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It's really strange that when I read about the "benefits of breastfeeding", it states a decreased risk of certain types of female cancers, a decreased risk of childhood cancers, a decreased risk of illness, a decreased risk of diseases and obesity, etc. etc. etc.....<br>
shouldn't we be saying "FORMULA CAN CAUSE..... obesity, childhood cancer, female cancers, increased illness, death, disease, etc. etc."?<br>
Why is breastfeeding talked about like formula is somehow the norm? Do you know what I mean? That's like saying "not smoking decreases your chance of lung cancer by __%, throat cancer by __%..." etc., etc., instead of saying "smoking causes lung cancer, throat cancer..." etc.<br>
It's so strange that the lit. doesn't say all the things feeding formula CAUSES, instead of saying the things breastmilk can help prevent.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/confused.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Confused">:
 

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i think about this a lot. i try to tell people that breastmilk doesn't have any advantages, but formula has a lot of detriments. it just confuses them. i have to remember that most people are just not used to thinking, and i have to take it s-l-o-w-l-y.<br><br>
really, formula IS the norm here in the USA. only 67% of us even start out nursing, and only half of us get to the 3 month mark, and only a quarter are still going AT ALL by 6 months. that's not a lot of human milk being produced and consumed. that means more than 75% of american babies are going to get at least 6 months of formula, because as we've seen right here at MDC, even moms who plan to and want to nurse to a year sometimes get derailed by health problems (cancer, migraines, breast reductions). so formula is expected of and by most people. those of us who have made it past a year without ever introducing a bottle of ABM, we're definitely regarded as bizarre! but this is one arena where i proudly wear the label of freak. because my daughter will be reaping what i've sown for the rest of her life!
 

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Someone posted awhile back about this same thing. Sorry, I can't remember who posted, or what the thread was, but they included a link to an article I really enjoyed.<br><br>
The link is <a href="http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/8529/BF/language.html" target="_blank">http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/8.../language.html</a><br><br>
Before reading this article (and that other thread) I hadn't really even thought about it...I was just so excited to share with everyone I could the benefits--and almost magical properties--of this marvelous God-given gift.<br><br>
Now I'm more careful in the words I use, as I think this is an important distinction. BFer's aren't doing anything "special"....we're simply giving our kids their birthright.<br><br>
FFer's, except in special circumstances (which I know you all know, so I won't be tedious in listing them), are denying their children their birthrights. IMO, that is a tragedy....I pray that someday it will be corrected. In the meantime, millions of babies/children are not getting what they need. Sure, they can, and usually do, adapt....but why should they have to?<br><br>
sigh...<br><br>
Sarah, SAHM to Elisha (02/28/02) and expecting our 2nd miracle (03/25/04)
 

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I posted that article a while back. I love it. I think it's fantastic! It totally changed my thinking about breastfeeding and breastfeeding advocacy.<br><br>
Here's another article along the same lines:<br><br><a href="http://www.theithacajournal.com/news/stories/20021001/localregional/193075.html" target="_blank">http://www.theithacajournal.com/news...al/193075.html</a>
 

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very good article <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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I think that article is fantastic!!!
 

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Thanks for the links....they're excellent.<br><br>
Not to hijack this post, but then how do you talk to your friends who have chosen to bottle-feed? I would love to tell this one lady (we're actually friends w/the husband, she comes along) all the detriments of ff, but she already has a 2 year old and could point to her and say, "she didn't turn out so bad." Back before I knew how bad ff was, I asked her what she was doing for #2 and she said that it was just easier to ff and so was going to do that. Her son was born 2 weeks ago, so is it a lost cause on her? I don't want to cause strife among our social group (and her dh is a great friend but leaves "child issues" to her) but.....well, how do I keep my big bfding mouth shut?
 

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if someone has already chosen formula, then i leave it alone. sure, at 2 weeks they might be able to get the baby to the breast but that requires a level of commitment that is most likely not there.<br>
the time to talk about nursing is before the baby arrives, and even better, before the woman gets pregnant.<br>
once the mom has made the decision to use formula, there's no point in telling her that she's given herself and her child a bum deal. you can help someone decide to nurse, and you can help someone nurse longer than they'd planned, but you can't undo a done deal.<br>
now if someone who uses or used formula ASKS me about nursing, and why i chose it or why i am still going at 24 months or whatever, then i talk quite honestly about it.<br>
but don't tell someone that they are doing irreparable harm to their child by using formula. maybe their child will be just fine, and maybe they won't, but starting a debate isn't going to help that particular kid. moms can use formula and still love their children and be good moms, so if you want to keep her as a friend, then just zip your lip on the issue. if it bothers you so much that you can't be around her, then just cut the socializing down to the bare minimum.
 

