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Debates, Issues & Talk

TOPIC: Case Against Breastfeeding

Case Against Breastfeeding 2 years 8 months ago #84120

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This is an old article from 2009, but I was just curious what you all think.

today.msnbc.msn.com/id/29710422/ns/today...inst-breast-feeding/
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Re: Case Against Breastfeeding 2 years 8 months ago #84122

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Great article. For me I love breastfeeding. I breastfed my son until he was 18 months old. With him, I had a supply issue and went a little nuts in the beginning to try to get my supply up. After I went back to work, I was very afraid my milk would dry up because I wanted to continue breastfeeding. Hence ensued my pumping/reverse feeding madness.

This time around, I don't seem to have supply issues. I still love breastfeeding. And I have this desire to feed as much breast milk as possible. So I am going to start pumping tomorrow to store some for when I go back to work. But this desire is not all science based. I grew up under vegan parents who taught me not to trust any food that you don't grow in your own back yard. So imagine my hesitation at feeding my newborn stuff that comes in a tin can! My son certainly seem to do better on days where he had more breastmilk than formula. Less spit up and less constipation.

This time around, I promised myself some sanity. I will not sacrifice so much sleep. I will not stress over lack of opportunities to pump at work. I will try to take the whole breastfeeding thing a bit easier. But that may not be consistent with my personality. I saw a lactation consultant 3 days after my son was born to make sure he was latching on ok. After answering about a million questions I was firing at her, she jokingly said I seem to have a type a+ personality. *shrug* Well, I do.

Now if I didn't love breastfeeding so much, I am not sure what I would do. Hard to say. I can't imagine not loving it though. I think I would not exclusively pump without breastfeeding. But also hard to say. I think women should be able to choose whatever they want without judgement. But when I hear a new mom who doesn't even want to try it, I worry they are missing out on what could turn out to be one of the most beautiful experiences of their lives.
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Re: Case Against Breastfeeding 2 years 8 months ago #84128

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I think I breast fed my daughter for 3 months and like most other decisions I've made as a Mom, I've never had an ounce of guilt about it. In a lot of ways, this discussion reminds me of the ones people have when discussing the use of meds during labor with women who didn't, falsely claiming their births were "natural" and thus "better" than those of women like me who didn't wear the "super vagina" banner when discharged from the hospital.

That said, I do think breast milk for the first few months is best but IHMO, that depends on what you do for a living, if you even work at all. It's easy for us middle to upper middle class women to talk about what ALL women should do, but I can't imagine a poor woman who works at KFC or as a maid, having the energy assuming they're allowed in the first place, to pump at work or breast feed at home.

As for the obesity issue, I've always felt that it's not related at all to formula fed babies, but the diet and lifestyle of the parents. As an example, my best friend in college has a daughter the same age as mine who's at least 50 pounds overweight and she was exclusively breast fed for almost a year. OTOH, my daughter who was only breast fed for 3 months and NOT exclusively, is a size 2 and almost 5'9" tall.
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Re: Case Against Breastfeeding 2 years 8 months ago #84130

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I think she has a point that there is a segment of society that has gone way overboard with the breast-milk-as-wonder-fluid thing. On the other hand it doesn't sound like she is really that familiar with medical literature and the way that conclusions are built over time and over many studies. It's like if she found a couple of studies citing no benefit of breast-feeding for a particular issue (eg the obesity thing and also the IQ thing, which I guess is now are both looking more like a socioeconomic effect than a breastfeeding effect per se) then she's like, "Oh, I've been sold a bill of goods!"

I think the literature as a whole pretty much does strongly support a benefit of breastfeeding for reducing the number of illnesses in the first year, more significant the younger the baby (especially significant for newborns and preemies who face issues like necrotizing enterocolitis, which is definitely rarer in bf babies), and reducing allergies later on. But it's not such a huge effect that you can look at a particular kid and say whether he is breastfed or formula-fed based on his state of health, obviously.

I'm with clee that it really just hurt my crunchy heart to feed my kid some powder that came in a tin can. I wouldn't eat anything like that myself, you know? It was stinky, and it made her smell bad when she had it. Nothing smells sweeter than your own breastfed baby. And I found breastfeeding super convenient - just pull out boob and go. No screaming baby while you frantically mix a bottle. No bottles to wash. No-fuss sleep aid. Instant tantrum ender. I honestly do not see any benefit - convenience or otherwise - to formula.
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Re: Case Against Breastfeeding 2 years 8 months ago #84135

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I use to premake baby bottles with forumla and put them in the fridge, so no premixing woes for me. Breast feeding was great for middle of the night feedings though.

So based on the stinky comment I'm now wondering, do breastfed babies have better smelling poop than formula fed babies?? If so, WOW just WOW, this takes the "what's best for baby" debate to a whole new level, LOL!!!! :D

As for the convenience factor of formula, I know many women who either couldn't afford or didn't get paid time off for maternity leave and were forced to go back to work as soon as they were healthy enough to do it. So for them and the familes they had to help to support, I'm certain there were PLENTY of benefits. This is just one of those cases where it's a true blessing to not be in this situation as so many other women are.
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Re: Case Against Breastfeeding 2 years 8 months ago #84136

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Path201X wrote:
So based on the stinky comment I'm now wondering, do breastfed babies have better smelling poop than formula fed babies?? If so, WOW just WOW, this takes the "what's best for baby" debate to a whole new level, LOL!!!! :D

Um, I don't think this is an issue of political correctness or anything. Yes my baby's skin and hair smelled good when she was mostly breastfed, and not so good when she'd had a recent formula supplement. And for sure breastfed poo smells better than formula poo. At least my kid's did. (I don't find breastfed poo offensive at all actually. The smell is pretty mild and not at all reminiscent of 'regular' poo.)

As for the convenience factor of formula, I know many women who either couldn't afford or didn't get paid time off for maternity leave and were forced to go back to work as soon as they were healthy enough to do it. So for them and the familes they had to help to support, I'm certain there were PLENTY of benefits. This is just one of those cases where it's a true blessing to not be in this situation as so many other women are.

Well yeah. But I'd say that's a reason to fight for more humane maternity leave and general employment policies, not to deny that the advantages of breast milk over formula exist. ??
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