Flame retardant in Breast Milk

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-24-2003
Flame retardant in Breast Milk
112
Wed, 09-24-2003 - 5:37pm
http://www.msnbc.com/news/970665.asp?0cv=CB10&cp1=1


Was just wondering how some of you staunch Breast Milk advocates feel about these current findings. I a mom of 2 who FF both of my babies (Yep, you read right,I never even TRIED BF). I have always taken all of the "Breast is Best" stuff with a grain of salt, as I've seen too many times the medical research "take back" what they formerly advised was good for us. (The most recent thing that comes to mind is Breast Self Examinations. They are no longer reccomended since research as proven they don't work. Another thing that comes to mind...Syrup of Ippecac. You can toss it. No good.) Call me a cynic but in the back of my mind I've always felt it is only a matter of time before we find out that breast milk is actually poisoning our babies. It's the perfect food, sure, but our world and enviornment is a hell of alot rougher than it was "In the begining" (whenever that was)!

One of the things I liked about formula is it was more of a "controlled" environment. In other words, I knew exactly what was in it, and what I ate, drank, or inadverdently inhaled was not going to get into it and therefore into my babies system.

By the way, there were many other very PERSONAL reasons why I didn't choose to breastfeed, the not believing the health benefits is just one of them. The other reasons are very personal and no woman should have to explain to anyone why.

Perhaps you have already gathered from the tone of this post that I have ZERO tolerance for women who get on their high horses and start judging other women for FF. I have never understood why this is such a hot button with mothers. Why should anyone else care what I fed my baby? Ok--I take that back---if I was feeding my baby kool-aid or Diet Coke, you have a right to care and to judge me. But formula is a perfectly viable alternative to breast milk (and dare I say it--perhaps, just maybe--even better?). Why are women so BRAINWASHED into believing that Breast Milk is the be-all-end-all of an infants well being? There is SO MUCH more that goes into making a baby healthy and happy than what it eats! Don't be so narrow minded. Why are some Breast Feeders (notice I said SOME) so passionate about it? One theory I've come up with is that maybe they really enjoy doing it for their own infants--that it brings out that primal "I am woman hear me roar" instinct. That's great, that's understandable--but does that give them the right to act superior to women who don't like it or don't even want to try it for whatever reason? To all you Staunch Breast Feeders out there, (and notice the capital letters---you know who you are, I don't mean all breastfeeders, just the feisty judgemental ones)I say to you: Enjoy nursing your infants. It's natural, it's beautiful, thank God for the gift of being a woman and being able to enjoy nourishing your offspring in such a way. But please realize that there are all different types of woemen out there with all different types of backgrounds, and if some of them don't choose to breasfeed their own babies it doesn't make them selfish, less of a woman, or worse of a parent. Far from it. Respect other people's differences and thier choices as I respect yours!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Wed, 09-24-2003 - 5:56pm
Hi there! I'm a ff'ing mom also. My older 2 were ff and so is my new dd.

I read your post and all I have to say is I agree with what you've said. Welcome to the board!

Jeanie

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Avatar for cl_sunny_side_up
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Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 09-24-2003 - 6:01pm

Yes, I have read about this and saw this on the news just yesterday.


~christine~

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Registered: 03-19-2003
Wed, 09-24-2003 - 6:23pm

I'd like to point you to this post:

Avatar for queen_brat
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 09-24-2003 - 6:31pm
Awww Michelle I love that picture! I refuse to comment onthe op since you and Christine did it better then i could ever do but had to say I loved your picture.


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Avatar for cl_sunny_side_up
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Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 09-24-2003 - 6:48pm

Great picture, Michelle!!!!!!!!!







~christine~

Proud to be a Soup CL:

Breastfeeding vs Bottlefeeding Debate
Welfare Debate
Bottlefeeding
Postpartum Depression


~christine~

Avatar for kfira71
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 09-24-2003 - 7:52pm
I agree with a lot of what you said in your post, most especially your feelings about the Staunch Breastfeeders. While I wouldn't go so far as to say that I think formula is better than breastmilk from a nutritional standpoint, I am one who does not believe the difference between the two is all that great in terms of impact on our health. I definitely feel that other factors, including genetics and overall lifestyle over many years, play a *much* bigger role.

