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When Breast Isnít Best: Questioning the Superiority of Breastfeeding


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  #1  
July 6th, 2009, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
From the very beginning of pregnancy, women are surrounded by the message that “breast is best” and urged to breastfeed for at least six months, preferably a year. But in some cases breastfeeding is either impractical or impossible for the mother.
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  #2  
July 6th, 2009, 04:31 PM
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Who writes these articles about breastmilk not being best?

What I want to know which no one can seem to answer, is how little breastmilk can still be beneficial to your baby? so that women who have low milk supplies can still contribute to providing their babies with the benefits of breastmilk. Engineered formula, no matter how perfected will never transfer the antibiotic properties that breastmilk provides. How about asking this question as a comparison: Can you say that popping a vitamin c candy is better for you than eating an organic orange?

I have to wonder if the above article was written by a formula company. The statement, Should I take three twenty-minute pumping Ďbreaksí during my workday, or use formula and get home to my baby an hour earlier", doesnt makes sense? There isnt an employer out there that would keep you longer at work if you pump. You are protected by law to pump and not at the expense of your free time beyond your work hours.

I never had a good milk supply but I try my best to either breastfeed or pump to give my baby whatever I can and I supplement the rest. So you see I am not a purist but no matter how inconvenient, I try for the benefit of my baby.

There is real evidence on the relationship to breastfeeding your baby for at least 8 months and higher IQ scores. Check the Yale Medical Publications.

While there is a lot of press about how "breast is best", your pediatrician and hospitals give mixed messages by handing out formula samples left and right on your way out the door. And did anyone recently read about how a study sampled powdered formula across different brands and found traces of jet fuel in it?? interestingly, the study wont name the formula companys tested because apparently your baby can injest safe levels of jet fuel.

Be a critical reader on all info related to your baby's health.


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  #3  
July 12th, 2009, 07:48 PM
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I couldn't breastfeed my son because I am on medication to control my epilepsy, and I had to make the decision to go back on the medication which I had halted during my pregnancy due to possible complications to my unborn baby (Luckily I had no seizures but I did have to take it easy). I got so ridiculed from so many people - and it was NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS mind you. You don't know these people's stories. How people choose to feed their babies is a very personal decision. If you are able to breastfeed- and this goes for you too, amkos60- good for you but don't criticize anyone else for not being able to.
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  #4  
September 19th, 2009, 08:32 AM
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No one in their right mind would think it better to breastfeed while your on drugs or if you've adopted... what the heck is the point in this article? It pretty much proves that breast feeding is best and tries to make excuses... besides being on drugs (most of which you can find substitutes for these days that will allow you to still breastfeed) it's best to breastfeed your biological child... while it's not the easiest it is the best for your child. Which means if your only excuse not to breastfeed is because you don't want to pump at work or because it's too hard then you are just selfish and probably should've waited a little longer to grow up a bit more before having children of your own. Motherhood is all about sacrific! Grow up!
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  #5  
September 20th, 2009, 02:18 PM
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Wow. I read one response and thought "How can anyone be so rude as to judge someone else's choices about their own breasts?"

Then I read the next message.

Judging the validity of an article or study is one thing... judging each other is quite another. I would suggest someone seriously consider the level of maturity there is in telling another mother to "Grow up."... and perhaps start taking their own advice.
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  #6  
November 25th, 2009, 03:29 PM
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Breastfeeding is best!! Take it or leave it! The point is that most women do not have an excuse not to breastfeed. They simply choose not to because they see it as an inconvenience
for them or believe that somehow they will get more sleep if daddy is feeding the baby as well and some just think that if they are receiving WIC, why not have the tax payers pay for my baby's nutrition? Stand up and be a woman and feed your baby the way they were meant to be fed. No one knows the exact science on breast milk. One thing is known for sure, Breastfeeding is incomparably the best choice for a baby and their mother by far.
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  #7  
November 25th, 2009, 05:39 PM
Caelen's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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So I should have force fed my son my breastmilk even though he was lactose intolerant and it was making him sick? Some women do have excuses, some don't really have excuses. Some reasons why breast isn't best really are valid. I would have loved to have breastfed my son and couldn't, negative replies that label reasons for not breastfeeding as an "excuse" really can be hurtful to some people. For women who just don't want to.. I don't agree with it, but in the end they're the ones who gave birth to that child, do you really have any right to judge their methods of parenting?

