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Hot Topic (3/17): Is breast-feeding always best? There's some doubt...

Posted by on Mar. 17, 2009 at 12:32 AM
  • 22 Replies

 I saw this posted on The Newcomers Club:

In certain overachieving circles, breast-feeding is no longer a choice—it’s a no-exceptions requirement, the ultimate badge of responsible parenting. Yet the actual health benefits of breast-feeding are surprisingly thin, far thinner than most popular literature indicates. Is breast-feeding right for every family? Or is it this generation’s vacuum cleaner—an instrument of misery that mostly just keeps women down?

The lady that wrote this article was on The Today Show. The article is three pages long after reading the first page I kinda skimmed over the next two. It is very interesting. Here is the link if you would like to read it all.

This is what she was saying on the show.

One day, while nursing my baby in my pediatrician’s office, I noticed a 2001 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association open to an article about breast-feeding: “Conclusions: There are inconsistent associations among breastfeeding, its duration, and the risk of being overweight in young children.” Inconsistent? There I was, sitting half-naked in public for the tenth time that day, the hundredth time that month, the millionth time in my life—and the associations were inconsistent? The seed was planted. That night, I did what any sleep-deprived, slightly paranoid mother of a newborn would do. I called my doctor friend for her password to an online medical library, and then sat up and read dozens of studies examining breast-feeding’s association with allergies, obesity, leukemia, mother-infant bonding, intelligence, and all the Dr. Sears highlights.

After a couple of hours, the basic pattern became obvious: the medical literature looks nothing like the popular literature. It shows that breast-feeding is probably, maybe, a little better; but it is far from the stampede of evidence that Sears describes. More like tiny, unsure baby steps: two forward, two back, with much meandering and bumping into walls. A couple of studies will show fewer allergies, and then the next one will turn up no difference. Same with mother-infant bonding, IQ, leukemia, cholesterol, diabetes. Even where consensus is mounting, the meta studies—reviews of existing studies—consistently complain about biases, missing evidence, and other major flaws in study design. “The studies do not demonstrate a universal phenomenon, in which one method is superior to another in all instances,” concluded one of the first, and still one of the broadest, meta studies, in a 1984 issue of Pediatrics, “and they do not support making a mother feel that she is doing psychological harm to her child if she is unable or unwilling to breastfeed.” Twenty-five years later, the picture hasn’t changed all that much. So how is it that every mother I know has become a breast-feeding fascist?


Do you think breast-feeding the right thing for every family?





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by on Mar. 17, 2009 at 12:32 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by on Mar. 17, 2009 at 12:34 AM


Not right for every family.

Each individual family must decide what is right for them.


by New Member on Mar. 17, 2009 at 12:49 AM

No, It most definitely is NOT right for everyone. Some families have both parents working, or the child has a disability. Some women are not comfortable nursing and it is not easy, either. I was successful in nursing my last baby. It was the first time I had a baby and didn't have to rush back to work. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to nurse him. It was a wonderful experience that I will always treasure. But no, it most definitely is not for everyone. It hasn't been the choice for me 3 out of 4 times! And there's nothing wrong with that!

by on Mar. 17, 2009 at 10:22 AM

No, I don't think breast-feeding is right for every family.  As with most everything else, it's a personal choice.  I have 5 boys, including a set of twins, and I didn't breastfeed any of them and they are all happy and healthy.


Life with 5 boys is never boring, lol!

welcome spring.gifbarbecuing

by on Mar. 17, 2009 at 10:51 AM

What is "best" is what works for the individual family and sometimes, breast-feeding isn't what works.

I bf'd all three of our kids up to different ages. With our two youngest, I also supplemented...when we'd go out, as I wasn't comfy bf'ing publicly or when I needed a night off, and Dh filled in with bottles..with formula.

Both kids are healthy, happy and in truth, it's been the child who was breast-fed exclusively(our oldest child) who has had the most medical issues throughout her life.

This is not to say her medical issues are a direct result of exclusively breast-feeding her at all. But those who are SO opposed to anything other than an almost militant degree...have scorned others who chose to NOT breast-feed exclusively if at all due to all of the "health benefits" of breastmilk. While I don't deny those benefits whatsoever, it's the individual baby's metabolism and the individual family's choice of WHAT works best for them that matters the most.

by on Mar. 17, 2009 at 12:31 PM

It is always best/healthiest, unless the mom is on drugs or otherwise her milk is unhealthy. The point the author was making in her article isn't HORRIBLE to NOT breastfeed, either. It's noone's place to judge.

by New Member on Mar. 17, 2009 at 1:38 PM

I definitely do not think that breastfeeding is best for every family. Nothing is absolutely best for everyone. I had an experience with my sister and her son. She works full time and I was going to keep her baby when she went back to work. He was 12 weeks old. She had never introduced the bottle and he wouldn't eat for me. Not only that he was fussy and gassy and miserable all the time. He would cry to hours at a time and really wail like he was in pain. I suggested to her that maybe it was something in her diet (dairy, spicy foods etc).  For awhile we was unwilling to try anything to modify her diet, meanwhile he was miserable. Finally she agreed to try no dairy and to supplement him with soy based formula and within days the fussiness and gassiness went away.

by Jes on Mar. 17, 2009 at 1:55 PM

Nothing is ever the best for everyone.

There are always different circumstances so it isn't anyone's place but their own to decide what is best for their own family. 

   Wife of a Marine - Mommy to a Little Prince
& Expecting a Princess in May!                

by on Mar. 17, 2009 at 2:41 PM

If you don't breastfeed you're going to HELL!!


JK.  I just thought I'd throw that in there.  lol.  Breastfeeding is NOT for every family.  In our modern world women now have countless possibilities for their lives and that's a beautiful thing.  Formula is so enriched now babies are not being deprived in any way.  I'm choosing to breastfeed but that's because for where I am right now in life it works for me.  No one has the right to judge anyone else for what they choose to do.

by Gold Member on Mar. 17, 2009 at 4:46 PM

Breast milk IS best for every baby.

However, that doesn't mean that every family can choose to breastfeed.

Organic food is also best for everyone, but not every family can eat organically.

What's important is that a mom make an informed decision. 


by on Mar. 17, 2009 at 5:28 PM

I find breasts and breastfeeding ironic...those who say those of us who formula fed our kids are abusing them by feeding them poison? Well, that can go the other way too. That's what happened when a boob nazi mom attacked me in another group, she said moms who formula feed should fill out applications proving they can't breastfeed for whatever reason and said that it's a form of child neglect and abuse!!!!! HAHAHAHAHA! Then, I turned the issue around and told her she is going to hell because she exposed her infant to sexual abuse by popping out her tit, and said she fornicated by feeding her kid with such a taboo sexual body part hahahahaha, boy did that ever shut her ridiculous self up! 

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