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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?

MaryMotherOfCheeses Thu 10-Jan-13 23:05:39

OP, because some people get really criticised for their choice and that makes them evangelical, defensive and opinionated.

Shame, because yes, there are many worse things you could do.

CheCazzo Thu 10-Jan-13 23:06:37

grin @ worra and YY to what squeaky said right at the beginning. I don't even know how my friends fed their babies and I couldn't give a small round perfectly polished turd either. Nor should anyone else.

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 10-Jan-13 23:06:38

Because it's rarely a 'choice'. And the consequences are real both for mother, baby, society and culture.

1stMrsFrugal Thu 10-Jan-13 23:08:33

Yy SamSmalaidh ^^

I don't care what anyone does if they have decided to take that action under their own free will, and with all the relevant information necessary to make that decision.

BUT I do hate it when people are in any situation as a result of a lack of information or support or worse as a result of presure from peers, family or health workers. And I believe there is more exposure, advertising and positive support/reinforcement for ff than bf. And I find that sad.

honeytea Thu 10-Jan-13 23:09:03

I just don't see that the bf/ff is the thing that effects a person the most, as someone said earlier can you really tell if someone has been bf? I don't think you can.

I found the pro bf from family and friends negatively effected me, I was warned so many times that it would hurt and the 1st few days would be awful but it was lovely from day one. All the talk of bf support and advice I feel takes away from what breasts naturally do.

My mum breast fed my brother.

She was put with him and an elderly woman turned a d said "if you had bothered to breast feed he wouldn't be that fat" shock

Mum told her he was breast fed and does she want to witness a feeding of the beast grin

The woman walked out like she was the one offended!

DiamondDoris Thu 10-Jan-13 23:12:01

YANBU. It's all a competition ain't it? I couldn't care less - most important thing = baby and mum are happy. My babies couldn't breastfeed, they were reluctant feeders right from the start, they both had high palates, small mouths and me flat nipples and boobs like orbs - all the midwives gave up and the breast feeding people too (can't remember what they are called). I gave them colostrum (beams proudly) - but no, why should it matter to other people?

gimmecakeandcandy Thu 10-Jan-13 23:12:24

Here we go... All the usual 'because they are holier than thou' 'bored' 'horrid'

Blah blah blah

Do you really want to know why some people 'care' so much or is this a case of posting 'look how unjudgy I am' and 'look at how judge they are'

If you want to know why some of us are bothered here goes from me...

I'm bothered because breastmilk is the best 'milk' for a baby and I feel that women who can should put in the effort to give their baby this vastly superior way of feeding their baby if they can. I have seen friends and people through some of the work I do in RL give up very quickly because it is hard work and whilst this is entirely their choice and I wouldn't say anything - I do feel it is a real shame to not persevere if you can. I am also often puzzled as to why some women don't try harder to persevere with bf when it offers so many benefits.

I'm sure many will argue the point over breastmilk being more beneficial but I'm not even going to get into that as it IS better then formula and it does have benefits. Babies who are ff ARE more likely to suffer from gastroenteritis, general tummy upsets, more colds and viruses efc as they are not getting the antibodies and goodness of breastmilk and I'm sure loads of 'chip on their shoulders' posters will argue against that but their arguments are tosh.

So there you go.

Shagmundfreud Thu 10-Jan-13 23:12:28

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

No. Not really. You can't usually identify the 1 in 8 people whose mothers continued to smoke all the way through their pregnancies, or the majority of those whose mothers drank more than the recommended amounts of alcohol during pregnancy either.

Do you expect to be able to see these things?

Tryharder Thu 10-Jan-13 23:13:47

I agree 100% with SirBoobAlot.

I breastfed all 3 of mine but both DS1 and DS2 had formula as well. Breast feeding is the hardest thing I have ever done. It is probably one of my greatest achievements which sounds pathetic I know but there you go.

I wouldn't judge another woman who didn't bf because I know how hard it can be but I won't deny that it is - or was- very important to me.

nkf Thu 10-Jan-13 23:13:49

It's better for babies. And the way formula companies conduct themselve sin developing countries causes life threatening diseases to babies. Check the WHO statistics on breastfeeding.

Women have been sold damaged goods. Their bodies are perfectly designed to feed their babies and we have been sold something that is worse.

That's why I care but I'm not a it's up the individual, do what you feel like, if you think it's fine then it's fine sort of person.

I'm an old school the personal is political feminist.

chandellina Thu 10-Jan-13 23:14:48

I was never in doubt that I would bf and felt enormous pressure to do so. It was very stressful though, my son was always hungry, failed to gain weight and I was cracked and bleeding for three months. I was obsessed with making it work though at whatever cost and bf him for 18 months. Looking back I feel disillusioned by the experience, that I felt I had to prove something, and I hate for anyone to feel that pressure.

breatheslowly Thu 10-Jan-13 23:15:24

I don't care whether you FF or BF, but I do care if you FF badly. I.e. don't follow the instructions to make all feeds up with hot enough water, keep made up feeds appropriately chilled if you are making in advance, bin undrunk milk within the right time frames. I'm not sure if caring about this is any less judgemental than caring about the BF/FF thing. In studies of BF/FF it is very hard to disentangle the benefits of BF from the disadvantages of poor formula preparation for things like D&V.

gimmecakeandcandy Thu 10-Jan-13 23:16:08

Sirboobalot I salute you.

bonkersLFDT20 Thu 10-Jan-13 23:18:59

I have never made a comment on anyone FF (unless they asked for my opinion), yet many people have commented on me BF.