I think your theory (the "I am woman" concept) definitely holds true for some of the BFers I know. I guess what I find most odd about the attitude of some breastfeeders is that they seem to assume that everyone must agree that BFing is the be-all, end-all of infant nutrition, and that formula is vastly inferior. I certainly respect their right to believe that, but I don't get why some assume that every mother must therefore believe as they do. If I felt that formula was a vastly inferior substitute, then, yes, I would consider myself selfish for not BFing my child. But since I don't believe that (and, yes, I have read and researched the issue quite thoroughly), how could anyone label me selfish for FFing, KWIM?

Anyway, since this is a debate board, I would imagine that women say things here that they probably would not IRL. I never really knew there was so much judgment even being *thought* out there until I came to this board. It's interesting, and a little frustrating at times.

BTW, I *completely* agree with this statement of yours: <<"There is SO MUCH more that goes into making a baby healthy and happy than what it eats!">> That is just so true, and it sometimes amazes me how much importance some women place on this single factor, when we're talking about an entire human being, who is being nourished not only physically, but emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually as well. I agree -- more power to those who love BFing and feel it is the only way *for them*, but please stop assuming that we are all of like minds.

~Kim

"Becoming a parent means agreeing to allow your heart to go walking around outside of your body."

Avatar for wendy1221
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 09-24-2003 - 8:29pm
Hmmmm... formula is actually BETTER than breastmilk? If that were true, don't you think the makers of formula would believe this as well? Think they do??? NO WAY!!! They encourage their employees to bf! Here's a link:

http://www.abbott.com/career/work_life_programs.htm

Abbott includes Ross laboratories. They make Similac. Scroll down towards the bottom. They include prenatal and lactation support as part of their on-site benefits. Very standard for a pharmaceutical company. I'm sure the makers of other formulas have similar programs.

Wendy

P.S. I have no problem w/ ff. Most babies do fine on it. I do have a problem with people making ignorant statements that have absolutely no logical argument. I'm much more concerned with what they might find missing in formula than I am what they might find in my breastmilk! And I'm sure most other scientists would agree with me on that!

Avatar for cl_sunny_side_up
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Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 09-24-2003 - 9:04pm

~christine~

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Registered: 09-24-2003
Wed, 09-24-2003 - 9:20pm
Michelle, you said "It seems a bit hypocritical to believe in studies like the one you cite, but not believe the studies that show bm is better than formula". I didn't say I believed the study I cited, nor did I say I don't believe the studies about BM being superior to formula. Specifically, I said that I always take the "Breast is Best" studies with a grain of salt (funny, you used the exact same term when describing your take on the study I cited. Who's being hypocritical? Where's your grain of salt for the pro-breastfeeding studies you hold as gospel?)

I take ALL medical studies with a grain of salt. I'm not naive enough to have blind faith in what the current studies show to be good or not good for us, for one because history has shown over and over again that what 'They' said was good for us yesterday, tomorrow they proclaim to be toxic. Need more examples than what I gave in my original post? ALCOHOL: it used to be a no-no for the health concisous, these days they say it could prevent heart attacks. FAT. They used to tell us to limit it greatly but now we're finding there are good fats and bad fats, and that Carbohydrates, which they used to tell us to load up on, are the real cause of America's obesity/diabetes epidemic. Heck--the studies about the benefits of breastmilk are changing every time I look. BM prevents cancer--it doesn't prevent cancer...I could fill a book with similar examples.

So the "grain of salt" I speak of is basically my own common sense mixed in with the medical studies, as well as the knowledge I have of my unique body, mind, and lifestyle.

