AIBU to ask in what way have I harmed my baby by not bf?

(224 Posts)
LostMarbles99 Fri 22-Nov-13 23:55:18

Before my baby arrived I decided I was going to ff. Ds is 10 months now and I still get little pangs of regret that I didn't try to bf.

There have been lots of threads on here recently about bf/ff and one person said how they felt so sad the baby didn't even get the first feed from its mother.

I totally get that some people cant bf but I didn't even try. Was this really wrong of me? Be honest?

Greythorne Fri 22-Nov-13 23:56:22

Virgin gut?

lisad123everybodydancenow Fri 22-Nov-13 23:58:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 22-Nov-13 23:58:40

Yabu because its bloody obvious that this is a bun fight seeking thread.

BuzzardBird Fri 22-Nov-13 23:58:53

Fred about a fred?

WorraLiberty Fri 22-Nov-13 23:59:21

I'm not entirely sure why we need a separate thread on this subject?

If you've read the other one, you'll see all the various opinions that will answer your question.

AgentZigzag Fri 22-Nov-13 23:59:27

Of course you haven't harmed him!

How you decide to feed your baby is completely up to you.

What does it matter what some internet random says on a forum? (which I am of course grin)

There are/will be plenty more serious things to feel guilty about, pick your battles guilt.

ScrambledSmegs Fri 22-Nov-13 23:59:32

Greythorne, did you mean to post that?


OP. No. You did not harm your baby by not trying to bf. Don't be daft. YAB massively U by asking such a loaded question though.

BuzzardBird Fri 22-Nov-13 23:59:42

Tis true pixie I am getting very bored of it now...

If you feel bad starting a thread about it in AIBU probably isn't the way.

Do you really not know the benefits of BF/harms of FF? Really?

Here you go.

usualsuspect Fri 22-Nov-13 23:59:43

Do we need another bf v ff thread?

Didn't we just have one.

Fwiw I ff all three of mine I feel no guilt.

They are all grown up and couldn't give a toss how I fed them.

stopgap Sat 23-Nov-13 00:00:19

I don't think it was wrong of you at all. You did what you felt was right for your baby, and that's good enough, just as I breastfed my son for 18 months in the hope of staving off various food and environmental allergies that are endemic in my family. We each do what works best for our own situation.

BertieBowtiesAreCool Sat 23-Nov-13 00:00:28

Did you decide to feed him arsenic instead of milk? Then no, you haven't harmed him. HTH.

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Sat 23-Nov-13 00:00:30

No. You made the right decision for you and your baby at the time. Your baby was fed, and has thrived. That is all that matters.
Please don't beat yourself up over this.
Sure given your time again you may have tried it and found is was right for you - but that involves a lot of hindsight or possibly a spot of time travel tardis (sorry couldn't help it lol).
You can't change that decision, but you did not make a bad decision - you fed a hungry baby with whatever felt right at the time.

Caitlin17 Sat 23-Nov-13 00:01:03

You haven't harmed your baby in any way. For a first world baby born to a healthy, sensible mother in a stable secure environment it will make no difference.

WorraLiberty Sat 23-Nov-13 00:01:11

Or rather it won't answer your question...because you'll find some people are vehemently pro BF, some are vehemently pro FF, many are vehemently pro choice and many really don't give a shiny shit how people feed their kids because it's none of their business...

BuzzardBird Sat 23-Nov-13 00:01:13

Agent is an internet random...<puzzles over this> grin

AgentZigzag Sat 23-Nov-13 00:01:17

There's always room for another bf/ff thread worra wink

<chucks stale bun>

<jammy shot actually hits pixie>

AgentZigzag Sat 23-Nov-13 00:02:46

I think there should be more bf/ff threads, it'd take peoples minds off how much Christmas is costing them.

WorraLiberty Sat 23-Nov-13 00:03:00

If you're throwing jammy buns around I'll have one Ziggers!

WestieMamma Sat 23-Nov-13 00:03:18

Formula is a lot better than what my baby tried to feed himself on today.

usualsuspect Sat 23-Nov-13 00:06:26

When they are guzzling red bull as teenagers you won't care what you fed them as babies.

radiatormesh Sat 23-Nov-13 00:06:32

Caitlin - 'It will make no difference'.

So the stats about the huge health benefits of BF rather than FF are total rubbish then???! What utter drivel.

FF is not bad, but BF has been proven to be better.

End of.

Goldmandra Sat 23-Nov-13 00:07:18

I guess if your baby has had infections which BFing could have helped him fight and perhaps he's been left with glue ear or similar, you may have indirectly caused a small degree of harm.

However only you will know if that's a possibility and nobody could say it or sure so why are you asking MNers?

Do you worry a lot that you've harmed him? If so you should probably see your HV or GP.

AgentZigzag Sat 23-Nov-13 00:08:15

<wrestles radia to the ground>

<squashes last jammy bun in process>

BlingBang Sat 23-Nov-13 00:09:43

I'm sure your baby is fine and hasn't been harmed but as BM is supposed to be superior then it's possible he might have missed out on the benefits it's supposed to bring. I doubt you will ever find out if it would have made any difference.

Bitofkipper Sat 23-Nov-13 00:10:48

When my children were born mothers were discouraged from breastfeeding. Fathers were not expected to be at the birth.

Amazingly we survived.

Caitlin17 Sat 23-Nov-13 00:12:42

radiator I endured 2 months of utter misery breastfeeding my son.

He is 23. The last time he saw a doctor was to get his MMR .So please feel free to tell me he has suffered health problems.

Goldmandra Sat 23-Nov-13 00:13:38

Amazingly we survived.

I'd be worried if you hadn't and were posting on this thread! shock

jeremytampaxman Sat 23-Nov-13 00:13:41

Honestly? I do think it's a shame when people don't even try to BF, don't even want to give those first few feeds of colostrum. You'd have to live under a rock to not know it's the better choice for your baby.

That said, there are many reasons why people might not want to try - unsupportive family/partner; having heard horror stories about BFing and how difficult it can be; feeling uncomfortable with using breasts for BFing when we've all been conditioned to see them for sex, etc. All of those are a shame, but not wrong.

I think the whole issue is quite complex and needs to change on a societal level. Mothers aren't "wrong" for choosing formula when we live in a formula centric society.

usualsuspect Sat 23-Nov-13 00:13:58

You know what,some of the bf on here cause more bloody grief than anyone else.

AgentZigzag Sat 23-Nov-13 00:14:15

"They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself."

Genius Phil.

I'm keeping a book on how I'm fucking mine up, and minimal bf have pretty high odds.

WorraLiberty Sat 23-Nov-13 00:17:39

Considering how many kids are obese by the time they start Reception class, it makes me wonder why some parents worry so much more about what they feed their babies in the early years...and then seem take their eye completely off the ball a couple of years later.

I know this is a bit OT but I just wish the evangelism regarding healthy feeding, would extend past the baby stage.

usualsuspect Sat 23-Nov-13 00:18:02

Mine must be pretty fucked up then,what with me ff them.

Or it might have been the jars of baby food,or the disposable mappies.Or maybe the wrong school or anything else I did wrong.

WorraLiberty Sat 23-Nov-13 00:21:55

I chose to FF all 3 of mine too usual

I got a letter last year from the Doctor's surgery, checking we were still living at our address because none of us have seen the GP for years grin

BlackeyedSusan Sat 23-Nov-13 00:24:41

it is about statistics. just because a formula fed baby may have a greater chance of developing/not getting x y or z does not mean that your particular formula fed baby ill definitely be/get x y or z. or not have got it if breast fed.

AgentZigzag Sat 23-Nov-13 00:25:02

DD2 had pringles, yoghurt and lucozade for her tea tonight shock

I'm done for.

(has yog got an h in it?)

usualsuspect Sat 23-Nov-13 00:25:59

Well all mine seem to be ok,Worra.

I weaned the eldest 2 at 4 months too shock

Bad bad mother.

<Flogs self>

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 23-Nov-13 00:26:37

I would actually fight you for a jammy bun right now,

But it would have to be proper rubbish jam none of that posh only pretending to be jam stuff.

