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I keep hearing from people things like 10 years ago, 20 years ago, etc. breastfeeding wasn't as accepted/common/happening as it is now. I totally don't get this. I am not sure how long formula has been around but surely there were still a lot of people breastfeeding at this point.... did they think formula was better?? I just don't get that, and I hear it a LOT. My mom Bf'd me and I know my grandma did all of her kids (5 btw) but I also know they grew up kind of poor so is that it? You only BF'd if you couldn't afford formula? It just seems backward to me because I figure now formula is probably a lot better than it used to be and I would think more regularly available than it used to be. I am confused.
Also, how does my baby know when she has a breast in her face, LOL... since she was born she could be screaming bloody murder and not be aware of anything else going on but the second she gets near my breast she immediatly calms down and starts rooting like a mad woman. I figure it is the smell, but how would she know the difference between that and say a spit up rag ??? that smells like milk too.
ya, it seems kinda backwards, but there was a HUGE taboo with bfing even just 10 yrs ago but esp 20 yrs ago. about the time birth got moved to the hospital, it became a status thign. You went t o a shiny hospital to have your baby. Smear campaigns were done by hospitals, doctors, and universities. Women were "incompetent" and you wouldnt want some raggedy woman delivering your baby, you wanted a college educated man.
At the same time, a smear campaign went on against BFing. Women were also just entering the workforce b/c of the war, so it was fine timing. Finally, a solution that let them leave their babies with someone. It was also touted as the "sterile" option. Bfing was dirty, germs were passed, etc (they said). You could feed your baby this specially formulated milk, from a clean sterile bottle, and voila - leave your baby too! BFing was something you only did if you couldnt afford formula - so it was very much a status thing. it also was attached as a stigma to immigrants. Immigrants & poor people BF.
It was just a very sad shift in our culture. Women were considered inferior. Man made was considered better than our milk. They saw the increase in infant weight as a good thing, where we now know that infants who are FF put on TOO much weight & its not healthy. But at a time of food rationing, etc - heavy babies were a sign of health, wealth, and prosperity as well.
Unfortunately, it will take a long time to undo the things that have been done ni this culture ni those regards
eta - the real decline started in the 50s I think. Its taken this many generations to get back this far
Wow, thanks!!! That was very informative... and sad. Ugh... sorry but I have had bottles of formula that sat too long or were forgotten about and THAT is dirty and germy, lol. It is also good to know my mom was smart enough to know that anit-bfing was all a bunch of crap!! LOL.
In my personal experience with women in my family, friends, and have randomly talked to (amazing how many random women talk to me just because i have a baby) i find that its women 30s -50's that support bfing until either teething, 3 months or solid foods are started then you "have to" switch to formula. And how i have to give her water. Ive had some lovely arguments over that one. MILs sister had to give it up cause her dr told her its not safe to bf while preggo (1970's).
Its women 60's+ that always automatically ask what kind of formula I feed her and kinda look bewildered that shes never had it. Girls in their 20s go by what their moms tell them. If i had a dollar for everytime i heard "you're STILL bfing?? good for you! Not long till you have to switch to formula" Besides, if formula was so good, why are they advertised as "closest to breastmilk"? Its healthy, i dont dispute that, just BM is better
Most of the women in my family breastfed.....until they "had to" switch to formula for various reasons that we know now are temp obsticles.
I had my first DD when I was 18 and for a few months after she was born I still lived with my parents. My dad and I about had a knock down drag out fight over giving the baby water. He was screaming at me that she needed water (of course I think he just really wanted to give her a bottle)
I also had some friends at that time that thought it was really gross that I was breastfeeding.... but it was my choice probably mostly because my mom breastfed me. She wasn't much help though. I gave up with that one at 4 weeks. But I'm an old pro now, LOL
The formula revolution began during WWII when women had to work while their men were off at war. As formula cmpanies realized the huge profits they could gain they marketed formula to Drs as a better solution to feeding a baby. In the past most people didn't question their doctor. Many women either were told they could not breastfeed from the get go. My mom had injured her breast as a teenager and was told she could NOT breastfeed a baby but had to be given a shot to stop milk production! how wacked is that? Or they don't have the support system at home, dh, mother ect to help them get through the first few weeks. My DH'd uncle is proud that he convinced his wife to stop bf when she got mastitis. I just don't understand how so many people forget how every baby was fed before formula was invented!