Question for BF'rs re quality of Formula

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-24-2003
Question for BF'rs re quality of Formula
328
Tue, 10-21-2003 - 8:09pm
I've been lurking on the recent threads...Something that I've seen come up here several times has been bothering me.

I've seen alot of BF'rs imply that feeding formula is more or less like feeding your baby junk food. Examples: The analogy that BM is like going to Yale and Formula is like going to a no-name community college. -OR- Seeing someone feed formula evokes the same feeling of seeing someone scarf down a MCDonalds Burger and Shake...There are other analogies abound I'm sure. There was a thread about wheather calling formula "Inferior" to BM was offensive or even accurate---I don't want to start that debate up again--I'm talking about a different angle.

What I want to know is, those who feel that formula is so vastly inferior than BM, what are you basing your assumptions on?

Are you analzying the actual nutritional content, ingredient for ingredient, vitamin for vitamin? (That would be pretty hard, considering BM changes depending on what the mom ate, and besides, nobody's doing random testing of your BM so you really don't know the actually nutritional makeup of your specific milk--but for arguments sake we'll say the makeup of BM "on average").

Are you basing your assumptions on the fact that BM contains certain ingredients that formula does not--i.e., antibodies and other "unknown" ingredients?

Or are you basing it on you experience in life, where you have seen that formula fed kids were sickly/unhealthy, or otherwise adversely affected because--you felt--they were FF, and that BM would've prevented those problems? On a similar note, have you ever met an older child or adult who had problems that you clearly attributed to the fact that they were FF?

Personally, I do not see any vast differences between BM and Formula, neither in the studies that show BM's benefits (small, vague differences, all short term) nor in everyday life. I can't tell a BF kid from a FF one. To me they (BM and Formula) are pretty darn close in doing their job. So close, in fact, that to me the differences are irrelevant.

I would just honestly like to know where the majority of BF'rs who feel strongly that BM is a superior food originate their beliefs from.

TIA

Anne

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 10-21-2003 - 8:34pm

That one is easy:


I would just honestly like to know where the majority of BF'rs who feel strongly that BM is a superior food originate their beliefs from.
TIA


Because the formula companies say so....it's printed right on their can....plus the AAP says so too.


(sorry, I couldn't resist and I just can't be serious tonight for some reason...good questions that you have there and the answers ought to be interesting)

Misty

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 10-21-2003 - 9:54pm
"Are you analzying the actual nutritional content, ingredient for ingredient, vitamin for vitamin?"

Partly. I know for instance, that the iron and calcium that are in breastmilk, while they appear in lesser quantities, are better QUALITY ie more easily assimilated.

" (That would be pretty hard, considering BM changes depending on what the mom ate, and besides, nobody's doing random testing of your BM so you really don't know the actually nutritional makeup of your specific milk--but for arguments sake we'll say the makeup of BM "on average")."

Yeah, that's the idea.

"Are you basing your assumptions on the fact that BM contains certain ingredients that formula does not--i.e., antibodies and other "unknown" ingredients?"

Partly.

"Or are you basing it on you experience in life, where you have seen that formula fed kids were sickly/unhealthy, or otherwise adversely affected because--you felt--they were FF, and that BM would've prevented those problems? On a similar note, have you ever met an older child or adult who had problems that you clearly attributed to the fact that they were FF?"

I can't say I can CLEARLY attribute anything in anyone I personally KNOW as being due to not being bfed, but I do feel that there is a difference. It is hard to compare say, my kids to their cousins since the genetic material is already different. It is slightly easier to compare a sister to a brother but even still, it is possible the 2 share very little genetic material when it comes down to predisposition towards say, diabetes, cancers, etc.

What would be really interesting would be to see identical twins fed differently, and see just how different they ended up. It would be much more realistic than anything else.

I wonder tho...if a mom decided to bf one identical twin and not the other...what would ppl think? Would they think she was "experimenting" on her twins? Or not? how would she explain how she chose which twin got the "short end of the stick"? Draw straws?

FWIW, if I had twins, or triplets I would bf them. I have said before, if for some strange reason I ended up with quads though, and while bf I couldn't quite produce enough...I would ONLY supplement one child. OK, even if it were the same with triplets or twins...if I found I needed to supplement...I'd do it with just one child and always that child. For one main reason: I'd rather have 3 infants who bf perfectly and one who ends up weaning due to nipple confusion, than have all 4 wean or go through nursing strikes because of it. I think with quads or even triplets/twins you've got enough on your mind to worry about without having to think about something like nipple confusion, so I'd try and limit the chances that it could ever happen.

But basically, I base my thoughts that formula is inferior on: a) my feelings that NATURE normally knows best and that if we have proven that there is a difference between the 2 and that formula doesn't give a BETTER outcome than bfing, then it is obviously inferior b/c I start out with bfing as the 'norm' to which I compare anything else...if formula were proven to be better, I'd say that...I wouldn't say bfing was worse. Also b) well-balanced unbiased studies. C) gut instinct. :-)

Fio.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-24-2003
Wed, 10-22-2003 - 9:13am
<>

I think you're misunderstanding the question. We've talked about the fact that formula may be technically "inferior" to BM for various reasons and most agreed that while it may be inferior in the literal sense it's not an "inferior food" --big difference. But this is not what I want to debate again.

