should women unwilling to breastfeed rather not have children? - Page 7 - Mothering Forums
View Poll Results: should a woman totally unwilling to breastfeed rather not have children?
yes, she shouldn't 53 19.85%
no, I don't think so 120 44.94%
don't know,depends on her reasons 94 35.21%
Voters: 267. You may not vote on this poll

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#181 of 228 Old 02-18-2005, 02:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Potty Diva
Possibly. I think it just goes to show how diverse the population here at Mothering is and that there really is no set definition of what attachment parenting is or should be.

Ha, I was just about to ask this.Aside from what MDC says, I only found this definition for AP

Attachment Parenting in Brief
Attachment Parenting is a philosophy based in the practice of nurturing parenting methods that create strong emotional bonds, also known as secure attachment, between the infant and parent(s). This style of parenting encourages responsiveness to the infant or child's emotional needs, and develops trust that their emotional needs will be met. As a result, this strong attachment helps the child develop secure, empathic, peaceful, and enduring relationships.
------------------------

This makes me think that someone can AP perfectly without breastfeeding.Yes, I mean it...because I am very sure that bonding IS possible without breastfeeding.
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#182 of 228 Old 02-18-2005, 02:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Potty Diva
The emotional wellbeing of my future child DOES outweigh the nutritional benfits of breastfeeding (long term).

*just an opinion from the other side )
I can totally relate to this.I think a happy non bf mom is better for the child than an unhappy bf one.

Now can I say this without being told again I am violating MDC rules?
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#183 of 228 Old 02-18-2005, 02:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Jordansmommy
the benefits of breastfeeding that women who are going to become mothers have no excuse not to breastfeed.
This sort of bugs me.I mean, why would anyone have to justify their actions?Aren't we talking about grown up mature adults?Won't you feel upset if someone keeps on insisting on vaxing( or choose your hot button),DEMANDING explanations?
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#184 of 228 Old 02-18-2005, 02:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Potty Diva
Should mothers who need antidepressant medication rather not get pregnant?

depends on whether they are recommend for pregnancy

But if someone has problems and they take medication for it, I think that's a good indicator that the women takes care of herself
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#185 of 228 Old 02-18-2005, 02:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by sistermama
I agree that mothers shouldn't be condemned, but I do think it is good for there to be pressure for mothers to breastfeed. A couple of friends/family members of mine who now successfully breastfeed have made comments to me like,
I disagree.Encouragement,yes.Advice,yes.Friendly reminder, yes.Pressure from a person:NO. I think that is bumptious and might even be contraproductive and lead to acts of defiance.
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#186 of 228 Old 02-18-2005, 10:38 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Potty Diva
And being a martyr isn't?

I think it's bit more mature to know yourself as a woman and mother to make these difficult choices about parenting. I'm also mature enough to realize life is not all black and white. I'm sorry you don't understand as much.

I still fail to see my choice or possible choice as immature, just as I am sure a non-vaxer fails to see she is denying her child invalueable immunity from her child when she does not have the innoculated.

ETA: I've also not experienced any of the hardships you mentioned in your post. No parenting isn't easy, it's continuous and draining, and fun, and wonderful, and rewarding all at the same time. It doesn't come down to breastfeeding or not breastfeeding.

Would it be ok for a mother to breastfeed and spank? Or breastfeed and yell at her child?

Or not breastfeed and be gentle?

What would you prefer?
So those are your only choices? Not breastfeeding or breastfeeding and spanking/ yelling/ not being gentle? Uh... what?

I'm not sure why you see breastfeeding as martyrdom. LMB said earlier more eloquently than I'm about to rephrase here - you can put the needs of your child before your own and still have your needs met. Later. It's not all about you anymore. Women who choose not to breastfeed - and I don't think I have to repeat that this is CHOOSE, not medically can't or need to not breastfeed - are choosing what's convenient. That is not the decision of a mature adult.

Breastfeeding doesn't make or break you as a parent, but it sure does say a lot.
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#187 of 228 Old 02-18-2005, 10:43 AM
 
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I might judge a woman who does something that can lead to health problems for her child later in life. I'm being honest... if I see a woman smoking in her house while her toddler and baby play nearby, I might get that "Aaack!" feeling. It's not the "highest choice" to feel that way toward another human being, I'll admit. But I'd still feel it, at least for a fleeting moment, before I confront it for what it is.

