This has come up quite a bit lately. I always seem to come across someone who touts the old line of "I was/did/had _____ and turned out just fine. My child will too." You can fill this in with "I was formula fed, and turned out just fine.", or "I was delivered by cesarean, and turned out just fine.", or any of the other things that are PROVEN to be less healthy for babies. Why do people justify less healthy choices with completely anecdotal ( and often incorrect ) evidence? Unfortunately, it's much easier to continue with this mindset, than to admit that you could have done better for your child(ren), or yourself.
Science has shown us that breastfeeding is MUCH better for babies. In fact, being mammals, it is the *only* perfect food for our children up to the age of 1. It literally has every single thing that a baby needs to develop a healthy immune system, healthy brain and neurological function, healthy eyesight and coordination, and it reduces the risk of breast cancer for moms. Breastfeeding also deepens the bond between baby and mom, as it allows baby consistent one-on-one time with mom, next to her heart, smelling her skin, feeling her breathe. We are the only mammals who can choose to give our babies formula, filled with preservatives, and second-rate nutrition. And yet we're considered to be the most intelligent. ;) Now, as frustrating as it is to have to give a disclaimer, for those who choose not to read between the lines here ... I am not speaking of the women who are physically UNABLE to breastfeed. Though extremely rare, there are women who are unable to produce milk. However, those are the extreme minority. We have many, many women who simply CHOOSE to give their babies formula, instead of what is best for them. We live in a very selfish society, where it's perfectly permissible to put yourself ahead in priority over what is best for our children. We see this in pregnancy ( I can eat WHATEVER I want ), labor ( I'm tired of being pregnant, just induce me! ), birth ( I'm not trying to be a hero! Give me DRUGS! ), and then feeding ( I don't want to have saggy boobs / be the only one who can feed him / have to deal with breastfeeding in public ).
Why aren't women being held accountable for their second-rate choices? Because it's not PC to do so. Because women have every right to *kill* their baby in utero, who are we to tell them that they should eat healthy, have a natural birth, and breastfeed? In the meantime, it's our children who are getting the short end of the stick.
I wonder if women understand what they put their baby through, when they choose an induction, or allow augmentation? Do they understand what the drug does to their system? Do they understand what the artificial strength of pitocin contractions do to their little body? Do women understand that the drugs in the epidural cocktail *do* indeed cross the placenta? Do they care? Even if baby ends up "just fine", does it negate what women put them through in the name of convenience or choice?
With my first two, the only thing I had right was the breastfeeding. And even then, I didn't try as hard as I could have with my first. She was only breastfed for 3 1/2 months. I went back to work, and didn't have a clue how to keep up my milk supply to pump enough for her. I had a completely intervention-filled birth with her. Pitocin, AROM, Stadol, episiotomy ( which I paid dearly for ), and a vacuum extraction. My poor baby was put through hell because of my ignorant choices. My next baby was put through hell as well. An unnecessary, "elective" ( coerced ) cesarean. He wasn't ready. Because of my ignorant choice, he spent 9 days in the NICU. He was put through so many tests. He had a spinal tap at 30 minutes old, because of 2 seizures. He was given anti-seizure meds, sedation, had tubes running into several parts of his little body. He went through x-rays, ct scans, eegs, and ultrasounds of his head. There was nothing else wrong with him ... he just wasn't ready. I put him through all of that, because I didn't know any better.
Before anyone thinks that this is written in a superior tone ... I want to assure you that it isn't. It is written out of heartbreak for babies who are put through so much more than they ever should be, or for babies who are given second best. Most because their moms don't know any better. I wish that there was a way to get information out there, without being labeled anti-choice or superior. What about the babies?