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Tired of the "bonding" argument - Page 3

post #41 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by GooeyRN View Post
ITA

Just b/c we bottle feed, does not mean we bottle prop or pass feedings off on someone else.
No, but unfortunately most bottle-feeding mother do to some degree or another. It's considered one of the pluses of bottle-feeding!

It's not impossible for bottle-feeding parents to bond, some do it quite naturally. But others, possibly those who chose bottle-feeding *because* they could distance themselves from their child, do not. Whereas a breastfeeding mother is almost forced to just by the mechanics involved.

Even then, there are breastfeeding mothers who chose to ignore the signals their baby gives them and feed by schedule who lose out on bonding opportunities too.

That said, I tend to agree with the OP. It is a benefit of breastfeeding, but not one you can sell to someone who chose another path.
post #42 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by bri276 View Post
Yep. Show me evidence based information proving freshly pumped milk from a mother who routinely swabs her infant's saliva on the nipple is any less beneficial, nutritionally or immunologically. You can't. It doesn't exist.
Maybe not nutrionally or immunologically, but there are some things that only breastfeeding can do. Optimal oral (jaw, teeth and facial) development is one. The act of breastfeeding is different than bottle feeding. Breastfeeding encourages proper facial development because the baby sucks differently at an artificial nipple then they do at the breast.

From The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by LLLI:
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Researchers from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health reported on a study of nearly 10,000 children in which they found that the longer the duration of breastfeeding, the lower the incidence of malocclusion. Children who were breastfed for a year or more required 40 percent less orthodontia than those who were bottle-fed.
This is not meant to pass judgement. It takes a strong amount of dedication to EP. I'd like to think I'd be as dedicated to my dc to EP if we had long term breastfeeding difficulties.
post #43 of 67
FOr me, if I hadn't been hardcore wanting to breastfeed ( and for the record, my babe didnt even latch for 14 days while I finger fed him pumped milk, adn still we didn't have a good thing going for MONTHS....) I would NOT have bonded with my babe.

I suffered from SEVERE PPD. SEVERE. Breastfeeding was about the only time I held him the first month or so. Breastfeeding MADE me hold my babe. I shudder to think what may have happened if I had bottlefed him. I probably would have had someone else feed him or maybe propped him just so I wouldn't have to hold him. I was a stubborn woman and i was pretty determined to breastfeed him. That was all I was clear about those first months. I would NOT have bonded with him had I not breastfed him and I am so thankful that I did and we did bond.....just my experience.
post #44 of 67
yes I'm aware of the jaw development benefits- I've mentioned it in another thread about EP'ing. however DD uses a Haberman feeder and uses her jaw to sort of bite it to make the milk squirt out rather than suckle from it. she couldn't create suction at all until last month, and she still doesn't use it that way b/c she's too used to what she's been doing all her life. so I'm interested to see how her jaw turns out (she was born with mild microganthia anyways so I probably will never know what's caused by genetics and what's environmental in her specific case).

Quote:
but there are some things that only breastfeeding can do.
still, that's one thing, not some.
post #45 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by bri276 View Post
Yep. Show me evidence based information proving freshly pumped milk from a mother who routinely swabs her infant's saliva on the nipple is any less beneficial, nutritionally or immunologically. You can't. It doesn't exist.
I'm sure that style of feeding couldn't be studied in anything other than a "case study" kind of format, just due to numbers. I guess the thing is, nursing is more than just nutrition and immunology...whether you call it bonding, or naturally and effectively meeting the physical, emotional, social needs of the baby/child...it's not just about nutrients and antibodies. Babies nurse for many reasons beyond satisfying hunger. I think that nursing at the breast is ideal for many reasons, including emotional/attachment issues.

On the other hand I certainly acknowledge that reality doesn't always meet the ideal. As a mother who has had two cesareans, I know how painful it can feel to hear arguments about the bonding/hormonal effects of natural childbirth. I could say that I am no less bonded to my children than I otherwise would have been...but how would I know? I do know that I love my children and am bonded to them despite my less-than-ideal births, as I'm sure that anyone who has had a less than "ideal" feeding situation feels with their children. I think anything we say in favor of breastfeeding will feel hurtful to someone who felt unable to breastfeed.
post #46 of 67
I do get your point- DD was in the NICU and was taken away immediately after birth- and some ppl would argue that interrupts bonding, I just know that for ME, it didn't. Same w/ bf'ing.

the thing is, dd does use her bottle for comfort the same way a nursing baby does. she was never on a feeding schedule, and would eat frequently in very small amounts. she still to this day will fall asleep with her bottle, be comforted by it, for example today in a restaurant she was tired after a day of shopping, getting cranky, and started crying about some little thing- took about a half ounce out of her bottle and went back to playing.

