2

votes

The problems with feeding infants formula.

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 18, 2011 at 1:48 AM

My mother still thinks it's healthy. What can I tell her is wrong with it and why breast milk is ideal?

75b3b900d09e555fc57b74ca24f7a76a

on November 11, 2013
at 02:46 AM

So, so true...My heart was broken when my daughter could latch but not extract the milk. (We tried EVERYTHING.) I was able to pump breast milk for her and she got very little formula, but I had supply issues the whole time. This was an extremely emotional time...I wanted so, so badly for my daughter to nurse. If I had had to work (instead of stay with her full-time as I did), there is no way I could have kept up with the number of hours I had to pump each day to keep my supply up. Thank God the breastfeeding with my second has been easy-peasy! What a relief.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on August 19, 2011
at 05:18 PM

sorry bree. that does suck. i think this is a lovely answer and i would upvote you again if i could.

Medium avatar

(12379)

on August 18, 2011
at 10:31 PM

Hmmm...anonymous downvote...that sucks

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on August 18, 2011
at 10:24 PM

Melissa~ I DO hope that you do get a chance to read the forum link I posted. If you ever have a chance to work with a variety of moms from different socioeconomic, geographical, cultural, religious and educational backgrounds (as I have), you would likely have a much more compassionate perspective. I will step out of the discussion, as it seems that you are on a very different page than I.

Medium avatar

(12379)

on August 18, 2011
at 07:58 PM

It was just my natural hormones (and a huge wave of them after giving birth!) I don't know about a full-grown man lactating (seems a little weird to me)

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1811)

on August 18, 2011
at 07:18 PM

Bree, you said that in a much better way than I could!

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1811)

on August 18, 2011
at 07:17 PM

And of course all the other contamination stories that don't make the news (there was one in the UK in 2008 while I was formula feeding my DD (SMA brand). And of course, I forgot, if formula isn't correctly made up, it can kill with enterobacter sakazakii. No pathogens in breastmilk.

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1811)

on August 18, 2011
at 07:11 PM

Oops, just seen my typos! iPhone..

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1811)

on August 18, 2011
at 07:10 PM

@Melissa - Of course it's about education. I formula fed my DD after trying to breastfeed her - with the support if a Breastfeeding peer supporter and my friend who was Breastfeeding her DD at the time. The problems I had with my DD is that she just would NOT latch on at all - why, I dunno. Still don't know to this day. We even tried biological nursing which didn't work either. It's not just about education - although that is a big part. I do feel that formula should be available via certain places such as a pharmacy rather than in any supermarket. It was taken away from baby clinics.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on August 18, 2011
at 07:07 PM

Bree - were you on hormones of some sort or are you talking about just your natural hormones being transferred by breast milk causing him to lactate? I wonder what instances in life would cause a fully developed man (not breastfeeding) to lactate outside of off-balanced hormones.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 18, 2011
at 07:01 PM

but the main problem here isn't the poor/marginal cases. If we can't get educated rich women to breastfeed, that's just sad and bodes poorly for the marginal cases.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 18, 2011
at 07:00 PM

I grew up in a fundie community have a tough time believing those women would use formula unless it were a last resort.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on August 18, 2011
at 04:40 PM

Melissa~ YES, there are plenty of poor women who have home births and CAN'T breastfeed their babies or need supplementation because of low supply. I know some of them personally and through my online communities. And there are PLENTY of methods of birth control that do not require a prescription. I also belong to an online community of highly educated moms who choose to give birth without medical assistance. There is also a large population of Christian women who do not involve the medical system in any part of their lives-- part of their belief system.

Medium avatar

(12379)

on August 18, 2011
at 04:14 PM

Hey Jack - strange thing - my baby (boy) lactated for the first couple weeks of life due to the hormones that I was producing and he was getting through my breast milk - apparently it's a normal thing (who knew?)

Medium avatar

(12379)

on August 18, 2011
at 03:52 PM

Sally thank you for such a great post! I believe that formula is an important tool in a mother's toolbox. And I think that you really highlighted that well!

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 18, 2011
at 03:47 PM

maybe you are right though. If it required a prescription the government would just have cheap clinics handing out formula to poor women. It subsidizes formula now too.

Medium avatar

(12379)

on August 18, 2011
at 03:37 PM

My little guy was ebf (exclusively breast fed) and he pooped once a week for about 3 months (from 2-5 months old) - wednesday between 4 and 7pm to be exact - Dr said it was fine as long as he wasn't laboured and the poop was normal.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on August 18, 2011
at 03:34 PM

men don't lactate in natural situations. it must be induced by ways that, in my opinion, fall outside what is healthy for men... for example... a man can lactate if he eats eats loads of soy because it screws with his hormones. not exactly what i'd call ideal.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on August 18, 2011
at 03:30 PM

im sure you didnt mean to imply that i, and other formula feeding mothers here and elsewhere, poisoned our children, or laughed at their discomfort. correct me if im wrong, but thats some pretty harsh language to use about another persons most personal parenting decisions.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 18, 2011
at 02:42 PM

So there are poor women doing homebirths in the US ...and people who don't believe in the allopathic care but who would feed their babies formula? I seriously doubt that. Plenty of things involving childbearing require a prescription, such as hormonal birth control.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on August 18, 2011
at 01:41 PM

I should have said "Legislating ACCESS to nutrition sources."

