Breastfeeding... Human Rights Issue or Personal Preference?

Ez - posted on 05/21/2010 ( 152 moms have responded )

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There has been a recent push from some hardcore lactivists to have breastfeeding recognised as a human rights issue. That is, that babies are entitled to breastmilk and the breastfeeding relationship as a birth right.

'Babies deserve breast milk. Formula should be available only in the event there is no way to give the baby breast milk. It should not be a “lifestyle choice.” This is a human rights issue. Every baby deserves the opportunity to be fed and nurtured in such a way that their needs are met.'

http://breastfeedingrevolution.com/breas...

So is the method in which a baby is fed a human rights issue? Or does it come down to the mother's personal choice? What are the ramifications of labelling breastmilk as a human right when so many women struggle with breastfeeding?

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Sarah - posted on 05/25/2010

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The thing that always makes me smile in discussions about this topic is that everyone gets SO heated and SO passionate and SO up in arms about it all (from both sides) and yet, our kids well and truly don't give a damn!!
Even when they grow up, and can understand the whole debate, do you REALLY think they going to turn around and say "You DIDN'T breastfeed me?!?!?!?!?!?! Holy crap! Forget all the nights you rocked me to sleep, forget all the cuddles, forget all the books you read me over and over, forget all the times you held me when i cried and told me it would be ok. Forget ALL the wonderful ways you took care of me from the minute i was born because you DIDN'T breastfeed me?!?!?!?!?!?! You must not have loved me as much as i thought!!"

Seriously, i don't care whether you breastfeed or not, whether you have a "good excuse" or not. Is your kid fed? Are they healthy? Happy? Contented? Loved? Yes??? Then it's all good! And guess what......they don't care whether they fed from a bottle or your boob, they only care that you were there for them doing the best you could to make them happy! :)

Nicole - posted on 05/27/2010

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As a lactivist myself, I would NEVER dare to tell a mother she HAS to breastfeed! Yes, I agree that every child deserves to be breastfed, BUT every mother deserves to parent to her best ability without causing child abuse/endangerment.

As a lactivist, what I DO support is normalizing breastfeeding, making breastfeeding support more available, making it illegal to discriminate against, harass, or hinder a breastfeeding mother from breastfeeding her child (i.e. breastfeeding in public), making medical professionals more knowledgeable and educated in breastfeeding support, having incentives for breastfeeding (hospital grade pumps paid for with health insurance, lactation support paid for with health insurance, etc.-the cost will even out in the end as a result of the breastfeeding benefits), legal support of breastfeeding women and working, better maternity leave practices, and so on.

But, FORCING a woman to breastfeed, in my opinion, is violating HER human rights as the parent. What if she has a barrier to breastfeeding because of a traumatic event? How is that fair to force her to breastfeed?

If we normalize breastfeeding and provide all the support we can to breastfeeding mothers and their babies, I feel that breastfeeding would be easier and, therefore, make breast milk more available to babies.

*Let me just add* I don't think the woman who blogged this article was really referring to forcing or making women breastfeed. I think she feels that if breastfeeding were seen as a "human rights issue", then maybe the community/nation would be more supportive of breastfeeding.

Joanna - posted on 05/24/2010

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I'm sorry this is going to come off harsh, but I can't take it anymore. We are grown women, and this goes back to the other thread about being "nice", where I said I think everyone online is a rude asshole.

This is proving it to me. I don't fucking care if it's your opinion, but why do you need to post it here when it's obviously offensive and hurtful? Do you people have no respect for anyone else, you are just too self-righteous to care about other people's feelings?!

Look, it is NOT selfish in any way to make this parenting choice. IT'S OUR OWN GODDAMN CHOICE WHAT TO DO WITH OUR BREASTS! So stop being assholes about it! Honestly, I can't take this anymore. Congratulations, you fed your child with your boobs, but don't you DARE say it's selfish for another woman to choose not to do so with HER child.

