Does "pro-breastfeeding" equal "anti-formula"? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 210 Old 05-12-2007, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't think it should, but this seems to be a prevalent attitude among some passionate 'lactivists'. I don't think that one should have to equal another.

I hate that formula companies are allowed to market their product in the ways they do, but I don't hate formula. I wouldn't use it unless i needed it in the same way I wouldn't use perscription medication unless I needed it. It doesn't mean I hate perscription medication, but it does mean that I believe it should be used judiciously.

Opinions?

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#2 of 210 Old 05-12-2007, 11:14 AM
 
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I dont hate formula or medications but I do hate their advertisement. I get very wound up when I see by prescription only meds being advertised on tv. I have no problem with over the counter med being advertised but why prescription meds??? : It buggs me to no end. I hate the little bouncy depressed cartoon that sells depression meds and the sleepy butterfly that flys arround putting everyone to sleep selling sleeping pills. : Same thing with formula, it more about the advertisment than what they are advertising. It is the attempt to make something that should be used on an "as needed basis" into an everyday convenience item. These are things that should be discussed with your dr when you have serious problems, not "Oohhh Dr I saw this cool butterfly on tv talking about making me sleep better can I get some of that!"

Thats just my 2 cents.

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#3 of 210 Old 05-12-2007, 11:30 AM
 
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I dont hate formula or medications but I do hate their advertisement. I get very wound up when I see by prescription only meds being advertised on tv. I have no problem with over the counter med being advertised but why prescription meds??? : It buggs me to no end. I hate the little bouncy depressed cartoon that sells depression meds and the sleepy butterfly that flys arround putting everyone to sleep selling sleeping pills. : Same thing with formula, it more about the advertisment than what they are advertising. It is the attempt to make something that should be used on an "as needed basis" into an everyday convenience item. These are things that should be discussed with your dr when you have serious problems, not "Oohhh Dr I saw this cool butterfly on tv talking about making me sleep better can I get some of that!"

Thats just my 2 cents.
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#4 of 210 Old 05-12-2007, 11:36 AM
 
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I agree with pp. What I hate about formula is the normalization of it. That it's completely accepted as NORMAL baby food. That so many people see absolutely nothing wrong with routinely feeding babies formula, as if it's what they are supposed to drink.

Do I think it's evil? No..my daughters were supplemented with formula most of the 5 months that I pumped for them, then had 100% formula from months 5-13. Did I EVER want them to have formula? NO. I absolutely agonized over the fact that it was necessary. I found it very difficult to even buy it. In the checkout line I felt like a fraud. Here I was a lactavist, someone who believes in and supports bf'ing 100%, buying cases of formula. I wanted a t-shirt that said "I wanted desperately to breastfeed!"

But are my daughters healthy? Probably..it appears so. I'll never know what difference having formula makes in their health. Do I believe that as a whole breastfed children are healthier? absolutely. I believe formula has a place, it's just not the FIRST place. It should be a last resort. And I think it should be avoided at all costs, it's not something to be used casually (like prescription medications) because it does have consequences, especially on the guts of very young babies.

My daughters had reflux that my son never had. They don't have any allergies thankfully, but I suppose that is yet to really be determined for all of them. I know they did not receive the same "feeding experience" that he has received, and I did not receive the experience feeding them that I wanted. My son has never and will never get formula, however not just because of the risks but because I knew I wanted to prove something to myself, that I could do it. That I could 100% breastfeed him. I needed to achieve that, given what feels like failure with my daughters.

I am pro-bfing, and to me that means supporting bf'ing moms in any way I can, which will in turn reduce formula use. I am for normalizing breastfeeding. Being anti-formula I think would be misdirected and not very effective.
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#5 of 210 Old 05-12-2007, 11:42 AM
 
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I hate formula, its marketing, its history, everything it stands for, and everything it has done to our country, our culture, our children, our world, and our species. That does NOT mean that I hate or am against moms who ff. Totally different and separate issues; although I think that this is where lactivists get a bad rap and why there is a "divide" between bf & ff moms.

