Believe it or not, formula isn't poison.

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Believe it or not, formula isn't poison.
17
Wed, 02-01-2012 - 1:05pm

Is formula bashing becoming a real problem?

"...given the vitriol aimed at formula-feeding mothers, in online forums and on the street, one might suspect formula was pure poison. Jill Davidson, thirty-four, of Providence, RI, an educational consultant, was the mother of a newborn when she was invited to speak at a conference in Chicago. She was able to fly her mother from Connecticut to stay with her and care for the baby. Davidson pumped in her hotel room, then handed the baby off to her mother to feed. As her sixty-something mother sat in the hotel lobby feeding the baby, a woman passing by hissed, "Shame on you! You should be breastfeeding that baby!" That's been the tenor of the breastfeeding discussion in recent years: women (even menopausal ones!) who don't do it must be either ignorant or abusive."

"Some have jobs that are incompatible with nursing or pumping, like Debra Siegel, thirty, a marketing executive in Los Angeles. She worked in "a warehouse full of men. I didn't have an office; I'd have had to pump in the bathroom. And I needed the job; my husband was unemployed at the time." For Debra, returning to work was hard enough. Adding the stress of breastfeeding felt impossible. "I felt suicidal having to leave my baby, but I had no choice," she says. "I was the sole support of my family. So I decided not to even try to breastfeed. I'd talked to a lot of people and knew it took a while to get into a groove, and since I had to go back to work, I didn't want to spend my entire maternity leave feeling panicked and miserable. But as I got closer to my due date, people got more and more aggressive telling me I was selfish.""

"It's hard not to sound defensive when you're defending formula. Just look at the customer reviews of Peggy Robin's book [ Bottlefeeding Without Guilt ] on Amazon.com, where users call formula-feeding "stupid," "selfish," and "lazy"; attribute thousands of annual deaths in America to "withholding breastmilk"; refer to the "one percent" of women who truly can't breastfeed as "born handicap" [sic]; call formula "junk food" and dismiss women who bottle-feed as "the nanny crowd.""

Read article: http://www.babble.com/baby/baby-feeding-nutrition/breastfeeding-vs-bottle-feeding-why-baby%20formula-is-not-so-bad/index.aspx

"I was a formula feeder (not really by choice, but that would be a long story), and I never encountered anyone who gave me grief about it in real life. I did, however, encounter a lot of people who gave me grief about it online. I did have several women tell me that I was giving my child "rat poison," and that I didn't "try hard enough," and that I had "failed [my] daughter." It doesn't soften the blow that I only encountered these things online and not to my face, it still hurt a lot."

"I've seen those sorts of comments a lot, usually online– that formula is poison, should never be used, etc. I don't know how often those people say those things to the face of formula-feeding mothers, but they post it online like it's nothing."

"I also have a friend who adopted 2 kids, fed both of them formula, and she's made a comment to me that she still feels angry at the people who'd come up to her and judge her without even knowing what her situation was. So, sadly, yes they do exist. I believe it is these "lactivists" who contribute to this being such a hot-button issue, actually, as every formula-feeding mother who's ever been confronted by one of them will forever carry with her that anger and it will rise to the surface anytime *anyone* then talks about breastfeeding."

"i have people personally (in my MOMMY group that was started by ME) that formula-bash to my face. what kind of joke is that?"

Rread Article: http://accustomedchaos.com/breastfeeding-advocacy-vs-formula-bashing/