OBVIOUSLY EP'ing is not as good for the MOTHER- there's no way in hell I'd advocate it for someone unless they truly had no hope of bf'ing. I've been lucky w/ my milk supply but others struggle a lot with it, it's totally inconvenient, totally annoying etc. But I think it's possible that it can be almost as good for the baby- the two reasons I can see it not being as good are 1, the fact that once in a while, you are not going to be able to make a bottle as fast as you would have been able to whip out the breast, and the baby might go hungry literally one or two minutes longer, and 2, the jaw development benefits of suckling at the breast. I think otherwise, if you are truly dedicated to making an effort to provide extremely fresh pumped milk, you make an effort to be covered in your baby's germs (like you really have to try!), and you practice feeding on demand and bottlenursing, there is just no reason for bf'ing moms to be looking down their noses at EP'ing mothers (or ff'ing for that matter), saying their bond is more special, because the bottom line is, it's incredibly arrogant. If any mother tells you that they absolutely are positive they could not be more bonded and more attached to their baby, no one has a right to say they're wrong, you are not in their heart or their baby's heart and you don't know.
post #47 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by bri276 View Post
But I think it's possible that it can be almost as good for the baby- the two reasons I can see it not being as good are 1, the fact that once in a while, you are not going to be able to make a bottle as fast as you would have been able to whip out the breast, and the baby might go hungry literally one or two minutes longer, and 2, the jaw development benefits of suckling at the breast.
And IMO 3, that I have to put him down for 30+ min while pumping.
Quote:
I think otherwise, if you are truly dedicated to making an effort to provide extremely fresh pumped milk, you make an effort to be covered in your baby's germs (like you really have to try!), and you practice feeding on demand and bottlenursing, there is just no reason for bf'ing moms to be looking down their noses at EP'ing mothers
Oops, I guess they can look down at me. We can't feed on demand or bottlenurse, b/c ds is tubefed and has refused to eat since he was 2.5 mos old. Personally, I think I am less bonded to him than I could have been. But it may have more to do with the reflux hell that caused him to stop nursing and refuse to be held during feedings except facing away from me while bouncing vigorously on a birth ball.

Quote:
If any mother tells you that they absolutely are positive they could not be more bonded and more attached to their baby, no one has a right to say they're wrong, you are not in their heart or their baby's heart and you don't know.
Exactly. Doing so is a major interpersonal boundary violation. I can say that I personally could be more bonded, but that doesn't mean at all that others have to feel the same.
post #48 of 67
mama-a-llama. of course no one can put you down for dealing with a major health issue in the best way you possibly can for your baby. I still wouldn't put some limit on which way someone has to feed their child to be bonded, because I haven't interviewed every single bf'ing, bottlefeeding, and tube feeding mother and compared notes on bonding and neither has anyone else! what is this crazy "bonding" word anyways, as if it's some magical act that only occurs in certain situations? as if all the other interactions we have with our kids don't have an effect on attachment?

as far as putting the baby down while pumping, I know other EP'ing moms have felt that was a negative but for me it never was, thanks to dd taking catnaps instead of long naps when she was younger and then as she got older I could drop a pump here and there so I only do it while she's sleeping- on the occasions when I do have to do it while she's awake she's perfectly content to play toys for 20 min and it's no different than when I'm eating lunch or cooking or anything else that takes my attention temporarily. I realize that's not the situation for everyone though, just happens to be her personality.
post #49 of 67
Thread Starter 
I don't mean to belittle the discussion that's happening, but see? It's proving the point - it's a divisive thing to talk about, and if it can cause really hurt feelings and arguments here, then how much does it detract from the message out in the wider community?
post #50 of 67
I think part of the reason it's so contentious is because people (on both sides) confuse "facilitates" with "allows for more/better". I do think feeding at the breast has the potential to facilitate bonding (aka relationship building), as does natural birth, as does wearing your baby. And as another person posted, I think an argument could be made that ON AVERAGE someone who does all these things is "more bonded" than someone who does none of them, but that doesn't mean anyone can look at those things like a checklist and go "yup, I did these, and you didn't, I must be more bonded." That's ridiculous.

I firmly believe that anyone feeding their child at the breast (no matter the substance) OR feeding their child their milk (no matter the delivery) is engaged in breastfeeding. In an ideal situation, both happen at once (less hassle, better dental development or better nutrition/immunities, easier on the environment and finances), but I bow to women who manage only one at a time - that takes so much more effort and dedication than the combined way.
post #51 of 67
I don't mean in any way to look down upon mothers who exclusively pump/human milk feed. I am truly impressed with people who manage it, and I think you are doing a great thing for your children.