I don't even know why I bother. None of this will ever make it through your thick skulls, will it?! There are women hurting all over the world because they are being looked down upon for their choices, but no one seems to care, all the boob nazis just run over them.

But I care. Every mother does what is RIGHT for her and her family, and I'm SICK of people putting them down for it.

I think some of YOU ladies are selfish for thinking your opinions mattered more than the feelings of the women in the world.

/rant (and sorry for the language, but I just can't take this anymore, and if I get kicked out for my language, so be it, but this shit is getting old and it needs to be said).

Lucy - posted on 05/24/2010

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I see what you are saying about the nature of debating, Christa, all opinions are valid. But by the same standard, an argument put forward in a debate should be reasoned and supported (as you do in all of the posts I have seen by you) and I think that is where Lea has rubbed people up the wrong way.

Although I may or may not agree that not breast feeding shows a woman to be selfish, the evidence is there to support that assertion- The mother is making a choice based on her own preference, nutritionally breast milk is superior to anything else. However, to make the leap from that to the assertion that the non breast feeding mother loves her child less is nonsensical. To assume personal knowledge of another woman's emotional bond with her baby, especially in such a generalised and sweeping way, is ridiculous. Not to mention ignorant and rude.

Jenny - posted on 05/26/2010

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My parenting philosophy has always been whatever gets you through the day. We are individuals and so are our children. I BF for 4 months then switched to formula with both kids. My babies were eating constantly and it was too much for me. I'm sorry but I am not cut out for having a baby latched on 20 times a day. As soon as I switched they started sleeping most of the night as their bellies were actually getting full.

Neither of my kids have any allergies or other health concerns. My daughter is the youngest in her class and at the top academically. I do not credit that to formula feeding or 4 months of BF, it's a combo of many different factors.

I do agree BF is more desirable but there is no right answer, it's what works for YOU.

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Nicole - posted on 05/27/2010

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I agree with that, too, Kati. I have great friends who have bottle-fed and never given breastfeeding a second thought. I do not think they are bad mothers. They are very loving and caring mothers and I am proud to call them my friends. We all have to do what we can to make our children healthy AND to have a healthy relationship with them. Formula OR breast milk!



This is a great blog about supporting formula feeding mothers, too and I totally agree with her words! See:http://www.lactivistleanings.com/lactivi...

Shelley - posted on 05/27/2010

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Why do people care so much about what other people do?
lets just be greatful that we get to do the best by our own child whatever that may be

Lea,
Women who choose not to breastfeed for whatever reason are not selfish and as a breastfeeding mother i take huge offence to the fact that you would be so rude. Do what you want for your child and get off the damn high horse as it doesn't mateer one iota what other people do with their children.

Rosie - posted on 05/27/2010

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ok so i just actually read the article, and gah!! i hate that myth about bottlefed children that they llack physical closeness with their mother. i made sure my sons were snuggled up close and feeding time was all about closeness for us. i actually felt closer to my son while bottlefeeding than breastfeeding...but since her experience is so great that everybody's should be too i guess. we're all human clones alike in every way and all. i almost want to punch her self righteous face!

i loved nicoles post about making things easier and trying to make it more of a norm. but i think we should also add that making bottle feeding mothers feel like crap for their choices is hurtful, does nothing for the breastfeeding cause, and puts undu stress on new mothers when it should be a joyous time in their lives, not a miserable time filled with the "duty" of breastfeeding.

Krista - posted on 05/27/2010

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Besides, if it turns out that I can't breastfeed my child (which I couldn't), and I'm violating my kid's human rights...what then? Do I get dragged to the Hague and put on trial? Fined? Is my kid taken away from me?

Really, that whole article reads as nothing more than self-congratulatory navel-gazing.

Nicole - posted on 05/27/2010

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I think we step on to a slippery slope when we automatically assume that it is for selfish reasons that one does not breastfeed. Who are we to make that call? Breastfeeding, itself, does NOT automatically make one mother better than the other.



The question should not be "did she not want to give the best to her baby?" The question should be "did she know it was the best for her baby?" Or "why was breastfeeding so difficult/impossible for her?"