What I'm asking is, those who feel that formula is VASTLY inferior, who compare it to eating milkshakes,or twinkies (I've seen that analogy too), who say it's like a no name community college and BM is Yale, etc etc. Or, even those who don't use the silly analogies--I know there are lot's of BF'rs who feel very strongly that BM is far far superior.

So my question is, HOW can you feel this way? Where is the "proof in the pudding"? I cannot find ANY proof, not in the medical books, not in the nutritional content, not in the ancedotal stories, that there are anything but slight, questionable differences in the OUTCOMES of feeding BM vs Formula. And isn't the outcome what it's all about anyway?

So what I'm saying is, if there are not vast differences in the people that were fed BM vs Formula it means that there are not vast differeneces in their effectiveness, and therefore there is not be vast differences between the two, period.

FTR, I can totally understand those who acknowledge that the differences are small and sometimes not at all in the long run, but they want to take advantage of any "possible" health advantage BM may offer. That makes sense to me. What doesn't make sense is those who elevate BM's status high in the sky and put formula in the gutter. That makes no sense to me, and is totally illogical based on real life outcomes.

Anne

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 10-22-2003 - 9:31am
just a few things off the top of my head...not enough time to "bake" this response this a.m.

-i've yet to see a single study expressly recommend that i formula-feed

-IMHO simple logic dictates that a species-specific (and infant-specific for that matter) form of nutrition is better than a man-made attempt to replicate. formula is not just an alternative --its an attempt to replicate -- its modeled on the gold standard of bm. furthermore, why pay for the replicate when the gold standard is free.

otherwise, both diamonds and cubic zirconias make nice rings. but, you can just guess which one i'd prefer if i had to choose between the two.

Avatar for yogamom4
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Wed, 10-22-2003 - 9:51am
if for some ungodly reason i couldn't breastfeed i would use formula,,,thats what its made for ~~~mothers who don't breastfeed,,

i also use whole milk instead of 2% 1% or nonfat because it taste better,, i also use organic milk because i think its healthier

to each their own

yoga

Vicky ~32~

SAHM  To

Kelsey The Brainiac

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 10-22-2003 - 10:00am
"if for some ungodly reason i couldn't breastfeed i would use formula,,,thats what its made for ~~~mothers who don't breastfeed"

historically, formula was created for "foundlings and orphans." its original development was for it to be used as the "exception," not the rule (that it has become).

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-24-2003
Wed, 10-22-2003 - 10:17am
Well I can't say I disagree with any of what you said. It just isn't relevant to the question I was asking.

I do understand why you chose BM over formula. (You feel it's species specific therefore better, formula is just a replica not the real thing, and the studies say BM is better...)However, that doesn't address the fact that the differences between the two, in both physical make up and overall outcome of the child is slight.

Taking that a step further, I'll say that while there are clear differences in certain aspects of their physical make-up's, the differenes in overall outcome is slight, IF AT ALL.

That's why I find it irritating when BF'rs exaggerate the differences between the two--comparing formula to milkshakes or twinkies or something else that insinuates low quality and disgust. There is no proof or basis for their delusions of grandeur WRT BM, nor is their a basis for their aversion to formula as if it were garbage.

Anne

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-24-2003
Wed, 10-22-2003 - 10:24am
<>

I notice you insert that statement in your posts alot. It's totally innaccurate. Here are just some of the reasons the medical community would recommend you to formula feed:

*You should not breastfeed your infant if you have HIV or AIDS. You can pass this to your infant through your breastmilk.

*Herpes can be passed to your infant if you have a lesion on your breast. Until the lesion clears up, pump on the affected side and throw this breastmilk away. You will need to supplement with formula during this time.

*Cancer can't be passed into your breastmilk. However, if you are being treated with radiation or chemotherapy you should not breastfeed. These drugs are very dangerous for your baby and can pass into your breastmilk.

*Pierced nipples can affect breastfeeding if there is a buildup of scar tissue. This may reduce your milk flow. You will have to take out your nipple rings in order to breastfeed. This will decrease the risk of choking as well as improving the latch on.

*Some women are not able to produce enough milk to exclusively breastfeed their babies. If this happens to you, don't blame yourself. You have to do what is best for your baby. You can either supplement with formula, or exclusively feed your baby with formula.

*If you are taking any kind of medication regularly, check with your doctor before breastfeeding to see if it is safe for your baby.

(*SOURCE: http://www.geocities.com/nursingmoms/index.html)

Anne







iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 10-22-2003 - 10:27am
However if you take two healthy mothers with no other issues, would anyone recommend formula use over breastmilk?
Avatar for cl_sunny_side_up
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 10-22-2003 - 10:27am
I understand exactly what you mean, Anne.

~christine~

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