How not to condescend to those who choose to formula-feed - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 185 Old 10-26-2007, 01:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Songbh brought up a very interesting dilemma in this thread: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...=775675&page=2
(scroll down to the very bottom) (I apologize in advance if I'm putting you on the spot, Song... However, your brilliance needs to be shared. )

Basically the dilemma is that, of the women who choose to formula-feed, even though we as lactivists may see their decision as an ill-informed one, they may not see it that way, and in fact, usually don't. The women who make the choice to formula-feed may, in fact, believe that they were not at all influenced by formula marketing, and that they are aware that "breast is best" (but maybe not really aware of to what degree), and that formula was the best choice for them (presumably because they thought it was "almost as good" as breastmilk yet more convenient for their lifestyle). Sometimes what ends up happening is that women who have made this decision resent the lactivist movement and lactivists in general because they may perceive us as condescending, among other things...

How do we as lactivists connect with people who believe this without alienating them? How do we reach out to them so that they make a truly informed decision about infant feeding in the future (see, even I think that sounds a little condescending, if I'm looking at it from their perspective...)? Should we just not bother? Is it not worth it? Are these "lost causes?" Would we hurt the lactivist movement even more if we tried to reach these people? Or are these precisely the people we should be trying to reach?
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#2 of 185 Old 10-26-2007, 01:53 PM
 
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I try to just avoid discussing it with someone I want to stay in good graces with. I got in a HUGE dustup with my best childhood friend over this right after DD was born while she was pregnant with her 2nd DD. She used several excuses, including "I don't want to" and "I need to take antidepressants", without listening to my arguments that there are antidepressants that are compatible w/ BF'ing.

What it ultimately came down to was that she didn't have her mother or spouse encouraging the idea (in her mother's case, quite the opposite), so even though she knew from the facts that bf'ing was healthier, emotionally and support-wise she was incapable of doing so and wasn't willing to even make the attempt. All my attempts to change her mind accomplished was to piss her off quite royally.

Now we just don't talk about the issue much.

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#3 of 185 Old 10-26-2007, 02:17 PM
 
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I can not be friends with someone who chooses to FF. I have tried, I really have. The first and most important reason why I can't is because if they are FF, then they are probably doing a lot of other non-AP things, as well. It's too hard to be friends with someone who does everything opposite of me. And honestly, I don't want a lot of non-AP around my baby. Maybe it's different when the kids are older, but right now I can't be around it. The other problem is that I don't know how to not condescend. They aren't doing what's best for their child; that's the bottom line. They have not tried to educate themselves and I don't know how to keep my mouth shut. :
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#4 of 185 Old 10-26-2007, 02:19 PM
 
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I have had many many conversations with women/friends who've chosen formula for one reason or another (sometimes failed 'attempts' at BFing, sometimes just because...). I always focus on how difficult breastfeeding is in this culture (U.S. that is...). I point out the huge lack of support from the the other women in our lives (mothers, sisters etc) , and, the medical establishment itself. Many of my friends have been so horribly misinformed by doctors and nurses...it's nearly impossible to blame them at all!! Almost all of my friends and our mothers formula fed so breastfeeding is so abnormal to them. I saw my very close childhood friend recently and her sister and my friend had just had a baby. We started somehow talking about breastfeeding and my friend expressed dismay that she was unable to. She also told me (in front of her sister) how negative her sister and mother were about her attempting it and how she would have to go in another room when they were visiting. I just gave the above spiel and didn't judge even the sister at all. I could see the sister's wheels turning when I was talking about how our culture just doesn't support this much healthier feeding option....

I never try to 'convince' anyone that breast is the super-best (unless I'm specifically asked to discuss it) but take the angle that it's really not anywomen's fault that they aren't breastfeeding and if we lived in a different world (or country) that surely they would be breastfeeding b/c that would be the 'norm' and expected whereas here it's just not
This has worked really well for me and I feel like I've had a lot of people with 'hmmmm' moments.

