Choose? Smoking?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Choose? Smoking?
14
Thu, 08-19-2010 - 11:22pm

To me there is something off about calling formula a choice. Of course, literally it is a choice, but comparing it to "Choice", the feminist issue, abortion, life, etc. is a little dramatic, wouldn't you say?

IMO, the problem with Choice, is that there is no good option. Generally, half of the people choose one way, half choose the other as the "better" option.

In terms of breastfeeding, the choice is clear, breastfeeding is preferred. However, due to various constraints, it isn't always do-able. Life circumstances, lack of government protection, and lack of support and information, etc. deter breastfeeding.

Often when we talk about risk, smoking is a useful analogy. Usually, there is a complaint that the risk of smoking and the risk of not breastfeeding are not quantitatively similar.

Wouldn't that same complaint apply to Choice and BF/FF?

In my opinion, breastfeeding just isn't as important an issue as life itself.






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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2008
Thu, 08-19-2010 - 11:53pm
To me there is something off about calling formula a choice. Of course, literally it is a choice, but comparing it to "Choice", the feminist issue, abortion, life, etc. is a little dramatic, wouldn't you say?



I think it falls under the broad umbrella of parenting rights. Parents have a right to raise their children how they see fit, with few exceptions. I do think it is "a choice" though I wouldn't call it a feminist issue per se, because single male parents or gay male couples would also have a right to make a decision between donor milk and formula if donor milk was widely available. A parenting issue fits more than a feminist issue for me, though certainly there are aspects of bf'ing and W&P that crossover into feminist issues.

"Life is the art of drawing without an eraser."

John W. Gardner



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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Fri, 08-20-2010 - 5:54pm

"To me there is something off about calling formula a choice. Of course, literally it is a choice, but comparing it to "Choice", the feminist issue, abortion, life, etc. is a little dramatic, wouldn't you say?"


Cathie

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Registered: 06-24-2008
Fri, 08-20-2010 - 6:46pm
It's strange, actually, that "choice" is such a strong cry from the formula crowd, when formula is actually ALWAYS a choice and even when breastfeeding, a mothers right to choose formula is always there and it's hers to choose.



Though when it comes up in the context of a debate about taking that option away, as has been discussed in many threads here recently, it's not actually strange. I think outside of that, when it comes up for ff'ers it's often a way for the mother to say "mind your own business." I think that happens with any topic when a person feels judged because they are making what is perceived to be a substandard choice. You know, like the woman getting back with her boyfriend that nobody likes, might cry it's her choice.



Breastfeeding, on the other hand, is not something all women have the priveledge to "choose", or make the decision themselves to use. Sometimes, that decision is just not there for them, or it's taken from them.



I agree, absolutely. I wonder if there isn't some desire to "balance the scales" so to speak and debate taking the option away from ff'ers because that is what is so many times done to bf'ers.

"Life is the art of drawing without an eraser."

John W. Gardner



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"The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding."
Malcolm Gladwell Blink

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Sun, 08-22-2010 - 8:14am

"Though when it comes up in the context of a debate about taking that option away, as has been discussed in many threads here recently, it's not actually strange."


Well, outside of actual debate and an occasional unintentioned comment by someone known enough tpo be quoted and misquoted, I don't see removing formula as a choice coming up all that often and usually nothing more than talk.

Cathie

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2008
Sun, 08-22-2010 - 9:28am
I know what the debate has been around here lately, and if I recall, there's was virtually no support for removing formula as a choice. The complaint that choice is being removed is a little ironic, I think.



When it keeps being posted as a topic, the fact there is virtually no support is going to guarantee there are a lot of "complaints" or disagreement with that idea, so I don't think it's ironic, I think it's by design. It's not that posters think choice IS being taken away it's that posters disagree with the what-if scenario being posted. The only place I've seen anyone actually complain choice IS being removed is in the threads discussing Jakarta.



If we, as a group, really wanted to balance the scales, the results of the poll would have been very different.



I didn't mean balance the scales literally, but rather that it figuratively puts the shoe on the other foot. FF'ers are as adamantly opposed to the idea of choice being taken away as bf'ers are about the reality of choice being taken away, but all it shows is that people on both sides are against their choice being infringed upon.

"Life is the art of drawing without an eraser."

John W. Gardner



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Ten Rules for Being Human


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"The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding."
Malcolm Gladwell Blink

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Sun, 08-22-2010 - 11:33am

>>The right to choose challenge is more of a breastfeeding problem than a formula feeding one. <<

You are so right. What an interesting flip.

Keeping the choice to breastfeeding open....hmmm. I'm going to think on this one.






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Registered: 04-18-2003
Sun, 08-22-2010 - 4:45pm

well, smoking while pregnant isn't illegal, so that is a choice, too.

Very few people would consider it a legitimate choice. And many people would feel entitled to criticize, and "It's none of your business" would carry less weight.

I remember the same columnist, in different columns, talking how outrageous it was that some people would venture an opinion about other people bf'ing. "How is that any of their beeswax?" and about how shocking it was that a woman would smoke while pregnant, and thought it perfectly acceptabel to call the mom out on it.

So I think "choice", the way it is generally used, does indeed mean something that's nobody else's business. The question then becomes, how do we determine that? Where is the line? If health risk makes it anybody's business, then bf/ff is anybody's business, as much as smoking. Or is there is level of risk, and what is that level?

Then again, isn't it my *choice* whether or not to stick my nose in your business? ;-)

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Sun, 08-22-2010 - 5:38pm

Great post!

I wonder which is riskier for an infant not being breastfed or mom smoking during the pregnancy? I wonder if it is possible to compare the relative risk with currently known data? I wonder how to go about that.

I suspect that smoking during pregnancy is more risky to the mom than not breastfeeding, but I don't know if I could back it up.

Good to see you posting again. :)






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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2008
Sun, 08-22-2010 - 6:27pm
Where is the line? If health risk makes it anybody's business, then bf/ff is anybody's business, as much as smoking. Or is there is level of risk, and what is that level?



The line is public vs. personal. It's nobody's business which decision a mother makes when it comes to bf or ff. But it is a public health issue so it's certainly a lot of people's business on a larger scale. When it comes to laws, advertising and marketing, training and care provided by healthcare providers, public policies like WIC, support programs, availability of IBCLCs, etc., well those are everybody's business.



Then again, isn't it my *choice* whether or not to stick my nose in your business? ;-)



Why yes, yes it is. : )

"Life is the art of drawing without an eraser."

John W. Gardner



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Ten Rules for Being Human


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"The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding."
Malcolm Gladwell Blink

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2008
Sun, 08-22-2010 - 6:30pm
I suspect that smoking during pregnancy is more risky to the mom than not breastfeeding, but I don't know if I could back it up.



I suspect the same. I bet we could prove it, but summer is coming to an end and it's still daylight out, so it will have to wait for now.

"Life is the art of drawing without an eraser."

John W. Gardner



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Ten Rules for Being Human


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"The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding."
Malcolm Gladwell Blink

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