rights, choices, "forcing" etc.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
rights, choices, "forcing" etc.
33
Tue, 04-08-2003 - 4:21pm
OK, I thought I had to bring this up...

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... ;-)

Fio.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-08-2003 - 5:13pm
Women shouldn't feel pressured either way to make choices that are certainly not right, not best, not in their best interest for them which will ultimately be not right, not best, not in the best interest of their children. Parents make all kinds of decisions for their babies and bf/ffing is just one of them. A baby who receives bm from a mother who is an unwilling and unhappy participant in bfing...who becomes depressed & anger by her feelings due to bfing is not a good choice for the infant. Formula is a better option IMHO.

Think about it. Would you want to have no choice but to formula feed given your feelings? Where that pair of shoes for awhile. Women are thankful for the right and freedom to choose btw bf and ffing. Ask my great grandmother, ask my grandmother. This is great there is a choice, they would be the first to tell you.

I don't want anything shoved down my throat...I don't want to be left with no choices.

And your feelings on formula are a moot point to the pro-ffers...especially those of us who have NO choice but to formula feed due to medicines!!!!!!!!

Formula is a safe & adequate alternative for nutrition and is of great value to many of us. While you may think equating formula to dining out (over home cooked, non-processed, perhaps even organic) foods is not equal....I disagree. It is a matter of food choice and the way we prefer that food choice. I've come to this conclusion after 8 years!

Avatar for all_girls4me
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-08-2003 - 5:25pm
Here we go again....comparing FF to smoking? Does the baby have a right? Actually yes, the baby has the right to the best possibly care it can get, and that includes a happy mother. If that means FF, so be it. Formula is by no means harmful to the baby, whereas smoke is.

I actually give you an example. I work with a woman who has an almost 2 year old DD. She has Bf her the whole time, she never got formula. Very commendable, especially working. Her poor child has been sickly from day 1. She has had ear infections, pneumonia and was just tested and they found that she doesn't have enough white blood cells. My kids however were never really sick. So there is really no standard for anything. It really depends on circumstances and situations.

And I do disagree, my 2n DD actually preferred formula over breastmilk....go figure...lol.

And it wasn't because I forced formula on her.

Ilka



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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-08-2003 - 5:28pm
Fantastic Posting!

<<>>

EXACTLY, I agree word for word w/you!

Avatar for cl_sunny_side_up
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 04-08-2003 - 6:37pm
Ok.....I think you are wrong about the stats regarding smoking bf'ers getting cancer but I will let it go. I really don't have the energy to look my *opinion* up. I guess you could convince me....but let's just agree to disagree with that point;)

I also agree with you regarding the *offensive* post. I don't get it Fio. I really don't understand why we have become such a "politically-correct" society. It seems we are more concerned about offending a SINGLE PERSON rather than standing up for what's right.

I have no idea how I would have fared with respect to choosing formula for my boys if society was on the offensive. I can guess....and I guess I probably would have stuck it out. Who knows. I believe people need to be on the offensive especially when it comes to their passion. I so respect and appreciate those who DO!! I may not agree with their opinion (((snicker))) but I like their spunk. I have no problem sticking my neck out and being stomped on. If it is for something I feel VERY strongly about.....screw what anyone else thinks. Yes, I am an extremist...and IMO, this society of ours needs more of them!! Again, not necessarily with the same opinions as I.....but SOMETHING!!

I also am discouraged by the way society doesn't want to make a new mother "feel guilty about her choice". IMO, GUILT is imperative if anything is to change in the future. Did I feel guilty switching my boys to formula?? Yes....in a way. I felt more like a failure though.....that I had let THEM down. KWIM?? Not guilty about switching to formula because I have confidence in formula, but I have MORE confidence in my own body....make sense?? I believe that *guilt* is a 3-step course if you will. There are 3 steps you must take in order to make a change and be confident in your decision.....OR to make a change!! FTR, I am making up that there are "3-steps". I think everyone has their own number of steps to go through.




I don't know what else you want me to say, Fio. I agree with you.


christine


~christine~

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-08-2003 - 7:14pm
" Women shouldn't feel pressured either way to make choices that are certainly not right, not best, not in their best interest for them which will ultimately be not right, not best, not in the best interest of their children. Parents make all kinds of decisions for their babies and bf/ffing is just one of them. A baby who receives bm from a mother who is an unwilling and unhappy participant in bfing...who becomes depressed & anger by her feelings due to bfing is not a good choice for the infant. Formula is a better option IMHO."

Again...an OPINION. Which not everyone shares, obviously. I don't see where a mom who doesn't want to formula-feed would be any better for her children.

"Think about it. Would you want to have no choice but to formula feed given your feelings?"

Not on your life.

"I don't want anything shoved down my throat...I don't want to be left with no choices."

And what about the baby who gets a bottle shoved down his throat without having had any choice in the matter?

"And your feelings on formula are a moot point to the pro-ffers...especially those of us who have NO choice but to formula feed due to medicines!!!!!!!!"

Obviously, as I ALWAYS state (though I don't know why I waste my breath, so to speak), I talk about people who make informed choices. Not those who are UNABLE to bf. HOwever, as you have stated a multitude of times before, you wouldn't bf even if you weren't on medications. So, assuming you weren't taking medications, why would YOUR choice be any more important than that of your baby?

"Formula is a safe & adequate alternative for nutrition"

That is an opinion I don't share.

"While you may think equating formula to dining out (over home cooked, non-processed, perhaps even organic) foods is not equal....I disagree."

Obviously. As you have stated before.

However...you avoided the question completely.

WHY DOES THE MOTHER'S CHOICE END UP MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE BABY'S???