We live in a formula feeding society and, although we shout from our pedestals "Breast Is Best!", we don't give women the tools to desire, start, and maintain breastfeeding!

Marabeth - posted on 05/26/2010

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personally i think it is a human rights issue based on numbers alone. we all read about the recent 2010 study in the journal Pediatrics saying if 90% of american women would exclusively breastfeed their children for the first six months of life it would save 900 babies along with billions of dollars a year. that said, i am an american and i believe that formula feeding does not necessarily qualify as doing harm to the point of illegality--it's not murder, rape or any of the other offenses punishable by american law. so pragmatically speaking i just wish it was less about making formula feeding mothers feel guilty about their decisions and more about educating all mothers. even though we are all different in our cultures and views we are all mothers and we just want to raise the healthiest and happiest kids we can. we just want them to have a better life we did, we shouldn't let our pride get in the way of that. we shouldn't be attacking women who say 'oh i just didn't feel like it' and instead attack hospitals who give aren't as supportive of breastfeeding as they could/should be, the way formula companies do business, the general misconception being generated by past generations that formula is normal and breastfeeding is not or any other major roadblock getting in the way of a new mother getting the support and education she needs to give a human the human milk he or she deserves.

Breeyan - posted on 05/26/2010

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I personally feel, as a breastfeeding mother, that formula should always be available to an infant, as the parental choice. I feel it is a luxury if you can breastfeed your infant however, if you cannot because of reasons ie: you can't produce milk, your nipples are cracked/sore and it makes it too uncomfortable, or your infant just simply cannot breastfeed. There are numerous reasons you would formula feed.

Yet another possibility your infant doesnt get enough to eat when you are strictly breastfeeding. I know my first son didn't get enough to eat while I was breastfeeding and I had to suppliment with formula...

There are numerous reasons to breastfeed, and numerous reasons to not breastfeed. I feel it is a personal choice, and that you cannot and should not force someone to breastfeed if they are uncomfortable with it...

formula meets all the infants needs just like breastfeeding, the only disadvantage is that you do not have the intimacy such as while your breastfeeding...

Lea - posted on 05/26/2010

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I like what Mary said way back there about how we have to be "selfish" or we get taken advantage of. I definitely found this to be true in my own life, and I actually spent a good deal of time last year carefully observing other people in order to learn how to be an A-hole (don't laugh) and my women's group found it to be a really good topic so I understand what you mean by that. I guess I need to clarify again and say that I mean that I feel that mom's should make breastfeeding more of a priority (and I question the priorities of moms who don't even want to try).

[deleted account]

I don't like to sound like a BN, but I do feel bad for babies who's mom's don't even try breastfeeding. That doesn't mean that I think moms should be forced to do it against their will. I also understand that it doesn't work for everyone and they have to give it up, but I applaud them for at least trying it. I'm against withholding formula if a mom really doesn't want to BF because it's still a personal choice.

Lea - posted on 05/26/2010

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Just to chime in as I see there has been much debate (what I said seems pretty controversial muahahahah) one thing everyone seems to have forgotten that I thought was pretty important to what I was talking about is the idea that life as a mom is supposed to be easy (or easier). What do you do when things (like breastfeeding) seem a lot harder than you thought they would be. Do you give up? At any rate, my main message is still that choosing not to breastfeed for no good reason is selfish. But obviously there are many reasons and then you get into shades of gray as to what is too hard for you. I just always kept in mind what my son wanted/needed and went with that (he was still hungry after BF, I gave him formula; he didn't want to sit still for BFing anymore, I gave him formula). I gave this a lot of thought and I realized that I could have continued to pump after Ashton didn't want to sit still anymore, but I needed to work and I had no breaks at my job to pump. I could have easily just decided not to work but pressure was really mounting for me to go back to work.

