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Breastfeeding Passion - Page 2

post #21 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Margot Dawson View Post

See, I don't feel angry about mothers who gave their honest best effort, or who can't BF for medical reasons.  I also never approach strangers with suggestions or concerns.  But I do feel anger toward my friends who I know didn't give a good effort.  I also only BF'd my first son for only 7 months, because I was working 12 hours a day, and the daycare he was in provided free canned formula (which I'm sure dosed him with a crap load of BPA).  I'm angry I allowed myself to be undermined, and I put my career before my son. I could have done better. Now he has food sensitivities and hyperactivity issues that my other kids don't have.  I should have pumped more. Looked for donor milk. Continued to BF at least at night.  There's no good excuse not to try your best.  I'm so sorry my judgementalness and self righteousness hurts you.  I don't want to cause you or anyone else emotional pain.  

 



So how do you qualify best effort? It's ok to judge the mom who felt she couldn't do it and just went to formula to make it easier for her and the baby, but the mom who drove herself half-crazy trying to BF while failing did right?  Lactivism is not about judging or categorizing; it's about promoting breast-feeding as a healthy practice. Your approach is definitely not healthy, not for you or the other moms around you. I understand being upset when you're so passionate about something - just try to not let the negativity take over. 

 

 

 

post #22 of 70
Thread Starter 

Ladies, this thread has helped me quite a bit.  I just had a long talk with my DH, and I came to the realization that I feel the way that I feel because of my own anger and regret toward myself for not doing MY best with my first son.  I feel like if I don't convince my friends to BF, and then something bad happens to their baby (SIDS, allergies, autism, anything even remotely connected to not BF'ing) then it will be my fault.  My fault for having the information and not making them see it.  My fault for not keeping them from experiencing the guilt that I felt for "failing" my first son.  It comes from a place of wanting better for other moms, and from a place of deep guilt within myself.  Now that I know that I can start to work on letting go.  Its a scary world and being a mom is such a big responsibility.  I just want to control it so nothing bad happens to my kids or other mommy's kids.  It's not that I want to put other people down.  But in a way I guess I am mad because if I tell my friends they should BF and then they don't, it highlights my own guilt and makes me feel even worse about my failure (like I could cure my own guilt by somehow making other mom's BF).  So their lack of BF'ing is causing me emotional pain.  That is ridiculous and something I need to get over.  How do I give them the information and support without getting my own guilty feelings involved?

post #23 of 70

*hugs* Momma, I think your unhealthy obsession isn't about breastfeeding. I think it indicates bigger issues here. How are you feeling?

post #24 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by ramama View Post

My first point is that formula is not unsafe.  It's not junk food.  Saying so damages lactivism.  It's elitist and full of privilege.  It will do absolutely nothing to raise breastfeeding rates.  I am a lactivist.  Really.  I breastfed my first for 3+ years and my second for 4+ years.  Once a woman has given birth, it is too late for lactivism.  Lactivism post-birth is really just woman-bashing disguised as lactivism.  What good is it to tell a FFing mother that her actions are unsafe (even if it were true, which it's not, what good would it do?).  How likely is she to consult you if she wants to BF a future baby?  What are the chances she'll seek out a local LLL?  You don't have an unhealthy obsession with lactivism, because what you are talking about is not lactivism.  It is judgement.  You are damaging lactivism.




Thank you.

 

Preface: I had a breast reduction years ago. My son was mostly formula fed (not for lack of trying to breastfeed), and my daughter is going on 11 months of breastfeeding with supplement at the breast. In both cases, it has required pumping, pills, messy feeding tubes, and many tears. I read threads like this and they make me so angry. PLEASE do not respond by telling me that it doesn't apply to me because I tried "hard enough". By whose standards? I made a choice that worked for ME and it's nobody's business to judge me one way or another for it.

 

Breast is best. We know it's true. That doesn't mean breast is the only way to avoid completely ruining your child. Having a happy, healthy baby (and child) is dependent on so many things, and like it or not, in many cases breastfeeding is a very small part of this. Lactivism is so important and we need so badly to help increase support for breastfeeding. We need to fight unfair and damaging marketing ploys by formula companies that undermine breastfeeding. These are societal-level needs, though. What is ultimately decided by a mother is within her right, and should not be subject to judgement. Comparing formula to potato chips is offensive and rude, and stumbling over yourself in the same breath to define what is an "acceptable effort" to avoid this supposed poison just undermines the lactivism movement.

