce endless quantities of milk, which my children have thrived on.

Both my toddler and my preschooler also spent many hours today watching videos. Not because I think the research on screen time not being good for young kids is wrong but because I've got a real life household to run that does not function in some imaginary world of perfect ideals and sometimes (many times!) I have to choose the workable over the ideal.

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]

8 minutes ago, MercyA said:

Please understand. For those of us who were unable to breastfeed for whatever reason, it is very comforting to know that feeding formula likely did not harm our children. 

I doubt anyone here is a breastfeeding or any other kind of nazi. 🙂 But they exist. I once told someone I trusted and respected that I wasn't able to breastfeed long-term. You know what their response was?  Paraphrasing: "I was so angry when I found out that [relative] had stopped breastfeeding early. I believe that is why [young relative] has the problems she does--because she was fed formula." Gee, thanks. 🙄

 

There are no breastfeeding 'nazis' out there, because being an advocate of b/feeding is not remotely the same as being a fascist.

There are, however, rude and unhelpful b/feeders, just as there are rude and unhelpful bottle feeders. I'm sorry you ran across a rude and unhelpful person. 

I'm also sorry you were unable to breastfeed and glad you had options. 

I'm also glad I was able to persevere and had the support I needed to breastfeed. 

And I am very glad I spent several years helping other women to achieve their breastfeeding goals. 

I think what people fail to take into account in these discussions is that it's a David and Goliath thing. You think formula makers don't spend gazilions promoting their products ? You reckon grass roots b/feeding associations can match that ? Formula feeding in the West has, for a long time, been the NORM. It's backed by big money. Shareholders in companies that make formula get more $ the fewer women breastfeed and the more women formula feed.

Anyone would think it's in fact, the other way around. Breast-feeding friendly policies and hospitals were introduced to fix a huge disparity between breastfeeding and formula feeding - formula companies had been so successful in undermining breastfeeding, that breastfeeding had to be actively promoted just to regain parity. 

 

 

 

Edited by StellaM
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2 minutes ago, MercyA said:

Please understand. For those of us who were unable to breastfeed for whatever reason, it is very comforting to know that feeding formula likely did not harm our children. 

I doubt anyone here is a breastfeeding or any other kind of nazi. 🙂 But they exist. I once told someone I trusted and respected that I wasn't able to breastfeed long-term. You know what their response was?  Paraphrasing: "I was so angry when I found out that [relative] had stopped breastfeeding early. I believe that is why [young relative] has the problems she does--because she was fed formula." Gee, thanks. 🙄

 

At some point a mom has to be okay being okay.  I no longer get mad, I just tell them that's stupid and move on.

I've done everything from no breastfed at all, to supplement, to exclusive breastfed up to 3 years.

There's really no argument that breast is best.

Just like there's really no argument that money buys happiness, bc it sure as hell buys everything you need to be happy.  Like healthy food, good schools, healthcare, rent money and more.

But alas, I'm not wealthy and doubt I ever will be and somehow that's going to be mostly okay.  I'm not going to beat myself up because of what I couldn't afford or didn't even know was a viable option over the last 24 years of parenting.

Likewise with breastfeeding and formula.  I did the best I could with what resources for the situations I was faced with.  If my kids think they can do better with their kids someday, then I sincerely hope they have the chance to do better.  I will always be for policies I think will help them in that regard.  Be it cleaner water or better family policies or just coming over to rock grand babies so the parent can get a break.

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2 minutes ago, StellaM said:

There are no breastfeeding 'nazis' out there, because being an advocate of b/feeding is not remotely the same as being a fascist.

There are, however, rude and unhelpful b/feeders, just as there are rude and unhelpful bottle feeders. I'm sorry you ran across a rude and unhelpful person. 

I'm also sorry you were unable to breastfeed and glad you had options. 

I'm also glad I was able to persevere and had the support I needed to breastfeed. 

And I am very glad I spent several years helping other women to achieve their breastfeeding goals. 

I'm sorry; I shouldn't have used the term in that way. You're right. I'll edit.

I had help and support and still didn't produce. That's just the way it goes sometimes. It's okay. It's not a major life regret for me. 🙂 

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1 minute ago, MercyA said:

I'm sorry; I shouldn't have used the term in that way. You're right. I'll edit.

I had help and support and still didn't produce. That's just the way it goes sometimes. It's okay. It's not a major life regret for me. 🙂 

 

Yes, for a small % of women, they have trouble producing enough milk. 

The % is tiny, and you were unlucky to be in that cohort. 

It is OK. The problem is not individual women, but systems and conversations that undermine b/feeding.

