Experience vs book knowledge in the BF vs FF debate

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2008
Experience vs book knowledge in the BF vs FF debate
8
Tue, 12-14-2010 - 2:49am

I have a question for you all. How much do you think personal experience plays into the BF vs FF debate? Do you think that it's of much benefit to have actually successfully BF'd or FF'd (depending on which side your on) or at least mostly BF'd or FF'd?

Can you debate aspects of the debate such low milk supply, extended BF'ing, tandem nursing, EP'ing, etc. without ever having experienced them?

Do you or would you look at those who have no experience with feeding a baby of their own (i.e. not yet a mother) as not being able to fully contribute to the debate? What about fathers or men in general who obviously have no experience with BF'ing (with rare exception), can they offer anything of value to the debate?

Are their aspects of thisledge debate you feel personal experience with is essential or at least very helpful in offering sound argument for or against?

Speaking for myself, I have debated aspects of the debate I have no experience with such a tandem nursing, low milk supply, PPD, benefits of an LC, even though I have not experienced any of those things as of yet. Even before I had my first child, I was participating in the debate and do not feel that my lack of experience hindered me much overall in the debate. I am always careful to point out when I lack personal experience on a subject so as be clear my opinions are only based on stuff I read and heard. Personally, i think personal experience only provides a limited benefit to the debate. There are many things about BF'ing vs FF''ing that are very individual and one's personal experience cannot be extrapolated to the average mother's experience. For example, some mother's try and discount the claim the early bottles can lead to nipple confusion with the fact that their baby had bottles from the first week and never experienced nipple confusion. The reality is though that ever baby will not experience nipple confusion and thus they were simply lucky to have one of those babies and there experience in no ways proves nipple confusions is a myth. Much of this debate is about basic facts and general experiences. One's experience has no relevance as whether formula is risky health-wise as a sample of one is statistical irrelevant. Our experiences can only prove whether something ins 100% true or false. A FF mother with a largely healthy 1 year old only proves that not every baby has lots of health issue on formula during their first year but says nothing about the average FF baby or anything about the possible long term effects of formula on that or any other baby. I do that many participants exhibit an unfair bias, even if unconsciously, against those that lack experience with BF'ing or FF'ing but argue for one or the other side, especially against men who will never experience BF'ing (absent extraordinary circumstances). I remember once in the past on this board their was a newly married women who had yet to even get PG and their was some who didn't seem to understand why she was participating in the debate or what she as a childless women had to offer the debate? While I and many others welcomes her to stick around she did end up leaving, I suspect partly due to the cold reception she got from a few then members on this board.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008

Dear Charleen,

The whole time I was reading your post, I was thinking about that same young lady you wrote about. I was one who encouraged her to stay; she wanted to learn, but also had her own perspective to offer. I found it hard to understand why there were those that questioned her participating in the debate.

Interesting that even though my baby is 21, and my experiences of BF are nearly 19 years behind me, no-one questions that. I must also add that even though I have a number of years of BF experience under my belt, I still have learnt quite a lot being here. Info that I can pass on to people one day. eg daughter, daughter-in-law.

I actually think that if you like debating, and the debate forum, it can be a great way to learn, and have your own ideas tested.

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010

While I think that personal stories make the debate more interesting, I believe that we all bring in our own biases when we use our stories to debate - no matter what side we are on.

I think all perspectives should be welcomed - if a woman who has no children was not welcome, then Teresa and I - who BF way back in ancient history - LOL - should not be here either. I think our perspectives are sometimes very different from the experience of most BFing moms nowadays and even for me with FFing moms nowadays.

But I do think that it is still valuable, and I think that the perspectives of women without a child or men is valuable too. They might learn something - or they might teach us something!

Since my personal experience is years ago, I generally debate with information from articles I read and listening to others experiences - so I don't think that not having that specific experience would prevent someone from debating. In some ways, it might give you a broader perspective, then if you only debate from the point of view of how it personally affected you.

A point - when I read Mayim Bialik's article - my personal experience makes me wonder if her son has extreme allergies.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-27-2007

A point - when I read Mayim Bialik's article - my personal experience makes me wonder if her son has extreme allergies.

              *Praying for my best friend, my Dad*


 &n

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2006
charleen2008 wrote:

I have a question for you all. How much do you think personal experience plays into the BF vs FF debate? Do you think that it's of much benefit to have actually successfully BF'd or FF'd (depending on which side your on) or at least mostly BF'd or FF'd?

I think personal experience does offer a benefit, for sure.

2010 Siggy
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2008

<>

The women I was referring to was "froggy9682", who was newly married, raised dogs, and was planning to TTC in 2010.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008

Yes, that is who I thought you meant.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-16-2010

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2008
jessica765 wrote:

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