Monday, February 18, 2013

Breastfeeding Could Save the Lives of 830,000 Babies a Year

Breastfeeding Could Save the Lives of 830,000 Babies a Year

I saw this article posted on my Facebook feed and gave it a read. I felt that it was well-written, fair, and made good, factual points. The I made the mistake of reading the comments. WHY, OH WHY would I do that to myself???

Whenever you read the comments section of ANY article, it ruins the entire article. Want to know why? Because you don't need to take an IQ test or even a general knowledge test to comment on an article. The most informed or most qualified people don't leave comments. The people with the biggest freaking mouths leave comments. They NEVER have anything nice to say. They NEVER agree with anything the article has to say. Why did they even read it? It's as if they read it SOLELY so they can be armed with the ability to make a negative comment! I don't read articles I am not interested in. I don't want to read articles that are going to make me upset. Apparently, I am unique in that regard. It seems that people LOVE to read articles that will piss them off so that they can quickly skip to the comments section to holler about how truly pissed off they are.

This article stated facts, medical truths. Its sole purpose is to educate the public on a reality that they may not realize. Breastfeeding provides immunities that formula does not. That is a fact. Hospitals and doctors offices are wooed and compinsated for  pushing particalar brands of formula in their offices. That is a fact. And that can confuse a woman who is not well-informed on breastfeeding and is trying to decide what to do for her baby.

Women who did not breastfeed are quick to get defensive about their perceived attack on formula-feeding mothers. Here's the reality. American society, on the whole, is in complete support of women who FF. That's why they don't need to write articles or create groups to defend themselves. When a woman sits down to feed her baby a bottle in public, people smile. When a woman sits down to BF her baby in public, people avoid eye contact, point and whisper to each other, mutter to themselves, roll their eyes, or gawk. Who's being attacked now? Believe me because I am living it right now. Nobody feels compelled to stop a woman FFing in public to ask them "Don't you know it is better to BF your baby?" But plenty of people stop a woman BFing in public to ask them "Do you have to do that HERE, NOW?"

If a FFing mama reads this article and feels offended, I believe that she is not comfortable with the choice she made. When I read articles about the benefits of cry-it-out, for example, I am left feeling sad for those babies and angry at doctors for giving trusting women misinformation. I do NOT feel the need to berate and belitte others and defend my own choices to go to my baby when he cries because I am confident in the choices I have made as a parent. When I find myself getting defensive about something, I check myself and realize it is because I am second guessing the choices I have made. I am feeling insecure and lashing out. When I read these scathing comments telling BFing mothers to get off their high horses and stop making us FFing moms feel bad about our way of parenting all I can think about is how insecure they sound.

If you absolutely HAD to FF, then there is no use in feeling or need to feel badly about it. Feeding your child is a necessity so you made the right call! We all have made poor eating decisions when pressed for time and/or money and/or convenience. Sometimes we have literally had no other choice. However, I am not going to pretend that that fast food taco was a better choice than a salad made from organically and locally grown vegetables, no matter how desperate I was/am. It is a FACT that one is healthier than other. The fact that I didn't have access to one does not change that and should not make me angry at those who DID have access.

Eleanor Roosevelt said, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent" and that is absolutely true. If you had really wanted to BF and were unable, I am very sorry. It is truly a shame and unfair and I am sorry. However, it should not have to stop me from declaring that BFing is best. Because it is. That's a fact.

But another fact is that you can still be an EXCELLENT mother even if you had to FF. Trust me, we all know that.

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