"Breast is Best" slogan.

Sarah - posted on 06/23/2010 ( 90 moms have responded )

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/articl...

Apparently the "Breast is Best" slogan is actually doing more harm than good.

"Campaigners are demanding the Government drops the 'breast is best' slogan after research showed it does not encourage new mothers to breastfeed.
They blame the motto for suggesting breastfeeding is not the default way to feed babies, and say it makes women think it is just an added extra."

What do you think? Can anyone come up with a better slogan?
Do you think this will put more even more guilt onto bottle feeding Mum's or less?

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Krista - posted on 06/23/2010

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I think the other ladies have a point. You'd have to have been living under a rock to not know that breastmilk is the ideal. What women need to know is HOW to overcome difficulties, other than hearing the standard line of "just keep trying", "just stick with it", and my favourite, "you can do it, you just have to want it badly enough." That kind of "help" was worse than useless, and served no purpose other than to make me feel guilty -- as though guilt has magical powers that will suddenly make our breasts spurt milk.

I had such bad nipple abrasions that when I took Sam off the breast, he looked like a vampire -- mouth all coated with blood. And not one of those "experts" said anything but "keep trying, it'll get better". It took my sister to say, "Um, try pointing the nipple towards the roof of his mouth instead of the back of his throat -- you might get a better angle on it." Instant fix. So why did the LCs not mention that?

Slogans are useless. What women need is proper help, support, and someone who is able to look at options that will solve problems.

Jodi - posted on 06/25/2010

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Lea, evidently you have never had breastfeeding difficulties. Because that is one of the most narrow minded comments I have ever heard. I don't think successful breastfeeding of ONE child gives you the right to make judgements on the issue, do you?



I'll tell you a little story. My mother had a friend who was a breastfeeding advocate. So much so, that when my mother was having major difficulties breastfeeding her youngest (of 5 children), her friend kept telling her anyone can breastfeed, she must be doing something wrong, blah, blah, blah, blah. She would have my mother in tears. Guess what? She had her 3rd child and her milk just wasn't doing the job. It was of poor quality and not sustaining her son. The day she started formula, she phoned my mother and apologised to her for all the things she said, and that she realised now that she was wrong.



Moral of the story, be careful how you make your judgements, because YOU could end up with egg on your face. Women who need to or choose to formula feed their babies deserve just as much respect as those who breastfeed.

Krista - posted on 06/23/2010

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I'm not sure if I like "breast is normal." I agree that it can help women who might feel awkward about breastfeeding. But by the same token, those of us who could not breastfeed don't really enjoy being implicitly told that we are doing something abnormal.

I just wish that there was a way to encourage breastfeeding without also vilifying formula -- it always seems like a zero-sum equation, and I know that there has GOT to be a way to promote breastfeeding on its own merits without having to always compare it to formula.

Sharon - posted on 06/23/2010

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Geeze, nothing is ever someones fault - its always someone "elses" fault. There are more women breastfeeding now than I can remember.



"campaigners" why are they campaigning? Why can't they simply be "teachers"? Breast feeding educators? La Leche League - yeah "league". Has terrible connotations and I'll never forget the two bitches who made my breast feeding experience a living fucking hell. I'll never forgive them for that. THOSE women are why they can't recruit more new moms to breastfeeding.



The idiots in charge of "campaigning will never suceed because they think they can force women to their way of doing things. I've heard every stupid suggesion they've had.



Force WIC to drop formula.



Force formula companies to stop making formula, stop them from making specialty formulas or the regular because regular is like breast milk, and the specialty formulas are worthless because feeding breastmilk would negate the need for those...



I feel no guilt. I am just pissed off that some stupid bitch out there presumes to know better than I do what i should do or my child. She isn't a doctor. She's figure head of a nazi like organisation determined to wipe out anyone who won't agree with her.



It has nothing to do with the slogan and everything to do with idiots determined to take away the individual rights of others.

Sharon - posted on 06/25/2010

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Oh for fucks sake!

Thats right! I decided to formula feed my child. SO FUCKING WHAT? What are you going to do? Take away my kids? Kiss my ass.

