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"my child was formula fed and is the healthiest kid ive seen!" - Page 3

post #41 of 49
Originally Posted by Amylcd View Post
For me, my formula fed kid has never had anything more than one or two colds in her 6 1/2 years of life (no ear infections, nothing). My breastfed kids have been sick frequently, the youngest is CONSTANTLY sick (I'm not joking - 11 ear infections, 14 respiratory infections, RSV twice, and she seems have a mild cold that never goes away, on top of eczema, allergies, etc.)

This doesn't mean breastfeeding is to blame, but in her case, breastfeeding is not helping her overcome illnesses any faster, or preventing them in the first place.
And I can say the opposite. I EP'ed and FF my first child (by the end of our relationship it was more FF than EBM, but I EP'ed til she was almost 12 mon.) and totally BF'ed my second.

Who caught croup and pertussis? Well, dd got both and ds got pertussis. Which one recovered faster? Ds. Which one also gets less colds/ flu syptoms? Ds. So why can't we catch a wild strain of CP already?

I digress. I don't fully blame formula for my dd's weaker system. I also vaxed her up to the 6 months amount of shots. I think both are to blame (personally.)

I do see how both children react and of course my "data" is anecdotal. But given I was vaxed up the wazoo, had suffered from childhood asthma and had bronchial problems for the first 5 years of life, I guess I'm jaded. The years of eczema, recurrent tonsillitis, and yeast infections really are the problem of antibiotics by the time I had developed them - which was about junior year of college. But then given my lay understanding, what do I really understand of medicine? :
post #42 of 49
Originally Posted by Kappa View Post
I think this thread sort of in a way proves a point. No one is willing to come on this thread and state that they had a FF child that is now dealing with a health issue. I think it's too much of an indictment of the mother to state that, and that their might be a connection with the FF (whether it was by choice or not), even if it's just a simple acknowledgment out in the corner of the internet.

I don't know that "willing" is accurate because it's entirely possible that mothers on this forum have FF'd babies who really don't have health issues. I'm just sayin'.
post #43 of 49
Originally Posted by petra_william View Post
What's been your experiences with people saying that their kids are just fine?
That their kid appears to be relatively healthy.

Originally Posted by petra_william View Post
do you tell them aobut the long term risks or do you just let it be?
No, I don't tell them about the risks. I cannot see how telling them about the risks their child may face would be in any way constructive. Seems like it would alienate them.

I have however discussed the benefits of breastfeeding, especially extended breastfeeding, with parents who formula fed, but never as an indictment of their choice. I'm all about talking about how awesome breastfeeding is rather than discussing the merits of formula feeding.

Originally Posted by petra_william View Post
WHY do you think they do it? i just cant seem to get rid of the feeling that most people who've said it to me do so to ease their own conscience and / or are in denial... idk?
I think they say it because their child seems pretty healthy. I wouldn't read too much into it. It doesn't really change anything.
post #44 of 49
My daughter was FF and has had a number of issues with allergies and asthma. There, I said it. However, in her birth family where the b-mom BF for over a year there are still allergies and asthma amoungst the kids. My DD's looks worse than theirs and I beat myself up for ages over this but now I'm starting to think that they just don't have the wherewithal to aggressivly deal with allergies. I'm more and more certain that one of the boys has gluten issues but there is no way that family could afford to go gluten free.
post #45 of 49
I think most people don't understand statistics, and particularly don't understand that health statistics apply on a population level, not on an individual level.

It's certainly true that formula-fed children are more likely to experience a number of health problems. As others have said, "more likely" doesn't mean that they *will* - and therefore the fact that many of them *don't* have health problems doesn't disprove the overall population-level evidence for greater problems.

That said, however, I think this kind of misunderstanding happens on both sides of the issue. Lactivists often speak as though it's definitely the case that a particular sickly breastfed child would be "even sicker" on formula, but population-based risks don't work that way.

