Just wondering....

Natasha - posted on 10/16/2009 ( 36 moms have responded )

106

21

8

I'm not sure whether this conversation is just going to get deleted or not, but I am wondering why it is that formula feeding is not "condoned" in this group? I understand that it is a breastfeeding support group, and that breastfeeding is most definitely the best thing for babies, but there are some cases where breastfeeding is no longer an option and formula feeding is a very acceptable alternative. I'm not sure why it beng made out to be such an evil thing and why it is not even allowed to be mentioned here. I'm not suggesting that women give up breastfeeding and start formula feeding, I would hope that women can continue to breastfeed for as long as possible, but I do think that women need to know that they are not failures as mothers if something happens and they cannot continue to breastfeed. I'm just not sure why you made a point of not "condoning" formula feeding, why it was so important to mention this? Its quite obviously a breastfeeding group, and I'm sure no one would have come on here telling everyone to convert, but maybe there is something to be said about being tolerant about other's decisions and not making people think they are doing the wrong thing if they do not breastfeed. I suppose my main question is why do you not condone formula, to the point where it is forbidden to be mentioned on here? I'm assuming this post won't last long, but I hope I can get an answer before it disappears!

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Natasha - posted on 10/16/2009

106

21

8

Thank you! I was so afraid that I was just going to be abused for mentioning this! I just want to be clear that I have had three kids and I was harrassed so much at the hospital with the first (including one nurse who literally grabbed my breast, shoved my head out of the way and smacked my newborns head against it!) that I came home and put him on formula and felt no guilt whatsoever. Looking back had the nurses given me more gentle encouragement and not dosed me up with so much pethidine during my labor which caused my baby to be born drowsy and not latch properly I would have continued. My second I had in a birth centre which was a much nicer environment and completely drug free, she was feeding happily within ten minutes of birth and all was well until she was hospitalised at 19 days with viral meningitis, she suffered brain damage and wasnt able to swallow or breathe on her own. She was fed small amounts of formula (as much as she was able to handle) in hospital and unfortunately passed away at 7 wks and 2 days old (always missing you baby-girl!). My third was also born at the birth center and again feeding within ten minutes of birth. I happily breastfed him til he was three months and I came down with a severe case of gastro. I was useless for a few days and my husband took over and put him on formula. I was a bit disappointed, but my milk was still watery and I was still so weak from the gastro that it was all I could do to lift my baby! I suppose I could have put him back on the breast but I didn't want to confuse the situation any more and my husband was enjoying being able to feed him as well. I must say I have also enjoyed the release! He is thriving! I did see the benefits of breastfeeding this time, I got Swine Flu when my son was around a month old and I fed him through it and he remained immune thanks to my antibodies. I would like to have one more baby in the future and would like to breastfeed as long as I can, but I refuse to feel guilty if it doesn't work out. I am not anti-breastfeeding in any way, I just don't understand the reason to be so anti-formula!

Conni - posted on 10/16/2009

70

10

3

I agree with what you said. I breastfeed my son BUT he also gets a half breast milk, half formula bottle every night before he goes to bed. Only because I wanted to see if it would help him sleep a little longer stretch at night and it WORKED. He sleeps for 5 hours after that bottle whereas he was only sleeping 2 hours MAYBE 3 after a breastfeed and I was desperate for a few more hours of consecutive sleep. My lack of sleep was having a very bad impact on my level of patience with not only my husband but also my 2 year old son and I thought it was fair to everyone to try the formula mixed with breastmilk so as to maybe help ME out. call me selfish or whatnot but I do what works for me, my baby and my family and a little formula here and there hasnt affected our breastfeeding relationship at all.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

36 Comments

View replies by

Kimberly - posted on 04/06/2011

376

10

16

there has been numerous times where i felt like giving up breast feeding cause it has become very painful for me and i have started mixing it half an half on formula and breastfeeding just to give me a break but i understand that with society breastfeeding is not exceptable in public or other areas formula on the other hand i dont see anyone being criticized for not breast feeding i see more controversy on where when and how long some one should breast feed and i understand that i myself was being downgraded and came here for support but i do feel that if i gave up breast feeding just cause of what people say i am a failure. so i think what they are trying to do is have this site specifically for support for the breast feeding moms not to downgrade or make formula fed babies outlawed but to give the moms who breast feed support if that makes sence

Kaz - posted on 11/15/2009

35

1

5

Quoting Conni:

Also.. I just clicked the "guidelines" tab and read what it had to say and there is nothing even mentioned about not discussing OR recommending formula. Maybe the guidelines need to be revised.