I feel the same way about women who choose not to bf. "Aaack!" My sister's exSIL is a prime example. She said that simply growing her kids inside her stomach was enough of a burden to her. That bf'ing was "gross" and formula was just fine.

Huggerwocky, I'm sure you've read all that stats and statistics here and other places that conclusively demonstrate that FF increases the risks of obesity, certain types of cancers, infections, allergies, etc. etc. Just as smoking around your kids does. I have a very hard time understanding WHY a parent would intentionally put their kids at risk, either way. Again, I feel that "Aaack!" feeling. I don't compare it to spankings, time outs, or CIO, just as I wouldn't put smoking around your kids in that same category. We're talking about a biological necessity that has allowed the human race to survive - and thrive - for millions of years.

I agree that having that "Aaack!" feeling toward another human being isn't productive. However, some of us aren't "evolved" to the point yet that it isn't our first basic, gut reaction. I think that's what we're discussing here. We can argue about how the judgment of other people is terrible until we're purple and blue in the face. Fact is, when we see something another person does that can be very harmful to a child, it's the first emotion that pops into our minds.
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#188 of 228 Old 02-18-2005, 10:58 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Jordansmommy
So those are your only choices? Not breastfeeding or breastfeeding and spanking/ yelling/ not being gentle? Uh... what?

I'm not sure why you see breastfeeding as martyrdom. LMB said earlier more eloquently than I'm about to rephrase here - you can put the needs of your child before your own and still have your needs met. Later. It's not all about you anymore. Women who choose not to breastfeed - and I don't think I have to repeat that this is CHOOSE, not medically can't or need to not breastfeed - are choosing what's convenient. That is not the decision of a mature adult.

Breastfeeding doesn't make or break you as a parent, but it sure does say a lot.
I think that was just an example, not that it has to be all one way or another.

Breastfeeding would be martyrdom if it risks a mother's physical and emotional health. I think that if a mother is truly feeling ill towards the bf relationship or their child because of bf, then it is best for her not bf. I don't think one can be an effective parent if they're in a constant state of resentment towards the child. The child will sense this resentment.

I would much rather have a mother feeling nothing but love towards her child.
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#189 of 228 Old 02-18-2005, 11:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Jordansmommy
So those are your only choices? Not breastfeeding or breastfeeding and spanking/ yelling/ not being gentle? Uh... what?
She is talking about a personal situation. This is the way she feels. She has stated that she knows breastfeeding would offer her child superior nutrition, but feels (because of her current state of mind) it would rob her children of a patient, gentle mama.

You know, if we *listen* to her, honor her feelings, and respect her pov, we might be able to *help* her--and increase the chance that she will breastfeed. But calling her immature, and dismissing her feelings, will help nothing.
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#190 of 228 Old 02-18-2005, 11:43 AM
 
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I'm going to quote myself, because my post is several pages back...

I am the mother to three wonderful children. I did not breastfeed the first two at all. I knew the facts, I had family and friends that would have gladly supported me, there was no medical or emotional reason not to, I just chose not to.

With my third I chose to breastfeed, thanks in part to a friend from here (Hi Keri!). I'm so glad that I breastfed her, and if Mr. Right comes into my life and I have more babies, I would definitely breastfeed them as well.

I don't know if I can explain this clearly, but I don't regret not breastfeeding the first two - I made the decision that was right for me at that time, and I have no regrets - but I do wish I had breastfed them. Does that make any sense at all?

I DO NOT believe that not breastfeeding makes me a bad mom to those two kids, or a better mom to the third - I am a great mom to all three!


Here are my questions: Do you all honestly think that I am a better mother to my third child than I was to my first two? And do you think that I should have not bothered to have those first two, because I knew that I wouldn't breastfeed them?