 

Those of you who admit to having over-the-top reactions to other people's personal choices should stop wasting so much energy on lamenting these poor "deprived" children.


Edited by stiss - 4/17/12 at 11:19am
post #25 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Margot Dawson View Post

Ladies, this thread has helped me quite a bit.  I just had a long talk with my DH, and I came to the realization that I feel the way that I feel because of my own anger and regret toward myself for not doing MY best with my first son.  I feel like if I don't convince my friends to BF, and then something bad happens to their baby (SIDS, allergies, autism, anything even remotely connected to not BF'ing) then it will be my fault.  My fault for having the information and not making them see it.  My fault for not keeping them from experiencing the guilt that I felt for "failing" my first son.  It comes from a place of wanting better for other moms, and from a place of deep guilt within myself.  Now that I know that I can start to work on letting go.  Its a scary world and being a mom is such a big responsibility.  I just want to control it so nothing bad happens to my kids or other mommy's kids.  It's not that I want to put other people down.  But in a way I guess I am mad because if I tell my friends they should BF and then they don't, it highlights my own guilt and makes me feel even worse about my failure (like I could cure my own guilt by somehow making other mom's BF).  So their lack of BF'ing is causing me emotional pain.  That is ridiculous and something I need to get over.  How do I give them the information and support without getting my own guilty feelings involved?




You did not fail your son. You may have failed yourself, but the guilt you feel is partly due to the kind of rhetoric we're arguing against in this thread. It's counter-productive. If their lack of BF is causing you emotional pain, it means you need to re-define what successful parenting is. Trust me, I've been there, and I realized that I was hyperfocused on one aspect of parenting, when the big picture is what matters.

 

How do you give them information and support? By offering information, respecting if they don't want to take it to heart, and by letting them have their own journey with their kids. Don't you see the awesomeness that is your eldest child? Doesn't that make you realize that it's not the end of the world if they don't breastfeed? I'm sorry, I don't mean to sound so harsh, and you clearly sound like you struggle with your past experience, but it's really unfair to project those feelings on other people when they're completely entitled to making whatever choice works for them without being judged.

 

Good luck. Finding acceptance for your own choices and experiences is a journey, but it can be achieved.

post #26 of 70

I'm glad that you see where your anger is coming from.  You are a wonderful mommy as are all mothers who love their kids dearly.  Just please remember to be gentle to other moms.  Save judging for child abuse and do something about it.  I use my passion to do things I believe in involving lactivism such as writing letters to store managers when a mom is kicked out for nip.  Educating new moms about breastfeeding.  Use your passion in a positive instead of negative way. 

post #27 of 70
Thread Starter 

It is super unfair of me to project my judgments on other moms.  That's kind of why I asked the question in the start of this thread.  Do you guys jusdge other parents at all for any of their parenting choices?  Please don't infer here that I'm saying FF is akin to corporal punishment, but they are both parenting choices, so...  Do you judge parents who make the parenting choice of beating their kids when they are naughty?  I'm willing to bet most of us do.  But why?  They aren't our kids... its the parents choice to discipline how they see fit, right?  Even though it hurts the children...  I think that's where I am coming from partly in my thinking.  I believe that FF hurts kids.  Doesn't it?  Some of you are saying that formula is safe.  I guess I just need to stop thinking of formula as being unsafe or hurting kids.  Those of you who feel like formula is safe: how do you get over the statistics?  Help me see the science that says BF'ing doesn't save babies' lives. (I'm not being snarky here, I really do want to get to a place of ok-ness with FF)

post #28 of 70
Thread Starter 

Am I brainwashed by sites like this?

 http://thebabybond.com/InfantDeaths.html 

 http://www.lactivist.com/dangform.html

http://kellymom.com/nutrition/milk/infant-formula/

 

Is it possible that I have been "scare-tacticed" into breastfeeding and now I feel like FF is way worse than it actually is?  Maybe I was.  My DH, mom, and lots of other healthy folks I know were FF'd...

post #29 of 70
Except that it's not always a choice. Also, when it is truly a choice, for some mothers, there are too many variables that likely lead up to her decision to judge her. I mean, the majority of women who aren't able or choose not to breastfeed aren't doing to b/c of, say, worrying their boobs will sag. Especially with random people you see bottle-feeding, you really have no idea what lead them to that. It's really not an outsider's business, anyway.
post #30 of 70

no one irl knows how i feel about them not breastfeeding. and i am happy to feed the babies, as i said. and lord if people knew how i feel about them having their sons circ'd i'd lose many relationships. i just have to push down some thoughts and ignore how it made me feel.