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#6 of 210 Old 05-12-2007, 12:38 PM
 
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I hate formula, its marketing, its history, everything it stands for, and everything it has done to our country, our culture, our children, our world, and our species. That does NOT mean that I hate or am against moms who ff. Totally different and separate issues; although I think that this is where lactivists get a bad rap and why there is a "divide" between bf & ff moms.
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#7 of 210 Old 05-12-2007, 12:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by leila1213 View Post
I hate formula, its marketing, its history, everything it stands for, and everything it has done to our country, our culture, our children, our world, and our species. That does NOT mean that I hate or am against moms who ff. Totally different and separate issues; although I think that this is where lactivists get a bad rap and why there is a "divide" between bf & ff moms.
Very well said
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#8 of 210 Old 05-12-2007, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I hate formula, its marketing, its history, everything it stands for, and everything it has done to our country, our culture, our children, our world, and our species. That does NOT mean that I hate or am against moms who ff. Totally different and separate issues; although I think that this is where lactivists get a bad rap and why there is a "divide" between bf & ff moms.
See, I don't hate formula. Formula hasn't done anything to our country but feed children. It has saved many lives. I am GRATEFUL for formula. If you replace the word 'Formula' in your post to "Companies that manufacture, market, advertise formula" then we're on the same page. I can never say that I hate something that is responsible for saving children who otherwise might have died.

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#9 of 210 Old 05-12-2007, 12:51 PM
 
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I'd say I'm anti formula in the same way I am anti circumcision. Yeah, sometimes circumcision is needed, but, other than those times, it's unncessary and harmful. The same goes for formula.

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#10 of 210 Old 05-12-2007, 12:53 PM
 
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I am not anti formula, clearly, there is a need for a breast milk substitute for some babies. What I don't like is the lack of support and good, correct information for women who want to breast feed. It's out there, but it's not enough! I know too many moms who quit nursing because they couldn't make it work for one reason or another. I also know if they'd had good support, maybe a good LLL group, a lactation consultant, a knowledgable mother, or someone who could have given them the information they needed, they would have been able to continue.

I don't hate formula and I don't hate moms who use it... even moms who think breast feeding is gross or whatever are a product of our society. In another time, it would have been as normal as breathing. Moms do the best they can at the time, maybe this makes me a bad lactivist but I don't think hating formula is the answer, I think support and education are a big part of it.
I think the trend toward breastfeeding is getting better but has a long way to go. It saddens me that formula feeding is seen as the same as breast feeding and we all know how it got that way. Companies do a lot of unethical things all the time and this is one of them, no matter what it is they are trying to sell to make a buck.
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#11 of 210 Old 05-12-2007, 01:07 PM
 
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i don't hate formula, i just hate that it is pushed on mama's who don't need it at all, sometimes to the point that start to believe that they do need it for some "health" reason or another. i don't judge women who use it (or at least i try so hard not to) because i can't walk in their shoes and i know that being a mom is hard, and different for everyone.
sometimes i think that it would be nice if formula was like a prescription drug, you had to be prescribed it by your doctor if 1. you were unable to produce milk 2. you were unable to produce enough milk...otherwise i kind of feel like, why the heck would you give your baby formula?
i do hate formula companies because of what they have done to other countries by making them think it is superior to milk, and then babies die because of poor water quality.
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#12 of 210 Old 05-12-2007, 01:19 PM
 
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I agree with pp. What I hate about formula is the normalization of it. That it's completely accepted as NORMAL baby food. That so many people see absolutely nothing wrong with routinely feeding babies formula, as if it's what they are supposed to drink.

Do I think it's evil? No..my daughters were supplemented with formula most of the 5 months that I pumped for them, then had 100% formula from months 5-13. Did I EVER want them to have formula? NO. I absolutely agonized over the fact that it was necessary. I found it very difficult to even buy it. In the checkout line I felt like a fraud. Here I was a lactavist, someone who believes in and supports bf'ing 100%, buying cases of formula. I wanted a t-shirt that said "I wanted desperately to breastfeed!"