 



 



If you go to the overview tab it says






This group is here to support families that breastfeed. We follow the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) and La Leche League Internations (LLLI). This group is here to promote breastfeeding and support families who choose to breastfeed. Please refrain from recommending formula in this group. Group Guidelines: 1. We do not support or encourage the use of Formula. Please refrain from recommending the use of formula. 2. No posts that are threatening 3. No solicitation 4. This group does not encourage or support weaning an infant under 12 months of age for any nonmedical reason.



 



People who breastfeed often get a lot of conflicting advice it is is one place where breastfeeding is put first what is wrong with that?

Kerry - posted on 11/15/2009

398

15

64

Angie, would you like to join the group "Freedom of choice for mothers"? The name is currently being reviewed but basically is is a non judgemental group about infant and child feeding. Here we understand that breastfeeing is best but support each other in all forms of nutrition and parenting issues. We would love for you to join us!

Angie - posted on 11/15/2009

17

14

2

I know this conversation started a long time ago but I just had to comment!!
Natasha, you are so right!
I am super pro-breastfeeding. All 6 of my kids have been Bfed. Only my oldest ever had formula. I had to use those samples they sent, right? lol I nurse on demand and we nurse until they are at least 2 1/2 yrs. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it and am so thankful for the benefits and blessing it has been to us. All that said, I'm not legalistic about breastfeeding anymore. It is not what makes a good mom and almost all formula babies (me included!) turn out healthy and smart too. I'm a former LLL Leader and this was mainly why I quit. Some women really believe bf moms are better! I used to also, I'm ashamed to admit. Now I know that's just not true. I've seen extremes in both groups. Some women just get so prideful about breastfeeding and make other women feel terrible. What I used to brag about I now rarely discuss because God showed me it's pride. Human nature is to build ourselves up and tear others down. that is so often done re: breastfeeding discussion. We should always encourage each other as mothers because we all already deal with too much guilt! Who cares if breastfeeding didn't work out for someone? How is that my problem to judge? Maybe people should work on their own weaknesses/issues instead of judging others perceived bad choices!

Natasha - posted on 10/18/2009

106

21

8

Luciane your attitude is what I need! People who just accept others for what their choices are, thankyou!

Luciane - posted on 10/18/2009

16

17

0

I don't see it that way, some women just can't breastfeed and I feel that is ok. Don't feel guilty, you made the best choice for your child.

Natasha - posted on 10/18/2009

106

21

8

Hey Sarah I have created a group called Freedom Of Choice For Mothers, where you can discuss your formula feeding and any questions you may have there. We only have a few members so far, but would appreciate your input. Its not just a formula feeding group per say, we acknowledge that breast is best, however you will be able to freely discuss and ask questions about how you combine breast and formula feeding. Hope to see you there!

Sarah - posted on 10/18/2009

63

59

5

why don't you created a group about formula feeding, I would join have many questions also, my son is mainly breastfed but also gets formula every now and then!

Christie - posted on 10/18/2009

42

4

1

I think sometimes breastfeeding mom needs more help and support because of the nature of the task. Not to be down on formula, it has been quite literally a lifesaver, but it just requires a different type of support. Whatever decision you make as far as baby feeding, do it for the right reasons, and be confident that you are doing the best thing for your own situation.

Natasha - posted on 10/18/2009

106

21

8

Completely agree, and I am pro-breastfeeding, but I am not Into intolerance and guilt-inducing pressure.

