Time article on exclusive pumping - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 45 Old 03-13-2010, 01:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Mothers Who Opt for Breast Milk, Not Breast-Feeding
By Catherine Sharick Thursday, Mar. 11, 2010

Has this been discussed yet? I really don't like the tone of it...
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#2 of 45 Old 03-13-2010, 03:27 AM
 
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"People think that since I am a stay-at-home mom, I should always have my baby attached to my breast," she says. "Well, sometimes I have other things to do."

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#3 of 45 Old 03-13-2010, 03:28 AM
 
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Yeah, there's something "off" about the tone. I can't pin-point it, though. There's also some blatant inaccuracies in the article too. They state that pumping can be "scheduled around work and leisure." If a mother wants to pump enough breastmilk to nourish her infant without supplementation, she's going to have to pump just as often as she would nurse. And, news flash, non-pumping mothers an pump-and-dump too (not that it's even necessary!). But hey, my desire to consume large amounts of alcohol was not a factor in how I decided to feed my baby LOL.

I tell you what, I have all the admiration in the world for mothers who WOHM and pump for their babies, or mothers who pump for whatever reason, because I HATED pumping, but...pumping and being a SAHM seems a waste, if it's not medically necessary, because pumping and feeding are separated and now take twice as much time. Seems like unnecessary work to me. Kinda like folding the laundry twice because it's easier? Scratching head...

The first mother's argument doesn't make sense to me. Nursing made her feel lonely and isolated, but pumping doesn't? I think that nursing in a crowded room is going to draw much less attention than pumping, especially if you have a squeaky pump like I had

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#4 of 45 Old 03-13-2010, 04:01 AM
 
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The first mother's argument doesn't make sense to me. Nursing made her feel lonely and isolated, but pumping doesn't? I think that nursing in a crowded room is going to draw much less attention than pumping, especially if you have a squeaky pump like I had
Yep. And I also do NOT get how pumping takes less time than nursing! She says it's because you can do two breasts at once, instead of starting a nursing session on one and then switching to the other. But . . . I don't have to clean, organize and store my breasts after each feeding, nor do I have to pack them up every time I want to go out of the house for more than 3 hours, and so on.

I was mostly bugged by the focus on breastmilk as a commodity, if that makes sense, and the dismissal of the benefits of feeding at the breast - they're kind of blown off as oh, yeah, the bonding thing, whatever. Well, bonding IS important, but it's not even just about that! How about jaw development? How about efficient antibody production? How about the risks of overfeeding (even if it's not formula, it's still from a bottle)? An the risk to mom's supply is significant, not to mention the effect on duration of nursing. Gah.

Moms who EP because of their baby's limitations are amazing. (I had to do it for a few months at the beginning and it was exhausting.) Moms who do it because otherwise they would use formula should be commended, I do believe that. But promoting it as an equal choice when not necessary?
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#5 of 45 Old 03-13-2010, 12:13 PM
 
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A couple of things bother me about this. First of all, when I was EPing, it was not by choice and I was devastated to have to do it. Almost everyone else (if not everyone else) I know of who has EPed has done it out of necessity, not convenience. (I should also mention that, IME, there is absolutely nothing convenient about EPing.) The article seems to have completely ignored those of us who *had* to pump.

Secondly, there is a somewhat hostile tone toward people who worried on behalf of these mothers about supply issues, etc. First of all, while some mothers will have enough of a supply, not all will, and from reading this article alone, you get the impression that LCs, LLL, etc are just overconcerned naysayers and EPing should work well for anyone. That is a real disservice to a new mother who may read this article and try it, only to end up with problems. I also have a lot of love and gratitude toward LCs and LLL, who helped me get my DD back to the breast, and I bristle at them being treated with less respect than they deserve.

