Thursday, September 23, 2010

Formula By Prescription Only?

A friend sent me this article and asked me what I thought.

Initially I was like "yeah! I agree with it, I mean ideally." But as I thought on it more, and read her reply: which mentioned costs skyrocketing of the stuff and other logistical issues. I can't say I do...agree, that is.

My thoughts?

That [prices going up and people not being able to afford prescription formula] is some thing that would need to be addressed. But like I said if milk banks were more available and people could get human milk for their babies instead of formula, the formula by prescription would be a last resort (banks out of milk) and more women would probably really try to breastfeed. I don't know. It's all in the "ideal, perfect, world this would work" kind of thing. And since we obviously don't live in one. I think we should be pushing for the best lactation education possible for doctors going into the field. And for REAL information to be made available to Mom's.

Also some stiff restrictions on formula companies touting (in their commercials) how wonderful their product is and how good it is for babies, how close to breastmilk it is. (Though I understand if you look carefully at the cans they DO say that breastmilk is better.) When breastmilk is ALIVE. And has over 200 beneficial ingredients that formula companies haven't even figured out what they are or do! Seriously drives me nuts to watch TV with 'Lil Roo and come across a warm fuzzy formula commercial full of lies.

If a Mom is struggling: sore, alone, and TIRED. If she doesn't have the mindset that breastmilk is the first NORMAL food, that it's just "a better option". If all she hears is negative feed back from family and friends, and their wives tails and misinformation. If she's been through a few days or weeks of their pestering to feed the baby for her. Or negative feed back in general. Add to that sleep deprivation, and that gnawing fear of failure all the time (I've been there).

And then sees that calm, clean, pretty formula feeding CommercialMom. And adorable plump healthy FormulaBaby. of COURSE formula is going to look like "just as good as" an option!

If however she's researched, and weighed the risks (as an estimated 900 babies die a year because they aren't breastfed). If she has looked into the option of milk banks...If she has laid it out and realized, this is where my support system is. Has decided, "This is what my options really are." And she goes with formula- Good for her! She's made an educated decision and she can be proud of that!

I totally agree that I don't think it should be a decision people make for every one- that's wrong. I do think all Mom's should give breastfeeding a shot. And if that doesn't work I think all babies should have human milk. But I also realize that life doesn't fit into cookie cutters. We live in a society and culture FAR from how it was when we were created. And that the logistics of milk banking is kinda a big process. Also babies that would have died 200 years ago because of weak latch (due to disabilities, birth defects, whatever) or other common issues are NOT dying because of the widespread use of formula and bottles. It's easy for me (and that doctor) to make generalizations. But unfortunately generalizations often cause more damage than any recall least between Mamas.

So I guess now getting to type this out and really think on it. And having read what you shared...I don't think I agree with the idea so much. I think formula should not be some thing advertised so widely and so deceivingly. In a perfect world doctors would fully support and advocate Mom's to nurse MORE. Instead of freaking out and pushing supplementation to cover their behinds. Because supplementation equals LESS nursing, and MORE problems for Mama and baby. I think all Moms should be surrounded by other older, wiser and loving women. Women who will give good sound advice and support them no matter what. Other Mom's who will help them carry the load. But that's not always reality is it?

So for me, babies should be breastfed. But Mom's should be supported, truely. Because the reality is: cookie cutters just don't work.

I'm glad I got to think this out! Thanks C!

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