Keeping the Choice-Formula vs. Breast

Bottle Feeding


All I can say about Amy’s story, below, is THIS. THIS is why breastfeeding support must be secondary to supporting moms, full stop. THIS is why the medical community and the breastfeeding advocacy machine is failing us. THIS is why there are “defensive formula feeders” peppering message boards, attempting to share their truths, and being accused of making up stories and scaring other women out of nursing. THIS is why women are getting angry and fighting back. THIS is why people are starting to think the pendulum has swung so far and so hard that it’s bonked us all in the head and made us stupid. This. This. And THIS.

via FFF Friday: “I didn’t have the confidence or the mental clarity to stand up for myself.” – Fearless Formula Feeder.


With the present increased incidence of breast-feeding, clinicians need to be prepared to identify and manage problems in lactation. Most problems are related to insufficient knowledge, inappropriate routines, and lack of confidence and are easily managed or prevented by prenatal education, anticipatory guidance, and adequate support. Increasing evidence exists that primary causes of lactation failure also occur and can preclude successful lactation, even among highly motivated women.

via Lactation Failure Due to Insufficient Glandular Development of the Breast.

It seems that the pendulum has indeed swung too far in the direction of breastfeeding and made it very uncomfortable for moms to choose formula if they do not want to breastfeed their baby for whatever reason.

The Fearless Formula Feeder has posted Amy’s story which speaks to moms who have insufficient glandular tissue. This is a condition that poses problems for moms, who are trying to breast feed.

As a clinician, it is so important to listen to your client and really try to understand the whole picture…a non-judgmental attitude is the key to helping anyone. If you find yourself making judgements, then you should refer your client to someone else…you are not the right helper. This goes for lactation consultants as well as well meaning friends.

I know that there is much more knowledge available since I had my own children but in the 70’s and 80’s there really was more understanding and acceptance of mom’s feeding choices. We may not have been that accepting of breastfeeding in public but that was a minor problem compared to the “bullying” situation we are currently experiencing.

It is not abusive to formula feed your baby and although breastfeeding may be best it is not necessarily the right choice in all cases.

Let’s try to support moms…please!

Postpartum Depression & Breast Feeding, Infant Sleep, Children & Allergies….

 heart drops

Sleep is so important and so many of us crave it…makes me wonder if it doesn’t start right at the beginning of our lives when we are infants. After all it is one of the topics so hotly discussed among parenting experts.

So how do we manage to get our newborns to sleep thus giving ourselves much needed time to sleep?


Nothing can prepare you for the changes in your sleep when you welcome a newborn baby into your family. Experienced parents will issue dire warnings and tell you to sleep while you can during the last few weeks of pregnancy. (And you will think, yeah right, there’s a large boulder resting on my bladder, and sometimes it kicks for good measure.)



If you breast feed do you have less of a chance of developing PPD (Postpartum Depression)? Here is some interesting facts from FFF (Fearless Formula Feeder) that questions this premise.

The same question holds for the connection between breastfeeding and postpartum depression. Some researchers have found a correlation between lack of breastfeeding and higher incidence of depression; however, the majority of these studies don’t factor in why the mother isn’t breastfeeding in the first place. A 2009 study found that women who exhibited pregnancy-related anxiety or prenatal depressive symptoms were roughly two times more likely than women without these mood disorders to plan to formula feed. (12) “Prenatal mood disorders may affect a woman’s plans to breastfeed and may be early risk factors for failure to breastfeed,” the researchers point out. And even if the intention to breastfeed is there, multiple factors inform infant-feeding choices once a woman leaves the hospital.

Feeling like a failure, dealing with pain, frustration, and exhaustion, and having a baby who screams at the sight of her, could make any mother feel overwhelmed, let alone one who’s already on the brink of actual PPD. Maybe for those of us more prone to anxiety or depression, the stress of breastfeeding struggles is just the camel’s dreaded straw.


