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"my child was formula fed and is the healthiest kid ive seen!"

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"My child is formula fed and is the healthiest kid I've seen!" -this annoys me so much. When I'm debating breastfeeding and this comes up I've learnt not to reply cos there doesnt seem to be any point.
But I always wonder why people say that? Is it cos they know the dangers of formula feeding for their children when they're older but are in denial and want to tell themselves as much as everyone else that they are "fine"? Is it because they are really unaware of the long term risks asociated with artificial feeding? Or do they just say it to annoy....?
what bugs me most i guess is that some unsuspecting mum without any knowledge might read that and think "oh well it cant be that bad then...i think i will formula feed after all cos dp can help then aswell!!" or whatever...
What's been your experiences with people saying that their kids are just fine? do you tell them aobut the long term risks or do you just let it be?
WHY do you think they do it? i just cant seem to get rid of the feeling that most people who've said it to me do so to ease their own conscience and / or are in denial... idk?
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Quote:

Originally Posted by petra_william View Post
"My child is formula fed and is the healthiest kid I've seen!" -this annoys me so much. When I'm debating breastfeeding and this comes up I've learnt not to reply cos there doesnt seem to be any point.
But I always wonder why people say that? Is it cos they know the dangers of formula feeding for their children when they're older but are in denial and want to tell themselves as much as everyone else that they are "fine"? Is it because they are really unaware of the long term risks asociated with artificial feeding? Or do they just say it to annoy....?
what bugs me most i guess is that some unsuspecting mum without any knowledge might read that and think "oh well it cant be that bad then...i think i will formula feed after all cos dp can help then aswell!!" or whatever...
What's been your experiences with people saying that their kids are just fine? do you tell them aobut the long term risks or do you just let it be?
WHY do you think they do it? i just cant seem to get rid of the feeling that most people who've said it to me do so to ease their own conscience and / or are in denial... idk?
People say it because first of all, in their minds, it's true, and second, because they might be feeling defensive about their parenting choice. Usually, I just let it be...unless they specifically ask for my opinion. If they do, I'll gladly give it, but I refuse to judge them because I might have no idea as to why they decided to FF - or even if they possible had no choice but to FF.
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thats why i dont say anything either but it does annoy me...
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I think a lot of it has to do with lingering feelings of inferiority/self doubt about their decision. I think some of it is ignorance and/or the belief that if "my" kid is smart/healthy/whatever, all those studies and research articles must be wrong/full of it.


When people tell me their kids are "just fine" after having done/not done a certain thing that either has been proven to be an inferior option, as with BF vs formula, or carries some risk with it, OR is something different from what I did
, I would usually smile and nod and say that it was nice for them, but my kid is my kid and I have to make the decision I can live with on his behalf. (I also don't share "what I did/do" quite so much anymore...)

Although, I saw this phrase somewhere a little while ago, and it's been VERY tempting on some occasions: "The plural of 'anecdote' is NOT 'data'."
In other words, I prefer to base my decision on trustworthy, balanced sources and studies aka data, not "Jimmy Smith and Molly Jones are 'just fine'!" aka anecdotes.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by BrownRiceBaby View Post
I think a lot of it has to do with lingering feelings of inferiority/self doubt about their decision. I think some of it is ignorance and/or the belief that if "my" kid is smart/healthy/whatever, all those studies and research articles must be wrong/full of it.


When people tell me their kids are "just fine" after having done/not done a certain thing that either has been proven to be an inferior option, as with BF vs formula, or carries some risk with it, OR is something different from what I did
, I would usually smile and nod and say that it was nice for them, but my kid is my kid and I have to make the decision I can live with on his behalf. (I also don't share "what I did/do" quite so much anymore...)

Although, I saw this phrase somewhere a little while ago, and it's been VERY tempting on some occasions: "The plural of 'anecdote' is NOT 'data'."
In other words, I prefer to base my decision on trustworthy, balanced sources and studies aka data, not "Jimmy Smith and Molly Jones are 'just fine'!" aka anecdotes
.
I agree with this. My mother, for example, is 75 and has been smoking since she was 18. She had breast cancer 20 years ago and has to get lung scans every year. To this day, her lungs are as clear as a bell, and she is a total anomaly. Her PCP even told her not to quit - if she did, she would most likely get very sick.

