Welcome to the Breastfeeding Support Blog Party! Bloggers around the world have gathered together to share posts which provide current or soon-to-be breastfeeding mothers with a wealth of well-researched information, personal stories, and statistics designed to help you have the most successful breastfeeding experience possible. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post to learn more about this movement as well as to link to and read more informative breastfeeding support posts.
I’m busy. Most moms are busy! I choose to breastfeed my children in part because it’s easier than bottle feeding, not to mention that it is the best nutrition for babies, that it has health benefits for both mother and child, that it encourages bonding, and of course that it’s free! Plus I get to eat more!
The claim that homemade formula is better for babies than breast milk is ridiculous. Except for cases of extreme malnutrition, a mother’s milk quality is not diminished by her less than perfect diet. Her body prioritizes her baby’s health over her own, and her health may suffer due to not following a perfectly nutritious diet, but her milk will still be best for her baby. As Kellymom, a reliable source on all facets of breastfeeding, states: “Except in special circumstances, women in developed countries are not likely to have nutritional deficiencies that will affect their milk.” Here’s what I wonder: wouldn’t most parents who care to make their own homemade formula already care a lot about the nutrition of their diets? Would those mothers then have nutritious milk to feed their babies? More on the topic of nutrition and breastfeeding can be found on this FAQ from the LINKAGES project, but that’s not the main topic of this post. I’m focusing on convenience.
For me, breastfeeding is infinitely more convenient than bottle feeding. With my first child there was not a hiccup in our breastfeeding relationship. The second time around has been more difficult due to a lip-tie and shallow latch, and we struggled through about a month of excruciating pain for me (though my baby was getting plenty of milk… he’s a big boy!). We have since recovered, and I persevered through the pain and sought the help that we needed to make breastfeeding successful because I knew it could be most convenient for us and carried a multitude of other benefits. So when I heard that some members of the Weston A. Price Foundation are making claims that homemade formula is better than breast milk unless the mother follows their perfect diet, I was dumbfounded. They’re not just setting up women for breastfeeding failure, they’re actively encouraging people not to breastfeed. Even the commercial formula companies don’t do that so blatantly!
Homemade formula is infinitely less convenient than breastfeeding, because breast milk is the ultimate comfort food. There’s no need to purchase, store, chop, or measure ingredients. There’s no need to measure how much your baby eats. You don’t have to pack anything when you want to go out, making sure to have a cooler and a means to heat it up. You don’t need to wash utensils, pots, bottles, or nipples. There’s no need for scrub brushes, thermometers, sanitizers, drying racks, or soap. You don’t even have to get out of bed for middle of the night feedings! No, breast milk is made of the perfect ingredients, with perfect nutrition, at the perfect temperature and is available on-demand, day or night. Homemade formula would be the opposite: the ultimate in inconvenience.
I know that if I chose to make my own homemade formula, I would eventually (probably sooner rather than later) give it up and buy the commercial stuff. Why? Because I’m busy! I’m a working mom, I’ve got two children to take care of and a full time job, plus a husband and extended family who I love to visit. I do my best to cook at home and avoid packaged foods for the majority of our meals, and I simply don’t have more time to spend in the kitchen. By the time I realized that I couldn’t keep up with homemade formula, my milk might be completely gone and I’d be stuck with commercial formula. But fortunately I’m not a first time mom, I have already breastfed successfully and I have the choice of being in the kitchen preparing homemade formula or breastfeeding. I choose breastfeeding.
This gathering of breastfeeding support comes in response to the Weston A. Price Foundation’s (WAPF) continued stance on breastfeeding, which we all have a great concern with. While the WAPF does support breastfeeding as the best option for feeding babies, it does so with a caveat. Breastfeeding mothers must follow the strict tenants of the WAPF diet and mothers who are not following their nutrient dense diet recommendations would be better off feeding their babies homemade formula (based on the WAPF recipe). In addition, they are outspoken against using donor milk.
The bloggers sharing posts today are concerned with the confusion this may cause breastfeeding mothers. Not only does research support the myriad of health benefits of breast milk for babies regardless of the mother’s diet, it also outlines additional benefits of breastfeeding such as better bonding, deeper trust, and a long list of other emotional benefits. Let’s not forget the health benefits for moms!
We will have a complete list of all the blog posts published today (as part of this Blog Party) in a separate post on Sunday, March 31st. We welcome you to join this blog party by linking up your own new and previously published posts which focus on any positive aspect of breastfeeding and breast milk. Please enter using the Linky Tool which can be found at Hybrid Rasta Mama, Cooking Traditional Foods, Whole New Mom, Alternative Parenting, or African Babies Don’t Cry. (All links will be subject to moderation. Any link not following the spirit of the Blog Party will be removed.