Bastard lemon curd is the only vaguely sweet thing I currently have in my house

WorraLiberty Sat 23-Nov-13 00:28:09

I don't want to out wean you usual but I weaned my eldest at just under 4 months, on the advice of my GP and HV.

However, I'm not afraid so if you want a 'wean-off' we'll have one

<< Tries to look menacing >>

Bitofkipper Sat 23-Nov-13 00:28:32

Goldmandra, your post doesn't make sense.

usualsuspect Sat 23-Nov-13 00:29:09

I love lemon curd. I'm never sure what to do with it though.

AgentZigzag Sat 23-Nov-13 00:30:21

The only thing better than lemon curd on toast is bastard lemon curd on toast.

It was my staple student fare, one BLC and the other peanut butter <mmm>

WorraLiberty Sat 23-Nov-13 00:31:19 put lemon curd on toast?


Only1scoop Sat 23-Nov-13 00:31:33

Always wondered what lemon curd went into other than tarts etc....

usualsuspect Sat 23-Nov-13 00:32:43

I only make tarts with lemon curd.

It has no place on bread.

AgentZigzag Sat 23-Nov-13 00:32:45

I meant one slice of toast had one topping and the other another.

It was a main plus pud on one small plate.

Goldmandra Sat 23-Nov-13 00:32:56

Goldmandra, your post doesn't make sense.

Who wouldn't be concerned to find a deceased person posting on MN?

SunriseSurprise Sat 23-Nov-13 00:34:07

You haven't in any way failed your baby. Each to their own but imo bf is hyped up waaay too much as being the superior way of feeding. Bf mothers generally always carry an air of superiority (from the ones I've known!
Then I find it ironic that by the time dc is merely 8 weeks old the majority of these 'au naturel' mothers start the roller coaster ride of subjecting their tiny babies to vaccination cocktails! But that's a whole other thread and I'm prepared to get flamed! !

AgentZigzag Sat 23-Nov-13 00:34:19

I thought that's what it was for worra shock

Even if it takes me years, I'm going to hunt down the liar who told me that and maim them.

Only1scoop Sat 23-Nov-13 00:34:41

Main plus it

WorraLiberty Sat 23-Nov-13 00:39:44

Ziggers your subsequent lemon curd posts have done nothing to help your case here sad

Ilanthe Sat 23-Nov-13 00:40:20

Rather a cocktail of vaccinations than a cocktail of diseases.

AgentZigzag Sat 23-Nov-13 00:43:49

I was EBF if that makes a difference worra?

No! Lemon curd should always be in a sandwich with white bread and butter.

elfycat Sat 23-Nov-13 00:47:42

I was formula fed and you know what, apart from the bastard cold virus, I'm pretty damned healthy. DM didn't try (40+ years ago) as she has inverted nipples and she didn't want to. She slammed the door in the HV's face when her first question was 'Are you feeding her properly yet?'.

High fives Mum!

I'm sure they've been tweaking the recipe for formula in the last 40+ years and it'll be good stuff. I did BF but I'm pro-choice. You made a choice and you had your own reasons. Believe in them and don't regret it. Having a mother who was happy (and possibly able to hand over a feed for a nap) would have had its own benefits for your DS.

BlingBang Sat 23-Nov-13 00:48:15

Haven't had lemon curd for over 20 odd years - can you still buy it?

SunriseSurprise Sat 23-Nov-13 00:48:23

Bizzarly as it may seem my formula fed & unvaccinated 7 & 5 yr old have never been 'diseased' enough to even require an anti biotic yet.

elfycat Sat 23-Nov-13 00:49:44

And lemon curd? Goes nicely with peanut butter in a sandwich. Toasted or otherwise.

OP you now have to wean on lemon curd.

And marmite, never too soon for marmite!

Goldmandra Sat 23-Nov-13 00:51:43

Lemon curd on fresh tiger bread.

That IMO is the ONLY way to eat it.

AgentZigzag Sat 23-Nov-13 00:53:47

'And lemon curd? Goes nicely with peanut butter in a sandwich. Toasted or otherwise.'

Now that is weird, clag city grin

SunriseSurprise Sat 23-Nov-13 00:55:00

Yes, as pp said I'm sure formula is so much better than it was years ago. My nan bf all 10 (!!) of her children, they were no healthier/more robust or less susceptible to illness than ff peers. And to be fair, my nan said it was a necessity for costs to bf as much as the convenience it brought!!

elfycat Sat 23-Nov-13 00:55:59

Wow the first time I have ever been called weird - not!


BlingBang Sat 23-Nov-13 00:56:10

Sunrise - woud you feel so confident if everyone else had chosen not to vaccinate and all these diseases still ran rampant?

AgentZigzag Sat 23-Nov-13 00:56:11

But you're right elfy, they're always ready for buttery marmite toasty soldiers.

My mouth's watering now.

elfycat Sat 23-Nov-13 00:59:01

Ohh. Agent now I feel the need to boil an egg.


Goldmandra Sat 23-Nov-13 01:00:31

According to my DD, lemon curd makes a passable substitute for ketchup when you've run out of the red stuff. Good with sausages apparently.

Should I try it on my bacon earnie in the morning.

AgentZigzag Sat 23-Nov-13 01:01:33

Bloody hell Bling, don't be introducing vaccination argy bargy into the mix.

I'm going to start talking about how crap my MIL is if you persist.


All on one thread and now with lemon curd.

<wonders how MN will make lemon curd controversial.>

BlingBang Sat 23-Nov-13 01:06:26

You are right, being a naughty Bling so off to bed must I go!

Hogwash Sat 23-Nov-13 01:07:11

'Considering how many kids are obese by the time they start Reception class, it makes me wonder why some parents worry so much more about what they feed their babies in the early years...and then seem take their eye completely off the ball a couple of years later.' I think it's about a bit more than just the food.

BlingBang Sat 23-Nov-13 01:07:30

But Marmite tis EVIL!

The Robinson's golly probably

TheBigJessie Sat 23-Nov-13 01:08:40

Whatever the benefits of breastfeeding are on a populational level, there are absolutely no benefits to second-guessing your decision ten months later.

You undoubtedly have a gorgeous ten month old (I say undoubtedly because it's a very cute age!) There's a whole host of different things you should be making yourself miserable about! grin There's actually an official schedule* that says what you should be worrying about and when. Do you not have a copy?

<consults own copy>
Let's see, I've got you down for a whole list of stuff here! Have you worried about your child's ability to smear artisan foodstuffs into the wall yet? Get with the program!

*this is a lie

elfycat Sat 23-Nov-13 01:08:51

There are benefits to BF (to return to the original point in case the OP gets through the lemon curd) not least of which is a very portable comforter (mother).

Yes there is the immunisation effects of antibodies - but eventually we all end up with norovirus ridden school children and colds regardless of initial feeding methods.

The overweight thing has so many other factors, including the availability of junk food (and in my case real ale), and the altered eating habits since the rationing from WWII, that the link to BF is muddied.

so Agent want to PM bitch about MILs grin maybe we should just drown them in lemon curd*

*disclaimer: not an actual murder plot maybe

SunriseSurprise Sat 23-Nov-13 01:09:47

blingblang I don't know to be totally honest. I do know that in the large family I grew up in & extended family we all went through measles, mumps, etc, even whooping cough one after another with no lasting effects/hospitalisation. If I was related to someone who'd suuffered long term effects I may well think differently. Likewise if my dc had showed signs of weak immune systems over the years I would be more anxious I suppose.

My MIL would eat the lemon curd. And arise with renewed energy from all the sugar, protein and vitamins. sad

elfycat Sat 23-Nov-13 01:13:13

sad Baroness

What about a vat of marmite?

Goldmandra Sat 23-Nov-13 01:13:45

There are vitamins in lemon curd? shock

SunriseSurprise Sat 23-Nov-13 01:15:56

What about diet of mum? Surely some mums who have pretty crap/unhealthy diets would be doing better for their baby by ff? Anyone know anything factual on this angle?

What about a vat of marmite?

