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To not understand why anyone cares if other mothers choose to feed their babies breastmilk or formula.

(321 Posts)
honeytea Thu 10-Jan-13 22:21:03

I am a new mum and have only recently come across the breastfeeding/formula feeding debate.

I breastfeed my DS because it is free and he is growing well and it is easy I don't think we would leave the house if i had to think about bringing steralised bottles and milk with me

I like other people's babies but I can't say I have an opinion on how other women feed their babies, so long as the baby is fed it is really nothing to do with me.

Why do some people care so much about what a baby eats? There are so many things in the world to get angry about, starving children, children with freezing homes, abuse horrid horrid things but so many people seem to get het up about well loved children drinking formula.

Am I missing something?

Pleasesleep Thu 10-Jan-13 22:43:23

I think people want to promote it the same way you'd promote any health benefit. For example if you knew a way of preventing tonsillitis you'd want people to know about it right? And be supported and informed enough to use it? You might not care a lot if they actually did it but you'd want to Make sure they knew what they were doing and weren't being pushed into it by lack of knowledge or advertising.

honeytea Thu 10-Jan-13 22:45:05

I'm glad I'm not the only one who breastfeeds due to lazyness smile

narmada Thu 10-Jan-13 22:45:25

I have never really come across anyone at all in real life who is interested in my feeding choices, nor anyone who is particularly interested in anyone else's feeding choices. I wonder how much of it is a made-up 'issue'.

threesocksmorgan Thu 10-Jan-13 22:46:40

honeytea Thu 10-Jan-13 22:43:17
People are not as passionate about other social health issues like the amount of alcohol the population drink or the high use of cars instead of walking. When you have a new baby it is such a lovely time but I think lots of women feel really delicate I think it's sad that women are judged at such a time when they could do with support.

good post, I find it so sad that there is a minority of posters who seem to almost enjoy hurting mothers.

MsAkimbo Thu 10-Jan-13 22:47:20

^ shiny shit is my new favourite phrase.

treas Thu 10-Jan-13 22:47:50

Because they have little lives and it is the only way they can feel superior - can you tell that I'm bitter that I was unable to bf and ended up with shingles due to the stress of it all.

Cat98 Thu 10-Jan-13 22:48:16

I think some people just want to make sure people have free choice - that is, choice which is properly informed and not based on advertising/pressure. It is a choice which affects another dependant vulnerable person which is another reason I suppose.
I don't think many people care what an individuals choice is, it's more a global issue.

BarredfromhavingStella Thu 10-Jan-13 22:48:24

Seriously couldn't give a flying fuck, because of this I'll refrain from telling you how both my children were fed......

Cat98 Thu 10-Jan-13 22:49:38

Some of these comments are really rude actually - sense of humour failure maybe but I think it's disrespectful and judgemental towards the few people who give up their time (often voluntary) to try and help women have a better bf experience.

MsAkimbo Thu 10-Jan-13 22:49:51

YANBU. It's ridiculous but I really do believe some women try so hard to justify their own choices that they find it necessary to knock others down. Maybe they weren't invited to many sleepovers as kids?

sunshine401 Thu 10-Jan-13 22:51:19

FF all mine could not care less about anyone else. My choice was right for me and my children. I think both options should be discussed to future mums (which with me they were) without judgement smile

Cat98 Thu 10-Jan-13 22:51:35

Treas - maybe a very small minority, but I can guarantee you most of the people who are passionate about protecting bf and helping mothers and babies really are not like that.

(aggrieved bf peer supporter - can you tell?!)

VinegarDrinker Thu 10-Jan-13 22:53:01

I think cycling is fab, and it undoubtedly has significant health benefits. But I don't evangelise about it. Some people are just evangelical types, I think, be it about religion, sport or breastfeeding. I couldn't give a flying fuck how you feed your baby and neither could anyone I know IRL. It's a(nother) thing that is a lot odder on the internet.

I agree with edam re Nestle and the like, particularly in the developing world, though.

SamSmalaidh Thu 10-Jan-13 22:53:39

I don't really care on an individual level how Mrs. Smith feeds her baby.

I do care about it as a women's issue - that big multinationals have undermined for profit something that benefits women and children, that there is a lack of support available on the NHS for women who wish to breastfeed, that our society/culture is so hostile to women that an exposed breast is offensive unless it's purpose is male sexual titilation etc.

10000Fireflies Thu 10-Jan-13 22:54:22

Yes, Lily it really does. It's almost the first question people ask you. I felt v judged by my ante-natal group. I combination DS for about the first three months as I didn't produce enough milk for him at first. I remember being told 'well, you're free to leave your baby as you're not exclusively BF like us'. The same group seemed v disappointed when I couldn't advise them on getting their babies onto formula as I was by then exclusively BF.

DS was, and still is, a big baby. But for me, combination feeding made looking after DS v flexible and easy in the early days and gave DH a lot of bonding time in as he would feed him a bottle in the evening.

DS won't touch the formula with a barge-pole now, which is making life v difficult!!

As a general point though, do you think you can differentiate between adults who were and were not BF?

MorrisZapp Thu 10-Jan-13 22:56:01

Did the sledging thread go pfft? Probably for the best.

PoshCat Thu 10-Jan-13 22:56:19

Totally as agree honey tree. Women are horrible each other sometimes.

AllYoursBabooshka Thu 10-Jan-13 22:56:20

Cat, I don't think posters are talking about supportive people (like yourself) who want to help.

Don't worry. smile

WorraLiberty Thu 10-Jan-13 22:59:09

I really do think these militant breast feeding bullies only act that way on MN

Although occasionally I get a mental image of them bursting into the Cow and Gate factory and spraying the staff with breast milk in protest.

VinegarDrinker Thu 10-Jan-13 22:59:18

Good post Sam

I think some of the more radical pro BFing stuff is as far as it gets from real feminism though. Choice has to be allowed to go both ways - like those who claim to be pro choice in terms of labour and delivery but inevitably end up being pro homebirth, "normal" delivery etc but not pro elective CS on request. Choice is choice.

Shagmundfreud Thu 10-Jan-13 23:02:54

If you think babies are disadvantaged in the short, medium and long term by not having their mother's milk, then you'll care that only a small fraction of babies in the UK are breastfed for more than a few weeks.

If you think that formula and breastmilk are roughly the same, and the mass of NHS evidence showing less ill health in babies is simply a load of bollocks, then you're going to be mystified by why anyone cares.

I think you just need to accept that some of us see this as a public health issue for babies, and others see it as primarily as a lifestyle choice for mothers.

tilder Thu 10-Jan-13 23:03:44

Ok I get the whole thing at a society level, I haven't bought nestle for years etc.

But it is often made personal. And that I don't get. Some can bf with ease, some can with help, others find it hard and some can't or don't want to do it at all. I would rather people were honest and realistic when it comes down to an individual mother and child. Although that is probably a bit naive. Should I call you all hun now or do I save that til later?

SirBoobAlot Thu 10-Jan-13 23:04:08

I care about it because I have seen and heard so many women saying to me that they wished they had breastfed, but didn't because of various reasons that could have been overcome had they had access to support.

I care because the formula companies have so much power, and only in the last years have had to start declaring what they are actually making formula up with.

I care because the rates of decreasing health and increasing obesity especially in the UK correlate with increased formula advertising and usage.

I care because breastfeeding is now such a minority in the UK.

I care because you hear myths every day, mainly spread around by the multinational companies that really do not care how your baby is.

And I also care because, for fear of upsetting people, it isn't always explained to new or prospective mothers the risks of formula feeding.

So... There are just a handful of reasons why I care. I would heartily suggest reading "The Politics Of Breastfeeding" if people think it is an issue not to care about. I never used to really. And the more I have learnt, the more I have hated formula companies, both for what they do to breastfeeding, but also what they do to everyone else.

I speak as openly in public as I do on here about breastfeeding.

It is very easy to see it as BF vs FF, but for me, and for most of my similarly minded friends, that is far from the case, and majorly over simplified.

carovioletfizz Thu 10-Jan-13 23:04:28

I agree. You get grief for not BFing but I've found personally at the other end of the spectrum once your baby is 6 months the questions start about when you plan to stop...once they're 1, you're definitely made to feel weird.....

VinegarDrinker Thu 10-Jan-13 23:05:32

But shagmundfreud, as others have pointed out, there isn't nearly the same amount of heat about any number of other public health issues. Obesity, for example.

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