(speaking loudly for the hard of hearing)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-08-2003 - 7:17pm
" Here we go again....comparing FF to smoking? Does the baby have a right? Actually yes, the baby has the right to the best possibly care it can get, and that includes a happy mother. If that means FF, so be it."

So, by my take, that means a mom who ends up forced to formula-feed against her wishes will not make a happy mother, therefore isn't good for the baby.

" Formula is by no means harmful to the baby,"

I disagree. Where it is *necessary* for survival, it does permit for that, but if there is another option, it should be used.

" whereas smoke is."

Smoke, yes. Lots of parents smoke, and it isn't limited to bfing moms. AS for the niccotine, yes it's harmful. I still say that some niccotine in breastmilk while it isn't *ideal*, does not make the breastmilk utter poison. I would choose that over formula any day...though I do say it should be eliminated as much as possible by helping smokers stop, etc.

"I actually give you an example. I work with a woman who has an almost 2 year old DD. She has Bf her the whole time, she never got formula. Very commendable, especially working. Her poor child has been sickly from day 1. She has had ear infections, pneumonia and was just tested and they found that she doesn't have enough white blood cells. My kids however were never really sick. So there is really no standard for anything. It really depends on circumstances and situations."

Anecdotal evidence again.

"And I do disagree, my 2n DD actually preferred formula over breastmilk"

How did you figure that?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-08-2003 - 7:20pm
I would be making an INFORMED decision to FF (if I had the choice free from the complications of b/p medicine).

I don't see it as a baby being forced to eat something he/she doesn't want. I don't see it as you do. Formula is perfectly acceptable.

We will just have to agree to disagree and discontinue debating. I've been reading and researching this for 8yrs now and I DO NOT agree with any of your thoughts.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-08-2003 - 7:25pm
" Ok.....I think you are wrong about the stats regarding smoking bf'ers getting cancer but I will let it go. I really don't have the energy to look my *opinion* up. I guess you could convince me....but let's just agree to disagree with that point;)"

OK, put it this way...take a smoking mom who is going to smoke no matter what. I suspect her chances of breast cancer and ovarian cancer (etc.) will be much higher than your regular bf mom's (a non-smoking mom, I mean). They may even be higher than a formula-feeding mom. I don't know, and I don't have the stats to say either way (they could be lower than a formula-feeding mom, I don't know). But they will likely be lower if she breastfeeds than if she doesn't. KWIM?

"I also agree with you regarding the *offensive* post. I don't get it Fio. I really don't understand why we have become such a "politically-correct" society. It seems we are more concerned about offending a SINGLE PERSON rather than standing up for what's right."

Thank you Christine!

"I have no idea how I would have fared with respect to choosing formula for my boys if society was on the offensive. I can guess....and I guess I probably would have stuck it out. Who knows."

NO one ever will for any one person...just like we won't ever know how one person will react to formula before trying it (it isn't written on their forehead when born, LOL!). But I assume that a country like Australia or Norway, with VERY high bf rates, didn't get there by sitting by twiddling their thumbs. I suspect there are a fair number of people on the offensive there. We may never hear of all of it just because a) they're far, and b) on the count of Norway, there is the language barrier.

" I believe people need to be on the offensive especially when it comes to their passion. I so respect and appreciate those who DO!! I may not agree with their opinion (((snicker))) but I like their spunk. I have no problem sticking my neck out and being stomped on. If it is for something I feel VERY strongly about.....screw what anyone else thinks. Yes, I am an extremist...and IMO, this society of ours needs more of them!! Again, not necessarily with the same opinions as I.....but SOMETHING!!"

LOL...glad you feel that way!

"I also am discouraged by the way society doesn't want to make a new mother "feel guilty about her choice". IMO, GUILT is imperative if anything is to change in the future. Did I feel guilty switching my boys to formula?? Yes....in a way. I felt more like a failure though.....that I had let THEM down. KWIM?? Not guilty about switching to formula because I have confidence in formula, but I have MORE confidence in my own body....make sense??"

Yeah. But I stand by what I said in another post on another board (before the big change)...no one can MAKE anyone feel guilty. If what I say makes someone feel guilty, that is too bad, but that is because they were already feeling bad about something, and perhaps something I said rubbed salt in the wound. Rubbing salt where there is no open wound won't hurt, KWIM?

" I believe that *guilt* is a 3-step course if you will. There are 3 steps you must take in order to make a change and be confident in your decision.....OR to make a change!! FTR, I am making up that there are "3-steps". I think everyone has their own number of steps to go through."

That kind of makes sense, YK.

"I don't know what else you want me to say, Fio. I agree with you. "

Thanks. :-) I wonder what would happen if every baby got to choose their mode of feeding... ;-) LOL...

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-08-2003 - 7:28pm
I'm a very independent person who thinks for herself & educates and becomes informed. I could very easily FF'd (by choice and medically indicated as both apply to myself) in an extreme pro-bfing society...because *I* make the decision that I know is best/right/appropriate for me and my children, my family.

But I think both FFers and BFers should receive the utmost respect and support whether they do it by choice or medically indicated.

Guilt is something I'd never experience in the bf/ff issue nor the car seat/booster seat or pacifire/bottle, cloth/disposable diapers, vax, and all the other parenting decisions. Guilt just doesn't have its place. I feel I'm making educated & correct choices and not going into any of them blindly. One can't be lead to feel guilty when you know in your heart of hearts you are doing what is best for you and your family (i.e. formula IS a safe & nutrional alternative of value to bm)



iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-08-2003 - 7:33pm
"I don't see it as a baby being forced to eat something he/she doesn't want. I don't see it as you do. Formula is perfectly acceptable. "

then why do babies generally choose what is most natural?

if they do, then i say getting them to eat anything else is forcing...

fio.

nak

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