or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Baby › Breastfeeding › Lactivism › Does "pro-breastfeeding" equal "anti-formula"?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Does "pro-breastfeeding" equal "anti-formula"? - Page 2

post #21 of 210
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
Actually, as a moderator, I'm going to ask that any further posts that denounce lactivists as being rabid formula haters please be taken off board. If someone has an issue with someone's posting habits, it needs to be reported and not discussed on a thread, as per the user agreement. Thanks!

I hope that my "Some lactivists seem to be anti-formula" wasn't construed as "some lactivists are rabid formula haters". Perhaps I am missing something. It seems to happen a lot these days :P
post #22 of 210
personally, i think formula has its place. i'm still breastfeeding my 12.5 mo. old, and will continue as long as she wants it. she has also gotten a little formula -- only one bottle per day. i know lots of moms who combine formula feeding with breastfeeding. in my opinion, this should be seen as preferable to not breastfeeding at all. i will always support breastfeeding, and encourage it. however let's be realistic: in the U.S., a lot of people formula feed. i think it would be more practical to try to reduce the volume of formula fed, and increase the volume of breastmilk fed, versus trying to eliminate formula feeding altogether in favor of 100 percent breastfeeding.
post #23 of 210
Quote:
i think it would be more practical to try to reduce the volume of formula fed, and increase the volume of breastmilk fed, versus trying to eliminate formula feeding altogether in favor of 100 percent breastfeeding.
The process is to increase the breastmilk (thereby reducing the formula). The goal is to be like those countries who have 90-100% rates.

BY the way, you may want to read Norway's success story in this matter. They went from very high FF rates to near 100% BF rates. It's definitely something to look up to.
post #24 of 210
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by carriebft View Post
Is it ok to discuss the idea that there exist people who use the idea of formula= poison as a tool against lactivism? I can't quite word that right, but it's soemthing I have been thinking about.

Oh, I completely agree that this is often a tool used against lactivism. I think plenty of formula companies would like to portray breastfeeding advocates as raging, anti-formula, "boob nazis" (and I hate that term and never use it, but there are plenty of people out there who do. Hell, I know breastfeeding advocates in my day to day life who actually call themselves boob nazis).

This only helps their cause. When advocacy become extremism, then we're seen as freaks and not advocates. And as we all know, formula companies don't exactly have normal ethics and decency in their advertising. They'll do whatever it takes to sell their products, as we have seen in the past.
post #25 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by pumpkinhead View Post
I hope that my "Some lactivists seem to be anti-formula" wasn't construed as "some lactivists are rabid formula haters". Perhaps I am missing something. It seems to happen a lot these days :P
Nope, it was later in the thread that I was worried it was taking a "this forum/MDC stinks" sort of turn. You're good, and I definitely think it's a conversation worth having.
post #26 of 210
Thread Starter 
Also, when I started this thread, it wasn't in reference to anything on this board and not addressing any member here. Last week I was in the babyfood aisle and there was a local LLL member I am acquainted with who was handing out breastfeeding pamphlets next to the formula. She wasn't just placing them there, she was actively handing them out to people purchasing formula.

Now, I consider myself a passionate breastfeeding advocate, but I take issue with this. I actually brought it up with the LLL leader in private and she spoke with this member and asked her to desist (this wasn't an LLL endorsed thing).

I am guilty of hiding copies of babywise behind Dr. Jack Newman and Dr Sears's books , but I have a problem with somebody forcing breastfeeding pamphlets into the hands of a mother buying formula.
post #27 of 210
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
Nope, it was later in the thread that I was worried it was taking a "this forum/MDC stinks" sort of turn. You're good, and I definitely think it's a conversation worth having.

Oh whew .
post #28 of 210
i wonder how some one can call themself a lactivist but have nothing against formula. i realize some moms have true medial issues or have adopted a baby. they have no choice. it bothers me when some moms make excuses,milk didnt come in, not making enough. they are not being honest with them selves. maybe they got bad medical advise or didnt do research or just werent dedicated. formula is not natural just as taking meds for every little thing isnt either. i dont hate moms for ff. i just feel bad that for what ever reason, they werent able to have a successful bf.
post #29 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by polishprinsezz View Post
i wonder how some one can call themself a lactivist but have nothing against formula. i realize some moms have true medial issues or have adopted a baby. they have no choice. it bothers me when some moms make excuses,milk didnt come in, not making enough. they are not being honest with them selves. maybe they got bad medical advise or didnt do research or just werent dedicated. formula is not natural just as taking meds for every little thing isnt either. i dont hate moms for ff. i just feel bad that for what ever reason, they werent able to have a successful bf.

