Risks to formula feeding

Nicole - posted on 02/27/2010 ( 13 moms have responded )

1,117

27

47

I just made these handouts to give to the clients in my prenatal infant feeding class. Let me know what you think and if there is anything else that I could add. Or you could just use them yourself for informational purposes. I am supposed to start using them on Tuesday, feedback would be great. These handouts are supposed to be supplemental material to go along with my very informative class. Thanks in advance!





RISKS TO FORMULA FEEDING





For mother:

*Formula feeding increases the risks of the following:

**Postpartum hemorrhage following birth

**Developing breast cancer

**Developing ovarian cancer

**Developing endometrial cancer

**Developing osteoporosis



For baby:

*Formula feeding is associated with lower IQ

*Formula feeding increases the risks of the following:

**Baby girls' risk of breast cancer later in life

**Gastrointestinal upset like colic, constipation, diarrheal infections and other intestinal disorders like Crohn's disease

**Developing diabetes

**Developing allergies

**Developing asthma

**Otitis media (ear infections)

**Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

**Developing certain childhood cancers

**Obesity later in life

**Poor dental health (i.e. Bottle carries)





BREASTFEEDING INFORMATION FOR FATHERS (AND OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS)

(I made this handout because I was finding there were a lot of unsupportive fathers.)





Why is it important that the mother of your baby breastfeeds?



*It is healthier for both baby and mother.

*Babies that are breastfed are sick less.

*There are risks to formula feeding. (See Risks to Formula Feeding handout)

*The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and The World Health Association (WHO) recommends it.

*It is the perfect food for baby! Breast milk is more digestible than formula.

*It helps shrink the uterus after giving birth. This helps the mother's bleeding after delivery.

*Breast milk helps pass meconium (the tar-like substance in the baby's intestines at birth).

*It is more convenient. No need to make, sterilize, or pack bottles.

*It helps with natural weight loss in the mother.

*Hormones that are released during breastfeeding help lower stress in the mother and reduces the chance of postpartum depression.

*The mother's monthly menses (periods) are delayed.

*Saves money! Even WIC does not supply all of a baby's formula needs and parents do have to pay for some. It also means less money spent on bottles, co-pays on doctor visits because baby is sick less, and fewer days of work lost due to baby being sick.



How you can bond with the baby:



*Skin to skin contact. Your baby can lie on your chest and listen to the sound of your heartbeat. You can softly sway your baby in your arms while holding your baby close to your body. Your baby will love to feel your warmth and touch just as much as feeling a mother's.

*Interaction. Your baby will love to hear the sound of your voice as you sing, coo, read or talk to him/her. Your baby will want to look at your face while the two of you are interacting.

*Give mom a break! You can bond with the baby (and help out your baby's mother) by bathing the baby, changing the baby's diapers, soothing the baby when he/she is tired, taking the baby for a walk and so on.

There are many ways to bond with a baby that does not include feeding a baby.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Kelly - posted on 02/28/2010

11

28

0

I would just specify the breastfeeding pros like reduces the risk of cancer for example. Im lucky still bf but some mums cant physically and this will scare them if they have no choice.

Ania - posted on 01/12/2012

703

25

52

Even though I'm a breastfeeding mom and I'm a huge supporter of BF i exclusively BF my baby I do not like this handout....Especially the part with the risks...It sounds like pseudoscience. There are some connections to these cancers and overall women should be healthier when they go for extended bf(beyond 6 months....) but in your handout it sounds like a threat. You cannot scare people into breastfeeding. There are plenty of kids that were raised on formula and are fine. Cancer is genetics and lifestyle overall obviously breastfeeding will maybe positively affect the part where lifestyle plays the role, but it will not 100% help with developing or avoiding cancer in the future...

Nicole - posted on 02/28/2010

1,117

27

47

Thank you for your imput.

I did put a link in smaller print on the bottom of the handout to where they could find the names of the studies. I just didn't put it on here because I couldn't change the font size and I knew it would take up a lot of room.

About it being risks to formula feeding instead of benefits to breastfeeding: I went with risks to formula feeding because I have, for 5 years, been talking about the "benefits to breastfeeding", but this was making it sound like the decision to breastfeed could be looked upon lightly. Saying "benefits" to breastfeeding implies that breastfeeding makes a normal baby "healthier" and that formula just makes a normal baby "normal". This is not the case. Breastfeeding makes a normal baby normal and formula makes a normal baby sicker. My point: breastfeeding isn't some magic thing that makes us better. It's what we were intended to get. Formula is an inferior substitute.

While I really do appreciate your thoughts about how it may scare some, I feel I am obligated to relate what I know to my pregnant clients. If a mother decides not to strap her baby in a carseat and then crashes her car and her baby gets hurt/dies, she would feel guilty, but if she tried everything she could to get the carseat strapped in properly, read all the directions and asked for help, but still somehow put it in improperly and then crashed and baby got hurt/died, she would feel REGRET for listening to someone who was wrong or for reading the directions incorrectly. That is how I feel about breastfeeding vs. formula.

I am one of those mothers who tried and tried to breastfeed with my eldest and did not succeed. I thought it was impossible, but I learned later that I was given a massive amount of misinformation and obstacles that hindered successful breastfeeding. I regret that. I know that had I known feeding my baby formula was so risky, I would have sought the proper help at the time. If a mother tries to breastfeed unsuccessfully, she is like the woman who did all she could to strap her baby in the carseat properly.

