Breastfeeding - why is it treated differently in public debate?

Aliska - posted on 06/29/2010 ( 74 moms have responded )

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I’m interested to know why breast-feeding is treated differently to other child care/health issues by the general public and mothers in particular.

If research shows that something is better than something else in regard to children we are quick to legislate or at least run extensive public information campaigns promoting the better practice.

Things that spring to mind, these are Australian examples so may not apply to all, include legislation that all babies and toddlers must be restrained in an approved car-seat when travelling by car as research has shown that they are safer in an accident than if unrestrained.

Proposed legislation that bans parents/adults smoking in cars and other confined spaces when children are present as research shows that passive smoking is detrimental to a child’s health.

The extensive public education campaigns (not legislation) advising how babies should be put to sleep in order to avoid Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and to have children immunised against common childhood diseases.

None of these and the million other examples out there generate the strong public debate and opinion like breastfeeding campaigns do. For example in regard to passive smoking and children we don’t try to spare smoking parents’ feelings. We actively try to make them feel guilty so they give up or at least stop smoking around their child. No-one says that because it can be so hard to give up we shouldn’t make parents feel guilty about smoking around their children and try to change their behaviour. We don’t say that approved child restraints are expensive and are an unfair burden on low-income parents so we shouldn’t force them to buy one etc

Yet when there is a campaign promoting breast-feeding there is often an outcry from the public that it is unfair on all those mothers that can’t/don’t breastfeed, that the benefits of breastfeeding shouldn’t be overly promoted as it makes non-breastfeeding mothers feel guilty, hurts their feelings, stirs up their feelings of regret of not being able to breastfeed etc.
Breastfeeding is the only issue that I’ve noticed that the feelings/desires of the parents have equal or more weight than the benefits to the child in the public debate. I was wondering why this might be so and what your thoughts on this are.....

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Mary - posted on 08/05/2010

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Kathy - I wanted to comment on your earlier question about why breastfeeding mothers are "blamed" for trying to make mothers who choose formula feel guilty.

The simple answer is that there really are BF advocates who do this. I honestly believe that they are in the minority...problem is they are a VERY vocal minority. Just peruse random threads on COM, and you will see BF's who outright attack formula feeders as inferior mothers who are too selfish to nurse their babies. I believe that it is possible to advocate breastfeeding without condemning formula....problem is, this is a very personal and emotional topic for new mothers, and when a few zealots cross the line, it gets ugly on BOTH sides.

When the more vehement BF's get on their soapbox, they tend to stray from encouraging a mother to nurse, and veer more towards condescending, inflammatory "formula is evil" type of rant. Naturally, this gets the formula mommas angry and defensive...and things just spiral out of control from there.

The sad part is, I really think most BFing moms are a little more like me...I did it, I'm proud of myself for it, and I would encourage anyone to do it as well...but, ultimately, what you do with your baby is your business. I'm not overly passionate about it, nor do I think it is my responsibility to cram my mothering choices down your throat. I'm secure enough in my choices that I do not need to seek validation by making others feel inferior to me for not following the same path I did.

As a nurse, I understand that the most effective way to support a new mother learning to breastfeed is to be only positive about her attempts. I am honest with them about how hard it can be in the beginning weeks....and then tell them that it DOES get not only easier, but (for me) was a truly incredible bonding experience that benefitted BOTH my baby and myself. I promote it as being nutritionally the best option for a baby, without ever suggesting that formula is "bad".

I really wish that our lactation consultants were a little more gentle with these new mothers. They seem to forget that the psyche and emotions of a new momma are so very fragile in those first few weeks. They are hormonal, sleep deprived, and insecure about their parenting skills....the worst thing you can do to them is try to ram your fanatical BF dogma down their throats, and try to guilt them into continuing BFing by suggesting they are a bad mother if they fail. All that does is make them angry...and a whole lot less receptive to the "support" that LC is trying to give.

Sadly, I think most of us have encountered more than one or two BFing zealots out there, and while I know they aren't representative of all of us, they make us all seem like judgemental bitches.

Mary - posted on 08/04/2010

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I don't live in Australia, so I cannot comment on there being a public outcry against pro-breastfeeding campaigns. I have to say that I've not really noticed that here in the US.