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on August 18, 2011
at 01:14 PM

Believe me, Melissa, I was just as admamant in my (similar) beliefs 5 years ago, before I started working with moms. If you are at all interested in educating yourself about the real difficulties many women face when trying to breastfeed, you can log on to the breastfeeding challenges forum at Mothering.com. http://www.mothering.com/community/f/363/breastfeeding-challenges Since you are a moderator of PaleoHacks, I think it would be really helpful for you to broaden your perspective. Legislating nutrition sources on any level threatens all of our freedoms-- be it raw milk or formula.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on August 18, 2011
at 01:00 PM

Are you serious? Formula is no more engineered than any other processed food. Making formula prescription-only is effectively banning it for the portion of the population that has no insurance, or does not believe in the allopathic medical model of care. Not all moms are going to want to interact with the medical system in order to feed their child--some of them have been traumatized by the medical system and won't go near a doctor. My mom couldn't afford the formula the hospital started me on, so she fed me sweetened condensed milk (and I'm not the only one, from the stories, I've heard!)

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 18, 2011
at 12:21 PM

Geez, you'd think I had just called for banning formula...there are plenty of things that require a prescription and it's not a big moral deal. The truth is that formula is an engineered compound with real risks, just like any other medicine.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 18, 2011
at 12:19 PM

Because people in the UK still consider formula simply an alternative rather than a medicinal. And education still is part of it. I do think women don't breastfeed because they are not educated. My own mother didn't know how to breastfeed, she had no one to teach her. Countries that make a real effort like Norway have very high rates http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20576199

Bbb65dfde2b925e334048eb6438b3950

on August 18, 2011
at 12:14 PM

Haha pormula = formula

Bbb65dfde2b925e334048eb6438b3950

on August 18, 2011
at 12:13 PM

When I convinced my mother that "extended" breastfeeding was a childs birthright and why it was so important (even though I was soy-formula fed from 3 months old) I just told her that we are children of our time and everyone does their best with the knowledge they posess at the time. I have the internet and countless studies to rely on. She was alone, without support or knowledge in a time where pormula was believed to be an acceptable alternative. How could I, she or anyone else judge her for that? But still she had to know the facts to be able ro support me in extended breastfeeding = 2.5 y.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on August 18, 2011
at 10:20 AM

I would agree with you if this wasn't a talk between a daughter and a mother who probably formula fed. In this case it's good for the daughter to know the facts, but could be very painful for the mom.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on August 18, 2011
at 10:18 AM

+1 for not coming off as judging your mom. If your mother is trying to get you to formula feed, you can just tell her that you are convinced about the benefits (don't talk disadvantages of formula) and you have made your decision of what is right for you and your child. End discussion.

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1811)

on August 18, 2011
at 08:48 AM

Unfortunately, I don't think that this attitude helps the breastfeeding "cause" at all tbh. I think that formula has a place, although I a strong advocate of breastfeeding. I disagree that formula is poison. It's not, it's just not ideal. However, human babies have survived on many different permutations of formula throughout the years.

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1811)

on August 18, 2011
at 08:37 AM

In the UK, we get 9 months paid maternity leave - my job paid me 13 weeks at full pay, then I was paid at the statutory maternity pay (SMP) until 39 weeks - after this, I was still able to take another 3 months unpaid leave. I had two consecutive pregnancies and as I was paying national insurance and income tax on my SMP, then I was paid the same again (full pay, SMP, 3 months unpaid). So, how come breastfeeding rates are low still?

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1811)

on August 18, 2011
at 08:29 AM

Melissa, you make some good points and I agree with them. However, it's not so simple. You're right that it's cultural, but it's deeply ingrained. How does your theory explain that breastfeeding rates are so low in the UK when we have such good maternity and parenting rights in comparison to the states?

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1811)

on August 18, 2011
at 08:15 AM

Actually, I'd like to bring up the fact that men have all the necessary equipment to lactate and *can* lactate. Harder job no doubt and there's not a lot of commonplace information about it due to our cultures using wet nurses and formula in the recent past. Sorry, I cannot find what I would call a credible link for you atm, but will ask my LLL group if they have any. BTW, not suggesting that any man should want to breastfeed, just stating that they have the right physiology to do so :-)

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on August 18, 2011
at 04:42 AM

There is also a lack of continuum--US women do not get to learn from other women in their "tribes". Many of us in my generation will have learned about breastfeeding from videos and younger moms. My mom didn't breastfeed me--it wasn't encouraged in 1963 in the hospital where she gave birth. Yes, formula f*d up my gut/immune system (now healed, thanks to Primal eating), but a stressed-out mother would likely be passing on some "toxic" catecholamines to me if she were "forced" to nurse me against her will. I think education and compassion are needed. (and a more Primal birth culture!)