Sorry this got long....
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#5 of 185 Old 10-26-2007, 02:32 PM
 
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I am struggling with this in my daily life right now. My husband's cousin has a 5-wk-old infant whom she breastfed for two days before switching to formula because bf'ing was too hard. (But hey, the baby got some colostrum, and that's all that really matters, right? ) Her father and my husband's mother are pretty conservative thinkers, very pro-establishment, do-things-a-certain-way kinda people. (Though, luckily, my mil is strongly pro-bf'ing.) Said cousin is, from what I know, of the same WASPy, convenience- and consumerism-oriented sort of philosophy. I have only encountered her 3 times ever - xmas '05, her wedding a year ago, and last week - and, while I like her as a person, I don't know her well.


If I am to be totally honest with myself and you, I have to admit that I am pretty much bigoted in my attitude towards elective, not-medically-necessary formula feeding. (And I do believe it can be medically necessary.. say for a woman who underwent medically necessary breast reduction as a teenager.) Right or wrong, I view it as laziness and detachment parenting, valuing being able to pawn the "chore" of feeding the baby off on someone else over the myriad ways it benefits child and mother, and tantamount to child abuse. And I know this attitude could be totally inflammatory and soooo not the best way to win someone over, if I ever let on to ff'ing family members and friends that I feel this way.

I kinda brought this up at last month's LLL meeting and the general consensus was that it was best to lead by example, to not be pushy or judgmental, to demonstrate through your attitude and actions and your perfectly healthy child... So that's what I'm trying to do.
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#6 of 185 Old 10-26-2007, 02:35 PM
 
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I have trouble with this. I just don't bring it up. Unless someone is pg, and then I will buy them a bf book, or talk about how well bf went for me, etc. I do have a friend who ff all 4 of her kids. That's not our only major difference, but she also knows my feelings about bf and she knows how I feel about her ff. She agrees with me, and our conversations never get heated. She knows I'm right and doesn't challenge it.

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#7 of 185 Old 10-26-2007, 03:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by dnw826 View Post
I have trouble with this. I just don't bring it up. Unless someone is pg, and then I will buy them a bf book, or talk about how well bf went for me, etc. I do have a friend who ff all 4 of her kids. That's not our only major difference, but she also knows my feelings about bf and she knows how I feel about her ff. She agrees with me, and our conversations never get heated. She knows I'm right and doesn't challenge it.
This is very interesting. Does she regret formula-feeding her children? Or does she recognize that society was not supportive of her even trying to breastfeed?
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#8 of 185 Old 10-26-2007, 03:57 PM
 
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She says she wishes that she did. Every time she was pg, she would say she was going to try this time...

But she also CIO (BADLY), and is a bit abusive and neglegent. We don't talk much anymore. It seems a lot she says is just to appease people or she just can't figure out what is right.

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#9 of 185 Old 10-26-2007, 04:02 PM
 
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If I am to be totally honest with myself and you, I have to admit that I am pretty much bigoted in my attitude towards elective, not-medically-necessary formula feeding. (And I do believe it can be medically necessary.. say for a woman who underwent medically necessary breast reduction as a teenager.) Right or wrong, I view it as laziness and detachment parenting, valuing being able to pawn the "chore" of feeding the baby off on someone else over the myriad ways it benefits child and mother, and tantamount to child abuse. And I know this attitude could be totally inflammatory and soooo not the best way to win someone over, if I ever let on to ff'ing family members and friends that I feel this way.
ITA

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#10 of 185 Old 10-26-2007, 04:06 PM
 
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I pretty much just focus on what a lazy-ass I am and how great it is I never have to get up or cook anything. Just pull up my shirt and pop 'em on!!

AND I get to sleep while they nurse HELLO!?!??!
AND it costs ZERO money so I might be able to actually get an eyebrow wax every now and then!!
AND I never have to worry about the baby getting hungry when I'm out and about..or a bottle warmer.
AND there's nothing extra to stack in the dishwasher.

Believe me, to a tired pregnant mom...BF sounds like heaven when you describe it like that. AND IT'S ALL TRUE!
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#11 of 185 Old 10-26-2007, 04:10 PM
 
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How do we as lactivists connect with people who believe this without alienating them? How do we reach out to them so that they make a truly informed decision about infant feeding in the future (see, even I think that sounds a little condescending, if I'm looking at it from their perspective...)? Should we just not bother? Is it not worth it? Are these "lost causes?" Would we hurt the lactivist movement even more if we tried to reach these people? Or are these precisely the people we should be trying to reach?
I believe it does hurt the movement more to try to directly change someone's mind. I look at it this way- I'm wrong about things, not infrequently. I don't ever appreciate someone pointing it out to me that blatantly. Especially regarding care of one's child- what could make me more defensive than someone telling me I made the wrong choice for my child's health?

