In this day and age, why choose breastfeeding?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-23-2013
In this day and age, why choose breastfeeding?
22
Wed, 03-12-2014 - 11:06am

I have known as many women that breast fed as I have those that bottle fed. There is no difference in their children. None are necessarily smarter or healthier or closer to their moms. So why on earth would a woman tie herself down to a baby in this day and age when she doesn't need to?

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Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998

There are documented health benefits from breastfeeding. Nursing (as opposed to pumping) is much more convenient than bottle feeding. Nothing to buy, wash, mix, pour, heat, test or carry in the diaper bag. Many moms find it a relaxing and enjoyable time spent with their child skin to skin.

"So why on earth would a woman tie herself down to a baby in this day and age when she doesn't need to?" If a woman is feeling like she will be "tied down to a baby" then she should explore her reasons for having a baby in the first place. Parents will be "tied down" to some degree for at least 18 years, so if they don't want to deal with it during the most vulnerable phase then maybe they're not emotionally ready for the commitment required.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Fri, 03-14-2014 - 5:59pm

I couldn't agree more, El.  The skin to skin bond was something I wouldn't have missed for the world.  Even the occasional mess of "let down", tells you your body hears your child's cries, just as much as your heart. 

When I had my first baby, my company held my job for 5 months.  By the time I had my second, they could only hold it 6 weeks.  Even tho I was comfortable with the fact that I'd passed on my colostrum, and fed as much as I could, I wondered it there would ultimately be  any difference.  One difference I can attest to as a FACT, is that my older dd, who otherwise was fed the SAME diet as my younger dd the entire time they lived in our home, and who had the same activity level, was a leaner child, and has been a leaner adult.  My younger dd also gains weight much easier than her sister.

The other benefit was not planned, but I am SO VERY GRATEFUL it worked out.  My older dd had cystic acne so severe, that she ended up on Accutane.  The first course of treatment was for 2 years, and the second about 4 years later, for about 14 months.  At that time, Roche did NOT own up to the fact that Accutane was responsible for causing inflammatory bowel disease, and Crohn's disease.  There were NO warning in the publications, or from the doctors.  We did know about the suicide risk, and the birth defect problems.  She did develop depression, which we treated immediatly, and she was fanatical about pregnancy prevention.  But had we known about the IB, we would not have put her on the drug, since *I* have IB.  But she never developed either gastro condition, despite being at higher risk than others.  Research now suggests that breastfeeding may play a role in preventing digestive diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

The OP may not have seen any health difference in the children SHE knew.  That does not apply to all children.  Your child may play in the street 999 times, and not get hit by a car.  It's that 1000th time that is a killer.  Why take the risk?

http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/feeding-eating/breastfeeding/why-breast-is-best/7-ways-breastfed-babies-become-healthier-adults

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009

There are also many benefits for the mother, including some degree of prorection from breast cancer. The protection "builds up" over time based on the length of time you breast feed. Here, it is recommended that women breast feed for at least 12 months. Of course, that does not mean that the child is exclusively breast fed.

According to a recent Scientific American paper..

"In a study of data from 139,681 postmenopausal women in the U.S., those who breastfed for less than 12 months during their reproductive years had a higher risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hyperlipidemia and hypertension than women who had lactated for more than a year in total"

plus..

"New research presented in March from Schwarz and Candace McClure, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pittsburgh's Department of Epidemiology, found that women who had not breastfed had an average of about seven and a half additional centimeters of fat around their waists (as gleaned from CT scans).

But as Schwarz points out, "not all body fat is created equal." The fat that tends to accumulate during pregnancy is in part visceral fat, which sits around organs in the midsection and can put people more at risk for heart and other types of diseases. Their CT study also found that, of the 351 women aged 45 to 58, those who had children and not breastfed had 28 percent more visceral fat than those who had consistently breastfed."

There is more in the papers, discussing protection for ovarian and breast cancer in post-memopausal women who breast-feed. It is too long to quote all the benefits but after reading the paper one has to ask ... what woman who cares about her long-term health, who wants to be arround for her grandchildren, not take the steps to take care of herself.

