should women unwilling to breastfeed rather not have children? - 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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#1 of 228 Old 02-16-2005, 09:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I soemtimes have the impression that this is what some people think...so let's get some clarity into this matter!
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#2 of 228 Old 02-16-2005, 10:03 PM
 
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You can be a good Mother and not breastfeed.

I chose to breastfeed, there are some women who for whatever reasons don't...that's their choice.
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#3 of 228 Old 02-16-2005, 10:09 PM
 
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What about women who won't vax/ or do vax?
Women who spank/don't spank?
Live in the city/country?
single women/gay women?
overweight women?
older women?
midddle income women?
women who already have one of each gender?
women who smoke?
eat to much ice cream?

Or those who don't practice our very own unique style of parenting?
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#4 of 228 Old 02-16-2005, 10:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Potty Diva
What about women who won't vax/ or do vax?
Women who spank/don't spank?
Live in the city/country?
single women/gay women?
overweight women?
older women?
midddle income women?
women who already have one of each gender?
women who smoke?
eat to much ice cream?

Or those who don't practice our very own unique style of parenting?

Hm, i've also heard that sometimes but not as frequently

I suppose breastfeeding is an emotional topic.
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#5 of 228 Old 02-16-2005, 10:31 PM
 
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: Wow, loaded question.

Every baptized Christian is, or should be, someone with an actual (disturbing) experience, ... a close encounter, with God; someone who, as a result, becomes a disturbing presence to others. - Fr. Anthony J. Gittins, A Presence That Disturbs
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#6 of 228 Old 02-16-2005, 10:31 PM
 
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I personally find it selfish to just "chose not to do what is best for your baby."

It is different if you have complications, but to simply chose not to I think is wrong.

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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#7 of 228 Old 02-16-2005, 10:35 PM
 
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The question to me is NOT whether or not she breastfeeds but whether or not she ever puts the child's needs before her own. Which is why it depends on the reason in a way. Still though its not my place to tell anyone that can or cannot have children not at all, but I would wonder why anyone would if they were not willing to change their life in any way. Another point though is that many people come from less than perfect parents but I'm sure they are still glad to be alive and be who they are. So while I may think something like: gee whiz can't you stop drinking and smoking and going out to clubs all night and stay home with your kid!! I would never know really what should or should not happen cause I'm not God nor am I anywhere close to that! So I just know what I would do and what I would not do, and thats all I can ever really know.
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#8 of 228 Old 02-16-2005, 10:35 PM
 
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Quote:
What about women who won't vax/ or do vax?
Women who spank/don't spank?
Live in the city/country?
single women/gay women?
overweight women?
older women?
midddle income women?
women who already have one of each gender?
women who smoke?
eat to much ice cream?

Or those who don't practice our very own unique style of parenting?
While it always sounds nice to bring up those types of comparisons, they're really not equivalent. I mean the question is about women who simply choose not to use their breasts for that which they exist.

I dont' think ice cream exists so that I can feed my kids.

Or does it?
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#9 of 228 Old 02-16-2005, 10:35 PM
 
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While I very pro-BF, I certainly don't think someone shouldn't be a mother just because she chooses not to BF.
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#10 of 228 Old 02-16-2005, 10:47 PM
 
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Should women breastfeed? yes. Should this detemine whether or not they become mothers? no.

Serenity LDS mommy to 4 rambunctious kidlets
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#11 of 228 Old 02-16-2005, 10:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelBee
I personally find it selfish to just "chose not to do what is best for your baby."

It is different if you have complications, but to simply chose not to I think is wrong.

Would past sexual abuse count as a complication? Body issues? How about misinformation, or simply being uneducated about breastfeeding? Or having no support?

All of the above COULD have applied to me, when I had my first baby. I literally knew NOBODY who had breastfed a baby. I had body issues; and, due to sexual abuse, I had to fight off bad feelings at some point with each of my nurslings. Thank goodness DH encouraged me to at least give it a try...he REALLY wanted me to breastfeed.

However (and I am a breastfeeding advocate, btw), I wouldn't have considered myself a BAD (or selfish) mother if I chose not to breastfeed.

I've discussed this extensively on another board...the topic came up when a woman posted that her ultra-conservative DH and his family were adamant that she NOT breastfeed b/c it was "immodest" according to their culture. I mean, whattya do? She obviously had no support, no good info, and little education regarding the benefits of bfg (not that that was going to sway her DH, anyway).