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#6 of 45 Old 03-13-2010, 12:27 PM
 
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Secondly, there is a somewhat hostile tone toward people who worried on behalf of these mothers about supply issues, etc. First of all, while some mothers will have enough of a supply, not all will, and from reading this article alone, you get the impression that LCs, LLL, etc are just overconcerned naysayers and EPing should work well for anyone. That is a real disservice to a new mother who may read this article and try it, only to end up with problems. I also have a lot of love and gratitude toward LCs and LLL, who helped me get my DD back to the breast, and I bristle at them being treated with less respect than they deserve.
Thank you for that. Trust me, it can get a little tiresome to be labeled as "breastfeeding mafia", "lactivism fascist" and whatever.
RoseDuperre, ITA with you.
So, same here: I found the article somewhat misleading on a few things (which were already mentioned).
On top of all, it saddens me that the mentioned mother said that she pumped in order to avoid "embarrassment" of NIP. (There was something like "family members would leave the room when I BF".) Sure sounds like we have a long way to go...

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#7 of 45 Old 03-13-2010, 07:43 PM
 
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A couple of things bother me about this. First of all, when I was EPing, it was not by choice and I was devastated to have to do it. Almost everyone else (if not everyone else) I know of who has EPed has done it out of necessity, not convenience. (I should also mention that, IME, there is absolutely nothing convenient about EPing.) The article seems to have completely ignored those of us who *had* to pump.
I am right in the middle of EPing not by choice and I also feel horrid about it, so this article seems kind of smack-in-the-face a bit. I've nursed 4 little ones for around 18 months each; it was kind of a shock to have such problems this time. So far my LC and the very helpful woman I'm working with at LLL have not been able to help me get my son onto the breast, so I am dealing with the burden of all the extra work pumping takes. I see no convenience in it. I totally agree with what you're saying here- there's just a vibe to the article that makes it seem like a lifestyle choice for everyone as opposed to something some of us HAVE to do.

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#8 of 45 Old 03-13-2010, 09:16 PM
 
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I wonder how many EPing moms they had to interview to find the one who preferred it to breastfeeding.

That said, I have a friend IRL who actually does prefer pumping to bf. Her son (he is almost 3 mo) is perfectly able to bf but it takes him "a long time." She can pump 7 oz in 5 minutes (sigh), feed him that in a bottle, and wash everything up in less time than it takes him to finish a nursing session.

I don't get this at all, but it takes all kinds I guess.

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#9 of 45 Old 03-13-2010, 11:12 PM
 
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roseduperre - I'm trying to respond to your PM regarding this thread, but it says your inbox is full.

Deb, crunchier-than-I-expected-to-be mama to my beautiful DD (07/2008), forever missing my October 2010 and January 2011 angels
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#10 of 45 Old 03-13-2010, 11:42 PM
 
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I think the reasons that the first mother mentioned pumps are legitimate issues that need addressing, and I don't see anything wrong with her having an option other than formula.

Sure, the article didn't mentioned those who EP by necessity, but that wasn't what the article was about. It was about those who choose to EP, and why. And it did address that the woman who only nursed for two days could have had more success if she'd tried longer.

I think we don't do our cause any good when we nitpick something like this. 20 years ago, those women would be formula-feeding, and the fact that they aren't is a GOOD thing!

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#11 of 45 Old 03-13-2010, 11:48 PM
 
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Before I read it I was thinking it was something worth talking about, it is an option and it's rarely presented as one, etc.

Then I read it! There were just so many factual inaccuracies, we can talk about giving it a bad slant, but so many inaccuracies is something you expect from a celeb gossip magazine, not Time.

The half the time thing was particularly idiotic because you don't even need to know much to realise that they ignored the time taken to feed the baby and newborns can't hold bottles, propping isn't recommended, but even if you do it, can't you actually do it right from the start?

Besides, breastfeeding doesn't actually take time for a lot of people, it means you have to be there, but I can do a lot more things whilst breastfeeding than whilst pumping. Pumping was pretty much restricted to the bedroom, with breastfeeding I can sleep, listen to the radio, use the computer, eat a meal, etc etc. My baby is 9.5mths, she's my 3rd and it seems like breastfeeding bends a flexible schedule, it's the fixed schedule of my older kids that is far more tieing. Sure, there are lots of things I can't do whilst breastfeeding, the only thing I can think of that you can do whilst pumping but not breastfeeding is driving or being a passenger in a car.

The links throughout the article also really irritated me, they didn't appear to be random possibly related subjects like you find on a lot of websites.