 

 

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32 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

I think what people fail to take into account in these discussions is that it's a David and Goliath thing. You think formula makers don't spend gazilions promoting their products ? You reckon grass roots b/feeding associations can match that ? Formula feeding in the West has, for a long time, been the NORM. It's backed by big money. Shareholders in companies that make formula get more $ the fewer women breastfeed and the more women formula feed.

Anyone would think it's in fact, the other way around. Breast-feeding friendly policies and hospitals were introduced to fix a huge disparity between breastfeeding and formula feeding - formula companies had been so successful in undermining breastfeeding, that breastfeeding had to be actively promoted just to regain parity. 

 

That's an interesting perspective. I don't doubt what you're saying, really, but I never felt any pressure, ever, to feed formula. I *did* feel intense pressure to breastfeed and to do everything I could to increase my supply. I should have switched to formula sooner.

Edited by MercyA
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I breastfed my 1st four exclusively, but my youngest took 2 months to regain her birth weight. It was a horribly stressful two months. The lactation consultant at the hospital was no help. She actually told me that I knew what I was doing because I been successful with 4 others, but Dd was still not gaining weight. I ended up giving her a bottle of formula each day. Even that was hard. She just wasn't eating. I ended up nursing until 15 months, but kept up the one formula feeding until she starting eating solids. I do think breast is best for a host of reasons (not least because washing bottles was a pain), but I am very thankful I had access to formula.

Edited by Meriwether
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9 minutes ago, MercyA said:

 

That's an interesting perspective. I don't doubt what you're saying, really, but I never felt any pressure, ever, to feed formula. I *did* feel intense pressure to breastfeed and to do everything I could to increase my supply. I should have switched to formula sooner.

I think this depends greatly on your community. Some of it is opting in as well. Systematically speaking, I totally agree with Stella on this one. Formula manufacturers spend big bucks on trying to undermine breastfeeding. Studies show that giving moms formula samples does that yet it's allowed while many places charge for LC services. Doctors and hospitals also find it much easier not to accommodate breastfeeding. I have a pediatrician friend, who bf'ed very successfully herself, who told me she knows that while she gives it lip service, that the whole system of the hospital is basically against it and she doesn't do anything to counter it. And yeah, she's got reasons - she works with sick babies - but also, it's even the healthy newborns and moms who aren't getting the support in hospitals. Public spaces make it harder. People definitely get huffy about it. Or stare. It's not normalized in a lot of places. Places to pump in workplaces are often woefully inadequate when they exist at all. Because of the unevenness of rates of breastfeeding and the way that communities just are now, there's often not a community of help and support around breastfeeding (even if there is a community of finger waggers) and new grandmothers and aunties and so forth often don't have the experience and wisdom to share.

Basically, I think within the "mommy wars" stuff, this feels like everything is telling women "breast is best!!!" but society doesn't actually support it systematically, which is the more key thing to make it happen.

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18 minutes ago, MercyA said:

 I *did* feel intense pressure to breastfeed and to do everything I could to increase my supply. 

 

El Camino Hospital, California where my DS13 was born.  The nurses claimed they can’t bottle feed so mom (or dad) has to DIY if they want to bottle feed. The nurse who gave the “welcome pack” (diaper bag with freebies) when we leave the hospital said she can’t give parents any can of formula for the welcome pack unless I have an older kid that was formula fed as a baby. The lactation specialist was so rude and pushy that even my MIL was shocked and my husband had to try to be polite in shooing her out of the hospital room. 

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6 hours ago, Arcadia said:

El Camino Hospital, California where my DS13 was born.  The nurses claimed they can’t bottle feed so mom (or dad) has to DIY if they want to bottle feed. The nurse who gave the “welcome pack” (diaper bag with freebies) when we leave the hospital said she can’t give parents any can of formula for the welcome pack unless I have an older kid that was formula fed as a baby. The lactation specialist was so rude and pushy that even my MIL was shocked and my husband had to try to be polite in shooing her out of the hospital room. 

Thank you. Some people really are this militant.

I know it's illogical, but I feel shamed even in this thread, and I ❤️this forum. I think I need to just go to bed.

Edited by MercyA
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26 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

 

El Camino Hospital, California where my DS13 was born.  The nurses claimed they can’t bottle feed so mom (or dad) has to DIY if they want to bottle feed. The nurse who gave the “welcome pack” (diaper bag with freebies) when we leave the hospital said she can’t give parents any can of formula for the welcome pack unless I have an older kid that was formula fed as a baby. The lactation specialist was so rude and pushy that even my MIL was shocked and my husband had to try to be polite in shooing her out of the hospital room. 