I think there's also a fundamental misunderstanding about what it means for a risk factor to be correlated with a health outcome. It does NOT mean that the risk factor is the most important contributor to the health outcome. Look at the people on this thread posting that they've been told that breastfed babies simply won't have ear infections, or won't have them until after they've been weaned. BF/FF is *correlated* with the number of ear infections a child will have, but it is by no means the most significant contributor to ear infections - that's the shape of the Eustacian tubes, and whether they allow fluid to pool. Similarly, although FF is correlated with later obesity, the *greatest* predictor of obesity is genetics.

So probably in most cases you're not going to be able to perceive the health effects of BF vs. FF on an individual level, because the effect, while measurable and real, is overwhelmed by other things that contribute to health. It's only evident at the population level, where you can either control statistically for those other factors or you can assume that they're randomly distributed within the two groups.
post #46 of 49
I had this conversation recently with my sister, whose first child was adopted and whose second was a miracle biological baby. First baby arrived with three days' notice, and was ff'd. My sister was contemplating weaning her biological three month old, who had been exclusively breastfed up to that point.

She brought out the, "Well, X was formula-fed, and she's *fine*! And the kids I teach at school, you can't tell the ff'd and bf'd kids apart" argument (I think she was understanding the bf/ff argument to come down 100% on IQ).

It was a very difficult conversation as I didn't want to offend her, but wanted to encourage her to continue to bf her dd as long as possible (very difficult with her teaching job, she did wean at about 4 months in the end).

What I told her is, it's not just about your baby - it's about YOU. The longer you breastfeed, especially beyond a year, then the lower your risk of breast and ovarian cancers. It'll also lower your baby's risk, but yours is even more significant.

And I told her, lots of the things that bf reduces the risk for (like diabetes) doesn't show up until decades from now. She gave her first child the best food available to her at the time. And I hope that her daughter stays smart and healthy and "fine." But -- she has something even better available for #2.

I am afraid I rattled off all the "increased risk of" litany in bf vs. ff at some point in the conversation which may not have been helpful. I was so startled to even be having the conversation and for her to be so nonchalant about it (she'd been really sad when her friend weaned her child a month earlier).

I don't know, it is a difficult conversation to have. I think I wouldn't have really said anything (or maybe as pp's have suggested, "I'm glad your child is healthy!") -- if it had been a mere acquaintance. But I felt like I had to try to give my sister better information (she didn't even know that the recommendation is six months before starting solids; she waited that long with #1, but with #2 was planning to start solids at 4 months).

I do think a lot of it comes down to a misunderstanding of the science. And some comes down to defensiveness. But I think most importantly, the "my child is FINE!" argument works very effectively to end the conversation. It's a difficult point to argue, isn't it? I could easily have told my sister that her oldest child's persistent colds (nonstop really) are possibly less a result of daycare, and more a result of her immune system being less supported due to having to be ff'd. But that would have really inflamed things [even though I do believe it to be true - actually her dd had a dairy intolerance/allergy which I think she hasn't yet outgrown, since she varies from constipation to diarrhea now]. But if reality for the particular mother is, "Kids get sick, EIs are normal, my kid is happy and healthy in spite of them," then they're not going to recognize that for some families, EIs are not normal, etc.
post #47 of 49
Originally Posted by sarahr View Post
They probably say this because their kids ARE fine. As pp pointed out, anecdotes and evidence aren't the same thing -- so even though in general bf might be healthier than ff, that doesn't mean that a kid who gets formula can't be healthy (just like it doesn't mean that a child who is breastfed is never sick).

I wouldn't say anything at all, other than "I'm happy for you." What's the point of picking a fight?
ITA. My desire is to see breastfeeding normalized so we don't have to defend ourselves but if after education a woman still chooses to formula feed (for whatever the reason) it is her choice and I do respect it. I try to give every person the right to make the best decisions for their bodies and their families.
post #48 of 49
I usually mention that it isnt about kid A being healthier/smarter then kid B... breastfeeding makes kid A better off then they would have been on formula alone. Breastfeeding helps their bodies reach their full potential.

Not to mention that many of the health benefits carry over into adulthood so we would have to come back in 50 years and compare their health then.
post #49 of 49
This thread is closed pending review.
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