breast or formula, why the big fuss?

Amy - posted on 03/18/2010 ( 145 moms have responded )

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ok so i've noticed people giving alot of negative comments on this subject and honestly i dont see why the big fuss.

i have done both and had negative comments from doing both so either way i couldn't win. i was told i should breastfeed in a bathroom or stay and home, also i was told my son would have loads of problems from formula(hes fine). i personaly think its the mothers choice, neither make a difference to how thier children grow or how healthy they are! why do some people have such a big problem with this?

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Jessica - posted on 03/18/2010

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The problem lies within two different value systems from young new moms and older new moms. One generation grew up hearing nothing but how much better formula was and how they must cover up at all times and be "lady like". Then you have another generation of moms that grew up hearing how important breast milk and DHA are to a baby's health and how horrible we would be if we didn't breast feed. Also take into account that it wasn't until 1993 that our government started to recognize the need to nurture our young while working and gave us the very short baby leave we do get. Link that with the lingering mindset that breasts are for sexual pleasure only and that women should be as discreet as possible while trying to "ding ding" feed their baby and pay all the bills at the same time and you have a recipe for resentment, backlash and unfair judgement. Who can blame a mom for not wanting to breastfeed or run to the bathroom? And for the record, I would not eat in a filthy bathroom, so why would the public consensus assume I would feed my baby in one? I'll tell you what, make ALL bathrooms into cafeterias as well and then we will talk, otherwise, as an employer/decent human being, I would suggest offering your employees somewhere clean to breast feed, because if you don't, I will guarandamntee you there will be labor standards violations claims allllllll over the place.

Sorry, Amy, for runnin off on a tangent, it's just so horrible that something like feeding your child,(whether through formula or breast) is treated so horribly in the states and it makes me a little heated. =)~

Allison - posted on 03/19/2010

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Yes, there is a fuss over many child-rearing topics, and bickering is not helpful! But honest, respectful encouragement and debate can help to sort out information, sometimes. I sincerely hope that all moms can get accurate information to make the best choice for them and their child. If you try your best to be a good parent, your kids will thrive :) Like others said, there are SO many factors that go into raising a child, what to feed them is only one of many positive choices you can make.



Good nutrition is of course VERY important to child development. SO often I find that many people, even doctors and nurses, and especially formula companies, dole out information that isn't complete or accurate, and so that's what I really fuss about! Formula is designed to be as healthy for babies as possible, but still lacks several very important things that breastmilk has (see the World Health Organization or Kellymom or American Academy of Pediatrics or La Leche League websites), so I would certainly encourage every mom to try breastfeeding to give their child the very highest quality nutrition! Knowing that, if BF truly doesn't work for you (physically or emotionally), most professionals agree you should feed your baby formula - it is next best and your kids will get most of the nutrition they need and grow up healthy! (Likewise, I would encourage every mom to feed healthy foods later, too, mostly fruits and veggies, no junk food, foods low in sugar/salt/fat diet, etc! And if formula-fed children have health problems, of course it is NOT necessarily because of formula!)



I feel sad when I hear doctors or nurses or moms pass on innaccurate information about breast OR formula feeding, but here are some very firm scientific facts that I think don't get enough press: It can take up to 2 months for nursing to be established (ample milk, proper latch, efficient sucking, etc), but almost EVERY mother can physically make ample milk for their baby. ONCE ESTABLISHED with good latching, nursing is NOT painful for most moms. If you have a poor diet, mostly your body WILL take care of your BABY at the expense of your body - we are designed that way - but you should eat healthy for yourself and so you can best take care of your babe for many years, of course! Also, formula can cause consipation and other tummy problems in many babies, and doesn't offer the antibody immunity of breastmilk. Very few babies are intolerant to their mom's breast milk, and very few actually NEED supplemental feeding if they are having wet diapers and are gaining weight! I feel that if more moms knew these things, they might stick by nursing a little longer - and at least if they know, they can decide if the pros of bottle feeding make it better for them, and make an informed choice!



Nursing (AND ALL PARENTING!!!) can be very tough in the first few months, and MANY moms need additional, expert advice from La Leche League, lactation consultant, or an experienced nurser to get it all figured out - but nursing support is lacking in many communities, and I really had to seek it out for myself! I personally experienced LOTS of discouragement in my early breastfeeding days, and very little encouragement! I would even assert that breastfeeding is more physically challenging than bottle feeding, and since it is proven to be at least a little bit healthier, I think encouraging and helping moms to continue BF requires MORE support from family, friends, community and medical professionals.



Besides the nutrition aspect and physiological facts, almost everything else is a matter of opinion, as evident here :) We had to do just a few days of formula in the beginning, and then bottles of breastmilk while I worked, and I found nursing WAY more convenient. It took a week after birth for my milk to come in, and I had serious health issues until my son was 3 months old, but I nursed til he was 2.5 years old and loved it. I preferred breast over bottle feeding for LOADS of other reasons, but those are just my *opinions* - the thing I hope is for every parent to have clear access to the facts :)

Trina - posted on 03/18/2010

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It is so important to encourage gently without judgment. Breastfeeding is more than just a way of feeding baby, it is an important bonding experience for both a mother and a child. The sad truth is that until recently our society here in the states just has not encouraged breastfeeding with young mothers. Our society is not centered on nurturing mothers, and to me that is the biggest injustice of all. there isn't anyone to nurture the mama and help her to succeed in many cases. if women were being given all of the information and tools to succeed in breastfeeding I really think more women would try. I have been in both worlds as well. Please don't see encouragement and breastfeeding advocacy as people being negative. It really isn't that at all (even though sometimes we can all be a little over zealous when we think something is so fabulous). Mostly women are excited and they want to share with you what they have learned, and there is nothing wrong with that. As women if we approached one another with compassion I think we could all learn a lot from each other. Honestly, I think that society has really just began to value breastfeeding as the perfect food for a baby, and the fact that it cannot be duplicated in a formula is why.

or society also views breast as a sexual thing, and in America we have a long way to go before we as women are treated more like beautiful beings and less like an object. Through the objectification of breast is one reason why we have so many struggles with the acceptance of nursing in public. If you read about breastfeeding in other cultures nobody pressures a mother not to nurse their babies in public because in their cases, human milk is essential for survival. Our breast are made to nurture, and the wonderful creation of our bodies is not a broken design at all. As soon as we realize that as women the better off we will be.