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on August 18, 2011
at 04:33 AM

Ouch, Melissa. That is really not a very understanding view of the current state of our mothering culture. I work with new moms and the difficulties that many have with breastfeeding have much more to do with the current state of pre-natal & birth "care" in our medical system (leading to separation & trauma) and far less to do with a lack of desire to nurse. Pregnancy & birth need to be seen as a normal part of life and not a medical event for breastfeeding to become normalized in our culture.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on August 18, 2011
at 04:24 AM

Here you go: http://milkshare.birthingforlife.com/ http://www.eatsonfeets.org/

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 18, 2011
at 03:50 AM

yeah, pumping is actually much harder than breastfeeding from a breast because we evolved for more continuous feeding. Either way, I stand by my assertion that if breastfeeding was default and formula was considered a medicinal, that employers would be forced to accomodate it.

B2f2a025c9901b31af3853d1336d5307

(183)

on August 18, 2011
at 03:45 AM

and while pumping is an alternative and many schools/workplaces will accomodate that- some women are kind of embarrassed to ask "Can I pump on my breaks?" I'm sorry, but it can be uncomfortable, especially if you're new at a job :/

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on August 18, 2011
at 03:25 AM

thank you, sally. excellent points, all. thank you for posting. this is not a black and white issue for those of us who have struggled.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 18, 2011
at 03:09 AM

if we considered breast milk default and formula as medicine, then we would see a lot more laws that would help women breastfeed. But because we see formula as a viable alternative, it gives employers a great excuse to say "OK, your three months is up, come back to work or you are fired. Oh, breast is best? Well formula is perfectly good."

1a0976c846702f549ee4df0d811098be

(972)

on August 18, 2011
at 03:08 AM

Links directly to those organizations could be very helpful for parents, if you could cps hare them.

1a0976c846702f549ee4df0d811098be

(972)

on August 18, 2011
at 03:06 AM

Wow, I will admit I didn't know about those donation networks. I wish I had when I was struggling to feed my twins. If it really is possible to get free breast milk from other moms, that is an amazing advance. Thank you for sharing.

1a0976c846702f549ee4df0d811098be

(972)

on August 18, 2011
at 03:03 AM

Mentioning that breast milk is better is different that labeling formula poison and proposing roadblocks to accessing it. That, to me, feels akin to judgment. I also wanted to add conversation about social factors that inhibit breastfeeding. While it's true that few women are biologically incapable of breastfeeding, there are many women who are logistically incapable and I think it's important for anyone discusses benefits of breastfeeding to have a better understanding of the real reasons most women don't. It's usually not lack of knowledge.

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on August 18, 2011
at 02:58 AM

And all of those websites forbid selling of milk besides paying for storage bags, tests and pumps.

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on August 18, 2011
at 02:56 AM

There are multiple websites where you can get milk directly from a mother. Most are more than happy to do a blood test for you other by giving you their prenatal bloodwork or going in for additional bloodwork if you pay for it and request it. I'm in the process of doing this for another woman near me. In addition, flash pasteurization of breastmilk is very simple and you can find videos on how to do it on YouTube. Human milk 4 human babies is a milk sharing network on Facebook, then there's eats on feets, and milk share network. All easily googled and you can meet moms face to face. :-)

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 18, 2011
at 02:54 AM

Either way, I don't see people here telling mothers what to do...I see discussions about breast feeding shut down all the time because of the idea that if you even mention it's better that somehow you are "judging women."

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 18, 2011
at 02:53 AM

well most of the benefits I listed in my answer were benefits that are accrued from feeding in just the first six weeks.

1a0976c846702f549ee4df0d811098be

(972)

on August 18, 2011
at 02:49 AM

Donor milk is a real thing, but it's not like you can get it by the gallon at the store. It is usually used for critically ill preemies whose own mothers can't nurse them. It costs something like $5 an ounce and is available through hospitals and whatnot. The average mom of an average baby who Is struggling to breastfeed is not going to be able to just buy someone else's milk instead. Don't get me wrong, it would rock if that were possible, but it's not a realistic option for most families.

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on August 18, 2011
at 02:49 AM

You ask them. Most milk donors are more than happy to discuss their diet with people. There are gluten free donors, dairy free donors, etc. I know because I've seen them on the Human milk for human babies network site.

D30ff86ad2c1f3b43b99aed213bcf461

on August 18, 2011
at 02:49 AM

Please tread gently. If you were a formula fed baby any amount of extended discussion you have on this could - whether it's your intent or not - come across as judging your mom in her capacity as a mother. In any case as you're long since grown up any arguments/discussions about it will probably not win her over, and might only serve to fracture your relationship. The _only_ time it might be worth being more emphatic is if she's a caregiver for children of yours and you think that she might otherwise offer your breastfed child formula in your absence.

