"the risks of formula feeding are not statistically worse than the risks of breastfeeding"? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 43 Old 12-04-2008, 02:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I heard a mom claim this. Are there really any studies that show this? I'm really confused. It kind of reminds me the "my ff baby is healthier than all the bf babies I know" thing. Thoughts?

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#2 of 43 Old 12-04-2008, 02:34 AM
 
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Risks of breastfeeding??? I've never heard of such a thing.

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#3 of 43 Old 12-04-2008, 02:36 AM
 
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total bs.

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#4 of 43 Old 12-04-2008, 02:37 AM
 
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I recently read a study that indicated that FF infants are 5 times more likely to die from SIDS than BF infants. If that's not statistically significant, I don't know what is.

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#5 of 43 Old 12-04-2008, 12:08 PM
 
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There aren't any "risks" to breastfeeding, only benefits. Once, I read somewhere that there is a "risk" of Vitamin D deficiency, but beyond that I've never heard of a risk associated with breastfeeding.
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#6 of 43 Old 12-04-2008, 02:39 PM
 
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DD1's allergist tried to tell me that some studies "may indicate" a "possible" increased risk for allergies for nursing past 1yr. HOWEVER, (as I was opening my mouth to contradict him) he did clarify that there is 100% evidence that nursing until AT LEAST 6m significantly reduces your risks for allergies. (Conversely: formula feeding prior to 6m at the earliest increases your risks for allergies.)

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#7 of 43 Old 12-04-2008, 02:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by menomena View Post
DD1's allergist tried to tell me that some studies "may indicate" a "possible" increased risk for allergies for nursing past 1yr. HOWEVER, (as I was opening my mouth to contradict him) he did clarify that there is 100% evidence that nursing until AT LEAST 6m significantly reduces your risks for allergies. (Conversely: formula feeding prior to 6m at the earliest increases your risks for allergies.)
Well, I could see that if your baby has serious allergies, a Mom would be less likely to wean early because of the obvious affects of other foods. You would have to look at whether the allergy came first, then "causing" a more extended nursing relationship. Correlation doesn't imply causation in any case.
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#8 of 43 Old 12-04-2008, 02:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Kappa View Post
There aren't any "risks" to breastfeeding, only benefits. Once, I read somewhere that there is a "risk" of Vitamin D deficiency, but beyond that I've never heard of a risk associated with breastfeeding.
That's the only one I have ever heard of.

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#9 of 43 Old 12-04-2008, 04:31 PM
 
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I guess there are risks to BF if the mom has HIV or something... but it seems like this person is just trying to claim that there is no statistical difference in general, which is ridiculous. I have, however, heard ppl argue that given clean water, formula feeding is just as good, and the reason for problems with formula come from the poor water, not the formula itself. Maybe that's her angle? I've seen studies contradicting this, saying that even when controlling for socio-economic factors in developed countries, FF still carries greater risk.

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#10 of 43 Old 12-04-2008, 04:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ramama View Post
I recently read a study that indicated that FF infants are 5 times more likely to die from SIDS than BF infants. If that's not statistically significant, I don't know what is.
Well you can twist statistic any way you choose, i doubt that has to do with ff, but instead the types of mothers that chose to ff and their parenting skills.

I do know that there are some rumors about risks involved in BFing, weather they are true or not i for one have no idea. I have heard about the risk of mercury poisoning, the Vit D thing and recently i hard a woman saying that her Dr had linked autism to BFing......

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#11 of 43 Old 12-04-2008, 04:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Kappa View Post
Well, I could see that if your baby has serious allergies, a Mom would be less likely to wean early because of the obvious affects of other foods. You would have to look at whether the allergy came first, then "causing" a more extended nursing relationship. Correlation doesn't imply causation in any case.
well, that's pretty much what I was going to say to him. Especially the bolded part, since he's reallllllly into "research says 'x'," "or this study says 'y'". also if the "studies" were looking for something else and happened to find a correlation, then that lends even less credence.

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#12 of 43 Old 12-04-2008, 05:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by tinyblackdot View Post
Well you can twist statistic any way you choose, i doubt that has to do with ff, but instead the types of mothers that chose to ff and their parenting skills.

I do know that there are some rumors about risks involved in BFing, weather they are true or not i for one have no idea. I have heard about the risk of mercury poisoning, the Vit D thing and recently i hard a woman saying that her Dr had linked autism to BFing......
Ethical studies that have been peer reviewed are unlikely to be skewed to prove a "desired" outcome. In situations where statistics have been twisted, it is generally quite obvious to statistician reviewers and therefor *generally* hold no merit in the scientific community.
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#13 of 43 Old 12-04-2008, 08:35 PM
 
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#14 of 43 Old 12-04-2008, 08:50 PM
 
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Risks of breastfeeding?

