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free formula at hospitals raises some concerns

Published: Sunday, Sept. 25 2011 10:08 p.m. MDT

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Brother Chuck Schroeder
A Tropical Paradise USA, FL

Look, I'm a guy, but in the name of equal right's, here's my 2 cents worth. BACK UP HERE, hospitals sending newborns home with formula "is like giving somebody divorce papers at their wedding?." Hospitals have been offering formula freebies for decades, there's nothing wrong with that. There's always one in every croud that's some breast-feeding activist who fought to get those goody bags out of hospitals, walks down main street with a sign that reads "breast is best," What sets me off, is when they do it in front of everyone in public as if its cool to show yourself to all. That's sick.

momofbron
Brooklyn, NY

One should never turn their nose up at formula. Billions of babies were raised on formula and have turned out very well. At some point, you may be in a situation where you can't breast feed. That's where formula comes in. Your milk may dry up - what are you going to do then? You will use formula. Too many women these days talk about formula like it is poison. I don't understand that. Alot of women do not want to breast feed - or can't. And, as a woman I find it very uncomfortable to sit in the same area as a breastfeeding woman. That's just the way I feel.

mammalou
Somewhere in the USA, UT

I hope the hospitals don't listen to the over zealou group on this one. Each mother has a choice, and it is her's to make, not some group that thinks they know what is best for everyone. There are many reasons why some infants are bottle fed. This group should mind their own business and let mothers make the choice with all knowledge they have, even if it includes a sample of formula. I can't image that this gift bag would sway a mother one way or antoher. SILLY!!

Midwest Mom
Soldiers Grove, WI

Well, the first two posters both felt compelled to add that "disgusting" breastfeeding moms make them "uncomfortable." I wonder if Brother Schroeder finds women in form-fitting, or low-cut tops equally "disgusting." Momofbron has a point that formula does nourish many children, however, the fact that she apparently didn't breastfeed herself shouldn't make her look down "uncomfortably" on the many women who make it their personal priority.

Both Brother Schroeder and Momofbron illustrate the point that there is already a lot of societal pressure against breastfeeding.

As for the goody bag formula samples, I just followed a good bit of advice and added them to my pancake batter, in place of milk. Waste not, want not.

dandy
Saint Louis, MO

You don't want the formula? Don't accept the gift. You are in no way forced to take it. In fact leave it for someone who will use it! Some women aren't able to breast feed. Simple as that. Why do you think there were "milk maids" in maternity wards ages ago in hospitals??? As a preemie I was formula fed, later graduated from college, and feel that I'm overall an intelligent individual. Our own son wasn't gaining weight while breast feeding (something that could lead to poor brain development) and we had to switch to formula. The lactation consultants made me feel like I was doing something so horrible. Our pediatrican made me feel better about the situation. She grew up in Korea, was fed condensed milk as an infant, and became a doctor. Hmmm...you mean people have control over their lives beyond breast milk? Yes! Our son is smart and has a healthy immune system. For this reason I have no problem formula feeding our next baby. It's our choice same as it is for someone to choose exclusive breast feeding. Why can't the breast feeding side just leave formula feeders alone?

ldmamma
FORT WAYNE, IN

I am a mother who breastfed and formula fed so I feel like I can rightfully put my opinion in. I agree with Brother Schroeder and Momofbron that it is disgusting for women to feed wherever and whenever they like! Find a more secluded spot where you won't catch so many people's attention or buy/make a cover! I know it makes my husband really uncomfortable seeing women breastfeed in public. Just be courteous! There is nothing wrong with not wanting to only breastfeed but respect other people and the choices they make. I personally enjoyed giving formula way more than breastfeeding and I breastfed for 7 months. Hopefully I'll have a better experience with it with my next one but I know I'm still going to use formula because in some situations it was way more convienent. I'm glad hospitals give out samples, they are just offering other alternatives if breastfeeding is not right for you.

ThatsSoUtah
Washington, UT

I think that the push to get rid of the formula samples in hospitals may be a bit extreme. However, I do think that informational material on breast feeding and the benefits thereof, should also be included. Hospitals should not have sponsorships. The same problem exists in nearly every Doctor's office and it seems to promote giving out prescriptions for things that don't need to be medicated.

Is formula necessarily bad? Nah. Is breastfeeding better for the child? Most likely. Is breastfeeding many many times cheaper than formula? You bet it is. That's why formula companies push so hard in the hospital. Once a baby takes to a bottle, it's difficult to get them back to the breast. That turns into a lot of profit for formula manufacturers.

Now, about breastfeeding in public. As a male, it does make me uncomfortable to a degree. The problem with this, however, is not that the mother is doing so. The problem is that, as a society, we have made it into a big deal where it shouldn't be. As a society, we need to grow up in this regard.

MEi51
Provo, UT

I got free formula when I brought my babies home. I put it in our emergency supply kit, in case I wasn't there when an emergency happened. It's a gift -- treat it like that awkward gift from someone who doesn't really know what you'd like, and either make use of it or give it away.

inmyopinion88
WEST JORDAN, UT

I have two daughters. One I exclusively gave formula and the other I breast fed. Both are smart, don't food allergies, neither was overly sick as a baby, and I feel I bonded equally with both. Today's formula is a lot better than it was twenty, thirty, years ago.
When I left the hospital, I wasn't confused about the doctor or the hospitals stance on breast feeding was. They crammed it down my throat so there was no mistaking their stance. In the "Formula freebie" bag it had tips on nursing and even nursing pads. Honestly, I didn't get a mixed message nor was I confused. I clearly understood the argument for breastfeeding.
Honestly, many people depend on the free samples to help stretch their budget. I think by prohibiting hospitals to give them out, you are taking away a mothers right to choose what is best for her and the baby. Stop making mothers feel guilty if they choose not to breastfeed or cannot.
If you don't want the sample politely decline it or give it away.

Jeanie b.
Orem, UT

ThatsSoUtah got it right.
Hospitals should encourage breastfeeding and not have sponsorships. But the breastfeeding crowd probably should lighten up a bit.

I am a big supporter of breast feeding having breastfed all 5 of my babies for the first year of their lives.

However, there are so many women in so many different circumstances that if a new mom chooses to use formula - so what? Breast feeding for me was extremely difficult but I was a stay-at-home mom with the time I needed to tough it out. If I had had to work outside the home I could not have stuck with it until it smoothed out, which for me was a few months with occasional difficulties throughout the entire year.

Breastfeeding is best, but formula works too and "formula moms" should not be made to feel guilty. There's enough unnecessary guilt when it comes to parenting.

Eowyn77
Cedar Hills, UT

I breastfed both of my children for more than a year, and I've fed my babies in every imaginable location (including in the middle of sacrament meeting because my hungry baby was wailing and it was less disruptive than crawling over 10 people with all my baby gear and then walking out). I also used a nursing poncho that completely covered my baby and my upper body.

Breast is definitely best *BUT* I had a serious gall-bladder attack 5 weeks after my son was born and needed to have it removed. Due to both my own illness and the general anesthesia, I couldn't nurse for a day and a half. I was very grateful for those little samples then! If I didn't have them, I would have needed to buy a whole can of expensive formula that I would never use. Life happens.

Banning formula doesn't encourage breastfeeding. To do that, we need to encourage businesses and culture to be more open to the concept that breasts are functional rather than simply ornamental. And society perceiving women's bodies as purposeful instead of objects would benefit women and society as a whole.

ClarkKent
Bountiful, Utah

Oh brother ... clearly, some people will argue about everything!

Danny Chipman
Lehi, UT

"I'm not having that in our house?" Seriously? It's infant formula, not cocaine. I get really tired of listening to the rants of these "lacto-terrorists". Whether a mom uses formula or breastfeeds is her own business; she shouldn't be guilted or shamed into one or the other. I got severely ill in the first weeks of my firstborn's infancy and dried up. There wasn't a milk bank available, and I doubt I could have afforded it anyway. Formula was the best option then. I pumped with the second but kept the formula samples the hospital sent home in the emergency supply. There are pros and cons to both sides, but some of these activists will give it to you with fingers stuffed in their ears.

OHBU
Columbus, OH

The free samples are definitely not the problem. Likewise, formula is much improved and children grow up just fine drinking it. That being said, my wife and I were more than a little upset when our first child was born and the workers in the nursery decided to bottle-feed her, against our explicit wishes, in order to give us a bit more sleep. She took to the breast fine for the first couple feedings, but after that night, she never really went back, despite months of trying. When we lodged our complaints about this unethical problem, everybody at the hospital and the OB/GYN office simply acted like it was no big deal because it happens all the time.

Brother Chuck Schroeder
A Tropical Paradise USA, FL

Re: Midwest Mom - 8:02 a.m. Soldiers Grove, WI
I wonder if Brother Schroeder finds women in form-fitting, or low-cut tops equally "disgusting."

Reply: Even though I have some "Family Values", it's human nature to look, if a female sticks it in front of you. I'm only human to. I don't find it "disgusting."

What really sets me off is when there is a woman who is still breastfeeding her 8 yr old daughter. Is that ok to do in public also?. I saw this great story on abc's 20/20 on women who continue to breast feed their children past infancy. The story is of a young woman with 3 children who she breast fed past kindergarten. You see her young son asking his mother for the breast, and this sight disturbed me a bit. Maybe it's because I have never hear of this before, but it caught me off guard and therefore I reacted harshly. I just don't get why a mother feels the need to continue breast feeding after your child can walk, and talk. Then the other problem I have is this. In malls, Men's & Ladies rest room, then "Family Restroom?."

twinkleberry67
Layton, UT

As a college student who is majoring in Nutritional Science and Dietetics and a licensed massage therapist, I think both sides need to lighten up. There are times when nursing is great(inexpensive, helps bonding process between mother and child, helps baby's immune system to develop, easier on baby's digestion et cetera), and times when bottle feeding is a better idea)illness, surgery, issues with mother's lactation process such as not enough or milk produced is to watery, et cetera).
These new mothers should be thoroughly educated in all of the options available to them and be given practical advice on what tends to work best for their particular situation and not favor one method over another for political reasons. .

Rifleman
Salt Lake City, Utah

All the mammals in the forest feed their babies the way Mother Nature intended and none of them have access to formula. Where breast feeding works why pay come corporation for formula that isn't needed? It is an incredible way for mother and infant to bond, and isn't that what motherhood is all about?

Brother Chuck Schroeder
A Tropical Paradise USA, FL

Re: Rifleman - 11:45 a.m.Salt Lake City, Utah
It is an incredible way for mother and infant to bond, and isn't that what motherhood is all about?

Reply: So to is changing the diapers and allowing the father to work and bring home the bread and butter.

Re: Re: Rifleman - 11:45 a.m.Salt Lake City, Utah
All the mammals in the forest feed their babies the way Mother Nature intended and none of them have access to formula. Why pay come corporation for formula that isn't needed?

Reply again: That's your GOP for big business capitalist ways from bureaucrats and lobbiests, as for all mammals in the forest feed their babies the way Mother Nature intended, they have 4 legs, not two legs like in Human form. Perhaps you need to get out more in the world, not hang around like the Walton's in the barn all day milking cows. That's my view.

Jeanie b.
Orem, UT

Rifleman -

Being a man I can safely assume you have never breastfed.

Far many women what comes "naturally" is a very difficult process that can be very painful - even if you are doing it correctly. It is most difficult the first 2 -8 weeks.

I remember nursing my first baby and really resenting the pictures I would see in magazine of skinny women, dressing in flowing white nightgowns, sitting so relaxed in a rocking chair, moonlight streaming through the nearby window and nursing a peaceful baby. I felt it was false advertising.

I remember being so sore the first month I would curl up in a ball of pain every time I plugged my baby on (which was every two- three hours day and night, not to mention the monthly breast infections I would get which would make nursing even more painful. It does smooth out but it can be very hard the first little while and while I believe breastfeeding is best I don't blame women who cannot or choose not to deal with the "start-up" phase of nursing.

Rifleman
Salt Lake City, Utah

Re: Brother Chuck Schroeder | 12:06 p.m. Sept. 26, 2011

Whoa ..... I didn't realize my comment would arouse such angst. Mammals are so named because they have mammary glands and not because of the number of legs they have. And no, infants don't bond with their fathers because they are working to provide the bread and butter. Infants drink milk ... remember.

You'd be surprised at what the animals in the barn know about the birds and bees. Your typical stallion is probably going to be more interested in the mare and not so much in another stallion.

Re: Jeanie b. | 12:36 p.m. Sept. 26, 2011

Being a man you can safely assume that I've been around my wife who has breast fed. That's why I conditioned my comment with the phrase "Where breast feeding works". Obviously where breast feeding doesn't work formula is the answer.

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