Pages

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2008
Wed, 02-01-2012 - 10:41pm
What i think goes on in these situations is that is one of two things. When it comes to negative confrontations between FF'rs and BF advocates IRL, I think that they are much less common then people think. In most cases, I think it's a few bad apples who are perceived as being more common then in reality. Because it is hammered into the minds of FF'rs that militant BF advocates are very common, they may not notice the many times when people don't say anything critical about the fact they are FF'ing but will remember any that do say something negative. In some cases they may misinterpret something a BF advocate says or does around them as an attack on them for FF'ing due to being set up beforehand to expect something negative from the BF advocate. Now when it comes to online interactions between BF advocates and FF'rs, I can believe that their are more BF advocates, who due to the anonymity of the internet and the lack of face-to--face interaction, are say inappropriate, insulting, or offensive things to a FF'rs they would not be willing to say to the FF'rs face IRL. Even given that, i still don't think their numbers are anywhere near as great as often claimed by formula defenders. I think again that the issue is perception where the negative comments stand out from the positive ones from BF advocates. There is also the likelihood that certain remarks from BF advocates are simply being misinterpreted. Let's not also forget that the formula co. PR firms may be posting fake messages claiming negative remarks from FF'rs or intentionally misinterpreting things BF advocates say to turn more FF'rs/formula defenders against BF'rs/BF advocates. You also have the issue where many FF'rs/formula defenders are don't realize or ignore the amount of criticisms/insults/attacks against BF'rs for things like NIP or ext. BF'ing portraying the situation as if it's only FF'rs who get attacked/criticized/insulted. This all adds up the perception the problem is worse then it actually is.

This all reminds me of a common problem you find in product support forums on the internet. Whenever a new product comes out and a bunch of people have a problem with it such a hardware or software issue. After a bunch of these people post that they are having the same issue,this can create the false impression that the product or software is buggier, more defective, or of lesser quality then it really is simply becuase your not hearing from the greater number of satisfied customers who like the product but just don't see the need to post this. People who like a product are unlikely to report on a support forum they have no issues and I think this same rule applies to parenting forums to some degree too. I don't see many posts form FF'rs about positive interactions between between them and BF advocates. When I have seen that it was usually a current or former FF'r who planned to BF their next child and was asking for advice on a BF support or debate forum not a general parenting board.

One more important reason for this false perception is the fact that media, especially newspapers, magazines, online new sights, etc. like to run articles and opinion pieces critical of Bf advocates and BF promotion. That also helps shape the perception of many people on this claim.

Photobucket

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-06-2010
Thu, 02-02-2012 - 9:47am

Believe it or not, formula isn't poison.

I guess I feel like if FFers felt this was true then they wouldn't be so sensitive to the comments of bfers.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-28-2011
Thu, 02-02-2012 - 10:44am
ITA newlywed. insecurity can colour our perception to a large extent. My SIL FFed but was very comfortable with her choice. Any comments she heard (which weren't nasty) she deflected with "I tried BFing but it wasn't for me. I've been much happier since I switched." Someone who wasn't confident in FFing would probably have felt a lot more offended or attacked by the same comments.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007
Sun, 02-05-2012 - 2:16am

>>I guess I feel like if FFers felt this was true then they wouldn't be so sensitive to the comments of bfers. I feel like if the ffers were comfortable with their decision to feed their child formula then it wouldn't matter what others say to them. It's those mothers who are uncomfortable with their decision that have the hardest time with all the comments<<

I guess you're right

FF

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Sun, 02-05-2012 - 8:57am
newlywed2010 wrote:

I guess I feel like if FFers felt this was true then they wouldn't be so sensitive to the comments of bfers.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007
Sun, 02-05-2012 - 3:44pm

I have to admit that one of the reasons I only come to this board sometimes is because of the number of formula bashing articles which I've seen posted here.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008
Sun, 02-05-2012 - 4:33pm
true.blue.strine wrote:

I have to admit that one of the reasons I only come to this board sometimes is because of the number of formula bashing articles which I've seen posted here.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007
Sun, 02-05-2012 - 5:04pm

What I refer to is the "formula is poison" attitude.

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Sun, 02-05-2012 - 7:48pm

I have posted many formula bashing articles - it's true. I am constantly on the hunt for debatable articles - and I will post articles that I hope will get the conversation going.

It is the response that these articles get that is important - do the debators agree with what is said in the article? Do they continue the formula bashing? Or do they comment against this type of treatment?

It's been difficult of late to get support for the formula side of the debate - we have had some strong formula debators in the past, but no one lately. That makes the board heavily weighted on the breastfeeding side. I hope that will change in time.

I am glad that you have continued to come round, and post. It is important that we hear your side of this debate - and how it makes you feel.

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Sun, 02-05-2012 - 7:53pm

There have been times that I have cringed when I have read some posts here, imagining how it would make a mom feel if she had hoped to breastfeed and was not able to. Even after all these years, some of the things posted to those who use

Pages