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ITA w/ Elphaba
 

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I'm glad to hear it from another source. A lot of their parenting seems very backward to me (another thread) but I was remiss to stop seeing them because of it. But then again, if I can't keep my mouth shut (which is becoming increasingly hard) then it would be best to stop seeing them.<br><br>
Ok, sorry for the hijack......
 

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I've thought a lot about that article and this idea. While I totally agree with every statement and wish that such would be ideal... I really don't think the reversing of the statements is going to help convince many ff'ers otherwise. I come from a certain perspective, that I'd rather not go into, and think I can understand both sides a little easier.<br><br>
It may not be understandable by this group of great women, who totally see the picture of bf'ing making the best sense. But, for someone who ff's, I just don't think putting down and expressing the negatives of their feeding is going to effect change. I think, if anything, expressing the positives of bf'ing do more good. Think about it, no one wants to hear that they are hurting their child with something like ...<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">"FORMULA CAN CAUSE..... obesity, childhood cancer, female cancers, increased illness, death, disease, etc. etc."</td>
</tr></table></div>
or<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">but formula has a lot of detriments...</td>
</tr></table></div>
Frankly, I think it just pisses people off, and while you are right, you just aren't going to change minds if it angers them.<br><br>
I lurk here a lot, and I feel like many miss the boat on how to advocate bf'ing, because I don't think they understand the mind of a ff'er. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> (I know, that's a good thing!)<br><br>
Bf'ing is such a beautiful and wonderful choice, why not focus on the positive, be postive, and gather bees with honey? You can slip in the negatives of formula here and there, but to make it the main focus seems to be counter-intuitive and a scare tactic. Additionally, from reading posts around here, I suspect that most moms here bf for a little of both reasons... the plusses of breastmilk, and the negatives. I myself have never seen a bf'ing woman claim to bf just because formula is awful.<br><br>
It takes both the positive and the negative to balance all this out, IMO.
 

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The point of the article is that if you tell a prospective formula feeder that breastfeeding has advantages, their reaction is going to be "who cares." It just isn't enough to motivate them to make that "extra effort." The point of the article is that breastfeeding shouldn't be considered "going that extra mile" or "going above and beyond the call of duty." It should be the norm. It should be what you assume everyone is going to do, and what everyone assumes she is going to do herself.<br><br>
The way it is now, bottle feeding is looked on as the adequate, acceptable, normal thing to do, and breastfeeding is seen as "extra special" for those supermoms who choose it. It is imperative that we turn this thinking around. People are not going to reconsider the decision to formula feed unless we tell them that it actually causes harm. It is an inadequate substitute for the "norm" of breastfeeding.<br><br>
If people don't want to hear that formula feeding (or, rather, denial of breastmilk) results in obesity, childhood cancer, female cancers, increased illness, death, disease, etc., that's just too bad. Those are the simple facts. People who become angry are in denial and are trying to justify an unacceptable choice. It's like saying that the only thing I should say about avoiding circumcision is that leaving a boy intact will "improve his sex life" or "improve this" or "improve that" and I'm not supposed to say that circumcision reduces pleasure and causes this problem and interferes with that. Breastfeeding should be the default just as leaving a boy intact should be the default.<br><br>
To be honest, the people I'm trying to reach are not the ones who are already formula feeding. It's the ones who have not yet committed to a decision. And I truly believe that the best way to reach them is to point out to them the serious health consequences of formula feeding, rather than just saying, "oh, but breastfeeding is so NICE!"<br><br>
It is a matter of simple honesty. To say that breastfeeding is "better," allowing people to believe that formula is "okay," is actually misleading.
 