Lea - posted on 05/26/2010

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Just to chime in as I see there has been much debate (what I said seems pretty controversial muahahahah) one thing everyone seems to have forgotten that I thought was pretty important to what I was talking about is the idea that life as a mom is supposed to be easy (or easier). What do you do when things (like breastfeeding) seem a lot harder than you thought they would be. Do you give up? At any rate, my main message is still that choosing not to breastfeed for no good reason is selfish. But obviously there are many reasons and then you get into shades of gray as to what is too hard for you. I just always kept in mind what my son wanted/needed and went with that (he was still hungry after BF, I gave him formula; he didn't want to sit still for BFing anymore, I gave him formula). I gave this a lot of thought and I realized that I could have continued to pump after Ashton didn't want to sit still anymore, but I needed to work and I had no breaks at my job to pump. I could have easily just decided not to work but pressure was really mounting for me to go back to work.

Helen - posted on 05/26/2010

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On seeing the title of the thread, i thought you meant the wish to feed whenever and when ever you like. That's a human right I could get behind.

Ava - posted on 05/25/2010

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I think making breastfeeding mandatory is stupid. I'm going to be that blunt about it. Lisa Stokes is right, it is far too alienating to mothers who struggle with breastfeeding, or even those who are successful but only just barely. I had a lot of trouble with breastfeeding---I had to choose formula, ultimately, because I didn't have the time to breastfeed past the first two weeks, nor was I producing enough milk to feed my child because of stress and depression. I would have preferred breast milk, but it just wasn't going to happen. My daughter is healthy and quite advanced for her 11 months regardless. I think the issue of whether or not breastfeeding can be done in public should be regarded this seriously, however; those who are able to breastfeed should do just that, whenever and wherever the baby needs fed.

Suzette - posted on 05/25/2010

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@Susanne
"Cant honestly say they would be different if they were bottlefed but i know i was bottlefed and i have eczma and dust mite allergy, constantly suffered from ear infections as a child too."

My mother breastfed my brother, he developed severe ear infections for the first few years of his life. His were so bad that they had to place tubes in his ears and he wound up half deaf in one ear. She also breast fed me, the same thing happened with the tubes, luckily I didn't wind up half deaf from them. My brother wasn't on the breast as long, she had to pump for some time since she had to return to work. I didn't get as much breast milk because, after 6 months, she found out that I was only getting milk every other feeding. As far as allergies, I have them like crazy, year round. I also have psoriasis.

My niece was bottlefed from day one, no allergies, no colds, nothing in her first year. In fact, she still has no allergies, never had to have tubes, she's in great health. I know quite a few bottlefed babies that have great health.

I agree with the other lady on the thread who stated that it seems like your conditions may have been caused by your environment. The ear infections my brother and I suffered with were due to the weather in Oregon, the winters there with the wind were atrocious where we lived. I don't know what it was like where you lived, but wind is just killer for ears.

Caitlin - posted on 05/25/2010

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Just for those allergy/asthma/eczema comments - I was breastfed as a baby, I have asthma, allergies (mostly seasonal) and eczema.. I breastfed my first daughter, and she developed SEVERE allergies (dairy, egg, peanut, beef), and horrible eczma and environmental allergies as well. I'm breastfeeding my second daughter as well, but am keeping my fingers crossed, hoping it's not MY breastmilk doing this to them (since #2 has reflux issues when I eat dairy). I personally don't care if a mom breastfeeds or bottle feeds - I knwo they have their reasons, I only hate it when a mom gets glared at by other moms for their choices - I wish I could still breastfeed my first, because formula is incredibly expensive (that's pretty damn selfish - but on the other hand, she's allergic to my milk anyways..).

[deleted account]

You are 100% right about the nursing nazi name calling. I intentionally wrote that because name calling is hurtful-period. No one wants to be called selfish, no one wants to be refered to as a nursing nazi. We all love our children and no one can claim otherwise whether we stuck them on a boob or not, whether we COULD provide sufficient breastmilk and chose not to. I wish you all a pleasant day, and I hope when I return from jury duty this evening, we can all come to terms with this :-)

Sarah - posted on 05/25/2010

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I guess we all need to agree to disagree, some people see breastfeeding as just a way to feed a child, others see at it as something much more than that.
I don't think either side is right or wrong.
If breastfeeding is super important to you, and see it as something far greater than merely feeding your child, then that's great, but it doesn't mean that formula feeding mum's care any less, or aren't doing right by their kids.