Are you happy now?

I don't give a shit what happened back in in the 1920s!!! Really I don't. Its 2010. I'm a woman. I gave birth and I take good care of my kids. I'm not a criminal. I'm not a drug addict. I don't hit my kids... excessively. I cook good meals. I research nutrition.

AND I FORMULA FED!!!!!! Wah dee fucking wah.

All I'm saying now is get off my goddamned ass crack because I FED MY BABY FORMULA.

You breast fed your kid? Good for you? Want a fucking a medal? I honestly don't care.

As long as your kid isn't a virus vector, I don't care what you do with them. You raise good healthy kids with a good attitude - AWESOME. Breast fed? Formula fed?

It doesn't matter if you're a fuckwad raising a herd of little fuckwads.

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[deleted account]

From what I can gather, it's pretty much the norm here in Australia, though the numbers decine after about 6 months.

Rosie - posted on 06/27/2010

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oh kathy, i wasn't implying that YOU said that!! sorry for the misscommunication!! i was trying to point out that as much as we have control over our feelings, people saying mean things (in this case , lea) isn't productive and doesn't help. so while it's hard for you to not feel like your walking on eggshells when talking about breastfeeding, it's hard for me to not feel like a failure when stuff like "you don't love your children as much" or "you're selfish" is said.

as for breastfeeding, my mom breastfed me 32 years ago! it seems like here it was perfecdtly acceptable thing to do back then, then it started to go out of "fashion", and now it's starting to come back. i only have 2 close friends that have children, and one of them tried breastfeeding, but she had a boob job, and it interfered with her milk production, my other friend chose to bottle feed. i wonder how many women around here actually do both? i seem to see equal amounts of both 50/50.

[deleted account]

I think the problem with slogans is you're going to piss someone off whatever you say.
Maybe something that emphasises education and information - like "You want to breastfeed? For all the information you need, go to www. whatever.. or a phone number for breastfeeding classes..."

Sarah - posted on 06/26/2010

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Well I was born in 81 and my sister was born in 74 and our Mum breastfed both of us. My sister until she was 6 months, and me until I was 9 months.

I'll have to ask her if it was "the done thing" or not, but so far as I'm aware, most of her friends and stuff breastfed too.

I always assumed I would breastfeed. I knew that breastfeeding was the natural way to do it, I didn't buy any bottles or anything. I just assumed it would come naturally. After a traumatic birth and crap "help" though, I ended up giving formula.

[deleted account]

I was born in 1954 - nor many people breastfed their babies then! And not many people questioned their doctor, either!

[deleted account]

Kathy i'm an 86 baby and from what my mother said is about the same as what you are saying. She didn't even get the option to BF me they just gave me formula no Q's asked. My mum has said that she wished she knew better especially after seeing me feed my children she feels like she missed out.

[deleted account]

Possibly, the thing was that we (friends and I) were part of a movement to not only publicise breastfeeling, but to spread the word based on facts, emphasising the amount of research that needed to be done. I was a member of the second generation of pioneers - the women who came before me were really radical!

What we did was so new, so different that many people could not understand. And besides, I was in Hobart, Tasmania, which is like a little country town!

So maybe different times (my first daughter was born in 1981), different countries. Yeah, there were a few issues, but because we were part of a group, we always had support.

Jodi - posted on 06/26/2010

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I find it amazing, Kathy, that you had issues when you were breastfeeing with them trying to shove formula down your throat. My mother had the opposite issue with most of her children (I am the oldest born '69, and my youngest brother was in '77), so it seems to have really gone around in a full circle since then. Personally, I didn't feel any pressure one way or the other, I just did what I believed was right and to hell with anyone else :)

[deleted account]

Kati said" nobody can make you feel like you are walking on eggshells when you talk about breastfeeding, you do that on your own. "

You're absolutely right, Kati! My emotions, my control!

You also said"
"It's awfully damn hard to when people say you are selfish, or that you don't love your kids as much as they do. that is an ignorant attitude to have, and it needs to be quieted."