6498694060d879a7960b35913539b75f

(1307)

on August 18, 2011
at 02:44 AM

Oops, I forgot to include the link: http://www.westonaprice.org/childrens-health/recipes-for-homemade-baby-formula I think donor milk sounds great in theory, but it kind of freaks me out too. I don't know what the donor has been eating.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 18, 2011
at 02:43 AM

it's just like we wouldn't tell encourage with type 1 diabetes to go off their insulin. Medicines have their appropriate role. Formula is a medicine and if it's the difference between formula and not eating, formula is the way to go. However, we should recognize that formula is not the optimal state, just as taking insulin is not the optimal state.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 18, 2011
at 02:40 AM

seriously? Donor milk is a real thing. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/16/donating-breast-milk/?scp=1&sq=donor%20milk&st=cse

6498694060d879a7960b35913539b75f

(1307)

on August 18, 2011
at 02:39 AM

Congratulations on your baby girls, papalotsa! For a healthier formula option, check out the Weston A. Price Foundation's recipe. This is what I will do if for some reason, when the time comes, I cannot breastfeed.

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on August 18, 2011
at 02:36 AM

No one is attacking people who need to formula feed for formula feeding. However, parents should know the risks inherent in formula feeding. It isn't talked about and it should be. Also, donor milk is a god send so take your snark elsewhere. I had a friend donate her milk to me while I was struggling with supply my first week and it was the most precious gift in the world since formula made my baby barf horribly. Milk sharing used to be common place in the world and still is in tribal cultures. Just Because you are unwilling (or unable) to do it doesn't make it a silly option.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 18, 2011
at 02:15 AM

formula should be thought of as a drug for people with medical issues preventing breastfeeding (very very rare and those people should consider donor milk). It should only be available by prescription.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on August 18, 2011
at 02:10 AM

Please ignore the "formula" recipe in the first link. WAPF has a better "homemade" formula.

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12 Answers

10
1a0976c846702f549ee4df0d811098be

(972)

on August 18, 2011
at 02:43 AM

As the mother of premature twins who breastfed for fourteen months, I feel qualified to say that formula is a godsend and quite literally saved my sanity.

My babies got tons and tons of good, healthy breast milk. But they got a decent amount of "poisonous" formula, too, and I will not sit back and allow anyone to make me, or any other mother, feel bad about that.

Breastfeeding in modern America is hard. It's not just producing milk. That is the easy part. Getting it out of your body and into the baby at the right times is the hard part. Until you have juggled the logistics of breastfeeding an infant while trying to, god forbid, hold down a job, sleep, and continue to be a human being, you have no right to tell a mother what she should or shouldn't do. Here is who you can lecture:

-business owners, politicians, law enforcement, and any other jackass who has the balls to ask a publicly breastfeeding mother to stop or be more discreet.

-employers who don't give paid maternity leave for at least six months

-legislators who won't mandate said maternity leave

-milk banks that solicit "donations" and they sell it for high profits

I know this doesn't directly answer the question, but I don't think any formula vs breast milk conversation that implies it is as simple as buying a different liquid at the store is realistic.

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1811)

on August 18, 2011
at 08:29 AM

Melissa, you make some good points and I agree with them. However, it's not so simple. You're right that it's cultural, but it's deeply ingrained. How does your theory explain that breastfeeding rates are so low in the UK when we have such good maternity and parenting rights in comparison to the states?

1a0976c846702f549ee4df0d811098be

(972)

on August 18, 2011
at 03:03 AM

Mentioning that breast milk is better is different that labeling formula poison and proposing roadblocks to accessing it. That, to me, feels akin to judgment. I also wanted to add conversation about social factors that inhibit breastfeeding. While it's true that few women are biologically incapable of breastfeeding, there are many women who are logistically incapable and I think it's important for anyone discusses benefits of breastfeeding to have a better understanding of the real reasons most women don't. It's usually not lack of knowledge.

Medium avatar

(12379)

on August 18, 2011
at 03:52 PM

Sally thank you for such a great post! I believe that formula is an important tool in a mother's toolbox. And I think that you really highlighted that well!

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1811)

on August 18, 2011
at 08:37 AM

In the UK, we get 9 months paid maternity leave - my job paid me 13 weeks at full pay, then I was paid at the statutory maternity pay (SMP) until 39 weeks - after this, I was still able to take another 3 months unpaid leave. I had two consecutive pregnancies and as I was paying national insurance and income tax on my SMP, then I was paid the same again (full pay, SMP, 3 months unpaid). So, how come breastfeeding rates are low still?

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 18, 2011
at 02:54 AM

Either way, I don't see people here telling mothers what to do...I see discussions about breast feeding shut down all the time because of the idea that if you even mention it's better that somehow you are "judging women."