My opinion is that if you need to do what works. If breastfeeding works for you great, if it doesn't I don't think that mom or anyone else needs to beat mommy up for that. My son is thriving now on formula when he couldn't on my milk. There's no stress because he's not sick all the time. For my next child I will absolutely give it another try (even if that means I'm pumping around the clock) and pray it works, but if it doesn't I'm not going to let it get to me through myself or anyone else.

How can you honestly tell me that "breast is best" 100% of the time? Didn't mean for this to sound extremely angry, and maybe it does.. but this topic gets to me because I know a few women who were in my situation that caught a lot of crap for not breastfeeding when they flat out could not.
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  #8  
November 30th, 2009, 01:52 PM
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I am pregnant and do not have experience yet with the breast feeding games, nor have I run across any impediment to my nursing my child myself when they are born. I do plan to nurse my kid. I think it is a wonderful, God-given provision for good nutrition and baby bonding, tightens the abs and uterus back up, helps to re-balance wacko hormones... There is undeniably a lot of good to be said for nursing.

However... Imagine yourself not only unable to nurse your own baby for whatever reason, but also 100 years ago when formula was non-existent! Mothers who are unable nurse -- how glad are you that you do NOT have to hand off your child to some wet nurse to feed and bond with every few hours, and that you DO have formula that allows you to prepare your baby's meal, hold them yourself, and see that trust in their little face that they know provision comes from Mommy? Mothers who can and do nurse -- how about supporting those women who do not have this luxury you have?

Here is another idea. Many hospitals, especially in the NICU, are happy to take pumped breast milk from mothers who have an ample supply to give to mothers who have delivered prematurely or their milk hasn't come in, for infants whose mothers have died, and for any number of other reasons an infant cannot receive breast milk from their natural mother. If you find you easily have more than your own child needs, don't throw it down the sink! There are lots of other mothers who would be grateful to be given breast milk so that they can feed their babies good stuff AND do it themselves from a bottle. My mother-in-law had a preemie second child, had her milk come in right away, and had waaay too much for her little girl to use. Since she produced colostrum for 5 months, she donated to a mother who couldn't nurse and whose baby was allergic to formula, and so helped save the life of another little girl.
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  #9  
November 30th, 2009, 08:51 PM
Ellemphriem's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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No one in the article said that breast is not best gals. If you read carefully it says, 'not meant as breastmilk is not best, but as an answer to those who judge the moms who cannot breastfeed harshly', there are many moms out there who can't breastfeed for whatever reason and they are backlashed....and that's neither fair or appropriate. I was raised on formula and i am fine, DH on breastmilk and he is fine also, our daughter was raised with BOTH and she is also fine......i'd say mom knows best in whatever case, either breast or formula it should be left with mom..... That's what the article says and i agree
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  #10  
March 11th, 2010, 07:53 PM
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I can't believe some of these comments. Aren't we supposed to be building one another up and helping each other as moms?! Some people truly cannot breastfeed and should not be judged for that. I was unable to breastfeed my daughter because I had severe Post partum depression and had to go on medication. And yes there are some drugs that are considered safe to take while breastfeeding, however, I am not able to take those drugs. I was antidepressants before pregnant and came off of them as soon as I found out I was pregnant. I had a difficult time finding a medication that worked for me. So I already knew which ones I could take and which ones I could not. I felt it was better for my baby to have a functioning human being for a mother than a depressed and suicidal zombie but be breastfed. I thought long and hard about my decision and spent many days crying over not being able to breastfeed my child. In the end I am at peace with my decision.
Bottom line is no one has any right to judge another mother for her decisions on what is best for her child. It's no one's business whether or not our children are formula fed or breastfed. Plenty of children thrive on formula. If you choose to breastfeed that's great if you cannot or choose not to that is fine as well. What is most important is that our children are healthy and happy.
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  #11  
March 31st, 2010, 04:23 PM
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I am a new mom whose baby came early. I am having a hard time producing breastmilk so I supplement. I get harrassed for that as well! I have people telling me I should be breastfeeding "exclusively" Never mind the fact that my baby would be malnourished if I did that. I am home on leave and I put my baby to the breast CONSTANTLY and guess what...no magic rise in milk. Every woman's body is different.

If you think most women who don't breastfeed are "lazy" you are mistaken. Most women I know who do not actually CANNOT and yet people make them feel like pariahs. It drives me nuts when people act militant on this issue. As long as a child is fed well, cared for and loved who is to say which child will fare better in life.