Whoa. This is not the norm in my experience at all. Though I honestly think hospital LC's are - by and large - terrible so that doesn't surprise me. I was not allowed to try feeding my babies after they were born. The hospital gave them formula against my will very soon after birth. The hospital LC threatened me and no one would show me how to use the pump kit properly. My "baby welcome" junk bag of ads included three different formula samples and coupons for more.

Lots of compromised and sick newborns desperately need formula, so this is just a completely terrible policy, obviously.

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35 minutes ago, MercyA said:

Thank you. I know it's illogical, but I feel shamed even in this thread, and I ❤️this forum. I think I need to just go to bed.

 

I am not shaming you. 

I am glad you had an option to feed your baby, and if you had come to one of my groups, or been on the other end of the counselling phone line, I would have helped and welcomed you and your baby, as I did a number of mums who were formula or mixed feeding. Breastfeeding is hard, and sometimes, for a very small % of women, simply not possible.

Being open about the benefits of breastfeeding, promoting breastfeeding, and even being proud of one's own personal breastfeeding journey, are not jabs at others. 

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https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bf-info/your-baby-arrives/your-hospital-baby-friendly

That's what decent breastfeeding friendly policy looks like.

Formula is provided where medically neccessary. 

I think it's absolutely shocking that some of you are given free formula samples in hospital. That's just called advertising, and it does undermine b/feeding rates.

Some of you will no dobut be thinking 'well, who cares about b/feeding rates anyway?' 

'Breastfeeding provides babies with the best start in life and is a key contributor to infant health. Australia’s infant feeding guidelines recommend exclusive breastfeeding of infants to around six months of age when solid foods are introduced and continued breastfeeding until the age of 12 months and beyond, if both mother and infant wish.

Evidence shows that breastfed babies are less likely to suffer from necrotising enterocolitis, diarrhoea, respiratory illness, middle ear infection, type 1 diabetes and childhood leukaemia. Available evidence also shows that breastfed babies have enhanced cognitive development.

Breastfeeding also benefits mothers by promoting faster recovery from childbirth, reducing the risks of breast and ovarian cancers in later life, and reduced maternal depression.'

http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/health-pubhlth-strateg-brfeed-index.htm

 

 

 

 

 

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I’m a huge proponent of breastfeeding.  I knew from adolescence that I wanted to breastfeed my future children.  I was so confident in that belief that I put off a much needed breast reduction until I was done having children.  (When it was done; seven pounds of tissue was removed from my left breast and five from my right.  I have permanent back injury from that weight.)  I took classes and read books and went to La Leche.   

My first child wouldn’t nurse.  Not couldn’t...she wouldn’t.  Every time I put her to the breast, she fell asleep.  We found out later she had oral motor issues. She was starving, which made her sleepier.  It was an awful circle.  I pumped exclusively for her for six months until I got pregnant again, when she went on formula.  

I nursed my second until she was 3.5.  My first one really has no health issues beyond a fish allergy.  My second has asthma, ASD, and severe anxiety.  They’re both very smart, but my second has some learning disabilities.

I still think breast feeding is optimal, primarily because of immune properties and digestsbility.  But formula is fine.  If I had gotten pregnant after my reduction, I would have had to formula feed, and it would have been fine.  Shaming people for the way they feed their baby is cruel and not cool.   

Our culture doesn’t support new parents, which undermines breastfeeding.  There are huge systemic issues there, with regards to adequate parental leave, access to health care and breastfeeding support, pumping for when parents return to work, formula advertising.  

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I begged repeatedly to see a lactation consultant when my first wasn't latching right and I didn't know how to fix it; my nipples were bleeding while still at the hospital. They kept telling me the lactation consultant was on a different floor and would come if she got time but she never did. I never did get any help and breastfeeding remained agonizing for a long time. And yes they did send me home with formula samples.

It never occurred to me to switch to formula, but only because I had grown up watching my mom breastfeed 7 younger siblings and that gave me confidence that I could work it out. Also my baby was clearly getting enough milk, she was gaining close to a pound a week.

I in no way felt supported by anyone or anything in the larger community though.

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6 hours ago, StellaM said:

 

https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bf-info/your-baby-arrives/your-hospital-baby-friendly

That's what decent breastfeeding friendly policy looks like.

Formula is provided where medically necessary.

I think it's absolutely shocking that some of you are given free formula samples in hospital. That's just called advertising, and it does undermine b/feeding rates.

Some of you will no dobut be thinking 'well, who cares about b/feeding rates anyway?' 