post #31 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Margot Dawson View Post

It is super unfair of me to project my judgments on other moms.  That's kind of why I asked the question in the start of this thread.  Do you guys jusdge other parents at all for any of their parenting choices?  Please don't infer here that I'm saying FF is akin to corporal punishment, but they are both parenting choices, so...  Do you judge parents who make the parenting choice of beating their kids when they are naughty?  I'm willing to bet most of us do.  But why?  They aren't our kids... its the parents choice to discipline how they see fit, right?  Even though it hurts the children...  I think that's where I am coming from partly in my thinking.  I believe that FF hurts kids.  Doesn't it?  Some of you are saying that formula is safe.  I guess I just need to stop thinking of formula as being unsafe or hurting kids.  Those of you who feel like formula is safe: how do you get over the statistics?  Help me see the science that says BF'ing doesn't save babies' lives. (I'm not being snarky here, I really do want to get to a place of ok-ness with FF)



Please don't infer here that I'm saying FF is akin to corporal punishment...

 

And yet, you pretty much just compared the two.

 

Look. I think you can muster up the compassion and logic to concede that formula is preferable to starvation. Yes? Well, for better or for worse, formula does just that. There are babies out there that would be dead without formula, by no fault of the mother. You can't appreciate that statement and then add that it's GREAT to have for babies who need it, but in the next breath argue that it HARMS AND DAMAGES them, and that choosing it is the same as making the choice to beat your children, as that's "just a parenting choice" too.

 

If it's an acceptable choice for babies who are in need of supplement, than there's no reason why it can't be an acceptable choice, period. Is it the PREFERRED choice? No, never. That's not the same as calling it dangerous and harmful, though.

post #32 of 70

I was hoping someone with a better grip of science and stats and so forth would speak to this, but yes, you absolutely think that formula feeding, especially for healthy babies with access to a clean water supply, is much worse than it actually is.

 

There is a large difference between one thing being more or less optimum, assuming all other factors are equal, and the other thing being !poison!

post #33 of 70
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildwomyn View Post

I was hoping someone with a better grip of science and stats and so forth would speak to this, but yes, you absolutely think that formula feeding, especially for healthy babies with access to a clean water supply, is much worse than it actually is.

 

There is a large difference between one thing being more or less optimum, assuming all other factors are equal, and the other thing being !poison!

 

 

Yeah, I have been thinking of it as basically poison, or junk food.  Because of the statistics I have been reading.  
 

It seems that I have made a lot of ladies on here pretty angry.  I'd just like to point out that I'm talking about my personal feelings here.  I have never, not once, gave even so much as an unapproving glance at strangers who are FF, nor have I expressed my disappointment or anger to my FF friends.  I was supportive and compassionate toward my friends when they chose to FF.  I'm not mean.  And yet my inside feelings of anger and judgement remain.  Its silly to judge me for judging FF'ers because judging is mean and wrong, then you are mean and wrong for judging my judginess!  Lol.  All joking aside, this has been very helpful.  I see I have some guilt and control issues going on as well as a misunderstanding of the harm/danger FF does or does not cause.  Some studies on formula safety might help me... if anyone want to help me at this point! :)

 

post #34 of 70


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Margot Dawson View Post

See, I know that what you are saying is mature.  We should support our friends.  It isn't nice to be controlling. I agree with all those things, and I think you are a good person for trying to be the best, supportive friend that you can be.  And yet your post made me angry for some reason.  Its the part where you said you were helping to nurture your friend's baby.  I don't like that statement, because I feel like formula is basically junk food.  In my mind, its like saying "my friend chooses to feed her 4 month old baby potato chips, so I took a broader view and helped nourish her baby by helping her to feed him the chips."  When really, I feel like it would be better (but not nicer) to say, "I'm not feeding that crap to a baby." I think my anger is more at the formula industry, and at doctors for not stressing the importance of breast milk.  Babies fed formula are 5 times more likely to die from any cause than BF'd babies.  Would you help a friend put her baby to sleep in an unsafe crib?  Would you help a friend give her baby cold medicine to make the baby sleepy because she "tried to get the baby to sleep but just didn't choose to have to deal with how hard it is" anymore?  I doubt it. Because it isn't safe.  The baby could be harmed.  I HATE that formula is an acceptable choice.  Sorry for being so emotional but it just makes me so pissed!
 

