ARTICLE – read first to gain context, please. If you decide to comment, please make sure you read every word of what I have written BEFORE commenting. Especially the BOLD ORANGE at the bottom. K? Thanks!
If breastfeeding weren’t best, then formula companies wouldn’t try so hard to say how ‘formulated to be closest to mother’s milk’ it is. I don’t care how many bubbles and vitamins you mix with water, it’s still not the same as breastmilk. Breastmilk also changes in composition according to what the child needs at each age and stage. Like magic! Does it make kids 10% smarter? or less intelligent? Who knows? Who cares? But it is FREE. It is natural and you do have to work a little bit at it. To complain that breastfeeding takes away from a father’s role is downright insulting. No dads can’t provide straight from the tap, but they can change diapers, give mom a nap in the middle of the evening, take the baby for a walk, and when baby is older, handle all those beginning feedings of ‘real food.’ Not to mention homework, sporting events, music practice, driving lessons, and on and on. If a mom or dad can’t figure out another way for the dad to bond with a child than through feeding, then there’s a problem…and it’s not with the breastmilk.
I think the title of the article should have been ‘how I overcame my fear of breastfeeding and came to enjoy it’… the title has ZERO to do with the actual content of the article. It’s nothing but a shout AGAINST the normalcy of breastfeeding “I’m exposing my nipple to a room full of women” and trying to make it sexual so people will have something to rail against. Does she really think everyone with their own precious babies to look at was staring at her? Sorry. No. Do some moms have troubles nursing? Yes milk blisters happen and there’s that 1% that have issues with milk coming in, etc. but the other 99% it DOES work for (and would in the future) are hampered by pseudo-articles like these–how many people just look at the title and zoom on by.. yet it’s in their unconscious mind now. What do doctors say? I’ve repeatedly asked our doctor about vitamins for our kids. His answer? As long as they’re eating a balanced diet, there’s no need to worry. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests 6 months-1 year, stating that there are almost NO contraindications and the World Heath Organization suggests that up 2 years is optimal for giving baby the best start and avoiding malnutrition. Beyond 2 years? In every way to beat diabetes, heart disease, etc. the medical profession is crying ‘go back to whole foods’ ‘no processed foods’ etc. What could be more natural than breastmilk? It’s hard to taint, goes wherever mom does (or any caregiver if pumped, of course), and if given naturally doesn’t need mixed, heated, refrigerated, there’s no ‘leftovers’ to deal with, no bottles to sterilize–therefore it takes less time, and overall less effort than dragging yourself to the kitchen to prep a bottle. In an emergent situation, there’s no need to panic over grabbing bottles and cans of formula, looters stealing all the formula on store shelves, or safe water. Just pick up baby, and go.
Nursing a baby also helps mom–it lowers the risk of many cancers and other diseases for both mom and baby- and the more you nurse the more protection you gain. It does not raise risk factors for anything (even saggy breasts, those come from pregnancy, not nursing!) It seems like every formula fed baby has to switch formulas 2 or 3 times because they’re allergic to one of the ingredients. (This is anecdotal, to be sure, just from what I’ve seen in the last 15 years or so from friends or relations.) Breastmilk itself also helps soothe nipples that might be chapped from an inexperienced nursing pair. I’ve even heard of moms using breast milk to help with ear infections, clogged tear ducts, and diaper rash. That’s one awesome all in one product right there!
If moms can’t nurse, or end up with a baby in the NICU in desperate need–guess what? There are milk banks, and donations are requested for those preemies– of breastmilk. Not formula– breastmilk. Moms across the US pump, freeze, and donate to help each other out. A mom diagnosed with cancer while she was 6 months pregnant had dozens of moms offer to give her milk so she could give her baby what she decided was the best start–and a massive drop off of milk ensued when that baby arrived. Could she have used formula? Yes.. but wasn’t it great that there was a village there to support that mom who wanted ‘the best’ for her baby? Oh and guess who covered the story? The very same people running the article above. Time. Hmm….