why are formula fed mothers so defensive?

Sandra - posted on 11/01/2014 ( 10 moms have responded )

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I will tell you why. I am a nurse and a mother of 5 grown children. 3 formula fed and 2 breastfeeding fed. There was no difference in these children health wise, growth wise or any wise. I am sooooo sick of this propagandizing how much better breastfeeding milk is. Enough. Stop it. If you want to play mother earth fine. If you want your body back after nine months fine. Either way fine. Now breastfeeding feeding Mom's hop on your unicorns and ride out of never never land into reality world. Geez.

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Chet - posted on 11/02/2014

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One thing that is unfortunate (and is demonstrated by Sandra's original post) is that a lot of mothers are mislead into thinking that breastfeeding will produce dramatic, noticeable differences in individual children.

Most of the research involves very large populations. Statistically significant differences are found when you look at 1200 babies, not when you compare a couple of siblings.

There was a recent study from some large children's hospital in New England that found a 1/3 of a point increase in IQ for every month that a child was breastfed. Even if the impact was as simple as 1/3 of a point for every month of nursing (and it's likely not), you can't really tell the difference between somebody with an IQ of 102 and 105. It's a statistically significant difference, enough to draw the conclusion that breastfeeding probably offers something valuable in terms of brain development, but it's not so significant that breastfeeding is the difference between struggling in school and getting a PhD.

And it's complicated, because there is also research that suggests that breastfeeding only raises IQ scores in babies with a particular gene variant. What may be happening is that for some babies breastmilk over formula has little impact, while for others breastfeeding over formula raises IQ 7 or 8 points.

And the same goes for all of the other research pertaining to breastfeeding offering protection against infections, diabetes, obesity, some childhood cancers, allergies, SIDS, inflammatory bowel disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, postpartum depression, breast cancer, etc. The trend or the relationship shows up when you look at 500, or 1000, or 10,000 babies / mothers. For any particular baby or mom, nursing or lack of nursing is only one factor of many and might or might not make a significant difference.

So for example, most babies don't die from SIDS. Most breastfed babies don't. Most formula fed babies don't. But when you look at 10,000 babies you find that the number of formula fed babies to breastfed babies is disproportionate in SIDS cases compared to the original population. For most babies it didn't matter... the vast majority didn't suffer a SIDS death, and some of the ones who did die from SIDS died even though they were nursing. But in 10,000 live births you might get 1 or 2 babies where nursing could have made the difference.

Where I found that breastfeeding made a noticeable difference was quality of life. I did not enjoy my first couple of months breastfeeding. I could tolerate any individual feeding, but hated to think about needing to do it again later. Once I got over that hump though, I found that nursing was hugely convenient. Two of our kids got bottles of emb as older babies, and then formula as young toddlers and it was a pain in the butt.

Only one of our children nursed well into toddlerhood, but my experience with that one child, and knowing a lot of other moms who nursed toddlers, I think that a breastfeeding relationship can be extremely helpful in mitigating a lot of social and behavioural issues people struggle with when it comes to dealing with 1 to 3 year olds. The best guess we have is that the natural age of weaning for humans is somewhere between 2 and 7, and I've often thought that a lot of "toddler problems" seem to be softened or eliminated with nursing.

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Emma - posted on 11/03/2014

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wow...ma'am i feel sorry for society because you will raise five children to be just like you, rude and thinking everything you say is right. I'm a 17 year old BF mom and I have nothing against formula feeding your infant if that is what YOU want to do. not every one who BF is trying to shove it down people's throats, I personally chose to BF because I wanted to save money and now i choose to continue because i like the one on one bonding time with my daughter. Now if you want to rage, get off a site that is meant to help people.
Oh and please keep unicorns out of your shit, thanks.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 11/03/2014

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If you don't wish to be thought a raging bitch, perhaps you should find a different way to express your opinion

I, too, bottle fed for the majority of my sons' infancies, and will defend that method. However, to madly rant for no reason...

Amy - posted on 11/02/2014

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I don't judge either way- I understand how insanely difficult breastfeeding can be, and I know it is flat out impossible for some mothers. I struggle the most with this when moms won't even try. They have this belief that their breasts are only sexual. That worries me about the society we are creating...that mothers would feel this way about something so natural.

There is another component to breastfeeding besides IQ, growth, etc. - babies pick up germs, put them in their mouth, and go the breastfed- those germs and bacteria are passed to mom via nursing, her body then makes antibodies for that bacteria and sends those antibodies back to baby - thus improving their immune system.

Your post is about breastfeeding mothers being so defensive...yet it seems like you feel the same way? Every mother makes the best choices she can, given her individual situation. In my opinion, the judgement of other mothers, such as yourself, is hands down the single hardest part of being a mother.

Michelle - posted on 11/01/2014

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I'm not sure what you are trying to acheive with this rant of yours.
I also bottlefed and breatsfed my children. I prefer the ease of breastfeeding over having to prepare and organize bottles when you go out but my kids are all healthy as well.
If you actually read Jodi's response you would see that your reply was completely off track. Maybe calm down a bit and actually read what people are writing instead of going off at them.
It would also be better to act your age, you said you are 45, how about stop acting like a teenager and be a rational adult.

Jodi - posted on 11/01/2014

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I proved nothing. If you are going to come across as a total bitch, what kind of responses do you expect? As I said, I did both. And there is scientific evidence that breastmilk is best for baby and even the formula companies acknowledge that. However, most people also recognise that it isn't always possible or desirable to breastfeed and that it is a mother's choice, and formula is the next best thing. Heck, there are times that breastfeeding ISN'T best for mother and baby. How on earth I made anything conclusive about your rude and bitchy comments is beyond me.

I feel sorry for you that you are such a nasty individual. I hope life is kind to you. I am also a 45 year old woman, but I have more maturity than to post such a horrible, pathetically, insulting, immature opening post on a website and then proceed to insult the people who respond to it politely. Just remember, age means nothing if it does not come with wisdom.

Sandra - posted on 11/01/2014

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Lol thanks for your response. It is the exact response I expected from breastfeeding women I rest my case. (You really made my comment conclusive lol)

Jodi - posted on 11/01/2014

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Well, clearly you've had issues with people encouraging breastfeeding. But your post is just a bit rude, don't you think? As a mother who did both, I strongly encourage trying to breastfeed, because we do all know breast is best, but not being able to do it or choosing not to, doesn't make you a bad mother. I don't know who offended you but clearly someone did.

Sandra - posted on 11/01/2014

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There is no real proof dear that breastfeeding feeding is best. Like I said Princess hop on your unicorn ride out of fairytale land into reality town. Poor thing. You really should ' believe everything you hear. Oh I have some swamp land for sale. Want to buy it? Like I said you just solidified my comment. YOU are exactly what I am talking about. Now go pump your breast or something. I won't be posting anymore as I am a 45 year old woman with 5 HEALTHY children and really have no interest in this Mommy site. I only commented in this forum because as I was actually surfing the Web for something completely different I came across this ridiculous post about breastfeeding feeding Yada Yada Yada and I just had to comment to see if someone like you would respond and if you would say exactly what you said. Like fishing in a fish bowl this was way to easy and just proved my point. So breastfeed on Mommy perfect. Ta.

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