I knew someone would take my statement "But formula is a perfectly viable alternative to breast milk (and dare I say it--perhaps, just maybe--even better?)" and rip it apart. That's typical of the Staunch Breast Feeders I've come across. Quick to rip the head off of anyone who DARE question that maybe, just maybe Breast really isn't Best. I was not saying that formula IS better. I was putting the thought out there hypothetically, as brain food. But now I see that the Staunch BF'ers cannot even bear to let that thought cross their minds-God Forbid--as if it's a sacriligious thought or something.

Well maybe you SHOULD ask yourself that question. It's healthy to keep your mind opened; It's NOT healthy to go around with blinders on chanting "Breast is Best Breast is Best..." with an almost cult-like fanaticism and dismissing new studies that show possible problems with BM as mere rubbish. Because really, in the end, how DO we know that breast is best? Where is the proof? You cannot tell a breast fed kid from a bottle fed one by looking at him. "Studies" on differences in intelligence, healthiness, etc are all relative (as are ALL studies), and even if you do believe all of the studies showing the beneifits of breast milk, the perecentages of differences are all slight. These studies do not show glaring, huge differences by any stretch of the imagination. And don't say something as simplistic as "I KNOW breast is best because I breast fed my kids and they're really smart". My kids are really smart too. And healthy. But that doesn't convince you that forumla is best does it? Where does this almost cult-like faith in breast feeding come from?

I have no problem with your passion for breastfeeding, and it's definitely a good thing to educate women about it, because, as you said, it IS indeed a choice. My beef is with those who claim they want women to know it's a choice when what they REALLY want to do is make them feel guilty, inferior, less of a woman if they choose not to breast feed.

If you honestly believed it was a choice, you'd have no problem understanding why women who have looked at both options would CHOOSE not to even try BF, for whatever reason. But you already stated you DID have a problem with that. Maybe I should be asking what your definition of a choice is?

EDIT...Sorry,forgot to sign my posts, my name is Anne!


Edited 9/24/2003 10:37:42 PM ET by oneproudmama

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Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 09-24-2003 - 9:28pm
Did you read the entire article? Specifically the last paragraph...

<
Despite the concerns raised by the report, the Washington-based group recommends that mothers continue nursing their infants. Breast-feeding offers numerous nutritional benefits to children and may actually overcome some of the harmful effects of infant exposure to persistent chemicals, the study said. “We want women to keep breast-feeding because there are so many other advantages, despite the unfortunate news,” said Sucher.>>

The problem I have with articles such as this is, these chemicals apparently can be airborn since they can be found in dust, so isn't the baby going to be exposed to them whether it is BF'd or not? Why weren't infants, both breast & bottle fed tested equally? This chemical is also found in plastics. Could that be the same plastics used in our children's toys or bottles? IMO, this study was a farce, in that it is not a complete study.

<>

You "know" what is in formula only by what the manufacturer says is in there. Hair isn't listed as an ingredient in spaghettio's, but I've seen one when opening a can for kids I was babysitting. Also, there has been more than one instance where formula has been recalled. If I am inhaling something, then chances are my kids are too, since they are usually always with me.

I don't believe I am "brainwashed" into believing anything about BFing my kids. I made a real effort to get all the info I could & made my decision based on education. I am curious to find out though, who is allegedly doing any brainwashing. As far as I know, no one has gained financially or otherwise from me BFing my kids (except of course, my kids), in fact, the formula industry has suffered because they have made nothing off of me. Also, I don't think any of our BFing advocates believe BFing is the only component to raising, nurturing, creating a happy, healthy child: however; it is one way of providing a good start in that direction. This IS afterall a debate board for a specific topic, not about child rearing in general.

I don't personally feel superior, more womanly, or am a better parent than my FFing counterparts and I do recognize that towards the end of your post, you do admit that not all BFers are that way. I do feel that I am providing my children with not only the best nutrition available but also valuable immunological protection. I joined this debate to counter attitudes such as <> not to point my finger at those who choose the alternative to BF.

I think I'll take my chances & continue to BF my kids. I don't think they'll be any healthier or have less chemicals in their bodies if they were FF.

Janet & nursling Sierra


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