'Breastfeeding provides babies with the best start in life and is a key contributor to infant health. Australia’s infant feeding guidelines recommend exclusive breastfeeding of infants to around six months of age when solid foods are introduced and continued breastfeeding until the age of 12 months and beyond, if both mother and infant wish.

Evidence shows that breastfed babies are less likely to suffer from necrotising enterocolitis, diarrhoea, respiratory illness, middle ear infection, type 1 diabetes and childhood leukaemia. Available evidence also shows that breastfed babies have enhanced cognitive development.

Breastfeeding also benefits mothers by promoting faster recovery from childbirth, reducing the risks of breast and ovarian cancers in later life, and reduced maternal depression.'

http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/health-pubhlth-strateg-brfeed-index.htm

 

I’m on my phone and I can’t read the linked policy properly, but the bolded is the part of your post that I have a problem with. 

I think formula should be provided by the hospital if the mother chooses not to breastfeed. No medical reason should be required. It should be the mother’s personal choice as to whether or not she breastfeeds her baby.

I don’t think any mother should be pressured or shamed for making either choice. 

 

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53 minutes ago, maize said:

I begged repeatedly to see a lactation consultant when my first wasn't latching right and I didn't know how to fix it; my nipples were bleeding while still at the hospital.

 

The lactation consultant that kind of barge into my hospital room said her services were covered by insurance. Mine was Blue Cross when DS13 was born. The hospital grade pump was also covered by insurance.

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3 minutes ago, Catwoman said:

 

I’m on my phone and I can’t read the linked policy properly, but the bolded is the part of your post that I have a problem with. 

I think formula should be provided by the hospital if the mother chooses not to breastfeed. No medical reason should be required. It should be the mother’s personal choice as to whether or not she breastfeeds her baby.

I don’t think any mother should be pressured or shamed for making either choice. 

Exactly what I was coming back here to say. Thank you, Cat. 

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23 minutes ago, Catwoman said:

I think formula should be provided by the hospital if the mother chooses not to breastfeed. No medical reason should be required. It should be the mother’s personal choice as to whether or not she breastfeeds her baby.

 

I had to sign a form. The hospital cabinet was filled with Enfamil, Similac and Nan actually and would have helped those who need formula and affording formula would be a hardship even with WIC. Obgyn had samples hidden that they give if you ask specifically for a certain formula e.g. Similac Alimentum Formula. 

From Kaiser Health News 2018 https://khn.org/news/california-hospitals-urge-moms-to-favor-breast-milk-over-formula/amp/

“At PIH Health Hospital Whittier, moms who want formula have to sign a form acknowledging they understand their decision, said Valerie Martin, clinical director of maternity care. The hospital’s rate of exclusive breastfeeding is 80 percent, compared with 33 percent at its sister hospital in Downey.”

From Harvard Health Blog 2018 https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/why-we-shouldnt-demonize-formula-feeding-2018040313557

“But as we do all this, we need to remember that formula isn’t evil. In fact, sometimes it can be a tool to support breastfeeding — by supplementing newborns that have lost a risky amount of weight, by supplementing the milk supply of mothers who would otherwise give up entirely, by allowing working mothers who can’t pump enough milk for all their hours of work to keep breastfeeding as long as they would like. It’s better that babies get some breast milk than none at all, but if we make it an all-or-none proposition, we may inadvertently cut breastfeeding short.

When we demonize formula we also run the risk of shaming women who, for any number of good reasons, choose not to breastfeed. There are many other ways besides breastfeeding to help babies grow and be healthy; it’s important to keep that perspective.

As valuable as breastfeeding is, there is much more to parenthood than breastfeeding. It’s important to keep the big picture in mind for each mother and baby, and help them both flourish.”

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I think sometimes people lose perspective on what "breast is best" means.

Breastmilk is food.  Like any food, some is better for people than others.  Generally speaking, breastmilk from the mother of the child is going to be the better option, but there are a lot of reasons that might not be the case, whether mom's not making enough or on a medication, or something else.  However, the fact that breastmilk is going to generally be the *better* option that doesn't mean that formula options aren't good enough.  That's like saying that if you can't grow your own broccoli in your own backyard in a fully organic matter, it's not worth buying the generic walmart brand of frozen broccoli.  Walmart frozen broccoli is good enough broccoli to eat, regardless of the reason you aren't growing broccoli yourself.   Sure, growing your own broccoli in your back yard in a fully organic way is probably "best" but when it comes to food (as with most things regarding the raising of our children) the reality is that good enough really is good enough.  And good enough is good enough for broccoli and for baby formula.  

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I have breastfed all of my children for the first year of their lives.  I've also had them all by c-section, 4 of which were at the same hospital.  There is an 8 year span between my first csection and my last.  In that time span the hospital was in the process of following some guidelines to be more breastfeeding friendly.  So, with ds1 when he came early and my breast milk hadn't come in, they just gave me formula for him, while also encouraging me to continue to latch on regularly until my milk came in, which took 5 days.  No way in hell was I going to let my son go 5 days without food out of some notion that breast is best.  

Fast forward 4 years and I'm there for ds3,  milk doesn't come in and they just keep encouraging me to have him latch on.  Two days go by, the colostrum is long gone and he's crying constantly because he's hungry.  They will not give me formula. So, I have a friend bring me some.  When the nurse sees me formula feeding she tries to lie and say I'm not allowed to do that.  Then I lost my shit!  It ended with them providing me formula for the next 24 hours until my supply came in.

2 years later, I'm in the recovery room right after my c-section with dd4.  As my anesthesia is wearing off and they can't get my pain under control will iv meds they decide that was the perfect time to 'help' me learn to breastfeed.  So, one nurse is shoving dd onto my boob as another is asking me what pain level I'm at (8.) I'm in so much pain and this idiot is talking about how it is best for the baby and me to start this process immediately.  That is when dh stepped up to us and just took dd away from my boob and out of the nurses arms.  She tried to object but he wasn't handing dd back to anyone until I asked for her.  Thirty minutes later the pain is managed and I get to make the decision that it is time to establish breastfeeding.  All goes perfectly.

Another 2 years later, ds5 is born as blue as a blueberry.  He is rushed down to the NICU and I don't see him for 9 hours except for through a tv screen because they have cameras on ALL NICU babies so parents can see them whenever they want.  I pumped all the colostrum out and watched via the tv as dh fed it to him.  Then he got formula for the next 8 hours until I could visit him.  He continued to get formula while he was in the NICU if I wasn't visiting not because  I couldn't produce milk but because the NICU nurses were smart enough to know that mama couldn't heal properly if she was wheeling herself down every 2 hours to feed the baby and the pump was tearing her nipples to shreds.

All of these experiences were at the same hospital that was supposedly breastfeeding friendly.  None of that mattered because they were not mom and baby friendly.  DD2 was born at a different hospital that was not certified breastfeeding friendly and you know my experience there.  They listened to how I wanted feed my baby and supported me with that.

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For heavens sake, how is this still an argument?

For ANY species of animal, ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL, the best method of feeding will be milk from their own species. IDEALLY dogs drink dog milk, cows drink cow milk, cheetahs drink cheetah milk, bunnies drink bunny milk, and humans drink human milk. 

HOWEVER, life is complicated, all things are NOT equal, and therefore often something other than milk from the mother will be required, often that will mean a prepared formula made from the milk of another species. This includes a WIDE range of situations from physical complications to past history of abuse to scheduling issues. 

In other words, breast is best if there are no other issues....but there are often other issues. Which means often in many real life situations breast is NOT best. 

I don't get why people insist on only one part of that sentence. Breastfeeding advocates (that are not idiots) don't mean breast is best even if the baby is starving. And I don't think those using formula mean that formula is scientifically superior to breastmilk. We all are actually in pretty close agreement on this, and I have no idea why it gets so crazy - on both "sides". Not that there should be sides. 

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38 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

I think sometimes people lose perspective on what "breast is best" means.

Breastmilk is food.  Like any food, some is better for people than others.  Generally speaking, breastmilk from the mother of the child is going to be the better option, but there are a lot of reasons that might not be the case, whether mom's not making enough or on a medication, or something else.  However, the fact that breastmilk is going to generally be the *better* option that doesn't mean that formula options aren't good enough.  That's like saying that if you can't grow your own broccoli in your own backyard in a fully organic matter, it's not worth buying the generic walmart brand of frozen broccoli.  Walmart frozen broccoli is good enough broccoli to eat, regardless of the reason you aren't growing broccoli yourself.   Sure, growing your own broccoli in your back yard in a fully organic way is probably "best" but when it comes to food (as with most things regarding the raising of our children) the reality is that good enough really is good enough.  And good enough is good enough for broccoli and for baby formula.  

You know, I hadn't tied this fight into the whole "letting perfect be the enemy of the good" obsession we have over food in general, but when you put it that way it makes way more sense to me. If we are judging people for say, buying cow milk when almond milk is healthier, but then judging them for buying almond milk and contributing to the drought in california and then if they switch to soy judging them for the phytoestrogens and then if they drive 10 miles further to get hemp milk judging them for using too much fossil fuel to drive to a farther store, it only makes sense that we'd also be judging people about breastmilk. Sigh. 