I'm not wasting perfectly good marmite on MIL!

Of course there's vitamins. Made with lemons, innit. Must be in marmalade too. And wine...... <ever deluded hopeful>

AgentZigzag Sat 23-Nov-13 01:17:26

One of your five a day Gold wink

My MIL's crap, but not even on the third rung of the ladder of stories I've read on here shock Plus she hasn't visited since she forgot DD1s birthday last year <re-sult>

BlingBang Sat 23-Nov-13 01:20:34

My Mil is lovely - that might be too controversial for Mn though.

SunriseSurprise Do you seriously want linkies?

Basically, the composition of BM is pretty much the same, whatever you eat, and how much or little, as it draws from the stores in the woman's own body.

elfycat Sat 23-Nov-13 01:22:19

MIL sent a generic card for DD2's 3rd birthday this week. From a multipack. Of course I can't complain as I don't send cards (only gifts). She gave DH a card to give to our niece but luckily DD2 tore it up so that saved us the bother.

It's possibly a passive aggressive card that was sent to DD2.

notundermyfoof Sat 23-Nov-13 01:24:13

What is with all the bf/ff threads on here atm?! You made your choice and your dc is fit and well so theres no point worrying about it now. The cost of formula is eye watering though - £10 per week for 10 months is £400! That was enough to convince me to give bf a try.

elfycat Sat 23-Nov-13 01:35:12

Unless you are taking certain medications, illegal drugs or excessive alcohol I'm sure BM is nutritionally sound.

I still maintain that a less-stressed mother is beneficial in her own right. Better to ff than to bf and have issues from: resenting it/hate it/pain/that weird raynaulds white nipple thing/sleep deprivation/never go out DD2 wouldn't take a bottle until 11 months /biting down/teething.

I did it, I don't regret it but I was a hint jealous of the freedom of ff.

SunriseSurprise Sat 23-Nov-13 01:35:36

Thanks Baroness for the link. Yes, I understand all that but I suppose I was being too vague about crap diets. Mums who heavily smoke/drink would be better ff than bf.

AgentZigzag Sat 23-Nov-13 01:38:43

Don't you mean your MIL has been lovely to you so far Bling? <sows seeds of doubt> (nearly put sews grin)


BlingBang Sat 23-Nov-13 01:41:51

Well, it's only been 18 years! But there was that time...

BlueLagoonz Sat 23-Nov-13 01:47:21

No, you haven't done your baby any harm by FF'ing him. There is no need to worry. It is proven that BM is better for a baby, but that's just it. It is just better. It's not like feeding them anything else is bad.


drinking at 'normal' levels

But let's face it, if a mother is drinking heavily, FF is the last of anyone's worries. sad

loveolives Sat 23-Nov-13 07:08:57

IMHO you are unreasonable to not even try, yes. Even if you can give some colostrum.

You wouldn't have harmed your baby but if he has any health related difficulties they could have been less severe had you breastfed - does that make sense?

whatshallwedo Sat 23-Nov-13 07:49:07

Caitlin17 ever thought that might be because your son was bf for 2 months?

whatshallwedo Sat 23-Nov-13 07:49:09

Caitlin17 ever thought that might be because your son was bf for 2 months?

msmoss Sat 23-Nov-13 07:54:10

Agent I think that is the first time a BF/FF thread has raised a smile from me, thank you smile

Minifingers Sat 23-Nov-13 08:02:40

Well - you asked a specific question, so here's a specific answer:

Your baby may have slightly less white matter in his brain, according to this latest piece of research listed by UNICEF:

"Breastfeeding and early white matter development in the brain

This study compared the amount of white matter, which facilitates the rapid and synchronised brain messaging required for higher-order cognitive functions, in the brains of 133 healthy children from 10 months to 4 years of age using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanning, and compared the results of infants who were:

exclusively breastfed for three months
exclusively formula-fed
mixed fed with breastmilk and formula.

In addition they examined the relationship between breastfeeding duration and white matter microstructure.

Results of this study describe some of the earliest changes in human white matter development, including an association between early exclusive breastfeeding and improved developmental growth in the late maturing white matter regions of the brain. This area of the brain is associated with higher-order cognition such as planning, social-emotional functioning and language.

Extended breastfeeding was positively associated with improved white matter structure and cognitive performance, including language performance, visual reception and motor control.

Whilst the mechanism remains unclear, breastmilk is rich in long chain fatty acids found in breastmilk (docosahexaenoic (DHA) and arachidonic (AA) acids) which promote neural growth and white matter development. Formula and weaning foods only contain the precursors to these.

In conclusion, the authors state that this study provides further support for the hypothesis that breastmilk promotes healthy neural growth and white matter development.

Deoni SCL, Dean DC, Piryatinsky I et al (2013) Breastfeeding and early white matter development: A cross-sectional study. Neurolmage. 82. 77-86."

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 23-Nov-13 08:24:00

*According to my DD, lemon curd makes a passable substitute for ketchup when you've run out of the red stuff. Good with sausages apparently.

Should I try it on my bacon earnie in the morning*

She's quite correct.

Its also very good directly from a teaspoon or dumped unceremoniously on top of hot sponge cake.

Minifingers Sat 23-Nov-13 08:24:31

Can I add - no point having a wobble about this now. Stable door open. Horse bolted.

And rest assured that very few of our lifestyle or diet choices actually make differences to our children which are VISIBLE to the individual.

Hence the need for MRI scanning in the study below.

I've been thinking about this in relation to my friend telling me her 6 year old eats no vegetables at all, including potatoes. You'd never know it to look at him (well, he's very overweight, but so are the whole family so I doubt that's just about the lack of veg in his diet).

Children and babies are very robust, thank goodness. grin

Thants Sat 23-Nov-13 08:31:52

I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't want to try. Entirely out of curiosity! Even if I'd decided to ff I'd wanna bf just once just to see what it feels like. Gots boobs I wanna try them out grin

MadAsFish Sat 23-Nov-13 08:34:43

Oh I love how all these breasftfeeding fanatics make me feel so much better about having been unable to breast feed past three months (and only partially at that).
I tried everything but when I got to the point of pumping for an hour on each side to get half a feed, I had to give up.

notundermyfoof Sat 23-Nov-13 09:21:31

Madasfish don't feel bad, 3 months is really good! Any breastfeeding at all is better than none and you obviously tried really hard. I don't think anyone is judging women who don't bf for a long time, its more not understanding why someone wouldn't try at all. flowers

annieorangutan Sat 23-Nov-13 09:25:41

I ffed my first but after bfing no 2 I loved it and definitely will do it again. My second goes to 40 hrs childcare with me a week and has not had 1 day off sick in well over a yeae, despite starting at 7 mths. Its such a chance from getting all the bugs with dc1 and made working a lot less stressful.

Wuxiapian Sat 23-Nov-13 09:36:59


You have not harmed your baby in any way.

Minifingers Sat 23-Nov-13 11:50:00

3 months of breastfeeding means your baby has been breastfed longer than about 3/4's of the UK population.

And believing that breastfeeding has important benefits - and saying so on a thread like this - does not qualify you as a fanatic. Ok?

Caitlin17 Sat 23-Nov-13 12:09:14

whatshallwedo oh of course, thank you, I'm such an idiot for not thinking of that and of course nothing else I did made any difference at all, or the fact that both his (non breast fed parents) enjoy excellent health.

Who knows, maybe if I'd put up with the misery until he was 3,4,5 he'd be Nobel prize winning Olympian.

Writerwannabe83 Sat 23-Nov-13 12:15:46

Choosing not to breast feed means he missed out on all the benefits of breast milk but you certainly haven't harmed your son by giving him FF. It wasn't poison last time I checked.... smile

BlingBang Sat 23-Nov-13 12:37:06

... unless you were one of those poor souls in China!

Writerwannabe83 Sat 23-Nov-13 12:45:19

grin - good point BlingBang. By the way, just before anyone starts shouting at me, I'm smiling because the witty comeback made me laugh, not the actual poisoning smile

PopiusTartius Sat 23-Nov-13 13:39:23

In my family (me, DS, DD and DH) I am the ONLY ONE who was not breastfed.