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 18, 2011
at 12:19 PM

Because people in the UK still consider formula simply an alternative rather than a medicinal. And education still is part of it. I do think women don't breastfeed because they are not educated. My own mother didn't know how to breastfeed, she had no one to teach her. Countries that make a real effort like Norway have very high rates http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20576199

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 18, 2011
at 03:50 AM

yeah, pumping is actually much harder than breastfeeding from a breast because we evolved for more continuous feeding. Either way, I stand by my assertion that if breastfeeding was default and formula was considered a medicinal, that employers would be forced to accomodate it.

B2f2a025c9901b31af3853d1336d5307

(183)

on August 18, 2011
at 03:45 AM

and while pumping is an alternative and many schools/workplaces will accomodate that- some women are kind of embarrassed to ask "Can I pump on my breaks?" I'm sorry, but it can be uncomfortable, especially if you're new at a job :/

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 18, 2011
at 02:53 AM

well most of the benefits I listed in my answer were benefits that are accrued from feeding in just the first six weeks.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on August 18, 2011
at 03:25 AM

thank you, sally. excellent points, all. thank you for posting. this is not a black and white issue for those of us who have struggled.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 18, 2011
at 03:09 AM

if we considered breast milk default and formula as medicine, then we would see a lot more laws that would help women breastfeed. But because we see formula as a viable alternative, it gives employers a great excuse to say "OK, your three months is up, come back to work or you are fired. Oh, breast is best? Well formula is perfectly good."

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1811)

on August 18, 2011
at 07:10 PM

@Melissa - Of course it's about education. I formula fed my DD after trying to breastfeed her - with the support if a Breastfeeding peer supporter and my friend who was Breastfeeding her DD at the time. The problems I had with my DD is that she just would NOT latch on at all - why, I dunno. Still don't know to this day. We even tried biological nursing which didn't work either. It's not just about education - although that is a big part. I do feel that formula should be available via certain places such as a pharmacy rather than in any supermarket. It was taken away from baby clinics.

6
1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

on August 18, 2011
at 02:12 AM

Don't discuss the so-called benefits of breastmilk. Breastmilk is biologically normal. Discuss the risks of formula. Increased risk of Sids, weaker leg muscles, increased risk of asthma and respitory diseases, increased risk of ear infections, increased risk of obesity.

http://m.psychologytoday.com/blog/moral-landscapes/201108/in-light-last-weeks-posts-is-pushing-formula-evil

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on August 18, 2011
at 01:41 PM

I should have said "Legislating ACCESS to nutrition sources."

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 18, 2011
at 02:42 PM

So there are poor women doing homebirths in the US ...and people who don't believe in the allopathic care but who would feed their babies formula? I seriously doubt that. Plenty of things involving childbearing require a prescription, such as hormonal birth control.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on August 18, 2011
at 04:33 AM

Ouch, Melissa. That is really not a very understanding view of the current state of our mothering culture. I work with new moms and the difficulties that many have with breastfeeding have much more to do with the current state of pre-natal & birth "care" in our medical system (leading to separation & trauma) and far less to do with a lack of desire to nurse. Pregnancy & birth need to be seen as a normal part of life and not a medical event for breastfeeding to become normalized in our culture.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 18, 2011
at 02:15 AM

formula should be thought of as a drug for people with medical issues preventing breastfeeding (very very rare and those people should consider donor milk). It should only be available by prescription.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 18, 2011
at 12:21 PM

Geez, you'd think I had just called for banning formula...there are plenty of things that require a prescription and it's not a big moral deal. The truth is that formula is an engineered compound with real risks, just like any other medicine.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on August 18, 2011
at 10:24 PM

Melissa~ I DO hope that you do get a chance to read the forum link I posted. If you ever have a chance to work with a variety of moms from different socioeconomic, geographical, cultural, religious and educational backgrounds (as I have), you would likely have a much more compassionate perspective. I will step out of the discussion, as it seems that you are on a very different page than I.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 18, 2011
at 03:47 PM

maybe you are right though. If it required a prescription the government would just have cheap clinics handing out formula to poor women. It subsidizes formula now too.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on August 18, 2011
at 04:40 PM

Melissa~ YES, there are plenty of poor women who have home births and CAN'T breastfeed their babies or need supplementation because of low supply. I know some of them personally and through my online communities. And there are PLENTY of methods of birth control that do not require a prescription. I also belong to an online community of highly educated moms who choose to give birth without medical assistance. There is also a large population of Christian women who do not involve the medical system in any part of their lives-- part of their belief system.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on August 18, 2011
at 10:20 AM

I would agree with you if this wasn't a talk between a daughter and a mother who probably formula fed. In this case it's good for the daughter to know the facts, but could be very painful for the mom.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on August 18, 2011
at 01:14 PM

Believe me, Melissa, I was just as admamant in my (similar) beliefs 5 years ago, before I started working with moms. If you are at all interested in educating yourself about the real difficulties many women face when trying to breastfeed, you can log on to the breastfeeding challenges forum at Mothering.com. http://www.mothering.com/community/f/363/breastfeeding-challenges Since you are a moderator of PaleoHacks, I think it would be really helpful for you to broaden your perspective. Legislating nutrition sources on any level threatens all of our freedoms-- be it raw milk or formula.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 18, 2011
at 07:01 PM

but the main problem here isn't the poor/marginal cases. If we can't get educated rich women to breastfeed, that's just sad and bodes poorly for the marginal cases.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on August 18, 2011
at 04:42 AM