I think that pretty much everyone agrees/knows that breastmilk is best. Hell, even the formula reps that come into my hospital start out their inservices with "Breast is best, but in the event that a mother cannot...." tactic. Actually, all our new moms are sent home with a complimentary diaper bag from whichever company (we alternate contracts with Enfamil and Similac) that is filled with nursing aids such as nursing pads, Lanisol, and breastmilk storage bags, in addition to a free sample of formula.

My overall impression is that breastfeeding IS encouraged and promoted on all fronts as "best".

April, your posts leaves me with the impression that you think it should be taken one step further....that the message should be that not only is breast best, but formula is BAD.

I'm sorry, but that simply is not true.

If formula were truly harmful to babies, I'm pretty sure that the letigious world we live in would be chock full of parents suing EVERYone, from the formula companies, to pediatricians, to the government.

I did breastfeed my daughter for just shy of 14 months, so I'm not someone who is trying to justify a choice I feel guilty about.
I come from a pro-breastfeeding family, so I had plenty of support, encouragement, and helpful resources once I got home. I had a supply that could have nourished triplets with ease, as well as an easy-going baby that latched from day one. And still...it was HARD in the beginning weeks. I would never presume to judge someone who didn't have all the advantages I did for switching to formula - and I think it is truly deplorable for anyone else to do so either.

Johnny - posted on 06/29/2010

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Generally not breastfeeding has risks, but for many breastfeeding is problematic enough that these risks are mitigated. Comparing the use of formula to not using car seats or smoking during pregnancy is not supported by any data. Breastfeeding may be optimal, but it is more analogous to eating an exclusively organic macrobiotic diet or using only chemical free cleansers than it is to using car seats and putting children to sleep in a safe place. That is, in terms of statistically increased health risks. For an unbiased, statistical analysis of the risks:

http://stats.org/stories/breast_feed_nyt...

Mary - posted on 08/05/2010

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April, I hear what your saying...once my daughter was about 9 months old, more than one of my co-workers would comment when they saw that I was still lugging that pump in and out of work.

However, it was never in the vein of "you're a bad mother"...it was more like "Oh my God, I can't believe you're still doing that - I was totally over it by six months!" IF anything, those types of comments made me feel like they were impressed by my continued committment to nurse past the introduction of solids.No one ever insinuated that I was somehow harming my child - it was more along the lines of how formula *could* make things easier for me.

If anything, the types of comments you mention actually suggest more of a begrudging, albeit incredulous, type of admiration.

That's a far cry from insinuating your choice in nourishing your child is somehow harmful, selfish, or poisoning their child.

The bottom line is, the world would be a much happier place if we all just learned to keep our opinions to ourself unless someone ASKS us. In the event that your opinion is solicited by another mother, we would all be wise to do so in a compassionate and non-judgemental way.

Krista - posted on 08/05/2010

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I agree with Mary. A lot of BFing moms are very nice about it, but there are a considerable (and very vocal) number who are only too happy to imply (or state outright) that formula-feeding moms are selfish, not bonded with their child, poisoning their child, brainwashed by the formula companies, ignorant and uninformed, and basically, not good mothers. I could not nurse due to having a breast reduction at age 17, and actually had one BFing mom tell me that it was selfish of me to have done that.

I mean, honestly. You'd have to have a skin as thick as a brick wall to not get upset at these accusations.

We all try to do what is best for our children. And if people wish to promote breastfeeding, you CAN extol the virtues of breastfeeding without demonizing formula or the women who use it. Accusing FFing mothers of not doing well by their kids? Not helpful. At all.

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Stifler's - posted on 08/08/2010

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That's crazy! I wish the nurses took the baby away so I could sleep though. I just fed that kid every time he cried lol I ended up bottle feeding.

Mary - posted on 08/06/2010

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She too was a Kathleen - originally from Longford, Ireland!

She told me that when I was born, They would not even let her nurse until her milk came in...and then she had to soak her breasts in alcohol to "sterilize" her nipples before each feeding in the hospital. Oh - and they only brought me to her every 4 hours to feed, and then I was trucked back off to the nursery. (I cannot imagine how more nursery nurses didn't jump out the window with all those screaming babies only being allowed to feed every 4 hours!). Despite all of these obstacles, my mother managed to nurse both of her babies for a year.

[deleted account]

So whatever we do, someone's going to dfisagree!

What's your mum's name, Mary? I'm Kathleen. Of Irish ancestry, obviously!