That's what was said to me, so I know how it feels. I think I can clain I've never, ever said that to anyone.

[deleted account]

I love that i Breastfed both my children and i plan to do the same with this one.
I would NEVER judge a woman on how she feeds her baby. As many women have trouble feeding and feel bad for it and i know if i couldn't BF my baby then i would feel really bad. And i would hate it if i were judged for not being able to BF.
Every mother does what is best for their child.

Tania - posted on 06/26/2010

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Not all breastfeeding problems can be "fixed". Not everyone has a choice.
Breast isn't always best.

~Jennifer - posted on 06/26/2010

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Both of my kids got formula and I ALSO routinely hug trees.



So there.

=P

Rosie - posted on 06/26/2010

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i just want to point out that the same can be said for you as well kathy. you have control over how you feel, nobody can make you feel like you are walking on eggshells when you talk about breastfeeding, you do that on your own.



that being said can you see now how even though we can and do own our feelings and what we do with them, it is in everybody's best interest to just be supportive of each other. sure everybody controls their own feelings, but it's awfully damn hard to when people say you are selfish, or that you don't love your kids as much as they do. that is an ignorant attitude to have, and it needs to be quieted.



like i said before i can completely understand how you could feel like you are walking on eggshells sometimes. you have feelings and you are certainly entitled to feel that way. all i'm saying how can you expect other people to not have their feelings hurt when people say stuff like what lea said. ;)

*Lisa* - posted on 06/25/2010

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Kathy it's just the aussie in you! We shorten everything! We're just lazy!!
Thanks for sharing your story. It's really interesting how things have changed over the years. My mum said the same thing when she had me and my bro. They were just given formula straight up, no question of whether they wanted to try breastfeeding. I think it's good that breast feeding is being encouraged these days, but should also be perfectly acceptable for mums to choose formula.
I don't think she was looking for a medal Sharon, just giving her experience and opinion as she is entitled to.

[deleted account]

Sharon, aggro means aggressive.
Laura, I'm a child of the 60's! (Not the 1920s, Sharon - I'm not that old!)

Isobel - posted on 06/25/2010

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when I was in California my BIL used to say it all the time...don't get all aggro broh! Are you quite certain you're not a hippie Kathy?

Megan - posted on 06/25/2010

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Nipple shields do not FIX latching problems thank you very much. Narrow mindedness makes me sick.
My daughter wouldn't latch and the nipple shield did not help and ended up being more of a hinderance. I pumped for 3 months until I wasn't producing any more milk then it was either let my child starve or give her formula. That was a no brainer. She was formula fed until 10 months when she switched to whole milk. She was not a fat baby and didn't get any adverse effects from formula. Nor does it make me any less of a mother or woman that I formula fed. I was glad my fiancee could feed our daughter and bond through that. I was also glad I didn't have an 8 month old who didn't know what the hell to do with a bottle (especially since she started with sippy cups at 6 months.)
I absolutely hate that slogan. It makes it seem like formula feeding is taboo and wrong when it is not in the least bit.

[deleted account]

My breastfeeding experiences date from the days when breastfeeding was not the norm. (My eldest daughter is 29) It was incredibly difficult to breastfeed then, as formula was the accepted thing. In hospitals, babies were routinely put in the nursery to be fed - mums had to make a big fuss to keep their babies with them. Free formula abounded - "you'd better take some formula home with you, dear, in case it doesn't work out"
.
And no assistance if you had problems - "looks like your milk has dried up, dear - have some formula." "she hasn't put on enough weight, dear, have some formula."

Those of us who chose to breastfeed were regarded a some sort of hippie weirdos, who probably hugged trees, too. The criticism we got for not taking advantage of this wonderful man-made marvel, and therefore probably starving our babies, made a tough job tougher.

It's those sort of experiences that mean I will never judge others' decisions, and I'll never be militant, though I'll always be passionate. At a guess, I would say that those who are loudest, are probably younger than I am and have never been through the sort of baptism of fire I, and many of my friends went through.

So don't tell me how hard it is when you choose to do something different, don't tell me how it feels when you choose your way instead of society's way - I know. Been there, done that.