I think it makes more sense to advocate to pregnant women who are first time moms. I once did go out of my way- a pregnant lady was sitting with her mother and sister in a restaurant next to us, they discussed bf vs. ff and she was not getting good family support. as she got up to leave, she made eye contact to smile at my dd, and I said "I'm sorry I overheard, but I really do think you are right about trying to breastfeed like you said. I have been doing it for 7 months and my dd is very healthy, it has a lot of benefits and I hope you try it." She reacted favorably.

So, there are situations where you can do the "direct sale" so to speak- but that's not my M.O. normally. I prefer to focus on rights for bf'ing mothers so that once mothers do make the decision to "try", they aren't sabotaged.

DD1 7/13/05 DD2 9/20/10
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#12 of 185 Old 10-26-2007, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I believe it does hurt the movement more to try to directly change someone's mind. I look at it this way- I'm wrong about things, not infrequently. I don't ever appreciate someone pointing it out to me that blatantly. Especially regarding care of one's child- what could make me more defensive than someone telling me I made the wrong choice for my child's health?
Absolutely.

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I think it makes more sense to advocate to pregnant women who are first time moms. I once did go out of my way- a pregnant lady was sitting with her mother and sister in a restaurant next to us, they discussed bf vs. ff and she was not getting good family support. as she got up to leave, she made eye contact to smile at my dd, and I said "I'm sorry I overheard, but I really do think you are right about trying to breastfeed like you said. I have been doing it for 7 months and my dd is very healthy, it has a lot of benefits and I hope you try it." She reacted favorably.
Awesome!

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So, there are situations where you can do the "direct sale" so to speak- but that's not my M.O. normally. I prefer to focus on rights for bf'ing mothers so that once mothers do make the decision to "try", they aren't sabotaged.
This is what I think, too. I think most women who end up using formula without really needing it were sabotaged in some way, so fighting for reform of bad laws that allow women to be continuously sabotaged is definitely the way to go.
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#13 of 185 Old 10-26-2007, 06:54 PM
 
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I can not be friends with someone who chooses to FF. I have tried, I really have. The first and most important reason why I can't is because if they are FF, then they are probably doing a lot of other non-AP things, as well. It's too hard to be friends with someone who does everything opposite of me. And honestly, I don't want a lot of non-AP around my baby. Maybe it's different when the kids are older, but right now I can't be around it. The other problem is that I don't know how to not condescend. They aren't doing what's best for their child; that's the bottom line. They have not tried to educate themselves and I don't know how to keep my mouth shut. :
I'm kind of like that. While I can be friends with people that FF (I've been there so I can see the reasons they may, the research they may not have done, the fact that maybe they just don't KNOW) I can't be friends with people that think it's gross... or that know how awesome and wonderful it is yet choose to FF for their own convienience. OR ones that don't think it's any better than FF despite being told that it is. Parenting isn't about easy and I just can't respect that, at least not without being quite vocal, and since these are people I know anyway- they already know how I am.
But I'm like that about most parenting things. It's one thing to make what you think is an informed decision, it's another to know that it's wrong and do it anyway.

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#14 of 185 Old 10-26-2007, 06:58 PM
 
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I think what hurts some people is when they wanted to bf- tried everything- visited a lactation consultant weekly and their dr weekly and still didn't have success. It hurts their grieving and mourning of not being successful and makes them feel more like a failure than they already do. (oh wait, maybe that's just me...)
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#15 of 185 Old 10-26-2007, 07:07 PM
 
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I think what hurts some people is when they wanted to bf- tried everything- visited a lactation consultant weekly and their dr weekly and still didn't have success. It hurts their grieving and mourning of not being successful and makes them feel more like a failure than they already do. (oh wait, maybe that's just me...)