Mary - posted on 08/06/2010

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Ahhh, Kathy, my mom would have loved you! Funnily enough, you share the same name! My mother breast fed my sister and I in 1970 & 72....almost NO ONE did that then, and she took heaps of abuse and disapproval for it, particularly from my grandmothers! Back then, the thinking really was that formula was superior, and only poor, dirty people nursed their infants! Isn't it funny how the tides have turned...and yet, the acrimony remains.

[deleted account]

I DO know that there are breastfeeding zealots out there, and I've heard them. I spent a lot of years as breastfeeding counsellor in Australia- a large part of our training concerns people skills, and the emphasis was (and still is, presumably) on how not to come across as as a zealot amd a "breastfeeding nazi". Our main concern was always the mother baby. Promoting breastfeeding was/is our aim, providing information for those who want it, helping mothers making the correct decision for themselves and their family.

The zealots fighting for "the cause" were always regarded as the biggest barrier to our work.

Having said all that, my children were born in an era where breastfeeding was NOT the norm.Boy, were there some fanatical formula-feeders out there then! WE had everybody's mum, mum-in-law etc etc, decrying our choices, we had the medical fraternity abusing us for not taking advantage of the new technology and therefore abusing our babies, we had the "woman-in the street" calling us hippies, tree-huggers, were were accused of being dirty, being lazy...you name it. To our face, as well as in print, in the media. You name it, we copped it. OK, not fun, so don't tell me about over-the-top zealotry.

How did we cope with all this? This is a quote from the Australian Breastfeeding Association's website:

"Just as your baby is an important part of your life, he is also important to others. People who care about you and your baby are bonded to you both in a special way that invites their comments and advice. Acknowledging this may help you handle the interference in a calm and gentle way rather than reacting negatively. It's rarely worth creating a war over a well-meaning person's comments. Regardless of the advice, he is your child, and in the end, you will raise him the way that you think best. You can respond to unwanted advice in a variety of ways. " This is a current article, dated 2007, but the comment is how we dealt with difficult situations when I was training. It's biassed towards breastfeeding, but it's how we coped - don't get stroppy, don't get into an argument, explain your choices if the situation warrants, but remember that everyone chooses to bring up their child differently.
http://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bfinfo/d...

Great advice, and still valid. There is still lots of stigma around about breastfeeding (not so much in Australia now, as it's embedded in government policy) so it's a matter of trying to stay calm about any sort of negativity about our choices, you chose breast or formula. It's worth it.

When you think about it, people are always going to cop flak if they're different - I have a friend who chooses to wear the burqua, and she's always copping abuse. She doesn't retaliate in any way because she doesn't worry if she's different. Another of my friends was recently told by a group of young men to "Go backhome, you.***.Indian." He did in fact reply, but only to correct their misapprehension - "if you want to abuse me at least get my nationality right," he said. "I'm from Sri Lanka!"


So it cuts both ways. We can get along together. There'll always be abusive people around. Just try to ignore them. Tell yourself that empty vessels make most noise. I was called a cow once, by a very upper-middle-class member of the blue rinse set. I could have told her her udders were a lot bigger than mine. I didn't, but I got a laugh from the vision!

Oops, this has turned into a novel!
Like Dana, I vote for world peace. And a glass (or three) of red!

Charlie - posted on 08/05/2010

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Like Brandy in real life i have heard FF mums say to breastfeeding mums that " eeew gross " "OMG he has a tooth now ? thats creepy you should switch to formula " and "how could you (BF) " none of these babies being over a year old .

Now i agree there are plenty of BF mothers who have a "no excuses , BF or nothing attitude " and i dont they are doing their cause any favours if they took a gentler approach with a little understanding perhaps they would be able to encourage a few people to BF and try not judge those who have to FF being a mum is hard enough .

[deleted account]

April it really depends how they say it and in what situation - if a bf mum is moaning that her breasts are sore due to mastitis or that she can't go out they could be giving 'helpful' advice if however a bf mum is minding her own business and just bf her baby and a ff mum walks up and starts telling her that she should wean because of blah blah blah then that is wrong. In my experience I have NEVER seen a ff mum do this but I have seen (and experienced) a bf mum do this because formula is poison don't you know!

To answer the question bf is reinforced with positive adverts here and formula cannot be advertised (for under 2 year olds - I believe) so in the UK there isn't an outcry that it is unfair on ff mums it's just how it is. It is the mums who attack ff mums for their CHOICE of using formula that I find an issue and causes upset amongst mums, I agree with many other mums that you can promote bf without vilifying ff - it is neccessary for some mums.