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I suspect the vehemence of "breast is best" was partly reactionary to the time when moms were advised that their breast milk was not good enough and formula was best.  That was so long ago now that I think many women of childbearing age don't even know that happened.

Breast milk is terrific and miraculous and pretty cost-effective for those low on funds.  It doesn't have to be ranked.

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11 hours ago, hjffkj said:

I am a huge breastfeeding advocate but breast is not always best. No one can say what is best for every situation. My sil nearly starved her son because she was so scared of formula because of all the negativity surrounding it and she didn't know she was producing enough milk. 

I think breastfeeding certainly needs to be emphasized as the likely best option but care providers who are going to promote it so heavily need to be open to the fact that formula can be necessary.

 

This was my situation . And luckily was caught early because of all those early appointments.  The lactation consultant did before and after feed weights and realized my son was not getting enough milk from me to overcome the energy he was spending trying to get it out.  We worked to up my supply and in the end had to be content with "As much breast as I can and formula to supplement"

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8 hours ago, MercyA said:

I know it's illogical, but I feel shamed even in this thread, and I ❤️this forum. 

 

We indirectly picked my oncologist based on their bedside manners regarding breastfeeding.

Below quoted was what make people I know who breastfeed their kids felt cheated/lied to by their medical team.

https://www.mdanderson.org/publications/focused-on-health/breastfeeding-breast-cancer-prevention.h19-1589046.html

“Breastfeed for at least six months

To get the health perks of breastfeeding, you should do it exclusively for at least six months, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research and World Health Organization. That means your baby receives only breast milk – no water, other liquids or solids.  Evidence shows that the health benefits and your cancer risk reduction become significant at six months and beyond. And breast milk provides all the energy and nutrients your baby needs during this time to develop and stay healthy. 

After six months, breast milk provides at least half of your child’s nutritional needs. So, you can gradually introduce foods like baby cereal, fruits and vegetables. However, you should continue to breastfeed.

“Breastfeeding past six months is not only beneficial for your child’s health, but the longer you do it, the more protection you receive against breast and ovarian cancers,” says Wohlford. 

In a study by the Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors in Breast Cancer, researchers found that for every 12 months a woman breastfed, her risk of breast cancer decreased by 4.3%. The study compared mothers who breastfed to those who didn’t. It also found the 12-month time period could be with either one child or as the total for several children.  

Furthermore, Australian researchers found that women who breastfed for more than 13 months were 63% less likely to develop ovarian cancer than women who breastfed for less than seven months. Women who breastfed multiple children for more than 31 months could reduce their ovarian cancer risk by up to 91% compared to women who breastfed for less than 10 months.

Breastfeeding helps protect your child from cancer

Breastfeeding not only reduces your chances for developing cancer, but also your child’s. “Evidence shows that it can help prevent your child from being overweight or obese later in life,” Wohlford says. “Being obese puts a person at risk for many cancers. This includes pancreatic, breast (postmenopausal), endometrialesophagealrectal and kidney cancers.”

Breastfeeding also helps strengthen your child’s immune system. Your antibodies pass from your milk to your child. This helps lower your child’s risks of ear infections, as well as respiratory and digestive system problems. Plus, research indicates the longer a child is breastfed, the lower his or her chances of developing allergies.”

 

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32 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

For heavens sake, how is this still an argument?

For ANY species of animal, ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL, the best method of feeding will be milk from their own species. IDEALLY dogs drink dog milk, cows drink cow milk, cheetahs drink cheetah milk, bunnies drink bunny milk, and humans drink human milk. 

HOWEVER, life is complicated, all things are NOT equal, and therefore often something other than milk from the mother will be required, often that will mean a prepared formula made from the milk of another species. This includes a WIDE range of situations from physical complications to past history of abuse to scheduling issues. 

In other words, breast is best if there are no other issues....but there are often other issues. Which means often in many real life situations breast is NOT best. 

I don't get why people insist on only one part of that sentence. Breastfeeding advocates (that are not idiots) don't mean breast is best even if the baby is starving. And I don't think those using formula mean that formula is scientifically superior to breastmilk. We all are actually in pretty close agreement on this, and I have no idea why it gets so crazy - on both "sides". Not that there should be sides. 

 

It is still an issue because for many years and probably still(I don't know because I have disassociated with many hard core breastfeeding advocates) people used that phrase to pressure women  into breastfeeding who had no  desire to it. The breastfeeding movement that I saw was not always about support. It was also about judgment and pressure when formula was their choice. 

