Home > Advocacy, Attachment Parenting, Breastfeeding > To Facebook with Love

To Facebook with Love

My recent postings on Facebook about breastfeeding have stirred up some interesting conversations. I have been compelled to share some thoughts, but far too much for a comment on there. So here it goes.

First, I will say that I am unapologetically pro-breastfeeding. I think breastmilk is a superior infant food. However, I want to be clear that this does not mean that I judge others for choosing formula. Some of my favorite women in the world have used or will use formula. I was personally very close to not being able to breastfeed myself. It was through the grace of God and a very strong will that I ended up being able to breastfeed exclusively.

Actually, I think formula is important. There are some (very few, but some) that cannot physically breastfeed. They need to have the best possible alternative. I think that the formula companies should constantly seek to catch up to breastfeeding, although it is unlikely they ever will since it is a changing and living thing. But the children that do need formula and those whose parents choose formula, deserve to have the safest and healthiest food that can be created.

I truly do think that judgment is not the right way to reach women about breastfeeding. A new mother does not need heavy handed pressure at a time when she is so vulnerable and scared. I think that by being supportive, informative, and gentle, more women would be open to trying to breastfeed. This is why I do what I do in my online communities. I am a firm believer that many women choose to formula feed simply from lack of information about breastfeeding. Formula is what they know and they haven’t given breastfeeding a single thought. It’s these women that I hope might stumble on my stories and find a piece of information that peaks their interest. I also post my research because there are SO many misconceptions out there about breastfeeding. The more accurate information I post the more chance I have to educate someone. It truly breaks my heart to hear a woman who formula fed talk about it in a regretful or apologetic way. Sometimes they wanted to breastfeed, but felt they weren’t able to. If only they had the proper support and information, they would not have that regret. So maybe by reading an article or two, a woman can avoid that feeling in the future. I post my research to share with my fellow breastfeeding mommies because, like every mom out there, we need rejuvinated too! And reading about all the amazing things related to breastfeeding helps do that. I post my research so my friends and family can understand more about me and the lifestyle I have chosen. They can get to know me a bit better by seeing my passion for this topic.

I do feel that breastmilk is superior to formula. I don’t know any other product in the world that has to say that it is inferior in its commercials. We are lucky to live in a country where the risks associated with formula are minimized, but there are many places in the world where formula and the mentality against breastfeeding is deadly! There are countries where women are pressured to use formula but they are too poor to buy it and end up diluting it and babies die. Or the babies die from dirty water mixed with their formula. And yes, we could have a serious issue in this country if we had a contamination issue like China had. And yes, that means our babies would die. I don’t take that issue lightly.

When we choose to use formula we are at the mercy of those corporations. We have to rely solely on them to ensure the safety and health of our very young children. I am just not willing to put that amount of trust into a corporation. I posted a quote recently about formula being the worlds longest lasting uncontrolled experiment in medicine. This is so true. Formula is just that… a FORMULA… it is a man-made, man-researched, and man-flawed concoction. It has changed GREATLY over the many years it has been available. It seems to be constantly improving, which is great, but I do not want my child to be the test subject for the latest design.

I WILL NOT judge a mother for her choice to use formula. Every family has to find what works best for them. But I also will not apologize for my ardent support of breastfeeding, my passion for the science relating to it, or my desire to educate anyone willing to listen and seek information.

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  1. Theresa in Belarus
    May 7, 2009 at 1:08 AM

    Very well-spoken Crystal. It’s hard to be so passionate about breastfeeding in a bottle-friendly society. All you have to do is open your mouth, and you have great potential to step on many toes. But you have eloquently stated why this particular issue is really important … to you … and why it should matter to others, too. Only with brave voices like yours will there ever be the kind of ground-swell of support needed to make breasteeding the norm. Courage, my love!

  2. Breastmates
    May 7, 2009 at 5:28 AM

    very well said!!

  3. Sabrina Fischer
    May 8, 2009 at 12:31 AM

    Again, your passion is inspiring. I’ve been thinking about that the past few days. I love my job, and I love to do hair — but I’m not anywhere as close to being as passionate as you are with breastfeeding. I feel like I should be reading hairstyling forums, watching more educational DVDs, going to classes, etc. I want to feel that passionate about something whether it is doing hair or losing weight.

    Initially, I would get defensive about what I thought breast feeding moms were acting superior than myself. But that was simply my own self consciousness. I physically couldn’t breast feed because they cut and reattach the nipple when you have reduction surgery. According to the head lactation consultant, it takes about 5 years to fully reheal the milk ducts. But even without that, I think I would have chosen to bottle feed because I didn’t know there was any difference health wise, and bottle feeding seemed easier with twins. So your passion to educate is a good thing.

    You are going to be criticized, but don’t lose your passion along the way.

  4. November 25, 2009 at 1:12 AM

    Wow, I could have written a very similar post today after quite a bit of controversy on a breastfeeding/nursing sign post on my blog. I think some of my readers and facebook fans do get tired of me talking about breastfeeding, too – but they are certainly able to “hide” me or not read my blog.

    I’ve had a lot of friends tell me (after the fact) that I inspired them to keep breastfeeding and pumping when returning to work, since I served as a positive role model. This humbles me every time I hear it and I’m so grateful that I’m open with my experiences and share tips and resources with others. Thank you for doing the same.

    • November 25, 2009 at 1:18 AM

      Missy- You made a great point that your work may irritate some, but it inspires others. I think that inspiration far outweighs anything else. I have had a few people I know tell me that they monitor my FB page as the place to get the most recent breastfeeding news. That makes me feel wonderful!! And I don’t care, we need to talk about it and show it and plaster it every chance we get in order to combat the barrage of bottles and pacifiers crossing the view of people each day. Thanks for your work!!

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