rights, choices, "forcing" etc.
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|Tue, 04-08-2003 - 4:21pm|
Lots of people talk about the right of the mom to choose to bf or no. The right of the mom not to feel pressure to bf. It always comes up at some point.
Rarely do I see the right of the child mentioned. Reading further down on this board, here:
http://messageboards.ivillage.com/n/mb/message.asp?webtag=iv-psbfvbottle&msg=490.38 and here: http://messageboards.ivillage.com/n/mb/message.asp?webtag=iv-psbfvbottle&msg=490.36 I did finally see people mention it...but only WRT smoking moms.
Quoted material from sunny.side.up: "I have only read on a few sites where a DR and/or organization would outright stand up on the offensive and say, "A mother should STOP smoking if she is to breastfeed." That saddens me. It's unfortunate that as a society we have become to accustomed and/or conditioned to "let it go" where other people's rights are concerned. What about my rights?? What about the rights of her baby girl?? Don't they matter?? " (this is from the 2nd link, the one that ends in 490.36).
I have a major problem with this, I must say. I do think the rights of the child are very important. Since the CHILD is not the one who chose to be put on this earth, I would even go so far to say taht I think the child's rights should outweigh the parent's rights in some way.
So...why don't we see any organisations doing the same thing as what Christine said here, WRT non-smoking moms being outright told on the offensive "A mom SHOULD breastfeed if there is any way she possibly can"? Why in *this* case does the mom's right suddenly become so much more important than the child's, but in the case of a smoking mom, it wouldn't be considered important that the MOM'S health could be better for having breastfed her children, even while smoking (ie lower rates of breast cancer, etc.)?
Everything I have read indicates that a newborn generally will choose human milk from a bottle over formula from a bottle. It's *own* mom's milk from a bottle over the milk from another mom in a bottle. And it will also choose a breast over human milk in a bottle. Newborns are not stupid...we just don't ever accord them any choice in the matter. So why is it so darned important to allow them "choice" and "rights" when it comes to a smoker breastfeeding or not (and since it seems such a grey area, with no one really agreeing on anything, I would defer to saying that it should be the mom's choice which is more harmful for her baby, her milk or formula, in THIS case...), when we don't ever talk about their right to be breastfed (since that is what babies would choose if given the choice, and what nature intended) if it is possible for the mom to do so???
I think it is rather skewed of us to assume that where a mom's own milk is supposedly not as good quality, we can suddenly give a baby a "choice" or "rights" in the matter, and thus take away the right to choice from the mom (who may well WANT to breastfeed for any number of reasons), where on any other occasion where the mom is healthy and not smoking or taking other drugs, it suddenly is HER choice and the baby has no say in the matter. "To heck with him, he doesn't get a choice, only the mom does." Why does no one ever take the baby's rights and choice into account if the mom CAN obviously breastfeed, with no toxins flowing through her veins? Why does the mom's right to choose suddenly become more important than the baby's, and the baby's right is ONLY mentioned when *some* people and *some* organizations assume that the mom's own milk will be more harmful to him or her than formula would be (and as i say, obviously we haven't yet agreed on whether it is or not...so let's not get back into that, but since we have agreed on breastmilk is BEST for babies, why don't they get first choice when breastmilk feeding is possible, with it not being polluted with anything?)?
AND...since we're talking about rights...like i said, a breastfeeding mom, smoker or no, in theory has a lower chance of getting breast cancer, or ovarian cancer. Why shouldn't she be able to selfishly choose to lower that risk, just like some formula-feeding moms who could have breastfed selfishly choose to feed formula just in order to be able to go out and leave the baby with grandma for a week when they're a month old (or whatever other reason)? I do realize that many people on this board do not formula-feed for this reason, but it is one I have heard elsewhere in the past...one that I must say i find a bit shallow...
BABIES are selfish creatures by nature. All they want is to survive. In my opinion ANY baby would choose the best for him (i.e. nature's food) if given a choice. I think we could cater more to them in some cases, and stop being selfish ourselves...
I just couldn't let this pass... ;-)