Thursday, April 8, 2010
With a catchy title like that, this is sure to be a fun read. Actually, I'm literally shaking because I'm so fuming mad at a Facebook post on my sisters page.
Apparently, CNN posted an article regarding a study about breastfeeding. A couple of authors argued that approximately 911 infant deaths could be avoided each year, if women would breastfeed exclusively, and that $13 billion dollars are spent in excessive costs. The article alone didn't annoy me, it was the interpretation by someone else (sisters friend), who decided to accuse bottle feeding mommas of driving up her insurance premiums and killing innocent children.
First of all, not all bottle feeding moms do it by choice. Personally, I tried to breastfeed both of my children, but unfortunately, I'm simply unable to produce enough milk. I had plenty of resources, lactation consultants, breast pumps, pills and even beer (the yeast in micro brews helps some women), but alas, it wasn't meant to be. My boobs are purely decorative and it took me a while to come to grips with that. In fact, I cried the first time I bought formula. But it is what it is and making me feel guilty, because you have no idea what I've been through, is wrong on so many levels. Throwing "breast is best" statistics in my face, doesn't make my boobs suddenly work. Though you're welcome to tell them directly, but I doubt they'll listen to you either.
Secondly, there isn't a study on Earth that can conclusively determine that any of those children died because they weren't breastfed. It's utterly appalling that anyone would throw statistics like that in the face of grieving parents. "Your child died because you didn't breastfeed. Yup, if you'd just whipped out your boob, like a good mom, your child would still be alive." What kind of monster are you? For every reason those children died (SIDS, etc) there is a breastfed child who has died of the same.
Thirdly, me bottle feeding did not drive up your insurance premiums. I'm willing to bet, I paid far more for formula than you ever did in any potential increases (if you believe that bs). Those "extra costs" they're talking about weren't yours, they're referring to the parents and their costs. And in the grand scheme of things, the number of deaths by "lack of breastfeeding" doesn't even compare to the number of cancer deaths, so why not go after all the smokers who are supposedly driving up your insurance costs?
When it comes to breastfeeding, it's generally a choice (in some cases, like mine, it's not, but for arguments sake, we'll say it's a choice). For those who choose to breastfeed, good for you and for those that don't, good for you. It's highly hypocritical of anyone to say that the other is the wrong, because if you want people to respect your choice, you need to do the same.
Oh, and PS, how do you know that baby bottle isn't filled with breastmilk? Just sayin'.