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Thread: Article: Suck On This

  1. #55

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    I think that we need to remember that the article is attacking the companies who are pushing formula rather than the woman who formula feed. Whilst I support every woman's right to choose how she feeds her baby I don't support the right of multi-nations to undermine breastfeeding.
    I think that there is a case for pushing an anti FF agenda as well as a pro BF agenda; bottle feeding really is normalised by our society in very insidious ways. Although we know that breast is best if you look at cards in a newsagency a large proportion of them have pictures of bottles, on ticker sites there are pictures of bottles as markers, babiesonline has bottle pictures for backgrounds, Anne Geddes and baby photographers take photos of babies in giant bottles - unlike the breast, the bottle is a symbol of a baby. I have yet to see a congratulations card with a baby feeding on the boob.
    Since becoming a mother I have noticed that most film and TV depictions of baby feeding involve bottles - in Neighbors just a week or two ago a mother said she had to heat a bottle and exited. She could have said feed the baby which would have been more neutral but she specified the bottle. I watched a bit of "look who's talking too" on TV - the boy baby was talking about his bottle and the sister was being given a bottle.
    Since the bottle is used to symbolise 'babyness' and bottlefeeding is depicted as the norm by the media I think that breastfeeding lobbyists do need to be a little aggresive in thier promotion of the breast. Lets face it we're up against Nestle et al and they're not going to have any qualms about being negative about the breast if they can get away with it.
    One angle that seems to pass people by is the environmental impact of FF. Yasin has been using formula since 11 months and the amount of tins we have disposed of is ridiculous. In addition the burden that milking cows place on the environment is probably far greater than the few extra calories that a breastfeeding mother needs. The manufacturing of formula requires a factory with all its associated energy consumption, waste and by-products. By comparison the factory that makes breast-milk is far more energy efficient has fewer by-products and is considered so attractive that it used as a marketing tool for everything from cars to chocolate.


  2. #56

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    FionaJill I find it a bit disappointing that the ABA take that angle, only because as a mum who has previously FF, if I need help with BF my next baby and I call the ABA, I don't want to be told I should keep BF because formula is bad, I want to get positive reinforcement and practical advice for my situation. DYKWIM? I already know the risks of formula, I knew them before I had Grace and I still made the decision to bottlefeed, so hearing all that will not help me if I am having BF problems again. Sorry I know that is off the track...

  3. #57

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    Ok this is the reply I got back about why we focus more on the risks of FFing over the Benifits of BFing.

    what we are trying to emphasise to mums and in fact the whole community is that there are no benefits to breastfeeding your baby. To say that there are benefits implies something above what you would normally expect. Breastfeeding has no benefits, it enables babies to develop normally. They get lots of mouth and jaw exercise for the development of their mouth and facial muscles. They practise looking and relating to their mother at the distance where their eyes focus. They learn security and trust. Mums' bodies return to their normal state (not faster, just at a normal rate - not breastfeeding means that your body will be slower than normal to return to its pre-pregnant state)

    So the emphasis isn't so much on the risks of formula feeding, but the importance of breastfeeding. Although it should be pointed out that artificial milks are processed foods not whole foods and as such are not the normal choice for an infant's diet. As with any deviation from normal, there will be side effects from its use. It doesn't have lots of the ingredients that allow for baby's development, so all babies will be affected if they are having only formula milk. The more breastmilk they get, the more chance they have of being less affected by having missed out on some of their breastmilk.

    For some babies, formula milks won't seem to have had any obvious effect on their development. The children might be bright, active, slim, healthy children, but they have still missed out on a normal part of their development. Their mouth shape may be different from having feeds in a bottle, they may have food sensitivities that are more of an annoyance than anything, but may not even have happened if they had been breastfed. Some children who have been formula fed from birth will have obvious side effects, auto-immune problems, allergies that may have been either avoided or lessened had they been breastfed.

    Some breastfed babies will also have medical problems, they may be sensitive to what their mother eats or drinks, they may have reflux, allergies or other problems. This may have been influenced by circumstances before or after birth, or by genetics. Breastmilk is not a miracle drug, it is simply what human babies are meant to be fed once they are born. For parents who need to decide whether to feed their babies formula as well as or instead of breastmilk, they need to know the potential risks, just as with any other medicine or intervention. It is not ethical, now that there is so much research that reinforces the fact that babies who have artificial milks have more health problems than babies who are breastfed, to treat it as an equal choice or a simple food item.