Kylie - posted on 10/18/2009

2,391

81

190

I just wanted to say there are also formula/bottle feeding communities here on COM. this is a breastfeeding community..we want to promote and support breastfeeding - following the recommendations of LLLI and the WHO. A lot of the time introducing formula can make the breast feeding relationship harder for new mums and babies. When you come to a breastfeeding community we want to have help and advice on breastfeeding not introducing formula ..that is all.

Natasha - posted on 10/18/2009

106

21

8

I completely endorse a site that gives encouragement with breastfeeding, its fantastic that people have this to turn to. My only problem is with the site being so staunchly AGAINST formula. I think its important to plug on with breastfeeding as long as possible, but NOT at the expense of what I mentioned earlier. Breastfeeding IS an emotional journey and many things impact the journey, what one woman will do to breastfeed may not sit well with another. The other thing I would like acknowledged is the emotional side, what about women whose husbands don't like them breastfeeding past a certain point (or is not so attracted to a woman who used to be their wife, but has become more of a source of food than a woman?)? Or women who no longer feel desirable or attractive while nursing (because, lets be honest here, maternity bras are NOT sexy! And breasts are a sexual thing.) ? Cases where women are nursing so much that they are not able to give their other children adequate attention? Women suffering from so much sleep deprivation that their mental health is suffering? Sleep deprivation does cause mental health problems and can trigger depression. There are posts where women have been encouraged to nurse through the night as much as they can to increase supply, how can this help the rest of her life to function though. It is often not possible for mothers to sleep during the day if they have more than one child (and a husband at work, or if the mother herself is working) to make up for the lack of sleep. This could lead to all sorts of disasters! No, these are not strictly 'medical' reasons, however they greatly impact a mother and her ability to breastfeed. All I know is that I would rather my child grow up with a happy mother, who has energy for them, the spark of life in her eyes and a great relationship with their father ( and we all know that, geez I could really get in trouble now, that great sex contributes to a great relationship and breasts are probably involved in the sex!). This can be achieved by both breastfeeding and formula feeding, but it can only be achieved when there is completely honest communication between parents about they want from each other. If that can happen while breastfeeding then all I can say is hell yeah!! Go for it and give that baby the best nutrients they will ever receive! But if it cannot then DO NOT feel guilty if you choose to formula feed. Happy mother = happy baby as I said earlier and the baby will still be nourished and loved and will be absolutely fine! Give breastfeeding the absolute best shot you can, it is fantastic for your baby and there are benefits for mum (such as bonding and get those old jeans back on quicker!), but don't feel guilty or flog yourself if its not working out. Hope I didn't offend anyone with the sex comments and maybe gave someone a laugh in the midst of this serious conversation.



PS. Dawnetta, is MSPI like an allergy to foods you were taking in? Not sure exactly what it is. It is great that you are dealing with it, I absolutely would have done the same with my diet, it often helps the mother anyway! Thankyou for your condolences, and I do agree with what you said about the posts which is why I'll probably leave this alone for a bit and why I started my own group (see above). I'm really not convinced on this policy and would still like to see an answer to what I've just said, so I will check in and may write more, but will not be looking at certain other conversations anymore as I do find they go to the extreme.

Mandy - posted on 10/17/2009

574

18

105

i wish i had this site when i had my first son. i was encouraged to formula feed instead of breast feeding. and i regret it BIG time. this time around i am successfully breastfeeding.

i agree with this sites no formula rule. it is not a "formula feeding mums" group it is a "breastfeeding mums" group.



maybe, speaking from experience, mums who are struggling need incouragement to breastfeed. not resort to fromula at the first sign of complications.

Dawnetta - posted on 10/17/2009

96

17

12

Natasha- Wow you have really been through some stuff as a mom! I am so sorry for the loss of your second that had to be very difficult.
I have 1 baby girl with MSPI & I have had to work really hard to continue breastfeeding. Many Moms who have to deal with these diet restrictions & fussy babies go straight to formula. Many other moms have Docs who tell them that is there only option. IN my personal situation, where I have the honor of being a stay-at-home mom & a supportive Doc, I could not even consider giving up because of a few restrictions on what I get to eat. With all of these restrictions, I also sometimes had difficulty producing enough- & did not hesitate to supplement with her special formula (She had to be uncomfortable often enough already & was underweight)!
It was very emotional at times, so I understand how it can be difficult for you to read many of these comments after what you have been through.

