Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Breast is not best, it's par

Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe's Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today's post is about language and breastfeeding. Please read the other blogs in today's carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!

Costco is best, but Sam's club is fine too. Lamborghini is best, but a Dodge Viper is pretty cool. Organic berries are best, but conventional berries are still good for you. Breast is best, well what does that make artificial infant milk (aka formula)? Second best, right? No. Actually the World Health Organization (WHO) says second best is pumped breastmilk given in a bottle. So, Formula is third best, right? No. Actually the WHO says donor breastmilk is third best. So, artificial infant milk is (according to the WHO) actually fourth best for your child. That sure isn't what you'd gather from all the Nestle and Similac advertisements.

I think the portrayal of breastfeeding as this superior thing, and not the normal thing it is, is very damaging to the facts. The reality is that breastfeeding is biologically normal for humans and feeding our babies cow milk or soy products from birth is not. The reality is that not breastfeeding poses serious health risks to infants. The fact that we all say things like "breast is best" is damaging to the community. The portrayal of formula as a safe and healthy substitute is unfair to infants and mothers alike.

Let's all do each other a favor and quit trying not to hurt anyone's feelings* by saying formula feeding is sub-par because in the long run it just isn't fair to people who really don't know the truth.

*Kudos to all those mother's who have tried to breastfeed and failed. You are not to blame. Our society is.

Here are more post by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

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