Shagmundfreud Thu 10-Jan-13 23:21:35

"YANBU. It's all a competition ain't it? "

Actually it's not.

You really, really want breastfeeding advocates to be motivated by spite, envy and a sense of personal superiority.

You can't accept that many decent people sincerely hold the belief that breastfeeding is important for babies, because it makes you feel bad about your choices, however much you protest otherwise.

So you adopt two stances:

- anyone who openly expresses the belief that babies lose out from not being breastfed is a bad person.

- anyone who believes that babies lose out from not being breastfed is deluded.

I have yet to read anything on this board from anyone holding the latter view (that there is no proof that breastfeeding is important to babies) who is widely read, even handed and knowledgeable on this subject.

sunshine401 Thu 10-Jan-13 23:23:50


Lovely thank you hmm what you think is what you think. Does not mean you are 100% right. To not understand someone else's choices is fine but you do not need to questioned them or prove yourself with the of use facts blah blah ... smile

verylittlecarrot Thu 10-Jan-13 23:24:28

Don't care what anyone else chooses to do. At all.

Do care about the effect of misinformation when it results in others failing to succeed doing whatever they wanted to. Be nice if everyone actually got to enjoy and succeed at their first choice.
Do care that the correction of misinformation, however sensitively communicated, is wrongly equated with "making others feel guilty" and a general environment of suppression.
Do care when the erosion of people making the same choice as me results in me being seen as freakishly outlandish rather than sensible and normal.
Do care that commercial companies get to spend gazillions on advertising to increase size of market but teeny tiny fraction is available to support women who are struggling with bf.

Am frustrated that a desire to make bf more likely to succeed for those who would choose it, is so often misconstrued as making a judgement on those who haven't made that choice.

In short, I'd like those who ff to be able to do it in full knowledge of all facts about it and with the information to do so safely, publicly, happily and without judgement or disapproval..
I'd like those who bf to be able to do it in full knowledge of all facts about it and with the information to do so safely, publicly, happily and without judgement or disapproval.

Shagmundfreud Thu 10-Jan-13 23:25:19

Will add before I go to bed, that the thing which always strikes me about the way this subject is discussed on mumsnet is the way baby feeding is always and exclusively discussed in terms of adult feelings, adult expectations, adult needs.

Look at the comments on this thread.

doublecakeplease Thu 10-Jan-13 23:30:07

Gimme - it's not always best. Mine literally nearly killed my child. I was misinformed about some meds i was on being safe. They weren't. Nothing to do with anyone else how people feed their baby as long as ff mothers do it safely to instructions etc. Preaching turns it into an issue.

Shagmundfreud Thu 10-Jan-13 23:34:05

"Nothing to do with anyone else how people feed their baby"

We all have the right to feed our baby anyway we choose and nobody has the right to interfere with or comment on the actions of individuals in relation to this issue.

But low rates of continuing breastfeeding in the UK are still a public health issue, and it's right that we should discuss them.

AmberSocks Thu 10-Jan-13 23:35:40

I dont care how other people feed their babies,but i do feel sorry for them if they have made an uninformed decision,or stopped breastfeeding because of lack of support-i have been in that position and its not nice.

I did read an article by someone called he alpha parent before called "why its MY business if you choose not to breastfeed your baby" and it was basically about how health and nutrition is a social issue,and also about the enviromentalimpact it has,and although i thought she made somevalid points it didnt come across well and just ended up in another debate.

katykuns Thu 10-Jan-13 23:37:35

I used to care, because I FF and had a lot of judgement cast on me for doing so. I had family and midwives pushing and pushing. If everything had been less pressured, its far more likely I would have carried on trying, but instead, I felt so useless and crap that I became depressed over it. Because I had tried to keep going when at home, the midwives were more determined to 'help'. They were rough and treated my body with little respect.
I would liken the pain to having my boob slammed in a car door repeatedly. So yes, I FF both my daughters.

I now look back on my experience with DD1 and am angry that they all ruined my first experience with her over something so stupid and trivial. It's such a small part of their lives, and it makes no difference to end result either. I also would despute all the health benefits that are constantly mentioned, as I saw no difference in the babies with regard to their colds/ailments...

I also think the attitudes of some people with their BF beliefs actually come across as bullies too.

AllYoursBabooshka Thu 10-Jan-13 23:37:53

Probably because it's the woman doing the feeding Shagmund, it's very important that her needs, feelings and expectations are taken into account.

People have always found it perfectly acceptable to openly criticise women about what they do and don't do with their bodies and BFing/FFing is just another platform for them to do this.

It's fundamentally no ones business but people always find was of making it theirs.

AllYoursBabooshka Thu 10-Jan-13 23:39:06


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