Debate: Do you really BELIEVE that formula is equal to breastmilk?

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Debate: Do you really BELIEVE that formula is equal to breastmilk?
6
Tue, 03-01-2011 - 2:10pm

The question was asked: Do you really BELIEVE that formula is equal to breastmilk?

Some of the responses:

I do believe it's equal. "Better than" is subjective. Not to start an argument within and already inflammatory subject ... Whats interesting is that there aren't studies done about the quality of breast milk over time. I know that there are mothers that eat very well while breastfeeding; but what about the ones that eat a lot of processed foods? I have a hard time believing that formula wouldn't be better than the milk produced by some women. Just something to think about.

I believe the best thing for your child is whatever you personally decide is best for your child.

It's definitely not superior in my opinion, but I think it's closer to real breast milk now than it was in the past.

I 100% formula fed all 5 of my kids by choice and even I don't think it's equal to breastmilk but it's good enough for my kids. Better for them to be growing and healthy and thriving on formula then be breastfeed with a resentful, depressed mother who hates every moment they have to nurse.

People should stop judging. Especially those who say it is healthier when you know you probably let your kids eat McDonalds, or drink soda or something like that. Even if it is just from time to time. People should decide what works best for their family and that is that. Should everyone eat healthy? YES, but there isn't just ONE way to do it. And so formula is not going to necessarily lead to an unhealthy baby. Move on

I firmly believe that both are HEALTHY and SAFE options. It's really up to the parents discretion IMO.

most moms cant breastfeed. they shouldnt be made to feel inferior if they cant

I do not believe Formula is equal to breast milk but I also do not believe there is anything wrong with feeding formula. It's like fresh squeezed versus from concentrate! Both are good but one is more natural. ;0) There is nothing wrong with feed formula. Millions of babies have grown up just fine on it. Some would not have grown up at all with out it.

Source: http://www.cafemom.com/answers/740742/Do_you_really_BELIEVE_that_formula_is_equal_to_breastmilk?cat_id=&order=votes&next=1

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2008

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Since where talking about the substances and not the delivery methods, then unless your arguing the health differences don't matter or that somehow the baby benefitd from the increased health risks, then it's not really subjective. One could argue that the science that is said to proves the health risks of formula is faulty but that does not make it subjective. Now their are subjective aspects of FF'ing vs BF'ing outside of the health risks but that was not what the question asked.

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Think for a second the logic of the above statement if taken literally. Under that logic, if a parent decides that beating their child senseless is what's best for them then it would be what's best for them. Also, a parent wanted to feed their baby dog food or Kool-Aid from day one then that would be OK under that logic. It also fails to account for the fact that parents are human beings who are fallible and thus are capable of making parenting choices they realize after the fact were a mistake. For example, Which_power, our CL, has mentioned many times before that she made a grave mistake switching completely to formula after three weeks of mixed feeding with her first child but that it was only after he nearly didn't survive on formula that she realized this. I know other parents who made decision they though there best only to realize later they where not.

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While it's likely true that modern formula is better then say the formula my Mother was feed in the 1950's, for example, but that does not say much. The health differene could be only slightly closer then say 50 years ago and that would technically make formula closer then ever to BM but that does not mean the gap is significantly smaller. To look at a different example, say a person who has never left their home state before traveled from California to New York. They could then say that they are closer then ever to England, which would technically be true since they are closer then they have ever been to England but it ignores the fact that are still a log ways away from England. It's a very misleading phrase. It's like when an ad says that "4 out of 5 doctors" recommend out product without stating where whey are talking about all doctors or just a group of 5 doctors they put together themselves or when an ad for a cleaning product claims it cleans better without specifying what it cleans better then which could be just be plain water, motor oil, mud, acid, etc.

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She is entitled to feel that formula is good enough since that is indeed a subjective claim though not one I would agree with. I do wonder if she ever even tried to nurse any of her children though? if she did and that's where she came up with the idea of BF'ing making a mom resentful, depressed and hating ever moment she has to nurse then I would make a bet that likely she lacked good support for BF'ing and that likely contributed to her feelings.I would grant the possibility that she would have felt that way regardless of the level of support she had as I have run into moms who had great support for BF'ing but just never really enjoyed it.

