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9 Bumps

Should it still be a *choice*?

Ok, I respect the "breast vs formula" choice. It's not my baby and therefore not my decision to make. However, I constantly hear about many parenting choices that people say shouldn't be allowed to be a *choice* when it endangers the health of the child.

Someone in one of my groups mentioned a friend of hers who chose to formula feed from birth. Five days after the birth and it is still not being released from the hospital because it isn't tolerating formula. Mom was asked to nurse to see if the baby actually tolerated that. It did, but Mom is still refusing to nurse her baby.

The biggest argument I hear for formula is "if the baby is being fed, what does it matter *how* it's being fed?" Obviously, if this baby can't keep any formula down, its not being adequately fed. If nursing can solve that problem, shouldn't she do it rather than keeping her baby in the hospital because it's *not* being adequately fed?

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Asked by ncbirdie at 12:38 PM on Nov. 4, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 11 (534 Credits)
Answers (40)
  • I'm with you.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 12:39 PM on Nov. 4, 2010

  • If that is the only alternative, than yes. However, if the mother is willing to fork out the cash for whatever expensive formula the child winds up tolerating, that's fine too.

    Answer by Jenny-talia at 12:41 PM on Nov. 4, 2010

  • Well, while I'm definitely in the "not my business" camp, I have to say I don't understand a situation like the one you described. I'd think ANY mother would want her baby to come home, and be healthy. So if the baby doesn't tolerate formula, but DOES tolerate breast milk, and if there's no medical reason for the mom not to breastfeed, I'd consider her to be extremely selfish and pretty much an unfit mother.

    I do believe breast is best. I tried breastfeeding my son for as long as I could, but unfortunately my milk never came in sufficiently, so I had to supplement. I'm currently pregnant with my second, and I'll try to breastfeed again. However, if others decide to use formula, that's their decision, not my business. In a case like this though, the health of the child should come first, no doubt about that.

    Answer by Anouck at 12:42 PM on Nov. 4, 2010

  • If she doesn't want to breastfeed then that's on her. She shouldn't have to. They should try as many different formulas as it takes until the baby can tolerate it. I tried to nurse all 3 of my boys, but it never worked- my milk supply was never sufficient enough to feed them. In fact, the time I lasted breastfeeding got shorter with each baby and by the third baby I only nursed for one week before having to put him on formula. Any baby in the future will now be put straight on formula because I have learned my body just doesn't produce. I would hate someone to bash me for not wanting to nurse. There will be a formula that works for her baby- it's just finding the right one.

    Answer by Sharell8710 at 12:47 PM on Nov. 4, 2010

  • If she really doesn't want to nurse, she shouldn't be forced to nurse. It IS her choice.

    Answer by SWasson at 12:49 PM on Nov. 4, 2010

  • I'm sorry, but I find it a little hard to believe that this woman is just sitting in the hospital with her newborn not eating and refusing to breast feed. Maybe it is the specific formula or the baby is having a digestive problem?? I would assume if the ONLY way for this child was able to eat this woman would be breast feeding, even if she didn't like it.


    Answer by skittles1108 at 12:49 PM on Nov. 4, 2010

  • I do agree with Anouck though (you made a great point). I too would want my baby home and healthy. She should want the best for her child, but you still can't force a woman to nurse.

    Answer by Sharell8710 at 12:50 PM on Nov. 4, 2010

  • Hmmmmm.

    I guess I've always seen formula as a substitute for what nature/God intended.

    Still, living in 'modern society', women are entitled (or perhaps a better term would be 'privileged') to make their own choices. It would be wonderful if the medical establishment would champion the benefits of breastfeeding AT LEAST for the first week, so infants would all receive the immune protection and other benefits of their mothers' colostrum.
    Check here for some details:

    Unfortunately, until there is money in it, that's not likely to happen. :-\

    Answer by ss_mom at 12:55 PM on Nov. 4, 2010

  • How does formula endanger a baby's health? Those people need to mind their own damned business.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:57 PM on Nov. 4, 2010

  • Those of you who say "it's her choice as long as the baby is being fed" make absolutely no sense. The baby is NOT being fed if they're throwing back up everything that goes down their throat. As far as I'm concerned, if there are two choices of food and you don't give your baby the one that they can digest, it's neglect.

    How long is it ok to let your baby starve while you test out all different kinds of fake food on them while there is a perfectly good source of food you just don't feel like giving them?

    Answer by bethany169 at 12:58 PM on Nov. 4, 2010

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