Wednesday, September 12, 2007

If you are easily offended....

Please keep reading.



I just finished that book I mentioned a few posts ago. Milk, Money, Madness by Naomi Baumslag. I haven't been able to get the following photo out of my head in days....



Photo courtesy of Unicef, Children's Hospital... Pakistan

















"This picture tells two stories: most obviously, about the often fatal consequences of bottle-feeding; more profoundly, about the age-old bias in favour of the male. The child with the bottle is a girl - she died the next day. Her twin brother was breastfed. This woman was told by her mother-in-law that she didn't have enough milk for both her children, and so should breastfeed the boy. But almost certainly she could have fed both children herself, because the process of suckling induces the production of milk. However, even if she found that she could not produce sufficient milk - unlikely as that would be - a much better alternative to bottle-feeding would have been to find a wet-nurse. Ironically, this role has sometimes been taken by the grandmother. In most cultures, before the advent of bottle-feeding, wet-nursing was a common practice.
"Use my picture if it will help", said the mother. "I don't want other people to make the same mistake."- Source: Unicef



Think about that for a moment. Just THINK about it. I know, you are thinking "Ok, in 3rd world countries yes..... not breastfeeding probably is this dangerous" Right? Well chew on this.... for every 1,000 births in DEVELOPED countries, there are 77 hospital admissions for formula fed babies in the first 4 months of life, while only five breastfed infants will be admitted to the hospital in that same timeframe. In the united states, 75 million dollars per year is spent for pediatric visits alone for diarreah, 70% of which is caused from Rotavirus, a bacteria in which breastfeeding has a known preventative effect.


Did you know that "low supply" essentially did NOT EXIST before formula was invented? It took very little work unfortunately to convince worried new mothers that thier bodies would fail.


I know, I know......... pediatricians say............ ask your pediatrician just once how much money he/she gets from formula companies in kick backs. I'm sure they will tell you none..... that will likely be a lie. Even your hospital, the one than hands out the diaper bags? Formula companies agreed to be in compliance with the WHO code, in an effort to stop being sued all the time. The WHO code states that they cannot give formula samples. Do they blatenly ignore this? Yes. More frightening is that they've found wonderful loopholes. They pay hospitals a set amount each year, the hospital in turn uses that money to purchase formula sample diaper bags from the formula companies.....end result? The hospital is distributing the samples, not the formula company.


I won't go on and on, lets just say that even I was blown away reading this book. And contrary to what you would think it isn't written in a dogmatic way, the facts themselves speak volumes.

And something we rarely stop to think about. Do you know how many formula recalls have occured in the last 10 years? Not to say the factories that produce it are unclean, but anything produced by human hands or machines risks being contaminated...... even infant formula. Not to mention that powdered formula is the most widely sild form of formula to the poor....... in many countries those people don't even have access to clean water to mix with it!


Why is cow's milk used as a base for infant formulas even though many other animals milks are a much better match to human milk? Money. Cow's milk is cheap. And with the BGH hormone now being given to cows (which has a known carcinogenic effect) it's even cheaper.

The chief executive of Enfamil takes home over 12 million dollars per year.....


I learned a lot from this book. I learned that my son will never, if I can help it, have formula.... ever. I am proud that he has been given the best start in life, every baby deserves to be breastfed........I've said it once and i'll say it again... WE, as a society ARE FAILING OUR CHILDREN. We need to step it up people. Do right by your own kids and help others to do the same. It takes a village to raise a child.

Bring on the hatemail! Again!

9 comments:

Katie said...

I'm not going to be sending "hate mail" and I don't want this to be classified as such. But low supply is a true, yet rare, deformity. I have IGT and have tried, unsuccessfully, to breastfeed all 3 of my children. I had the best help you could have, multiple LCs, lots of books, LLL leaders, etc, etc, etc. I have IGT (Insufficient Glandular Tissue). I refused to believe this and almost killed my son because I was adamant about breastfeeding.

So, while I do think that most women can and should breastfeed, there are some of us that desperately want to but cannot.

Thank you.

Heather said...

BRAVO!! From personal experience... my breastfed babies thrived. The ONLY time I used formula was when either a)my milk dried up due to lack of information about my bcp's or b)my hormonal change during my next pregnancy caused my milk to dry up even though she was still nursing every 2 hours. My 4th baby was my breastfeeding success story, 13 months I nursed him and not once did he get formula or a bottle (if it wasn't from mommy he didn't want it). He went from preemie to doubling his birth weight in less than 8 weeks on ONLY breastmilk.

Kat said...

Katie- Make no mistake. I don't beleive for a second that EVERY mother CAN breastfeed, as I've said before there definitely are rare instances where one simply cannot. My point here is that every baby should get breastmilk........ whether that be by re-instating wet nurses, by somehow making breastmilk bankes available to the average consumer (heck, maybe like little stores you could just go in and buy it like formula).



I'm sorry you couldn't breastfeed. I truly am. I wish every mother and baby that ability. I simply beleive that formula is substandard and I wish that as a society we realized that and when the time came, like it did for you, that a mother could NOT nurse her child....... I wish there were programs in place so that the greater "village" could help that child recieve breastmilk. Formula was honestly concepted with a good heart, a way to save babies lives who were orphaned or for some other reason could not be nursed by thier mothers. And you know, it has served it's purpose in that area to some degree..... I just really think there is a better way.

Tammy said...

what a fantastic post. Instead of handing out free formula and bottles at the hospital they should hand out a copy of this!

Christine said...

Great post. I induced lactation for my adopted daughter and for my foster babies. I never had a full supply, so when I used formula, I tried to use a lactation aid whenever possible. If they couldn't have all breastmilk, I wanted them to at least get all of the other gazillion benefits from being at breast.

Angie said...

Kat, did you know that breastmilk is more toxic than formula? The benefits do weigh out the cons...but it is true!! I know you don't agree with my reason for quitting breastfeeding but like I told you before. If you had to work full-time to support your family you would probably be a bit more understanding. Lilly has been exclusively formula fed for almost 4 months now, and by no means is she malnourished.

Kat said...

No, I wasn't aware that breastmilk is more toxic than formula. Please cite your references... And I know many people that work full time and give thier babies breastmilk so I don't think working full time outside the home would change my opinions actually. I look forward to reading the studies you present on breastmilk toxicity!

Tammy said...

Kat, I hope that it's ok, I stole this blog and posted it on my myspace. I'm all for breastfeeding, and while parents can do what they want with their kids, it still kills me to see kids with formula. This post proves to me why my stomach knots up when I see formula. So, I hope that you're ok with me re-posting it. If not, I will take it down. Thanks for bein all full of information n shit. lol

Kat said...

I have no problem with re-posting my blog entries. All I ask is that you link back to me. Thanks!