Breast is best?

The debate on if breastfeeding is best for your baby has reared its head again on social media following the story of a mother in Boots not being given Boots points after buying formula milk and when she asked Boots for clarity they said they didn’t offer points on formula milk as they were encouraging mums to Breastfeed. This topic REALLY gets my blood boiling!

 

Now I hear the argument that if you discount formula one week and a mother makes her choice on if she wants to breast feed on that price and then if they put the price up to “normal” the next week she may suddenly realise she can’t afford it and if her milk has dried up she is then in a predicament.

 

However I also feel as a grown-up who feels able to have a baby and then make decisions for that baby for the rest of their lives to nurture them into a grown-up who is then able to make decisions for themselves, surely I do not need a retailer or the government for that matter telling me how I should CHOOSE to feed my baby? I would go about this as I would with every important decision in life, by research, reading, asking questions and then working out what works best for me, my family and my situation. If budget were one of the key factors in my decision I would also have investigated this and not based my whole decision on a reduced price formula which also would have the RRP on it anyway so I could see how much it should be at full price!

 

What about mums who have had mastectomies, or who have illnesses such as mastitis which prevents them from breastfeeding, if the government are so concerned for these “poor” children who aren’t breastfeed surely they should be offering to help in some way, surely they should be encouraging cheaper formula milk so the “poor” infants don’t starve by these mothers not being able to breastfeed!

 

By shops not offering points on milk – surely this just means that the shops are making even more profit from mothers at a time when their salaries are cut! This does not change a mother’s mind on if she is going to breastfeed or not. Price will be a contributing factor in decision making but it really isn’t as cut and dried as that, there are so many factors that make up such an important decision!

 

Also how do you choose which formula to feed to your baby if you want to or need to? If the companies aren’t allowed to discuss their product how can you make an informed decision on which one is best for your child? Knowledge is power and I just don’t understand how the government not allowing companies to discuss their products or shops to help families to feed their children by discounting formula milk or at least offering loyalty points is in anyway helpful to anyone!

 

The government are changing maternity and paternity rights to allow dads more opportunity to share in the childcare, so if a mother returns to work earlier chances are she is more likely to need to top up her child’s milk intake with formula even if she chooses to express. Will this change in legislation mean that the government will look at their advice about breast feeding and relax the rules on companies who produce and sell formula milk?

 

There are so many reasons why mothers choose to bottle feed rather than breastfeed. I feel that giving mothers as much knowledge and explaining all the reasons for and against doing this is important. We get told the health implications for you and baby of breastfeeding by midwives whilst we are pregnant – but if we can’t do it or choose not to, we are pretty much left to our own devices with no help or advice on how to sterilise bottles, which formula to use etc. If the government wants to intervene with making rules and regulations surely they should do so in an unbiased way, breast may be statistically best, but it isn’t always possible so why not help all mothers make the best informed decision they can to benefit their child. Without making them feel like they are doing something wrong or not doing the very best for their child.

 

With my little girl breastfeeding didn’t work out, I tried it but I didn’t like it and I needed help with night feeds so a bottle meant my husband could help. This was a choice we made as a family and we didn’t take lightly. I am pregnant again and as I have a wonderful healthy little girl who was bottle fed I have no issues about bottle feeding this new arrival if this works out best for us again.

 

I will try breastfeeding, but I won’t drink (a drop!), I don’t smoke, I don’t do drugs, I will eat healthily and ensure I have as much goodness as I can in my diet to make my milk the best I can. If I had a poor diet or was a drinker I would put my baby straight onto formula milk as I personally feel that formula milk that has been specifically designed by scientists and nutritionists and has lots of vitamins and nutrients in it for my age child would be better for my baby than milk that was produced by someone eating turkey twizzlers and washing it down with a glass of red!

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on breastfeeding – do you feel it is your duty to do it as the best thing for your baby or do you think that it is an individual choice? Do you think the government should have rules about advertising and sales of formula to enforce the breast is best message or do you think that they should concentrate on education and giving a full and diverse picture to new mums?

5 Responses to Breast is best?

  1. Kimboqueen12 says:

    I have to agree with Tatiana! I’ve breastfed both my boys and I’m still feeding my 20 month old and it has been the best experience ever. The mums that have a hard time breastfeeding always feel chastised for not having done so but why get so offended? Just say no and move on! I’m constantly asked when I will stop feeding my almost two year old and I reply when he wants to stop…simple as! (I will also state I’m not one of those mums that will breastfeed an older child as I do think the WHO recommendations of up to two years old is quite sufficient)

    The information on formula is out there – http://www.firststepsnutrition.org/newpages/Infants/infant_feeding.html

    It is shocking what does go into formula and to be honest I wasn’t comfortable giving it to my boys and my perseverance paid off even when their dependency on me was quite trying at times with breastfeeding.

    The support for mums having breastfeeding issues is also out there so I hope this time around you give it a go and it is successful for you!

  2. Tatiana says:

    I am a mum of 13 month old twins. My babies are breastfed.So I can only imagine that breastfeeding one baby must be easier… It never crossed my mind to give them a formula, there was no reason, I knew when I was pregnant with my babies that I will breastfeed. I think this is where it all starts, lots of women decide when they are pregnant already that they will give formula..I have experienced it a lot in my profession as I nanny as I was the one feeding all these little babies cows milk made for calfs modifited by mashines and chemicals- that’s how formula is made…but I don’t know one person who couldn’t breastfeed because of medical reasons…The problem probably is that giving a bottle and not breastfeeding is a life style choiseThere is definitely not enough support for breastfeeding right after you

  3. Emma Murch says:

    I am a mum to an 18 month old boy. When I was pregnant I decided I would try breast feeding as that was what I was advices to do. I had in my mind that I would feed for 6 months then get my body back. I never imagined I would be one of those mums that enjoyed it! So my little one arrived and after a long and very traumatic labour I was asked to try and feed him, for me it was amazing. However feeding was so difficult I had reoccuring mastitis ( 5 times in five months) I regularly went to a breast feeding cafe and that was my life line. Eventually I was referred to a feeding expert and that made all the difference. I went on to breast feed my son until he was 17 months. I put an enormous amount of pressure on myself to keep feeding and now I am not so emotional and sleep deprived I think a lot of that was due to the pressure from professionals. Every time I saw a doctor or a Health Visitor I was asked if I was feeding myself I can’t imagine how you feel if you have to keep saying you are not. I have heard horrible stories from mums who choose or can’t breast feed, about how they have been treated. A close friend had a short stay in hospital with her little girl – the hospital fed the mum meals BECAUSE she was breast feeding but would not feed the mum in the next bay because she was formula feeding! I think you should be able to make your own choices and you should not be judged as a mother on whether you are breast feeding or not.

  4. amanda says:

    Well said Rachel! Why should you be made to feel bad for not breastfeeding when you have done the best for your child, who is healthy, happy and nutritionally satisfied, who has the right to judge? Also if formula had been £3 per tin or £30 per tin you would still have bottle fed as you had no choice so why should you not be allowed to benefit from offers, deals and points – you could have if you were buying alcohol!

  5. Rachel says:

    I think that parents should be given choice and not have breastfeeding forced upon them. I could not breastfeed my daughter for various reasons, I was often asked if she was breastfed and was often made to feel uncomfortable with answering no. Breastfeeding is not right for everyone. Bottle feeding is not always a choice we make as a parent but is sometimes the only option we have. Personally I would have appreciated being able to purchase formula on special offer or to collect points as it would have helped eased the financial burden. I definitely think that education and offering a full and diverse picture should be presented to Mums and that whatever their choice they should have the full support of the medical professionals who are meant to be there to help them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *