What are your thoughts on this interesting question? - Page 7 - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-20-2008, 01:12 PM
 
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I have been thinking about this a lot, and I think I break this question down into two areas: what's in it for me and what's in it for baby.

If I ask myself, "What's in it for me," I would absolutely choose formula from the breast. It's easier, convenient, and I can sleep while I feed her, lol (yeah, I am lazy).

If I ask myself, "What's in it for baby," well, then I choose the gold standard, hands down. It is clearly better for my child, and the extra work for me is worth the long term benefits.

And having both breast and bottle fed, I think I have a good perspective.

Kirsten - wife to Mark and co-sleeping, breastfeeding mother to , :, and
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Old 11-21-2008, 06:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pdxmomazon View Post

I don't think there's one *right* answer to this question. Every baby is different, every mom's situation is different. I do think it's fascinating to think about the importance of eating from the breast as opposed to eating what comes from the breast, and how we value and prioritize the act versus the product.
i agree with this completely!

for ME and for my relationship with MY daughter, breastfeeding has been an absolute lifesaver. i really don't think i would have bonded with her without it. that doesn't mean anything about other mamas not bonding to their babies, okay? it just means that given MY history, MY relationship with my body, my relationship with my daughter, and her relationship to my breast, breastfeeding was a lifesaver. and i'd do it no matter what came out of my breasts, so long as she was healthy.

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Old 11-23-2008, 12:54 PM
 
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i exclusively pump and while i did not find anything offensive about the question or the responses i can understand why it could be hurtful. that said, as much as i wanted to breastfeed my daughter (at the breast) i would have to choose breast milk in the bottle.

we have a family history of allergies and asthma. i have severe allergies which lead to asthma...there are months when i can't breathe well. i would do anything to increase the odds that my daughter is not afflicted with the same issues i am. therefore, breast milk is the way to go in our family regardless of mode of consumption.

i also wanted to touch on the pumping issue. some have suggested that pumping is becoming a trend and that mothers are choosing it over breastfeeding. there are certainly many reasons this may be the case...its hard to say because there have been no studies done on exclusive pumping, but i would like to put forth another hypothesis for why this may seem the case. in the past, when the tech was not as good and before pumps were more readily available, those who had problems (physical and/or emotional) with breastfeeding might have gone direct to formula. now with ep'ing as an alternative you have moms choosing this over formula. i don't really thinks its the case of moms choosing ep'ing over breastfeeding but more that moms are choosing ep'ing over formula. and that to me is a good thing.

yes, those who choose the pump are at risk of quitting early because of the amount of time and work you have to invest in order for it to be successful, but those risks exist for moms who are bf as well. the lactation consultants tried to discourage me from pumping. they told me that most moms give up after 3 months...but as far as i know data shows that a lot of moms give up bf around 3 months as well so this number didn't frighten me. and 8 months later i am still pumping. i knew in my heart how much it meant to me that she get breast milk. i know they wanted me to persevere with bf. i wish that i had had it in me, but the traumatic birth experience and trying for a month with little success was eating away at me. i was a wreak...choosing to ep gave me a sense of control and gave me the chance to feel like i was a good mom after feeling like a failure for so long.

would i encourage new moms to ep? no, i would encourage them to bf, because the bonding benefits, the ease (after bf is established), the sleep and time they could save are things they can't get with ep'ing. in the ideal world all moms would have the support they needed to bf and persevere through the struggles. however, this is not an ideal world. as much as my husband and dear friend gave me support, after a month they had to go back to work and could no longer give me the level of support i needed to be emotionally healthy while trying to bf. what we really need to work on is changing the cultural value of independence and environment of solitary. no mother should have to struggle alone...and many despite supportive families are forced to. whether this is because they are not aware of the support available, or they can't access it, or they won't seek it because they are expected to do it themselves...these are problems. this needs to change. more importantly an environment of forgiveness is needed as well. sometimes things don't work out...and its time to forgive ourselves and move on. i find it slightly amusing in a not amusing at all way (if that makes sense) that i still beat myself up for not bf'ing direct from the breast. i'm doing the best i can though and i need to find a way to forgive myself.

