Sunday, January 24, 2010

Boob VS.... Bottle???

OK, I'll admit it. I subscribe to Parenting magazine. My school age neighbor was selling magazine subscriptions as a Drama Club fundraiser, and I couldn't say no. It was the cheapest of all the "parenting" magazines, and at the time came with a free subscription to Sesame Street Magazine, which is pretty sweet.  So, anyway, I am sitting at the bus stop waiting for Logan's bus, flipping through the latest edition of Parenting, and an article catches my eye. Well, not really an article, but one of those 1/2 page FYI type paragraph things, titled "Spotlight on Bottle-Feeding" by Patty Onderko.   The first two sentences really got my blood boiling! Here they are:
"Breastfeeding has become so politically correct that moms who bottle-feed are reporting that they receive very little information on how to do it right, according to the latest review of studies.  "Once a woman decides to bottle-feed, she should be supported," emphasizes British researcher Rajalakshmi Lakshman, M.D."

Where to start, where to start??!!!  Well, I guess first off, I don't think the issue is BREASTFEEDING VS BOTTLE FEEDING, as the article sets the sides.  I breastfeed. I use bottles, or I would if I worked or had a kid-not-included social life and actually needed to pump. Most women who breastfeed use a breast pump and store breast milk. How else is the child going to get this breast milk, but with a BOTTLE?!   This statement gives a false impression to perspective breastfeeders that if you breastfeed, you can't touch a bottle and that a breastfeeding mom must always have her boob ready for feeding time.  After all, the first point in this article is how to safely clean a bottle, something ALL moms should know. That's why I believe the issue is Breastfeeding vs FORMULA FEEDING, and it soooo drives me bonkers when formula feeding is called "bottle feeding"!

And as for calling breastfeeding "politically correct"???? UMMMM, how about calling it "what Pediatricians recommend"?? Calling breastfeeding "politically correct" makes it sound like a fad, and  that women who breastfeed are doing it to make some sort of statement, not because it is best for them and their baby. GRRRR.

Now, I'm not all anti-formula over here. I  only breastfed Logan up to 7 months, so he was formula fed for awhile. Did I once think I was doing it "wrong"? Uh, no. I read the container. Unlike boobs, formula containers come with DIRECTIONS!!!! Seriously, the only problem I had was not being able to find the little scoop! But maybe that's just me, because there must be some women out there having problems if there are actual "studies".

And as for being an "unsupported" bottle feeder?? Hello! Not once when I fed Logan a bottle in public did I get uncomfortable glances from passersby like I do when I breastfeed Sophie in public. Not once did people act surprised when Logan still had a bottle at 11 months, like they did when they heard Sophie was still being breastfed at that age.  Women don't give up "bottle feeding" because they have no one to turn to for help. Now really, are we going to be seeing fliers around town for "bottle-feeding" support groups?!

In defense of Parenting magazine, they also had a blurp on the same page that states that women are breastfeeding longer. And there is also a full page add for a car battery which I thought was pretty impressive.


hmh said...

Right on Tracey!! I'd write more, but I'm busy looking for that informative instruction manual that came with my boobs....

Mindy said...

This made me laugh! I wish my boobs came with an instruction manual for breastfeeding too! There are instructions everywhere for formula feeding and you get tons of "support" via advertising the moment you go to your pediatricians office when they start randomly sending free samples and coupons with info in the mail! I absolutely agree that this is not a "vs" issue and even have many friends who choose to supplement breast feeding with formula feeding. I personally hate pumping, so I don't really do the bottle feeding thing, but I just consider that my choice, not an anti-stance.

Ammie said...

Amen! What is so tricky about bottle (OR formula) feeding that it requires support? Yes, dirty bottles can be a concern. A minor one for most people.

I especially love your points about public breastfeeding versus public bottle feeding and the fact that breastfeeding isn't a fad or statement but is a healthy choice.

And I pumped exclusively, because my little guy couldn't ever latch properly. Onto my breast. He had little problems with bottles. And while I needed no support groups for bottle feeding, I did need lots of help figuring out pumping and trying to figure out breastfeeding.

Hahaha about the car battery ad. Impressive, indeed. LOL! :)

Mallory said...

I read that one too Tracey, and thought it was, like the rest of the magazine, a very uneducated "article". Did you read the write up that Parents magazine did a while back on cloth diapers?! It was terrible!

Anonymous said...

I love this. I totally agree with everything you have to say. Well done my friend. I think I may copy this and attach it to every Parents magazine I come across for the next month! BTW I'm not kidding, we have doctors' appointments coming up!!

Melinda said...

How nice would it be to have instructions with the boobs?

Momma Such said...

I have to agree with you. I however, never used bottles with any of my 4 boys. However, when they were old enough to hold a cup and drink from it they did that. That being said, I did give my nieces and nephews bottles and also have babysat kids that required bottles and even though I never used them myself I felt it was pretty darn self explanatory. I do however wish people understood more about breastfeeding. Great post. Gets you thinking. :)

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Good post! I had to pump exclusively with both of my kids...6 months with the first and 7 months with the younger one. I think so many of those articles just drive another wedge between breast feeding and formula feeding moms.

Thanks so much for the visit the other day. :)

Natural Mama said...

Great Post- I totally Agree!!

I also wanted to tell you that you have won the Bamboo Hoodie Giveaway on my Blog- Natural Mama Reviews. I e-mailed you, but havent heard back. Pls e-mail me so I can arange for shipping :)

♥ Fanged Faerie Girls ♥ said...

I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments, I mean what B.S. are they trying to pass as an article these days?

Maybe it is jut my area, but almost all the moms I know Formula feed, not breastfeed, so how can breastfeeding be politically correct?

I am still BF at 12 months and that seems to be odd to some people but I see 2 and 3 year old tots with bottles all the time and no one bats an eye!

I do not have anything against FFers but lets keep it real, they are the majority and no one is discriminating against them like they do BFers.

Our society is so backwards in this way that formula feeding is the normal, appropriate thing to do and breastfeeding is some sick, odd thing that you should hide and never talk about.