Every baptized Christian is, or should be, someone with an actual (disturbing) experience, ... a close encounter, with God; someone who, as a result, becomes a disturbing presence to others. - Fr. Anthony J. Gittins, A Presence That Disturbs
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#12 of 228 Old 02-16-2005, 10:53 PM
 
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Oh, skellbelle...I'm sorry to hear that

I was just getting ready to post something along that line. Working for the WIC program as a breastfeeding peer counselor many years ago I was taught to have compassion and patience, and told that some Mothers could have come from abusive situations and may not want to even consider breastfeeding because of that.
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#13 of 228 Old 02-16-2005, 11:12 PM
 
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I want to say: "You can still be a great momma even if you are unwilling to breastfeed."

But....

I wonder why a mother, who can breastfeed, would withhold what an infant needs the most?
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#14 of 228 Old 02-16-2005, 11:30 PM
 
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No. I don't think women who are unwilling to breastfeed should "rather not have children" or are "bad"/"worse" mothers. I won't participate in the mommy wars. Not now, not ever- in a society (US, where I live) that devalues women in general and mothers in particular IMHO what unites us NEEDS to be stronger than what divides us.

Given the very difficult time I had getting ds to latch on (I am convinced he is bfing still today only for the love, compassion and patience of my best friends, doula and a great LC), the horrible comments I received from people I had no choice but to be around, the tasty NIP comments I still get (even today actually), and all the things MDCers post about having to deal with in terms of partners/family/community I am amazed that some women even try. It doesn't matter what the AAP or WHO recommends if you don't even know what those acronyms mean and your own ped says "formula is just as good."

And what does "unwilling" mean anyway.......???? IMHO *only* the mom gets to define that. A book (or Mothering) may argue that women who've had breast reductions can breastfeed b/c a few people have- I know women IRL who CANNOT. I would NEVER presume to know what another woman is thinking when she doesn't "try." ('Cause what is "trying" anyway).

Even the people who simply believe it's "yucky." I may disagree with them but my energy and activism is better spent elsewhere.

ETA: My breasts do not exist only to breastfeed. If I would have never had children I would be very sad (b/c I always wanted to be a mom ) but I wouldn't feel like my breasts were useless......my breasts serve MANY purposes
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#15 of 228 Old 02-16-2005, 11:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chersolly
I wonder why a mother, who can breastfeed, would withhold what an infant needs the most?
I think we would have to have a HUGE cultural change before we damn mothers who chose formula/bottles over breastfeeding. I hope that we here, and I personally, are part of that change .

We need to:
Improve attitudes toward NIP (bigtime!)
Educate about the benefits of breastmilk
Stop sending formula home with hospital births
Change attitudes toward breast appearance (women fear breast changes, and blame nursing--even if unjustly)
Change workplaces so that women could pump and/or nurse at intervals
Institute longer, paid maternity leave, so that women could establish breastfeeding and feel committed to it (anecdotally, I here women do not begin breastfeeding, or switch early to formula, to ease the adjustment of returning to work. I know that many here make the adjustment while continuing to breastfeed, but I think many have no idea how to do that).

I'm sure there is lots more. But I am not ready to damn mothers who chose to feed formula until our society is more supportive of breastfeeding.
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#16 of 228 Old 02-16-2005, 11:50 PM
 
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Not going to say "women who won't try BF shouldn't have children..." but if I had a friend who wanted to have a baby, but didn't want to BF because she "didn't want to feel tied down" or any number of those type of reasons, I would think she wasn't ready to have kids. Not BECAUSE of the BF/not BF thing, but rather her decision is symptomatic of reasons she probably shouldn't have kids.

None of this, of course, applies to victims of sexual abuse. I'm in no position to judge their motivations.
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#17 of 228 Old 02-16-2005, 11:52 PM
 
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Please tell me I read that wrong. Your poll is asking if women who aren't willing to breastfeed should not have children at all?

Then I know many people who wouldn't be here now, including me, and there wasn't a more loved baby in the world than me.

My brother and sil found out today they are having a baby, after trying forever. She is not going to breastfeed. Guess they have no right being overjoyed.

Guess I don't either, especially since, knowing her wishes long before today, I am zipping my mouth shut as far as MY parenting choices are concerned. She knows what they are, and she knows all she has to do is ask if she has a question.