I am also the only one without any allergies.
I am also the one with an IQ higher than Einstein and Carol Vorderman, apparently.

However, despite this high IQ I got completely sucked into breastfeeding longer and more intensively than I planned, esp with DS1. THAT I do regret. I was miserable and tied. If anything did harm in the first few months it was that.

The plural of anecdote is not data, I grant you. But it's as near as fucking dammmit in this house.

Make and own and celebrate your choices. Enjoy your little one and be happy and everyone can fuck off. It makes no difference when they are eating chicken nuggets off the dog in 3 years anyway.

Goldmandra Sat 23-Nov-13 13:52:36

Wouldn't it be lovely if we lived in a world where one person's experience was statistically significant?

Just think of all the money that could be saved in research if you could just ask some random person on the street what they or their parents did and safely use the result to write health policies.

Only one person need participate in each drugs trial.

You could use one case study to plan vaccination programmes.

The experience of one person could be used to safely write all education policies. Actually, I think Liz Truss already does that!

You could use one experience of someone getting a job at their first interview to justify withdrawing all JSA and one fraudulent claimant to wipe out the need for DLA. How much would that save!

If only it really worked how so many MNers think it does!

Jenny70 Sat 23-Nov-13 14:00:32

It is known to be the best food for your baby, and you've chosen to give him a poorer substitute... time will tell if he develops any health problems as a result.

But you will make many more parenting decisions that are sub-optimal... you may stay with a partner who is abusive, you may feed them beef mince that is actually horse, you may give him a cold sore, you may leave a door open and he jams his fingers, you may work on the day it's his nativity and he feels the only lobster with noone to watch him.... you make the best decisions you can, and try and minimise the guilt when you know things are not ideal.

AlwaysSnoozing Sat 23-Nov-13 14:01:02

I think my DTs did better on FF than BF purely because I was stuck in the misery of MH issues, BFing for just two weeks meant the stress, fear and worry increased (or rather, BFing didn't do it, but the way I reacted to it, did) and despite a ton of support from all sides (as I was a teen mum, there was loads!) I chose to FF. I had only the most basic of bonds with my DTs until after I stopped and bonded much better afterwards and also made sure their needs was met quicker and better, so I think, personally, stopping FF was best for us all. It was only slightly less than a fortnight of BFing.

BF is proven to statistically improve health etc; but of course lifestyles associated with BF/FFing are related (and connected). On a smaller, individual scale, who knows? Sometimes FF is best for the mother and baby (like in m case).

Phineyj Sat 23-Nov-13 14:02:23

Even the peer reviewed research shows a smallish difference in outcomes. It would probably be significant at a population level if everyone did it (bf) for an extended period, but given that at the level of the individual baby you can't tell, it is a big ask of women to do it if they don't want to. It is our choice what we do with our bodies - or it should be.

MyGoldenNotebook Sat 23-Nov-13 14:52:31

I worry about this too. I did BF but only for two weeks as I had a mad panic about supply issues / mental health issues etc. I then couldn't forgive myself and developed pretty bad PND which I'm still being treated for. Much better than I was :-)

My fully BF husband has eczema and my DD now has a few small patches herself and I do wonder if she could have avoided that if I had BF longer. She also has a little cough on and off. I'll never know.

Essentially most sensible articles seem to suggest that for the baby of an educated, sensible mother in the first world it will make little difference. I'm trying to focus on making better choices in the future. DD is now 17 months.


Feminine Sat 23-Nov-13 15:16:48

I wasn't breast-fed.

I'm really well clutches kitchen table most of the time.

I BF 2 of mine, and mixed the other. In real life I never meet mothers who care either way.

Maybe they are harbouring unusual opinions...that they bring out here.

Really seriously. No one other than here, ever even mentions it.

Not in the street.

Not at Mother & baby groups...

Not at Dinner parties

Not in the get the picture? grin

You will always have done the right thing by your baby. smile

Monetbyhimself Sat 23-Nov-13 15:20:59

Lemon curd in cheap white bread. The type that sticks to the roof of your mouth.

Feminine Sat 23-Nov-13 15:23:10

with formula Monet ?

ImaginativeNewName Sat 23-Nov-13 15:45:03

You haven't harmed your baby at all and I say that as a bright, fit, exceptionally healthy and exclusively formula-fed ex baby. grin

whatshallwedo Sat 23-Nov-13 17:02:20

Caitlin17 maybe he would but we shall never know.

Retropear Sat 23-Nov-13 17:17:27

Are you going to ask that when he's weaned and not eating 10 a day or eats crappy meat or too much meat,too much sugar and too much fat?

Are you going to ask that when he starts sitting in front of screens or perhaps doesn't get as much outdoor or exercise time as he should be?

Are you going to ask that when you're not reading to him evey day or let him play with crappy non educational toys or not sitting down to a proper sit down meal?

No thought not.

Bfing is but one of many parenting ideals and choices.I'd give it as much thought as any other parenting ideal you didn't pull off(many of which will have a far bigger impact and are worthy of more worry if worry floats your boat).

It's a marathon not a sprint.

Tailtwister Sat 23-Nov-13 17:34:50

This again.

You made your decision OP and that's it. No, you haven't harmed your baby by ff. For me it stands to reason that bf has been found to have beneficial qualities. It's made specifically for babies, changes over time as the baby gets old, has components that are impossible to replicate.

We all have to make decisions for our children and how they are fed as babies is one tiny part of that. I have had to make choices which I know aren't the absolute best in isolation, but are the best in the long run.

Thatisall Sat 23-Nov-13 18:09:31

Serious answer? You haven't harmed him. Breast milk has 'extras' that formula cannot replicate. You haven't harmed him, he just hasn't had the extras.

Other answer? Why start a thread rehashing a conversation hat has already happened and already caused a massive hoo hah (I love the phrase hoo hah)? You already know the answer.

Minifingers Sat 23-Nov-13 19:15:40

"Breast milk has 'extras' that formula cannot replicate. You haven't harmed him, he just hasn't had the extras."

Errr, no. Breast milk does not contain 'extras'. If someone came up with an artificial blood tomorrow which sustained life and health but lacked most of the elements of blood and was consequently associated, as formula is, with higher rates of illness and hospital admissions at a population level we wouldn't talk about blood having 'extra' ingredients and holding the artificial blood up as the 'norm' against which to judge it. Formula is a rough approximation which lacks most of the elements of breast milk , but is adequate to sustain life and growth. The fact that there are significant identifiable differences in terms of health and development between populations of breast and formula fed babies (which persist even after the research has controlled for a range of other variables such household income and education) suggests that the deficiencies of formula DO matter at some level.

It's also worth considering that breast milk, like blood, is an extremely complex substance with some elements being only recently identified (like stem cells); their role in the body still poorly understood and difficult to study.

The fact that scientists are now identifying by MRI subtle structural differences between the brains of formula and breastfed babies suggests to me that there is far more that we don't understand about this issue than we do understand.

And I often wonder how people are able to make such confident assertions about such a complex issue, when research is ongoing and is constantly throwing up new areas of interest in relation to the effects of breast milk on the body.

Thatisall Sat 23-Nov-13 19:23:25

mini are you actually suggesting that the Op has harmed her child then?? Really??

Caitlin just because your DC are fortunate enough to be healthy, doesn't mean you can override medical evidence and state bf makes no difference.

Anecdotal evidence is useless, you need to look at the statistics overall.

Thatisall Sat 23-Nov-13 19:24:12

mini because harmed is a very strong word to use.

Retropear Sat 23-Nov-13 19:26:08

Yeah and research gets knocked down again. "Research"to prove one thing one minute,"research" which discredits it the next.

Hospital admissions which considering the vast amount of bottles made up and consumed are rare are due to poor hygiene and poor bottle making.

"Identifiable differences" um very few babies are exclusively bf in this country and the vast maj are mixed fed and you'll find differences from many parenting choices,this is no more worthy than many others.

Some you win,some you lose on the parenting road.If you keep a balance and provide a healthy lifestyle overall there is sfa to worry about.

Retropear Sat 23-Nov-13 19:27:48

Yes will and the stat figures are minescule soooooo the stat twisting and scaremongering is pointless.

Retropear Sat 23-Nov-13 19:29:15


Topseyt Sat 23-Nov-13 19:30:35

Nobody has harmed their baby by formula feeding.

I formula fed all three of mine from the word go. I don't regret it at all. All are happy and health teenagers now, doing well at school etc.

Formula is NOT poison.

Retroformica Sat 23-Nov-13 19:31:49

Each to their own. Obviously you haven't harmed tour baby. Feed your baby as you will but there are clear benefits to BFing that can't be ignored - the child is less likely to be obese when older, less likely to get diabetes type 2, will carry immunity from the mother, will be fed exactly as nature intended, will have less chance of getting eczema, less chance of getting vomiting. Mother benefits from lower rates of breast and ovarian cancer. Also easy on the pocket.

MamaLeMay Sat 23-Nov-13 19:41:59

Would just like to say that I have to ds's I didn't breast feed my first born (traumatic 33hr labour and I was in no fit state) but I did bf my now 3yr old and it is my lovely youngest ds that has suffered and is still suffering with eczema and he was also more sickly then his big brother was. I just wish that mums would stop making other mums feel guilty for doing what is right for them....surely we should all be supportive of each other in doing our best.

Retropear Sat 23-Nov-13 19:44:59

Bollocks retro you're stat twisting and scare mongering.

Ifyou prepare bottles correctly which my 8 year old could vomiting is very unlikely.

Re obesity there have been reports discrediting links and considering the impact of genes and lifestyle you can see why ie if you eat pies a few months of bm aint going to stop the bulge.There has also been research linking obesity to crap diet whilst bfing. Pick the research you want to twist,I ignore both.

Re eczema there was research linking it to bfing so again pick your research(I choose to ignore both).

Re diabetes it's linked to obesity and diet so see above.

Re maternal cancer for the few that get it there are benefits from bfing but thankfully it's rare and if you don't have unlucky genes and lead a healthy lifestyle even rarer.

Can we stat twist and scare monger other parenting choices now,this is boring?

popmusic84 Sat 23-Nov-13 19:49:31

Your body. Your baby , your choice. I really wanted to breastfeed but it didn't work. Crap delivery, crap support etc etc. Dd is fine though. Went on to breast feed subsequent children. Obviously there are benefits of breastfeeding in terms of immunity etc but formula isn't poison.
I do have pangs of guilt at times re dd but she is healthy.

busylizzie76 Sat 23-Nov-13 19:49:45

I ff my two DCs. Never wanted to bf although kudos to this who do. My DCs are very healthy with maybe 1-2 days off school in 4 years. Bigger things to worry about in my opinion. X

Retropear Sat 23-Nov-13 19:56:03

As nature intended is over rated too.

IVF,C/S delivered,life saving formula fed babies in this house- science rocks!

ScrambledSmegs Sat 23-Nov-13 19:58:29

What do you mean, Retroformica, less chance of getting vomiting? How is that affected by bfing? Surely it's affected by whether you catch vomiting bugs etc or not?

Not arguing, interested.

ScrambledSmegs Sat 23-Nov-13 19:59:29

Oh. [dimwit emoticon]

Retropear Sat 23-Nov-13 20:07:16

Vomiting in ff babies in this country is from poor hygiene or bottle preparation however the numbers that are admitted are relatively small when you consider that the maj are ff and the amount of bottles they consume hardly so it's hardly a cause for deep concern.Just read the instructions on the tin.

2 of mine were admitted for dehydration and weight loss due to poor bfing so it's swings and roundabouts.I obviously wouldn't stat twist the amount of babies admitted like mine and say bfing is dangerous- but I could.

Minifingers Sat 23-Nov-13 20:15:52

Rupe love, that's how research works.

I take it you don't advocate happily ignoring all other NHS evidence based advice on optimising your children's health and development on the basis that a) it doesn't suit your lifestyle and b) some new research will inevitably come along and disprove it one day?

Out of interest - given that you're so dismissive of research, how do you feel about novel ingredients being added to formula on the basis of a few small scale studies? Ingredients made from things like marine algae and fish eyes that have never before in the whole of human evolution formed part of the diet of newborn babies? You absolutely confident that these things are absolutely and entirely safe, despite the almost complete lack of long term properly controlled studies?

As for the higher rates stomach upsets requiring hospitalisation in ff babies - yes you are right, some of this is down to poorly prepared feeds. Formula, unlike breast milk, is a very good medium for breeding bacteria in. Of course new parents are often tired and disorganised, which makes them more vulnerable to messing up the feed. And many simply ignore advice to throw away unused made up formula because it's expensive, and ignore advice to make up bottles with water of 70 degrees because it's too much of a faff. It's not just hygiene though is it? It's about gut health, which is poorer in ff babies who also vomit more and are much more prone to constipation.

As for hospital admissions due to a lack of breastfeeding being insignificant compared to other things (smoking? accidents?) - I don't have the figures to compare.

However UNICEF did an analysis last year: (quote from the report"

"The report findings show that for just five illnesses, moderate increases in breastfeeding would translate into cost savings for the NHS of £40 million and tens of thousands of fewer hospital admissions and GP consultations."

I appreciate that this may seem insignificant to you. It doesn't to me. Knowing how much stress I felt when my children were ill as babies I find it hard not to see the many thousands of extra gp visits and hospital admissions in terms of a lot of avoidable suffering for real parents and real babies.

MrsOsbourne Sat 23-Nov-13 20:18:59

Breast feeding is the best thing for babies and is not promoted in the UK because formula makes more money.
In the same way cigarettes provide major revenue.

Zarazog Sat 23-Nov-13 20:19:28

I could not bf due to taking epilepsy medication. The doctors and midwives were very supportive of me, yet certain "friends" criticised me for letting my son down. I just thought Cow and Gate would be better than doping up a newborn on diluted epilepsy tablets (and the medical staff agreed).

DancingLady Sat 23-Nov-13 20:29:23

I was just waiting for minifingers to show up with her reams of stats. Glad I'm not disappointed.

Retropear Sat 23-Nov-13 20:33:40

Yes I know full well how research works,we have a medical scientist in our family thanks.And yes I do take NHS baby advice with a point of salt as it has a habit of changing- a lot.I also tend to keep things in perspective.

Sorry I ff 3 at once and never once had d&v or constipation with any of them.It isn't hard to do and no I was never tempted to skimp corners,using formula doesn't make you a feckless parent by default.hmm

Re saving money for the NHS-not feeding kids junk,providing more exercise and a healthy diet is something worth bleating about, a relatively small(when you consider the maj numbers are ff and the amount of bottles prepped) number of hospital admissions which could easily be avoided isn't.

MrsOsbourne Sat 23-Nov-13 20:39:03

Breast feedingis the best thing for babiesDancing
The problem is there is so little real support for mothers who want to BF in the UK.
Its hard to get started and wherever you go getting back to normal is the norm
It was really hard to gt DD to feed but I had the most wonderful support - one to one because I was the only BF mother on the ward.

MrsOsbourne Sat 23-Nov-13 20:42:20

Retro You like to pick and choose whats beneficial when the statistics are really clear on BF being very beneficial to both babies and mothers.
Am quite shocked that you are so vocal on SAHP and yet didn't BF .

DancingLady Sat 23-Nov-13 20:44:40

Honestly, where I live there is LOADS of support for women wanting to bf. It's presented as the only option. So 'lack of support' wasn't my problem.

My problem is people telling me what's best for my child, and that by choosing one thing over another I'm harming my child. It's no one's fucking business, OK? Formula isn't poison. It may not be as good as breast milk, but it's better than letting your child starve.

And the bf babies I know? Allergies galore, skin complaints etc. My DD? Strong as an ox. So fuck your research.

bellybuttonfairy Sat 23-Nov-13 20:52:33

Its impossible to have a discussion on bf/ff. What we feed our children is such an emotive subject and nobody wants to feel they have made a decision that is substandard (ff) or have bust a gut bf when there isnt any substantial gain.