I think it is important for women to remember the "facts" that any study shows tend to be correlations not causation. Think of it this way, I could connect ice cream consumption to drowning. Is it because ice cream causes people to drown? No. Its because more drownings occur in the summer and more ice cream is sold in the summer. My numbers would support my claim but it would not make it accurate. Please be careful when reading ANY article..this one or contrary ones as well. And please try to be supportive of mothers of all types and all choices. We should be supporting each other...not giving each other a complex.
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  #12  
July 22nd, 2010, 02:01 PM
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Ellemphriem said: No one in the article said that breast is not best gals.

Well, the title of the article is: When Breast Isnít Best: Questioning the Superiority of Breastfeeding That sounds rather confrontational to me.

All evidence shows that breast milk is superior to artificial milk, but this article really does question the validity of that science without providing any kind of empirical evidence to demonstrate otherwise.

It's an emotional issue. Many of us struggle with breastfeeding and feel guilty if we can't succeed. We feel guilty and get defensive. However, I have to question why are 85% of American women unable to breastfeed up to 3 months? Why do 40% of African American women not even try? If humanity had that kind of dismal rate of feeding our infants, I wonder how we managed to populate the planet?

Instead of polarizing the issue into some kind of "breast vs. formula" smackdown between moms, why don't we look at WHY some women struggle so much?

I don't judge an individual person for making the best choice for her family, but I do question the motives of the company that spends millions on marketing formula.
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  #13  
October 25th, 2010, 11:16 AM
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When the doctor told me that I have generalized seizures, that I would have to take medicine for rest of my life, and that I would not be able to breast feed my son when he was born, I broke down and cried. I found out about my seizures when I was still pregnant with my son. I vowed that I would breastfeed because I desperately wanted that feeling of bonding with my child. You see I was told a few years ago after a near fatal accident that I would never have children. This same accident is believed to have caused my seizures.

I wanted to breast feed.
It was not safe for my infant to breast feed due to the medication I MUST take to stay seizure free.
*NOTE Seizures can kill you if untreated. They can escalate over time and become worse. It only takes one seizure too.

How dare some of you criticize mom's for not breastfeeding. Some mom's are the only one's bringing in money to their homes. Some moms are doing everything by their selves.
And some like me had no choice in the matter.

You should be ashamed of yourself, and I hope you never have to suffer through something so disappointing.

I was angry at God for a little while, but I realized that being pregnant with my son was a miracle and it pretty much saved my life. I never would have gone to the doctor and found out otherwise.

I hope this encourages other moms who have decided to bottle feed.
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  #14  
October 25th, 2010, 01:12 PM
sarahmomma's Avatar Momma to 4
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I think the whole breastfeeding debate is ridiculous! I agree with this article in that some woman who've been lucky enough to exclusively breastfeed their children tend to have a superiority complex and treat those who've chosen formula for whatever reason like they aren't good mothers.

With my first I was very sick and because my doctor was ignorant I was unable to breastfeed lasting only 2 weeks due to the pain and exhaustion from a severe infection that when found at the ER landed me in emergency surgery. By the time I was healed and off the meds for it I had completely dried up. I was depressed and honestly wanted to slap some of the pro-breastfeeding -to the point of being rude and ignorant- people that judged me because I already was dealing with my own guilt. With my second child despite pumping, around the clcok breastfeeding, taking supplements and having a lactation consultant I dried up by 3 months and though I continued to offer the breast for another 2 months he got nothing but comfort from them. With my third I breastfed for 13 months with him getting absolutely no formula. I don't think I was a better mother to my youngest because he had the breast the longest but I am proud of myself for trying again each time despite past failures.

I think it is a personal choice and as long as we educate woman about the benefits of breastfeeding without bullying or guilting them for there personal feelings that is wonderful. I am happy that breastfeeding rates are rising but I hate the ignorance that surrounds it on both sides.
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  #15  
December 8th, 2010, 11:01 AM
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This is a strange argument for me. I truly didnt know moms that didnt breastfeed went thru it like this. I breastfed my first child and ran into more ppl who thought I should bottle feed than those who encouraged my breastfeeding. I say go for what you know. I struggled with getting it right and refused to stop! I workes and worked at it and joined a support group. And it all worked out. It depends on the mother and chilld and is really noone else's business.
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  #16  
December 10th, 2010, 10:08 PM
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I have had 6 children and I am preggers with my 7th. I have been built to produce children with remarkable ease, I get pg with ease, I carry with ease, I have not complications during pg or with birth however, I wasnt given the ability to breastfeed. If I lived 200 yrs ago my babies would have prolly died. I spent 3 weeks in hossy with my 4, 5, & 6th child trying to combat the terrible weight loss that my babies suffer if I breastfeed, my 2nd almost died due the that fact I was told as long as there is wet nappies all is well n breast is best so I refused to stick a bottle in her mouth without doing everything I could first. I have no fat in my milk even though I am a very healthy person, so all is not always well if there are wet nappies (I dont use any drugs and there is no reason for my lack). Listen to your own harts and not to the Militant Breast feeding mothers who 'think' they know whats best for our babies.
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  #17  
December 22nd, 2010, 09:03 AM
Rayel81's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBB333 View Post
Ellemphriem said: No one in the article said that breast is not best gals.

Well, the title of the article is: When Breast Isnít Best: Questioning the Superiority of Breastfeeding That sounds rather confrontational to me.

All evidence shows that breast milk is superior to artificial milk, but this article really does question the validity of that science without providing any kind of empirical evidence to demonstrate otherwise.

It's an emotional issue. Many of us struggle with breastfeeding and feel guilty if we can't succeed. We feel guilty and get defensive. However, I have to question why are 85% of American women unable to breastfeed up to 3 months? Why do 40% of African American women not even try? If humanity had that kind of dismal rate of feeding our infants, I wonder how we managed to populate the planet?

Instead of polarizing the issue into some kind of "breast vs. formula" smackdown between moms, why don't we look at WHY some women struggle so much?

I don't judge an individual person for making the best choice for her family, but I do question the motives of the company that spends millions on marketing formula.
YES.
The title is very misleading- Breast is ALWAYS best in regards to nutritional value, that is undebatable. I find the article judgmental TOWARDS those who do BF full time, as if our hard work, dedication and commitment to BF is useless and we might as well stick a bottle in our babies face.

There are legitimate reasons why some women are unable to BF, but as was mentioned above, the numbers are staggering for those opting for formula so quickly. The education needs to be improved so that we can understand nursing (even the MD's are clueless!) and support women in nursing.

We need education so that those who are unable to nurse are honestly unable to nurse(which in reality these cases are medically rare) and the rest can be empowered with loads of wonderful information to help them see the benefits of nature's milk over the highly advertised and publicised profit in a can.
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  #18  
July 19th, 2011, 08:41 PM
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Wow... I cannot belive the harshness going on about this article. I am a Mommy to two wonderful children. I breastfed my son until he was six months old... after he bit me for the third time I called mercy and it seemed it was time because before I knew it I was dry as a bone anyway... no engorgement nothing and he started to sleep better. My LO is now two months old and I have struggled with the decision for a month and a half and have decided to quit breastfeeding her and switch her to formula. She has had a terrible first two months. Her happiest time was about 2-3 hours after a feeding... I would feed her and to no avail... screaming... again. We attributed it to colic but someone suggested trying to not breastfeed for a few days and see what happens... Wala... we have been having wonderful days and nights and she is a totally different baby. I am definately a beliver that breast is best but when a baby is awake screaming MORE than he/she is sleeping... I wouldn't say that is best. All she does is sleep now... I figure she is catching up. I am continuing to pump to keep my supply there just in case... but after beating myself up over my breastfeeding failure and whether I was bad for doing this... I truly feel that the formula is working better than the breastfeeding. I would much rather wake up, throw the boob in her mouth than have to make a bottle. I am far too busy raising my little ones to worry and judge other mothers for what works best for them.
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  #19  
October 12th, 2011, 11:07 AM
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I can't believe this discussion. I'm been breastfeeding for almost two months and sometimes I do feel like giving up but I still go at it.
Not giving breastfeeding a try is not excusable when nothing is stopping you and I can believe 40% of African Americans women wont even try because my friends who have kids look at me crazy. Remember that the 1st milk you produce is your baby 1st immunization! My opinion, My friend who baby was born with loads of mucus in his lungs and was actually throwing up mucus breastfed twice the 1st time she did the mucus completely cleared up and the doctors and I think it was the breast milk. Breadtfeeding wasn't her thing but she gave it a try which made the baby better. At least give it a try if You have nothing stopping you.
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  #20  
October 14th, 2011, 11:57 AM
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Loving my 2 healthy, mentally & physically gifted bottlefed kids! By choice! And I'm good with that. Both of them are extremely healthy as well.

I don't have to make up excuses or justify my decision. I'm good iwth it. Anyone who thinks that make me a bad mother can mind their own business. I'm an attachment parenting mom who didn't breastfeed by choice & I'm ok with that.
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