Believe it or not, formula isn't poison.
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|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.""
"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?"