Breastfeeding. Should there be a choice?

Corrie - posted on 05/01/2011 ( 226 moms have responded )

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This is just something thats been going through my head.
I want a healthy, not offensive response.
I understand a lot of women STRUGGLE with breastfeeding.
I know for a FACT a few...and i mean, a small few, CANNOT breastfeed.
But for the general public, it seems to me, there is a choice.
And i don't think there should be.
I'm of the opinion that formula milk should only be available via the NHS, prescription or by doctor/midwife's decree.
The option NOT to feed your child in the most natural, positive, beneficial way is just ridiculous.
I really would like to know what you think.
I understand, very much so, that free will and choice are a maor part of the worlds mantra, but in this case, there are no health benefits what so ever to forumla feeding that Breastfeeding does not give in triple amounts.
Formula: It costs more money. It takes more effort (sterilising, making bottles, feeding when out). It wastes time. It causes physical problems in babies and mothers. It prevents boosting immunities, minimalises post natal bonding, reduces sleep and routine.
No point in listing and mentioning the benefits of breastfeeding in numerous amounts on mother and baby.... Any mother SHOULD be aware of them. It's a failing on the system if they don't, regardless of the mothers choice.

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Krista - posted on 05/01/2011

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I'm of the opinion that formula milk should only be available via the NHS, prescription or by doctor/midwife's decree.

Uh-huh. And what about the mother who tries her best to breastfeed, and it's not working, and her baby is hungry? So now she has to make an appointment with her doctor, persuade him that no, she is not able to produce enough milk for her child, get the prescription, and then go to the pharmacy to obtain this formula?

I can see that working REAL well during weekends and holidays.

The option NOT to feed your child in the most natural, positive, beneficial way is just ridiculous

And not having the option to feed your child at ALL, because of your idea, is even MORE ridiculous.

Your idea is not only absurd, it is cruel. Some mothers twist themselves in knots and go through agony to try to breastfeed their babies, because of people like you who try to make them feel guilty for even considering otherwise. So they take supplements and drugs by the fistful, pump until they're half-mad, and work like f**king dogs to try to give even a half-ounce of milk to their babies. So then they have to take their starving, crying baby to some doctor to "prove" that they have supply issues, before the doctor will deign to give a prescription for formula?

No, that's crap.

Krista - posted on 05/01/2011

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Yeah, your first post WAS pretty strident, hence my equally strident response.

And mind you, I am a little sensitive about these things. I had a breast reduction at age 17, and tried desperately to nurse when I had my baby. I took so much Fenugreek that I smelled like an IHOP. I was obsessed with trying to make milk. I pumped non-stop. If I wasn't nursing, I was pumping, and if I wasn't pumping, I was nursing. I cried myself to sleep every night.

Why? Because I wanted to do what was best for my baby. Don't we all? And after hearing over and over, from the media, from my doctors, from other mothers, from EVERYWHERE that breast is best, and that formula is but a pale substitute, I was determined to do this for my child.

And I couldn't. After every feed, he'd scream for more. So of course I supplemented with formula...my baby was hungry, what was I going to do?

And after 6 weeks of this, I threw in the towel. I was at my wits' end. I was losing my hair from the stress. And I wasn't enjoying my baby.

So when I come onto COM, and I see mothers talk about how formula is so awful, and should only be available by prescription, it seriously raises my hackles. Because yes, I have a good "excuse" due to my breast reduction. But there are plenty of other mothers out there who didn't have breast surgeries, but who went through exactly what I did with nursing. And if we're already exhausted, stressed and wracked with guilt, do we really need to be made to jump through all of these administrative hoops just to feed our children?

You want more women to nurse? Then become an LC and actually help women who are trying. That's how you get more women to stick with it. And the more women who stick with it, the more it will become the norm. And the more it is the norm, the fewer women you will have who will refuse to at least give it a try.

But turning formula into a controlled substance will only result in some very hungry babies being fed cows' milk or worse, long before their tiny systems can handle it.