If the purpose of the breastfeeding group is to support moms who want to fight against all odds to continue breastfeeding because they believe it is crucial for their children -it will of course offend people who cannot or do not want to breastfeed, I recommend not reading the posts.

Kerry - posted on 10/16/2009

398

15

64

lisa, no one is disagreeing with the benefits of breastfeeding over formula feeding here. I think most of us know that.



I would like to know exactly what you class as "Context that is not medical" Since formula is not a medicine or medical issue.

Kerry - posted on 10/16/2009

398

15

64

Quoting Natasha:

Well I find it amazing that we stil don't have an answer to the original question, which is WHY do you not "condone" formula feeding? You just keep quoting back the guidelines! As you can see above there are exceptional circumstances where the mental heath of the mother is at stake, the relationship between the parents is crumbling or where a family is at risk of falling apart and yet you refuse to see this, you just keep plugging on with your guidelines! I'm not saying that breastfeeding is not the best thing, I've stated several times that its the best thing, but I'm just looking a real answer....and so far, zilch!
So if anyone else feels that they are being "not condoned" or looked down upon simply because they disagree that formula should not be mentioned (in a non-medical context) I invite you to join my group Freedom Of Choice For Mothers. Your views and choices will be supported, HEALTHY and CONSTRUCTIVE debate is allowed and you are free to discuss and seek advice on breastfeeding, formula feeding, a combination of the both and any other topics you might want to raise. We will not tell you that your decsions are "not condoned" and you will not get looked down upon for your point of view.
I hope that I can see an answer to my question soon and I also hope I see some of you in my group!



Thanks, natasha I was just thinking we should have a "feeding" based group that is non judgemental and covers all areas, joining up now

Minnie - posted on 10/16/2009

7,076

9

788

Per the WHO, Acceptable Reasons For Use of Breastmilk Substitutes:



http://www.who.int/nutrition/publication...



Supplementing with formula (from The Breastfeeding Answer Book, by LLLI):



within the newborn period can increase the risk of babies becoming sensitized to cow's milk



interferes with the establishment and maintenance of a mother's milk supply



is strongly correlated with a shorter duration of breastfeeding



one bottle changes the pH and bacterial flora of the infant's digestive tract



damages the mucosal lining of the young infants gut



For an extensive listing of the risks of formula feeding from various sources:



http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/milk/i...



Formula feeding is difficult for a human infant to digest, the nutrition in it is low in bioavailability, it increases the risk of infections in the infant, and increases the risk of future illness.



Because there are mothers here vulnerable to advice given within postings it is not in their or their infants' best interest, nor within the purpose of this community to support advice that includes discussions promoting the use of formula for non-medical reasons.



Infant formula does indeed save lives, and has a valuable place for the cases in which it is medically necessary- but that is where the extent of the realm of this community ends.

Natasha - posted on 10/16/2009

106

21

8

Well I find it amazing that we stil don't have an answer to the original question, which is WHY do you not "condone" formula feeding? You just keep quoting back the guidelines! As you can see above there are exceptional circumstances where the mental heath of the mother is at stake, the relationship between the parents is crumbling or where a family is at risk of falling apart and yet you refuse to see this, you just keep plugging on with your guidelines! I'm not saying that breastfeeding is not the best thing, I've stated several times that its the best thing, but I'm just looking a real answer....and so far, zilch!

So if anyone else feels that they are being "not condoned" or looked down upon simply because they disagree that formula should not be mentioned (in a non-medical context) I invite you to join my group Freedom Of Choice For Mothers. Your views and choices will be supported, HEALTHY and CONSTRUCTIVE debate is allowed and you are free to discuss and seek advice on breastfeeding, formula feeding, a combination of the both and any other topics you might want to raise. We will not tell you that your decsions are "not condoned" and you will not get looked down upon for your point of view.

I hope that I can see an answer to my question soon and I also hope I see some of you in my group!