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#12 of 45 Old 03-13-2010, 11:53 PM
 
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I do a lot of pumping for my DD, and some of it is for exactly the reason disapproved of upthread - I am home with my daughter, but I want to be able to do things besides nurse. I want to be able to cook, to leave her with DH so I can go for a run when the opportunity presents itself, to be able to hand her off to a sitter or a daycare so I can look for work... I love my kids, and I'm really delighted that I have feeding options.

I don't EP, but when my daughter was smaller than she is now, relying mainly on the pump helped me avoid the issues with oversupply and hyperactive letdown that I'd had with my son, and helped me make sure that these issues didn't aggravate her reflux.
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#13 of 45 Old 03-13-2010, 11:53 PM
 
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I have mixed feelings on the article On one hand, it's great that women are pumping and bottle feeding instead of using formula. That definitely takes a lot of hard work and dedication so I have to give them credit.

On the other hand, the article makes it seem that any way a baby gets breast milk, either by breast or bottle, is equally beneficial. I remember seeing a list from the WHO rating infant feeding in terms of most beneficial to least. Babies breastfed from mom was #1, babies breastfed from another woman was #2, and babies drinking pumped breastmilk was #3. Does anyone remember that list? Why doesn't the article address this?

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#14 of 45 Old 03-14-2010, 03:23 AM
 
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roseduperre - I'm trying to respond to your PM regarding this thread, but it says your inbox is full.
ACK, sorry, fixed.

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I remember seeing a list from the WHO rating infant feeding in terms of most beneficial to least. Babies breastfed from mom was #1, babies breastfed from another woman was #2, and babies drinking pumped breastmilk was #3. Does anyone remember that list? Why doesn't the article address this?
Not quite. Two and three are reversed. I am almost positive, like 99.9% sure, that it's 1) breastfed, 2) pumped milk from baby's own mom, and 3) donor milk (formula coming in 4th).
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#15 of 45 Old 03-14-2010, 09:47 AM
 
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1) breastfed, 2) pumped milk from baby's own mom, and 3) donor milk (formula coming in 4th).
That's the order that the WHO gives. Mom's expressed breastmilk is 2nd.
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#16 of 45 Old 03-14-2010, 12:48 PM
 
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I know a lot of BFing mothers who have heard, "why do you have to NIP, can't you just pump and give a bottle" and I think this article is doing a disservice to those of us who nurse from the breast.

Sure, some people have no problem pumping. Some people pump so much they are able to donate milk. Good for them! But then there are people like me who had oversupply with DD2 and still could not pump more than 1/2 oz at a time. Ever. Personally, if I had tried to EP from day one, my babies would have likely ended up supplemented with formula. I think that EPing is a lot harder than this article presents, and that's dangerous.

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#17 of 45 Old 03-14-2010, 11:44 PM
 
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I, too, am surprised by how the article made EPing sound very simple, when often it isn't. Having done both, I can say that for me, BFing is/was much, much easier. DS is a preemie, and I EPed for his first 2 months, and then mostly pumped for another month while he learned to BF. During that month, I almost gave up several times when he was having trouble because I had no idea how I was going to continue to pump 8-10 times a day and also feed and otherwise take care of him once we got out of the NICU.

Also, my supply was okay, but not great, and I think it had a lot to do with the fact that I had to establish it with a pump (and of course maintain it for those first few months). If he hadn't gotten the hang of nursing, I'm sure I would have had to supplement. In contrast, my supply with my DD, who latched on within an hour of birth, is excellent.

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#18 of 45 Old 03-15-2010, 12:27 AM
 
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I'm certainly in agreement that breastmilk from the breast is better, but I'm having trouble finding something to substantiate why I feel this way. Anyone have any good sources? IE why does the WHO put direct breastfeeding first?
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#19 of 45 Old 03-15-2010, 02:33 AM
 
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Isn't the much-touted "WHO recommendation" something that was actually a reference in just one place, not meant to be taken in the context of being applicable across the board? I know that I certainly prefer to feed from the tap, so to speak, but I have a hard time believing there would really be a measurable health difference for the baby. And the more we stress that the only acceptable way to get breastmilk into a baby is the Exact Perfect Way(tm), the more we actually undermine babies getting tummies full of breastmilk.