So if you choose to feed formula to your baby, that's your decision. But don't make excuses - just say you chose to do it. If you have problems with breastfeeding and you truly want to continue, get some assistance. Nobody can do it by themselves.

Something else I've learned as I've got older is, there will always be some people who will criticise and judge others for their choices, whether it's how we feed our babies, to how we vote, to what football team we follow. Get over it. They can criticise and insult but the only person who can make you feel guilty or a failure is yourselves (the general yourselves.)

Own your choices.

Charlie - posted on 06/25/2010

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Quoting Jodi --"Lea, evidently you have never had breastfeeding difficulties. Because that is one of the most narrow minded comments I have ever heard. I don't think successful breastfeeding of ONE child gives you the right to make judgements on the issue, do you? "

I could not agree more Jodi !

~Jennifer - posted on 06/25/2010

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.........so basically, the whole thing comes down to
"you can't force someone to do something they don't want to do"

Isobel - posted on 06/25/2010

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That's a good point Loureen, it would help a lot if the general public weren't creeped out by it.

Charlie - posted on 06/25/2010

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I think most mothers know that breast is best and i say most because there are a few select people out there who honestly believe that formula is just as good if not better , i put thta down to lack of information .

I whole heatedly support breastfeeding but i also know that formula feeding is a wonderful supplement for those who cannot breastfeed or have had little support and guidance to breastfeed , everyone is just trying to feed their child , if the parent REALLY didnt give a crap they would just feed their kids cows milk from the get go .

I think in regards to the slogan it needs to be aimed more at the general public about the importance of breastfeeding for breastfeeding mothers and aim to make breastfeeding more acceptable in public instead of alienating formula feeding mums.

I know when i gave birth and was in hospital i had a midwife sit in with me at every feed helping cooper to latch and making sure i held him right , answered all of my questions , i then had a midwife visit my home once or twice a week and she would ask me to feed him while she was there to see how he was going with his latching she brought me lots of reading on breastfeeding and made me feel at ease , not everyone gets this kind of support , my friend who recently gave birth in a smaller hospital was basically told by a midwife after having trouble latching to just feed the baby formula because " its easier " .

Rosie - posted on 06/25/2010

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see, the attitude of lea right there is what i'm talking about. it's pure bullshit.

Lea - posted on 06/25/2010

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And I know there are latch problems and stuff. I went through it myself and nipple shields will fix that.

Rosie - posted on 06/25/2010

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i have to agree a bit with you kathy, and also disagree at the same time. i have gotten over those feelings i had at first, and i now realize that formula feeding is perfect for my family. i'm taking back my power and realized that i made the best choice for us, i'm at peace with MYSELF. what i'm not at peace with is those mothers out there who are continually making people like me feel like a selfish asshole, or a douchebag, or that they somehow don't care about their children because they feed them formula. it's a continual cycle, and i don't like seeing it happen to anybody else.

i can totally see how the backlash can make you feel like walking on eggshells, but if there weren't the people out there who judge formula feeding mothers not a word would be uttered about those who choose to breastfeed.

i can't honestly say for sure, but if i didn't have to deal with the attitude i had to deal with, i wouldn't of been so stressed out about it, and maybe tried a little bit harder to make it work. it might have been more enjoyable then.

Lea - posted on 06/25/2010

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This is what I'm wondering - why the hell should moms on welfare (not working) be allowed to buy formula. Might as well say shes too lazy to breastfeed and wants someone else to pay for the formula. Its not right but I know there are too many heartless people who would just neglect their babies anyway so we have to do it this way.

[deleted account]

Oh, and in regard to the OP where the people campaigning to have the "Breast is Best" slogan dropped because they blame it for suggesting that breast is not the default way to feed, just an added bonus; I think they are missing the whole point of the campaign. Which is that there are many options/ways to feed your child, BUT BREAST IS BEST. The campaign isn't trying to alienate anyone, they are just putting the focus on the benefits to breastfeeding and hoping with this encouragement more women will make an attempt/choice to breastfeed their child.