That being said, I am not about to run out and grab a pack of smokes because of an anecdote that goes against the data.
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And once you get into the specifics, like # of ear infections, trips to the ER, chronic illnesses, digestive disturbances/colic, you find out that "healthy" is in the eye of the beholder. My husband's cousin said this to me, that she FF and her kids are fine. They are "fine" except for her daughter is severely overweight and at risk for Type 2 diabetes, her son, I'm not exactly sure what is the matter it involves some severe allergies. Doesn't mean they aren't great kids, but when we were growing up these kids would not have been considered a healthy bunch.

My BF 8 mo old who is in day care has never even had a fever, and I can assure you that at least BFing had something to do with that. There's an anecdote you can pluralize if you want.
When people say that to me I usually say "Yeah, I think the same about my breast fed baby."
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But I always wonder why people say that? Is it cos they know the dangers of formula feeding for their children when they're older but are in denial and want to tell themselves as much as everyone else that they are "fine"? Is it because they are really unaware of the long term risks asociated with artificial feeding? Or do they just say it to annoy....?

Or maybe their kids just really are healthy? Not every formula fed kid is going to get sick or show negative effects of having been formula fed. In fact, relatively few do, when compared to the vast population of formula fed kids. Both of my sons are formula fed and both are "just fine". Seriously, no infections, no doctors visits(beyond well baby checks) both are at normal weights, no allergies, on schedule with development, and way too smart for their own good.
Part of the problem with the "breast is best and formula is evil" message is that most people know of formula fed children and most kids are generally healthy. There is cognitive dissonance between being told that formula is thought to cause or increase risk of xyz, and seeing generations of formula fed people that make up the healthiest, longest lived generation the world has seen.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by KirstenMary View Post
I agree with this. My mother, for example, is 75 and has been smoking since she was 18. She had breast cancer 20 years ago and has to get lung scans every year. To this day, her lungs are as clear as a bell, and she is a total anomaly. Her PCP even told her not to quit - if she did, she would most likely get very sick.

That being said, I am not about to run out and grab a pack of smokes because of an anecdote that goes against the data.
I was going to post something very similar to this. It's just like saying "I drive drunk all the time and I always get home okay."

If I were more of a smart-a$$ (in real life, I'm plenty smart-a$$ online
) I would respond with "Yeah, I'm sure your kids are fine. And my grandmother smoked until the day she died at 85 of diabetes, can I offer your child a cigarette? Oh wait, you don't want to make parenting decisions based on one anecdotal story? Oh, well."

But that would be mean.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Kappa View Post
And once you get into the specifics, like # of ear infections, trips to the ER, chronic illnesses, digestive disturbances/colic, you find out that "healthy" is in the eye of the beholder. My husband's cousin said this to me, that she FF and her kids are fine. They are "fine" except for her daughter is severely overweight and at risk for Type 2 diabetes, her son, I'm not exactly sure what is the matter it involves some severe allergies. Doesn't mean they aren't great kids, but when we were growing up these kids would not have been considered a healthy bunch.

My BF 8 mo old who is in day care has never even had a fever, and I can assure you that at least BFing had something to do with that. There's an anecdote you can pluralize if you want.
This is so true! Being "healthy" really is in the eye of the beholder. I took alot of grief from family and friends, all formula feeders, because of my strong belief in BF. Their kids are all "healthy" in the sense that they met milestones according to when the parenting books say they should be met, they are growing (not obese or failure to thrive) according to the ped's growth charts. But all of these kids have had multiple ear infections (like 8 in a year), are always on antibiotics for one thing or another, either constipated or have loose bowels from day to day, have eczema, asthma, allergies, etc. The list goes on. I think that in today's world all of these things are seen as just normal childhood illnesses that cannot be avoided and they believe that all children experience illness to this extent.
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Both of my children are formula fed and to date they have both been healthy. I was unable to BF. Had to have 5+ lbs of breast tissue removed about 10 years ago and "things" just didn't reattach enough for milk production. But I will never tell someone its "okay" to formula feed just b/c my 2 are healthy. Since I can't BF I am now choosing to focus my efforts on feeding my children the best diet possible and will refuse to let anyone make me feel guilty b/c I didn't BF (and I had several nasty encounters w/LLL mothers).
They probably say this because their kids ARE fine. As pp pointed out, anecdotes and evidence aren't the same thing -- so even though in general bf might be healthier than ff, that doesn't mean that a kid who gets formula can't be healthy (just like it doesn't mean that a child who is breastfed is never sick).