Both sides of this debate make good points, until they start making claims about not loving your kids so much or calling people Nazis. LOL!

[deleted account]

IM not a nursing nazi but someone made the point that when a baby is older they arent going to care what they were fed and i disagree with that. I feel annoyed that my mother didnt care enough to try to give me a better baby and childhood because she couldnt be bothered, im not saying anyone should be forced to breastfeed and personally i couldnt care less what other people feed their kids its none of my business.

Dana - posted on 05/25/2010

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Yes, calling people Nursing nazi's will really stop that juvenile mud-slinging.

[deleted account]

This has turned into sad and juvenile mud-slinging. All of us have selfish tendencies to some extent because it's human nature. That does not make us love our children any less. I decided that my son will be an only child-does that mean I love him less because he won't have a sibling? I will be embarking on a stressful teaching position in July and I know this will impact the family time I've enjoyed over the past 5 years-but does that mean I love him any less? In both instances I was called selfish but I don't care because I don't make these decisions without thinking of the ramifications and consequences. So whatever method you feed your child, and whatever your personal story is-it doesn't matter but please know YOU are NOT being selfish in any way, shape, or form for feeding your child. Nursing nazis need to move past this and find a way to embrace the many differences of motherhood.

Charlie - posted on 05/25/2010

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Exactly Sarah , all facets of the way a person grows mentally , physically and socially are a combination of many , many factors and cannot be blamed on one thing .

[deleted account]

I agree but it all starts with the decisions made for you as a baby, the first decision you make when you have a baby is what to feed it etc, then you go on from there and i do think if you have the attitude as my mother did of im not breastfeeding because i dont want to also means other decisions being made for the child are being made with the same thought in mind that i dont want to so why should i? Im not commenting on anyone elses situation but on what happened in my family.

Sarah - posted on 05/25/2010

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@Susanne see, i would attribute your health problems to be way more to do with the rest of your upbringing than bottle feeding.
That's exactly my point, that there's LOADS of factors than can contribute to an unhealthy child, you can't purely base it on bottle vs breast. The same with the IQ thing.

I want what's best for my girls, just because that didn't include breastfeeding, doesn't mean that i don't want the best for them. I'm not lazy or selfish because of it.

I still maintain that the way a baby is fed does not define how a child will be raised. Just because you bottle feed doesn't automatically make you a lazy selfish parent in EVERY aspect of parenting.

Charlie - posted on 05/25/2010

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Thats why i feel there is always more story for those women who feel it is gross , it may come natural to most but the implication of BF against all that feels right can be very serious and damaging psychologically in turn affecting their ability to give their child a healthy , stable life .

let me give an example of another similar situation , i have a friend who thinks sex is gross , she hates it , she had an ex boyfriend who put up with no sex for a long time , she did love him but couldn't bring herself to do it , she ended up having sex with him for his sake and i tell you it sent her into a tail spin , she really hit an all time low because she felt she had to have sex even though it went against everything that felt right to her .

She still doesn't like sex , it still grosses her out .

I can relate this to mothers who cannot BF because it feels gross , their emotional state and stability are often overlooked and fobbed off as not important and i think that's just wrong , replace sex with BF and it could just as easy be the same story .

[deleted account]

It comes down to the basic thing of what is better for the baby though. As i said i was bottlefed, mother made a decision based on what she wanted instead of what was best for me. She made many decisions in her life in regards to me and a lot of them were selfish. Smoking around me constantly when growing up, feeding me crap instead of proper food, bringing me up in a house that wasnt fit to live in when there was other alternatives and sending me to school in dirty clothes ensuring i spent most of my childhood being bullied. You either want whats best for your baby or you dont simple as that. If you try and fail thats parenthood, but not even trying is lazy and selfish.

Sarah - posted on 05/25/2010

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As i said, i'm disputing that breastfeeding DOES have benefits.
I'm also not disputing any of what you just said, but, i bet you could probably find cases where the opposite is true and that the bottle fed baby was less ill than a breast fed baby.

It's all down to what is best for you and yours. That's why i get annoyed when people make sweeping generalisations on this topic.

As i said, the kids aren't going to care HOW they were fed, it's one teeny tiny part of being a mother, it does not define you as a mother.

Ez - posted on 05/25/2010

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Woah this thread has taken off since I last posted lol. I made most of my points in my PPs but I just wanted to address something else.

I have a friend who chose not to breastfeed at all because her partner was grossed out by it and had laid claim to her breasts as his. Would I ever make this choice for myself and my child? Hell no...just as I wouldn't (and didn't) allow a partner to pressure me into having an abortion (which is why I am now a single mother - long story). But it was a choice my friend had the right to make. The strain that breastfeeding would have put on her already difficult relationship was more than she could cope with, so she took the path of least resistance. She may well be considered selfish for her decision. We were pregnant together, and before our babies were born I could not wrap my head around why she was choosing to go straight to formula. If I'm honest, I really struggled with the idea that she was already putting her baby's needs second to her partner's wishes. Now though, having had my own breastfeeding experience, I can respect her right to make that choice, even though it's not something I would ever do.

Which takes me back to my OP about breastmilk and breastfeeding being a baby's human right. Looking at my friend's example, if she had been forced to breastfeed while dealing with an unsupportive partner, it no doubt would have taken a toll on her emotionally. Maybe her relationship would have suffered irreparable damage. Maybe she would have developed PND. Maybe she would have had trouble bonding with the baby and resented him for causing problems with her partner. Does that make her selfish? Or does it make her a struggling new mother who was trying to please everyone and keep her sanity?

[deleted account]

My breastfeeding facts, none of my three kids have any allergies, none of them even had a cold in their first year of life. None of them are obese or have any illness other than normal little colds etc. Cant honestly say they would be different if they were bottlefed but i know i was bottlefed and i have eczma and dust mite allergy, constantly suffered from ear infections as a child too. My opinion is that breast is best for my kids and everyone else can listen to what they like.

Sarah - posted on 05/25/2010

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http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_...

Came across this article and thought i'd share it!
It's basically saying that breastfeeding isn't actually this miracle thing that will make your baby amazingly healthy and intelligent etc etc.
Yes, obviously, it DOES have benefits, i'm not disputing that at all. I just wonder if the marginal benefits it DOES have, are worth the guilt ridden feelings some mothers have over not breastfeeding. Whether it's worth people getting SO bent out of shape over.

Anyway, i thought it was interesting! :)

[deleted account]

What i cannot understand is why some women do not even try to breastfeed. I can understand the ones who try it and it doesnt work out for them fair enough but I know people who wouldnt even entertain the idea because its gross they say. If somethings supposed to be that good for your baby you'd think they'd give it a go. And the whole idea of selfish reasons to breastfeed is a load of rubbish, there are no selfish reasons no woman in her right mind is going to say i did it for myself when its such hard work in the beginning or when they are knackered because its them who has to get up every night because they are breastfeeding baby. Try having mastitis once or twice that kind of puts things in perspective whats a lot of pain compared to having to wash a few bottles. Ive spent nearly four years of my life breastfeeding my three kids and i didnt do it to make my life easier i did it because its supposed to be better for them. Never having to wash or sterilise bottles was an unexpected bonus.

