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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Warning: major vent to follow<br><br>
I often hear people talking about how nursing is a gift as in "well you nursed for 6 months so you've given your child the gift of breastmilk for 6 months." Or "what a gift you've given your child nursing them for 4 months." This really bugs me because IMO it is not a gift. You have not given them a gift, you have allowed them to partake in their birthright. Babies/children are meant to nurse. Biologically, historically, athropologically babies are meant to nurse. All mammals do it. So allowing them to partake of something that IMO is their right is not the mother being oh so wonderful by allowing her child to nurse for x number of months. Rather NOT nursing is denying your child their birthright, what they should rightfully receive. Nursing IMO should be a part of what being a mother is, there should be no question, of course it will be done. You don't see the lion or the bear with a bottle of formula. They give birth to a child, they nurse, child weans when ready. It is the way life goes. Only humans are selfish enough to think they should be allowed to cut out a part of humans very existence, what they are meant to do. I'm really not trying to be a bitch here. I know some people don't nurse for xyz reason. Heck I didn't nurse my first son for all the reasons in the book which I now, having been educated, chalk up to complete uneducation and selfishness. So I do understand how it happens. I just wish we lived in a world where it was normal and natural to do what we were intended to do and that everyone did it without question. Please don't flame me!
 

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I'm not going to flame you!<br><br>
I understand your point completely. I think when the word "gift" is used in the way you described, that is, to mean the mother is doing something unusual that the child isn't entitled to as just part of life, sure, it's kind of offensive to me too.<br><br>
On the other hand, if it is spoken of as a "gift" simply because the speaker is trying to point out that the mother is doing something so valuable, then I think that's okay. I still can see where you might say, "Yeah, but it's still not a gift, it's what the baby deserves," and I get that, but the sad truth is that in our society, nursing has become an option rather than a necessity.<br><br>
Interesting post, though - love the ones that really make me think!!!
 

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Sing it, Heavenly!<br><br>
I bet you like my sig line. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
"Heck I didn't nurse my first son..."<br><br>
I didn't nurse my first little one either, not for long, because of the nurses and doctors who did such "helpful" things and gave such "helpful" advice. (NOT!)<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry"><br><br>
Maybe we appreciate nursing even more....having done mothering both ways and knowing how much sweeter bf is (that's my experience anyway)<br><br>
and nothing frustrates me more than a mom who has NOTHING wrong, no supply problems, no latch problems...who weans after a few months because she just doesn't feel like nursing anymore....I feel like she is throwing away a gift I can never get back with my first<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mecry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crying"> (most days I am over it, but sometimes it still stings a bit.)
 

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I hear ya!<br>
I feel that way about the catch-phrase on the imitation breast-milk products, "Breast is best, but. . ."<br><br>
It's not just "best" it's the natural way that babies were designed to be nourished and nurtured.<br><br>
I still can't quite articulate why it bothers me, but it does. I guess maybe good-better-best sort of implies to me that really they're all just fine options but one has a few slight advaantages.<br><br>
I understand how you feel about 'gift', too--that implies that you are doing something that is above and beyond the call of duty--a real maternal sacrifice, when most of us here, feel like it's just what 'cha do!
 

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Wow. Thank you, Heavenly. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I've referred to nursing as a 'gift' but had never really given much thought to what that term implied until I read your post.<br><br>
You're right, nursing is a birth right, and barring some sort of major physical impairment or psychological damage, I do believe that mothers *should* nurse not just because breast milk is "better" than formula (ugh, it makes me sick to even compare the two, really) but because that is what mothers DO.<br><br>
It's not a question of what comparing the pros and "cons" of nursing vs. ffing. You are a mammal, you have breasts whose function it is to produce milk for your offspring, you have a baby, you nurse it. Period.<br><br>
Having the option of formula gives the many, many, many women who have "NOTHING wrong, no supply problems, no latch problems" (as Momtwice said) an easy out from their maternal duty, IMO.
 

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Teresa- breast is best drives me crazy too.<br><br>
Here is a great article about it!<br><a href="http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/8529/BF/language.html" target="_blank">Watch Your Language</a>
 

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Heavenly, I understand what you're saying about the use of the language. It doesn't make me angry though - I think it is a 'gift' if a mom can BF in this culture we live in. It shouldn't be but it is because of the obstacles and ignorance that abounds. We're all influenced by culture to some extent and socialised for good or bad.<br><br>
I think it's the problem of what comes first - the culture or the language. And they both feed into each other.<br><br>
It's great to see debates about this kinda language, and efforts to normalise BF, and to hear BF spoken of as a medical issue rather than a personal decision.
 