That's totally different, and I can see why you'd be hurt by judgement. I was referring to people who make the decision not to bf. Someone like you probably worked really hard to make a bf relationship, but honestly I don't know any FF IRL who worked at it and failed. They all made the decision to FF out of whatever misinformed info they were given.

I do understand the point that lack of support from family and society aids in FF babies. But you know what? I had NO support, no partner, no sisters, no mother to help me. My bf relationship was rocky going. I managed to educate myself and not rely on society/medical professionals to do it for me. Lack of support isn't an excuse. Not in my eyes since I have been there.
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#16 of 185 Old 10-26-2007, 07:11 PM
 
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.....

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#17 of 185 Old 10-26-2007, 07:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm kind of like that. While I can be friends with people that FF (I've been there so I can see the reasons they may, the research they may not have done, the fact that maybe they just don't KNOW) I can't be friends with people that think it's gross... or that know how awesome and wonderful it is yet choose to FF for their own convienience. OR ones that don't think it's any better than FF despite being told that it is. Parenting isn't about easy and I just can't respect that, at least not without being quite vocal, and since these are people I know anyway- they already know how I am.
But I'm like that about most parenting things. It's one thing to make what you think is an informed decision, it's another to know that it's wrong and do it anyway.
Hm. It's so strange to read this, because I don't think I've ever met anyone who really, truly chose to formula-feed (without even trying to breastfeed) while knowing how detrimental formula was.

I mean, I know many women who tried to make breastfeeding work (like me) and couldn't: whether it was physically, psychologically, not enough support from their spouse or family, etc.

And I know of a few moms who started formula-feeding from the beginning, but I know these moms, and I know how they feel about their children. And no, they're not all AP, but I KNOW they love their children and want the best for them. There's no doubt in my mind about that. And, knowing a bit about their background and a little bit about their experiences, I can surmise very easily why they made the "choice" to formula-feed (usually it's that they had no support or that when things got tough, they had no one to turn to for help so they quit because they had no idea how to proceed). I have NEVER found that reason to be "they knew it was wrong and did it anyway." NEVER. I think a more accurate assessment (at least with the people I know) is that they DON'T know how inferior formula is, and that's why they felt comfortable with their decision (with probably a little niggling guilt at it not being the "best" option -- but formula marketing assuages even that guilt.)

I can't claim to have all the knowledge and experience in this forum, though, so I'll continue to listen, of course. But something tells me it is rare for a mom to purposefully abuse her child knowingly. I think it's more that the decision to formula-feed among most mainstream moms is seen as harmless because ill effects aren't immediately obvious. Babies seem to thrive off formula, so these mothers trust their own eyes and their own circumstances (and pressure from the people they care the most about) more than they're going to trust a total stranger telling them breastfeeding is the biological norm...

Anyway, bottom line for me is that there's pretty much no mother I can't be friends with, barring severe psychological issues (like sociopathic tendencies, for example). If I have ever met a mom who didn't love her children and didn't want the best for them (no matter how her children were fed), she was probably a rare exception and not the rule. I would rather believe (and DO believe) that all women want what's best for their children, and if they make a decision that is contrary to that, it's because they DON'T know or DON'T believe their decision was harmful for their child(ren)... Not because they're bad people and don't care about hurting their kids. I hope this is making sense.
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#18 of 185 Old 10-26-2007, 07:14 PM
 
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I try not to talk about it unless the FF mother brings it up. Then I usually say something along the lines of "I'm sorry BF didn't work out for you" and if she's REALLY open to talking about what happened and where things go wrong, then I'll try to help her explore that, focusing on "if you'd had this information or this support maybe you could have made it work, maybe try doing XYZ with the next baby". IME the only people who felt comfortable sharing that kind of info with me were people who'd already sucessfully BF younger kids and shared their experiences with older ones.

Usually, my public lactivism goes as far as giving kudos to women who BFIP, sympathising with moms for whom BF didn't work out (if they bring it up first) and talking to pg mamas about taking things one day at a time (ie, she said she wanted to BF for 3m only and I suggested she take things one day at a time, that there's no reason to stop at 3m if everything is going well.)

IMO, it's better to say too little than too much- you can do far more harm than good if you make moms feel defensive.