But are my daughters healthy? Probably..it appears so. I'll never know what difference having formula makes in their health. Do I believe that as a whole breastfed children are healthier? absolutely. I believe formula has a place, it's just not the FIRST place. It should be a last resort. And I think it should be avoided at all costs, it's not something to be used casually (like prescription medications) because it does have consequences, especially on the guts of very young babies.

My daughters had reflux that my son never had. They don't have any allergies thankfully, but I suppose that is yet to really be determined for all of them. I know they did not receive the same "feeding experience" that he has received, and I did not receive the experience feeding them that I wanted. My son has never and will never get formula, however not just because of the risks but because I knew I wanted to prove something to myself, that I could do it. That I could 100% breastfeed him. I needed to achieve that, given what feels like failure with my daughters.

I am pro-bfing, and to me that means supporting bf'ing moms in any way I can, which will in turn reduce formula use. I am for normalizing breastfeeding. Being anti-formula I think would be misdirected and not very effective.

ITA. I could've written this post (except that I don't have twins). I have a feeling that this thread will be pulled, though, since it's talking about formula as not being "evil". Apparently, yes, if you're a lactivist then formula is "poison" for your child.

I wish that the majority of people bfed, but there are a few who can't or need to suppliment.
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#13 of 210 Old 05-12-2007, 01:23 PM
 
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ITA. I could've written this post (except that I don't have twins). I have a feeling that this thread will be pulled, though, since it's talking about formula as not being "evil". Apparently, yes, if you're a lactivist then formula is "poison" for your child.
You may want to read MDC's Lactivism forum statement of purpose, which makes it very clear that this is not the place to villify mothers who formula feed. The purpose of this forum is to promote breastfeeding, not to denounce formula as poison.
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The Lactivism forum is not intended to be a place where MDCers to bash mothers who are formula feeding. It is understandable that lactivists become frustrated over the mainstream formula feeding culture. Criticizing ideas, campaigns, and actions that negatively impact breastfeeding are all acceptable forms of lactivism. Name calling, criticizing individuals, or attacking women who choose to formula feed as a group are not.

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nevermind, the issue was addressed.

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Actually, as a moderator, I'm going to ask that any further posts that denounce lactivists as being rabid formula haters please be taken off board. If someone has an issue with someone's posting habits, it needs to be reported and not discussed on a thread, as per the user agreement. Thanks!

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Is it ok to discuss the idea that there exist people who use the idea of formula= poison as a tool against lactivism? I can't quite word that right, but it's soemthing I have been thinking about.

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That's a great topic, I think, as long as we're not discussing member behavior.

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I just have this feeling that sometimes we as lactivists let others define the terms.

For example, to most lactivists I know, "anti formula" does not mean "I don't think formula should be available to moms who medically need it or adoptive moms, etc". Yet, this is exactly what some people on the other side of the movement want to be believed. They want to define the terms.

I've never been great at explainging my thoughts, so if I figure out a better way to talk about this I will post it!

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Originally Posted by leila1213 View Post
I hate formula, its marketing, its history, everything it stands for, and everything it has done to our country, our culture, our children, our world, and our species. That does NOT mean that I hate or am against moms who ff. Totally different and separate issues; although I think that this is where lactivists get a bad rap and why there is a "divide" between bf & ff moms.
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#20 of 210 Old 05-12-2007, 01:35 PM
 
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another thing (and maybe this is a new thread) is that it seems like we sometimes get caught in the "formula = poison" mud that the other side sets out for us. It's like spinning your wheels to engage in conversation about formula = poison...I feel like it kind of like a trap set by those who want to stall lactivism. We get sidetracked by it.

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#21 of 210 Old 05-12-2007, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Actually, as a moderator, I'm going to ask that any further posts that denounce lactivists as being rabid formula haters please be taken off board. If someone has an issue with someone's posting habits, it needs to be reported and not discussed on a thread, as per the user agreement. Thanks!