Minnie - posted on 10/16/2009

7,076

9

788

This group is here to support families that breastfeed. We follow the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) and La Leche League Internations (LLLI). This means that we do not condone formula feeding. This group is here to promote breastfeeding and support families who choose to breastfeed. Group Guidelines: 1. No posts that discusses the use of formula in a context that is not medical. 2. No posts that are threatening 3. No solicitation



Until or if the above changes...there you go.

April - posted on 10/16/2009

19

15

1

I have been working in OB for nearly nine years. I breastfeed my two children and recommend breastfeeding to others but I would never make anyone feel quilty for giving formula. Some women have a VERY difficult time breastfeeding and their hormones are all over the place after delivery. For a woman that is experiencing the baby blues and has a difficult breastfeeder, sometimes they need that break so they can get some rest themselves. There is no way they can take care of their baby if they are not taking care of themselves. Also sometimes thoses babies are cranky until the milk comes in and their little bellies are getting full. There is no reason to make them feel guilty for supplementing with formula until their milk comes in. It helps to minimize some of the weight loss and also helps resolve jaundice quicker. If a mom continues to use formula that is HER PERSONAL CHOICE. That does not make her any less of a mom. She needs to do what is best for her and her child. I know, I know, breastmilk decrease allergies, the risk of asthma, increase immunity, I know the benefits but it is not for everyone.

Conni - posted on 10/16/2009

70

10

3

Also.. I just clicked the "guidelines" tab and read what it had to say and there is nothing even mentioned about not discussing OR recommending formula. Maybe the guidelines need to be revised.

Jessica - posted on 10/16/2009

986

20

64

Ok, well "not recommending" and not discussing are two very different things. This being a breastfeeding board, I can certainly understand supporting mutual members' decisions to breastfeed rather than suggesting formula...

Conni - posted on 10/16/2009

70

10

3

I wouldnt "recommend" to another mother to feed her baby formula by any means, breast is best. BUT if she should choose to I would not reprimand her or look down on her for it in a post.

Minnie - posted on 10/16/2009

7,076

9

788

Ladies, you all can read the guidelines of the forum. I am not being antagonistic. As a moderator of the forum I am supporting the administator's choice of guidelines- which are the recommendations of La Leche League International and the World Health Organization. And here that means not recommending formula as a matter of convenience or easy-fix, but ONLY in the context of a medical need. I'm sorry if you feel judged, but that is the community guideline.



I'm sure Chelsea would like to chime in, and you are of course welcome to send her a message.

Jessica - posted on 10/16/2009

986

20

64

Ya know... choosing whether to breastfeed or formula feed is a personal family decision- one that hopefully a lot of research has gone into but also, its a decision with many factors affecting it. I don't necessarily think anyone on this website has the right to tell someone else that a decision to feed their child formula is wrong. There could be factors playing into that decision that aren't necessarily "medical" but are no less valid, in certain situations.

I'm honestly a little uncomfortable with "not being allowed" to discuss formula feeding other than in a medical context. The purpose of a message board like this is to get different opinions on things, to kick around different ideas.

Conni - posted on 10/16/2009

70

10

3

Breast is best. That I will acknowledge and support till the day I die. BUT in some cases convienience of formula isnt the devil. My husband and I were talking about seperation for several days due to my extreme impatience and moodiness and I concluded it was due to my lack of sleep, and instead of just quitting breastfeeding altogether we decided offering our son 2oz of formula with 2oz of breastmilk in an attempt to get a few extra hours of sleep seemed sooooo worth it because now me and my husband are happy and smiling again and happiness is what matters overall in ANY situation! I also carry a small amount of powdered formula with me in the diaper bag as well as a bottle with sterile water in it at all times, you never know when an emergency might arise such as a car accident, in which me and my infant son might be seperated and I might not be able to be with him to give him the breast. Plan for the worst and hope for the best sort of mentality. I formula fed my 2 year old for several reasons and he is healthy, happy and thriving. Full of energy and smart as a whip...how many 2 year olds (almost 3) do you see that are riding a bike without training wheels, or counting to 20, and identifying their ABC's without them being in order? Formula did not make him stupid, or sickly. I'm sure there are extreme cases where babies cant handle formula but we did not encounter that with Logan and Wyatt seems to take the 2oz at his night time feeding without a problem either.