Are there allergies in your family, if so, there is a community online for Moms of Allergic Children.  I have also included a link to a mom’s story of her son who has asthma.


Moms of kids with allergies have to do double duty to keep their bundles of joy safe, happy, and healthy. In the Moms of Allergic Children community, moms are sharing their concerns and questions about allergies. Here are some quick tips from Dr. Oz for them and others on how to treat — and prevent — some common allergies.


Do you know about the baby formula scandal?

Bottle Feeding

If you are familiar with my blog you already know that I support moms and their freedom of choice when it comes to feeding their babies. Although as a professional, I know that breast feeding is healthier for babies, I also know that there are circumstances in every mom’s life that influence the choice she makes as to whether to breast or bottle feed.

This being said, I find Nestle’s history with regard to formula feeding is worthwhile knowing, so that when a new mom is making her feeding choice, she does it with full knowledge of how formula makers try to influence her directly and indirectly.

I want to also say that I am not judging moms who formula feed…I did and have never regretted it. My choice was made for me since I was on Heparin and Coumadin which passes to the infant in breast milk… but to be truly honest as a mother-baby nurse in the late 70’s and 80’s  I saw so many moms have such a difficult time breast feeding I was scared to try it myself.

And in the effort of disclosure, I am aware of my personal experience and choices so I make an effort not to allow my feelings to influence my work with pre-natal and new moms, who are desiring to breast feed.

Please read Nestle’s history in the following link…I think that you will find it very interesting. It is big business at its worst!

Nestle’s Infant Formula Scandal – Business Insider.

Related posts:

How to Prepare Infant Formula, Kids Television, What Stroller Should You Buy?


creative kids

Let it be known that I love Children’s Television Network and some of the other shows that are currently entertaining our children and grandchildren. I have always been a fan of Sesame Street and now I have become a fan of shows like YoGabbaGabba and Doc McStuffins.

If it has been awhile since you have checked out what kids are watching link below to be enlightened.

Before you make a baby stroller purchase ….you need to meet Jamie Grayson AKA “TheBabyGuyNYC”. He will give you all the honest scoop about strollers and other baby gear. In a word…he is WONDERFUL!


Meet Jamie Grayson, the latest addition to AllParenting’s team of talented writers. Jamie is our baby gear expert and will be here every Thursday to fill you in on the latest and greatest in the world of baby gear. Buckle up and come along for the ride while Jamie assumes the role of both interviewer and interviewee in this hilarious get-to-know-him introduction.


I like this link to the Mayo Clinic’s website which answers many parenting questions. If you are formula feeding…this is a must read.

New parents and grandparents need good information and the MayoClinic offers up some excellent resources. I think that there is nothing better that connecting to a reputable site.

Weekend Reading…

  • Blowing Colors

All of us experience anxiety which is driven by fears of the future. Even our young children can be anxious. This is a wonderful video explaining a technique that a child or for that matter an adult can use to eliminate anxious feelings. We can teach it to our children while also benefitting from using this method ourselves.


Vegetable-based infant formula offers health benefits.

A new study has revealed that InFat – a vegetable-based fat for infant formula with a similar structure to breast milk – provides beneficial effects for the health and well-being of formula-fed infants.



If you are planning to breast feed your baby, you must plan for it. It is not always as easy as it looks for many reasons that are different for so many babies and moms. So research and educate yourself about breast feeding, find out how much support your hospital offers and perhaps get the name of a lactation consultant ahead of time and speak to her before you deliver. If you might be considering breast milk from other moms you should do so carefully and this article will help give you an idea what you should do to make sure that the milk is indeed safe.

Toast Tuesday…Feeding Baby!

Feeding Baby

Whenever I have an idea about what is needed out there on the “world” wide web…surprise I find it.

That is what happened a few months ago when I was reading about new moms and breastfeeding in New York City where Mayor Bloomberg initiated a program “Latch on NYC”.

