to wonder which formula company sponsored this article?

(316 Posts)
nittynittynora Tue 12-Mar-13 19:49:41

yano.co.uk/2013/03/breast-is-best-or-is-it/

It just seems so anti-breastfeeding! Surely the health benefits of BFing are proven - there's nothing political about saying that it protects against disease, for example.I agree that of course you can form a close bond with your baby when FFing but the rest of the article seems determined to bat away all the 'supposed' benefits of BFing and focus on any perceived 'cons'.

MrsKeithRichards Tue 12-Mar-13 21:46:46

Nitty you seem to be on a mission to have an argument.

Yes the behaviour of formula makers and their advertising here, many moons ago, and currently in developing countries is damaging and dangerous. But that isn't what people are referring too. Right now, here in the U.K., people aren't targeted and bombarded as we've had, and quite rightly so, legislation in place to stop it.

myrubberduck Tue 12-Mar-13 21:46:47

Nittynora you either haven't read a lot the research, have misunderstood it or are deliberately misrepresenting it; most research shows no or marginal difference not 'marked'as you suggest,

fromparistoberlin Tue 12-Mar-13 21:49:53

some women genuinely cant
some women give up too easily

and fine, but I do think we need to do something to change BF lentillly image as there is a HUGE sector of society that think its icky, and I am baffled how we sway them?

This journo used to write for the Fail. I wish they had stated that at the beginning of the article, it would have saved me having to read her tortuted prose with dubious content.

As for the FF vs BF debate, for me BF was one of the best experiences of my life. I appreciate it is not the experience of the majority of the people and their choices are frankly none of my business. I would not like to be the kind of woman who tells others how to feed the babies they grew in their own uteri. It is an intensely personal choice. The fact that formula companies are using unethical practices (especially in poorer countries with fewer regulations) in trying to convince mothers to become reliant on their brand is a whole other thread.

nittynittynora Tue 12-Mar-13 21:51:59

I guess I can't hope to win this one - the article is clearly anti breastfeeding, and there is a huge body of evidence to support the benefits of breastfeeding, otherwise why would government and organisations the world across support it? Do you think they are all stupid, or working with out of date, unproven research? Why would they go to such lengths to promote breastfeeding if it isn't really any better than formula?

I have read the research rubberduck. For example,
When exclusive breastfeeding for more than 3 or 6 months was compared with exclusive bottle- or formula- feeding, one study reported 28 percent and another study reported 45 percent relative risk reduction in AOM(an ear infection) - that seems quite marked to me. That is just one example.

Chunderella Tue 12-Mar-13 21:51:59

Hmm well Nitty (love that name) the extent to which one can adjust accurately isn't universally agreed. Not all the studies mentioned in the big 2007 report even attempted to adjust for confounders anyway, although the report takes this into account- another reason it's a good piece of work. You say 'it's reasonable to assume' and the key word there is assume. Not prove, or know. For some people, association is enough. For others, it isn't.

nittynittynora Tue 12-Mar-13 22:00:11

What I'm saying though is that there MUST be something in all of these claims that BFing is best, otherwise why would anyone spend money on promoting it, when no one stands to benefit financially?

fromparistoberlin Tue 12-Mar-13 22:00:59

"yet no one yet seems to have any issues with the formula message, despite the fact that formula feeding costs the lives of thousands of babies each year due to their heavy handed and frankly disgusting marketing practices.

eh? LOADS of people feel this way, esp on MN!!!!

nittynittynora Tue 12-Mar-13 22:02:04

I mean on this thread, fromparistoberlin.

munchkinmaster Tue 12-Mar-13 22:04:21

The argument that it doesn't save you money cos it takes time is a bit ridiculous. As someone said we have good maternity benefits in the uk. Luckily women are by and large not deciding whether to devote time to feeding or earning.

One of my bugbears about ff companies is they make thier money from selling you a product many people do not need. They may not advertise first milk but they are slyly marketing all the time. There is no real difference between follow on and first milk. They only make follow on so they have something to advertise.

I wish we could have a grown up conversation re formula at times. Women need to not be made to feel like it is the be all and end all if they can't bf. health proffesionals need to be able to give ff advice to those that want it (at the moment this is seen as promoting ff and can lose hospitals thier bf friendly status and the money that goes with it).

But with rates of bf still so low with all the above in place I wonder if a more balanced message would reduce bf yet further?

MrsKeithRichards Tue 12-Mar-13 22:04:40

I don't think anyone is arguing that bf isn't the best option.

The article is correct though.

It would be impossible to remove all other factors and influences to ascertain the exact differences based solely on what a baby is fed for the few months at the start of their lives however we're constantly told bf prevents eczema, obesity, allergies and a huge range of ailments.

mrsstewpot Tue 12-Mar-13 22:06:27

Me neither Moby, I mentioned before that I have done both, I just thought this was a biased, unhelpful article which seemed to seek to undermine breastfeeding, as if it needed undermined any more than it already is.

For someone who states they have both breast and bottle fed and wants to be unbiased you are doing a pretty good job to promote breast feeding and judge others. Every post has been pro breast and anti formula.

Breast feeding is not remotely undermined - we all know 'breast is best' and is generally advocated over formula. And I completely disagree that we are bombarded with formula advertisements.

nitty I hear you! I don't have much more to add though as I just end up banging my head on a brick wall.