Well, for me, I believe formula is a tool. Having something "against formula" is about as pointless for me as having something "against" any other inanimate object. I have lots against the formula companies, the healthcare industry, our department of health and human services, a society that doesn't seem to value motherhood or babies, but what on earth would be the point of having a vendetta against a food substitute? Especially one that, like it or not, has kept babies alive. To me, it wastes energy that could be better directed towards actual lactivism and working to actually effect change.
post #30 of 210
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
Well, for me, I believe formula is a tool. Having something "against formula" is about as pointless for me as having something "against" any other inanimate object. I have lots against the formula companies, the healthcare industry, our department of health and human services, a society that doesn't seem to value motherhood or babies, but what on earth would be the point of having a vendetta against a food substitute? Especially one that, like it or not, has kept babies alive. To me, it wastes energy that could be better directed towards actual lactivism and working to actually effect change.
Excellent post and ITA.

Also, as unfortunate as it is, some mothers simply do not wish to breastfeed. Whether it's due to body issues, lack of information and education, poor advice or whatever, some simply have no desire to do so. I think this is unfortunate, but I can't tell someone else what they can and cannot do with their body. I'd rather someone say "I just didn't want to" rather than perpetuate myths by saying "I didn't make enough milk" or "my baby was allergic".

I think we need to take steps to right this. We have a long way to go, but we also have to live in the now.
post #31 of 210
To answer the title question, only in so far as the mere presence of formula creates anti-breastfeeding attitudes. "Why don't you just give him a bottle?" "There's no need for *that*, formula is just as good." "You really should have a little formula on hand just in case." "Her blood sugar might be elevated because she's such a large baby, so we gave her a few ounces of formula. .... Oh, no, nipple confusion is just a myth, don't worry so much!"
post #32 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by timneh_mom View Post
I am not anti formula, clearly, there is a need for a breast milk substitute for some babies. What I don't like is the lack of support and good, correct information for women who want to breast feed. It's out there, but it's not enough! I know too many moms who quit nursing because they couldn't make it work for one reason or another. I also know if they'd had good support, maybe a good LLL group, a lactation consultant, a knowledgable mother, or someone who could have given them the information they needed, they would have been able to continue.
this is SUCH a good point!

i experienced this myself with dd-i had her young (i was 20) and had virtually NO resources available to encourage me to bf her, but i did anyway for the 3 months i was home with her. (and everyone around me thought i was crazy-why aren't you ff? they'd ask-it's so much easier!: ) when i went back to work (had no choice, single mama) there was no one around me to help me try pumping & storage, or to encourage me to do a bf/ff split. so she went on ff full time from 3 months on. this wasn't because i didn't want to keep bf, but because i honestly didn't think i had any other options.

now with ds#1 (born 8 years later) i had a totally different (and completely awful!) experience-i was older, wiser, in touch with a lactation consultant, had a subscription to mothering, came on board here for awhile, too, and i was bound and determined to bf that child full time for as long as he wanted to! however, he absolutely refused to nurse. everytime i put him to my breast, he would turn his face away and cry. he just would not take the breast at all. i tried. and tried. and tried. and tried..but he was adamant that he wasn't taking it. for the first day and a half of his life he was given nothing but little bits of formula from a cup while i kept trying and trying and trying and crying and crying and crying (oh, i was sooooo frustrated and heartbroken!!!) until finally a very kindly nurse came in to my room and said "honey-i know you had your heart set on bf this baby, but it's just not working right now. maybe we should give him some formula? isn't it better that he gets some kind of nourishment then to go through this?" and i thought, well yes of course! i'm not going to starve this baby. and so we gave him a bottle. (or dp did-i couldn't bring myself to do it) and when i met with the lactation consultant, she gave me all of the tips, and she helped me try again, but he still wouldn't nurse. (to this she just kind of shrugged and said "well, some babies just don't want to nurse." to this day i wonder if, had i had a better lactation consultant, could i have succeeded in bf him? i try not to beat myself up about it, though) i tried again when we got home, thinking a more relaxed environment might help. i tried on and off for a good month to get him to nurse at least a little, but he just wouldn't do it. so, he ended up being a stricly formula baby from day 1 (or day 1 and a half!)