Oh, and if you're worried about the repercussions (a valid worry, as not everybody reads every comment within the thread), then you might want to add a comment about how your OP was more extreme than you intended, and then just lock the thread and be done with it.

Amber - posted on 05/01/2011

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@ Mel ~ Who are you to decide what's a stupid excuse and what's a genuine reason?

Tania - posted on 05/01/2011

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Ummmm, just how does formula feeding minimize bonding? For that matter how does it do any of the things you have listed. Sorry but I am rolling my eyes at your post.

Tah - posted on 05/02/2011

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This reeks of judgement and condescension. I breastfed and bottle fed and it concerned no one but myself and my children. I always wonder who in the world people think they are when they sit on their bf, natural birth etc. Thrones and tell other mothers how much their choices suck. I only read a couple post on this page and could not even continue I was so heated. Saying that your friends are too lazy to try etc. Did you ever think that's why they bs you, because you sit around judging their choices for their children. You would be the ex-friend and are probably well on your way. I wish people who knew it all could have their own planet....do they know how to make that happen?....why can't people support and respect other peoples choices for whatever reason they make them, or mind their own business.....all viable options....

This conversation has been closed to further comments

226 Comments

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Isobel - posted on 05/02/2011

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Generally we don't lock threads round these parts unless it's out of control.
xx

Merry - posted on 05/02/2011

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Jodi, way back page 6 or so....
I said I don't make formula feeding moms feel judged by me.
I didn't say I don't judge them if their reasons sound selfish.

Judge, idont like it, I try not to, I don't let it show.
But I never claim not to judge people in my head.
But I'd rather lie to their face then let them feel judged by me. It's just not my place to tell people all the rude thoughts I can have.........

Ok so that's it, 5 pages back or so, but I just wanted to clarify :)

Tah - posted on 05/02/2011

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I thi k things like this always rile me up because I have never heard people judged so harshly for how they feed their kids...how they birth their kids..etc until I came on here. We were just happy the kids were alright and thriving, who cares if you whip out a tit or grab the similar..they're eating right......well marina..if she's a new by, I'm also impressed..now off to class...finals are about after all...toddaloo...lol

Corrie - posted on 05/02/2011

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I'm gonna lock this now.
I suppose if i were to write a closing post it would be....
Thanks everyone for your opinions.
You changed my mind on a lot of things i was thinking.
I regret seeming so pointedly negative about Formula and appearing to be an aggresive campaigner for the Breast.
I think we all have amazing opinions. I enjoy arguing as much as the next person, and next time i will think carefully before i post.
I never intended to hurt or offend. And if i have i apologise.
I stand by some of my opinions and feel enlightened by those provided by others.
Enjoy Debating :)

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/02/2011

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Like I said before, I am not well received on many debates....I still love debating though.

Sarah - posted on 05/02/2011

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To be honest, I don't know how it's possible NOT to be aware of the benefits of breastfeeding.........it's why many Mum's feel SO guilty for not doing it (which in turn probably makes the whole experience far harder!)

As Marina said, I was fully aware of the benefits.....but I still decided to formula feed because from my own experience, those benefits were not enough to make me want to do it.

I think that people in general and particularly nurses that help with breastfeeding for those first few times should be more aware of HOW they are trying to "help"......from my own experience, the way the "help" is often counterproductive.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/02/2011

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Nope, of course not! Rooky mistake ;P Just teasing. It is so easy to get accross the wrong tone, no matter the intent behind the message. I think your message was very clear, but it just needed a change of words to soften the tone. No biggy. I like that you are a tough cookie....to bad the kid is coming soon....we won't see much of you after that.

Corrie - posted on 05/02/2011

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Your totally right Jennifer.
And of course i stirred it up Marina....
Couldn't have made it easy on myself now could i :P

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/02/2011

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But, I will say, many women that are educated on the benefits of breast verses formula, still knowingly chose formula. It was the right choice for them, and it really should not be a question of why they chose one over the other.....the question should be "how are you doing with an infant, do you need some extra help?"