    These days, all the health authorities tell us that for our health, we should eat whole foods in preference to processed foods; grains, fruit, nuts and meat in preference to bread, cake, juices and cordials. Unfortunately there seems to be a cultural blindfold when it comes to infant formula - because it looks like 'milk' it must be the same. Unfortunately, just as processed fish flavoured and shaped cutlets are not 'fish' nor is processed, modified cows' milk the same as human milk.
    I know alot of that has already been said in previous posts But I am just the messenger on this one & didn't want to cut out any of the explination I was given.

    This is another reply I also got from another counsellor, But covers more why ABA refer to formula as Artifical Baby Milk. Again I am just passing this on.

    As an Association we now refer to breastfeeding as the biological
    norm, ie there are no advantages to being breastfed rather there are
    risks associated with not being breastfed.
    The preferred term for use in the Association when a mother is not
    breastfeeding (or bottle-feeding expressed breastmilk) is that she is
    artificially feeding or using artificial baby milk. These terms are
    in keeping with: La Leche League International, who write artificial
    baby milk (formula); UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative, who write
    artificially-fed; and many health professionals (particularly those
    who deal with mothers/infants such as midwives and child health
    nurses) who also write artificially-fed, but most importantly it is a
    reflection of the biological norm.
    This is a sensitive subject, which is why it is a 'preferred term'.
    When counselling individual mothers the term 'infant formula' may be
    more appropriate. However, over time as we all change our terminology
    to reflect the biological norm, these occasions will become the
    exception rather than the rule.
    Formula is a positive word in our language today, eg formula for
    success. Formula is also scientific and therefore important or good
    in many eyes. When we have a substitute on a playing field we take
    off one player and replace with another player of equal value and the
    game continues. Artificial baby milk is not a breastmilk substitute.
    It is a greatly inferior product. Breastfeeding is not special.
    Special indicates something extra or harder work, not everyday or
    normal. Breastfeeding is everyday and needs to be incorporated into
    the everyday rather than seen as an extra.

    I hope I haven't gone to far off topic & that it helps make it clearer why ABA presents it that way. Now even I understand it a bit better.

  4. #58

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    Thanks for that clarification now I understand it better and I do get the point that they are trying to make, that breastfeeding is normal and not something 'special' and therefore unreachable.

  5. #59

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    I like the way they explained that.

  6. #60

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    Thats why I love asking and not assuming - it cuts to the chase and provides a bit more insight with less debate required
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
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  7. #61

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    Agree totally with what the ABA is doing. We definitely need to refocus the idea that breastfeeding is normal, rather than something that would be great if we can do it. I can say that because that is the attitude I had, I would tell people when I was pregnant that I "hoped I could breastfeed". I feel a bit sad now that I had that attitude, if there is a next time, then I will be different.

    As stated in the original article, education need to be for everyone, not just new mums and health professionals. From personal experience all the hard work done by a MCHN or lactation consultant can be undone by the wrong words and attitudes by someone close to the new mother. The support people, family, in laws, friends etc need to be educated, or at least told if they don't like breastfeeding to be polite and keep their opinions to themselves during such an important time such as the first few weeks of a babies life. I had my thoughts on this confirmed by one of my visiting MCHN, she said that sometimes a new mum was better off with out physical help (cleaning, cooking etc) if that help came with a very negative attitude towards breastfeeding.

    I my case my MIL just could not understand why I bother going through all the trouble to breastfeed (and boy did I have troubles). All the "breast is best" arguments did not work on her, she only fed for 6 weeks with both sons, therefore that should be good enough for me.

  8. #62

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    Wow Astrid.. that's actually what I was saying too.. "I'm hoping to breastfeed". I hadn't thought about it! Yikes.. will be different for the next one!

    My mum only fed for 6 weeks or so, and now that we're at 3 months, she's constantly asking how my supply is.. worried that it would have dwindled. I have to be careful about passing remarks I make around her, because she then worries about my supply. eg. I said to Tallon one day when he was being fussy and not having full feeds, that if he keeps this up he's gonna have to work harder tomorrow to get the supply back up. I was only half serious, and really just thinking of anything to say to him.. but mum ever since has worried that he's ruined my supply.

    I guess all we can hope for is that our generation will independently educate ourselves, so that WE can then be the right support for the next generations. We've just got to tough it out for ourselves for a while I think

  9. #63

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    FionaJill thanks for the clarification from the ABA...makes so much sense to be presenting it in that way. Just think when our children are having children this hopefully will be a non issue.