One thing I started to mention before was that I'm not sure that there is any way to talk about the benefits of nursing in a way that won't feel painful or divisive to someone who does not or cannot nurse. How do you say "my method of feeding my baby is better, healthier, and more natural" or "your way is risky, unhealthy, artificial" without causing pain? Sometimes, it's the facts themselves that hurt, not the rhetoric. Does it make sense to withhold *information* about the benefits of nursing/risks of not nursing to spare the feelings of people who were unable (for whatever reason) to breastfeed?

Like sex, birth...breastfeeding is a physical-hormonal-oxytocic experience, and I think there's a case to be made that that does have an intimate relationship with bonding. See Odent-type research for instance. And again - I've been unable to access one of those experiences myself, though breastfeeding has gone well, and yes it can hurt to hear, and I hope that it hasn't had any adverse effects - but I don't think people ought to stop talking about it because I couldn't get it, you know?
post #52 of 67
I think in some cases bf mums and babies do bond more but not all the ones i'm reffereing to are those i see all the time sat in group or on the bus baby crys mum just props the bottle up in babies mouth doesn't pick them up and in some cases doesn't hold the bottle feed baby just leaves up propped up on baby this doesn't seem like bonding to me, and yes i know not all mums do this alot or most probebly do hold and cuddle there babies when bottle feeding but alot i see don't so in that way as bf mums have to pick up there babies to feed they are bonding more with there babies but we can't really tar everyone with the same feather as i'm sure a lot of bottle feeding mums do have this bonding time just not all as i too often see.
post #53 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by bri276 View Post
mama-a-llama. of course no one can put you down for dealing with a major health issue in the best way you possibly can for your baby. I still wouldn't put some limit on which way someone has to feed their child to be bonded,
Sorry, I was sort of being sarcastic to point out that you did say "if you do all these things then bfing moms can't look down at you." I feel pretty marginalized a lot of the time. I don't fit in well in the bfing community b/c my experience is so different--I really have to remind myself that I'm a bfing mother, b/c it sure doesn't feel/look like it on the surface. But I'm weird in the tube feeding community b/c I pump--and frankly I don't like to talk about it a lot and make other mamas feel bad. This has got to be about the hardest way to feed your baby--and I've only "met" online about 4 other people who have done it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wannabe View Post
I don't mean to belittle the discussion that's happening, but see? It's proving the point - it's a divisive thing to talk about, and if it can cause really hurt feelings and arguments here, then how much does it detract from the message out in the wider community?
For the record, I'm not feeling hurt, well, not much anyway. But it's not from what people are saying, just from me knowing what I'm missing not being able to bf directly.
post #54 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharondio View Post
No, but unfortunately most bottle-feeding mother do to some degree or another. It's considered one of the pluses of bottle-feeding!
Not where I live. Bottles are common, but I have only seen one propped bottle ever. This was a stranger at a public event: none of the bottle feeders among my friends or family prop.
post #55 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momtwice View Post
Not where I live. Bottles are common, but I have only seen one propped bottle ever. This was a stranger at a public event: none of the bottle feeders among my friends or family prop.

Where are all of these bottle propping moms? I've personally never seen one.

I EP'd and now I FF-by circumstance, NOT by choice. Does this mean I'm less bonded to my child? Absolutely not. Or, because I wanted to BF and couldn't, does that make it different than if I had chosen to FF from the start? Oh, she HAS to, so it's OK, but another mother CHOSE to, so she's bad for giving formula?

This whole topic just pulls on everyone's emotions.

Plus, I keep reading about people having problems NIP...ever try to PUMP in public?????:
post #56 of 67
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Originally Posted by Jay'smom View Post
Where are all of these bottle propping moms? I've personally never seen one.
I've seen many propped bottles. I thought it went hand in hand with bottle feeding.
post #57 of 67
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Originally Posted by sparklefairy View Post
I like to say that breastfeeding facilitates bonding.
I agree. it CAN help bonding, but doesn't always. With my first child, we were miserable. for 10 days he did nothing but scream and nurse constantly. he was losing weight. I had a lot of issues nursing him (besides no milk due to my PCOS) that included past sexual abuse and not being able to emotionally stand nursing him. I just couldn't do it. I got to where I could not even look at him when he whimpered and wanted to nurse again....if I did, I would start to vomit. It was horrible. I actually felt like I hated him. do you know what that feels like as a mother to hate your own child? it was the worst feeling in the world.
but I kept trying. I knew it was best for him. finally one day at my moms work as I was sobbing and she was holding him, she told me "jessica, it is ok NOT to breastfeed-you are not a horrible mother" and I went to the store and got formula and bottles....he was content from then on.
so yes, when we finally put him on the bottle, and he was able to eat-we did finally bond. (It is good that I did put him on-because as we later found out, I have PCOS and I am one of those cursed with a non-existent milk supply. It is only now after so many pregnancies and having more glandular tissue and having my levels in order that I was able to produce milk)