 


For me, negative feelings about other people not breastfeeding is not at all about formula.  I don't believe that formula is the *perfect* food for baby (unless there's some special circumstance for some particular baby who can't have breast milk or something), but I have no doubt that babies can get fine nutrition from formula.  And fwiw, I have a pretty strong belief that my milk is a bit lacking in something my children need(ed).  I am more worried about people (both mom and babe, and the people around them, for that matter) missing out on the nursing relationship and the wonderful parenting tool that nursing can be.  I really just wish that it was more supported in our culture.  I am sad for any babies/moms who don't get to nurse, whether it's after trying everything humanly possible to make nursing work or if its because mom thinks its distasteful and refuses to try.  I have known people who didn't nurse because there was some reason that made it impossible or nearly so, but I have never known anyone personally (like closely enough to be talking about it with them) who just didn't want to nurse.  I know one woman who didn't nurse because of some difficult feelings she had about her own body, and I certainly wouldn't say what she "should" have done in regards to nursing.  I don't think I jump to the conclusion that it was out of laziness or selfishness.  

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Margot Dawson View Post

Am I brainwashed by sites like this?

 http://thebabybond.com/InfantDeaths.html

 http://www.lactivist.com/dangform.html

http://kellymom.com/nutrition/milk/infant-formula/

 

Is it possible that I have been "scare-tacticed" into breastfeeding and now I feel like FF is way worse than it actually is?  Maybe I was.  My DH, mom, and lots of other healthy folks I know were FF'd...


I do think this is possible.  Its hard for me to see it because I'm a pretty hard core believer myself.  But it is very easy for me to see how this goes with the NCB/HB advocates.  I have type I diabetes, so I'm very high risk and it's important for me to be near a good NICU when I birth.  I come to it all from a pretty different place than if I had never been type I  --  I didn't think I'd be able to have children at all for a lot of my life, so for me, it doesn't feel all that important to worry about the details of their arrival.  So, I did everything I could to have a natural birth the first time but ended up having a perfectly lovely  --  and I mean dreamy lovely!!!  --  c-section.  I was induced, labored for 30 hours, pushed for 3, c-sectioned, and I wouldn't change one bit of it.  It was just perfect.  I am sure that many people have c-sections that don't go as well as mine did, but it is hard for me to believe that all of the hospital birth/c-section related PTSD that I read about is not mostly about the firmly held belief that if women were somehow *good enough*, they'd be able to quickly and easily birth their babies with no help.  I was not a failure by my own standards but I am aware that I was by many people's.  In the end, I had a perfect little guy in my arms, which was so joyful to me.  I am so happy that I wasn't in a position to buy into all the hype.  So, yeah, I think it's possible you've drank some of the kool-aid.  Me too, though. 

 

post #35 of 70

I'm ready to cry. I spent hundreds of dollars on top IBLCs, a physical therapist, etc, trying to get breastfeeding off the ground. My son has an unusual form of tongue tie and the research on it only goes back 5-10 years, so I'm not willing to consider surgery without more knowledge among experts.

 

Pumping several times a day is NOT easier than breastfeeding. It is painful, boring, high maintenance, and gives me no warm and fuzzy feelings. Despite doing everything under the sun I still can't get my supply quite up to my baby's level so he gets about 2 oz of formula a night. Since, you know, I have no plans to let him go hungry. Nice to know that when I go out in public there are women frowning on me and possibly coming to MDC to bitch about me.

 

Please don't become an IBLC if you are going to be smug, shaming, or guilt tripping. You will drive women away. Some of you are worse than formula companies in turning women off breastfeeding. If they can only be in your cool kids club if they breastfeed successfully I wouldn't want to bother with it either. Luckily I had excellent IBLCs who showed me kindness and compassion.
 

post #36 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Margot Dawson View Post


 

 

 

Yeah, I have been thinking of it as basically poison, or junk food.  Because of the statistics I have been reading.  
 