Krista - posted on 08/05/2010

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You do have a point there, but are FFing moms implying that BFing moms are BAD mothers for breastfeeding?

In some cases yes, particularly when extended breastfeeding comes into play. I would say that extended BFing moms probably receive just as hard a time as FFing moms do, in the grand scheme of things.

But in that first year, it just seems that BFing moms are congratulated and applauded and told continually what a wonderful thing that they are doing for their children. Formula-feeding moms? Crickets. Or criticism. That's it.

April - posted on 08/05/2010

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Brandy's right....some FF moms DO push formula on breastfeeding moms. "why don't you wean to formula so you can go out once in a while?" "why don't you use formula so that your baby will sleep through the night?" "if you used formula, you wouldn't get masitiis or thrush"

i call that pushing formula!

Isobel - posted on 08/05/2010

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See...what I'm getting here, is that in many of our communities one group gets the majority of support from public, and we in turn, get our backs up.

I think it's really sad that BFing moms have been treated poorly by their communities, but I must admit, the only time I've seen a FF mom on COM say anything negative about BFing, it's been in regards to a 6 year old. And to be honest, if you don't want to hear other people's opinions...don't ask them what they think.

Where I live, BFing mothers are considered Goddesses and FF mothers are vilified.

it shouldn't go either way.

Brandy - posted on 08/05/2010

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Quoting Krista: Fair enough. But from my experience, the formula feeding mothers do not question or berate the breastfeeding mothers for breastfeeding. They don't try to push formula feeding onto them. They don't tell them that they're ignorant and lacking education. If formula-feeding mothers WERE zealots, then of course it would be fitting to call them as such.




I'm sorry, but this is so not true. I BF my daughter for 9 months and my son for 6 so far and with both I have had FF mothers berate me about BF. I was told it was disgusting to do it for so long, that I needed to think about switching to formula, that it was going to be emotionally damaging for them because they would remember it, that it was creepy. I don't care if you choose formula but don't try to push it on me.

Sarah - posted on 08/05/2010

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Some breastfeeding Mum's are cool about it all, other's aren't.
That's about the long and short of it.
Those who aren't cool, and spout off to all that will listen about how awful formula is and stuff, are actually doing more harm than good IMO!

Those who are cool about it, are doing a grand job!!

I didn't breastfeed and now my kids are 6 and 2 and to be honest, I couldn't give a crap about what others choose to do. I'm way past the point of feeling guilty or inferior. :)

[deleted account]

I agree many b/f moms are wonderful and respectful and can be helpful about b/f and give excellent advice and info without putting down other f/f moms but there's also many crazy b/f moms who are not respectful.There the ones who piss off most of the f/f moms.We cannot paint all b/f moms with the same brush or i would be saying my sister who b/f her two children & her second child to a year and a half was one of those crazy ladies..which she most definitely is not..lol.She proud of what she did for her children and i am proud of her for doing it and pushing through those hard first weeks to see how wonderful it is to be able to do it and enjoy the bond etc..i would of loved it with my children.

Mary we need many more nurses like you who have been there and who are honest and most of all kind and encouraging,to us moms with a million emotions racing through us after the birth of our baby's.All my nurse did was make me cry seriously she did.lol.i even left 2days after a section because i couldn't handle them anymore.

Krista - posted on 08/05/2010

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now where do you hear the words "die hard formula feeding mama?" or "formula feeding zealot" or "militant formula feeding mama?" THAT is why breastfeeding is treated differently in a debate. and where in this thread did someone call a formula feeding mom a "judgmental bitch"????????

Fair enough. But from my experience, the formula feeding mothers do not question or berate the breastfeeding mothers for breastfeeding. They don't try to push formula feeding onto them. They don't tell them that they're ignorant and lacking education. If formula-feeding mothers WERE zealots, then of course it would be fitting to call them as such.

[deleted account]

@Kathy
I'm very supportive of breastfeeding. I support the UK's positive discrimination stance on breastfeeding which prohibits advertising of formula.

The only time I get annoyed is when pro breast feeders feel the need to attack formula as poison! It's a pretty piss poor attitude when so many mothers try there hardest but have no decent support to be able to continue. To tell them that they are poisoning their babies when the other option was to starve them.