Questions like these just keep dividing mothers more and more. It's all about choice, and so long as you love your child, no one has the right to decide who is better or worse or loves their child more, based on their own individual choice.
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#18 of 228 Old 02-17-2005, 12:00 AM
 
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We all have ideals we strive for- that doesnt mean we always live up to them!! Somebody could make a "less than perfect" choice about infant feeding but still grow to be an awesome mother.

Breastfeeding is a wonderful tool for mothering babies and young children- but its not the only one!!

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#19 of 228 Old 02-17-2005, 12:00 AM
 
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I wrote "it depends." I'm a wimp. I assumed that there are lots of women in this society who bottle feed and are crazy in love with their children. I've met them like that. Also that there are some women who don't want to breastfeed and also aren't particularly attached. I've met those, too, though not many.

But also...while infancy is really important...there are 17 or 18 more years to raise a child with love. So maybe someone who doesn't like babies turns out to be the best mom of a teenager ever and raises a super-duper adult. So I'm thinking---it depends!

Divorced mom of one awesome boy born 2-3-2003.
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#20 of 228 Old 02-17-2005, 12:24 AM
 
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I've known some good, loving mothers who just didn't want to breastfeed--thought it was gross and all that. They never even tried. With all the bad things that can happen in this world, I'm glad that there are good loving moms raising kids to adulthood. So I voted no, of course.

At the same time, I wish there were a little more honesty surrounding the issue. The 3 women I know personally who never even wanted to try nursing, not even for the colostrum, are at least honest that they didn't want to do it. I feel they must believe that breastfeeding is overrated and unnecessary, but I haven't heard them say that. It's difficult, though, as breastfeeding has gotten more positive press in the last 20 years or so, it's like there is a backlash by moms who tried breastfeeding or just didn't want to bother with the learning curve.* I have heard a lot more from early weaning moms where it seems like they believe that moms who exclusively breastfeeding a child to 6 months or more are just whacked and are doing it for other reasons; or they believe it is not necessary and not worth promoting.

My 18 year old niece had a baby in December and I sent her stuff about breastfeeding. My sister has had a lot of influence with her daughter since the pregnancy, and my sister said that her daughter would breastfeed. My niece had problems in the hospital and at first was very adamant about no bottles and all of that, but then the nurses scared her into starting formula supplementation. My sister made a comment about how she wanted her daughter to nurse for a month because she nursed all of hers for a month and they didn't get sick. Yes, my sister did nurse for about a month, but she used formula from day one and she never planned to actually use breastfeeding as a longterm baby feeding method--it was more like a immunities booster. In the long run, my sister's attitudes about what kind of breastfeeding is good hurt her daughter's attempts at establishing a good breastfeeding relationship. I tread very lightly, because when my sister asked me why I would nurse a baby for so long (when I was nursing an 8 month old), she got very offended when I said that I read about it and decided this was best.

Additionally, it does seem like sometimes there are fathers and mothers who go to great lengths to have children, but from the outside it makes one wonder why. It's almost like they have to get their genetic material out there, but they have no desire to do any of the actual stuff involved, certainly not breastfeeding (ok, yes, sometimes I fit this description except for the nursing part, LOL). I'm not talking about any particular kind of mom, but just the ones who don't seem to really like kids and you wonder why they made that choice. My own mother probably wouldn't have had 7 children if she were a young woman today--we've even talked about this. She felt that it was the only option she had available, and even talks about how she had no choice and wouldn't do the same things today.

*[Disclaimer: when I say moms who didn't want to bother with the learning curve, I mean exactly that. I don't mean the moms who had a lot of problems and are still reeling from the loss of the breastfeeding relationship)
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#21 of 228 Old 02-17-2005, 12:27 AM
 
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I voted no. I think we should direct bf activist energy toward creating a bf-positive social climate, not toward finger wagging at other women.
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#22 of 228 Old 02-17-2005, 12:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaka Falls
While it always sounds nice to bring up those types of comparisons, they're really not equivalent. I mean the question is about women who simply choose not to use their breasts for that which they exist.

I dont' think ice cream exists so that I can feed my kids.

Or does it?

ITA with you Chaka, We were give these,in my case 5 gallon buckets for a reason and we should use them for that reason. I wonder if give the choice, if animals would choose not to bf thier babies.?