also on the bonding note...yes i believe that bf direct from the breast is a bonding experience that my daughter and i don't get to enjoy and i still cry over this missed connection...however, bonding is not an all or nothing deal. there are many ways to bond...i think of it as a checklist of different techniques and experiences...we cosleep, i babywear around and outside the house, i hold and snuggle my baby, i don't CIO, i don't and won't spank, i talk to her and kiss and hug her, we play, we take baths together...etc...i may not get them all but if i get as many as i can then i'm doing okay.

anyhow, this ended longer than i expected. its an interesting question but one i don't believe has a correct answer. like others have suggested i do believe that like many things about parenting this is one that depends on the family.
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Old 11-25-2008, 05:37 PM
 
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Formula from breasts. I'd choose the connection over the content. A primate infant suckling is how it's supposed to be.


Edited to add : Allow me to qualify my response by saying that I am one of the unlucky few that cannot pump. I tried when I went back to work for a bit when my son was a baby (I'm working again, but he's almost 3 so it's a bit different now ). My body does not respond to pumping, and I got barely any milk. So, for practical reasons as well I'd choose formula from my breasts...since otherwise it'd just be formula in a bottle, which is something I will avoid at all costs if possible.
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Old 11-25-2008, 05:44 PM
 
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BreastMILK the product over breastFEEDING the action for me, hands down.

Single WAHM to 5yo DD, 2yo DS, and forever 7 week old angel DD.
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Old 11-25-2008, 06:52 PM
 
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As an EP'ing mama - breastmilk in a bottle, hands down.

And I agree with the pp who said this whole question, or debate itself is only serving to strengthen the divide.

I also supplement with formula, and it seems like no matter what you do to get through - it's never good enough.

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Old 11-25-2008, 08:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AlwaysByMySide View Post
BreastMILK the product over breastFEEDING the action for me, hands down.
Diane W has her foundation in biology and always go "mammalian" when faced with a quandary- she'd be proud of this answer I bet (even though she knows it wouldn't be for everyone)

And at the risk of speaking for Diane, my impression, from hearing her speak and talking to her about her talk, and pointing out this thread to her in our personal correspondence, is that she asks that question at the beginning of the talk simply to show she is not coming off as "anti formula" becuase a lot of health professionals who hear her speak would otherwise view her as an extremist anti formula lactavist, which she is not.

She asks the question at the beginning of every Watch Your Language talk, I believe, because some might see the talk as "formula bashing" and it's not that at all. It's that if you *look* at the formula research, it bashes itself, and so of course we just never look. But she likes to start the talk by assuring people that she's doing the talk to point out that our science is backwards - that, in fact, she herself would take the importance of the relationship over the importance of the milk, although there's no one right answer to the question.

But again, I am not trying to speak *for* her, just passing on what she has told me (personally) in regards to the subject. If she was asked to make a public statement about it, I doubt she'd say much different.
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Old 03-20-2009, 12:17 AM
 
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formula from the breast would be my choice.
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Old 03-22-2009, 12:23 AM
 
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Hmm...I guess I am glad it's not that way. But I agree with her, if I HAD to make the choice. I feel like the bonding and comfort of it is worth more. It is such a special, unique relationship a mother can have with her child.

But I'd hate giving up the awesome benefits of bm too, that are completely unique.

mama to 35 m/o Oscar and Matilda + 3 Harper, Quinn, & Averill
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Old 03-23-2009, 01:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by PatioGardener View Post
This is what I thought before I listened to

Breastmilk is optimal nutrition and immune support, but breastfeeding is more than breastmilk - something that I had brushed off as obvious but not so important. To hear a well respected LC and die-hard lactivist explain that she personally considers the feeding at the breast part of breastfeeding to be so important that she would chose that over breastmilk really got me thinking.



The question (or Diane's answer) is not a plug for formula at all! It just uses shock to highlight how breastfeeding is more than breastmilk.