Jennifer - posted on 02/27/2010

178

12

16

Personally I really like the wording that formula increases risk of X. Breastfeeding is the biological norm. Babies who are fed formula have higher rates of disease than breastfed babies. This is fact, based on scietific research. It's about time we started being honest about this and stopped worying about offending people. Our lives depend on it. As an intructor, you owe it to your clients to give them accurate information so that they can make an informed choice. Sugar coating it won't empower them to do that. I would definately NOT reword it. Sometimes the truth hurts, but that doesn't mean you should stop being truthful.

No one can make another person feed guilty. Guilt happens when a person knows they should have done something differently and knowingly chose not to. Guilt is often confused with regret. Regret happens when a person would have liked things to happen differently but has a clear concience because they know that they did the best they could. For example: A mother may regret that breastfeeding did not work out for her despite having done everything she could to make it work. Another mother, who gave up on breastfeeding without trying or didn't attempt it may feel guilty because she feels she should have at least tried and chose not to. There is a big difference here.

Stating the facts, that breastfeeding is the norm and anything else is inferior does not induce guilt. It informs women, empowering them to make educated decisions, being aware of the consequences of their choices.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

13 Comments

View replies by

Maree - posted on 01/08/2012

720

0

26

Love it...love all of it !!!! I suppose i will be in trouble for my opinion on this as well if a bottle feeder reads it.

Michelle - posted on 03/02/2010

259

10

19

I think it is great ! Too many moms throw in the towel way to quickly and just give up . Right now in this day I think so many moms start the thought of breast feeding just to jump the band wagon , which really is great they consider it at all , BUT I still think more support needs to be out there . ESPECIALLY Support while pregnant ! Maybe if they have that extra FYI to boost their decision it may help them hang in there more or seek more help when they need it .

Nicole - posted on 02/28/2010

1,117

27

47

Again thank you for your feedback.



I should add that these are just handouts that I will be giving the mothers on their way out the door after my 1.5 hour long prenatal class. These will not be the only thing they will be receiving. I always go to great lengths to give them a wealth of knowledge about how to breastfeed and how to handle the pitfalls as they come. And once they do breastfeed, they have their own peer counselor that is just a phone call away. We are not handing out these scary prints and just sending them on their way. I don't intend for these handouts to just scare women into breastfeeding, I intend to give them a leg to stand on with unsupportive family and friends.



I hope this helps to understand my motive. (I will add that to the OP now.) =)

Anneke - posted on 02/28/2010

317

61

29

sounds fine. Wish my mum had of even tried to breastfeed me or my brother and sister as we all have something wrong with us that links to forumla feeding , I am so happy I brestfeed my son, no one informed me when I was pregnant I was told to formula feed as that was what was done, glad i am a rebel and I am breastfeeding nearly 13 months now. Have encountered some people that shout at me and put me down because they didnt breastfeed . Lots of ignorant remarks, any info that anyone can get out that that they wont get the head bitten off them for offending someone do it. I just wish in my area these things where taught during pregnancy and you where not handed forumla soon as baby was born (much to the shock of midwives when I turned it down) my baby gets my milk only.

Elizabeth - posted on 02/28/2010

78

13

6

I think this is great. I am huge advocate for BF and the RISK associated with formula. You are right to word it that way to, because for so long we have said Breast is Best but yet it is taken so lightly. As a formula feed infant whom suffers greatly from the use. I try to educate as many as possible. I suffer from Crohn's disease and do have my son's specialist (GI doc) tell me how great I was for BF him I significantly reduced his risk of developing it. Great work!

Sarah - posted on 02/28/2010

1,499

10

39

I think it would be a good idea to cite your sources if you haven't already. Some people will be interested in where you got this information. And make sure it's a credible source.

Eleisha - posted on 02/27/2010

386

24

64

Everything Jennifer said i agree with wholeheartedly. I am a huge advocate for breastfeeding, and I actively promote and encourage women to do it with my friend and family circles. You are right and it is the biological norm, and the healthiest most natural (and I believe ONLY) way to feed a human infant. It is liquid gold, the nutrition tailor made to suit your infant. I totally agree about the guilt. No one can make another person feel guilty, it does stem from knowing that you could have made a better choice but didn't. Breastfeeding is a beautiful thing and I am so pleased that I worked so hard to do it, and never once even thought about touching formula! I agree that formula fed babies do have a higher incidence of disease than that of babies who are breastfed, the immunological benefits of BM is far superior to that of formula, i don't think anyone in their right mind would argue that.
One of Jennifers' last statements was about stating the facts, and I 100% support this, but while science proves that BF reduces all of these things for us mum's, it does not prove formula increases the risk of these things for mums.

Eleisha - posted on 02/27/2010

386

24

64

I think these are great pamphlets, but am a little concerned about the first paragraph.
QUOTE:
RISKS TO FORMULA FEEDING

For mother:
*Formula feeding increases the risks of the following:
**Postpartum hemorrhage following birth
**Developing breast cancer
**Developing ovarian cancer
**Developing endometrial cancer
**Developing osteoporosis

While BF does significantly reduce the risk of getting/suffering these conditions, formula feeding DOES NOT increase them. Don't get me wrong, I am pro BF all the way (so much so I expressed for 7 months so my daughter would not have to use formula, while we overcame severe fear of my breasts after and awful hospital experience :( On the plus side we are now successfully BF, and I will continue to do so until m y daughter weans herself :] ) Perhaps look at re-wording this?
This however, is just my opinion, other that that WONDERFUL!

Adrian - posted on 02/27/2010

55

6

6

It's very black and white. My only suggestion would be to say increased risk of...or less chance of... Breastfeeding vs formula feeding isn't all cut and dry. The 2nd handout sounds great!

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms