Debate: How much better does Breastmilk have to be?

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Debate: How much better does Breastmilk have to be?
142
Tue, 03-01-2011 - 1:47pm

Reading an article about how breastmilk is really not all that better than formula, and it left me with this question - how much better does it have to be important enough to consider?

"Breast milk is no better for a baby than formula, an expert claimed last night as he reignited the 'breast is best' debate."

"Professor Sven Carlsen, author of a recent study published through Acta Obstetricia and Gynecologica Scandinavica, claims that there is no difference between breastfeeding and formula feeding in regards to children's health."

"Breast-Feeding No Better Than Formula for Protection Against ..."

Or, since breast milk is the biological norm, how much worse does formula have to be to be important enough to consider?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2008
I not all that comfortable trying to set a minimum health difference between BF and FF that must exists before I would recommend that mothers should seriously consider BF'ing. I think that given that BF'ing is natural and formula is man-made and artificial, we should naturally treat BF'ing as the default way to feed a baby unless circumstances force us to do otherwise. So long as FF'ing has any degree of increased risks compared with BF'ing then I think it should be viewed as the default way to feed a baby. Only if by some miracle the formula companies actually manage to make a formula as good as or better then BM would I suggest the choice be viewed as equally good. I don't expect that to ever happen in my lifetime though.

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Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010

Sorry - what I was thinking was - how much better does it have to be - in the mother's own mind - to be important enough to consider?

Or how much worse does formula have to be - in the mother's own mind - to be important enough to consider?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2008

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008

Very well-articulated, as always Charleen.

In my experience, of the women who FF, a significant proportion of them seem to be in the camp where there is either a lack of true awareness of the extent of any risks, or a denial of the risks. I think because they can cite anecdotal evidence of a BF baby who got sick a lot and another FF baby who did not, then they are able to use this to dismiss all of the carefully conducted scientific studies. They believe what they want to believe. They may not actually understand how a controlled scientific study works, especially if they can see a handful of examples that may not support the findings.

Teresa

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2006

For any particular mom, it's going to be directly correlated to how difficult BF'ing proves to be for her.

For a mom for whom BF'ing comes easily - ie. little to no problems, little to no learning curve - it really doesn't have to be all that much better than formula.

2010 Siggy
Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-16-2010
adamsmumma wrote:

For any particular mom, it's going to be directly correlated to how difficult BF'ing proves to be for her.

For a mom for whom BF'ing comes easily - ie. little to no problems, little to no learning curve - it really doesn't have to be all that much better than formula.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-06-2010
While this is a well thought out answer, I have to take offense when you say that formula feeding moms don't care and should be considered "bad moms". Having been a victim of sexual abuse, it is very hard for me to breastfeed. You may call that a psychological hangup, but unless you were a victim as well you're really in no position to make assumptions.
Pregnancy%20ticker
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-06-2010
Also- It's view points and comments like this that pit formula feeders against breast feeders. I respect everyone's choices and frankly it's not my place to determine what someone elses decision should be.
Pregnancy%20ticker
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2004

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