[deleted account]

I have to agree with Kathy. No-one can 'make' you feel guilty about anything. People need to own their own emotions more. If you formula feed for whatever reasons you just need to be confident in your choice of doing what you think is best for your baby and accept that while other people may be against your decision that is their problem. If you feel guilty, that is your guilt and you should address your reasons for feeling so as best you can. If people being vocal about their opposition to your options upsets you, then tell them they are being judgemental or generalising. Be just as vocal about how you feel. Although I don't think that resorting to calling names is at all helpful. Many breastfeeding mothers are not "boob bigots, breast nazi, titty addicts" etc and by indulging in this negative, name calling behaviour you are just lowering yourself to the level of those that have pissed you off. It is possible to show others that they are being insensitive without being insensitive yourself.



I don't think that the medical profession 'looks down' on formula feeding but that as medical professionals they are obliged to promote the health benefits of what they have been taught is the best option for feeding your child (breast). Doctors and nurses and midwives are pro-breastfeeding because it is their role to encourage this behaviour for the improvement of health outcomes across the population, not because they are anti-formula. It is a shame that some health professionals display insensitive attitudes towards mothers that formula feed but maybe more formula feeding mothers need to be more open about their reasons for doing so and contribute towards their health professionals understandings of the many situations that can lead to use of formula. Education works both ways and improvement of services relies on feedback from the consumers.



Being pro-breastfeeding does not have to mean being anti-formula (even though in some extreme cases it is so). When it comes to breastfeeding campaigns that say breast is best, they are not saying formula is worst. If formula feeding mums feel that that is implied, then that is a shame but that is just their perception not the actual intention of the campaign. I don't think that health promotion strategies like this should be scrapped or modified because they risk alienating formula feeding mums, I think that people who display judgemental and intolerant attitudes (on both sides of the debate) should be addressed and prevented from attaching their negative perspectives to what is essentially a message aiming to improve outcomes for all.

[deleted account]

Lisa I think that the medical profession looks down on none breast feeding moms for whatever reason they choose not to do it. I have yet to meet a BF mom who openly looks down on me because I had to formula feed (milk dried up after 3 weeks) but the midwives and hv and doctors seem very pro BF. As I said in my earlier post I fed him breast milk by a variety of means but this was really stressing me and my son out however, I had pressure from my midwife not to stop doing what I was doing even when my milk actually dried up.

Kathy as for just blaming society my perception is that many men feel very uncomfortable when a strange woman (not a strange woman a woman they don't know gqtm) is bf in public, as do many women. I have heard people very angry people yelling at managers that bf is 'being allowed in the middle of the cafe' so I feel society does need to take some blame for the lack of bf mums.

*Lisa* - posted on 06/25/2010

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I do agree with Kathy there. I never cared whether women chose to use formula or not. I didn't (and still don't) think it matters at all. But I have often felt like I couldn't say that I'm a breastfeeding mum in case I offend someone and they think I'm 'looking down on them'. I know there are a lot of high and mighty pro-breastfeeding mums out there, but there are also high and might pro-formula mums too. And I don't think it's a matter of telling my friends to turn it down a notch (gqtm Laura) because my friends couldn't give 2 hoots either (or 2 hooters... sorry it's late). No one should feel the need to explain why they did/did not breast feed. It's a personal issue and as long as the kid is fed and healthy then GOOD. I don't understand why there is such an issue. Is formula really that bad?? Doesn't seem like it. I was a formula baby and I'm... normal.. I think.

Sarah - posted on 06/25/2010

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I never really felt bad about not breastfeeding (once I'd left the hospital and the EVIL nurses behind!!) until I started using COM's!
Suddenly I was faced with Mother's spouting of that formula is poison and any Mother that doesn't breastfeed is selfish.

I'm TOTALLY at ease with not breastfeeding though. It just wasn't for me and my girls didn't seem too impressed with it either! lol!

I definitely think the level of help Mothers receive at the hospital should be what is addressed rather than the slogan. Both times the "help" I received was completely laughable!

I really think that if they want to increase the number of breastfeeding Mum's, they should start with something more than just the slogan!