Just so you know- I don't know anybody personally who FF from birth and never even tried to BF. I know some women who gave up after a couple of week,s but none who didnt' even pretend to try.

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#19 of 185 Old 10-26-2007, 07:14 PM
 
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I blame "The Man".

Seriously, I usually don't bring the topic up, especially with women I know who mostly FF'ed their kids. Many times they will bring it up with me, kind of wistfully, like "I tried but it was too hard / I had to go back to work / :" so I generally (1) agree that it IS hard, especially in the first few weeks and (2) that most medical doctors and nurses are clueless and most hospitals try to give lip service to bfing without providing real help and without telling people there ARE real resources (LLL & LC & medications & herbs to help with low supply). You know, "It's so sad when someone stops without knowing what information is out there to help with their problem."

It's easier to talk about what IS available for help when you frame it in terms of someone else withholding information. Which is true to a point.

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#20 of 185 Old 10-26-2007, 07:28 PM
 
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I believe it does hurt the movement more to try to directly change someone's mind. I look at it this way- I'm wrong about things, not infrequently. I don't ever appreciate someone pointing it out to me that blatantly. Especially regarding care of one's child- what could make me more defensive than someone telling me I made the wrong choice for my child's health?
This is me, too, but I'm very non-confrontational in general.

My best friend, who is also my next-door neighbor, is pregnant and due a few weeks after me. We didn't know each other when our ds's were babies, but she has told me she ff because she had trouble getting bf started. She has also mentioned that she needed to go back on certain meds soon after he was born, and I know that she went back to work FT as a teacher within just a few weeks.

She is such a loving and gentle mom, and a role model for me in many ways. If she asks me for bf support, I will gladly give it. Otherwise, I will mind my own business. I happen to know that she is really grossed out by certain aspects of my parenting (she has diagnosed OCD around germs/dirt/mess), and she has never criticized me.

I will save my face-to-face confrontations for those who spread misinformation about breastfeeding, and those who pick on moms who NIP. And of course, political activism against the unscrupulous marketing of ABM.

Dawn - Mom to : Jack 11/04 and David 5/08
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#21 of 185 Old 10-26-2007, 07:28 PM
 
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I am struggling with this in my daily life right now. My husband's cousin has a 5-wk-old infant whom she breastfed for two days before switching to formula because bf'ing was too hard. (But hey, the baby got some colostrum, and that's all that really matters, right? ).

Ya know... someone actually said this to me once at a bday party. Andrew was maybe 6 months old and I was nursing him sitting at a table with two young (18 yr old) pregnant girls and one of the people at the party's hubbys. He said "breastfeeding after 6 weeks is really pointless. They even tell you that at the hospital"
We ALL went off about how that is just not true blah blah. He just gave one of those "you kids are so ridiculous and stupid" looks
Update on those girls... one had the baby, was EPing (for no reason...) now only FF's
The other just put up pics of her baby on her myspace. I went to go comment. Till I saw one of the baby being FF while still in the hospital Snobby? Maybe. But please don't bash since this is really the only place I feel ok admitting it

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#22 of 185 Old 10-26-2007, 07:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I blame "The Man".

Seriously, I usually don't bring the topic up, especially with women I know who mostly FF'ed their kids. Many times they will bring it up with me, kind of wistfully, like "I tried but it was too hard / I had to go back to work / :" so I generally (1) agree that it IS hard, especially in the first few weeks and (2) that most medical doctors and nurses are clueless and most hospitals try to give lip service to bfing without providing real help and without telling people there ARE real resources (LLL & LC & medications & herbs to help with low supply). You know, "It's so sad when someone stops without knowing what information is out there to help with their problem."

It's easier to talk about what IS available for help when you frame it in terms of someone else withholding information. Which is true to a point.
Oh yes, it is! I think that's a very smart way of saying it, actually, because it is "withholding information." When nurses separate babies from their moms upon birth, that's a form of withholding information. The best thing for both mother and baby would be to keep them together. Why separate them if there's no medical need? And that's just ONE example! There are countless others!