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#20 of 45 Old 03-15-2010, 10:09 AM
 
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I'm pregnant with #4 and I had my first back in 1998. I can say that the world of pumping/breastfeeding has changed A LOT since I was a first time mom and I am shocked and very disturbed by it.

This time around when I found out I was pregnant I joined another parenting community- a mainstream one (just to see what the rest of the world is up to) I'm 40... most of the moms there pregnant first time are in their mid 20's. The pumping scene in that community is huge.

Everyone has a pump on their baby registry. And babysRus has a breastfeeding 101 course that is a pump sales pitch. Many many women who do not yet have babies are thinking of EPing. The main reasons they have for thinking about it (understand- these reasons may soon prove to be the biggest error of thinking they have ever had- and very few of the reasons actually require EPing... but it's the method they are leaning toward)
1. I want to see how much the baby is getting
2. I don't like the idea of nursing
3. My husband wants to feed the baby.
4. So my husband can feed the baby at night.
5. I don't want to nurse in public.
6. I'm going back to work soon anyway, so I'm just going to skip all the BF problems and go straight to pumping.
7. My last baby couldn't/wouldn't nurse... so I EPed... this time I'm just going to spare myself the torment and start with EP.
8. I want my boobs back (huh??)

I think that the social aspect of women learning to nurse from each other is taking hold big time in this situation- women know women who *had* to incorporate a pump into their breastfeeding in order to make it work. The successes of those women is now teaching women by example- that you need a pump to make it work. Now they have a pump before the baby is born. I had been speculating that some women use the pump (and use it early) because it cost a lot of money, it's a new toy and they couldn't let it just sit there or people would think they were dumb for wanting it... and then I just saw it in the comments of the Time article- a lady said her pump cost $300 so she had to use it!!! Well... now something else is happening... because all the women have pumps- the hospital LC's are suggesting to use a pump to solve problems that used to be managed without pumps... sore nipples, sleepy babies, oversupply, undersupply, engorgement... you name it- there is a way to use a pump to fix it. Almost all the new moms dealing with the typical newborn adjustment breastfeeding issues now have stories about how a pump worked into the story. It fixes the mom up and gets her and the breastmilkfed baby out of the hospital... but what is the long term result of this?

The more women who "hear about" the option to EP... the more will do it. Maybe these women would have switched to formula... or maybe they would have white knuckled through the sore nipples in week one without causing a bottle preference- but gone on to nurse for a year instead of EPing for 2 months. ...or maybe they will do great with EP and tell all their friends about it... and they'll tell two friends...and so on..

Pregnant ladies without babies are stating that they are sold on the benefits of breastmilk- but do not want to nurse. They are really scared to NIP (even in front of family) and most think that if you dare, you need a "Udder cover". They want to know which pump to get, how to start pumping in the hospital and want to get advice for establishing supply... even colostrum... how does that work? they ask.

At another community with a EP support board- there was a list of "Benefits of EPing" the list (at least the last time I read it) Did not have a single item that was about the ability to get breastmilk to a baby who could never have nursed or had breastmilk otherwise... the reasons were things like- "Pump to an excess and use up an extra 300 calories a day to lose weight." and "Wean early and feed from the stash"

While many moms who EP do so out of a need... more and more it seems - women are doing it as a choice, an option... the women who *had to* feel very defensive about this idea and they often refuse to believe that anyone would choose to EP if they didn't need to- but you just need to open your eyes and you'll see it all over. Many other women are convinced they HAD to... but had their breastfeeding not been mismanaged from the start- they would not have HAD to. I am afraid that many LCs are abusing pumps as a quick fix and causing just as many problems as they solve.