Most of the time, breastmilk is what the baby should be drinking, while formula feeding holds risks- due to what it lacks (immunities, unrecognized nutrients) and the potential allergens it contains. However, there are a few specific, rare cases where breastfeeding may not be 100% safe for the baby:

Rare metabolic disorders where the baby can't digest breastmilk.

Mom is HIV+ or has some other highly communicable disease that may be transmitted via breastmilk.

Risk of dehydration or malnutrition if mom has undersupply or baby has poor milk transfer that goes undiagnosed.

Mom is on a medication that may not be compatible with breastfeeding (in most cases, the risks of FF are still higher than the risks of BF while mom takes meds, but some meds truly are unsafe for infants, and, even more commonly, moms and/or medical professionals downplay the risks of FF and exaggerate the risks of mom's meds.)

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#15 of 43 Old 12-04-2008, 10:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
Risks of breastfeeding?

Most of the time, breastmilk is what the baby should be drinking, while formula feeding holds risks- due to what it lacks (immunities, unrecognized nutrients) and the potential allergens it contains. However, there are a few specific, rare cases where breastfeeding may not be 100% safe for the baby:

Rare metabolic disorders where the baby can't digest breastmilk.

Mom is HIV+ or has some other highly communicable disease that may be transmitted via breastmilk.

Risk of dehydration or malnutrition if mom has undersupply or baby has poor milk transfer that goes undiagnosed.

Mom is on a medication that may not be compatible with breastfeeding (in most cases, the risks of FF are still higher than the risks of BF while mom takes meds, but some meds truly are unsafe for infants, and, even more commonly, moms and/or medical professionals downplay the risks of FF and exaggerate the risks of mom's meds.)
One more that can be added to the lise

Mothers that have drug/alcohol addictions

I have had a few people i know (i work in a bar) that chose to BF and would go out and use hard drugs and drink constantly, and i really wished that those babies had been formula fed. However recently someone told me that there is new studies showing that that isnt as bad as people once thought, does anyone have any information or links about this?

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#16 of 43 Old 12-04-2008, 11:14 PM
 
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I used to believe that a mom could drink occasionally and BF safely but recently I read that alcohol is concentrated in BM! I want to warn a friend I know who drinks occasionally, but I have a feeling she won't change her habits I haven't read anywhere about illicit drugs and BF, but I'd bet a mint they cross into the milk too!
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#17 of 43 Old 12-04-2008, 11:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Sioko View Post
I used to believe that a mom could drink occasionally and BF safely but recently I read that alcohol is concentrated in BM! I want to warn a friend I know who drinks occasionally, but I have a feeling she won't change her habits I haven't read anywhere about illicit drugs and BF, but I'd bet a mint they cross into the milk too!
Everything I have read contradicts this. I've read that the amount of alcohol in your breastmilk, is the same as in your blood, so at .08% blood alcohol level there's only .08% alcohol in your milk. For most babies I think this is probably safe. I have had the occasional drink while nursing my baby (now 22 months), but I try never to have more than 2 in an evening. I have never noticed any effect on her at all. I don't think I had anything to drink at all until she was a couple months old though.

I'd be interested to read something that says otherwise though

Jennifer, mama to darling dancing Juliette, and sweet baby Jameson
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#18 of 43 Old 12-04-2008, 11:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Sioko View Post
I used to believe that a mom could drink occasionally and BF safely but recently I read that alcohol is concentrated in BM!
Where did you read this? I have never read anything that says that alcohol in breastmilk is any more concentrated than blood alcohol. It passes out of breastmilk as mom's blood alcohol levels drop. Dr. Hale says it's safe to have 1-2 regular drinks and breastfeed.

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#19 of 43 Old 12-04-2008, 11:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Sioko View Post
I used to believe that a mom could drink occasionally and BF safely but recently I read that alcohol is concentrated in BM!
Absolutely not true.

Alcohol in milk is the same level as blood alcohol.

Therefore, if you're *drunk* it might be .1%

Beer (as an example) is usually around 5% alcohol.

HUGE exponential difference there....

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#20 of 43 Old 12-05-2008, 12:03 AM
 
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I just googled to see if anything came up, and found this quote from the AAP, from 2005:

Quote:
“Breastfeeding mothers should avoid the use of alcoholic beverages, because alcohol is concentrated in breast milk and its use can inhibit milk production. An occasional celebratory single, small alcoholic drink is acceptable, but breastfeeding should be avoided for 2 hours after the drink.”
It was on the milkscreens website (site that sells tests to detect alcohol in breastmilk), so hardly an objective source.