On my drive to tesco I see 3 huge "follow on" formula adverts and switch off/fast forward the tv ads. I don't see any advertising of breastfeeding (other than a pamphlet from MW and a poster up in the hospital).

Back to the article though, I have never heard of half of those health "benefits" of bf (lukemia, lymphoma etc) and I am bf peer supporter (obv my training is only superficial compared to a hcp). If the context of this article is to discuss bf-ing in relation to uk/europe then it is wrong to bring in save the childrens campaign as this is aimed at 3rd world countries where formula is actually killing children (although think that there should maybe be something on tins about the consequences of not preparing the formula correctly, if there isn't already). The article also pulls in quotes from the author of "is breast best" who is American and some of her points may be valid about "financial cost" of bfing in America where maternity leave is stupidly short. I particularly dismiss the claim of the "labour cost" women put in to bf-ing. As it is predominantly the mother who takes maternity leave, then its either her who will bf-ing or sterilising/preparing/feeding with bottles - is that not a labour cost too?

Sorry for incoherent ramblings!

MrsKeithRichards Tue 12-Mar-13 22:11:08

I also think to move forward with these arguments we need to stop the pro and anti talk. I can speak about the benefits of bf without being anti ff and I can talk about the convenience of ff without being anti bf.

Shagmundfreud Tue 12-Mar-13 22:14:29

I just find it astonishing that people have such double standards when it comes to research into infant feeding. The superiority of the physiological norm - a system of feeding which has evolved over millions of years isn't accepted because of the impossibility of designing trials which prove this. Artificial feeding of babies on the other hand, which in terms of the history of human nutrition is a) the biggest b) most radical and c) fastest change is considered completely safe and reliable in the short, medium and long term despite any large scale RCT's proving it to be so. And actually novel ingredients like chemically modified marine algae that have never before formed part of the infant diet are now being added to formula in some sort of grand, commercially sponsored experiment.

waits for someone to come along and say 'but they wouldn't be allowed to sell it if it wasn't good for babies - to which the response has to be ' if you can't prove that bf has benefits, neither can you prove that formula doesn't harm health and development in the short medium or long term.

ChairmanWow Tue 12-Mar-13 22:14:56

YY to what munchkin says. I couldn't bf. Despite trying every trick in the book for a month (with phenomenal MW support I have to say) I produced not more than a couple of drops. So we had to give formula and the MWs who came found every day weren't allowed to advise me on the best formula. Madness! Very little support also with the grief I felt at 'failing', and sadly several incidents of being harshly judged. I wish people could be a bit more grown up about the whole feeding issue.

There will be posters who've been judged for both types of feeding posting on here, and some of that judging will take place on this thread. Can I make another plea for sanity? We're all grown ups making our own choices.

Oh, and giving my child formula doesn't mean I'm not disgusted with the Nestles of this world for their behaviour in developing countries. But nitty that doesn't mean all formula is therefore automatically evil and we're bad people for giving it to our kids.

Chunderella Tue 12-Mar-13 22:16:53

Nitty your view seems to be that governments wouldn't advocate bf if they didn't know for sure that there were benefits, yes? Well that isn't necessarily the case. If they just thought there were because the evidence suggested that was more likely than not, that might be a good enough reason. Especially if encouraging bf wasn't going to do any or much harm. Governments don't always have the luxury of only encouraging and advocating for things which have absolutely certain benefits, especially with regards to health.

ChairmanWow Tue 12-Mar-13 22:16:54

And just as I make a plea for sanity among comes Shagmond with that absolutely disgusting last paragraph. Well done for dragging it down to playground level <slow handclap>.

Chunderella Tue 12-Mar-13 22:20:44

And not all of us accept the dogma that what we've evolved to do is automatically what is best, either. Evolution is not complete, and there are some physiological norms that some or most of us prefer to avoid. People who suggest bf must be best because it is physiologically the norm don't usually apply that to all of their biological processes!

who sponsored this then?

It's an article that you disagree with, that's fine btw.

But, some women breast feed, some women formula feed. As long as your child is being fed and is growing where is the issue. I was a ff baby and I have no allergies, illness, and I have a bond with my mum.

Everyone is different where is the issue with that?

Saying that whenever a formula advert comes on the first thing that is said is 'breast is best' so there is no issue there. We do not live in a perfect world. I would like to see a study of how many babies live because of formula.

myrubberduck Tue 12-Mar-13 22:28:14

I really don't see how just because something us 'the physiological norm' makes it always the better option; death at 50 is the physiological norm , no control over ones fertility is the physiological norm ; running around barefoot it the psychological norm FFS;

ya wearin' shoes shag?

myrubberduck Tue 12-Mar-13 22:30:11

Physiological norm not psychological norm damn autocorrect

nittynittynora Tue 12-Mar-13 22:38:32

From the Guardian article -
"Their homes are clean. They wash their hands. They will be reading more, talking more, serving more fruit and vegetables …"

My home is an absolute shit hole most of the time.

MissSingerbrains Tue 12-Mar-13 22:41:22

I don't know what wearing shoes has to do with anything? Shoes (or lack of) is not physiological norm, it's just development.

To me, common sense says that something that is natural, additive-free and physiologically the right option, is the right option. Just like as an adult, eating food that is natural and unprocessed is better for me that highly processed food.

OP YANBU and I agree with Shagmund.

nittynittynora Tue 12-Mar-13 22:43:58

Very well said, misssingerbrains.

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