There is also a lack of continuum--US women do not get to learn from other women in their "tribes". Many of us in my generation will have learned about breastfeeding from videos and younger moms. My mom didn't breastfeed me--it wasn't encouraged in 1963 in the hospital where she gave birth. Yes, formula f*d up my gut/immune system (now healed, thanks to Primal eating), but a stressed-out mother would likely be passing on some "toxic" catecholamines to me if she were "forced" to nurse me against her will. I think education and compassion are needed. (and a more Primal birth culture!)

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on August 18, 2011
at 01:00 PM

Are you serious? Formula is no more engineered than any other processed food. Making formula prescription-only is effectively banning it for the portion of the population that has no insurance, or does not believe in the allopathic medical model of care. Not all moms are going to want to interact with the medical system in order to feed their child--some of them have been traumatized by the medical system and won't go near a doctor. My mom couldn't afford the formula the hospital started me on, so she fed me sweetened condensed milk (and I'm not the only one, from the stories, I've heard!)

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 18, 2011
at 07:00 PM

I grew up in a fundie community have a tough time believing those women would use formula unless it were a last resort.

5
Medium avatar

(12379)

on August 18, 2011
at 03:43 PM

The NUMBER ONE Most important thing is that the baby gets fed. No matter how that happens.

No mother is less of a mother if they have problems breastfeeding. The attitude that you are poisoning your child is just a terrible one.

Breastfeeding came very easy to my son and I. I consider that we were very lucky - he thrived and I produced enough milk to feed a small army. But not everyone is like me. And who the hell am I (or anyone else for that matter) to judge them on what they need to do to feed their baby. Like the guilt associated with being unable to breastfeed isn't enough we have to tell the new mother that they are poisoning their child. Hello PPD!

Sure - I will be the first to say that Breast is Best - HOWEVER...S**t happens, and some women and babies just can't connect with the breast. And then it's not a choice it's what they have to do. I know many mom's and babies that had to switch to formula - they are all thriving and healthy. I myself was a preemie and was formula fed - I managed to survive, and thrive thank you very much.

There are SO MANY judgements that are thrust upon you as a parent by other people. This one just really gets my blood boiling.

Medium avatar

(12379)

on August 18, 2011
at 10:31 PM

Hmmm...anonymous downvote...that sucks

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1811)

on August 18, 2011
at 07:18 PM

Bree, you said that in a much better way than I could!

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on August 19, 2011
at 05:18 PM

sorry bree. that does suck. i think this is a lovely answer and i would upvote you again if i could.

75b3b900d09e555fc57b74ca24f7a76a

on November 11, 2013
at 02:46 AM

So, so true...My heart was broken when my daughter could latch but not extract the milk. (We tried EVERYTHING.) I was able to pump breast milk for her and she got very little formula, but I had supply issues the whole time. This was an extremely emotional time...I wanted so, so badly for my daughter to nurse. If I had had to work (instead of stay with her full-time as I did), there is no way I could have kept up with the number of hours I had to pump each day to keep my supply up. Thank God the breastfeeding with my second has been easy-peasy! What a relief.

2
69a2a5deb24d5b8d3aae3d9652fac564

(1020)

on August 18, 2011
at 06:36 PM

Many, if not most formula contains High Fructose Corn Syrup. To me, that's enough reason to avoid it.

2
99a6e964584f20f3f69ad3a70a335353

(1334)

on August 18, 2011
at 12:12 PM

There are two major points you can make, if you really feel like making an issue about it with your mother who I'm going to guess is unlikely to be having more babies to feed. Unless she's criticizing you for feeding your children the natural way...

Anyway, the first is the evolutionary argument. Breast milk has been formulated over millions of years to provide excellent nutrition for a growing infant. Those mammals, then apes, then hominids, then humans that produced highly (if not perfectly) nutritious breast milk for their own offspring would end up with stronger, healthier children who were more likely to grow up and reproduce multiple times, passing on the genes for better milk.

This process was repeated over untold thousands of generations leading to a highly refined "product" as near perfect for a growing kid as can be expected just by the simple process of natural selection. And breast milk is known to change in composition over time, suggesting that it accomodates different needs in different stages of development, which formula cannot do.

In addition to nutrition, other compounds are passed through breast milk, including antibodies which help the baby's immune system develop.The second is the argument for the harmfulness of modern formula. Now, I don't know much about cow's milk-based formulae, but soy is certainly harmful and you should have no problem finding sources for that. Like the studies which suggest feeding an infant on soy formula provides an estrogen load equivalent to five birth control pills per day. That kind of hormonal imbalance isn't something you'd want to expose a baby girl to, much less a baby boy.