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Mallory- that article was fantastic. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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I like that - breastfeeding doesn't make babies smart; formula feeding makes them dumb!<br><br>
I think even if a mom can't breastfeed, her baby still has a right to it. That's why I think wetnursing should come back. Or at least govt subsidies for milk banks.
 

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<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 feeding makes them dumb!</td>
</tr></table></div>
Is that your quote?
 

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Great article...the author is right, talking about the "benefits" of breastfeeding does make it sound as though bottlefeeding is the norm and that breastfeeding is just an extra thing you can do if you want something better than the norm. I like how she calls it "inverted" language. If we set that language right by listing the disadvantages of fomula rather than the "advantages" of breastfeeding, imagine how it would sound:<br><br>
"Breastfed babies are healthier" = "Formula fed babies are more sickly"<br><br>
"Breastfed babies are at lesser risk for obesity later in life" = "Formula feeding is more likely to produce weight problems later in life"<br><br>
"Breastmilk is more easily digested by babies" = "Formula is not digested well by babies and can cause gastrointestinal problems such as gas, diarrhea, constipation"<br><br>
Imagine if formula companies had to put that in their ads, you know, the way drug companies have to list all possible negative side effects in their ads...hey, why is formula exempt from this? Anyone know?<br><br>
By the way, I am not saying that formula fed babies are sickly, obese, and constipated. I'm just saying that as an overall group, these things occur more in babies who were fed formula. I know plenty of healthy, bright kids who were formula fed...so I'm not even going to address the post somewhere above that says formula makes babies dumb.
 

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That was my post, and no, it wasn't a direct quote from the article. Of course there is more to being smart (and healthy) than what one was fed as an infant, but I stand by my original point (perhaps explained too simplistically in my last post) that artificially-fed babies are more likely to be "less intelligent," sickly, overweight, and everything else.<br><br>
I know formula-fed babies who grew up to be healthy adults. Somehow I am not impressed. I also know babies who were prenatally exposed to nicotine, alcohol and other drugs and who were born healthy - again, not impressed; these babies are a true exception.<br><br>
Also, sometimes the problems associated with ffing do not show up until later in life.
 

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I love hanging around smart mommies! Wow... this really made me think. After I read the OP, I realized how true it is. "I gave my child the 'gift' of air for 18 years!" How generous... =)<br><br>
And the article was such an eye opener! Thank you!
 

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I changed my sig line from Dr. Jack Newman saying the WHO and UNICEF recommend nursing for two years and beyond (that was the one I was talking about above.)<br><br>
I love this new quote that I just put in my sig line.
 

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My dh was fed formula (actually, condensed milk and Karo) and has a high IQ, took all advanced placement classes through school, and had the highest SAT score in his high school.<br><br>
I don't think this is an example of "someone turning out just fine after formula." I think of how if he were breastfed, he would have been even smarter!<br><br>
Of course, he nearly died of meningitis when he was 9 months old, so he wasn't "fine."
 

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Momtwice, that's an awesome quote! Who's O'Brien though??
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I did not intend this to be a formula bashing thread. I actually have to supplement with formula because I had a breast reduction. My point was about how breastfeeding should be something that is just done, not something we should have a choice over and that we shouldn't feel that we are going above and beyond but just doing what is biologically normal.
 

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SheBear posted:<br><br><i>Momtwice, that's an awesome quote! Who's O'Brien though??</i><br><br>
Don't know, I found it here after doing a search for Toddler Nursing:<br><br><a href="http://expage.com/nursingtoddlers" target="_blank">http://expage.com/nursingtoddlers</a>
 

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I guess it's how you look at the term gift.<br><br>
This is how I look at it anyway. I think that breastfeeding is a wonderful gift. God/deities/higher power/nature gave this wonderful gift only to females of the animal kingdom. Like all gifts you have a choice to use it or not to use it.
 

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*laughing with glee*<br><br><a href="http://expage.com/nursingtoddlers" target="_blank">http://expage.com/nursingtoddlers</a> is my web site!<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 
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