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Terms like healthy and safe are somewhat subjective but I would argue that formula is not healthy in general based on on the science and that while it you could cal it a generally safe option in developed countries (with some exceptions), that does not mean that it's it the babies best health interest to be fed it without good reasons. Eating fast food regularly is clearly not the best thing for a persons health in the long but that does not mean it's unsafe to eat fast food ever.

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I would disagree that most moms can't BF or at least can't inherently BF as implied in the above statement. Yes, there are many obstacles on this day and age that make BF'ing difficult or impossible for some moms such as lack of support, bad advice from medical proffesionals, limited maternity leave and

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-29-2005
Seems like there are a lot of people with their heads in the sand.

The only one I think is reasonable is the "no, it's not as good, but it's good enough." Hopefully she's done the research and her assessment of risk makes it acceptable (rather than just deciding without that
assessment). Though I just reread that quote and realized it had an element of "happy mommy, happy baby" to it.

 


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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2008

Oops! I forget one wuote I wanted to address:

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This person is wrong when they argue the false idea that eating fast food counters the benefits of BM so unless your children eat 100% healthy then it's pointless. Eating McDonald's and other fast food as toddlers and older children will not wipe out the long term benefits of BF'ing.

While I agree with them that everyone should be able to "decide what works best for their family and that is that" I believe that decision needs to be made fully informed and that there should be adequate support for BF'ing so certain concerns that lead people to choose for as working best for their family no longer exists. I think though we need to realize that just because such a mom feels formula is best for their family situation does not change the fact that it's not just as healthy as BM.

Now in terms of this persons implication that when it comes to feeding babies, there is more then one way to end up with a equally healthy child. Absent certain rare medical conditions, BM is going to be the healthiest food to feed one's baby compared with commercial formula or homemade alternatives, hands down. Your not going to be able to make up the for the health risks of formula through others means IMO. Yes, some babies might not show any significant health risks with formula and thus for them the difference might be insignificant such they you could claim in their case there is more then one way to a healthy baby. But in the average case, your not going to find ways other then BF'ing that get an equally healthy baby (or close enough).

When this person says "And so formula is not going to necessarily lead to an unhealthy baby." I would technically agree with them but the problem is that statistically their is a significant risk of one's FF baby not being in the just as healthy bunch and their is no way to know ahead of time just what kind of FF baby you will have ahead of time.So IMO why take the chance. BF advocates generally agree that not all FF babies will be significantly sicker then if they where BF'd, contrary to what some FF defenders try and claim, but we simply don't consider taking the risk worth it.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-30-2008
I don't think it's equal to breastmilk but I think it's good enough that it's not like your feeding the kid dog food or anything. Some of those comments are just silly. Especially the McDonald's comment. I really don't see how that has anything to do with breastmilk since formula fed kids eat fast food too.
bigbro
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2006
furke wrote:
I don't think it's equal to breastmilk but I think it's good enough that it's not like your feeding the kid dog food or anything. Some of those comments are just silly. Especially the McDonald's comment. I really don't see how that has anything to do with breastmilk since formula fed kids eat fast food too.

I have to chuckle at the dog food part of your comment because my younger son actually did eat dog food when he was a toddler.

2010 Siggy
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2007
Good enough? Why in the world would you just "settle" for something that you know isn't the best for your child? I simply do not understand that logic. I do understand the happy mommy, happy baby element and have told several women that it may be better if they do what they must (in regards to BF or FF) to keep their happiness and sanity, for the sake of the baby if nothing else. But these were women that I think if they had even half the support they should have had, everything would have been fine. I haven't had much support in my breastfeeding of any of my kids, but I'm just that damn stubborn that I was going to make it work!

Tessa
Single Mom of 6 beautiful children and 3 angels........
CL to Single Moms, January 2010 Winter Wonders, and 2010 Playgroup Friends