Andrea - posted on 03/18/2010

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Well here is the thing - just because it didn't effect YOUR baby, doesn't mean formula doesn't have an effect on growth and being healthy. I breastfeed, and I don't judge those who CHOOSE to pay for something that could be free - I just will never understand it :) If you can't breastfeed, then of course formula is the way to go! I just never looked at it as a choice, it was a back up - and THAT is where the negativity comes in - the reasons why one is chosen over the other. Of course there are babies that are formula fed and turn out great! But there are also MANY that get sick A LOT - there are very few breastfed babies that get sick that much. It's not a matter of opinion, it's a matter of fact that breastmilk is healthier for the baby - it's what your body specifically makes for your baby. I don't think the argument has ever been about the actual product - we all know the facts on that - it's more the reasons behind the choice that are debated. I am sad to hear that those who HAVE to formula feed are judged - that's just stupid.

Hannah - posted on 03/19/2010

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Breastfeeding wasn't even a "choice" for me. It was my baby's birthright to get what's best, which is breast. I never even considered formula... and the ONE time I mentioned it to my Dad of all people, he said, "Absolutely not! This is a strictly breastfeeding family!"

I know that a lot of women try to breastfeed for a few weeks, then give up because it's painful.... but wasn't labor painful? There are so many other things that are painful, and we put up with those, but why not doing what's best for our child.... that we chose to bring into this world?

And as far as inconvenient.... what could be more inconvenient than formula? I mean really... it's so expensive, and you have to wash and sterilize bottles, and make bottles, and if you're out of your house, you have to find somewhere to warm the bottle. And in the middle of the night, you have to get up to go make a bottle, instead of just whipping a boob out. I don't see any convenience in bottle feeding, except that if you don't want to do it, someone else can. I personally LOVE being the only one to nurse my daughter... it's one of our MANY special "Mommy-Daughter" times.



Sorry for rambling, but I just cannot agree with or support a womans choice not to breastfeed for any reasons other than a medical reason.



Poor diet is not a valid reason not to breastfeed, in my opinion.



I know I am probably offending some women, but I just get so frustrated when women have these absurd reasons not to breastfeed. It's your baby's BIRTHRIGHT to get breastmilk! Nothing that is manufactured by anything but our own bodies will ever come close to breastmilk.

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Rebecca - posted on 03/22/2010

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They are just the sort of ppl that can't keep their mouths shut. Breast milk is always best, but some women just can't do it for whatever reason. I breastfeed in public all the time, and if anyone ever said to me what they said to you, I would raise hell. I say try as hard as you can to breastfeed as long as you can, but if it is not an option due to work or health issues then that's just the way it has to be. ppl need to learn to mind their own business.

Stacey - posted on 03/22/2010

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if you have In problems with breastfeeding talk to your health visitor about formula milk is best suit your children

Anneke - posted on 03/22/2010

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jamies thats exactly why I posted it for info yet its always taken as putting a ff mother down? I do not get that. here is why breastfeeding is better *produce facts* offended mothers who dont breastfeed, Makes no sence. Anyway I have nothing else to add here its just going on and on now.

Jamie - posted on 03/21/2010

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Well, breast feeding is healthiest for your baby, it is medically proven and the reason we have breasts. That said, I do not 'look down' on anyone who uses formula. Everyone has different lives and responsibilities and babies. I was lucky enough to have a VERY easy baby that latched immediately. Really, I don't think she would have let me give her a bottle lol She was a nursing machine haha! I also have the luxury of being a stay at home mom and having the time to nurse and not worry about pumping for a baby sitter and going to work. I can't imagine having to breastfeed while working, though I am sure it is possible, but exhausting! I DO think it is sad that breastfeeding has become such a publicly taboo thing. It is sad. Boobies are for babies, not just sex. I do not think that you should have to feed in a restroom! I think formula companies are misleading customers into thinking that formula is just as good for baby as breastmilk. Breast is best, but not always convenient for many women! Also, just bc breast IS proven to be better, it does not mean that every formula baby will be harmed or sickly. Breast-feeding just improves the CHANCES of them not getting sick and has perks!

Jamie - posted on 03/21/2010

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as for the person who posted the LONG post about the proven benefits of breastfeeding, I don't think they meant to put anybody down who doesn't, but just to say that it IS proven to be better. That doesn't mean every formula baby will be sickly, just that breasfeeding has more perks and protection and increases the CHANCES of your baby NOT being sick : )

Jamie - posted on 03/21/2010

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Well, breast feeding is healthiest for your baby, it is medically proven and the reason we have breasts. That said, I do not 'look down' on anyone who uses formula. Everyone has different lives and responsibilities and babies. I was lucky enough to have a VERY easy baby that latched immediately. Really, I don't think she would have let me give her a bottle lol She was a nursing machine haha! I also have the luxury of being a stay at home mom and having the time to nurse and not worry about pumping for a baby sitter and going to work. I can't imagine having to breastfeed while working, though I am sure it is possible, but exhausting! I DO think it is sad that breastfeeding has become such a publicly taboo thing. It is sad. Boobies are for babies, not just sex. I do not think that you should have to feed in a restroom! I think formula companies are misleading customers into thinking that formula is just as good for baby as breastmilk. Breast is beast, but not always possible for many women!

Jacqueline - posted on 03/21/2010

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i have breastfed and gave my son formula...... not a big deal... he was fine! maybe one spit up... but what kid doesnt do that! ha ha.... i felt tons of pressure. especially at the hospital. i finally had to tell them to back off. it is the MOTHERS choice to decide how she will feed her baby. and now i am prepared for all those pushy people the next time i have a child. back off pushy people! i am glad that you posted this, maybe this will help and expecting mother not feel so pressured!

Jessica - posted on 03/21/2010

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I wish I had an answer for that too. I breastfed my daughter until she was about 8 months old but had so many problems for the first 6-8 weeks with sore nipples, cracked skin, and couldn't get her to latch properly. I struggled and supplimented with formula until she just seemed to get it one day and we were off and running. Before that experience I was hard core breastfeeding only. But having struggled with it after wanting it so bad I have totally changed my opinion. I think that every woman should do what is best for her and her baby and that no one outside of that intimate circle can possibly know what that is.

With another baby on the way I think I will try to breastfeed but not be so hard on myself if it doesn't work out.

Amanda - posted on 03/21/2010

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i fully understand wre ur coming from you just cant win but dont let ppl negative comments get to you both are fine its a mothers choice x

Carrol - posted on 03/21/2010

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Hi my name is Carrol Callihan. I did both breastfeed and bottle feed my daughter. I don't see what the big fuss over this is either. As long as your child gets the colostrum than you are good to go. My husbands brothers wife formula fed there children and they are both as smart as can be. My daughter is 3 months old and i breastfeed her for about a month and a half. I think its the mothers choice weather or not they breastfeed. Hope this wasn't negative feedback.

Sincerely,

Carrol Calllihan

Kelsey - posted on 03/21/2010

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I have no idea, but I think that the pressure that tey put on us to breastfeed is awful. I know it is good for the baby, everone knows! But, what about the emotional damage it does to women that cannot breastfeed.



I tried, I gave it my all. Beside the fact that I was on heavy duty narcotics after a very complicated delivery, my milk did not come in until my daughter was 8 days old. After 3 days of doing nothing but cry (both of us) my fiance finally gave her a bottle of formula that the hospital sent us home with and she guzzled it down so fast. I felt so bad because the first 3 days of her life she had nothing to eat because they made me feel so guilty at the hospital about breastfeeding. The child was 10lbs! She needed milk, any milk.



She just turned 2 and knows her colors, shapes, she can count to 20 and sing her ABC's and is very healthy (despite not having any vaccines:0!). I am going to school to be a nurse and plan to work on the OB floor and I will NOT make mommy's feel guilty about not breastfeeding.



It is not for everyone, it hurts, it is emotional and everyone should mind their own business!

Jeanette - posted on 03/21/2010

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also in response to that woman who copy and pasted an article i gave my children formula and they did not have any of those problems but my girlfriend who breastfed was constantly in and out of the doctors office with her baby so honestly come on that long of a response give it a rest its all good ;)

Jeanette - posted on 03/21/2010

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I think it is the mothers choice too! lol I mean you have to do what your able and comfortable to do. I had twins so even though some mom could pull the double duty I just couldn't I bottle fed them formula and i am just as attached to them as they are to me a they are healthy and brilliant so I think some see formula as this not pure natural product like breast milk but at the same time as there are studies that formula may not be the best there are similar studies about linking breastmilk to autism and other health problems. so i just dont listen to the people who try to ram it down our throats on what to do and not to do i just do what i think best

Tanya - posted on 03/21/2010

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Gotta say that I was formula fed and have some problems because of it. Mostly because my digestive system wasn't ready for the formula. My daughters are both breast fed and had very few sick days. Usually just a cold. They haven't had any ear infections and aren't fussy because of gas. My friends have kids that get rsv and croup a lot and no surprise they are formula fed. While I will not put anyone down for not breaast feeding. It does take a lot out of you. I still think everyone should try it if the doctor says it's okay. It is soooo good for the baby! I have never had a negitive comment while feeding in public and if I did get one my boobie would not be covered anymore. HAHA

[deleted account]

There are pro's and con's to both sides but making an informed decision on what is best for you and your baby is the most important factor. If you choose to breastfeed your child then you have the right to tell people "no thank you" when they ask you to use a dressing room or bathroom to feed your child. There are laws protecting breastfeeding mothers feeding their children in public and rightfully so. Nobody else can decide what is best for your family and I think many people forget that.

Cherri - posted on 03/21/2010

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breast fed babies are usually much healthier than babies fed with formula. ur breast milk has miracle drugs lol...protection from illnesses that may arise later in life. i am uncomfortable feeding in public but if u are not then do it. formula is just fine but it is proven that breast fed babies are healthier...

Anneke - posted on 03/21/2010

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got a problem with info, some seem to be ignorant to it. Or is it offensive to point out the benefits of breastfeeding as some think there is to much fuss over it.

Laura - posted on 03/21/2010

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i agree that it should be the mothers choice, i tried breastfeeding both my little ones and i ended up bottle feeding both, both my girls are absolutely fine! i can understand why its good to promote breastfeeding but i dont think that mothers who choose to bottlefeed should be given so much hassel, there should be support out there for both mums who choose to breastfeed and mums who choose to bottle feed!

Joyce - posted on 03/21/2010

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i agree it is the mothers choice, we should not make rude comments to eachother about it. For me, I smoked with both of my pregnancies, both girls are very healthy, but I did not want to breast feed knowing I wouldnt quit smoking.

Kara - posted on 03/21/2010

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I've done both, and I could see a difference between my kids. the one that was bottled fed has whooping cough and ear infections. He also stayed sick.

Ashley - posted on 03/21/2010

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wow,..can ur post be any longer?..geez....well lets see..both my sons are/were formula fed. my oldest was sick at birth (nothing to do with formula) and spent 2 months in hospital. other than that he has NEVER been on any sort of antibiotics and neither has my youngest. My oldest brother and i were formula fed where as my oldest sister and youngest brother were breastfed. Let's see my oldest brother and i weigh 120 pounds...have never ever been on any sort of antibiotic and were great babies. Never constipated and digested our formula quite well. My youngest brother and nephew were both breastfed. They both had to have tubes put in their ears with ear infections. They'd get one after the other. It is not all what the child was fed when it comes to how healthy they are. It has a lot to do with other things...family genetics, history etc. Neither of my children have ever been constipated and have always held their formula down quite fine. My oldest doesnt need to burn off any fat. He's almost 2 and weighs 23 pounds. Obesity once again has a lot to do with other things NOT just formula. If you breastfeed thats wonderful but it's not for everyone. I didnt want to try it and it had nothing to do with what my boobs looked like. Actually pregnancy itself messed up my boobs. If i ever had a third i wouldnt breastfeed...i would formula feed once again. It's a decision i dont regret, feel guilty, or ashamed of at all. People would ask me why and i'd simply say because it's my body and my choice and this is what i want to do. You do what you feel is best for YOU and your baby...not what other people feel you should do. Dont listen to anybody who pushes their view on you...whether it's formula or breastfeeding. A happy mommy is a happy baby and that's all that matters. formula has come along way since back in the day. Geez they used to make it with cornsyrup and water. My cousin was adopted and had to drink that....he's never had any health problems. Obviously it's something i wouldnt give my children but just saying. anyways this debate is so stupid and really when it comes down to it ppl need to mind their won business and let mothers decide whats best for them and their babies. People shouldnt say what they think is best for someone else and their child...

Kristina - posted on 03/21/2010

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My daughters step-mother and I had our children roughly six months apart, my son is formula fed whereas her daughter is breastfed. A number of the women we assosciate with have a combined mixture of bottle fed or breast fed babies which is awesome. No one feels out of place or alienated and nobody judges anyone else. As for the posters who say "well nutrition honestly is not an excuse." Not sure how things work in the states/other countries but my midwife said nutrition is a huge factor and occasionally even with the aid of extra vitamins it just doesn't work.

Both my children are formula babies and if we have a third he/she will be as well, nothing against boob babies/moms it just wasn't an option for our pack.

Anneke - posted on 03/21/2010

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1. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding
According to the AAP, "Human milk is species-specific, and all substitute feeding preparations differ markedly from it, making human milk uniquely superior for infant feeding. Exclusive breastfeeding is the reference or normative model against which all alternative feeding methods must be measured with regard to growth, health, development, and all other short- and long-term outcomes. In addition, human milk-fed premature infants receive significant benefits with respect to host protection and improved developmental outcomes compared with formula-fed premature infants… Pediatricians and parents should be aware that exclusive breastfeeding is sufficient to support optimal growth and development for approximately the first 6 months of life and provides continuing protection against diarrhea and respiratory tract infection. Breastfeeding should be continued for at least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child."

A.A.P. Breastfeeding Policy Statement: Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk Pediatrics Vol. 115 No. 2 February 2005

(http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi...)

2. The American Dietetic Association promotes breastfeeding
The ADA also believes that "the bonding that occurs during breastfeeding makes it a special choice." The ADA actively promotes breastfeeding, stating that "It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that broad-based efforts are needed to break the barriers to breastfeeding initiation and duration. Exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months and breastfeeding with complementary foods for at least 12 months is the ideal feeding pattern for infants. Increases in initiation and duration are needed to realize the health, nutritional, immunological, psychological, economical, and environmental benefits of breastfeeding."


ADA Website: ADA Website: http://www.eatright.org/Public/Nutrition...

3. Breast milk is more digestible than formula
"In recent years nutritionists have voiced concern about overly high levels of protein in the American diet. Since cow's milk contains about twice as much protein as human milk, formula-fed babies usually receive more protein than they need (much of it in the form of the less digestible casein). The stools of formula-fed babies are so bulky because the babies cannot absorb so much protein, and excrete the excess in their stool, whereas breast-fed babies absorb virtually 100% of the protein in human milk."


The Complete Book Of Breastfeeding M.S. Eiger. MD, S. Wendkos Olds, Copyright 1999, Workman Publishing Co., Inc., 708 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

4. Not breastfeeding increases mother's risk of breast cancer
Many studies have shown that women who breastfeed have lower risks of developing breast cancer. Recently, data from 47 studies in 30 countries was re-examined. The study group concluded that the incidence of breast cancer in developed countries could be reduced by more than half if women had the number of births and lifetime duration of breastfeeding that have been common in developing countries until recently. According to the analysis, breastfeeding could account for almost two-thirds of this estimated reduction in breast cancer incidence.

Jernstorm, H et al "Breast-feeding and the risk of breast cancer in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers." J Natl Cancer Inst. 2004;96:1094-1098

Lee, SY et al "Effect of lifetime lactation on breast cancer risk: a Korean women's cohort study." Int J Cancer. 2003;105:390-393

Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors in Breast Cancer (2002). "Breast cancer and breastfeeding: collaborative reanalysis of individual data from 47 epidemiological studies in 30 countries, including 50,302 women with breast cancer and 96,973 women without the disease." Lancet 360: 187-95

Zheng et al, "Lactation Reduces Breast Cancer Risk in Shandong Province, China" Am. J. Epidemiol. Dec. 2000, 152 (12): 1129

Newcomb PA, Storer BE, Longnecker MP, et al. "Lactation and a reduced risk of premenopausal breast cancer." N Engl J Med. 1994;330:81-87

5. Baby's suckling helps shrink mother's uterus after childbirth
The uterus of the non-breastfeeding mother will never shrink back to its pre-pregnant size. It will always remain slightly enlarged.

"Nursing will help you to regain your figure more quickly, since the process of lactation causes the uterus (which has increased during pregnancy to about 20 times its normal size) to shrink more quickly to its pre-pregnancy size. "

The Complete Book Of Breastfeeding M.S. Eiger. MD, S. Wendkos Olds, Copyright 1999, Workman Publishing Co., Inc., 708 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

6. Formula feeding increases baby girls' risk of developing breast cancer in later life
Women who were formula-fed as infants have higher rates of breast cancer as adults. For both premenopausal and postmenopausal breast cancer, women who were breastfed as children, even if only for a short time, had a 25% lower risk of developing breast cancer than women who were bottle-fed as infants.

Freudenheim, J. et al. 1994 "Exposure to breast milk in infancy and the risk of breast cancer". Epidemiology 5:324-331

7. Formula Feeding is associated with lower I.Q.
Human breast milk enhances brain development and improves cognitive development in ways that formula cannot. One study has found that the average I.Q. of 7 and 8 year old children who had been breastfed as babies was 10 points higher than their bottle fed peers. All of the children involved had been born prematurely and tube fed the human milk, indicating that the milk itself, not the act of breastfeeding, caused this difference in I.Q. level. Another study to support this statement was done in New Zealand. Here an 18 year longitudinal study of over 1,000 children found that those who were breastfed as infants had both higher intelligence and greater academic achievement than children who were infant-formula fed.

HMortensen EL et al (2002). "The association between duration of breastfeeding and adult intelligence" JAMA 287: 2365-71

Anderson JW et al (1999) "Breastfeeding and cognitive development: a meta-analysis" Am J Clin Nutr 70: 525-35

Horwood and Fergusson, "Breastfeeding and Later Cognitive and Academic Outcomes" Jan 1998 Pediatrics Vol. 101, No. 1

Lucas A., "Breast Milk and Subsequent Intelligence Quotient in Children Born Preterm". Lancet 1992;339:261-62

Wang YS, Wu SY. "The effect of exclusive breastfeeding on development and incidence of infection in infants." J Hum Lactation. 1996; 12:27-30

8. Breast milk is always ready and comes in a nicer package than formula does
Need we say more?

9. Breast milk helps pass meconium
Babies are born with a sticky tar-like substance called meconium in their intestines. Colostrum, or early milk, is uniquely designed to help move this substance through the infant's body.

10. Breast milk contains immunities to diseases and aids in the development of baby's immune system.
Formula provides neither of these benefits. "Breastfed babies have fewer illnesses because human milk transfers to the infant a mother's antibodies to disease. About 80% of the cells in breast milk are macrophages, cells that kill bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Breastfed babies are protected in varying degrees from a number of illnesses including, pneumonia, botulism, bronchitis, staphylococcal infections, influenza, ear infections, and German measles. Furthermore, mothers produce antibodies to what ever disease is present in their environment, making their milk custom-designed to fight diseases their babies are exposed to as well."

Williams RD, "Breast-Feeding Best Bet for Babies",

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Statement: http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/895_brs...

Koutras, A.K., "Fecal Secretory Immunoglobulin A in Breast Milk vs. Formula Feeding in Early Infancy". J. Ped Gastro Nutr 1989.

11. Breastfeeding satisfies baby's emotional needs and increases bonding between mother and baby
All babies need to be held. There is no more comforting feeling for an infant of any age than being held close and cuddled while breastfeeding. In fact, studies have shown that premature babies are more likely to die if they are not held or stroked. Breastfeeding stimulates the release of the hormone oxytocin in the mother's body. "It is now well established that oxytocin, as well as stimulating uterine contractions and milk ejection, promotes the development of maternal behavior and also bonding between mother and offspring."

Uvnas-Moberg, Eriksson: "Breastfeeding: physiological, endocrine and behavioral adaptations caused by oxytocin and local neurogenic activity in the nipple and mammary gland." Acta Paediatrica, 1996 May, 85(5):525-30

12. Breast milk provides perfect infant nutrition
"Human milk is uniquely superior for infant feeding and is species-specific; all substitute feeding options differ markedly from it. The breastfed infant is the reference or normative model against which all alternative feeding methods must be measured with regard to growth, health, development, and all other short and long-term benefits."

A.A.P. Breastfeeding Policy Statement: Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk (RE2729)

13. Not breastfeeding increases mother's risk of developing ovarian cancer
Based on the research, breastfeeding for a total of 12 to 24 months can reduce your risk of ovarian cancer by about one-third.

Hartage et al, "Rates and risks of ovarian cancer in subgroups of white women in the United States." Obstet Gynecol 1994 Nov; 84(5): 760-764

Rosenblatt KA, Thomas DB, "Lactation and the risk of Epithelial ovarian cancer". Int J Epidemiol. 1993;22:192-197

Gwinn ML, "Pregnancy, breastfeeding and oral contraceptives and the risk of Epithelial ovarian cancer." J. Clin. Epidemiol. 1990; 43:559-568

14. Nursing helps mom lose weight after baby is born
Breastfeeding requires an average of 500 extra calories per day and breastfeeding mothers who eat a normal diet lose the extra weight they gained during pregnancy faster than moms who choose to bottle feed. In one study, mothers who breastfed exclusively or partially had significantly larger reductions in hip circumference and were less above their pre-pregnancy weights at 1 month postpartum than mothers who fed formula exclusively.

Other studies have also shown that women who were overweight when they began their pregnancies can safely get closer to their ideal weight by breastfeeding in conjunction with a moderate exercise program.

DC.A. Lovelady et al "The effect of weight loss in overweight lactating women on the growth of their infants." New Eng Journal of Med, 2000; 342: 449-453

Kramer, F., "Breastfeeding reduces maternal lower body fat." J. Am Diet Assoc 1993; 93(4):429-33

Dewey KG, Heinig MJ, Nommwen LA. "Maternal weight-loss patterns during prolonged lactation. "Am J Clin Nutr 1993;58:162-166

15. Pre-term milk is specially designed for premature infants
"Milk produced by women who deliver prematurely differs from that produced after a full-term pregnancy. Specifically, during the first month after parturition, pre-term milk maintains a composition similar to that of colostrum.."

Hamosh, Margit, PhD, Georgetown University Medical Center "Breast-feeding: Unraveling the Mysteries of Mother's Milk".

16. The World Health Organization and UNICEF recommend it
"Breastfeeding is an unequalled way of providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants; it is also an integral part of the reproductive process with important implications for the health of mothers. As a global public health recommendation, infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health. There after, to meet their evolving nutritional requirements, infants should receive nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods while breastfeeding continues for up to two years of age or beyond. Exclusive breastfeeding from birth is possible except for a few medical conditions, and unrestricted exclusive breastfeeding results in ample milk production".

"Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding", World Health Organization in collaboration with UNICEF

17. Breastfeeding protects against Crohn's disease (intestinal disorder)
Crohn's Disease is a chronic intestinal disorder. It is a form of inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation extending into the deeper layers of the intestinal wall. It is difficult to treat, but several studies have shown that breastfeeding may help babies avoid developing the disease in later life.

Rigas A, Rigas B, Blassman M, et al. "Breast-feeding and maternal smoking in the etiology of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis in childhood." Ann Epidemiol. 1993;3387-392

Koletzko S, Sherman P, Corey M, et al. "Role of infant feeding practices in development of Crohn's disease in childhood." Br Med J. 1989;298:1617-1618

18. Formula feeding increases risk of children developing diabetes
There are many studies linking development of insulin dependant Type I diabetes (formerly referred to as "juvenile diabetes") to lack of breastfeeding. The results of a study from Finland suggest that the introduction of dairy products at an early age, and high milk consumption during childhood increase the level of cow's milk antibodies in the children's systems. This factor is associated with an increased risk of insulin dependent diabetes. Now a new study has indicated that breastfeeding in infancy may help reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes. This sort of diabetes was formerly referred to as "adult onset" diabetes, but has been mysteriously occurring in more and more youngsters.

Young, T.K. et al. Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in children. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2002; 156(7): 651-55

Gerstein HC. "Cow's milk exposure and type 1 diabetes mellitus". Diabetes Care. 1994;17:13-19

Virtanen et al: "Diet, Cow's milk protein antibodies and the risk of IDDM in Finnish children." Childhood Diabetes in Finland Study Group. Diabetologia, Apr 1994, 37(4):381-7

Virtanen SM, Rasanen L, Aro A, et al. "Infant feeding in Finnish children

Kristle - posted on 03/21/2010

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Well for me I breast feed my baby. And I am one of those people who didnt care about what others thought. I was once in Wal-mart and breat feeding my baby and a woman and her husband walked past me and the man was looking at me and smiled. Then his wife turned around and hit him and looked at me and said what is your problem you should not do that is public.(she ment feed my child) I looked and the woman and said very nicely dont you eat when you want to in public or not. She said well yeah. So i said to her what is wrong wit me feeding my child when she is hungrey. I cant help it your husband likes to look at other woman which he was looking at my boobie.

Lin - posted on 03/21/2010

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I've wonder the same thing.....it's like someone forgot an important lesson from childbirth classes: As long as the baby is happy and healthy it doesn't really matter whether you take a natural approach or one with the assistance of medical technology.

Synquis - posted on 03/21/2010

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Really it's not a big deal. I breast feed because if my body makes it i might as well use it. And plus it dosen't cost. In the end as long as ur child have food in his or her belly thats all that matters. Do whats best for you and your child. No one has the right to tell you how to take care of your baby. Oh yea i hate the idea of having to feed your baby in the bathroom. That place is for cleaning and doing your business, not eating.

Brandi - posted on 03/21/2010

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im with you i dont see it i think if the kid is healthy and if there not then there not formula or breast milk have nothing to do with it

Anneke - posted on 03/21/2010

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I was formula fed and have coalics, over weight and asthma. I was a very sick child and it didn't help. And it will not go near my childs mouth. Only the best for my baby.

go look up yourself what they have in it, and I dont mean looking on the side of a tin!

[deleted account]

I formula fed my oldest because she couldnt latch on and she was fine with it she is healthy. Im beast feeding my newborn and i have to say i like it better i also find that i have a closer bond with my youngest than i did with my first born. People think that we should hide to feed our babies in public screw that i use a blanket and if thats not good enough its there choice to stare if my kid is hungry she can eat. Its my choice!

Anna - posted on 03/21/2010

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I'm rather astounded at the vehemence being thrown around on both sides of the fence. Keep in mind that the majority of us were formula fed, and are we a bunch of overweight, mentally stunted, poorly developed people with a slew of health problems? I know I'm not. And the formula that was manufactured when I was a baby in 1985 is a far cry from what is manufactured now.

Geeze. Lay off.

Anneke - posted on 03/21/2010

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I can see a difference in my son and ff babies right off, all I am used to seeing if ff babies, usually throwing up or constipated I never had any of them probs. bf babies burn off fat quicker, they dont store like other babies. This helps when they are older to and thats where helping against obesity comes from as the formula ruins the gut causing fat to store and harder to get off.

But I have said enough in this thread with previous posts and some in here have stated a great case yet others will still say they are being bashed for their "choice" their choose they made that was best for their babies. If you did choose formula without any medical problems because you couldnt be bothered and where informed why breast milk is best then you arnt doing your best for your baby.

seems so man you you havnt a clue what really is in that tin of cheap oil and dead cow cells. And yes they can legally sell that! in the past some where removed from shelves for incorrect labelling, they still dont even need to label it right , Go and find out whats really in it then say if thats ok to put in your baby.

Jade - posted on 03/21/2010

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I don't know where you are but here in Australia it's against the law to ask a lady to stop breastfeeding in public. I have done both, my son is on the bottle and my daughter is on the breast. If someone is offended with you b/f in public tell them not to look, you have a right! How rude! One's opinions shouldn't deter you.. Remember you are your childs mother and only you know what is best for your child. Who cares what other people say as long as bub and mum are happy and healthy. Like I had a midwife told me, either way it's my choice and formula and breastmilk is just as good as each other these days.

[deleted account]

HI, personally i did not breast feed because it kinda freaked me out, i was young and didnt think it mattered...turns out my son was always in the 99th percentile in his growth and development...but now i look back and see my friend who is breast feeding now and the weight is just melting off of her...so thats all that ive learned from it.

Catherine - posted on 03/21/2010

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I tried to breastfeed my son and he never latched on properly. Nurse after nurse who specialised in lactation could not get him to latch on properly!!! this was absolutely devasting cos i was always going to breastfeed. I expressed 24/7 and my supply dropped and my baby was losing weight so i decided to do what was best for my baby. I was not going to watch him waste away cos he wasnt being fed properly. Happy and Healthy baby equals happy mum:-)



I find it hard when ppl keep explaining why breast feeding is so good and that BREAST is BEST eg: CHEAP, antibodies, nutrients, right composition for baby's age, right temp, bonding, the natural way, I know all of this and i think keeping on saying these things to someone who has given up breasting is not very helpful. It makes us feel we have let our babies down and feel like even more of a failure.This is something i still struggle with even 7mths down the track. I find it really hard to watch a mother breastfeeding their child.

I also feel bad for breastfeeding women who are made to feel bad and forced to feed in private.

I think however the mother is feeding her child, we should be sensitive, encouraging and supportive. We should focus on enjoying our babies and watching them grow and develop rather than on having debates which leave both bottlefeeding and breastfeeding mothers feeling offended or hurt.



Sorry for the rant.

MIchelle - posted on 03/21/2010

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Thanks for posting that. I totally agree with you. I formula feed my son. I have always had the intention to do so. My son is growing so well. He is in the 95 percentile in height and where he should be in weight. I really don't think breast is better or formula is better. Both are good ways and one saves you a little more money than the other. People say negative things to me about not breastfeeding. when my son was born though i had a complication from the birth where I nearly died and ended up in ICU for 2 days so there was no way I could breastfeed. I like my husband to be able to help me as well. I totally agree with you it is a very personal choice.

Carrie - posted on 03/21/2010

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I breast fed and I believe that baby's should be breast fed for at least the first 6 weeks. Not that I would ever look down on someone who chooses not to. I would have to question why a mother wouldn't want that bond with her baby, though. "We live in a world where convenience is better". This is what I was told by some one once. My response, roughly? Well I do not have to get out of bed in the middle of the night to make a bottle, letting the baby cry and possibly making it to hot. I can just sit in the glider with my boppy pillow or lay on my side in my bed feeding her comfortably and quickly. Also, I saved around $200 + a month because Kaylee's food was free.



I spent a lot of time walking in the mall after Kaylee was born and I would also get dirty looks and rude things said to me about feeding my baby, covered up on the benches.I would just inform them that I am doing what is natural and that if they didn't like it there was always the option not to look and mind their own business.



Lastly, it's what your body was made to do and the risks of bottle rot in the baby's mouth is reduced to zero. In MY opinion the benefits of breastfeeding greatly out weigh that of formula feeding.



As for people judging a mother for how she chooses to feed her baby, shut up. At least the baby is getting fed and in the end that's what really matters.

Chelsey - posted on 03/20/2010

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Both of my boys were breastfed, and to be honest I never thought twice about feeding them in public! Lucky for me, my sister gave me several breast-feeding tops that I could use along with a light blanket and nobody would even know. I walked around HEB with my son on my breast, and only one person even seemed to notice - and older woman that asked if she could see him. I told her I didn't mind as long as she didn't mind that he was nursing at the time! I let her peek in and she oohed and awwed over him. I think location may have a lot to do with it as well, being in a smaller, friendly West Texas town most people are more accustomed to seeing women breastfeed in public.

Tia - posted on 03/20/2010

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I agree, do what you feel is right for your child and what is more confortable to you. With our son I had no choice but to formula feed him, being preclamptic I was put on many medications which could harm him. With the one on the way, I feel I have no choice again, and will probally never have the choice to breastfeed. After the car accident I had an implant permentaly placed in my back, anytime I have anykind of surgery I have to be put on medication which can harm my child, this includes when I have my teeth cleaned. My son will be 7 in August and is very bright, speaking and acting more adult like than most adults I know. In my opinion, the whole breast verses bottle is a bunch B.S. It is all about opinion, no one is wrong, just don't judge. I've seen just as many sick children who have been breastfed as i did formula fed. And yes, if you have poor eating habits, or can't eat healthy for some reason or another, it can affect your child if you breast feed him/her. In response to what Sara said on breast feeding, "This is how woman in third world countries are able to breastfeed their babies and keep them well fed," yes, I agree that it is the only way they can feed their babies, but it is not what is keeping them well fed. Many babies do not survive due to the lack of nutrition the mother intakes, leaving the babies with very little nutrition. This is why they are skin and bones, except their bellies that are bloated, not caused from being well fed, but caused from being under nurished. Their crys are even sickly.

If your going to choose between breast and bottle, do what you think is right for both of you, weighing the pros and cons of both sides. Do not let someone make a decision for you. I know that is what my doctors are trying to do, but I know in my heart that formula is best for him, knowing that the medication I have to take after my surgery can cause harm to him. If I do not take the medication, I could develope a seveare infection in my spine, which can cause major problems, even kill me.

Tia - posted on 03/20/2010

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I agree, do what you feel is right for your child and what is more confortable to you. With our son I had no choice but to formula feed him, being preclamptic I was put on many medications which could harm him. With the one on the way, I feel I have no choice again, and will probally never have the choice to breastfeed. After the car accident I had an implant permentaly placed in my back, anytime I have anykind of surgery I have to be put on medication which can harm my child, this includes when I have my teeth cleaned. My son will be 7 in August and is very bright, speaking and acting more adult like than most adults I know. In my opinion, the whole breast verses bottle is a bunch B.S. It is all about opinion, no one is wrong, just don't judge. I've seen just as many sick children who have been breastfed as i did formula fed. And yes, if you have poor eating habits, or can't eat healthy for some reason or another, it can affect your child if you breast feed him/her. In response to what Sara said on breast feeding, "This is how woman in third world countries are able to breastfeed their babies and keep them well fed," yes, I agree that it is the only way they can feed their babies, but it is not what is keeping them well fed. Many babies do not survive due to the lack of nutrition the mother intakes, leaving the babies with very little nutrition. This is why they are skin and bones, except their bellies that are bloated, not caused from being well fed, but caused from being under nurished. Their crys are even sickly.

If your going to choose between breast and bottle, do what you think is right for both of you, weighing the pros and cons of both sides. Do not let someone make a decision for you. I know that is what my doctors are trying to do, but I know in my heart that formula is best for him, knowing that the medication I have to take after my surgery can cause harm to him. If I do not take the medication, I could develope a seveare infection in my spine, which can cause major problems, even kill me.

Stevie - posted on 03/20/2010

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IT DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE! When formula companies tel you their product is "just as good as breast milk" they are LYING! Why you ask? So they can make millions selling you something you don't need! I absolutely agree that it is shameful for a woman to decide she just "doesn't want to" why waste money you could be saving for your child on crappy formula when you have 2 perfectly functioning formula factories of your own it's ridiculous! If you are unable to breastfeed or your baby is lactose intolerant well hey you tried but it's not your fault. I think women who "chose" not to breastfeed because they "think it's gross" or are afraid of "ruining their breasts" should really be ashamed of themselves because no I'm sorry that is not doing your best.

Beckie - posted on 03/20/2010

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i totally agree if u dont want to breastfeed well thats there choice and it shouldnt be critasized some wemon cant so people that do should take a good look at them selves people only criasize breastfeedin mothers because they do it in public like me but 90% of us cover but we cant help when the baby is hungry. i believe u do what feels comfy

Julia - posted on 03/20/2010

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I absolutely agree! It makes me so angry when women judge or say rude comments when you don't breast feed your baby. Yet you get the ugliest looks or comments when needing to breast in public. Would they rather have the child scream his/her head off because they're hungry?! Like someone said down there, at least the child is not being starved to death! I understand that there are some things a baby can only get in breast milk but formula companies understand what a baby needs and are trying (and have succeeded) in adding these nutrients and making it as close to breast milk as possible. I CAN'T STAND woman who shun out other moms who don't breast feed. I had a friend who had a woman tell her, "your baby is going to turn out retarded because he is not being breast-fed!" Are you kidding me?!?! What about the mom's whose bodies just physically can't produce or, like me, don't produce enough milk for their child and sit there for 3 hrs straight just trying to get his belly full :( It breaks my heart to see moms who want to breast feed but for some reason physically can't and have other moms remind them of that.

Anna - posted on 03/20/2010

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I'm with you on this one.. I formula fed and theres nothing wrong with my child. Ive gotten the wayward glances n the snide remarks about not breast feeding. I personally think to each their own. Do what your most comfortable with. As mothers we are all strong and some opionated as to what is best.

Hannah - posted on 03/20/2010

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Okay, so I read this earlier, and thought I would post it. It is probably going to offend some people, but this is kind of where I'm comming from, just the writer of this says it a lot better. Hopefully you all will take the time to read it, and really think about what this person is saying.



http://www.bobrow.net/kimberly/birth/BFL...

Kimberly - posted on 03/20/2010

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I think women that breastfeed are very proud of the fact that they did so. Sometimes it comes off that they disrespect women that don't. Maybe some women do disrespect women that don't! I actually pumped milk for 13 months...what a lot of work that was!!! And some people thought I was crazy and would ask me rudely--when are you going to quit that?! Which made me want to keep going even longer! Not sure why women do this...maybe it makes themselves feel better about their personal choices? And this is one of the many subjects up for debate, really. Moms that formula-feed get criticism...but so do breastfeeding/pumping moms. So we'll call it even!!! It's just so stupid... You'd think there were more important things to worry about.

Beckie - posted on 03/20/2010

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well they say breastfeeding is more healthier for your baby it stops infections and stuff like that but it is the mothers choice on wat she wants to do i breastfeed i get heaps of bad looks wen i feed her wit a blanket ova so no1 can see but i dont care its all the mothers choice

Cindy - posted on 03/20/2010

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Ok well Amy I think you have enough opinions now to be able to lock your conversation and move on. Otherwise, the same women are going to just keep posting and disagreeing with each other, and then end up in a not so pretty conversation. :) :)

Jamie - posted on 03/20/2010

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there is nothing wrong either way, some people love breastfeeding, and others dont. and there is nothing wrong with formula, if it wasn't healthy or good for a baby, they would not sell it!

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