Yes, I do know that I should have made a different choice. Like I tried to explain earlier, I don't regret what I chose - I made the best choice for my situation at that time - but I do wish I had breastfed them. With my baby girl I breastfed her for 14 months - but I honestly don't believe that I am (or was) a better mother to her than I was to my first two.
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#191 of 228 Old 02-18-2005, 11:57 AM
 
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I think that’s part of my issue, Mmace ~ that we’re not really talking BFing politics or even about increasing awareness and the number of children BFing. We’re talking about this weird hypothetical opinion that is somewhat pointless.

We’re throwing around false stats (or not ~ still waiting for some links for that 20%), belittling the importance of BFing, denying the immense importance of awareness and support and putting the weight of a social epidemic on individual women for what seems to be nothing.

I just can’t kick the idea that thinking a woman shouldn’t have bothered having her child is the absolute least supportive thought there is.

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#192 of 228 Old 02-18-2005, 12:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama
I think that’s part of my issue, Mmace ~ that we’re not really talking BFing politics or even about increasing awareness and the number of children BFing. We’re talking about this weird hypothetical opinion that is somewhat pointless.

We’re throwing around false stats (or not ~ still waiting for some links for that 20%), belittling the importance of BFing, denying the immense importance of awareness and support and putting the weight of a social epidemic on individual women for what seems to be nothing.

I just can’t kick the idea that thinking a woman shouldn’t have bothered having her child is the absolute least supportive thought there is.
Exactly.

I want to help more women to bf their babies, I want to change the world that makes it so hard, I want to help encorage these women to persevere.

I have a friend who stopped nursing her baby by 6 mos because everyone told her that she was making her baby sick with her diet, that her reflux was her fault. She was well read, well educated, and dedicated, but since everyone (her dh, mom, ped) kept saying it, she gave in.

SHe feels horrible because, not surprisingly, her baby got worse. Her doc gave her a shot to dry up her milk, and she's been unsuccessful at relactating.

Every day, I meet someone who truly beliee that she had insufficient supply (and we all know how rare that really is), that their babies were starving, that they can't pump and work, etc.

We need to work towards social change. We need to gently educate mothers so that they make better choices for subsequent children.

I get as angry as anyone. I want to smack people who won't even try, when I busted my ass to bf. But ultimately, that is self defeating. That wont make more women bf, it's make them tune me out.
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#193 of 228 Old 02-18-2005, 12:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama
I just can’t kick the idea that thinking a woman shouldn’t have bothered having her child is the absolute least supportive thought there is.
It offends me to the very core of my being. I had breast reduction surgery when I was in my early twenties. I knew that it could "cause problems" with breastfeeding; I still chose to have the surgery.

Several years later, I have a baby and I only produce a few ounces a day of breastmilk.

By any definition of the word, I CHOSE not to breastfeed by doing something that by all rights I knew would have an impact.

And I shouldn't have had my child??? The baby who has woken me up several times a night every night since he was born, and who I have rocked and bounced and sung and suffered endless sleep-deprivation for? The baby who I cried thinking about while at work? The baby I still pump for twice a day, at 14 months of age, even though I bring him home 3-4 ounces?

The baby who *I* love physically more than anything in the world?

I guess I shouldn't take it personally - people who say things like that (i.e. if you choose not to breastfeed you shouldn't have kids) are obviously immature and completely unaware of the different circumstances that can impact a mother, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of things that go into being a GOOD mom.
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#194 of 228 Old 02-18-2005, 12:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That is not the decision of a mature adult.

.

I couldn't disagree more, knowing your limits is very mature IMO
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#195 of 228 Old 02-18-2005, 01:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mmace
I DO NOT believe that not breastfeeding makes me a bad mom to those two kids, or a better mom to the third - I am a great mom to all three![/I]
.

While I completely don't think that not breastfeeding makes you or anyone else a bad mom I do think nursing your third has/had made you a better. If you are trully growing as a parent you are learning as you going and trying to make better choices. I do consider your situation very much a learning curve deal and I feel most parents (of either gender and on all sorts of issues) try to do a better jobs as they go. Your right not to feel guilty about it.

But one of the benifits of breastfeeding (statistically) is life long improved health. The fact that my grandmother breastfeed her children is most likely postively impacting the health of her three children (in their 60's and 70's) to this day. It's a legacy and something she continues to give them even though she has been dead almost 20 years.
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#196 of 228 Old 02-18-2005, 03:43 PM
 
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I think the issue here is where the "unwillingness to breastfeed" comes from.

