Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Who Said Breast was Best?!

Something that perplexes me is how breastfeeding is still looked at as “better” for mother and child.  A lot of “facts” about breastfeeding were proven in a study to be untrue. Perpetuating them as facts is why new moms are often stresses when their children get sick, are not smarter, do not hit milestones faster, and a number of other things. I see so many new mothers feeling guilty because they cannot breastfeed or exclusively breastfeed. I should start by stating I did not breastfeed, and I have nothing against breastfeeding.

Why I did not breastfeed.
I was 16 (I think) and was watching some program with Anderson Cooper, and he was talking to a mother who son had cancer. The woman went on to talk about her pregnancy and how it was normal, her son was born health and on time, and how she had decided to breastfeed “because it’s better”. However, what she learned a little too late is that everything in her body (heavy metals being her problem) are not filtered out and she passed it all to her son, in the end it caused cancer. His body was unable
to deal with the heavy metals as his mother’s body was able to. Up until that point I was like everyone else I wanted to breastfeed (if I had children I was 16 and unsure of the idea). However, after that I chose to make the decision as it arose.
Fast forward to me at 21 and pregnant with my son, I was about 20 weeks and the doctor asked if I was going to breastfeed. I told her “no”, she acted like I was saying a forbidden word. She asked “why not?” So I asked her “what are the effects of all the medication I have had to take over my life going to have on my son (I have asthma)?” “What about the heavy metals and other toxins that babies will not benefit from?” What does she say “I do not know, people do not ask that.” Right, so because people do not ask you just keep telling moms that you should breastfeed and see what happens. After that my respect for doctors went way out the window.

Taken July 9, 2013

Here is what you need to know about breastfeeding.
The idea that breast is best is passed from mother to mother and from doctor to mother. The medical field is a male dominated filed, and they cannot breastfeed. Ohio State did a liner study (done over a longer period of time) of both breastfeed and formula feed babies and guess what? No major difference in learning, immune system, and all the other fancy stuff people like to say (Colen, 2014). The only differences were in BMI and in eczema. Breastfed babies are more likely than non-breastfed babies to have eczema (I knew this before the study) (Colen, 2014). Furthermore, BMI (Body mass index) is higher in formula feed babies but after age one there is no big difference (Colen, 2014). Reality, pass year one there is not a major difference between breastfed and non-breastfed children. (Reference, at the bottom is the post).

If you cannot breastfeed breathe.
My son passed most of his milestones early, he walked on time, and talked late. He started eating solid foods at four months, loves chicken, pizza, broccoli, and strawberries. He has only had a cold 3 times (in 2 1/2 years), he has only had strep 1 time (and he got it from me), and lastly his eczema is 100% under control without medication.  What I am saying is this one thing might be big to you but for them it is a stepping stone. That one decision (in most cases) is not going to follow them their whole life. Just enjoy being a mom!

Colen, C., (2014). Breast-feeding Benefits Appear to be Overstated, According to Study of Siblings. Ohio State. Retrieved from

Shakirah is a single mom to a 5 year old. She is a blogger, teacher, and graduate student. Her goal is to bring a more positive and realistic look into the lives of single mothers.

No comments:

Post a Comment