Pah. Feed your child what you want but make an informed decision.

MrsOsbourne Sat 23-Nov-13 20:54:01

Its not just about one child Dancing generally BF babies are more intelligent,have lower allergies,infections, even leukaemia .
Their mothers hve lower rates of breast and ovarian cancer.
Your argument is like saying my granny smoked 80 a day and is really healthy at 90.
Epidemiology -not one single child.

Retropear Sat 23-Nov-13 20:57:10

Mrs you can pick and choose re stats for anything.

There is even neg research re bfing for those that want it.

Re sahp I find it interesting that restraint is expected on that subject but re ffing it's open season.

MrsOsbourne Sat 23-Nov-13 21:01:34

I don't need to pick and choose because I did EBF and also chose to do the best thing for my children in sharing care with their father so am pretty neutral in the SAH vs WOH debate unlike others

DancingLady Sat 23-Nov-13 21:02:44

Mrs I've just popped your medal in the post, should arrive Monday.

In the meantime -

Retropear Sat 23-Nov-13 21:02:48

"More intelligent" absolute,utter bollocks.You do realise most babies re mixed fed so are they half more intelligent?[ grin]Lots of research discredited that claim,it was only a couple of IQ points anyway.

Maternal education and genes determine intelligence(wouldn't want my 3 any more intelligent,they'd be dangerous).You do realise most babies are mixed fed so are

Infections and allergies we've covered.

Re epidemiology the numbers invoked are tiny in proportion.

Minifingers Sat 23-Nov-13 21:04:13

All major health organisations in the developed and developing world maintain that breastfeeding makes a very important contribution to improving child health and reducing rates of hospitalisation. Why would the NHS and UNICEF and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and the Royal College of Paediatrics, and the American Academy of Paediatrics(among others) choose to misrepresent the statistics and research on infant feeding issues as you suggest?


Retropear Sat 23-Nov-13 21:08:16

Um they generally don't,people like you do.And do I get to bleat on about,stat twist and scare monger the huge looooong list of parenting ideals I cracked?

Fearless Formula Feeder has some good stat links for those that like "research".wink

Minifingers Sat 23-Nov-13 21:10:18

Dancing Lady - nobody thinks formula is poison and starvation is better if a mother can't or won't breastfeed.

You do know this of course, don't you? blush

Zarazog Sat 23-Nov-13 21:11:01

All you people who harp on about bf should consider people who would have loved to bf but could not. Yes my son may have dropped a couple of IQ points, but the alternative was doping him up on breast milk laced with epilepsy pills.

junkfoodaddict Sat 23-Nov-13 21:12:45

I teach. I can honestly say that I cannot tell who in my class of 6 & 7 year olds were BF or FF. Nor does it matter and nor do I care.
My son (BF for first month) and FF therafter and his friend was BF until 18 months. Both hitting their milestones, both healthy weight.
My friend was actually told by a leading MW that there is very little difference between Formula and breast milk these days and that our country pushes BF because it is what the WHO suggests. But what many people do not know is that the WHO's advice is based upon the needs of third world countries - where life expectancy falls far below countries in the industrialised 'world'.
Obviously, I will get flamed for this and accused of talking nonsense and probably told to 'reveal this MW' blah, blah, blah.
I am not typing this to change opinion - that is an impossibility. Think about it: Walking down the street, meeting people in your line of work/social life - who in the hell knows who was BF or FF? Who the hell would ever ask? Do people assume that those who are poorly educated, less intelligent, of poor health, obese etc, etc were FF and those who were university educated to degree, master or PhD level and are fit and healthy were BF?
The thing is, nobody knows. You can have all the research under the sun, but research only 'tests' a tiny minority of the population and can therefore only make an assumption or 'best guess' based upon the results the test has uncovered.
Choosing what to feed your baby is the same as choosing as choosing which brand nappy you will cloth your child in and whether you choose fresh veg or frozen veg.
Does anyone know what I was fed on? Would anyone dare take a guess? Woukd anyone care? Does it REALLY matter?

Minifingers Sat 23-Nov-13 21:14:14

Every single bit of information I have ever quoted on this board in relation to breastfeeding comes from 3 sources:

UNICEF mailings - reviews of the evidence

NHS Choices

The Royal College of Midwives

Where does your information come from?

jacks365 Sat 23-Nov-13 21:14:24

Well I for one am thankful for formula since without it my dc wouldn't be here, my body unfortunately doesn't work properly so I am unable to provide them with breast milk. In my case insisting on feeding them myself would have been harmful.

Geckos48 Sat 23-Nov-13 21:16:49

Breast milk is not 'Superior'

it is the biological norm.

Formula milk is (basically) powered baby cow milk...

Breast milk is human milk.

human milk is better at growing... well Humans

powdered baby cow milk is better at growing powdered baby cows.

Babies need to be fed, if you are feeding them great, if you feed them breast milk thats bloody brilliant, if you dont then thats good too.

Thats about it.

MrsOsbourne Sat 23-Nov-13 21:17:03

Retro I am actually sitting here with my mouth doing this shock
that you go on and on about SAHP and how WOHP damage their children and you fed your children formula
LMFAO !!!!

Zara Im not harping on about BF- its a personal choice and if you have taken medication that stops you BF it isn't a choice .

Retropear Sat 23-Nov-13 21:17:10

Zara don't worry Omega oils,quality pre- school and reading have an impact on IQ if you want to worry about a couple of points later research discredited

Minifingers Sat 23-Nov-13 21:17:36

Zarazog - believe it or not, breastfeeding advocates are actually generally aware that breastfeeding isn't appropriate or advisable for some women.

I know people want to believe that bf advocates feel that every one can and should breastfeed, but actually, they don't.

Sorry to disappoint. You'll have to find another stick to beat me with!

Retropear Sat 23-Nov-13 21:18:08

Mrs utter bollocks.

If you want to post on a thread about a thread get it right.

bellybuttonfairy Sat 23-Nov-13 21:19:29

At the end of the day I think everyone knows that breastfeeding is natural and bm is a complex complete substance that provides everything a baby could ever need. It hasnt got 'extras' - its average.

Artificial milk is below average but its good enough and babies will actually thrive on it.

Epidemiologically bf babies are deemed to fare slightly better in lots of things but In sure that under the scrutiny of scientists, they wouldnt be able to test/prod/poke and tell the difference between an adult who was breastfed as a baby or an adult who was ff.

MrsOsbourne Sat 23-Nov-13 21:20:17

"Breast milk is not superior it is the biological norm"
^ this^

Whats a powdered baby cow ? grin

Geckos48 Sat 23-Nov-13 21:21:21

Give it a few years of evolution and we might find out... whistles

Zarazog Sat 23-Nov-13 21:23:45

thanks retropear, going to get some omega oils now

Zarazog Sat 23-Nov-13 21:24:40

minifingers I am aware of that but it still makes me feel like crap that I did not bf

MrsOsbourne Sat 23-Nov-13 21:26:57

Retro am a regular namechanger - have been on many threads where you berate and belittle WOHP.
Not nice is it grin

Am a sahp btw

Curbyourlassitude Sat 23-Nov-13 21:27:33

I am a huge advocate of breastfeeding and have myself breastfed for years. I have, however, recently found myself worrying about all the chemicals, aluminium,BPA etc that I'm passing on in my milk.

Whatever you do, you worry that you haven't done the right thing for your child.

Minifingers Sat 23-Nov-13 21:28:21

Retro - I agree that there is some poorly constructed research into breastfeeding around, and even the good research is often poorly reported in the press, which is what most people here rely on when it comes to information about feeding. Which is why I rely on critical reviews of the evidence, by reputable bodies like the NHS and the WHO, rather than cherry picking individual studies to suit my argument.

One of the greatest difficulties is the fact that it's very very hard to find a decent control group of fully breastfed babies anywhere in the developed world. 98% of UK babies have had formula by the time they are a year old. This means, in essence, that formula feeding on the scale we have now in the west is a huge, uncontrolled experiment, the most radical and fastest change in the way humans have been fed in the whole history of human nutrition.

