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?