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/02/2011

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Hell, i will give you this...for being a newbie on Debating Mums, you sure poked the bees nest! Impressive amounts of posts I must add.

Jenni - posted on 05/02/2011

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Corrie, if you feel so strongly about 'encouraging' women to try breastfeeding at the start and you believe the reason they don't is because they don't know the benefits over formula. Then maybe next time you could just try stating those benefits. Or start a debate on bfing vs formula. Listing the pros and cons of each. Without implying negative stimuli around the 'choice' itself.

Corrie - posted on 05/02/2011

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I agree Tania. I said from the beginnging some women can't. I'd never suggest someone should have their child taken away for not BFeeding.
And i know some women 'Don't want to'
I think i'll lock this in a bit.... Just to save the Forum from CRASHING!
lol
xD

Tah - posted on 05/02/2011

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The truth is corrie, there is still judgement in that, and moms shouldn't have to just try it once to make others happy...it should be about her happiness making her a better mommy to her baby...but I appreciate you taking a look at how you come off and maybe why you come off that way...

Tania - posted on 05/02/2011

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Wow....There is no way I am reading all of these post but I get the jist of where it has gone.
Can I just say...some people CAN NOT BF....end of story and some do not want to regarless. End of story.
For someone to even suggest that their child sould be taken from them is disgusting.
My son is still on formula at 19 months and has been since birth.

Corrie - posted on 05/02/2011

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You're right Tah. I have no right what so ever to judge another mother.
Which is what i have effectivly been doing.
Though i wasn't trying to offend (hard....) or specifically target anyone, i probably did.
For that i'm sorry.
Again it comes down to my opinon on Valid reason.
Which is the major debate.
1 side - There shouldn't have to be a valid reason. Any reason is a reason.
The other side? You SHOULD have a valid reason and if you don't you're not doing what is best for your baby.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/02/2011

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Corrie, you can always make a closing statement and lock the thread.

Corrie - posted on 05/02/2011

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And that's great Sarah! To me deciding to try is the best thing.
I would say trying is making the decision to do it. Whether you stick to it, give up, change your mind... whatever.
God, i'd be happy if a mother specifically said "I just want to do the first feed" because then at least she understands it's best.

Tah - posted on 05/02/2011

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The thing is corrie, someone doesn't have the right to judge you for only bf for three months, and if they did or do...they are in fact wrong and I would hope you know that. Noone has the right to pass judgement on another mothers way of feeding her child and to question it, judge it or insult a mother in how she does it is wrong. If it made you feel like crap...why would you want to make another mom feel like that????...maybe because you feel you deserved the judgement????...well you didn't...no matter your reasons for stopping, if it was valid to you, then that makes it valid..period.

Sarah - posted on 05/02/2011

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What would constitute as "trying"?
Is trying it one time enough......or does it have to be weeks? month?

I bet if "trying" included just a handful of times.....there would be a LOT of women who had tried! :)

Corrie - posted on 05/02/2011

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Tah.... Yeah. Changed my mind. Not fucking off. I'm enjoying the slightly less "Your a DEAMON MOTHER" approach of the debate now.
Though i think it's pretty much over.
I'll come back on tomorrow and find another 20 responses to the OP that crucify me for being a FF hater and Horrible person.
Stating a hundred things we've all already said.

Jenni - posted on 05/02/2011

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Well just remember in the future you'll catch more flies with honey. ;)

Corrie - posted on 05/02/2011

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Jennifer, i've totally backtracked on my OP. Forcing is wrong. I see that. But strongly suggesting can't go amiss ;)

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/02/2011

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Corrie, that is a great and realistic goal...for you. Sometimes not for others. I hope you succeed.

Mel - posted on 05/02/2011

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You did something very amazing for yourself and your child Kimberly. Well done. I wish others would put in as much effort as you. Im gad you were able to overcome everything

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/02/2011

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I love when statements start with "no offense" cause you know damned well it's gonna offend someone ;)

Mel - posted on 05/02/2011

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3 months is a good amount of time. Anyone who breast feeds for any amount of time should feel proud. I remember the first few months thinking when will this end I dont want to breast feed anymore now I coudlnt imagine any other way. Its hard work but you get there. a few weeks great a few months thats great to, if you make it to 6 months or 12 or 24, whatever you can do. I just think people should stick it out as long as they can but when it gets to a point when you are ready to stop and you want your body back then wean. As long as people give it a shot, a proper shot

Corrie - posted on 05/02/2011

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Thanks Marina. Really. And Ashley.
Jane, i think we all felt like that at least once.
I don't think a woman who has a C section or Can't breastfeed is a bad mother. I don't think i would be if it happened to me.
But i want to give BF a shot again because i know it's best for my child. I'm not having my child to give him to other people, to feed him with something unnatural or to force him to be anything he isn't. If my child has a child in the future and decides to formula feed, i still wouldn't say "Your Wrong".
Maybe i've been too emphatic. Sometimes we don't think when we type....

Kimberly - posted on 05/02/2011

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and no affence but i was also abused at age 10 i went threw 5 years of intencive treatment so that i could give my child everything he or she deserved. i came to terms with my abuse. and to say that you still have issues and thats a reason you cant breastfeed, i personally can say that there is more issues than just breastfeeding, if that abuse is stopping people from just giving it a try to breastfeed.

Tah - posted on 05/02/2011

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@corrie..the first step is to admit it..good job...and no, it wouldn't just make happy...it would make me ecstatic...

Jenni - posted on 05/02/2011

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And a lot of mothers who breastfeed past a year would feel it's so wrong for you to have stopped at 3 months. Would that feel nice to have salt rubbed in your wounds about stopping at 3 months?

How about natural birthers telling moms who opt for c-sections that they should be forced to birth the way they did?

How about organic moms saying mothers should be forced to to feed their kids organic foods only.

How about mothers who are intactivists forcing other mothers not to circumsize their sons.

Reuseable diapers vs exposable

Anti-pacis vs pacis

etc etc etc

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/02/2011

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Oh no Jane, it is a real thing. There are MANY women in here that will say they felt the same way. I am not sure why it happens, I wonder for me if it was just while my uterus was shrinking back to size...it needed contractions....and just think, when you have an orgasm, your uterus contracts....I think it is all the same hormone??? But yeah, those feelings went away for me also at about 6 weeks.....about the length of time for your uterus to go back to original size....just a thought.

Corrie - posted on 05/02/2011

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Jennifer i'd never say mothers should parent as i do. It's every mothers choice. I've said if a mother choses to FF it's her choice. IMO it's not the right one in a lot of cases.
I feel a lot of mothers DO opt to formula feed out of ignorance of BF benefits.
And yes. I made negative implications about mothers who opt to formula feed without what i consider to be a valid reason. Which i have been repeatedly told is the wrong way to look at it.
And of course it's my attitude towards it. For the most part i tried to be understanding and listen and respond accordingly. I don't mind things getting a little heated.
I just don't like being singled out as a hate-mongerer and bad person.
However, it's their opinion if they think that of me ;)

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/02/2011

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Corrie, I am gonna give you some info about me you don't know yet. I had a c-section with my first (yup bf just fine) and I felt like a failure for not giving birth...for MANY years. This is kinda how I think you feel. You know your body was made to do something, and your body decided it didn't want to. It hurts when we have ideals for ourselves and we are unable to accomplish them....for whatever reasons.

Anyhow, when you have your baby in the next week or so, please keep this thought it mind.


Do the best that you can. If you do not succeed, you are not a failure.

I truly wish you the best of luck with your next delivery, and I honestly hope that you get to breastfeed the way you wanted to with your first. But, if you do not, please don't feel like a failure. That is no way for a new mommy to feel. You grew that baby inside of you for so many months....you have already won.