People on one side view that as a matter of selfishness.

People on the other side view a mother's unwillingness to breast feed as a product of our bottle feeding culture that sexualizes breasts.

But the OP didn't ask should a selfish individual choose not to have children. She asked whether a mother unwilling to BF should have children.

So, is a mother unwilling to breastfeed selfish? Well, this goes back to why women, despite good information choose not to breastfeed. There is a lot of good information "out there" on why breast is best. As we all know, it's not that hard to find if you look. There is also a lot of good information "out there" on why women choose not to BF.

A good book is:
Mother's Milk: Breastfeeding Controversies in American Culture [Paperback]
By: Bernice L. Hausman

MDC has some good archives on this topic also.

Really, I think it is far to simplistic to simply ascribe selfishness as the reason women don't BF. As long as we (society at large) can label such women as selfish, than it's an individual problem. We, society, don't need to do anything about the low BF rates, because such women are simply selfish. The education is there - if you don't choose to use it that's your problem. But something like 80% of women (in US) quit BF before 6 months (is that right stat? Doesn't matter). That would be an awful lot of selfish women. Perhaps there is a larger cultural issue involved?

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#197 of 228 Old 02-18-2005, 04:12 PM
 
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I feel that it is more the birth right of a child than the right of a mother to say no to her child. However, I put it depends, I do know that there are mothers out there that have been sexualy abused and are still good people but just cant go there, I wish they could work that out personaly before they bring children in the world, but I would think some are just to painful and they are still good mothers. There women who have had their breast removed by choice due to risk of cancer, I am sure this was a hard choice and I would support them in having childen.

But I do feel that every child should have the right to the best food and that is human milk. I dont think it is as much of a "personal, family choice" as it is that some people are very selfish.

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#198 of 228 Old 02-18-2005, 04:24 PM
 
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That said...does it ever strike anyone else as odd that some women would be sooo obsessed with how other women feed their infants? I don't see many threads asking whether mamas who feed their toddlers fishsticks and McDonald's should have children at all.
Are you sure you're looking in the right place? Because I have seen many threads where it is clear the posters have a problem with moms who feed their children McDonald's, convenience foods, white flour, what have you. Don't you know sugar eaters are evil? :
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#199 of 228 Old 02-18-2005, 04:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Viola
Are you sure you're looking in the right place? Because I have seen many threads where it is clear the posters have a problem with moms who feed their children McDonald's, convenience foods, white flour, what have you. Don't you know sugar eaters are evil? :
:LOL Feelin' feisty today, Amy?

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#200 of 228 Old 02-18-2005, 04:33 PM
 
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Of course breast is best. No one here is questioning that. Sheesh.
I don't know--it does seem like that is coming up to question in this thread. I thought the thread was started by a mom who was frustrated and upset at feeling like there were people who thought she shouldn't have had children in the first place, but now it seems like we are trying to talk about just how bad is not breastfeeding and is it some perfect ideal to strive for.

This thread should not turn into an apologism for formula feeding. We should not be arguing about whether the pros outweight the cons. Really, those kinds of threads aren't tolerated here anyway. Breastfeeding is the normal way to feed your baby and processed milk from another animal in a feeding device is not optimal. We all know that, right?


I think moms who don't choose to breastfeed can be good moms and I'm grateful for the children they raise into adults. I feel they were mistaken for not breastfeeding because they had people telling them it wasn't important. We all make mistakes but it's not like because one mother chooses to smoke and has kids that that makes it OK for non-smokers to not breastfeed.
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#201 of 228 Old 02-18-2005, 04:40 PM
 
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:LOL Feelin' feisty today, Amy?

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I plead guilty. This has been the one issue I have so many problems with. We all eat too much sugar in this house with the exception of my husband. I can be feeling really good about the fact that my child ate a vegetable and a fruit in a day and had yogurt for dessert, and then I come here and read about those moms who give their children flavored yogurt--the kind that has sugar in it. :LOL

My dh believes that yogurt is junk food because it is sweet, but McDonald's is healthy. To him, all sugar is bad, but fast food, while not great, is at least food.