Ruthla, I liked what you said too. As for knowing mothers who chose to formula-feed from the start... The ones I know did it for subsequent kids, but almost all (if not all) the women I know who did this at least tried to breastfeed their first child. The ones who started formula-feeding from the beginning with their second and subsequent children did so because they couldn't make it work out with the first one and probably knew ahead of time that they wouldn't get any support the second time around either (an understandable defense mechanism).

FWIW, I think the formula-feeding rates in this country are more evidence that we live in a misogynistic and child-unfriendly society, not that mothers don't love their children.
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#23 of 185 Old 10-26-2007, 07:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MamaBear1976 View Post
Hm. It's so strange to read this, because I don't think I've ever met anyone who really, truly chose to formula-feed (without even trying to breastfeed) while knowing how detrimental formula was.

I can't claim to have all the knowledge and experience in this forum, though, so I'll continue to listen, of course. But something tells me it is rare for a mom to purposefully abuse her child knowingly. I think it's more that the decision to formula-feed among most mainstream moms is seen as harmless because ill effects aren't immediately obvious. Babies seem to thrive off formula, so these mothers trust their own eyes and their own circumstances (and pressure from the people they care the most about) more than they're going to trust a total stranger telling them breastfeeding is the biological norm...

Anyway, bottom line for me is that there's pretty much no mother I can't be friends with, barring severe psychological issues (like sociopathic tendencies, for example). If I have ever met a mom who didn't love her children and didn't want the best for them (no matter how her children were fed), she was probably a rare exception and not the rule. I would rather believe (and DO believe) that all women want what's best for their children, and if they make a decision that is contrary to that, it's because they DON'T know or DON'T believe their decision was harmful for their child(ren)... Not because they're bad people and don't care about hurting their kids. I hope this is making sense.
That's what I said... except the part about there's no mother I can't be friends with- because there are plenty.
I said that I can't be friends with someone who knows how great BFing is for babies but chooses to FF for their own convienience. I thought that implied that they didn't know how crappy formula is (Like I didn't know when I fed it to my DD thinking what I was doing was best)
I don't think that FFers don't care about their kids either.

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#24 of 185 Old 10-26-2007, 07:44 PM
 
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Just so you know- I don't know anybody personally who FF from birth and never even tried to BF. I know some women who gave up after a couple of week,s but none who didnt' even pretend to try.
I know several (5 that I can think of offhand and one pregnant momma who has no plans to even try) so maybe that's why my opinions are a little different than PPs

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#25 of 185 Old 10-26-2007, 07:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ya know... someone actually said this to me once at a bday party. Andrew was maybe 6 months old and I was nursing him sitting at a table with two young (18 yr old) pregnant girls and one of the people at the party's hubbys. He said "breastfeeding after 6 weeks is really pointless. They even tell you that at the hospital"
We ALL went off about how that is just not true blah blah. He just gave one of those "you kids are so ridiculous and stupid" looks
Update on those girls... one had the baby, was EPing (for no reason...)
Do you know for certain that it was "for no reason" that she was EPing? I'm not trying to be confrontational here; I'm asking an honest question. I EP, and not everyone knows I have hypoplasia and have had multiple, duct-damaging breast surgeries. Not everyone knows I can't produce enough milk. Not everyone knows my baby refuses to latch on, and has for months. Not everyone knows every single detail of my lactational experience, and if I found out someone was saying I was EPing "for no reason," I would be tempted to cut them out of my life permanently. Them's fightin' words.

(Maybe the girl was raped, doesn't want to talk about it, and does not feel comfortable with the baby latched on... Maybe she has no frame of reference for this new skill because no one in her family could teach her how to breastfeed... Maybe the baby doesn't latch on easily and fusses, and it worries her... Maybe her nipples have been sucked raw because of an unresolved, bad latch, and she couldn't figure out how to fix it -- and nor could a lactation consultant... It could be for ANY reason that she started EPing... EPing is MORE trouble than breastfeeding, much more work, so the fact that she is EPing indicates she loves her baby VERY much and is willing to do whatever she can to get her baby breastmilk...)