Has it ever occurred to someone that there are more women needing formula for their infants as a result of natural selection. Women whose children may have died a hundred years ago due to no milk supply, survived with the introduction of formula. That faulty genetic issue may be surviving. I'm third generation bottle fed. Makes me wonder if I ever stood a chance of successfully breastfeeding my kids.

April - posted on 08/05/2010

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now where do you hear the words "die hard formula feeding mama?" or "formula feeding zealot" or "militant formula feeding mama?" THAT is why breastfeeding is treated differently in a debate. and where in this thread did someone call a formula feeding mom a "judgmental bitch"????????

[deleted account]

OMG! Mary, you should be our representative! You couldn't have summed up my thoughts any better.

[deleted account]

Cathy, thanks for bringing that information to our attention. Any dehydration is potentially fatal, of course. It seems to me, although I don't know the background, that there MAY have been a mismanagement of lactation in some cases.

Your friend's situation must have been terrifying, and I'm so sad that she had midwives who were uncaring. I do know that in Australia, when I was a breastfeeding counsellor, many years ago, I had a formula feeding mum once who came to our meetings because, as she put it, it was the only place where she was welcomed and felt OK about feeding her baby. And this was the Nursing Mothers' Association of Australia (now the Australian Breastfeeding Association), a very pro-breastfeeding group, but also a pro mother and baby group.

If you really want some hard evidence I could get it for you, but I understood that this thread wasn't about breast vs bottle, but about why breastfeeding is treated differently in public debate.

[deleted account]

April- feeding your child formula CAN kill the child sometimes. formula fed babies are more likely to suffer from obesity. they are more likely to choke when rice is added and they are more likely to die of SIDS. there is also the chance that the formula was contaminated....unless the mother is a drunk/drug addict...it is impossible for breastmilk to be contaminated.



What if the mother is HIV positive? Pretty good chance of breastmilk being contaminated then.

Sometime breastmilk isn't a quality source of nutrition. Sometimes the milk is so poor it results in children being admitted into hospital for infant dehydration, a very serious condition. It happened to a friend of mine and despite her daughter being fed through a drip the "La Leche League" midwives were still praising her breastfeeding and encouraging her to continue. What's natural about having a baby grossly underweight and being fed by a tube?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/786768...



If you have hard evidence to argue your case that comes from a reliable and unbiased source (not a breastfeeding advocate group) then feel free to share.

Stifler's - posted on 08/04/2010

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oh and i was breastfed until a year, became an alcoholic at 19 and was obese until recently.

Stifler's - posted on 08/04/2010

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oh dear. i think more women want to breastfeed and can't than women who flat out refuse to even try and who really cares anyway, everyone needs support either way. having a new baby is really hard with the waking and crying and spewing and screaming and washing and partners being jack asses and refusing to help out and people passing judgment. no wonder people can't breastfeed. i agree, formula can't be as bad as all that, many a healthy person was raised on formula.

[deleted account]

Sharon , what hate are you talking about? The posts I've seen here don't "spew hatred" as you put it. The posts I've seen here are generally pro-breastfeeding, but emphasise that it's the mother's choice. So I don't see the hatred you're talking about.

And as for the list of things that are sometime bought as breastfeeding aids, they are items that are not necessary except in individual cases, for example, I've never used a nipple shield, special creams, nursing pads or breast pumps., and I'll bet lots of women are the same as me. I've used thrush treatments, but not, in fact, when I was breastfeeding.

So yes, there are some things breastfeeding mums may need to buy. But tyhis can't be compared to all the stuff those who choose to formula feed HAVE to buy. (Here in Australia, a tin of formula costs about 25AUD

My point is that formula companies are making money hand over fist so they have lots of money for their marketing campaigns.

So perhaps Sharon, you could actually read the posts and try to understand them. It seems to me that the most hatred-filled post is yours.

[deleted account]

It takes a woman's body to b/f its not like buying a seat or its not just using a cot for there safety because research shows this is what we do to keep them safe etc....its using your body to feed a child, its putting your emotions and your mental well being into the situation for example i know b/f is fantastic and i dont doubt that one bit..its the most natural way to feed your newborn baby etc but i wont put my child through days of starving when the wont latch and put myself through hell feeling all the emotions that went along with it like 'why am i not able to b/f' and i couldn't bare seeing my child hungry.

