Friday, April 6, 2012

Is Breast Best?

Recently a company changed the packaging of their formula. As a PSA to it's consumers, the company posted a picture on their Facebook page showing the old and new packaging to lessen the confusion for parents. Seems innocent enough, right? Wrong. Check out some of the comments on the picture.



As a formula feeder (and a proud one, at that) I hate hate hate seeing the "Breast is Best" tagline on all my cans of formula and in every Similac or Enfamil ad in my parenting magazines. I know that Mother Nature is better than science. But, a healthy, well fed baby is better than one who screamed every time he got near my breast. I also think snuggling and interacting is more beneficial to a child than being put in a rocker for hours while I struggled to pump a measly two ounces a day.

Since I have no milk to give my child, formula is best. Everyone knows nutritionally breast milk is superior to formula and being reminded of that every time I buy formula is not beneficial. I know the formula makers are pressured by the WHO and AAP to put those labels on their products, but I'd rather buy from a company that is confident in their formulas. For the mothers whose milk has dried up and those who've adopted or foster parent, that message is counterproductive (there is something called relactation, but I don't know how effective it really is). For those parents and caregivers formula is best, because without it, their children would starve.

And then there's this little gem.

FYI, I'm not the Lindsey she's referring to

Well Jody, my son is formula fed and is extremely healthy! At five months old (as of tomorrow) my son is nearly triple his birth weight thanks in large part to the high-calorie formula he was on for four months. He has received A+'s at each of his doctor's appointments. So yes, "formula" and "extremely healthy" do go together, thankyouverymuch.

It just really makes me sad how much animosity there is between formula and breast feeders. I won't bat an eye at how you feed your kid, and I would like the same courtesy. As long as you're not feeding your infant straight cow's milk you shouldn't be reprimanded for doing what is best for your family.

At first I did have a lot of guilt about using formula exclusively. But I kind of love it now. I will probably formula feed all our children without hesitation.

Sooo, I guess after that long rant my point is, who cares what someone else's kid eats? As long as the child is well-fed, you shouldn't judge them.

And to stand up for my fellow formula mamas, please think before telling them breast is best. For them, it's not. I'm willing to bet that most formula feeding mom's wanted to breastfeed at one point (but if not, that's totally fine). It didn't work. There's no need to comment on it, I assure you the mother knows what she's doing; just worry about feeding your own child by whatever means you see fit.

Whew! I usually don't get all preachy, but those comments really got my panties in a bunch, obviously. Also, I don't think that most breastfeeding moms think this way. I'm sure a majority of mom's fall in to the category of "do what's best for you," so it's just a small percentage that are narrow-minded and perpetuate the animosity. Especially since the original intention of the picture was simply to inform parents of a product change, not to cause any controversy. Can't we all just get along and sing Kumbaya?

If you're a formula feeding mom, check out the Fearless Formula Feeder blog, they offer lots of good insight :).

I thought I'd end on an upbeat and uncontroversial note by posting this adorable video I took of Harry yesterday.


He keeps doing that lip sucking thing, too funny!

7 comments:

  1. First off very cute video :). Second thank you for what you said I don't know how many times I got the look for busting out a bottle for my daughter.

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  2. What are breastfeeding Nazis doing on a formula facebook page? They make those of us who BF happily and quietly look bad.

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  3. Wow Lindsey. I'm shocked, saying formula and healthy baby do not go together is straight up ignorant. People just don't have a clue. I had the same struggle with EPing, I felt like it really took away from how well I was able to care for Cameron and how much time I could spend with her on a day to day basis. And most people that don't breastfeed have their reservations about it, they tried and it didn't work out, so why make them feel worse about it by putting it all over the formula cans? I'm sorry you're dealing with this :(

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  4. I'm a formula feeder for all 3 of my boys and they are healthy as can be. We are all happier too! Way to stick to your guns!

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  5. I heart this post Lindsey, point blank! Liam is FF'ed obviously and I couldnt agree more with you on the pressure that is put on us mothers to BF or else! I hate that whenever I buy a tub of formula, a CD, etc they all refer to BF over FF. I agree with Megan, it is just like pouring vinegar into a cut for those who BF'ing us didnt work out. Amen sister :)

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  6. Just like my 86-year-old grandma who has been smoking for 70 years. She hates constantly hearing that cigarettes are bad for your health, when she's proof that obviously they're good for you! It's so stupid that there are all these ridiculous warnings right on the cigarette cartons, but my grandma is proof that cigarettes don't kill. It gets really tiresome always seeing reports and warnings about cigarettes, but look at how many people there are who have been smoking for years and years, but are still alive!
    Anecdotal evidence proves nothing except that some people get lucky.

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  7. As a proud breast-feeder (who struggled at it tremendously in the beginning), I am a huge believer that FED is best. Breastfeeding or formula feeding have nothing to do with how much you love your baby or how healthy they are. Good job on being a great mom and doing what you felt was best for your family! We need to stop shaming women for their choices on how to parent and start building each other up :)

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