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I breastfed both dds until 18-20 months. I am so glad I did. I don't remember feeling any pressure at the time, they are 24 and 28 now. Oldest dd gave birth to twins on Thanksgiving. Leading up to the delivery she got incredible pressure from acquaintances (I won't call them friends) to breastfeed. Her answer was, "My intension is to breastfeed, but I'm having twins, I'll do what I have to do!" Some of the women got VERY pushy about it. As it turned out, both babies had different latching  difficulties, and one had a sensitivity to cow's milk. That made tandem nursing impossible. So dd supplemented with formula and pumped breast milk. She was exhausted. Finally, after a couple of months, after consulting with the pediatrician, she went to formula exclusively. They babies are doing very well. I think her answer to the breastfeeding advocates was perfect. We all want the best for our children, but that looks different for each situation and we will do what we have to do.

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I'm also a big breastfeeding advocate, but when I was still more involved with that stuff I saw some really crazy things in the attached parenting community.

Some of it was online, and I tended to assume it was an online thing.  Really extreme statements like choosing formula is child abuse.  At that time they were still really into worries about food causing allergies, so there was all kinds of stuff about how introducing anything before six months was going to have such and such an effect.  There were women who didn't give their kids any other foods until they were one year. Etc.  I think that was the beginnings of a lot of the clean eating stuff though it wasn't called that at that time.  But it was those ideas.

And I  saw some of the same thing in certain real life parenting groups I became involved in - I think it leaked from the online stuff.  It was still related to the AP stuff.  I remember vividly one mom at a group for moms breastfeeding toddlers, who was afraid to tell her two year old he could not nurse anytime he asked, or that he had to stop hurting her with his nails.  I told her to put him down right away if he hurt her, and not let him nurse again for a bit, and soon he would stop.  She was shocked and worried he'd be damaged psychologically.

This was all a pretty specific demographic though, progressive university educated urban women.  When I lived rurally it was a very different scene.

 

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I think the vehemence of the argument on the breast is best end is that we're still not systematically encouraging breastfeeding. Rude moms who shame people about their choices is not the same as having a society where breastfeeding is really supported.

I'm good with free formula for anyone who requests it. I think this sort of goes with the problem of how we don't really do good early maternal support in general. Part of the reason that formula samples end up hurting breastfeeding is that most mothers are undereducated on this topic. If a new mom understood that giving a newborn formula as your milk is coming in is a big risk for setting up your supply and a healthy bf relationship, then moms who want to bf might not supplement and then end up unsuccessful, which is absolutely a thing that happens. I mean, it's not like anyone in the hospital actually discussed feeding choices with me. They gave me free formula. And a free pump kit, which no one would tell me was mine or how to use it, including the LC, and not the hospital's so I left it there and had to buy one right after I got home. The LC would just barge in, tell me I wasn't going to be able to bf and then barge back out with no help. I was very lucky that I had engaged my OWN LC who came as soon as I got home. Without that, there's no way I would have been successful. But that's not something every woman can afford, or will know exists as a possibility. And researching local LC's when you've got a hungry 2 week old is not a thing that is likely to work out super well for a lot of moms who even have the money.

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This turned out way long. Sorry. I'm going to post it anyway.

I am one of those who totally doesn't understand the debate. I mean, of course it's better to feed mammals the milk their mothers make specifically for them. AFAIK there are still compounds and things about breastmilk we can't synthesize or don't totally understand, not to mention the stuff we do actually understand that is insanely specific to each kid and their environment. I don't know anyone who knows animals who would say it's ideal to take a nursing babe of any species away from its mother to feed it synthesized formula. BUT there are cases where it is essential to the health of the baby, the mom, or both. So it's not like formula is evil and thank goodness for the science we do know about so we're not using cow's milk and corn syrup any more.

I was one of those weirdos that studied natural childbirth and breastfeeding extensively before I even had kids on the horizon because I thought I might want to become a midwife someday. So I came into parenthood determined to breastfeed because of the health benefits for me and for baby. All four of my kids have been born in different hospitals and had different peds as newborns (well, one at home and then had a short stay in a NICU). I haven't found anywhere that has this down perfectly.