Shelley - posted on 05/25/2010

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I breast fed my friend formula fed we are lucky to both have happy healthy and very loved children. Neither better or worse loved or less loved neither more advanced than the other so guess what breast feed or formula fed= irrelevant.
In light of the fact that life expectancy is aprox 85years of age what you were fed in the first 12 months does not really matter

Suzette - posted on 05/24/2010

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Dana, it reads that way. What exactly is she saying then? I also think it's a load of crap (though Joanna put it better than I ever could) to say that a woman who "simply chooses not to breastfeed as a lifestyle choice... is being selfish and doesn't love their child as much." How can anyone know what another mother feels for their child?



I agree if the mother was an all around craptastic mother, BFing mom or not, then by all means they may not love their child as much as another person. That can be a BFing mom or FFing mom though. It doesn't just apply to one particular group.

Dana - posted on 05/24/2010

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This is quoted from Lea's post.



"No, I just said I understand medical reasons. And yes, it is my opinion that if you simply choose not to breastfeed as a lifestyle choice, you are being selfish and don't love your child as much."



This is exactly what she said, again, I think people are reading too much into it. She doesn't say that unless you have a good medical reason, then you love your children less.

Krista - posted on 05/24/2010

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She didn't say that all mothers who use formula don't love their children.

But she DID say that mothers who choose not to breastfeed, without having a valid medical reason to do so (i.e. for "selfish" reasons), love their children LESS (less than mothers who BF, one would assume she was implying.)

So once again, I'll say that it's an inane assumption. As there are plenty of mothers who BF who may have done so for their OWN "selfish" reasons (because it's free, to take off the baby weight, because they don't want to deal with formula and bottles), then why is it fair to think that just because they are BFing, that they automatically love their children more?

Rosie - posted on 05/24/2010

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but even if someone did it for selfish reasons it doesn't mean they love their children less. sure if she were an all around shitty mom i could see that as a factor that was part of the decision to label her as a crappy mom, but just choosing not to breastfeed for whatever reason, and then still calling her a bad mother or saying she doesn't love her child? breastfeeding mothers can be shitty mothers too.

i'll use cosleeping as an example. i don't agree with cosleeping. i think it's dangerous, and creates a situation where sometimes they don't want to leave your bed. but now i'm starting to understand that just because somebody doesn't do things the way i want them too, and i personally think is dangerous, doesn't mean that they're bad mothers, or that they are even wrong.i couldn't comprehend that people actually want their children in bed with them. after listening to people on COM tell their stories of why, i understand a hell of a lot more. i don't know if i'm making any sense, lol!! sigh.

[deleted account]

I'm still waiting for a valid response to what constitutes a formula feeding mother love their child less because for whatever reasons, she used formula. I'll go ahead and call up my sister who FF her 2 kids and tell her she loves her children less than Iove my son. I'll let you know what she says @@ She's the kind of person who absolutely hated the feel of sucking at a breast. She might have been capable, but the feel of it wasn't natural to her-so I suppose that constitutes loving her boys less because she made the decision to use formula and not really give nursing a try? That rationale is juvenile IMO. The comment was that formula feeding mothers who CAN nurse, but don't, are selfish and love their children less. PROVE IT!

Dana - posted on 05/24/2010

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The thing is though, she really didn't say that all mother's who use formula don't love their children. This is what I'm talking about, people are jumping to conclusions and running with it. Everyone needs to quit applying what she's said to their situation.

Rosie - posted on 05/24/2010

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i DIDN'T breastfeed (well except for that first 24-48 hours) and my boobs are still saggy, go figure.....lol! i do agree that that would be a selfish reason, and not to mention misinformed one (my poor boobies). i'm talking about leas point that we don't love our children as much. it's a ridiculous statement, and totally uncalled for.

Krista - posted on 05/24/2010

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Christa, no you didn't say that BFing moms are automatically better. I was speaking more of Lea's point that if you choose not to breastfeed, that you don't love your child as much. The whole idea is silly, because there are mothers who choose to breastfeed, whose reasons have NOTHING to do with love.