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now only FF's
The other just put up pics of her baby on her myspace. I went to go comment. Till I saw one of the baby being FF while still in the hospital Snobby? Maybe. But please don't bash since this is really the only place I feel ok admitting it
I'm not going to bash you. I have to admit that it bothers me when I see someone feeding a newborn formula... But think of it this way: She's 18. She's in a hospital, a powerful institution where the nurses are handing her a bottle of formula when her baby starts crying, telling her her baby is hungry. At 18, I would have been inclined to believe a nurse if/when she told me that supplementing with formula wouldn't damage the breastfeeding relationship. I wouldn't now, but now I have the benefit of years more experience than I did at 18. At eighteen, I don't think I would have been able to say no to that kind of pressure, especially after just having given birth. It was hard enough to fight the hospital at my age now!

I don't think these girls are being "lazy" or "bad" or "not worth interacting with" (not saying you said that, btw, just speaking in general). I think they've just been sabotaged, and if we don't reel them in somehow, the formula companies will. They (moms) will pick a side, though. I'd rather have it be the lactivist side and not the one of the formula pushers (marketers).
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#26 of 185 Old 10-26-2007, 07:54 PM
 
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Mamas, I am respectfully asking that we keep the purpose of the Lactivism forum in mind. You can read it here.
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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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#27 of 185 Old 10-26-2007, 08:00 PM
 
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If I wasn't friends with ff-ing moms I'd have 2 friends. I don't have many more than that but most of my friends 'tried' breastfeeding and it didn't work out.... It would've worked if it were me but I have years-worth of research and knowledge-seeking behind my choice to breastfeed. The fact is that some women just aren't that generally interested in learning all there is to know on this subject...it just doesn't stand out to them, for whatever reason, and so they go on what little they read, what I tell them (and they *know* how strongly I feel), and what their peds/nurses tell them. There's LOADS of misinformation out there and unless you've got the time and inclination to sift through it all your basically up a creek. Most women don't even think about infant feeding before they're pregnant...THen they learn 'breast is best' and think 'ok, i'll do that'. Then when it's not simple to start with they throw in the towel. How can we blame a women who's trying to breastfeed...baby has a good latch (no nurse or doctor bothered to check) and "they're" checking the baby's 'borderline' blood sugar and telling mom she needs to supplement to keep the sugars up. The doctor came in and said this....the doctor. *Most* women trust the almighty doctor and that's that. They don't really *care* about all this as much as we do and they just want to go about their business and do what's 'best'...what they truly believe is 'best'.....even though we all know it's not. Another friends ped (yes, ped) was 'surprised' that her baby gained so much weight on only breastmilk and also let her know that breastfeeding was recommended for 6 months...:

Sigh...it's just hard to be in the position of knowing *everything* and not being able to get that across. There is A LOT of work against successful breastfeeding at every turn, it seems. I can't judge a woman who formula feeds for whatever reason because the powers that be don't have their act together and the message is so mixed. It's pathetic.

Basically women live what they know and most women (around me anyway) know bottles/ounces per day/hours between feedings/ and similac/enfamil/costco brand whatever!

ETA: it took me a long time to feel this way... I used to feel very differently.
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#28 of 185 Old 10-26-2007, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That's what I said... except the part about there's no mother I can't be friends with- because there are plenty.
I said that I can't be friends with someone who knows how great BFing is for babies but chooses to FF for their own convienience.
How are you defining "their own convenience?" Let me share something with you. I have a friend (now 30) who was formula-fed. Her mother is/was extremely well-educated and well-read -- it's a safe assumption she knows/knew about the benefits of breastfeeding... She is very well-off, yet she "chose" to formula-feed and work. As far as I know, she is totally unapologetic about feeding her children formula, even today. I could choose to make all kinds of assumptions about this woman based on this. I could say to myself, "Well, I can't be friends with her because she 'chose' to formula-feed her child out of convenience."

Or...

I could choose to look at it another way... Maybe she only thinks she knows about the benefits of breastfeeding. Maybe the truth is that she doesn't think those benefits are real, because when she fed her children formula, she didn't see any immediate negative effects (my friend suffers from obesity now, btw, among other health problems). Maybe something happened to this woman that did not allow her to breastfeed at that time in her life when she gave birth to her first child. Maybe after she gave birth in the hospital, she did try to breastfeed, but it didn't work out, and now all I know is the condensed version of her infant feeding "choice." She is unapologetic about it because she can't change the past, or how hard her situation was, so she might as well accept it and embrace it fully instead of wallowing in self-pity. I can understand that; I can even relate to it.