I can't find anything else backing it up, and even found contradictory statements from the AAP.

From Kellymom:
Quote:
In general, if you are sober enough to drive, you are sober enough to breastfeed. Less than 2% of the alcohol consumed by the mother reaches her blood and milk. Alcohol peaks in mom's blood and milk approximately 1/2-1 hour after drinking (but there is considerable variation from person to person, depending upon how much food was eaten in the same time period, mom's body weight and percentage of body fat, etc.). Alcohol does not accumulate in breastmilk, but leaves the milk as it leaves the blood; so when your blood alcohol levels are back down, so are your milk alcohol levels.
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#21 of 43 Old 12-05-2008, 03:25 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Kappa View Post
There aren't any "risks" to breastfeeding, only benefits. Once, I read somewhere that there is a "risk" of Vitamin D deficiency, but beyond that I've never heard of a risk associated with breastfeeding.
And even this is not a "risk", per se, because five minutes per day for a baby outside without a hat provides enough vitamin to make up for any lacking in BM.
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#22 of 43 Old 12-06-2008, 09:40 PM
 
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And even this is not a "risk", per se, because five minutes per day for a baby outside without a hat provides enough vitamin to make up for any lacking in BM.
Yes and no. We talk about this at almost every LLL meeting. It really depends on where you live, what time of year it is, and how much melanin is in a baby's skin. Very dark skinned babies, living very far north, can be at risk (especially during the winter months) even with prolonged outdoor "exposure", but for most babies in most places, it probably isn't a concern. The recommendation is for everyone to supplement because doctor's think parents are too dumb to figure out whether or not their child has risk factors for vitamin D deficiency.

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#23 of 43 Old 12-06-2008, 10:02 PM
 
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also, we were talking about the Vit K shot in my DDC. I guess BFed babies have less vit k then FF babies. Sill, "less" vit K and less vit D. Thats the 'risk'?

If you baby is one of the unlucky few that can BF, FF is best. MOST people don't fall into this category.

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#24 of 43 Old 12-08-2008, 06:09 PM
 
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Looking at my CLC training book---babies 0-5 months old not bfed have 7x risk of death from diarrhea and 5x risk of death from pneumonia compared to exclusively bfed infants under 5 months. Non-exclusive bfing results in 2x risk of death from diarrhea or pneumonia compared to exclusively bfed infants.

This is based on global child deaths.

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#25 of 43 Old 12-08-2008, 08:33 PM
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I could think of a couple of "risks":

- mercury containing fillings (teeth fillings)
- teeth whitening which contains mercury
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#26 of 43 Old 12-09-2008, 04:17 PM
 
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What about contaminated formula like what happened recently in China with melamine? I can't think of any way breastfeeding could be statistically more risky than what happened there. There have been small traces found in US formula too.
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#27 of 43 Old 12-09-2008, 04:54 PM
 
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Well there was a NY Times Magazine article that ran way back I recall, it focused on the fact that any contaminants a mother is exposed to in her body can end up in breastmilk. I think the author was a mother who had her own milk tested and found pthalates (SP?) in it? And the article contained a lot of angst about whether bf-ing was still safe and why do we live in such a sick society where all our plastics and carpets and computers and everything basically expose us to toxic chemicals that get absorbed into our bodies and then our milk. Sorry if I am getting any details wrong. Does anyone remember this article?

Anyway, I can imagine that someone who read that article might come away thinking there was a "risk" in breastmilk being somehow contaminated.

I don't know where the statistical comparison "fact" she is stating comes from. If someone made a statement like that to me I think I'd be very politely and interestedly asking about her source reference materials....

And obviously, I personally don't think any of the "contamination" risk suggested above outweighs the ff risks we've all read in the research studies, nor does it offset the other benefits of bfing like bonding, oxytocin, weight loss, cancer protection for mom etc.
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#28 of 43 Old 12-09-2008, 05:02 PM
 
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we know we are in a sad state when there are so many contaminates that our own milk could be construed as unsafe.
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#29 of 43 Old 12-09-2008, 05:31 PM
 
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also, any contamination that we are exposed to that may end up in our milk, wouldn't our LOs also be directly exposed to? And wouldn't cow's milk (used to make formula) also be contaminated??? It boggles the mind when people stop suddenly in their logic tracks.

Nessa, DD1 (5) DD2 (3) & expecting again in late February/early March!
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#30 of 43 Old 12-09-2008, 06:05 PM
 
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At least the environmental contaminants get filtered through me, so to speak, before they get to my ds through bm. What is formula filtered through?
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