***i did not write this, however i do agree with many of the points made and think it would be beneficial for other mothers to read.
i understand this is a controversial topic, but really, what topic isn't anymore?
i am not here to debate this topic with other moms, i DO NOT CARE why you had to give your baby formula. it is NONE OF MY BUSINESS. you don't have to justify your decision to anyone but yourself.
it is my choice to breastfeed and share information, as much as it is your choice to formula feed.***

borrowed:

 Formula is a medical intervention not a food. It was created with the intention of saving the lives of babies that could not breastfeed(FOR MEDICAL REASONS, not low supply...that DOES NOT EXSIST. not failure to thrive...THAT DOES NOT EXSIST), not as a replacement for breastmilk. Through the arrogance of doctors and the medical profession and questionable marketing practices on the part of formula companies, it was assumed that a human invention was superior to what came naturally from our bodies, and formula feeding became the "norm"

But it's not. It's no less of a medical intervention than a colostomy bag, a catheter, IV fluids, a feeding tube. As with all interventions, formula feeding carries critical risks (increased death as a result of an incomplete immune system, contamination of formula, choking due to bottle propping or putting rice cereal into bottles with cut nipples, and allergies/asphyxia) it also carries with it the potential of life-long health problems such as increased intolerance to foods, gastrointestinal disorders, increased risk of cancers, improper development of the jaw and teeth, oral problems such as an increased risk of cavities, early exposure to chemicals concentrated in water and unfiltered food sources, etc. It ALSO carries an increased risk to the mother that uses formula of osteoporosis, arthritis, breast cancer, and a host of other ailments. (Since breastfeeding is the NORM, it's not that breastfeeding LOWERS the risks of these things, it's that NOT breastfeeding increases the risks.)

When formula is properly used (as a medical intervention) I have no problem with it. When it is used regularly as a choice with or without the mother being aware of its side effects, she should at least be aware that she is CHOOSING to subject her child to an unnecessary medical intervention. She should at least be aware of what formula is. That it is NOT a food because the baby is only designed to consume breastmilk which formula is a poor imitation of. It's a medical intervention to save the lives of babies whose mothers cannot breastfeed. And as with all medical interventions it should be used sparingly and every effort should be made to eliminate the child's dependency on the medical intervention so that the child can resume normal life.

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Comments:

Megan...
Jun. 16, 2008 at 11:45 AM

I am pro breastfeeding. Infact I still am at 2.5 yrs old. But in the beginning my daughter was gaining enough weight on just my breastmilk alone so I had to supplement only for a few days. So is that considered a medical intervention? Just wondering what is considered that?

By the way, I have a feeling this post could cause some drama with alot of people so good luck with your responses that you may get...

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Xande...
Jun. 16, 2008 at 11:54 AM I'm sorry...failure to thrive is medical fact. Children died in much greater numbers prior to the invention of infant formula. The reason for this? SOME MOTHERS DO NOT PRODUCE ENOUGH MILK TO SUPPORT THEIR CHILDREN. I know that I did not, and it wasn't from lack of trying everything under the sun. I pumped and purged and pumped and saved while my son was in the NICU. I stayed with him durring most of my and breastfed with my dwindling supply. No nurses or lactation consultants could explain it to me. The answer was simply. Huh, you're drying up. So, no. While formula is most certainly second best, it's better than squeezing cow's milk from a hankercheif hoping like hell my child will live off of it.

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Kyans...
Jun. 16, 2008 at 11:59 AM

This is a wonderful opinion but not one that everyone has. I'm glad that you posted this but some people might take offense to it. Yes breastfeeding has many wonderful qualities and benefits but not everyone can breastfeed or has the lifestyle to dedicate themselves to it.

Personally I breastfed for 14 months and supplemented with formula. My son had GERD/Reflux and rather than medicate him we chose to supplement formula. When given the choice between medicating a 1 month old when just supplementing formula an ounce or two at a time 2-3 times a day as well as breastfeeding exclusively, would be a better choice then I'm going to try everything to not overmedicate my child. This was my decision. Of course had it not worked, we would've tried other therapies and then finally medical intervention because I can't hold my personal feelings over what is best for my child to keep them from being in pain or being hospitalized or whatever. My whole reason for breastfeeding was not only to bond with my baby after a bad birthing experience but also becuase my own medical handicaps (asthma and allergies) are something I believe is hereditary and I know that breastfeeding has been proven to lower a child's risk of developing or having severe allergies and asthmatic problems.

There are so many prejudices and not enough information in different parts of the country that not everyone can get a clear grip on what is best for them or for their child. Instead of saying why it's not right to use formula or breastfeed we should post more things concerning what reasearch is finding about using formula or breastfeeding etc. to help educate mothers who are on this site who may be on the fence about what their choice will be or who just haven't considered their options.

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Malho...
Jun. 16, 2008 at 10:06 PM I do think there is a small percentage of women who simply cannot produce enough milk.  But it's extremely rare.  Pumping isn't very efficient and if a woman doesn't nurse their baby they can lose supply.  FTT does exist but it's caused by many things.  If a woman is told her milk isn't nutritious enough she should either eat healthy or run from whatever nut told her that.  Allergies for example can cause babies to be FTT.  But it's not becasue they are allergic to their mother's milk but rather what is in her diet.  My DD has reflux and I didn't supplement her with bottles because of it. (If you read my nursing story you will see that I did supplement though this was not the reason).  Breastmilk is better for reflux as it is quicker to digest, easier on a babies stomach, and is a natural antacid. 

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sheil...
Jun. 17, 2008 at 11:35 PM

GOOD ARTICLE! 

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Grunt...
Jun. 27, 2008 at 1:49 PM

As the person you're quoting (in part) I just wanted to say this:

Low supply and Failure to Thrive *do* exist. Just in drastically smaller numbers than are diagnosed as such.  Saying that they do not exist is a bit of an overstatement. :) 

I will say this: Many "low supply" issues and "failure to thrive" issues are society-created, yes. Women are told to schedule their children from birth, to introduce artificial nipples as "pacifiers", to pump when they want to feed in public, to ignore their child's cries and consider them attempts at manipulation. This poor advice creates a very real problem of "low supply", and it's a problem that can be virtually impossible to solve once the milk supply has "stabilized". The supply relies on early establishment of the letdown reflex, hormones, and even to some degree bodily memory. This reliance is because of hormonal changes that take place after a certain point post-partum. If a woman has been misadvised, told to supplement, etc. then re-establishing supply can be almost as difficult as relactating or establishing lactation in a woman that has never given birth. 

While the "low supply" issues that I just described are not biologically or physiologically based, they are very real and very hard to resolve.

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