We may not have it all together, but together we have it all , Loving their daddy, my hubby, our soldier
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#23 of 228 Old 02-17-2005, 12:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama
I voted no. I think we should direct bf activist energy toward creating a bf-positive social climate, not toward finger wagging at other women.

Very beautifully said


Besides, FFing is such a huge cultural thing. It is so commonplace that even though most women know that breastfeeding is better, they believe that formula is a close second, which makes small setbacks seem like a fine justification for not BFing. So many FFing moms make other, enormous sacrifices, and are excellent mothers.
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#24 of 228 Old 02-17-2005, 01:09 AM
 
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I don't completely understand the question. Of course, i believe breast is best but what are the options, take away children from mothers who don't bf? or are you asking if these moms should just rethink having kids if they're unwilling to bf?

i voted no because there are a myriad of reasons why a woman may not choose to bf and i have no business deciding if her reasons are *good* enough. having said that, i do feel deep sadness when i see a baby being bottlefed, simply because they are missing the connection you get when breastfeeding. I also feel upset that a cow out there somewhere is probably not with her calf because we humans think we have the right to take her milk, but i digress.

when i was pg with my first ds, i was as adamant as could be that i would not breastfeed because it was gross and disgusting. of course that's immature but i had some deep emotional issues behind it and another person judging me for it would certainly not have helped. and of course i still deserved to have my ds. lucky for him, i did decide to bf him and all my dc after him.

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#25 of 228 Old 02-17-2005, 01:11 AM
 
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well, here is my always-flamed answer... YES, she should not have children if she is not going to breastfeed, if she decides this beforehand. If you're not gonna feed them.. then don't breed them. Really, it's not so much about the breastmilk to me (although breastmilk is perfect for each baby, as we all know) the thing that bothers me is the picking and choosing of parenting areas for convenience. The mother that chooses not to breastfeed because she doesn't want to bother, will be much faster to let her baby CIO because she doesn't want to bother, and so it goes on.. I am not saying ALL women that don't breastfeed do this, it's the attitude that bothers me.
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#26 of 228 Old 02-17-2005, 01:40 AM
 
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Originally Posted by loving-my-babies
the thing that bothers me is the picking and choosing of parenting areas for convenience.
.
lovingmybabies, part of me wants to agree with you, a lot of me actually. the angry bf advocate in me sometimes wants to scream at women who don't do things my way. but the "picking and choosing", I don't know about that. we all pick and choose things for convenience. i do some things for convenience that other mothers might think make me a bad mom, but i'm sure you do things for convenience too that i wouldn't agree with.

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#27 of 228 Old 02-17-2005, 02:39 AM
 
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Am kind of appalled at the question altogether. Though am appreciating its gauntlet-throwing appeal.

I was never breastfed at all. My mother's choice. She also told the doctor as they wheeled her into the hospital to deliver me (when JFK was president, thankyouverymuch), "Wake me when it's over."

Guess my mom should've not bothered to have me at all, huh. And all those drugs she had in the process must be to blame for my years-ago fondness for odd plants and fungii.



Thanks for the explanation.

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#28 of 228 Old 02-17-2005, 03:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by merpk
Am kind of appalled at the question altogether. Though am appreciating its gauntlet-throwing appeal.
OK, maybe it's just me, but sometimes I think these kind of questions get asked because people believe the worst of many of us here at MDC: that we really are so judgmental that we would say definitively that women who don't breastfeed shouldn't have children. I think this polarization is what ends up making breastfeeding advocates seem like that ugly term we are often called.
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#29 of 228 Old 02-17-2005, 04:09 AM
 
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Was suppose to quote skellbelle:

Yes....to me that would apply.

I am sorry that you went through that.

I am talking about people like a past friend of mine. She didn't want to breastfeed. Period.

The quote... "I know it is best for my son. It is a pain in the ass though. After all, a bottle won't kill him. Plus I don't want to ruin my boobs!"

I think that kind of view is selfish. It is displayed in other parenting choices she makes also. I am no longer friends with her as a result. It made me so sad to see her interact with her son. He seemed so unwanted.

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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#30 of 228 Old 02-17-2005, 09:18 AM
 
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I voted in the minority.
All above arguments aside, I just believe that babies are born to be breastfed.
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