Sharon - posted on 06/25/2010

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I agree. For the most part the name calling starts on the side of the probreastfeeders. The lack of compassion comes from the really hardcore ones too.

which is why (insert facial twitch here) I started my "boob bigots, breast nazi, titty addicts", campaign. Its my way of fighting back at the crazies.

Isobel - posted on 06/25/2010

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I've heard pro-breasfeeding moms call formula feeding moms selfish and lazy...and that's just a start...if you don't want to walk on eggshells...talk to your girl friends and have them tone it down a notch.

[deleted account]

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being passionate about breastfeeding and no need to walk on eggshells either. It's an issue of mutual respect, which many EXTREME pro-BFing moms simply do not have towards formula feeding moms. That's the main issue-lack of mutual respect as another mother. In fact, I'll throw myself out on a limb and ask this question on a BFing board if someone can provide me a link for one of those boards.

[deleted account]

You know what, it pisses me off that people complain about feeling guilty and blame breastfeeding mothers and society! It seems you have to walk on eggshells if you're enthusiastic about breastfeeding. If you don't want to breastfeed, then don't, and don't make excuses. And for heaven's sake don't use that horrible word "failure!" Any decision is the right one if it's an informed decision. It gets so I feel guilty for being passionate about breastfeeding.

Sharon - posted on 06/24/2010

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Oh Kati - you are not the opposite way of me, well, not exactly.

I never felt bad that breastfeeding didn't work for me. To me, feeling bad about not being able to breastfeed would be like feeling bad because I couldn't change the truck tire and had to ask for help. I just couldn't do it. No harm, no foul, there was formula to fill the void.

It pisses me off that women and society try to make a woman feel bad for doing what she needs to do or CHOOSES to do!

Nicole - posted on 06/24/2010

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they should drop the whole bloody saying as it is,in some cases it is NOT always best and the doctors and midwives who drum this into mothers heads only make them fell like failures when they choose to put there child onto a bottle.its sad because a mother who cannot breastfeed because she has no milk is fine but a mother who chooses not breast feed for other reasons is deemed a bad mother.if you can breast feed good on you,if you cant who cares

[deleted account]

Laura, you're right about seeking an all-encompassing slogan that didn't divide mothers. Sadly, I don't believe that will happen. STRONGLY pro-BFing mothers & advocates simply frown upon formula feeding moms and no campaign will get them to change their minds. It's not an issue of "I didn't like nursing" or "I didn't make enough milk" or whatever the reason. It is a mindset and attitude that will never allow breast-feeding mothers to see eye to eye with a mutual respect as a formula-feeding mother. Now please know that I am NOT generalizing and lumping ALL nursing moms into this category, but the extreme anti-formula moms who are quite outspoken.

Isobel - posted on 06/24/2010

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That's just really sad about Hong Kong. I agree...I wish for a slogan that didn't divide mothers as well...I also rescind my original post about advertising...I didn't realize that people actually found them useful.

*Lisa* - posted on 06/24/2010

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Laura in Hong Kong where I am breast feeding mothers are most certainly the minority. Some hospitals insist on using formula. My friend had her baby here and she got NO support at all for breast feeding. She basically had to figure it out on her own. Formula here is everyhwere. I have never seen another breastfeeding mother. Oh wait, yes I saw one other foreigner feeding in public once but never an actual Hong Kong person. I know they are out there, just not common.
I agree that the slogans actually work too. I mean we've all heard about it. I hope they do change it though to something that doesn't ostracise the women who couldn't breast feed.

[deleted account]

Kati, I know several women who felt that breastfeeding was not normal or natural for them as well. You're not alone!

Rosie - posted on 06/24/2010

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LOL, my bad sharon. totally misread your post!!! see, i've finally come around to see it the opposite of some of you. i was miserable trying to breastfeed, and i would pay whatever amount feeding my child formula to NOT feel that way again. i did feel horrible at first, like i had failed nature, or was somehow abnormal, but something clicked when i gave him his bottle. no, breastfeeding was not normal or natural for ME.

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