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Breastfeeding has no benefits

(30 Posts)
TeenyTinyToria Mon 20-Jul-09 23:12:02

What do you think of this? From a column by Melanie McDonagh in the Telegraph today -

"Cambridge University researchers published a study last week showing that the NHS is so obsessed with breast-feeding, it leaves bottle-feeding mothers unsupported.

For such mothers, I'd recommend a liberating article in the Atlantic, an American magazine, in April, in which Hannah Rosin reviewed the medical literature on whether breast milk actually confers the advantages the lacto-fascists claim. She found that while breast-feeding provides babies with some short-term gastro-intestinal protection against infection, there is no proof of long-term benefits. Most of the blessings ascribed to breast feeding may be because breast-feeding mothers tend to be educated and prosperous, and so likely to have healthy lifestyles.

Breast feeding may well be pleasurable – though that's not how I found the bout of mastitis it gave me – but it's pleasure hard purchased with the time it takes up. It doesn't do much for breast shape either. I'd say: after a fortnight, give it a miss."

TeenyTinyToria Mon 20-Jul-09 23:14:07

I don't know what to make of this. I've felt so guilty about my complete and utter failure to successfully breastfeed either of my children, especially my three week old. I was wishing that I had managed to bf dd, as it might give her some protection and an immune system boost, especially with the current swine flu outbreak.

Then an article like this comes out, and suggests that making the effort to breastfeeding is basically pointless - I'm utterly confused!

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Mon 20-Jul-09 23:14:41

It is free natural organic food
It saves time, no need to prepare bottles or sterilise
It means not having to get up in the middle of the night.

But I can see that they are not benefits hmm

lollyheart Mon 20-Jul-09 23:14:44

load of shitehmm

LadyOfWaffle Mon 20-Jul-09 23:15:21

lacto-fascists , well there's a new one.

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Mon 20-Jul-09 23:15:37

I think, if you can and want to bf, there are benefits, if you cannot/do not want to bf, there are also benefits to bottle feeding.

I do not necessarily beleive one is better than the other, just different.

wrinklytum Mon 20-Jul-09 23:16:16

Sounds like a load of old bollocks to me and I only fed ds for 4 months due to insuficient areas at work for expressingetc and dd fed 13 months and self weaned.

I am not saying bottle fed mothers unsupported but the "lacto facist" stuff a bit harsh.

LadyOfWaffle Mon 20-Jul-09 23:17:01

I think if it was true, the formula companies would have been onto it by now wink

whomovedmychocolate Mon 20-Jul-09 23:17:37

Lacto-facist - it does have a ring about it. Think I'll get some badges made up for distribution among me and the other milky mums! grin

I agree with Lollyheart actually!

shonaspurtle Mon 20-Jul-09 23:18:37

There's a long thread about this already with far more knowledgeable people debunking this article, but off the top of my head..

1) I am less likely to get breast cancer because I bf
2) It doesn't cause your breasts to sag - pregnancy does that
3) If all is going well, you don't have to wash bottles, worry about running out of formula or fret about sterilising/making-up rules

So even if there were no benefits to the baby (and that's bollocks - any good study will take educational level etc into account) that's still pretty good stuff.

TeenyTinyToria Mon 20-Jul-09 23:19:40

Also, the comment from Melanie McDonagh about breastfeeding not being good for breast shape - rubbish!

I have saggy boobs without b'feeding, it's pregnancy itself that makes everything head south I think! wink

lollyheart Mon 20-Jul-09 23:19:42

Can i have one please whomoved grin

TeenyTinyToria Mon 20-Jul-09 23:20:38

Oh, x post with shona about the saggy boobs.

Sorry, I didn't realise there was a thread about this already.

Penthesileia Mon 20-Jul-09 23:21:13

Well, it is true, from a certain point of view.

Breastfeeding is, like it or not, the entirely normal, nutrionally and biologically appropriate way to feed a human infant. It has no "benefits", because any health consequences which result from it are entirely normal and appropriate to human beings.

Formula feeding, on the other hand, is not. It is - by contrast to "normal" breastfeeding - "abnormal", and confers risks. Admittedly, in the Western World, these risks (increased risk of certain allergies, etc.) are reasonably neglible - increases in single percentage points. But they are risks nonetheless.

All of this is aside from the cultural or societal benefits or pressures conveyed on or by breastfeeding and bottlefeeding, which are separate issues.

shonaspurtle Mon 20-Jul-09 23:21:58

There's a link to an article on hunker's blog - from the American Association of Plastic Surgeons no less - that shows bf makes no difference to breast shape. Pregnancy, weight gain/loss, ageing however..

Penthesileia Mon 20-Jul-09 23:22:06


Penthesileia Mon 20-Jul-09 23:23:29

What I'm saying is that instead of banging on about the benefits of breastfeeding, and implying it is "best", we should move towards a rhetoric of the "normal".

Wonderstuff Mon 20-Jul-09 23:34:58

What Penthesilia said, ff has risks. Also the socio-economic link between bf vs ff is taken into account when they do these studies. There are also health benefits to mothers.

And its free and (this was the clincher for me) requires less washing up.

thumbwitch Mon 20-Jul-09 23:38:55

Ha. No benefits after 2 weeks. Ha. So glad she knows so much more than the WHO experts etc.
And what Pavlov, lolly and Penthesileia said.

tiktok Mon 20-Jul-09 23:39:13

Teeny - do check out the other threads on this as there is some good, factual discussion.

Of course breastfeeding is 'worth it' .

Hanna Rosin was extremely selective in what she chose to discuss in the article mentioned by M. McDonagh.

tiktok Tue 21-Jul-09 13:46:36

UNICEF Baby Friendly respond to the notion that the difference between ff and bf means it's not worth bothering about it:

alex7715 Tue 21-Jul-09 14:04:40

what a load of shite
has no benefits

sambo303 Tue 21-Jul-09 20:48:00

As usual the media are trying to be controversial to sell papers, yawn. They dont care who they upset in order to do this, nor do they mind spreading misinformation which is downright irresponsible.

I read this essay today by Katherine Dettwyler which made a lot more sense.

AbiBub Wed 22-Jul-09 00:38:06

I haven't read the article yet (oopps) but I certainly know one thing, it is and should be up to each individual mum on whether they should BF or FF. There is NO right or wrong way, just different and what is comfortable for mum, as it is her that is to be demanded upon.

Yes there are certain benefits for each way of feeding. and some of the benefits dont happen for some mum's like the losing weight if you bf, I have a friend that bf and she is finding it a struggle to lose her preg weight, I however ff from the word go, and have lost all of my preg weight and had done by two weeks after the birth.

It is really down to the individual and what they do with their health and well being on how well they will find either bf or ff.

The benefit for me ff was that my partner can do feeds without having to worry to express, I feel better healed, and I don't have my concern of if bf passes on all your good attributes of your immune systems, who is to say that all the bad attributes of your immune system wont be passed on too??

At the end of the day (my favourite mummi saying at the minute!!) it is purely down to the indivdual how they want to address the feeding of their baby, they should not feel pressured to do one way more than the other, because if mummi is stressed then baby can end up stressed too.

And baby might prefer one way more than the other so we don't necessarily determine how they are fed anyway!

Our son took well to being ff, so that worked for us, it's whatever you feel works for you, and don't let anyone make you feel bad about your decission!!

Hope this helps??xxx

PrincessToadstool Wed 22-Jul-09 07:43:39

Bad attributes of the immune system? Such as? hmm

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