I wouldn't say anything at all, other than "I'm happy for you." What's the point of picking a fight?
I think this one is hard. Especially since you're thinking of long-term potential risks to the child, and they're looking at their smiling, bouncy, happy 18 month old, who may be very healthy right now.
I have a pregnant friend who is currently struggling with whether or not to breastfeed. She was formula fed and considers herself very healthy, so is wondering if the effort is worth it. She was a very colicky baby. She also has a bunch of allergies and near chronic digestion issues. But it's very hard to tell her that her colic and her current issues may be linked to the formula. It just doesn't make sense to her.
I think that in general, unless you believe that what you ingest can have long term health effects, beyond what dress size you wear, it's hard to believe it matters.
Also, we all want and need to believe we are doing the best for our kids, so of course we defend our choices, whatever they are.
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and, btw, for those people who can't breastfeed for whatever reason, I'm sorry if anyone intentionally makes you feel guilty. That's just mean.
I could be that the kids are healthy by normal standards in the population. It is not considered abnormal to get ear infections and other health conditions associated with failure to breastfeed.

The fact remains that they would most likely be healthier (or a lot healthier) had they been breastfed but there is no way to prove that.
I've been getting this a lot at work lately. Because I work in a place that does involve healthcare, and people know my passion for breastfeeding, it is usually aimed at me, rather than a passing comment. I replied that I am really grateful that the kids are healthy, because not all formula fed babies are so lucky. Formula feeding increases the risks of kids getting an infection, cancer etc. Then I said that I feel that the healthcare system should provide information to all mothers to make an informed decision about breastfeeding, and support them when they need help or encouragement. How can you argue with that? The conversation ended on a cordial note with the mother knowing that I am happy for her and her healthy kids, but also knowing that I support breastfeeding moms. Then recently the same mom confided in me that she did not get the support she needed to breastfeed. Together we raged at the non-supportive medical system
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wholebreath....

I'm not 100% certain that it was intentional that I (and others around here) were made to feel bad. I'm starting to think that in some cases I may have taken things too personally. There is a VERY STRONG PUSH at our local hospital and by visiting health department nurses to BF. With DS I was berated for 30 minutes by a visiting nurse who accused me of not trying hard enough and this was after she knew of my health history and the surgery. As I have stated in other threads...I am beginning to understand (via info on this site) if you are a staunch proponet of BF and you see a woman bottlefeeding her child you pretty much have to assume that she either didn't try to BF or she gave up too easily. I think those of us who truly can't b/c of medical reasons are in the minority of bottlefeeding mothers.
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I'm probably extra-sensitive to your situation, because my best friend was in the same boat. She had breast surgery at an earlier age and tried everything to breastfeed but couldn't manage. She felt very judged for a while.
I find it a hard line to walk, being encouraging and informative about breastfeeding, while also not judging other people.
Of course, people seem to judge me a lot for my "extended" breastfeeding. Sigh.
My first baby was formula fed. My second CLW'd at 37 months. My 3rd was weaned due to supply issues associated with pregnancy at 5 months. And my fourth is still nursing.

Of all of my kids, the healthiest is my oldest. The one who was formula fed. My sickliest is my second, the one who nursed for three years. My oldest really IS fine, totally 100% fine, and very smart. Just because a child is formula fed, does NOT mean they become a sickly fat idiot, as so many would like to believe. (not people here, I mean people IRL.)

I feel absolutely no guilt whatsoever, and I do not feel inferior at all. I have no reason to feel guilty, and it is sad that there are judgemental moms out there who actually think moms say their formula fed baby is fine because they feel guilty. Maybe they really are fine! (Again, the people IRL, not here.)
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Quote:

Originally Posted by mytwogirls View Post
When people say that to me I usually say "Yeah, I think the same about my breast fed baby."

I like that!
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