MrsOsbourne Sat 23-Nov-13 21:30:41

Arent babies in Sweden fully breast fed Mini I thought they had the highest rates??

Snowfedup Sat 23-Nov-13 21:30:56

The way I think of it is breastfeeding will make your child slightly healthier than they would have been if you hadn't but that doesn't mean they will be healthier than the ff child next door if they would have been the healthier child anyway due to family history and genes.

Same for intelligence eg child a's baseline IQ would have been 100 but as his mum bf it will be 102 were as child b's baseline IQ would have been 120 and will still be 120 because he was ff !

I'm lucky to have no allergies or health problems in either my or dh family and we are both fairly intelligent so I'm not bothered that I didn't manage to ebf for 6 months but I do get cross when those who did try to suggest their child is healthier or more intelligent than mine.

MelanieRavenswood Sat 23-Nov-13 21:32:09

It is possible to accept that there are definite, proven risks to formula feeding and at the same time consider those may be risks worth taking if formula feeding enhances your family life in a different way (or of course if bf is riskier due to meds etc). I certainly felt that I needed a rest from the difficulties I had breastfeeding my ds and we switched to formula early on - sadly I didn't get the support I needed and didn't realise some of those bf problems could be fixed. I don't feel guilty because it wasn't my fault but will always be regretful he didn't get the nutrition that was meant for him.

Retropear Sat 23-Nov-13 21:32:49

Utter bollocks Mrs,- berate and belittle- utter baloney.

Minifingers Sat 23-Nov-13 21:34:15

Zarazog - I have made decisions about how I parent my children that I don't feel great about. I have smacked my children on the odd occasion and I can tell you, I feel shit about that. What I don't do though is try to use character assassination against people on this board who make a strong case against smacking, because their comments make me feel guilty and inadequate as a parent (which they do). My actions are my responsibility as are my feelings about them. If I have nothing to feel guilty about I don't feel guilty and nobody can make me feel that way.

strictlovingmum Sat 23-Nov-13 21:36:13

DS 18 only ff, all those years ago when formula resembled pharmaceutical waste, I didn't know any better, I was very young and could not be bothered with the whole thing of bf.
DS is currently at Uni (third ranked in UK) studying Physics with Elctr.Engeneering, four A levels A, 11 GCSE's A and A*, IQ trough the roof.
I know I didn't harm him in any way, there is so much more in raising a healthy and productive, well rounded human being then just means of feeding in those first months.
DD for a year, bright, clever, very quick on uptake, but not healthier or smarter in any way then her older brother, they are very differentgrin
OP you haven't harmed your child in any way I am sure, you need to relax, expel those guilt feelings out of your mind and enjoy your child, those first months and early years go very quickly, savour every moment, there are no medals for the bf/ff mother of the year.
IMO Parenting is a very private journey full of self doubt and guilt, save your self for bigger trials and tribulations, they are coming your waywinksmile

Retropear Sat 23-Nov-13 21:36:24

People don't feel guilty Mini,they simply disagree and don't buy the stat twisting.

Minifingers Sat 23-Nov-13 21:37:42

Breastfeeding will keep thousands of children away from doctors surgeries and out of hospital this year in the UK.

That's what the current evidence suggests.

Make of it what you will.

It will also save the lives of some premature babies.

Minifingers Sat 23-Nov-13 21:40:44

Retro - is the NHS and UNICEF twisting the stats?

Because the information I have mentioned on this thread comes direct from NHS Choices and UNICEF.

I'd be really appreciative if you could address the issue of the information about breastfeeding in NHS patient information leaflets and on NHS websites. This information supports my view on the subject, not yours.

Retropear Sat 23-Nov-13 21:42:27

My 3 were mixed fed for the first couple of months.

Sorry I don't buy the bullshit re the few weeks of bm they had alongside formula.

There will have been very slight benefits to my dc but considering their genes,parents,advantages and healthy lifestyle sorry the benefits they got from bm beyond colostrum aren't even worth thinking about,ditto negs of formula they had alongside.

Retropear Sat 23-Nov-13 21:43:09

Mini correct bottle prep will also keep them out.

Golddigger Sat 23-Nov-13 21:45:13

AIBU to think that there are only about 6 mumsnetters who keep promoting and pushing for breastfeeding, even if mothers then end up feeling bad because they didnt do it for whatever reason,
and the rest, about 29,994 posters on mumsnet, think that pushing and pushing it, is not fair on mothers?

Pinholes Sat 23-Nov-13 21:45:54

Whatever you do, you worry that you haven't done the right thing for your child.


And also - no matter what choice you make, somebody somewhere will think it was the wrong one so fuck them

For what it's worth my DC1 was FF, the closest he ever got to breast milk was when he mistakenly latched onto DH one night. He's never ill, he's near the top of his class according to the glowing reports I get from his teacher and he's not obese.

DC2 was BF and we were never away from the bloody hospital. They put us in the same room on the same ward each time too, I'm sure they kept it reserved for us. You know you're at the hospital a lot when you hope she doesn't get admitted on a Wednesday because Wednesday night is spag bol night and hospital spag bol is shite. She's not obese either but that's because she lives on fresh air and crumbs. General intelligence has yet to be determined as she's below school age but at bedtime she was complaining about a lumpy pillow and I found it was full of plastic play food and she's got a bump on her head at the minute because she tried to look at her own shoes (while walking) and leaned over too far ....

With my next DC I'm opting out of the whole BF/FF controversy and will simply start on solids from birth. It must be natures way, birds do it.

Retropear Sat 23-Nov-13 21:46:24

And what strict said- save yourself for bigger trials further down the line if mother guilt is your thing.

Minifingers Sat 23-Nov-13 21:49:21

Strict - you have misunderstood the research.

There is no research suggesting that formula fed children can't be extremely bright, only that it appears to be linked at a population level to a slight (3 -5) reduction in IQ compared to a control group of otherwise similar children fully breastfed as infants.

There are thick breastfed children and brilliant ff children. All breastmilk does is optimise development.

Pinholes Sat 23-Nov-13 21:54:15

All breastmilk does is optimise development.

But you could argue that all infant milk - whether formula or breast - optimises development, in that unfed babies tend not to develop at all.

Infant feeding is a titchy, teeny, tiny part of development. There are so many other factors involved that even with a control group of exclusively breastfed children who is to say its entirely down to the breastmilk? They may be more intelligent due to something in the air or their home environment.

Minifingers Sat 23-Nov-13 21:56:10

Goal digger - seriously, this is a DEBATE board!

Are you saying that we're wrong to express a view on breastfeeding that diverges from the mainstream ON A FUCKING DEBATES BOARD? blush

Seriously - how much censorship do you need in order to feel comfortable with your choices?

Are you hoping to crush and silence all dissenting voices on this subject?

Jesus, it's like living in the Third Reich - ironic really when you think about all the 'breastapo' insults people like to bandy around here......

strictlovingmum Sat 23-Nov-13 22:01:59

Mini I do not read research and collection of data, I am sorry, but I do have a life.hmm

Minifingers Sat 23-Nov-13 22:06:27

Pinholes that is exactly how the benefits of breastfeeding - emotional, health, intellectual and developmental have been explained away - that women who choose to breastfeed tend to have many other qualities in relation to intelligence and mothering style, that benefit their children. The research into intelligence is particularly complex in relation to this. Recent studies included only healthy children and controlled for education, age and social class of the parents, among other things. However, it was only when they controlled for IQ of the mother that a clearer picture emerged which appeared to disminish some of the importance of breastfeeding. It seems that even if you take mothers with identical levels of educational attainment and income, women who are more intelligent within that group are more likely to breastfeed, and this skewed the results of some of the studies.

Golddigger Sat 23-Nov-13 22:07:08

Do some mums go on to get post natal depression because of the guilt they feel about not breastfeeding?