I became depressed after my second who took so well to b/f but from my experience of nearly losing her and my state of mind after an emerancy c-section wasnt good,i gave up for me.I think suffering to do what you know is right can work out so well and for many i cant imagine what could of happened if pressured to do so,or killing yourself to do it, while not being happy or hoping your baby would sleep for longer so you dont have to b/f them.



I can just hear so many of the b/f passionate moms saying excuses, excuses but my well being, my mental well being came first..why..to be a fit and able mother to care for my daughters well and to be a happy mother who enjoyed her kids.I now have two healthy children who are happy in a loving home and i dont regret my choices one bit.



B/f 100% the best choice and the milk 100% best for baby..If anything i would say moms try..if it works excellent if not dont feel bad but carrying on and do whats second best f/f and most of all enjoy your little child..the grow fast.:-)Its your choice.

Sharon - posted on 08/04/2010

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I can't even go up and read all the new posts because I'm RIVETED to this hateful pack of LIES you're pitching out there.

Breastfeeding isn't a money maker???

Nipple shields
special creams
thrush treatments
nursing bras
nursing tops
breast pads
breast pumps for weaning
WTF do you mean its not a money maker?????

I'm sick and tired of the goddamned titty addicts spewing their hatred all over. When is thread going to be locked?

April - posted on 08/04/2010

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when i tell you all this about formula...i'm not trying to make you feel bad on purpose. i'm trying to pass on information that you might not know about formula. when something is such a money making business as formula is......professionals don't tell you the truth about this artificial substance. They want you to buy their product...just like the tobacco company wants you to buy their cigarettes.

April - posted on 08/04/2010

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feeding your child formula CAN kill the child sometimes. formula fed babies are more likely to suffer from obesity. they are more likely to choke when rice is added and they are more likely to die of SIDS. there is also the chance that the formula was contaminated....unless the mother is a drunk/drug addict...it is impossible for breastmilk to be contaminated.

Isobel - posted on 08/04/2010

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I don't understand why the pro BF mothers on this particular thread seem to think that FF feeding mothers have no right to disagree with them. Should they just shut up and listen because you are clearly superior?

I personally believe that mothers should stop intentionally making other mothers feel bad simply because that's good for society...happy mothers make happy babies :)

~♥Little Miss - posted on 08/04/2010

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WOW..ok, really well thought out debate here..this is not just a debate over ff vs bf...this is interesting.

Ok, so my thoughts on this issue is as follows....The examples of car seats, and immunization are linked to many infant DEATHS...whether a child should be on the stomach to sleep or the back is a constantly debated issue and can change at any time. Children exposed to smoke are proved to be linked to death, cancer and asthma but it is not illegal to smoke outside near your children. Breastfeeding has wonderful benefits, but not breastfeeding will not kill your child, or cause asthma, cancer, or SIDS. So it cannot and should not ever be forced on someone. That would be like a 16 year old that gets preggo and someone forces them to abort becouse they are so young. It just isn't right.

Now as far as making a mother feel bad for her choices, why should that be done at all?? I am a BF mom and would not want to make another mother feel badly for her given right to chose formula. She understands the benefits and has made a decision. I think it is such a touchy subject becouse it is sooooo personnal...and everyone feels like they have a right to know why you made that decission

Rosie - posted on 08/04/2010

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i chose not to with my 2nd and 3rd child because of my experience with my 1rst. i tried for 2 days to feed him, it was excruciating pain, i felt he was STARVING, and it somewhat turned me on which creeped me the fuck out. i hated absolutely EVERY minute he was attached to me, i felt like a failure, why wasn't i normal, why oh why oh why?

i wasn't going to do that to myself again. these things society couldn't of changed, no amount of help from a LL expert, nothing. it is how i am. if people don't like it - too fucking bad. my body not theirs.

Barbara - posted on 08/04/2010

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It becomes a sticky issue because you never really know why someone ended up using formula. Of course, there are people who can't breastfeed, but then again there are loads of people who don't because they feel uncomfortable with it, don't like the idea, don't want to do it for issues of "modesty", etc. I think the judgement comes when people all get lumped in with people who are perfectly capable of breastfeeding but choose not to.

Not that it isn't their right to choose not to breastfeed. It is, and it should be.
The real issue is, how do we deal with the fact that some women are uncomfortable with it. Why do they feel that way? Why do they choose to forego the breastfeeding despite it being the best choice nutritionally for their child? Any thoughts?