Mama to lovely twin girls 1/08
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Old 03-25-2009, 02:17 PM
 
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I find the question unduly restrictive. If it has to be "my" breastmilk in the bottle why can't I directly breastfeed the baby at least most of the time I am available. Breast milk - that too mother's own breastmilk - tops, btu the sensation of direct breastfeeding and the quality of bondage it enables are undescribable.
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Old 03-25-2009, 03:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by uzra_hashmi@rediff View Post
I find the question unduly restrictive. If it has to be "my" breastmilk in the bottle why can't I directly breastfeed the baby at least most of the time I am available. Breast milk - that too mother's own breastmilk - tops, btu the sensation of direct breastfeeding and the quality of bondage it enables are undescribable.
Uzra
That's the point, though, to answer which part is more important to you -- the product (breastmilk) or the action (breastfeeding). They're intentionally separated -- it's just a thought exercise.

In the (fictional) scenario, the stuff you produce within your breast ducts would be chemically identical to what we currently call formula, and the stuff you buy in containers at the supermarket would be chemically identical to what we currently call breastmilk. There's no "but if it's produced by my body wouldn't it have my antibodies" arguments, or anything like that -- it's just a fictional scenario designed to make you think about which aspects of BFing you value, and whether you can say which you value the most.

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Old 03-26-2009, 10:47 PM
 
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And is doing both not an option in this exercise? Because honestly I think getting some breastmilk is better than none and getting some breastfeeding is better than none. Why couldn't I do both. I'd be less concerned about the supplementing causing low milk supply because the baby would just be getting less formula. In bed at night I'd choose to nurse because it's easier and nice to lay cuddled up in bed with my baby, but during the day I'd gladly let dh feed the baby a bottle of breastmilk while I finished cooking dinner or leaving a bottle of breastmilk when dropping off an eight month old at grandma's house, so I could run errands for a while. I think the risks and benefits really start to even out when you split the breastmilk from the boob and the bottle from the formula. Also breastmilk by bottle is a lot more convenient if it came in cans and wasn't being pumped. I think if I absolutely had to choose it would be breastmilk by bottle, but I would really make an effort to do other things that encourage close contact and bonding like babywearing and co-sleeping. I realize I'd be giving up on the jaw development of nursing and also the ability for my baby to completely control how much it drinks, but those are risks I'm more comfortable with.

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Old 07-15-2009, 06:11 PM
 
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bump

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Old 07-15-2009, 06:30 PM
 
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i havent read all the other repliesbut i'm gunna say breastmilk from a bottle as, for me the health benefits are the only thing that cannot be synthesised (iyswim),.,.. i can get the closness and bonding in different ways... there would be nothing stopp me from popping the bottle under my arm, lifting my top and holding baby against myself, in the bf position...

my boobs are eeeevil.................eeevil i tells ya....
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Old 07-15-2009, 06:41 PM
 
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Megan's restarting a fire

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Old 07-15-2009, 08:14 PM
 
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Am NOT
I still can't decide what I think about it but another mama was looking for it.
Where IS that fire extinguisher smiley when you need it?

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Old 07-28-2009, 11:23 AM
 
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I would choose breast formula because my immunities would be in them still
I'd have to pre-mix the breastmilk
I don't know where it came from
It's not the right temperature
I don't know how much fore and hind milk come per can

Crunchy con wife with 1 DS and 1 lil DD born in Jan. I love breastfeeding, CDing and Friday night family bed.
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Old 07-29-2009, 06:33 PM
 
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As a retired EPer (1 year, had to stop due to my DS's medical problems), I actually was astonished that ANYONE would choose formula from the breast. If my daughter (due in a couple of months) has the same prematurity and medical barriers to nursing that my son had, I will EP for her, too.
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Old 08-03-2009, 05:17 AM
 
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Originally Posted by cjuniverse View Post
Formula from breasts. I'd choose the connection over the content. A primate infant suckling is how it's supposed to be.

Exactly. While I think that BM is a true super-food, I think a baby can be perfectly healthy without it. I just finished reading "In Defense of Food" where he says that vitamins and supplements are great, but it's more important that you be the TYPE of person that uses them then necessarily actually using them.

I see bfing as the same way- bfing moms are typically healthier, of higher socio-economic status, have access to healthier foods and better medical care, don't smoke, etc. I think I could give my kids a healthy start with formula if I had to. (Not as great as bm, but still 'good enough'.)

But the bonding I've experienced thru bfing can't be duplicated. Ever.
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