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.