I hope that my "Some lactivists seem to be anti-formula" wasn't construed as "some lactivists are rabid formula haters". Perhaps I am missing something. It seems to happen a lot these days :P

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#22 of 210 Old 05-12-2007, 01:40 PM
 
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personally, i think formula has its place. i'm still breastfeeding my 12.5 mo. old, and will continue as long as she wants it. she has also gotten a little formula -- only one bottle per day. i know lots of moms who combine formula feeding with breastfeeding. in my opinion, this should be seen as preferable to not breastfeeding at all. i will always support breastfeeding, and encourage it. however let's be realistic: in the U.S., a lot of people formula feed. i think it would be more practical to try to reduce the volume of formula fed, and increase the volume of breastmilk fed, versus trying to eliminate formula feeding altogether in favor of 100 percent breastfeeding.

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i think it would be more practical to try to reduce the volume of formula fed, and increase the volume of breastmilk fed, versus trying to eliminate formula feeding altogether in favor of 100 percent breastfeeding.
The process is to increase the breastmilk (thereby reducing the formula). The goal is to be like those countries who have 90-100% rates.

BY the way, you may want to read Norway's success story in this matter. They went from very high FF rates to near 100% BF rates. It's definitely something to look up to.

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#24 of 210 Old 05-12-2007, 01:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Is it ok to discuss the idea that there exist people who use the idea of formula= poison as a tool against lactivism? I can't quite word that right, but it's soemthing I have been thinking about.

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

This only helps their cause. When advocacy become extremism, then we're seen as freaks and not advocates. And as we all know, formula companies don't exactly have normal ethics and decency in their advertising. They'll do whatever it takes to sell their products, as we have seen in the past.

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#25 of 210 Old 05-12-2007, 01:43 PM
 
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I hope that my "Some lactivists seem to be anti-formula" wasn't construed as "some lactivists are rabid formula haters". Perhaps I am missing something. It seems to happen a lot these days :P
Nope, it was later in the thread that I was worried it was taking a "this forum/MDC stinks" sort of turn. You're good, and I definitely think it's a conversation worth having.

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#26 of 210 Old 05-12-2007, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Also, when I started this thread, it wasn't in reference to anything on this board and not addressing any member here. Last week I was in the babyfood aisle and there was a local LLL member I am acquainted with who was handing out breastfeeding pamphlets next to the formula. She wasn't just placing them there, she was actively handing them out to people purchasing formula.

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

I am guilty of hiding copies of babywise behind Dr. Jack Newman and Dr Sears's books , but I have a problem with somebody forcing breastfeeding pamphlets into the hands of a mother buying formula.

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#27 of 210 Old 05-12-2007, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Nope, it was later in the thread that I was worried it was taking a "this forum/MDC stinks" sort of turn. You're good, and I definitely think it's a conversation worth having.

Oh whew .

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

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#29 of 210 Old 05-12-2007, 02:17 PM
 
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i wonder how some one can call themself a lactivist but have nothing against formula. i realize some moms have true medial issues or have adopted a baby. they have no choice. it bothers me when some moms make excuses,milk didnt come in, not making enough. they are not being honest with them selves. maybe they got bad medical advise or didnt do research or just werent dedicated. formula is not natural just as taking meds for every little thing isnt either. i dont hate moms for ff. i just feel bad that for what ever reason, they werent able to have a successful bf.

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

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#30 of 210 Old 05-12-2007, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
Well, for me, I believe formula is a tool. Having something "against formula" is about as pointless for me as having something "against" any other inanimate object. I have lots against the formula companies, the healthcare industry, our department of health and human services, a society that doesn't seem to value motherhood or babies, but what on earth would be the point of having a vendetta against a food substitute? Especially one that, like it or not, has kept babies alive. To me, it wastes energy that could be better directed towards actual lactivism and working to actually effect change.
Excellent post and ITA.

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

I think we need to take steps to right this. We have a long way to go, but we also have to live in the now.

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