Amanda- You asked for something to put your finger on.

google "Breastfeeding oral development" keep an eye out for articles by Dr. Palmer. There are tons of other great articles too, but Dr. palmer has some great slideshows.

google "lipase and scald" and see how many women are struggling to store their breastmilk... If a mom just pumps for daycare - 60-75% of her baby's milk will still be coming fresh from the tap...so only a small portion of the baby's diet will be stored milk. A baby who is bottlefed breastmilk only is going to have a very different situation. It's agreed that it's still better than formula- but it's not the same as nursing and the storage process does change the milk- so if a woman is choosing to forgo nursing- she should understand that.

there is also the antibody issue- in the fact that antibodies are not just random good guys- they are like assassins- they were created to mark and destroy specific pathogens... so if monday's milk has antibodies for monday's germs... three months from now- those antibodies (if they survived the scald freeze thaw heat cycle) are ready to fight the germs that were around three months ago... but what about the bug that's hanging around today? A mom who nurses some of the time- is going to give those current antibodies every time she nurses- but the freezer stash will not evolve as readily. Once again- still better than formula... but not the same as nursing.
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#21 of 45 Old 03-15-2010, 01:59 PM
 
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I'm certainly in agreement that breastmilk from the breast is better, but I'm having trouble finding something to substantiate why I feel this way. Anyone have any good sources? IE why does the WHO put direct breastfeeding first?
I alluded to this a bit above. Jaw development and facial development. Efficient antibody production - most antibodies are produced via baby's mouth at mom's nipple: the nipple reacts to the germs in baby's saliva and starts producing them right there.

There's also the very real risks of overfeeding - even if it's not formula, it's still from a bottle. And the risk to mom's supply is significant, not to mention the effect on duration of nursing/breastmilk production.

As much as I don't want to promote EPing as an equal choice, I would really like to see a long-term study comparing bottlefed-with-breastmilk babies and breastfed babies, on all of the above criteria: effect on future orthodontic problems, frequency of illness, obesity (and difficulty with overeating/satiety, though that might be difficult to quantify), and fromt he mother's end, supply and duration.
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#22 of 45 Old 03-15-2010, 02:15 PM
 
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I alluded to this a bit above. Jaw development and facial development. Efficient antibody production - most antibodies are produced via baby's mouth at mom's nipple: the nipple reacts to the germs in baby's saliva and starts producing them right there.

There's also the very real risks of overfeeding - even if it's not formula, it's still from a bottle. And the risk to mom's supply is significant, not to mention the effect on duration of nursing/breastmilk production.

As much as I don't want to promote EPing as an equal choice, I would really like to see a long-term study comparing bottlefed-with-breastmilk babies and breastfed babies, on all of the above criteria: effect on future orthodontic problems, frequency of illness, obesity (and difficulty with overeating/satiety, though that might be difficult to quantify), and fromt he mother's end, supply and duration.
I agree with those, and they're things I know. I'm wondering about actual, substantial data supporting them. KWIM? I've looked at Newman, LLLI, Kellymom. I'm not finding good references that support these things.
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#23 of 45 Old 03-15-2010, 02:19 PM
 
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I think we don't do our cause any good when we nitpick something like this. 20 years ago, those women would be formula-feeding, and the fact that they aren't is a GOOD thing!
I totally agree, the bolded especially.
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#24 of 45 Old 03-15-2010, 03:40 PM
 
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So many good responses already.

Seems like it is preferable that women pump than formula feed, so we shouldn't be too nitpicky.

However, as a working mother who pumps at work, I don't like idea being disseminated that I am available 24/7 for work, because I can just pump and leave milk for the baby. This attitude does exist, and I think this article really encourages it. I am very, very grateful that pumping technology is where it is, and I am able to pump at work and not have to use formula. However, nursing my daughter is a very different thing. It is, IMO, hands down easier, but it is also a close, cuddly, bonding experience that I am not going to give up, and I don't' want my daughter to have to give up.
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#25 of 45 Old 03-15-2010, 06:07 PM
 
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I have mixed feelings about this article.

It bothers me that this article makes breastfeeding and EP seem equal.I would never choose to EP and can't understand people who do. I pump 2-3 times a day during the week to leave milk for DD while I am away at work, and I hate it. I pump while at work with the full knowledge (and guilt) that it is not as good for DD as nursing. I hate to think that women might be misled into thinking there is no difference.

On the other hand, if EP is the way for women who would never have considered nursing to provide breast milk over formula, then the idea is great. I do think we better our cause if we don't outwardly judge women who don't nurse exclusively. I'm not saying I don't think it on the inside, but I've never made any outward comment about it to my friend who EP.