April - posted on 08/04/2010

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right on Kathy! As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent". If FF mums feel guilty..it's their own fault. Likewise, I don't let it get to me whenever I hear someone say "you're STILL nursing him? when are you going to wean?" No one can make me feel bad about my INFORMED choice!

Stifler's - posted on 08/03/2010

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I say go breastfeeding mums, you put up with so much more than bottle feeders. it's so much easier to bottle feed, people need to STFU they're just looking for something to whinge about.

[deleted account]

There's no money to be made out of breastfeeding. Manufacturers of formula have HUGE amounts of money to play with. And many of their advertisements have subtle subtext to make the mother feel a lack of confidence in her own body.

And I do get a bit sick of being accused of making formula mums feel guilty. Nobody stopped their celebration of mothers' day after my mother died because it might make Kathy feel bad. I don't think I should abate my enthusiasm at all and I'm not going to.

Those who have to/choose to formula feed make an informed decision and I certainly have no right to berate them for it and I won't. I won't feel guilty about my choice, they shouldn't either.

I just don't know why there's such an outcry. I don't know why breastfeeding mothers are blamed for causing guilt.

Stifler's - posted on 08/03/2010

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formula is necessary if you can't breastfeed. my baby would be dead without it even though i really do agree breast is best.

April - posted on 08/03/2010

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you actually can compare not breastfeeding to smoking. formula and cigarettes both contain formalahyde. and formula IS harmful, but it's harmful in the same way soda is harmful to people....it doesnt kill you but it makes you gain weight. it is a fact that more formula fed babies are overweight than those that are breastfed.

Rosie - posted on 08/03/2010

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it's ok, i have really bad pms, my poor kids.... chad's never here to yell at so they get in instead!! gqtm!

[deleted account]

I'm sorry, I've just been in a really RAWR mood today in general. Jaime has been pissing me right the fuck off! lmao. ;)

Isobel - posted on 08/03/2010

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I don't think it's any different from any other parenting debate.

One side says what they think, then the other side says what they think. Some topics have stronger/more voices on one side than the other..and other arguments have equal voices on either side.

I get so frustrated when people say "we CAN'T say this" or "we CAN'T say that"...of course you can. It's just that sometimes people don't agree.

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Screw you! How bout that? Now what?

I seriously want to know what ads you guys are refering to? You must have a specific ad in mind when you're talking about "these ads" or "those ads" so post a link so we can all be on the same page. I can honestly say that I've never been bombarded with ANY ads....I don't care one way or another....breastfeed, formula feed, don't .....whatever. WHO FUCKIN CARES what other people do. Make your bloody decision, be informed and confident and move on. GAH!

Jaime - posted on 08/03/2010

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You mean you've never seen 'these ads'? I've seen 'these ads' all over town...I've even seen 'these ads' on t.v and in magazines. I haven't seen many of 'those ads' though...just 'these ads', because 'those ads' aren't as cool as 'these ads'. 'Those ads' are just trying to be better than 'these ads' but I like 'these ads' better than 'those ads'...does that clear it up for you? lmao

Brandy - posted on 08/03/2010

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It's simply because it's a very heated and emotional topic that effects a large portion of the population. I think alot of mothers get angry about those ads simply because they don't need to be reminded every day of something that they feel they failed to do. The irony in this is that maybe if these ads had started sooner and people were more informed on the breastfeeding basics and had a larger support group, maybe they could have breastfed. The women who are complaining about these ads are complaining about something that may possibly help women who are currently pregnant and about to be in the exact same situation they were in with their breastfeeding struggles. Having BF both my children and my first being a premie and going through so much trouble to continue breastfeeding her, I know how emotional of a journey it can be and could have done with out the people telling me to give up already. On the other hand, if I had given up, I'm sure I could have done without the ads telling me how much better it is to breastfeed. But I do think that the ads and support is needed for the mothers who do want to breastfeed because there aren't that many out there anymore and there are many who want to but don't have the support or information that they need. Women who want to formula feed get all the info they need for that so why shouldn't women who want to breastfeed have the equal opportunity?

Stifler's - posted on 08/03/2010

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People are selfish and ridiculous. I couldn't breastfeed but I'd love to see more breastfeeding campaigns and encouragement as I had hardly any when I was struggling to feed my baby.

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