and i, trying so hard to be the good ap parent and do right by him, was devestated. i felt like such a failure. i beat myself up for months for this. until one day i was giving him his bottle and singing to him softly, and he looked up at me and smiled. then i realized-i love this child. i treasure this child. i would die for this child. i am doing everything else in my power to be the best mom i can be to this child (we co-slept, "wore" him constantly, fed him natural organic healthy foods when the time came, used gentle discipline when he got older, etc) and how he does or does not take in nourishment in infancy should not be detracting me from the miracle of his existence.

now-on a happy ending note! ds#2 came along two years after ds#1 and he was a voracious greedy hungry little bf from about 5 minutes after birth on. oh did that baby love to nurse! and nurse! and nurse!! it was wonderful. and when i went back to work, i had the most awesome amazing lactation consultant who got me a fabulous electric breast pump to use at work, and so i was able to pump while at work and nurse exclusively at home (he did get some formula during that time, though, to supplement my stored milk-i was only able to express 12-16 ounces during the day, and never pumped at night because he was always firmly attached to the boob and i didn't want to take away from that-it was our time..) and even though he started to self wean just after his first birthday, and was off the breast completely by 15 months, those 15 months were just a beautiful experience for me.

i guess in my long and really rambling way i am trying to say-sometimes mamas do what they have to do, you know? and putting a mama down for using ff without finding out her story is incredibly sad and unfair.

that said, though, i do 100% agree with those who've said the formula manufacturers ought to be ashamed of themselves! there is a definite push in the mainstream media to ff-and it's presented in such a way that mamas are lead to believe that ff is just so natural and normal and wonderful (all those pictures and commercials with happy, smiling, happy, perfect little babies!)..it's really rather disgusting, imho.

anyway. sorry so long! but there's my $.02 (or maybe more like there's my $20.00 )
post #33 of 210
I, for one, HATE formula. And I am NOT afraid to say it. Formula nearly killed my daughter and is killing MANY babies daily - and not just in third world countries. Oh sure, some people may say "My baby was FF and is perfectly healthy ..." yeah, NOW. What about in the future???

What NEEDS TO HAPPEN is two things. One. Mothers need to start majorly donating to milk banks. And Two. Medicaid and WIC need to start covering milk from milk banks for people who cannot breastfeed due to illness, breast reduction, adoption, etc. Oh I guess I could add a third - we need to somehow find a way to make milk that comes from milk banks more affordable for mothers who don't qualify for WIC and Medicaid, or whose insurance won't cover it.

All of that does not mean that I hate formula feeding moms AT ALL. I have a very difficult time keeping my mouth shut when it comes to moms who choose to formula feed, or who make up silly excuses for formula feeding. But, I know that the VAST majority of these mothers would rather be giving their child something better (breastmilk) if only it were more accessible from milk banks.
post #34 of 210
I'm anti formula to an extent. I am against use of formula when it's not absolutely necessary...I guess I do give it a little more leeway than that, like I'm not totally against using formula while at work instead of pumping, but that's because I would rather a mom do that than switch altogether, ya know? I dunno. I guess, more than being anti-formula, I am anti-formula-marketing and anti-formula-stupidity...meaning I'm against the misinformation that's out there about formula, and I'm against the "formula is just fine" attitude and I'm against people thinking there are no risks to not breastfeeding. But I do think formula has its place and I'm glad it exists. I just wish its use wasn't so prevalent.

Sorry for the blabbing, I'm tired. lol
post #35 of 210
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy~mamax3 View Post
I, for one, HATE formula. And I am NOT afraid to say it. Formula nearly killed my daughter and is killing MANY babies daily - and not just in third world countries. Oh sure, some people may say "My baby was FF and is perfectly healthy ..." yeah, NOW. What about in the future???

