Monday, March 24, 2008

attitudes to formula milk

Someone posted this video on Rollercoaster. The doctor's voice is fierce whiney! but her talk addresses the ideology that 'breast is best' and how people take that to mean that breastfeeding is best(unattainable, unrealistic, impossible?) but formula is grand. Promoting breast feeding is seen as a negative thing to do, as judgemental: women who try to disseminate breastfeeding and formula feeding information are called 'Nazis', which is not only an inaccurate and invalid comparison, but also deeply offensive. Promoting breastfeeding, however 'militantly', is not comparable to perpetuating genocide.

The problem in Ireland, with our pitiful breastfeeding rate, and the US where breastfeeding figures are falling due to formula marketing and the culture of medicalised birth birth, is that breastfeeding is seen as 'best', perhaps as an unattainable standard, while artificial milk feeding is the norm. What needs to change is that view - breastfeeding needs to be established as the norm, and formula feeding needs to be demoted to less good, rather than 'good enough'.

We're still faced with midwives who don't know how to give good breastfeeding support, those who consider artificial milk to be a fine alternative, and those who at worst, still push formula. Certainly, in my experience, nurses still do.

Yet the results of 'topping up' are pretty clear in this article, Marsha Walker's 'Just One Bottle' ,

The woman who posted this video got attacked, initially, for saying she'd like to post it on the bottle feeding board. My god, the concept of sharing information with those who bottle feed! Her response is clear and excellent, I think.


Anonymous said...

Oh dear, I hope i will be supported with breastfeeding in the hospital in county louth where i hopefully will be giving birth in november. my mum and mother in law bottle fed, i have flat or maybe inverted nipples, and the hospital is not prepared for the current baby boom, my booking appointment won't be until i'm 15 weeks! i had an early miscarriage in december and still they weren't able to fit me in for an early scan for this pregnancy... so i'd say staff will be extremely under pressure by the time i have my baby, all going well for this pregnancy

jothemama said...

I think it's all in your approach. I would suggest you get familiar with Cuidiu now, so you can go there easily shortly after your baby's born - though the other mothers might be more help that the PHN's

And given hte inverted nipple sutuation, I'd strongly recommend you do a breastfeeding class with an independent lactation consultant, then get them over to help you out. It's totally doable I think, but they might not have time/experience in the hospital.

But preparation and education greatly increase your cances of success! And I believe forewarned is forearmed, as it were.

Best of luck, I hope it goes well. Is it the hospital in Drogheda? IT's meant to be really good. Tracy Donegan's on the consumer board. Would you consider going with the community midwives? They'll definitely give you lots of their time and be v encouraging.