So, I guess I'm smack in the middle of a continuum.

Mommy to my Lamb, born 9/22/2008 and my Penguin, born 2/21/2011
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#26 of 45 Old 03-15-2010, 07:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by amandabarugh View Post
I agree with those, and they're things I know. I'm wondering about actual, substantial data supporting them. KWIM? I've looked at Newman, LLLI, Kellymom. I'm not finding good references that support these things.
That's because the studies just haven't been done. Sadly, not many granting agencies are into funding breastfeeding research. For now we just have hypotheses based on anatomical, anthropological and physiological data, not actual studies.
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#27 of 45 Old 03-15-2010, 10:18 PM
 
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Amanda- If you do a search including the word malocclusion there are several studies that were done to look at oral development of children comparing breastfeeding, bottle feeding and pacifier and finger sucking.
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#28 of 45 Old 03-16-2010, 12:36 AM
 
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i am all for getting human milk into human babies. but alluding to pumping being on an equal keel with breastfeeding is just preposterous. ep'ing takes dedication and the right kind of pump and storage capabilities.

i ep'ed for my son for 6 mos but quit because i was exhausted. you can't 'dream' pump and even though some lc's recommend pumping into one bottle 2-3 times without washing anything up, i only have to wash my breasts once/day in the shower!!! pumping can be accomplished more quickly than baby eats, but every thing i've ever read or heard says that pumping for a minimum of 20 minutes is required to keep outputs at optimal. some feeds take us longer, but dd is getting more efficient and can sometimes flatten both boobs in less than 15 mins!

i had good outputs, but i am very rare. both times i've had babes in the nicu (my son and dd4), i was the 'freak' who could pump for 3 kids! most of the ladies in there were pumping amounts that were either just barely enough or not enough, with the latter being the most common. one mom would pump for 45 mins and get *maybe* 15 cc's (1/2 oz) while her babe was taking 60 cc (2 oz) per feed. she nearly had a nervous breakdown when 6 cc's of her precious milk was spilled!!!

Jen-loving Bill, mama to Teryn 18, Kalyn 16, Ricky 13, Natalie 5, Angel Zoe '07 and rainbow1284.gifAmelia Rae 22 mos bonus kids (dss) W 14, W 13 NEW grandbaby due 10/10/11

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#29 of 45 Old 03-16-2010, 03:42 PM
 
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I don't think it's being nitpicky to point out the innaccuracies and overall tone of the article as perpetuating the myth that BF at the breast is equal to feeding breastmilk from a bottle. It's just pointing out the facts. IMO, we don't do anyone any favors by not giving all the info so that women can make an informed decision.

Stating the facts is also not saying that a woman has to BF the perfect way or it isn't good enough.

There are many more things going on when a child is at the breast than *just* getting nourishment.

I really don't get the purpose of the article other than to say, "See, we can BF our babies w/out exposing ourselves, unlike you heathens", which is the attitude that a lot of the public has towards BF. Most people aren't convinced of the superior quality of BM to formula, and a large number of those that are convinced think that we should be able to BF "discretely", or at home, or when it's convenient to everyone else.

Mothers who pump bc they have to be away from their babies, I applaud you, bc it is difficult and not recognized in society as such.

If society could start looking at BF as THE way to feed babies, and everything else as secondary then articles like these would never make it print. It's only acceptable bc we are not a society that recognizes the importance of BF, or the importance of the mother/child relationship. It's sad.

Wife to dh, Mommy to ds1 12/2002, ds2 9/2005, and ds3 9/2008.
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#30 of 45 Old 03-17-2010, 12:46 AM
 
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Originally Posted by RoseDuperre View Post

Moms who EP because of their baby's limitations are amazing. (I had to do it for a few months at the beginning and it was exhausting.) Moms who do it because otherwise they would use formula should be commended, I do believe that. But promoting it as an equal choice when not necessary?
ITA. I had to EP for two sick kids. It was awful and I didn't make enough milk just EPing. I would never recommend it unless the child couldn't nurse.

This article just feeds the "Why can't you just pump instead of doing that in public" argument.
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