Since when does a city mayor have so much to say about how a mom feeds her baby and orders formula kept under lock and key on the maternity floor? I was perplexed by yet another Bloomberg health proclamation.

I believe that moms can choose how to feed their infants

I believe and know that breast milk is best.

I believe that some women cannot breast feed successfully.

I believe that no mom should feel guilty or be made to feel guilty because she chooses not to breast feed.

I believe that hospital staff should be educated and non-judgmental when it comes to a mother’s choice about feeding her baby.

I believe that hospital staff should not bottle feed a baby that is breast feeding without a medical reason to do so and and consulting with the mother.

I believe that when moms are having difficulty breastfeeding their infant they should have a place to go that will encourage them, yet not make them feel guilty and remorseful if they cannot continue to breast feed.

I believe that the Fearless Formula Feeder is a place that women can visit and be supported no matter…whether breast or bottle feeding.

Thank you, Fearless Formula Feeder!


FFF is a blog – and community – dedicated to infant feeding choice, and committed to providing non-judgmental support for all new parents. It exists to protect women from misleading or misrepresented “facts”; essentialist ideals about what mothers should think, feel, or do; government and health authorities who form policy statements based on ambivalent research; and the insidious beast known as Internetus Trolliamus, Mommy Blog Varietal.

via About the FFF | Fearless Formula Feeder.

Breast Feeding….


Breast is best…the comments…

“So overall, yes, breast is probably best. But not so much better that formula deserves the label of “public health menace,” alongside smoking. Given what we know so far, it seems reasonable to put breast-feeding’s health benefits on the plus side of the ledger and other things—modesty, independence, career, sanity—on the minus side, and then tally them up and make a decision. But in this risk-averse age of parenting, that’s not how it’s done.


My best guess is something I can’t quite articulate. Breast-feeding does not belong in the realm of facts and hard numbers; it is much too intimate and elemental. It contains all of my awe about motherhood, and also my ambivalence. Right now, even part-time, it’s a strain. But I also know that this is probably my last chance to feel warm baby skin up against mine, and one day I will miss it.

via The Case Against Breast-Feeding – Magazine – The Atlantic.

Here’s my message to other moms anxious about formula-feeding: If you absolutely hate breastfeeding for whatever reason, stop. Let it (and the guilt) go. Breastfeeding may be healthier than formula, but the formula they’re making these days is pretty awesome, too. The extra nutrients and antibodies a woman’s breast milk provides may not be worth crying every time you have to breastfeed. The truth is that your child can thrive on breast milk or formula, but an unhappy mama does not a healthy baby make. So let’s stop using how we feed our babies as an occasion to make ourselves — or other moms — miserable.

Not breastfeeding and feeding baby formula don’t make you a bad mother.”

My thoughts…

Breast Feeding has been in the news this past week with the IRS giving moms a tax-break on breast pumps. Finally, there is recognition for moms who need pumps for a myriad of reasons to help them continue to breastfeed.

Let me start out by acknowledging that I did not breastfeed either one of my children…it was a decision I made without any guilt even though I was a maternal-child nurse and had a fair amount of knowledge about breastfeeding.

It was part of my job to help women with breast feeding after delivery and during their post partum  hospital stay which in the 70’s when I began my career was on average 4-5 days for a vaginal delivery and 7-8 days for a c-section, unlike today’s very brief hospital stays after delivery. Nurses played an important role in mother-baby care for more of an extended period of time in those days of lengthier hospital stays.

Breast feeding was really on the upswing in New York City during the 70’s and many moms were choosing it as an option.

Often the first couple of days breast feeding would go fairly smoothly. It was a learning time for both mother and baby.  It seemed that gentle coaxing and encouragement gave a new mom and baby all they needed.

Then on the third post-partum day something dramatic occurred…. mom’s milk came in and the “honeymoon” period for mother and baby was usually over.