Pinholes Sat 23-Nov-13 22:11:28

I once asked my mum if she went through any of this one style vs another lark when she was raising us. She just laughed and said "no dear, we were far too busy raising you to worry about whether we were doing it right".

strictlovingmum Sat 23-Nov-13 22:14:04

Pinholes smilewink How is that for a no nonsense approach and a large dose of reality?

Minifingers Sat 23-Nov-13 22:14:10

Strict - fair dos.

I think that a baby's sole food for the first six months of life is quite an important choice. I certainly spent more time researching it than I did my buggy. But each to their own.

Minifingers Sat 23-Nov-13 22:18:43

Amazing that the physiologically normal way to feed a baby has now become a 'lifestyle choice' or a 'style'.

Go figure!

Retropear Sat 23-Nov-13 22:21:12

Yes isn't clean water and a decent alternative great!

monicalewinski Sat 23-Nov-13 22:21:32


That would not be worth an AIBU thread, because you know you are absolutely spot on.

Sick to death of seeing the same people going on and on and on and on ad infinatum about how fecking wonderful bf is.

We get it, it is nature's natural choice; some people can't or won't breastfeed so they use formula.

I know you're all not fans of anecdotal evidence, but I don't really care tbh - my children are healthy, fit and well and were ff from their first feed. That's actually all I care about - my children.

Minifingers Sat 23-Nov-13 22:30:11

Retro - for the babies of mothers who won't or can't breastfeed formula is truly life saving and great.

But I can't imagine that if babies had a choice and a voice to express it they'd choose to be deprived of fresh food for a full six months. They're human beings aren't they? How many other humans would choose an inferior reconstituted freeze dried food as their sole sustenance for months on end when a better, safer and fresher alternative was available?

Luckily for adults, babies can't express a preference, so adults can continue to put their own wishes first when it comes to infant feeding choices

roadwalker Sat 23-Nov-13 22:32:17

where is op- started it all and no response?

strictlovingmum Sat 23-Nov-13 22:33:27

Mini I do not have an urge to research benefits of bb and keep patting myself on the back, we all know it is very good for the baby/mother to do so if they can, many people can't for many different reasons.
I have done it both ways, my choice.
In OP case huge amount of guilt is involved for choosing not to bb, her baby is 10 months old, ship has sailed as far as the bb is concerned, best really to help her and empower her to look ahead and not aid her into depression induced by guilt.

Minifingers Sat 23-Nov-13 22:33:59

Monica - there is something self-flagellatory about your posts.

Why do you come on threads like this if you are so wearied with the subject and are not open to debate? Why?

I avoid threads where I feel I have nothing to gain by reading people's posts.

Retropear Sat 23-Nov-13 22:37:15

Um Mini mine would,they didn't enjoy being half starved with a miserable mummy to boot.

DancingLady Sat 23-Nov-13 22:37:42

Disagree - don't think there's anything self-flagellatory about Monicas post. She's stating the truth.

You however Mini are ranting and YOU are not open to debate. Your only wish is to impose your view on others and convince them that you are right.

Don't blame OP for not coming back. Probably scared to get a bollocking from you for her inferior parenting choices.

Minifingers Sat 23-Nov-13 22:38:33

The OP asked a question. I answered it. There are a range of views here most saying EXACTLY what the OP wants to hear. Why isn't that good enough for you?

Why are you so desperate to stifle debate on this issue? If you have nothing further to say yourself then stop posting.

Pinholes Sat 23-Nov-13 22:41:27

Amazing that the physiologically normal way to feed a baby has now become a 'lifestyle choice' or a 'style'.

I meant one style vs another as a blanket term for all parenting choices where there are several schools of thought.

I don't know what it is about parenting now (I'd say 'nowadays' but that'll make me sound old) but so many people get so bogged down in this notion of 'doing it right' and over-analysing every decision. Then there's the guilt. Oh my stars, the crushing, ever present guilt. And this report gets published and basically says you've irrevocably fucked your kids up because you make choices that it says are bad. Then that report is published that contradicts the first report in every way possible yet still manages to say that you've fucked your kids up. And there are shelves upon shelves of parenting books all of which contradict each other. So many theories and research and studies and do this and do that and don't do this and don't do that. And did I mention the guilt?

Bottom line is: we're all just making it up as we go along and hoping we don't fuck up so badly that it can't be put right.

Minifingers Sat 23-Nov-13 22:41:52

I'm not ranting. I'm disagreeing with you. And expressing a strong opinion, like many others on this thread.

People are allowed to have differences of opinion on this subject AND express them. They are you know!

Seriously - I can't believe how keen some of you are to silence dissenting voices on this subject. It's weird and it's wrong.

monicalewinski Sat 23-Nov-13 22:43:42


I come on them because I feel genuinely sorry for people who feel traumatised and full of regret for not bf, sometimes to the point of tipping them toward mh problems. This is not on imo.

I am perfectly happy with my decision not to bf, I have had no regrets and have never questioned my choice not to - I am very conscious, however that there are many others there who aren't as confident in their actions re feeding and happen to think they deserve to see that they are not alone and not the devil, which is what the more vociferous pro breastfeeders make them feel.

DancingLady Sat 23-Nov-13 22:47:48

Not ranting, Mini?

"Are you saying that we're wrong to express a view on breastfeeding that diverges from the mainstream ON A FUCKING DEBATES BOARD?

Seriously - how much censorship do you need in order to feel comfortable with your choices?

Are you hoping to crush and silence all dissenting voices on this subject?

Jesus, it's like living in the Third Reich"

That sounds like a rant to me. blush

foreverondiet Sat 23-Nov-13 22:52:15

Each to their own. I am a little hmm about people who don't try since there do seem to be benefits to the baby from breastfeeding, but unlikely you'd have "harmed him", and its personal choice.

FWIW my nephew suffered from anaemia and vit d deficiency as he was Bf for 2 years and my SIL didn't give him enough red meat / iron.

But its a ridic question - eg have I harmed my DC by feeding them processed food rather than all homemade. Have I harmed my DC as I didn't put them to bed earlier and they didn't get enough sleep. Have I harmed my DC by not setting adequate boundaries.

It's just one (the first?) of a number of parenting choices we make, all of which have health and other impacts on our DC. I don't think right to think of it as "harming" - everyone tries to do their best.

pippitysqueakity Sat 23-Nov-13 22:56:18

And no OP...

Heathcliff27 Sat 23-Nov-13 22:57:36

I ff all mine, they all had dummies and i even fed the eldest one turkey twizzlers from time to time!!!

Bad mummy

Pinholes Sat 23-Nov-13 23:01:26

I miss Turkey Twizzlers, they were bloody lufferly sandwiched between two pieces of white bread with the margarine going slightly melted from the heat off them.

Fucking Jamie fucking Oliver.

BF is hard work & not for everyone, I personally couldn't give a flying fuck, what I will say though is have the courage to stand by your convictions.

TheCountessOlenska Sat 23-Nov-13 23:08:16

I really don't understand why ff-ers have such massive chips on their shoulders tbh. God it's only a chat from the midwife and a few (lame) posters up in the waiting room. It's NHS advice, they advise loads of stuff which we all happily ignore. if you're all so convinced it doesn't make a difference anyway, then why the angst?? confused

Heathcliff27 Sat 23-Nov-13 23:08:34

I loved them too, The Oliver has a lot to answer for!! Twunt!!

Heathcliff27 Sat 23-Nov-13 23:09:56

Mmmm chips...

Pinholes Sat 23-Nov-13 23:13:13

Chip butty ....

We're having chippy tea tomorrow night. DD is only 2yo. Unspeakable damage will be caused to her insidey food receiving bits. Poor, poor child.

Heathcliff27 Sat 23-Nov-13 23:16:09

When I was working tonight my DH fed my girls chips and cheese for their tea! Jealous much...he never cooks for me!

Heathcliff27 Sat 23-Nov-13 23:17:32

Is it obvious that i have just finished work and haven't eaten? All this talk of food! Cant eat now i'll be up all night with fucking heartburn

pianodoodle Sat 23-Nov-13 23:22:04

What a daft exaggerated thread title.

Just sounds like you're daring people to find fault with your decision not to bf.

It's odd and confrontational.

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