It seems that I have made a lot of ladies on here pretty angry.  I'd just like to point out that I'm talking about my personal feelings here.  I have never, not once, gave even so much as an unapproving glance at strangers who are FF, nor have I expressed my disappointment or anger to my FF friends.  I was supportive and compassionate toward my friends when they chose to FF.  I'm not mean.  And yet my inside feelings of anger and judgement remain.  Its silly to judge me for judging FF'ers because judging is mean and wrong, then you are mean and wrong for judging my judginess!  Lol.  All joking aside, this has been very helpful.  I see I have some guilt and control issues going on as well as a misunderstanding of the harm/danger FF does or does not cause.  Some studies on formula safety might help me... if anyone want to help me at this point! :)

 




I have to go parent my kid, but I'll start by suggesting you read the links you gave. Kellymom never likens formula to poison. They provide information on how to use formula should it be necessary. I doubt they'd do it if they thought it was poison. The other thing I'd suggest is using logic - breastfeeding rates are EXTREMELY low in the U.S. after a few months. If formula were poison, we'd have a huge health crisis on our hands, no? The benefits of breastfeeding can't be understated, and these benefits can mean significantly different outcomes for SOME babies under SOME circumstances, with regards to health. This does not translate to the blanket statement that formula is poison and hurts babies.

 

If you are a true lactivist, you'll agree that any amount of breastfeeding is beneficial to both mother and baby. We need to focus on providing mothers with supportive environments. Talking about formula as if it's some kind of poison is deflating and counter-productive.

 

Judging FF isn't wrong just because it's mean and wrong to judge. It's wrong because your views are skewed and you're ignoring other factors.

post #37 of 70

Infant feeding studies really can't use data from third-world countries where there is rarely reliable access to safe water, and apply it to conditions in the US. And yet formula companies are actively seeking a market in these countries.  But here in the US, where we always have water and the water is reasonably safe, I can't give credence to any study saying that FFing doubles (or whatever the number) infant mortality.

 

The problem with the potato chip analogy is that if FFing is as nutritious as a potato chip for a mother who didn't try at all to BF, it's also as nutritious as a potato chip for the mother that tried her damnedest, or the baby who is adopted, the baby whose mother died, the baby whose mother is a SA survivor, etc.  You can't say, Oh, if you tried really hard, formula is more nutritious than a potato chip for you.

post #38 of 70



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rubidoux View Post

 

 I am more worried about people (both mom and babe, and the people around them, for that matter) missing out on the nursing relationship and the wonderful parenting tool that nursing can be.  I really just wish that it was more supported in our culture.  I am sad for any babies/moms who don't get to nurse, whether it's after trying everything humanly possible to make nursing work or if its because mom thinks its distasteful and refuses to try.  I have known people who didn't nurse because there was some reason that made it impossible or nearly so, but I have never known anyone personally (like closely enough to be talking about it with them) who just didn't want to nurse.  I know one woman who didn't nurse because of some difficult feelings she had about her own body, and I certainly wouldn't say what she "should" have done in regards to nursing.  I don't think I jump to the conclusion that it was out of laziness or selfishness.  

 

 


So, you feel sorry for anyone who didn't have exactly the same parenting experience that you had, because you assume it couldn't possibly have been any good? This does not help either. Just as most people notice that one in five formula fed babies aren't dead, most people notice that there can still be a wonderful mother/child relationship without nursing. It's just spreading guilt and condescension to absolutely no good effect.

 


Edited by Wildwomyn - 4/17/12 at 1:00pm
post #39 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by rubidoux View Post


(...) I am more worried about people (both mom and babe, and the people around them, for that matter) missing out on the nursing relationship and the wonderful parenting tool that nursing can be.



Hey, guess what? Breastfeeding was so hard for me, and caused so much stress, that my relationship with my son was absolutely miserable the whole time I was still trying (and failing) to make it work. Once I stopped nursing, our relationship improved 100%. So you can keep your pity.

post #40 of 70

 

Quote:

Am I brainwashed by sites like this?

 http://thebabybond.com/InfantDeaths.html

 

This link is based entirely on this study:

 

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/113/5/e435.full.pdf+html

 

The study describes "a [mortality] rate of 2.1 per 1000 [babies who were breastfed at birth], and ... a rate of 2.7 [per 1000 children who are not breastfed]. If all children were breastfed, then it should prevent 1.8 postneonatal deaths per 10 000 live births."

 

 

The study indicates a 27% increased rate of postneonatal mortality in babies never breastfed in the U.S., not a 400% increased rate (which would be the "5 times" that you claimed in your first post).  As you can see, the total mortality risk in both groups is still very small.  I think you have an over-inflated view of the risks of formula. 1.8 per 10,000 = 0.00018, or less than two tenths of a thousandth.

 

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