I can't assume that I wouldn't be friends with someone just because of some perception (whether told to me by someone else, or told to me by the woman in question) that said woman "chose" to feed her infant formula, "knowing" all the repercussions. I think there's always more to the story, and I'm usually right about this.

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I thought that implied that they didn't know how crappy formula is (Like I didn't know when I fed it to my DD thinking what I was doing was best)
I don't think that FFers don't care about their kids either.
Ah, good. I'm kind of confused still, though. You still don't think you could be friends with someone like this, even though you recognize that, in all likelihood, they care about their kids? Aren't you basing your exclusion of them on something they couldn't really control?
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#29 of 185 Old 10-26-2007, 08:32 PM
 
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I can not be friends with someone who chooses to FF. I have tried, I really have. The first and most important reason why I can't is because if they are FF, then they are probably doing a lot of other non-AP things, as well. It's too hard to be friends with someone who does everything opposite of me. And honestly, I don't want a lot of non-AP around my baby. Maybe it's different when the kids are older, but right now I can't be around it. The other problem is that I don't know how to not condescend. They aren't doing what's best for their child; that's the bottom line. They have not tried to educate themselves and I don't know how to keep my mouth shut. :
I'm sorry, I couldn't read this and not respond and you're right to duck...

Quite frankly I resent your statements greatly. I am AP\GD all the way (though I am as human as the next person and do have moments of "failure" or bad mommy moments but for the most part I do my damnest to adhere to my desired parenting techniques of AP\GD). I FF my first 4 children due to mis information, NICU care (for one of two prems, my micro prem), sabotage and honestly emotional distress (4th child) and fear of failure for the 4th time. Believe me, I bloody well tried my damdest to BF 3 of 4 and just about nearly killed myself emotionally with the 3rd to the point my MIL told me that I was not who I usually am and it was causing extreme emotional distress on my personal mental well being. I begged, pleaded, prayed and cried every damned night and day to BF my first 3 and gave up by the time I had my fourth and resigned myself to being a total failure as a mom because I couldn't do it. Technically, you can say I chose to FF (on a technicality). I EBF my fifth, he has been EBF from DAY ONE! (he's 7 mo uncorrected age)

NOT all FF'ers are not AP as you may think. I think that it's narrow minded and discriminatory and proves the point of the original post. It disgusts me to see such judgmental BS like these types of statements quoted above. You have no idea what it is like to fail at it despite desperately trying to succeed at it. You have no idea what the background is when seeing someone FF instead of BF. How crass is that!


:

It usually takes a lot to offend me but this happens to be a severely open and sore spot for me.
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#30 of 185 Old 10-26-2007, 08:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm sorry, I couldn't read this and not respond and you're right to duck...

Quite frankly I resent your statements greatly. I am AP\GD all the way (though I am as human as the next person and do have moments of "failure" or bad mommy moments but for the most part I do my damnest to adhere to my desired parenting techniques of AP\GD). I FF my first 4 children due to mis information, NICU care (for one of two prems, my micro prem), sabotage and honestly emotional distress (4th child) and fear of failure for the 4th time. Believe me, I bloody well tried my damdest to BF 3 of 4 and just about nearly killed myself emotionally with the 3rd to the point my MIL told me that I was not who I usually am and it was causing extreme emotional distress on my personal mental well being. I begged, pleaded, prayed and cried every damned night and day to BF my first 3 and gave up by the time I had my fourth and resigned myself to being a total failure as a mom because I couldn't do it. Technically, you can say I chose to FF (on a technicality). I EBF my fifth, he has been EBF from DAY ONE! (he's 7 mo uncorrected age)

NOT all FF'ers are not AP as you may think. I think that it's narrow minded and discriminatory and proves the point of the original post. It disgusts me to see such judgmental BS like these types of statements quoted above. You have no idea what it is like to fail at it despite desperately trying to succeed at it. You have no idea what the background is when seeing someone FF instead of BF. How crass is that!


:

It usually takes a lot to offend me but this happens to be a severely open and sore spot for me.
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