The hospital where I had my oldest didn't have a lactation consultant beyond a nurse who took like a day-long seminar. No one except my doula pointed out to me that I had an anatomical issue that might make bf'ing difficult. And it was difficult, boy howdy. My son lost weight. No one looked at him beyond numbers on the scale. No one encouraged me to continue breastfeeding whatsoever. No one watched us try to latch and nurse. The ped saw him at his 3 day appointment, said he didn't weigh enough and his nurse came in shortly after with a bag full of bottles of pre-made formula. I asked what the best way was to use the formula without compromising my supply, she looked at me like I had three heads. I never opened or used the formula because shortly after that visit my guy started latching properly and gaining weight. But I had no support beyond an online community and my own knowledge that he wasn't dehydrated or starving.

The NICU at a major city children's hospital with my second was the closest I got to truly supportive without being nuts about things. But I also had a much easier time starting out because I knew what I was doing. They were genuinely happy when they did rounds and the nurse got to report, "Baby M breastfed 11 times in the last 24 hours," and she beamed at me. And I had an LC look in on us twice in 48 hours. But there were also very sick babies there who got formula, so I knew it wasn't beyond consideration if things got bad.

The third hospital I was at for #3, I was allowed to have my perfectly healthy, full-term infant skin-to-skin for exactly 30 minutes after he was born. Then he "had to" go be on the warmer to see if he could regulate his own body temperature for ONE HOUR. It was the most asinine thing ever and totally not evidence-based care, and I just fumed through the whole hour. But you don't rock the boat as a vulnerable postpartum woman who just wants to hold her baby and feed him eventually. But I did watch his nice alert period come and go while he was on there. During my stay there they kept taking him to the nursery so the doctor could check this or that, and when I'd ask to have him back, they acted surprised. The hospital send me home with formula samples and must've sold my info to someone because right at six-weeks old I got a big box of two cans of enfamil for free from the helpful formula companies and a bunch of formula checks. It was timed perfectly with when a lot of moms think they are losing supply and baby might be having a nice growth spurt. I was undermined at every step of the way, and yet wouldn't have really known without my self-education.

The last hospital for #4 was supposed to be baby-friendly, which means pro-breastfeeding policies. But often I find, like many of the stories above, the initiatives are implemented in a ham-fisted way without real understanding from doctors and nurses. No, it's not baby-friendly or mother-friendly to leave mom alone with her baby after a grueling labor and tell her that they don't allow pacifiers or formula and she just has to deal with the sleep deprivation, crying baby, sore nipples on her own because the LC only works days. Since it was my fourth baby, I did not mind signing the paper saying that pacifiers could cause nipple confusion in order to get one. I just needed sleep at that point. But I can see how it might be intimidating to some. However, even at this baby-friendly hospital, you could tell them you weren't going to breastfeed and they would still feed your kid formula. I've honestly never seen a hospital policy that denies infants formula if the mother doesn't want to breastfeed for any reason.

I have nursed all of my kids to at least 13 or 14 months old. But it was usually in spite of obstacles put up by the medical establishment and not because of their support or knowledge. I do think, based on all the science, that breastfeeding babies human milk from their mothers is best. But it's not always possible. And breastfeeding-friendly policies are often poorly implemented. So I think there's a lot of work to do still.

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4 hours ago, SKL said:

I suspect the vehemence of "breast is best" was partly reactionary to the time when moms were advised that their breast milk was not good enough and formula was best.  That was so long ago now that I think many women of childbearing age don't even know that happened.

Breast milk is terrific and miraculous and pretty cost-effective for those low on funds.  It doesn't have to be ranked.

Yeah, my aunt tells about breastfeeding in the 60's; talk about no support. One day her neighbor came running over with a newspaper article, telling her that she had to Stop Breastfeeding because scientists had studied breast milk and "there's nothing in it!"

Don't know how the neighbor thought humanity had survived all these generations but I'd bet high odds the "research" behind that article was funded by a formula company. Nobody was making money off of breastfeeding.

Edited by maize
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3 hours ago, SKL said:

I suspect the vehemence of "breast is best" was partly reactionary to the time when moms were advised that their breast milk was not good enough and formula was best.  That was so long ago now that I think many women of childbearing age don't even know that happened.

Breast milk is terrific and miraculous and pretty cost-effective for those low on funds.  It doesn't have to be ranked.

While scientists are no longer saying that formula is better than breast milk, we are still dealing with the consequences from the fallen breastfeeding rates that occurred because of it. There are a lot of women who literally don't know other people who have breastfed, or who are feeling pressure from their partner, parents or inlaws to bottle feed "so they can be involved." These women don't have examples to look to or support from people around them and that really affects a woman's ability to be successful. 

I feel like for some women they do kind of have to adopt a "Nazi" like stance (I hate that term) in order to be successful breastfeeding because they are on their own, surrounded by naysayers.

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