Or how about known cases of contamination? Like the 2010 recall of Similac that was found contaminated with beetles? Or the 2008 case where Chinese milk that was contaminated with melamine was used in manufacture of formula, leading to illness of hundreds of thousands of babies and the death of at least a few? So long as the mother's not working in a chemical plant or taking drugs, you're not gonna find contamination like that in breast milk.

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1811)

on August 18, 2011
at 07:17 PM

And of course all the other contamination stories that don't make the news (there was one in the UK in 2008 while I was formula feeding my DD (SMA brand). And of course, I forgot, if formula isn't correctly made up, it can kill with enterobacter sakazakii. No pathogens in breastmilk.

2
C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1811)

on August 18, 2011
at 08:44 AM

I think the point made that breastfeeding is the norm needs to be clearer - breast isn't best, it's normal.

And, let's not forget that formula (usually cows) is for baby cows. Breastmilk is a living substance that contains immunoglobulins to help baby fight infections. A mother and baby dyad will release oxytocin (the "love" hormone) while nursing which encourages a stronger bond. And of course, there's also the fact that babies who are formula fed suffer more from allergies and disease than breastfed children.

It's contextual though. Although my son has some atopy and is breastfed, his atopy would be rather worse if he had been formula fed (especially as he has an intolerance/allery to dairy).

It's a complex issue, too complex that Gabrielle Palmer wrote a book about it "The Politics of Breastfeeding".

Another resource that I like is Kathy Dettwyler: http://www.kathydettwyler.org/dettwyler.html

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1811)

on August 18, 2011
at 07:11 PM

Oops, just seen my typos! iPhone..

2
B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

on August 18, 2011
at 02:51 AM

Some of the other posts are kind of proving what I was intended to tell you. Be careful how you present this information to your mother. It may feel as if you are accusing her of doing the wrong thing with you if she bottle fed you. It could lead to her feeling defensive and may be why she is so adamant that it's good even though there is plenty of evidence out there that breast is best - if you are able to do it.

2
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 18, 2011
at 02:00 AM

I'm sure others can chime in with more info, but my area of expertise is gut development and infant's fed formula have

  • less diverse gut flora, which is connected to gut problems later on
  • higher risk of life-threatening gut infections in infancy
  • more "bad" gut bacteria associated with increased gut permeability and obesity
  • higher risk of food allergies

It also effects brain development, but I don't have time to write everything about this ATM. I will suggest looking at the blog posts at Moral Landscapes, though don't share them with your mom because they are kind of shrill.

1
5266ac5977ec9d80ac8047697dbbe55b

(738)

on August 18, 2011
at 06:59 PM

I always point to examples of such medical "alternatives" that were eventually accepted as normal, but eventually turned out to be very dangerous (trans fats for butter, tobacco in general, medicinal use of addictive drugs such as cocaine/heroin, reusing medical equipment with bodily fluids on them, etc.). Could very well happen, at least to some extent (with all those ingredients in there...) to formula.

When I'm really feeling the philosophical "devil's advocate" role, I'll always say that there are many more complexities in nature than those we have discovered so far, but that breast milk is what has sustained humans all this time. "Nutritionally complete" really means nothing, because we don't know everything - so formula feeding carries risks that breastfeeding does not.

1
6b8e74dd6bf3bfbe68310b5265b2eb1a

(364)

on August 18, 2011
at 02:23 AM

I am the father of two adopted baby girls. Sorry I don't lactate so formula is the only option. Donor milk? Give me a break.

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on August 18, 2011
at 02:58 AM

And all of those websites forbid selling of milk besides paying for storage bags, tests and pumps.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 18, 2011
at 02:40 AM

seriously? Donor milk is a real thing. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/16/donating-breast-milk/?scp=1&sq=donor%20milk&st=cse

6498694060d879a7960b35913539b75f

(1307)

on August 18, 2011
at 02:44 AM

Oops, I forgot to include the link: http://www.westonaprice.org/childrens-health/recipes-for-homemade-baby-formula I think donor milk sounds great in theory, but it kind of freaks me out too. I don't know what the donor has been eating.

1a0976c846702f549ee4df0d811098be

(972)

on August 18, 2011
at 03:06 AM

Wow, I will admit I didn't know about those donation networks. I wish I had when I was struggling to feed my twins. If it really is possible to get free breast milk from other moms, that is an amazing advance. Thank you for sharing.

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on August 18, 2011
at 02:36 AM

No one is attacking people who need to formula feed for formula feeding. However, parents should know the risks inherent in formula feeding. It isn't talked about and it should be. Also, donor milk is a god send so take your snark elsewhere. I had a friend donate her milk to me while I was struggling with supply my first week and it was the most precious gift in the world since formula made my baby barf horribly. Milk sharing used to be common place in the world and still is in tribal cultures. Just Because you are unwilling (or unable) to do it doesn't make it a silly option.

