Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Great Debate

First off....this has to do with breastfeeding so some of my family members who read my blog.....if you don't want to hear some little details about my tata's...well you might want to skip over this one. Just a forwarning

Anyways, I'm part of a few groups that have support forums for breastfeeding moms. I even have one on facebook which I think I may end up dropping off because quite's starting to irk me. Why you ask?? Because even though it's supposed to be to support women who decide to turns into a bashing session again those to decide to formula feed. Not to mention the information that gets thrown around....well I just don't agree with it 100%.

My background: Monkey was formula fed from day one due to a medical issue. Toots has been exclusively breastfed (with the exception of solid foods since 8 months) since day one.

First everyone says that breastfeeding is so much healthier for the baby and in turn they will be healthier. Fewer colds, allergies, etc. Ummm....Ya right. In almost 6 years I can still count on one hand how many times Monkey has been to the doctor not counting her regular well checkups. In 10 months I'm moving to the second hand for counting purposes with Toots. That boy has had more issues than she ever had from a staph infection to strep throat to just having a nasty cold. Even now he's got a hefty cough we can't quite get rid of. On top of that I have a good friend (and I hope she doesn't mind me using the example!) whose son has had all kinds of allergies. He was breastfed I think till after he was a year old. Thankfully he has grown out of a lot of them but breastfeeding DOES NOT gurantee fewer doctor visits or allergy issues. To say so I think is very misleading.

Second...they say breastfed kids are smarter than formula fed kids. I have to wonder who in the world comes up with that information. Do they really poll people 20 years later to see whose smarter? Do they take into account social environments, education levels, experiences?? How can you really say that breastfeeding makes you smarter? Oh formula fed baby....she finished kindergarten reading on a 2nd grade level. She can do the math of a 1st grader. I wouldn't say she's exactly dumb would you?? My goodness if this concept were true I'd have a genius on my hands!!!

Third..they say you can't bond with your baby if they are on a bottle. While yes, I will conceed that breastfeeding is a experience unlike any other I would never say you can't bond with a bottle fed baby. You can still hold them, look into their eyes, stroke their face, etc. My bottle fed baby is just as much up my hiney as my boob baby is, if not more some times so I'd say we are definitely bonded.

Now to clarify...I support breastfeeding whole heartedly. As I said it is an experience like no other and I think all mothers should at least attempt it. Not to mention the cost of formula! However I don't think you are a failure nor do I think your child will be any worse off if you choose to use formula.

In addition it doesn't matter if you breastfeed for 1 day, 1 week, or 1 year +. As long as you are happy with your decision and your experience then what does it matter? I fully intend to wean my boy closer to his 1st birthday which I'm happy to report is like 6 weeks away! I'm not an extended breastfeeding momma and I've got a love/hate relationship with my pump. That doesn't mean my child will suffer because I didn't breastfeed him till he was 2 or 3 or what ever.

So for those of you who are expecting and thinking about what you may do(or my more experienced moms who know what I'm talking about)...don't worry about what all these people say and the harsh words they use. Just do what you are comfortable with and know....your child will love you whether you give him/her your boob or a bottle. Ultimately all that matters is that you both are happy, healthy, and well fed.


Still here with all my hair.... said...

omg, what struck me the most was that fact that he is 6w away from 1?!?!?! WTH!

other than that, thank you! I agree.

Katie said...

Amen, sister!! I agree with what you said 100%. I don't think it's wrong to be pro-breast feeding or pro-formula. Either way, your child is well nourished. I get really irked when someone from one side bashes the other side. I was a breast feeding mom (with a little formula supplementing) for 6 months. The only reason I stopped is because my baby didn't want it anymore and there was nothing I could do to get him to do to take it anymore. Now that I'm a formula feeder, I get "the look" from some breast feeding mothers. Like I'm putting him at some disadvantage or that they're somehow better than me for breastfeeding. It irks the sh*t out of me!

You know the 3D ultrasound tech you and I went to? Well she gives away freebies and sample goodies to both breast feeders and formula feeders. Well, she got a nasty hate e-mail from someone that thought it was horrible that she was "promoting" formula feeders, and that she was going to give bad references about her to everone she knew because of it. How absurd is that?!?!

As long as you're not neglecting your baby, and killing them with malnourishment (like as story I read about a couple of vegans that fed their baby nothing but apple juice and other organic juices) and your baby is developing normally and is overall healthy, then I don't think it's anyone's business but yours whether you breast feed or formula feed.

Sapphire Mommy said...

Jenn-well about 6 weeks before I start to wean him. I was kinda in a huff and wasn't "thinking". It's just under 8 weeks to his birthday which is close enough even still!! He's already had bits of cow milk which he liked and had no tummy issues so except for the morning/night nursing I don't think weaning will be too difficult. I jsut don't want to lug the pump anymore!!

Katie-it really irks me, obviously, when people bash the other especially on this. and being a mom who has been on both sides...well it's just plain dumb. the article today though really got under my skin. the heading said that a parents failure to breastfeed during the first 6 months contributes to over a million avoidable child deaths each year. WTF??? And I can't believe someone wanted to bad mouth that lady over her giving formula samples. people need to just get over themselves. she was AWESOME and when we have another we'll use her again and I'll continue to refer everyone I know to her. Ok...I gotta stop or I'm just going to get worked up again.

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