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A few more things.<br><br>
IÕm not talking about walking up to a bottle-feeder and saying "donÕt you know youÕre giving your kid cancer??" Obviously thatÕs just going to provoke a defensive reaction. IÕm talking about a newspaper story with the headline "Formula feeding linked to higher risk of cancer." I think people might seriously think twice about choosing formula after reading that. Yet, if the same story is under the headline "Breastfeeding reduces risk of cancer," the reaction is, "So what else is new Ð weÕve all heard that breast is ÔbestÕ." I think the latter headline is actually MORE likely to make people feel pressured and lectured ("Eat your spinach! Exercise more!") whereas the former headline should be seen as serious information that people should feel grateful to receive ("local water supply found to be contaminated with arsenic," "new snack product is found to be made with dangerous artificial fat"). To withhold information about a harmful substance is actually unethical.<br><br>
This is not a "lifestyle choice" with two choices that should be equally respected. This is a serious health issue with one clearly healthy, safe choice and one clearly unhealthy, unsafe choice. I could have a bumper sticker on my car that said "breastfeeding saves x number of babies per year," and it would give people warm fuzzy feelings, but IÕd rather have one that says "formula feeding kills x number of babies per year." And it would be the simple truth. Unnecessary formula-feeding is a serious epidemic. We have to put a stop to it.
 

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I totally understand what you are saying <b>Devrock</b>. I'm not going for fuzzy feelings either, but I do think there is a difference between saying "FORMULA CAN CAUSE..... obesity, childhood cancer, female cancers, increased illness, death, disease, etc. etc." and the phrases that are suggested in the article that you posted. It is different from what you are suggesting.<br><br>
As far as I know, the relationship, from a research point of view, hasn't been determined to be <i>causal</i>. At this point, I believe the research shows that it is the absence of breastmilk, not the use of formula that causes the ailments. If someone fed their infant supplemented goat's milk, they'd be just as bad off as the ff'ed baby. I think that one needs to be clear in the interpretation.<br><br>
I think that the following, suggested by Bauchner, is a more accurate reflection of the data. When presented to a mother-to-be, I think it's more respectful and honest to the recipient of the advice.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">"a recent study suggests that early exposure to formula may interfere with how the body metabolizes fat later in life. And those who are formula-fed are less able to process fat, which in turn raises overall cholesterol levels and increases the risk of heart disease."</td>
</tr></table></div>
What I wrote above is a better way of trying to express what I was trying to say. I can't imagine saying to someone that formula causes cancer (or that it can cause cancer), because it isn't the <b>best</b> way to present the idea.
 

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My problem is with any human breastmilk substitute. In this country, that almost always means formula. The amount of formula being purchased is abominable.<br><br>
Yes, it is the denial of breastmilk which leads to the higher rates of cancer. That means that choosing formula feeding over breastfeeding results in an increased risk of cancer.
 

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Perhaps they could add a warning from the surgeon general to the side of the can: "Choosing formula over breastmilk may increase your child's risk for cancer, obesity, diabetes, and other long term ailments." That would be a start....<br><br>
Why is it okay to say to a pregnant woman, "smoking could kill your baby or make it sick", but it isn't okay to say to that same mother a few months later, "formula could kill your baby or make it sick"? We wouldn't want to hurt the smoking woman's feelings, after all, she may not have the support needed to quit, right? It's the same logic.<br><br>
BTW: That was an example of the faulty logic, not meant to say that we should stop warning about smoking.
 

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i guess the same reason why breast cancer foundation doesnt actively promote breastfeeding as a way to cut the chances <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/confused.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Confused">:
 

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I have actually had women who bfed for a short time and then switched to ABM (artificial baby milk, I do not like to call it formula) say that, if they had known of the hazards of ABM, they would not have so casually switched their babies to ABM, but continued to bf. They had thought there wasn't that much difference. So I think it does do good to talk about the hazards and abnormality of artificial feeding.
 

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I've always been annoyed at how breast cancer groups only seem to talk about early detection and I've NEVER heard them talk about how breastfeeding lowers your (and your daughter's) risk of breast cancer.<br><br>
I think it has to do with the fact that those groups are made up of and give support to many breast cancer survivors. It would be cruel to suggest: you suffered with cancer because you did not breastfeed.<br><br>
I think it is similarly cruel to point out to moms who have already formula fed that they are increasing their children's risk of cancer, diabetes, etc. etc.<br><br>
We need to target the message to women BEFORE they have children! I don't think it is a problem to use negatives. I do believe it helps with things like making smoking seem less attractive.<br><br>
I've met moms who ff with a first child and breastfed with a second child. Oftentimes, they just didn't know much about breastfeeding when they were pregnant the first time. This is part of the problem with making it seem like ff is the norm and breastfeeding is extra or special. Then when they find out that their child's asthma or severe allergies might be caused by not being breastfed, or when they meet other breastfeeding moms, they have a more positive attitude about breastfeeding the second time around.
 
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