We have breasts for a reason; to feed a baby. And unless there is a medical reason why a woman cannot breast-feed her baby, she should think twice and three times before she decides not to breast feed.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-23-2013
Tue, 03-18-2014 - 11:21am

You honestly think breast feeding is more convenient than a bottle? Did you breastfeed? I breast fed and bottle fed and once I realized how convenient and easy the bottle was there was no way I was going back to breastfeeding. It is so life consuming.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2014
Thu, 03-20-2014 - 4:10pm

I am impressed that you didn't get reamed for this post. There are scientifically proven benefits to breastfeeding that can't be denied not to mention immunity benefits as well. However despite the extremism that exists on the other side of the debate, giving your child formula isn't akin to "child abuse".  If all things considered if not breastfeeding gives you more time to do other things that ultimately benefit your child well then go on with your bad self.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2009
Thu, 03-20-2014 - 10:31pm

Quite possibly, the benefits of breastfeeding have been inflated.  In her book Is Breast Best? Taking on the Breastfeeding Experts and the New High Stakes of Motherhood, Wolf argues that the science behind many breastfeeding studies is problematic. "In the science we trust most, we do randomised controlled trials. But you can't do that with breastfeeding. The groups are self-selecting."

"Women who choose to go through the labour of breastfeeding have made a commitment to go the extra mile for the sake of their baby's health," says Wolf. "They are likely to be doing all kinds of other things too. Their homes are clean. They wash their hands. They will be reading more, talking more, serving more fruit and vegetables …

"When you look at all of those things and hold them up to the very small differences that researchers find, it could very well all be down to these environmental factors."  http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/feb/10/breastfeeding-best-debate

Breastfeeding can be extremely time consuming.  It's not "free" unless a mother's time and work are worth nothing.  It's not more convenient when a mother is the only person who can feed her child or when she must use a pump in order to fill a bottle.  

I am perplexed by the phrase "bad self"?  Is it slang?  Tongue in cheek?  

Frankly, after watching my DD struggle for almost three months now to breastfeed her little boy, I am more than a little fed-up with the holier-than-thou attitude of lactivists.  If breastfeeding works for them, great.  If it doesn't, as I have told my daughter repeatedly, you can be a great bottle feeding mother.  No need to martyr oneself on Mt. Mammary!  

And it now looks like the science just isn't there in adequate levels for anybody to claim superiority on the basis of feeding method alone.    

Jabberwocka

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Tue, 03-25-2014 - 3:23pm

notmyfault80 wrote:
<p>You honestly think breast feeding is more convenient than a bottle? Did you breastfeed? I breast fed and bottle fed and once I realized how convenient and easy the bottle was there was no way I was going back to breastfeeding. It is so life consuming.</p>

I bottle fed my first one and did extending breastfeeding for my second 2 (26 months and 19 months), and after the initial time of getting into the nursing rhythm, YES, undoubtedly breastfeeding was much more convenient, and not that it was important, but obviously much cheaper, than bottle feeding.  I did pump for both of my second ones as I went back to work at 8 weeks and nursed in the evenings, but even then, it was still more convenient.  I can't compare intelligence, and my oldest is pretty darn intelligent, but I can easily attest to the health differences.  My oldest had constant ear infections and eczema, as well as allergies.  My middle one, she did initially have a few ear infections, but overall, my younger two have by far been much healthier than my older one has ever been.  You can disregard the research or reports all you want, I think its a matter of choice, but there are plenty of us that have seen the many great benefits of nursing.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2014
Thu, 03-27-2014 - 11:52pm

Jabberwocka,

;) yes, "go on with your bad self" is slang and tongue in cheek. It essentially means "do what's right for you and feels right and go with it". I think my overall point with this is that I don't get the need to try and convince other women so vehemently in one way or another about what strikes me as a personal decision. Frankly maybe some women don't consider breastfeeding to be a burden or a chore and perhaps some do. If it feels oppressive, then don't do it and as you said you can be a great "bottle feeding mother".  I agree that lactivists need to stop making women feel like their bad mothers if they make a different choice that works for them. Happy Medium, live and let live, that's where I'm coming from with this.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2014
Thu, 03-27-2014 - 11:58pm

I think if I have a child I will def try to breastfeed as I do think while I'm sure there are inflated statistics and benefits put out there with regard to breastfeeding, it just strikes me as common sense that what's most natural is that a child get its milk like other mammals from its mother and that it's also good from a bonding standpoint (not to mention, it's cheaper!).  Having said that though, I am by no means going to beat myself up if I can't and or it was causing me undue stress. A stressed out Mommy is probably far more detrimental to a baby than anything.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Mon, 03-31-2014 - 3:50pm

Mookie31973 wrote:
<p>II am by no means going to beat myself up if I can't and or it was causing me undue stress..</p>

Sounds like a reasonable approach!

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