How not to condescend to those who choose to formula-feed - Page 7 - Mothering Forums
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#181 of 185 Old 11-05-2007, 11:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MamaBear1976 View Post
I think we're probably all talking about the same thing here... What I mean is, the nipple is mentioned because that's what the baby has the most contact with (when breastfeeding), and yes, it may take hours for the mom's body to manufacture antibodies specific to what she's been exposed to through her nipple skin, but if the mom is in addition to that, in contact with her baby in other ways, it would increase the chances that she'll start to manufacture those antibodies sooner, too. I think it's yet another reason to keep your baby close...

(Personally, though, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the nipples are better receptors than regular skin because they're so sensitive... And I think they're sensitive for this reason -- they need to act as efficient conduits between mother and baby -- immunologically speaking -- and for other things I don't understand yet, too, I'm sure.)
As far as I know, the actual number of antigen presenting cells (dendritic cells) in the skin of the nipple and areola is the same before, during, and after lactation. It would be a great study to do to see if the number and/or effectiveness of those cells increase during lactation. Hello- Journal of Breastfeeding medicine. All I need now is some funding.....

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#182 of 185 Old 11-05-2007, 11:53 AM
 
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I want to apologize in advance if this has already been addressed, but I don't have time to read all the responses.

I don't know what to say about people who choose to formula-feed from the get-go and don't even try breastfeeding. To be honest, I was one of those once. With my first, I was working full time while I was pregnant and bottle-feeding was the norm among my circle of friends. I think one woman I worked with pumped and she did that in the bathroom. I knew I wasn't going back to work but I also saw bottle-feeding as the norm and breastfeeding as just something uber-crunchy granola people did, kwim? It actually took people trying to feed my baby - "here, I'll give him a bottle while you relax." I got some darn sick and tired of people trying to take my baby from me AND the whole cold kitchen floor to get a bottle in the middle of the night....and some of the inconveniences of lugging bottles and formula everywhere... it took all that to convince that breastfeeding IS better.

Of course, little did I know that I would have a medical condition that would make breastfeeding difficult, at best. I have a hormone imbalance resulting in super-high estrogen levels (I'm VERY fertile!), however, estrogen suppresses prolactin so my prolactin levels are super-low. My body literally does not produce.

With my 2nd child, I nursed her for 3 months and then couldn't go on. With my 3rd child, I used the SNS for a year, then continued to nurse and supplement with solids and cups of water until she was 2.

I'm dealing with this again with my 4th (and last) child. I've gone through prescription meds (both legal in the US and those I've ordered from overseas), at least 15 different herbs and combinations, teas, lactogenic foods, and the LC from h@ll. I've bought 4 SNS units (full size), various sizes of tubing and extra tubing for when the tubing breaks or snaps, a lact-aid, 6 breastpumps. I'm still holding out - using the SNS, but my patience is wearing thin. I'm stretched to my limit - I'm nearing the breaking point.

So...am I CHOOSING to formula feed. Maybe yes - I am making a choice not to go through breastfeeding-h@ll. But at the same time I feel forced.

If someone who didn't know me from adam saw me at the mall and saw me formula feeding they might assume I was uneducated, pressured by formula advertising, and not wanting to do what is best for my baby. That person wouldn't know my history. They wouldn't know that I AM educated, I buy formula out of necessity (not because they advertised in a magazine or gave it to me for free), and without it, my baby would die.

I think if you look at every mom who you see formula feeding from that perspective, it can help not to condescend.

Now, if you have a friend and you are both informed and that person still choose formula feeding over even trying to breastfeed, I don't know what to say. Just still try to be supportive. Encourage "bottle nursing" (I don't have time to explain, but look it up on google). Encourage a good bonding experience even with a bottle. I think someone can be AP and still bottle feed.
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#183 of 185 Old 11-05-2007, 12:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by MarcyC View Post
I want to apologize in advance if this has already been addressed, but I don't have time to read all the responses.

I don't know what to say about people who choose to formula-feed from the get-go and don't even try breastfeeding. To be honest, I was one of those once. With my first, I was working full time while I was pregnant and bottle-feeding was the norm among my circle of friends. I think one woman I worked with pumped and she did that in the bathroom. I knew I wasn't going back to work but I also saw bottle-feeding as the norm and breastfeeding as just something uber-crunchy granola people did, kwim? It actually took people trying to feed my baby - "here, I'll give him a bottle while you relax." I got some darn sick and tired of people trying to take my baby from me AND the whole cold kitchen floor to get a bottle in the middle of the night....and some of the inconveniences of lugging bottles and formula everywhere... it took all that to convince that breastfeeding IS better.