At this point, sometimes mom would even have a slight fever and be somewhat uncomfortable until baby breast fed and relieved the pressure from her warm breasts…but other moms would be initially so engorged with milk they would be crying as would baby who was having difficulty attaching to mom’s rock hard nipples. Then for some moms there was the problem of sore nipples to contend with…ouch!

Moms seemed to have a difficult time with all these adjustments in the hospital atmosphere, rooming-in was encouraged but there were still schedules to contend with and those were not always conducive to the calming conditions that are needed for mom and baby to successfully begin breastfeeding.. If the mom was recovering from a c-section the scene was usually more complicated and more painful for her. This usually added to her frustration which carried of course over to her newborn. Nurses tried their best to encourage and provide a soothing setting for both mom and baby so that they both could enjoy the breastfeeding experience which was known to be so important.

Newborn care in the hospital in those days was slightly different as well, due to the extended length of stay. Baby’s weight would be closely monitored as would any level of jaundice. Jaundice is a threatening condition depending upon many factors. Feeding encourages babies to pass stool which excretes bilirubin which causes jaundice…if baby does not get enough liquid this can cause a problem. Breast feeding was always something that caused some concern…as to whether the baby was getting enough milk… now I am not saying that breast feeding causes jaundice but many factors enter in to the picture here and feeding whether bottle or breast is observed closely if jaundice is a problem.

Even in the 70’s we knew that “breast was best” but it seemed that we did not freak out when mothers made the decision to formula feed their newborn…we realized that it was their choice as it is today. Bonding was encouraged and healthy feeding techniques were taught. Skin to skin touch was emphasized.

My decision to formula feed… was not by choice. I was taking medications that were excreted in breast milk. These medications would have been very problematic for my baby so breastfeeding was not an option. The decision was really made for me…in all honesty after working with post-partum moms I was not sure I was up to the task. It had always been super amazing to me to see the adjustment period of mom and baby to breastfeeding just as amazing perhaps as the birth of each child.

I honestly believe breast or bottle feeding does not determine what kind of mother you are…there are so many factors that go into mothering and parenting it is a wonder that any of us make it through to adulthood.

One thing I have learned is that children do take a village to raise and it starts at birth…adequate support is important to get mom and baby off to a good start. I believe that we all need to recognize our own prejudices and allow others to self determine without pressure.

In the end, we are not raising another mom’s child and really don’t we have enough to do raising our own?

Baby’s Nutrition…important new facts!

Noteworthy Wednesday!!

Parents these days seem in such a hurry to move their kids through the milestones of development.

But moving kids from formula to solid food is one change parents may want to take their time making. Trying solid food with formula-fed kids before they hit four months of age raises the odds they’ll be overweight as preschoolers, according to research findings just published online by the journal Pediatrics.

via Weighty Issue: Keep Junior Off Solid Food During His First 4 Months : Shots – Health News Blog : NPR.

Obesity in children is a serious problem and there seems to be many reasons for it. Good nutrition has always been important from day one of a baby’s life.

Whether formula or breastfeeding the information in this recent report indicates that there seems to be a connection between when babies are started on solids and their developing obesity.

Many parents are encouraged by others to feed solids to their baby at an early age with the hopes that the infant will in fact sleep better. This of course is fallacy.

I can remember being told by a well-meaning relative that my baby was hungry and I definitely needed to give her some rice cereal to quiet her down and have her sleep longer. I was anxious to do the right thing so I tried the cereal.

Oh…but when I watched my tiny darling struggling with it I soon abandoned the effort and low and behold my daughter slept through the night at 6 weeks just as the all the books predicted she would.

So…my feeling is stick to breast or formula feeding your infant. Do not be in a hurry to introduce solids into their diet. And when you do begin feeding solids make sure that they are nutritional ones. There are many wonderful infant food resources available. Please take advantage of them.

Do not be fooled by the advertisers of convenient baby food products that we have all grown up with. Many of them are not nutritionally sound and have large amounts of sodium in them despite what we know about too much sodium. So read, read, read and become an advocate for your families eating habits right from the start.