I bottle fed my first 4 kids. with the 5th, I was on a breast/bottle debate board and we learned about the lactaid and learned that I could try nursing again.....by then I did have some milk-not enough, but we were able to BF and supplement with formula through the lactaid and bottles. I did whatever I could to get it to work. we only lasted 6 weeks, but I was so proud of myself for overcoming that first situation and being able to do it again.
With the 6th child, we tried BF again. It took me 6 months of supplementing, but I finally was able to meet her needs. and now she is 2 1/2 years old and still nursing. It amazes me.
Do I feel any more bonded to the ones that I did BF?? no. Of course, I am closer to the baby now just because she is still "the baby" but I dont' love her any more than the others.

Quote:
The thing about breastfeeding is that it requires physical contact. Even if eye contact isn't being made, mother and baby are communicating physically. It's possible to prop a bottle and feed in isolation, but not a breast.
just because you are breastfeeding doesn't mean you are doing any more than putting the breast in their mouth to feed them. there are mothers that latch on and do other things- type at the keyboard, read a book etc....there is no real interaction going on there. just as a non-bottle propping mom is still having interaction with her child while she gives the bottle. I know when I FF....I was still talking to them, kissing their toes/hands...looking in there eyes.

FF does not automatically equal no interaction
BF does not automatically equal interaction

I think that interaction is based on the parent alone. not the feeding method.

I hope that made sense--it gets hard to talk about what I went through with my first child and trying to bf him-and that makes everything else I type at the same time come out wrong somehow.
post #58 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
One thing I started to mention before was that I'm not sure that there is any way to talk about the benefits of nursing in a way that won't feel painful or divisive to someone who does not or cannot nurse. How do you say "my method of feeding my baby is better, healthier, and more natural" or "your way is risky, unhealthy, artificial" without causing pain? Sometimes, it's the facts themselves that hurt, not the rhetoric. Does it make sense to withhold *information* about the benefits of nursing/risks of not nursing to spare the feelings of people who were unable (for whatever reason) to breastfeed?
But the thing about the bonding is that it cuts into that personal space that a PP mentioned. You can't argue with immunology, but the bonding thing always derails the argument.
post #59 of 67
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Originally Posted by Nisupulla View Post
I've seen many propped bottles. I thought it went hand in hand with bottle feeding.
That's really unfortunate. Please know that many, many bottle feeding moms are wonderful parents and would never prop a bottle. As I mentioned, I've never even seen it done, and I believe a PP mentioned that she had only seen it once.

Please be aware that, like it or not, there are many moms on here who bottle feed, whether by choice or circumstance. Whether it be breast milk or formula, or whatever. We are all trying to do what is best for our children, our families, and ourselves. My inabily to breastfeed does not make me a non-AP parent.

Just as we fight so strongly against breastfeeding stereotypes, we need to be aware of our own prejudices against bottle feeding moms and empower all mothers to be the kind of parents we all hope to be. That doesn't mean we need to encourage the use of formula. It just means that we need to try to walk the proverbial mile in someone else's shoes.
post #60 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by wannabe View Post
But the thing about the bonding is that it cuts into that personal space that a PP mentioned. You can't argue with immunology, but the bonding thing always derails the argument.
People do argue, though - along the lines of "my child is formula fed and was perfectly healthy, thankyouverymuch, and I don't appreciate the suggestion that his health is at risk." And you know, most formula-fed babies will indeed be decently well.

I think it would be unfortunate to collapse our discussion of the benefits of breastfeeding down to the benefits of breast*milk* only. There's so much more.

I do think one has to consider the audience, though, as you said in your original post. As a general point of information, or part of persuading people who have not yet decided to breastfeed, or part of strengthening the commitment of people who have decided to breastfeed, I think the social/emotional aspects of breastfeeding are important and valid to discuss. How else do we understand a baby/child who nurses 'dry' through a pregnancy, a mother who produces little or no milk but feeds at the breast via supplementer, a 3 or 4-year-old who nurses a few times a week? OTOH I don't think anyone needs to make arguments to mothers who exclusively pump as to the benefits of breastfeeding - clearly they are usually about as committed as one can be. I guess the grey area would be someone who has bottlefed/formula fed in the past but plans future children and is open to making a different choice in the future - but even so, I think such people could be open to emotional benefits of breastfeeding. Someone who has exclusively formula-fed and won't have an opportunity or willingness to do anything different...why would we be needing to convince her of the greatness of breastfeeding at all?
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