    Jo

  10. #64

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    I just want to add that I did grow up in a world where breastfeeding was the norm - my mum BF until we were at least 12 months, my aunts BF, my sisters BF their babies - it was normal for me as a child, and I didn't know there was another way to feed a baby. When I was pg for the first I just assumed that I would BF. Of course what I didn't know, and what nobody told me, was that BF is not something that just happens, it can be hard to get the hang of and then continue to do. I thought it would be easy - after all, it's natural. It wasn't for me, especially after a difficult birth. MIL and SIL bottlefed all their babies, for them BF wasn't normal, it was normal to use a bottle. So I realised that that could be an alternative for me. Nobody pressured me into anything, in fact nobody even suggested to me that I should consider formula - it was something that I thought of myself. And then of course when I told everyone that I planned to switch to formula, there was a collective sigh of relief, even from my mum who is a midwife and pro-breastfeeding. I think because they all saw me struggling and they all wanted what was best for me and my baby. So that overrode any thoughts that I should keep trying as breast is best, because they just wanted me to be happy.

    I don't blame anyone for my situation - I don't think it was simply a matter of not having the right education about BF, I think it was a combination of things that culminated in me not enjoying it, not enjoying my baby and wanting a solution. So I found it and I do truly believe that to some extent it saved my sanity. It is easy now for me to look back with the benefit of hindsight and see how things could have been different. So I can use that to my benefit this time - third time lucky hey! I will not make any guarantees to myself or anyone else that I won't turn to formula at some point but I know that I am better prepared this time and I the difference is that I want to BF and I want to do it for both myself and my baby.

  11. #65

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    I made the same choice you did for the same reasons and I agree that it may be a different story next time, knowing what I know now. I can't just ring Mum or my sister and ask them to come over as my family all live in Queensland and DH is at work all day. I have a history of previous depression and I needed to be in the right frame of mind to care for myself and my baby. As far as I was concerned, the decision to formula feed WM was the right choice. But as you well know, it is not a choice made without a great deal of sadness and regret.

    If there is one thing I learned from my experience it is that no matter how much you know about the benefits and are keen to breastfeed, things don't always work out. It's the same story with birth really. You can have the best of intentions going into something but if things don't go to plan, then you just have to roll with the punches. For those of us lucky to get another go at establishing BF with a new baby, the lessons learned the first time are invaluable. I really hope things go well for you with BF and this new baby. Good luck!

    Mel

  12. #66
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    FionaJill, just wanted to thank you for that info from the ABA, seeing as my post was one 'disagreeing' with you and sparking this new direction. The ABA is spot on: nowadays in modern western society there is a widespread and vastly exaggerated assumption that BF may not be possible, but of course in the vast majority of cases it is. Gee, how did we ever get to such a state of collective belief?!?!

  13. #67

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    Ahhhhhhhh I LOVE a great conversation on stuff like this
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
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  14. #68

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    I don't have a problem with FF babies when a good go at breastfeeding has been made. But it saddens me that some mums don't have the support network to have the courage to try again with their next bub. A friend of mine had problems with her first, he lost a lot of weight around week 6 and she was told she was starving her baby (mind you.. i think she did scheduled feeding .. which can play havoc with supply) and so she didn't even attempt it with her second. Her OB gave her the drugs to dry up the milk and it was straight on the bottle. Her kids are healthy, happy, intelligent kids, but I can't help feeling she's missed out on a beautiful thing, just because she didn't receive the right encouragement and support.

    It is sad that the general idea is that we should TRY and breastfeed 'if we can'. The midwife at our hospital classes told me she could look around the room and pretty much tell who was going to be successful with breastfeeding, just by their attitude. She said she could see I really want to do it, so I'll be successful. I guess really wanting to gives you the motivation to struggle through the rough patches. I spose the next step for her should have been to single out those ones she could see had the wrong attitude and helped and encouraged them. I will say tho, not one word was ever said of using formula as an alternative, so it was very pro-breastfeeding, but that extra support would have been good. I'm interested to go to our reunion and see how everyone's doing

  15. #69

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    ARGH! I just did a big post and lost it! WAH! I'll post again later, but Kelly I totally agree I think these posts are great! And I love how open minded we all are. Chloe & FJ I loved your posts they really touched a nerve with me. And for those of you that had a rough trot first time around know that it can be better the second time for we are proof of that! 3 months and counting It makes me so happy!

    *hugs*
    Cailin

  16. #70

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    Bummer we can't now use AF instead of FF, cos AF means something else! LOL.

  17. #71

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    ROFL Ivana!!! What about MF - Mrs Flo? LOL

    A lactation consultant with a very high success rate (who is also a midwife) simply says to new mums: "Got a baby? Got a boob? Then you can breastfeed!"
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  18. #72

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    It's funny, before I had kids I never realised what a huge issue the way you feed your baby is. It just never occured to me at all. There were so many times I thought - why didn't anyone tell me? Not just about feeding but about so many things. But then it's all a big learning experience isn't it.

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