Maybe I can turn my kids into vegetarians so we can at least feel self righteous on one issue.
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#202 of 228 Old 02-18-2005, 06:17 PM
 
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Somebody could make a "less than perfect" choice about infant feeding but still grow to be an awesome mother.
That would be different if breastfeeding were "best" and formula was second best. But breastfeeding is normal and formula hurts a lot of babies and makes them sick. I see it at work every week.

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#203 of 228 Old 02-18-2005, 08:10 PM
 
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I am done with this thread. I can't believe intelligent women are defending FF by choice. Call it what you want but I will not apologize and play politically correct. It's wrong to opt to deprive your children.

I think alot of core ap values fall way beneath breastfeeding.
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#204 of 228 Old 02-18-2005, 09:52 PM
 
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But breastfeeding is normal and formula hurts a lot of babies and makes them sick. I see it at work every week.
I know this. You know this. But, honestly, I don't think most formula-feeders (by choice) know this. This is not mainstream information, kwim? Most of the mainstreamers I know think that formula is actually a good second choice (misinformation). So that is a good place for activism, imo. Force the peds, formula companies, etc to be up front about the inferiority of formula--and the superiority of breastfeeding.
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#205 of 228 Old 02-18-2005, 09:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by my~hearts~light
I am done with this thread. I can't believe intelligent women are defending FF by choice. Call it what you want but I will not apologize and play politically correct. It's wrong to opt to deprive your children.

I think alot of core ap values fall way beneath breastfeeding.
I feel the same way. This is it for me too
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#206 of 228 Old 02-18-2005, 10:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by my~hearts~light
I am done with this thread. I can't believe intelligent women are defending FF by choice. Call it what you want but I will not apologize and play politically correct. It's wrong to opt to deprive your children.

I think alot of core ap values fall way beneath breastfeeding.

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#207 of 228 Old 02-18-2005, 10:07 PM
 
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I am done with this thread. I can't believe intelligent women are defending FF by choice. Call it what you want but I will not apologize and play politically correct. It's wrong to opt to deprive your children.

I think alot of core ap values fall way beneath breastfeeding.

ITA.
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#208 of 228 Old 02-18-2005, 10:09 PM
 
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I disagree, not about the nutrition part though.I think Bf is not THE factor to decide whether a person is immature or not.
I didn't say it was THE factor. Reread the post.
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#209 of 228 Old 02-18-2005, 10:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sunnmama
She is talking about a personal situation. This is the way she feels. She has stated that she knows breastfeeding would offer her child superior nutrition, but feels (because of her current state of mind) it would rob her children of a patient, gentle mama.

You know, if we *listen* to her, honor her feelings, and respect her pov, we might be able to *help* her--and increase the chance that she will breastfeed. But calling her immature, and dismissing her feelings, will help nothing.
I expressed an opinion just like everyone else here did. I didn't call anyone immature, and if someone chooses to internalize my message I imagine they feel guilty

I reiterate: deliberately choosing to put your baby at risk for your own convenience is not the adult thing to do. It's up to us to make the the best choice we know how for our children and to teach them to do the same.

I think people forget that breastfeeding is not all or nothing. You can have some discomfort and still breastfeed a couple of times a day because there are so many health benefits that you don't want your baby to suffer without.

A gentle PC message is all well and good, but some people need a kick in the butt. It's not just that breastfeeding is BEST. The issue is that formula PUTS YOUR BABY AT RISK. It can be extremely harmful. And at its best, it's just calories. Sure the baby grows, but they don't get anything that helps develop all of the important systems in the human body. Fortified with vitamins my butt. Women need to start understanding that it's not as easy as deciding which pattern goes in the baby's crib. If a woman deliberately chooses not to breastfeed at all she should feel guilty. The media tiptoes around because they're afraid of losing customers. Meanwhile babies are missing out on the most basic building blocks for their physical and emotional growth. It's horrible.
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#210 of 228 Old 02-18-2005, 10:56 PM
 
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I like to think that any woman who is giving proper education and support and isn't having medical complications would choose to BF. However, education and support are sooo lacking in our society that I think we need to be judgemental toward our whole culture and not toward any individual mother.
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