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Infant feeding Declaration*May be controversial* be nice EDITED TO ADD

Posted by on Aug. 28, 2014 at 4:21 PM
  • 40 Replies

http://www.todaysparent.com/blogs/run-at-home-mom/breastfeeding-contracts-too-far/

Breastfeeding contracts: Have we gone too far? (UPDATED!)

Women who give birth in BC’s Fraser Health hospitals are asked to sign an Infant Feeding Declaration with regards to breastfeeding.

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breastfeeding-moms

Photo: iStockphoto

“Do you want to try breastfeeding your son?” the recovery room nurse asked me. Nauseated and wobbly-armed after my epidural and unplanned C-section, breastfeeding was both the first and last thing on my mind. I’d obsessed over breastfeeding during my entire pregnancy, feeling pressure from the prenatal instructor who regaled us with tales of tandem nursing her twins. I figured I knew all there was to know about breastfeeding—everything except that it can be really hard.

While in hospital with Isaac, I worked hard at breastfeeding—but my sleepy-head son would fall asleep each time I’d get him latched. The hospital’s lactation consultants were helpful and persistent, but those early days of breastfeeding were painful and messy. Shortly after we were able to go home, my husband bought me a manual breast pump because, in those early days of parenthood, we were less about romance and more about survival.

Read more: 15 breastfeeding problems and how to solve them!>

There’s no doubt in my mind that I would have turned to the emergency stash of formula in my kitchen pantry. The stash I kept hidden from the public health nurse who visited us after we came home from the hospital. The stash I denied having when the lactation consultants asked me if I had formula at home.

“Good,” the lactation consultant said. “You won’t be tempted to use it.”

Read more: How to combine breastfeeding and bottle feeding>

The pressure on moms to breastfeed is real. British Columbia’s Fraser Health hospitals is asking new moms to sign an Infant Feeding Declaration. The document outlines the pros and cons of formula feeding and breastfeeding—listing the increased risks of SIDS, certain childhood cancers, obesity and diabetes with formula use. As if responsibility for a tiny, new human isn’t terrifying enough, I can only imagine how new moms struggling with breastfeeding must feel when signing the Infant Feeding Declaration.

At iVillage, Raina Delisle shared the stories of three BC moms who were asked to sign the declaration. Megan McMillan* was one mom who refused to sign it: Her preemie son was losing weight and her paediatrician told her she needed to feed her son formula.

“I found the form to be insulting and upsetting” McMillan told iVillage. “It gave the impression I was putting my son at risk if I followed the doctor’s direction. I refused to sign something saying I may not give my son a good start in life.”

As Delisle points out in her story, breastfeeding advocates are competing against well-funded formula companies, and raising awareness about the benefits of breastfeeding can be a challenge. But I, for one, think the Infant Feeding Declaration goes a little too far. Scare tactics about the supposed health risks of formula feeding do more harm than good.

*Name has been changed

EDITORS NOTE: @FraserHealth has responded to this blog post on its new mom breastfeeding initiative, saying it’s not a contract. Here’s what moms sign—what’s your take?> http://www.fraserhealth.ca/media/Prenatal_DidYouKnowBF.pdf

UPDATE: On August 27, 2014, the Vancouver Sun reported that Fraser Health has pulled their breastfeeding pamphlet after public outcry over the document. Read the full story here. 

Follow along as Jennifer Pinarski shares her experiences about giving up her big city job and lifestyle to live in rural Ontario with her husband, while staying home to raise their two young children. Read more Run-at-home mom posts or follow her @JenPinarski.


THOUGHTS? FEELINGS?


ADDED READ IT HERE

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/breastfeeding-contract-at-b-c-hospitals-alienating-some-moms-1.2748443?cmp=fbtl&utm_content=buffer311bd&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

by on Aug. 28, 2014 at 4:21 PM
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Replies (1-10):
aehanrahan
by Group Mod - Amy on Aug. 28, 2014 at 4:37 PM
3 moms liked this
I think that the risks of not breastfeeding SHOULD be taught to everyone! It should be something taught from school health classes through prenatal care. If it is learned along with everything else, it won't be seen as pushing breastfeeding on new moms, but the biologically normal way to feed babies.
ceckyl
by Kyla on Aug. 28, 2014 at 4:38 PM
3 moms liked this

It really irritates me how people ink they should be able to get offended by facts. 

polkaspots
by Gold Member on Aug. 28, 2014 at 5:16 PM
I agree that scare tactics are the wrong way to go. People need to stop spreading the misinformation that formula is good. It's not what babies are supposed to get. It's a substitute.
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mamabens
by Miranda on Aug. 28, 2014 at 5:25 PM
1 mom liked this

It's about time! I wouldn't have had a problem signing it

mostlymaydays
by Group Mod-Stacy on Aug. 28, 2014 at 5:26 PM
2 moms liked this
I think the pros and cons of formula feeding should be disclosed. There are downsides to formula and we're not doing anyone any good by tip toeing around that and pretending the facts aren't there. If you've been given all the facts and decide formula is still the best option for you, then that is fine. But I don't think most people have been told the possible negative effects caused by formula. Just like the reflux meds and vitamins, antibiotics and asthma meds that are commonly and casually doled out, the dr is too uncomfortable discussing possible side effects and moms trust their doctors so much they don't think they need to ask.

I don't see how they can enforce compliance to a "contract", though. People should welcome all the facts they can get and make wise decisions based on those facts.
aehanrahan
by Group Mod - Amy on Aug. 28, 2014 at 5:56 PM
1 mom liked this
Right! I don't see how giving the FACTS is considered scare tactics!

Quoting ceckyl:

It really irritates me how people ink they should be able to get offended by facts. 

MusherMaggie
by Platinum Member on Aug. 28, 2014 at 7:38 PM
THIS!




Quoting mostlymaydays: I think the pros and cons of formula feeding should be disclosed. There are downsides to formula and we're not doing anyone any good by tip toeing around that and pretending the facts aren't there. If you've been given all the facts and decide formula is still the best option for you, then that is fine. But I don't think most people have been told the possible negative effects caused by formula. Just like the reflux meds and vitamins, antibiotics and asthma meds that are commonly and casually doled out, the dr is too uncomfortable discussing possible side effects and moms trust their doctors so much they don't think they need to ask.

I don't see how they can enforce compliance to a "contract", though. People should welcome all the facts they can get and make wise decisions based on those facts.

Margarett RBC Zavodnyteal ribbon

tabi_cat1023
by Group Mod - Tabitha on Aug. 28, 2014 at 8:20 PM
1 mom liked this

So glad you guys think like me!

UNC chapel hill makes you sign an acknowledgment of risk form, even if the doctor orders formula used...I think of it as medicine, if its needed, its needed and there are risks we should all know

KREX0914
by Member on Aug. 28, 2014 at 8:47 PM

How do they plan on enforcing these "contacts?"

Steph_G.
by Member on Aug. 28, 2014 at 9:22 PM
1 mom liked this

It depends on how it is presented. If it is just presented as "These are the facts and please sign that you have been given the facts" then it isn't a scare tactic. If it is presented as "The hospital recommends that you breastfeed and if you give your child any formula then you are acknowledging that you are doing so against hospital recommendations" then it could be seen as a scare tactic. I think in our society doctor's and hospitals are seen as authorities and I could see where one could think that they could get in trouble for not doing something that they had to sign a paper from the hospital saying they are supposed to do.

Quoting ceckyl:

It really irritates me how people ink they should be able to get offended by facts. 


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