Jay - posted on 05/02/2011

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MARINA-
I am so glad to hear you say ''I know when I first started breast feeding my first child, it felt a bit sexual....I almost stopped because of it. Sometimes it doesn't feel natural''
I thought I was the only one!! Up until my son was about 6 weeks old I would sometimes feel really strange and start to panic about it being a sexual thing. Things are totally fine now, and I think I was being silly but I am glad to hear I am not the only one, I thought I was a weirdo! :O xx

[deleted account]

You can do that no problem without bashing anyone.I have strong opinion's and i have never offended anyone.

As i said i had an awful time twice b/f.I still talk about b/f positively encourage others to at least try.Its all about how you put your points and opinions across.I believe they can be done without getting moms all up in arms.Of course its not wrong to stop, all mothers have the right to b/f for as long as the want.If you had no choice, why beat yourself up over it.

Enjoy your child and live life.Don't drive yourself crazy in the whole b/f-formula thing.Shit happens we just have to carry on.IMHO:-)

Corrie - posted on 05/02/2011

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And again Marina, i did feel like a failure, but that wouldn't make me force a woman to BF.
I just think it's right to try.
I really really do. Colostrum and Breast milk... It's just so RIGHT. Sigh.
Big SIGH.

Tah - posted on 05/02/2011

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Mel..just because you don't make the connection doesn't mean others don't. You are starting to sound insensitive to mothers who have experienced what you have and more. People have different coping mechanisms and some don't cope well at all. Many things can bring back memories of childhood abuse, bf included. It's psychological and there are many different aspects to the human psyche. So you just thank God bf didn't bring those images to back for you and stop acting like since it didn't trigger memories in you then it shouldn't in other victims...but anyway...

Jenni - posted on 05/02/2011

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The thing is Corrie it's more to do with your attitude about it than your actual opinion. That's why this has become heated. When you make brash statements like mothers opt to formula out of ignorance it is offensive. When you imply all mothers should parent the way you do, it is offensive. If you had just started a topic about why you believe breast is best I don't think you would have experienced such a harsh backlash. Instead you made a bunch of negative implications about mothers who opt to formula feed.



And your statements reeked of superiorty complex and passed judgement on other mom's parenting choices.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/02/2011

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I never said you disagreed Corey, I was just trying to help clarify a possible reason for things with Mel.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/02/2011

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Thank you again Tracey, I didn't even notice you wrote boy! Eh, she still has no hair...kinda does look like a boy still....LOL...my adrogenous baby.

Corrie - posted on 05/02/2011

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Marina, i've tried to point out my agreement with you in this case, that breasts are over sexualised, that the discomfort a lot of women feel surrounding breast feeding and exposure of breasts is down to the view created by the media these days. I understand how a woman abused could associate their breasts with the horrible event and not want to breast feed.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/02/2011

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Corrie "And anyone who judged me for doing so would have been entitled to their opinion. I felt like a shit mother. And i still do sometimes. I don't aim to tell a mother she's shit or wrong."

This is the point we are all trying to get across. NO mother should have to be made to feel like a failure for not being able to, or wanting to breastfeed. I cannot help but think your lack of progress with breastfeeding made you feel that ANY mother that has milk NEEDS to....because you were not given a fair shake at it. I am not being sarcastic, I am being sincere.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/02/2011

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Corrie, I think anyone in this room that knows me in here can tell you I am usually on the opposite side of the coin in these debates...(general debates, not specifically this one) I am regularly opposed. No one is saying you are bad in any way. It is hard not to take these things personally.

Mel - posted on 05/02/2011

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Im trying to remember but I think it might have felt a little strange for me at first too breast feeding, but now it just seems 100% natural

Corrie - posted on 05/02/2011

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And i didn't stop suddenly Ashley. And anyone who judged me for doing so would have been entitled to their opinion. I felt like a shit mother. And i still do sometimes. I don't aim to tell a mother she's shit or wrong.
I aim to inform those who don't know better that Breast is best.
And that at the end of the day, just not wanting to, is not best for the child.

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