Natasha - posted on 10/16/2009

106

21

8

Lisa, I'm not sure why you are being so antagonistic! I'm sorry if you don't think mums should get out and have a break occasionally. I agree with Connie at the top "call me selfish if you want!", but sometimes you need a break, you need to say "Enough, its me time!". Not easy to do with a baby attatched to your breast!

The problem is that saying I'm just not allowed to bring this subject up is not answering my question! Are you afraid that me bringing this up is going to start something? I don't think it will, the people here honestly want breastfeeding support, and it is good that they can receive it. I just think that maybe offering a bit more gentle support and not being so staunchly against it might be a more effective way of reaching people!

Natasha - posted on 10/16/2009

106

21

8

I understand that there are risks, but babies DO thrive on formula, I'm not sure it does all that much damage!

Secondly, if breastfeeding is really impacting the the whole family's life (I read a few cases on here where it seems to have become such a huge thing that you have got to wonder whether it is seriously worth it!) and reducing a mother to tears, is it really something that should be continued? Why is it not ok to do something for convenience when the alternative seems to drive a mother to her wits end? Is it so important to breastfeed that you would not support an alternative if it would help a mother's mental health. A happy mother is a happy baby, and whether that happiness is acheived through breast or formula feeding should not be the main issue. The main issue should be that a mother feels supported and and not judged so that she can do the best thing for her and her baby. There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing something out of convenience, and telling someone that their decision will not be supported because it doesnt completely agree with your way of thinking seems kind of extremist. Resorting to formula is not going to hurt if its absolutely neccessary. As I said I DO acknowledge that breast is best, I just think that the intolerance shown here is a bit overboard and be contributing to more mother-guilt than actually being helpful.

Minnie - posted on 10/16/2009

7,076

9

788

From the group guidelines:



1. No posts that discusses the use of formula in a context that is not medical



The above is pretty self-explanatory.



Formula feeding for:



-Getting baby to sleep longer

-Because one didn't want to seek help from a La Leche League Leader or IBCLC to fix a breastfeeding problem

-Because mom wants a night out

-Because mom thinks she's 'drying up'



are not medical reasons.

Natasha - posted on 10/16/2009

106

21

8

I hope it doesn't, but the group is looking for moderators to delete anyone that suggests formula feeding. I really am not trying to cause trouble, I'm just hoping for an answer from the admin as to why it is 'not condoned'. Thanks!

Minnie - posted on 10/16/2009

7,076

9

788

The group follows the recommendations of LLLI and the WHO, neither of which condone formula feeding unless medically necessary.



Quite often formula has been recommended here when a mother has been tired, or baby has been waking frequently, or she feels that she doesn't have enough milk.



It is obviously your choice Conni, to feed your son formula- however, formula feeding for the sake of convenience is not supported here.



One must understand the risks using formula: ONE bottle changes the bacterial flora and the pH of the gut, and can damage the mucosal lining of the young infant's digestive tract.



Seeking help from a La Leche League Leader or an IBCLC is recommended before resorting to formula.

Jessica - posted on 10/16/2009

986

20

64

You know, I just read that the other day and was wondering the same thing. I'm bf-ing my son, I'm very pro-breastfeeding, I think everyone should give it a try, etc etc. But I'm not so militant about it as to think that formula is terrible and that any mom that givers her baby formula is a failure or something. There are plenty of valid reasons to give formula, babies thrive on it. Sure it will never be as perfect for your baby as breast milk. But, whatever. Its not the end of the world.

I also don't see why your post should be deleted, unless people get belligerent about it. Its a fair question :)

Kerry - posted on 10/16/2009

398

15

64

I never actually read the intro to this group until now... and I have to agree with you natasha. Obviously this is a breastfeeding group but there are soooo many mums who use formula as well as BF. I find it interesting that they would find the need state that they don't condone formula in a group for breastfeeding, it seems kind of obvious. Having said that I have seen plenty of posts about formula

Join Circle of Moms

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

Join Circle of Moms