"Many women that choose formula feeding often feel guilty about not breastfeeding."
And many women don't get to make that choice, and MUST formula feed. Please don't make us feel more guilty than we already do.
The truth shouldn't make you feel guilty. Guilt has nothing to do with having the facts about breastmilk and formula. If a woman is equipped with all the factual information about breastfeeding and then still chooses not to breastfeed then I would support her decision 100%...I respect that right to decide on your own.
Women should decide what is best for their family, their baby and their body. But the decision should be a well-thought out, educated and supported, rather than based on fatigue, mis-information, fear and lack of support.
I saw Hanna Rosin on the Today show and she admitted to breastfeeding all three of her children. I think we have learned a new way to spell hypocrite!
Guilt is a feeling one puts upon ones self. If you can NOT breastfeed there is no reason to feel guilt. Actually started, probably, by the formula companies. Regret is a better word. If a mother CHOOSES not to breastfeed and feels guilt, again, she is putting that upon herself, as she knows she chose her self wants over her baby's needs. This is not something someone else makes you feel. You just know it in your heart and don't want to hear anymore facts that are actually helping some other mother make a different, informed choice. Telling mothers that there are no differences in formula or breastfeeding does a great disservice to women, babies and our population as a whole. It takes us many steps backwards as we have fought so hard to get more mothers the information to begin breastfeeding.
And Heather, I am truly sorry if you could not breastfeed, but that shouldn't make you feel guilty, just regretful and sad and maybe next time you will find a way to provide breastmilk to your baby. Not knowing your situation, this would either be by donated milk, or further information and help with fixing whatever problems you may have. I know when one of my sons had a nursing strike, I did not know the term nor know that this could happen, so I just sadly quit, knowing more now, I understand what I should have and could have done to get through it or at least be happy to provide even 4 ounces of my pumped milk per day. I didn't understand the importance of even that amount because I had nursed my daughter for 18 months with no problems. I feel terrible regret over not knowing, not having the information.
wow, hot topic. Cheryl I thought you said it nicely with "regret" being the more accurate word. It would be nice to just have support in general from everyone regarding the way you choose to feed your baby.
So right, Dianna. When a mom makes her choice we must support her.
The feeling of Ms. Rosin's article and Today show piece says that breastfeeding mothers make formula feeders feel guilty. And she downplays the scientific research as not being very accurate. She is not a scientific researcher herself and whatever research she did was not very thorough. She just figured out a way to earn some extra money while still giving her baby the best benefits. I just wonder how she got the backing to be put in that paper and on tv with such drivel. They really need to give equal time to the science that shows how true the research is. She probably knows that the mothers who truly just choose formula over breastfeeding feel no guilt, whatsoever, and they are often very indignant about their choice. They actually look down their noses at breastfeeders as being so gross, or too time consuming. Ms. Rosin is just giving those mothers food to back up their choices.
I completely agree that the mother needs to make her own decision. And just as Joyce said - a decision based on education, accurate information and with all of the support necessary to achieve one's goal.
My first child did not gain weight quick enough and the pedi had me supplement with formula. By 5 months he weaned himself. I thought I had no other choice. There was no one who knew enough about breastfeeding to say, "feed your baby more!" My breasts were full of milk each morning. What a waste. Probably some post partum depression played into me not being able to figure it out myself.
Many women give up breastfeeding because their resources don't include anyone who really knows how to support breastfeeding. These resources should start with the doctors and nurses, but often they have never received any breastfeeding training and don't have a clue as to what the literature is saying.
I do not blame anyone for not succeeding at breastfeeding. Sometimes maybe it appears to be based on a selfish decision, but mothers, if they all knew the huge difference between formula and breastmilk would all choose breastmilk. It is the responsibilty of our society to tell them the truth.
Let's join togehter to educate our society on the truth about breastmilk.
I also wanted to add a couple of more points.
Some women do not have enough mammary tissue to fully breastfeed a child. Some women have spouses that put pressure on them to not breastfeed. Others still are on a medication that is not compatible with breastfeeding.
As women begin to share their stories about why they didn't breastfeed, we will learn more ways to support them if and when they want to nurse another baby.
Thanks for the comments!