Of course, little did I know that I would have a medical condition that would make breastfeeding difficult, at best. I have a hormone imbalance resulting in super-high estrogen levels (I'm VERY fertile!), however, estrogen suppresses prolactin so my prolactin levels are super-low. My body literally does not produce.

With my 2nd child, I nursed her for 3 months and then couldn't go on. With my 3rd child, I used the SNS for a year, then continued to nurse and supplement with solids and cups of water until she was 2.

I'm dealing with this again with my 4th (and last) child. I've gone through prescription meds (both legal in the US and those I've ordered from overseas), at least 15 different herbs and combinations, teas, lactogenic foods, and the LC from h@ll. I've bought 4 SNS units (full size), various sizes of tubing and extra tubing for when the tubing breaks or snaps, a lact-aid, 6 breastpumps. I'm still holding out - using the SNS, but my patience is wearing thin. I'm stretched to my limit - I'm nearing the breaking point.

So...am I CHOOSING to formula feed. Maybe yes - I am making a choice not to go through breastfeeding-h@ll. But at the same time I feel forced.

If someone who didn't know me from adam saw me at the mall and saw me formula feeding they might assume I was uneducated, pressured by formula advertising, and not wanting to do what is best for my baby. That person wouldn't know my history. They wouldn't know that I AM educated, I buy formula out of necessity (not because they advertised in a magazine or gave it to me for free), and without it, my baby would die.

I think if you look at every mom who you see formula feeding from that perspective, it can help not to condescend.

Now, if you have a friend and you are both informed and that person still choose formula feeding over even trying to breastfeed, I don't know what to say. Just still try to be supportive. Encourage "bottle nursing" (I don't have time to explain, but look it up on google). Encourage a good bonding experience even with a bottle. I think someone can be AP and still bottle feed.
to you, mama. You sound like you've been through the ringer. It's very tough when your body just can't produce enough milk. Very tough.

You've worked so hard; don't let anyone bring you down. I think the real killer here, the real divider among women (lactating and not) is ignorance. The ignorance that breeds quick judgments and hostility. We need to eliminate that somehow. We need to give the benefit of the doubt a little more, that women are doing the best they can figure out how within the confines of their experience and knowledge. And if they're doing "less than best," then maybe it's not out of malice (in fact, I'd say usually it isn't out of malice) but out of not having the privilege of experience, education, support, physical characteristics that ensure breastfeeding success, etc...
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#184 of 185 Old 11-05-2007, 12:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Sandstress View Post
I'm sorry, and this is slightly off topic, but I can't figure out where this peice of information has been propagated from. There are no specialized immune receptors in the skin of the nipple, other than those found in other skin all over the body. The typical way a mom is exposed to the baby's germs is through the mucous membranes in the upper aerodigestive tracts, and sometimes through the conjuntiva (membranes of the eye). The body takes some time (hours to days) to manufacture antibodies to a new antigen from the baby- depending on whether the mother has been exposed to it before.

As an EPer, I have done some reading on this, and could not find an actual study which demonstrated anything special about the baby mouth-skin of nipple interaction, over and above what the mom is usually exposed to through close contact. If you have that study- please PM me!
I don't think it's the nipple itself per se, but the contact between the mother's skin and the baby's mouth. This is how a breastfed baby obtains its intestinal flora. Also, the breast is not meant to be washed inbetween nursing sessions, so the remaining breastmilk not only helps to sooth and protect the nipple, it's also a media for certian types of bacterial growth like Lactobacillus and other probiotics.

Also, the Montgomery glands secrete a lubricating fluid that contains antibacterial properties in the form of non-specific immunoglobulins. So, the nipple/mouth interface is a pretty important one immunologically speaking.

Mama to Thing 1 and Thing 2.
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#185 of 185 Old 11-06-2007, 12:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pumpkinhead View Post
I don't think it's the nipple itself per se, but the contact between the mother's skin and the baby's mouth. This is how a breastfed baby obtains its intestinal flora. Also, the breast is not meant to be washed inbetween nursing sessions, so the remaining breastmilk not only helps to sooth and protect the nipple, it's also a media for certian types of bacterial growth like Lactobacillus and other probiotics.

Also, the Montgomery glands secrete a lubricating fluid that contains antibacterial properties in the form of non-specific immunoglobulins. So, the nipple/mouth interface is a pretty important one immunologically speaking.
No- you're right- those are important for the nonspecific immunity that is provided to the baby. I was only referring to the exposure of the mom to the baby's "germs" so that she makes specific antibodies to be secreted in the milk.
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