Christa - posted on 05/24/2010

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Loureen, I would actually call those mother's BAD mothers, not selfish. :-P

Christa - posted on 05/24/2010

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Krista, I never said BF mom's are automatically "better" and frankly I do breastfeed for selfish reasons in the beginning. I couldn't imagine having to heat up bottle's in the middle of the night etc. But after that it's actually a pain in the butt because I always wait too long to introduce the bottle and then they won't take one. You would have thought I learned after my first, but nope Scarlett is 3 months and if you try and give her a bottle you would think I was cutting off her head. So now I am chained to her, I'm dying to go see Ironman 2 but I can't until she will cooperate. Anyway that's my tangent of why I hate BFing at the moment. :-P

Charlie - posted on 05/24/2010

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on the other hand i see where Krista is coming from with BF being not entirely selfless either .

There are quiet a few women where i live who continue to BF even though they smoke a lot of pot and drink a lot alcohol , i cannot see how they love their children more because they still BF , this just highlights that not all circumstances are the same and blanket statements just dont work unless we are discussing a specific reason for or against BF or FF .

ME - posted on 05/24/2010

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I think that "selfish" and "bad" are being conflated in this conversation, and they are NOT the same thing...Sometimes women HAVE to be selfish, especially in a world where we are often invisible, and often expected (for no reason other than our gender) to be care-takers for many people...If we are not selfish occasionally, we will be run over, railroaded, taken advantage of...however you want to say it. I don't judge women for making selfish choices...but it doesn't change the fact that they are selfish choices!

Krista - posted on 05/24/2010

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Oh, and sorry Dana. In my original post, I was addressing you, but only for the first paragraph. After that, it was more of a general rant -- sorry if it came across that I was directing the whole thing at you.

Clarity FAIL.

Charlie - posted on 05/24/2010

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and i do understand where Christa and lea are coming from recently a 15 year old in our town gave birth and started formula feeding because she wanted to " go out and get wasted " her exact reason her motives are irresponsible , yes i agree but i dont think people like her should be lumped in with working mothers , mothers who try and fail , Even ill informed and mothers who suffer mentally , i had PND that was linked to breastfeeding and the severe rise and fall in hormones produced when BF , it started to affect me physically to the point of depression , throwing up , severe diarrhea , high fevers and hospitalization which eventually depleted my milk supply , i was lucky enough to give cooper 6 months of milk , i should have known better , that the situation i was putting myself and my family in was not a healthy one and not worth the pain everyone went through .

There are exceptions to every rule and each person and situation is different its hard to comment on BF V FF as a whole because of that very reason .

ME - posted on 05/24/2010

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I breastfed my son until he was 18 months old, made his baby food at home from organic veggies and fruits and at nearly 2 1/2 he wouldn't know a mcdonald's happy meal if it walked up and asked him to go to the park (and, if I have anything to say about it, he never will)...BUT...that is what has worked in my life...I think that parents do the best they know how, and the best they can with the resources and options that are available to them...I DO think that there is some truth to what Christa has been saying...There are women who make this decision for selfish reasons...I've met several...I don't think that makes it the wrong decision for their family, but I do think that they are being selfish! If bf will make you anxious, or uncomfortable, or depressed; then I am not talking about you; If you have medical reasons or your child has medical reasons for not bfing, then I am not talking about you...

Here is an example: my younger sister did not want to bf for selfish reasons...she didn't want saggy boobs (she's only 24 and her pregnancy was a surprise). She planned on formula feeding from the beginning despite being a SAHM with no medical or pychological issues. The only reason she didn't want to bf was due to the belief that her boobs would become saggy; that IS selfish - not bad, but deffinately selfish...I shared some information with her about the health benefits of bf, and she realized how selfish she was being, and she decided to give it a shot for 3 months, then she decdided to go on until six months...now her daughter is 5 months old, and she can't imagine giving up this relationship...I think that, all things being equal, we ought to bf...BUT I WOULD NEVER force a mom to make that decision...

Dana - posted on 05/24/2010

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I think everyone needs to keep in mind. We're debating a topic, not a person or anyone's particular story. It's not fair to apply something that someone has said and twist it to fit your personal story and then go on the attack.

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