1a0976c846702f549ee4df0d811098be

(972)

on August 18, 2011
at 03:08 AM

Links directly to those organizations could be very helpful for parents, if you could cps hare them.

Medium avatar

(12379)

on August 18, 2011
at 04:14 PM

Hey Jack - strange thing - my baby (boy) lactated for the first couple weeks of life due to the hormones that I was producing and he was getting through my breast milk - apparently it's a normal thing (who knew?)

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on August 18, 2011
at 04:24 AM

Here you go: http://milkshare.birthingforlife.com/ http://www.eatsonfeets.org/

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on August 18, 2011
at 02:56 AM

There are multiple websites where you can get milk directly from a mother. Most are more than happy to do a blood test for you other by giving you their prenatal bloodwork or going in for additional bloodwork if you pay for it and request it. I'm in the process of doing this for another woman near me. In addition, flash pasteurization of breastmilk is very simple and you can find videos on how to do it on YouTube. Human milk 4 human babies is a milk sharing network on Facebook, then there's eats on feets, and milk share network. All easily googled and you can meet moms face to face. :-)

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 18, 2011
at 02:43 AM

it's just like we wouldn't tell encourage with type 1 diabetes to go off their insulin. Medicines have their appropriate role. Formula is a medicine and if it's the difference between formula and not eating, formula is the way to go. However, we should recognize that formula is not the optimal state, just as taking insulin is not the optimal state.

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on August 18, 2011
at 02:49 AM

You ask them. Most milk donors are more than happy to discuss their diet with people. There are gluten free donors, dairy free donors, etc. I know because I've seen them on the Human milk for human babies network site.

6498694060d879a7960b35913539b75f

(1307)

on August 18, 2011
at 02:39 AM

Congratulations on your baby girls, papalotsa! For a healthier formula option, check out the Weston A. Price Foundation's recipe. This is what I will do if for some reason, when the time comes, I cannot breastfeed.

1a0976c846702f549ee4df0d811098be

(972)

on August 18, 2011
at 02:49 AM

Donor milk is a real thing, but it's not like you can get it by the gallon at the store. It is usually used for critically ill preemies whose own mothers can't nurse them. It costs something like $5 an ounce and is available through hospitals and whatnot. The average mom of an average baby who Is struggling to breastfeed is not going to be able to just buy someone else's milk instead. Don't get me wrong, it would rock if that were possible, but it's not a realistic option for most families.

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1811)

on August 18, 2011
at 08:15 AM

Actually, I'd like to bring up the fact that men have all the necessary equipment to lactate and *can* lactate. Harder job no doubt and there's not a lot of commonplace information about it due to our cultures using wet nurses and formula in the recent past. Sorry, I cannot find what I would call a credible link for you atm, but will ask my LLL group if they have any. BTW, not suggesting that any man should want to breastfeed, just stating that they have the right physiology to do so :-)

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on August 18, 2011
at 03:34 PM

men don't lactate in natural situations. it must be induced by ways that, in my opinion, fall outside what is healthy for men... for example... a man can lactate if he eats eats loads of soy because it screws with his hormones. not exactly what i'd call ideal.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on August 18, 2011
at 07:07 PM

Bree - were you on hormones of some sort or are you talking about just your natural hormones being transferred by breast milk causing him to lactate? I wonder what instances in life would cause a fully developed man (not breastfeeding) to lactate outside of off-balanced hormones.

Medium avatar

(12379)

on August 18, 2011
at 07:58 PM

It was just my natural hormones (and a huge wave of them after giving birth!) I don't know about a full-grown man lactating (seems a little weird to me)

1
65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on August 18, 2011
at 02:13 AM

I used to nanny for a girl (5 weeks when I started) who was fed formula. She pooped about once a week and her parents just sort of laughed about it. The doctor suggested giving her water before her formula and that helped a bit. I wanted to scream at them how can you not make the connection between the poison you're shoving down her throat and the fact that a brand new baby can't freaking poop? She screamed 3-4 hours a day non stop too.

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1811)

on August 18, 2011
at 08:48 AM

Unfortunately, I don't think that this attitude helps the breastfeeding "cause" at all tbh. I think that formula has a place, although I a strong advocate of breastfeeding. I disagree that formula is poison. It's not, it's just not ideal. However, human babies have survived on many different permutations of formula throughout the years.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on August 18, 2011
at 03:30 PM

im sure you didnt mean to imply that i, and other formula feeding mothers here and elsewhere, poisoned our children, or laughed at their discomfort. correct me if im wrong, but thats some pretty harsh language to use about another persons most personal parenting decisions.

Medium avatar

(12379)

on August 18, 2011
at 03:37 PM

My little guy was ebf (exclusively breast fed) and he pooped once a week for about 3 months (from 2-5 months old) - wednesday between 4 and 7pm to be exact - Dr said it was fine as long as he wasn't laboured and the poop was normal.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on August 18, 2011
at 02:10 AM

Please ignore the "formula" recipe in the first link. WAPF has a better "homemade" formula.

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