What NEEDS TO HAPPEN is two things. One. Mothers need to start majorly donating to milk banks. And Two. Medicaid and WIC need to start covering milk from milk banks for people who cannot breastfeed due to illness, breast reduction, adoption, etc. Oh I guess I could add a third - we need to somehow find a way to make milk that comes from milk banks more affordable for mothers who don't qualify for WIC and Medicaid, or whose insurance won't cover it.

All of that does not mean that I hate formula feeding moms AT ALL. I have a very difficult time keeping my mouth shut when it comes to moms who choose to formula feed, or who make up silly excuses for formula feeding. But, I know that the VAST majority of these mothers would rather be giving their child something better (breastmilk) if only it were more accessible from milk banks.

This is all well and good, but this is a looooong way off in the future. It's not about to happen anytime soon. Don't get me wrong, I would love to live in a society that puts a priority on mother's milk, milk donation, milk banks and where mothers just nurse other people's babies for them, but that might not ever happen. So, in the mean time, what do we do?

For many, many, many people, formula is the only accessible alternative to breastmilk. The fact of the matter is that more babies would be dying in the western world if formula didn't exist.
post #36 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by pumpkinhead View Post
For many, many, many people, formula is the only accessible alternative to breastmilk. The fact of the matter is that more babies would be dying in the western world if formula didn't exist.
Really??? Because the last stat I heard was more than 97% of babies and mothers CAN breastfeed. THere is no health reason preventing them from breastfeeding. The just choose not to, or, - and I think this happens more than choosing to FF - they are given HORRIBLE advice about breastfeeding. Then there are the moms who don't want to put out $300 for a breastpump when they are forced to go back to work.

I am not talking about adoptive parents here at all - obviously there isn't much option there, as adoptive nursing will still usually require some form of supplementation.

But honestly. How long has formula been around? Yes, the infant mortality rate was higher two centuries ago, but not because babies were starving to death.
post #37 of 210
I view formula as a last resort for mama who legitimately cannot make enough milk to fully nourish their little ones, and who do not have anywhere to get donated breastmilk. (hospital, other milk bank, friend with a pump, etc) I hate it when misinformation, cultural disapproval and unsupportive family cause a mother to give up on nursing. I do not have any patience with women who give up at the first sign of difficulty... I went through a great deal of pain the first couple of months nursing dd, and when I hear "I switched to formula because it hurt too much to nurse" it makes my blood boil. Maybe I am judgemental and cruel, but if I managed to survive it, the next woman can.
post #38 of 210
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy~mamax3 View Post
I I have a very difficult time keeping my mouth shut when it comes to moms who choose to formula feed, or who make up silly excuses for formula feeding.
i'm not sure if this was directed at me-but i do not not think my reasons for using formula were silly excuses-and with all 3 of my children i did the best i could in each individual case. i'm sure there are a lot of mamas who really don't feel they can bf for whatever reason, and yeah some of them have really silly reasons (fear of loss of figure, thinking ff is "easier", don't want to be tied down to the baby 24/7 at first..) but most of them have valid reasons for their choices and, like me, probably feel very conflicted and guilty for having to make the ff choice.

(again, i do not know if you were speaking to me, but your post just came right after mine, so i wanted to clarify)
post #39 of 210
I think she was thinking more along the lines of silly excuses like "I formula feed because I want dad to bond with the baby, too" or "I formula feed because I think it helps them sleep through the night"...those kind of silly excuses. Like the ones you listed, not you at all.
post #40 of 210
Nope, not aimed at you at all. I think we were psoting at the same time. I really am not so nasty I sometimes come across in my posts either ... just very passionate about this. Your reasons for formula feeding are not excuses at all - they are legitimate reasons.

By silly excuses, I mean ones - like "Breastfeeding was too time consuming" or "I wanted my baby to sleep through the night" or something else equally ridiculous. When iw as in high school I knew a girl who didn't breastfeed becuase she wanted to drink alcohol. Another friend (years later) said she didn't breastfeed because "they gave A a bottle in the hospital and she woudln't nurse after that." (Come to find out, she only tried to nurse once after that! And gave up.)

And also - I feel as thought I may know the culture of giving up easily, giving into formula - because I DID it. I've been there. I've been duped by the companies and the culture. Formula is very bad news for the vast majority of moms and babies.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Lactivism
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Baby › Breastfeeding › Lactivism › Does "pro-breastfeeding" equal "anti-formula"?