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Bottled Up: A Candid Conversation about Breastfeeding with Author Suzanne Barston

There is compelling evidence of the benefits associated with breastfeeding, from nutritional value to enhanced immunity to plain old convenience. But, for a variety of reasons, not all moms can or will breastfeed. And even those who do may stop short of the 12 months recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and other health groups. So does that mean their children’s development will be compromised? Does it mean these mothers are not “mom enough”? Journalist and mom Suzanne Barston dared to ask those questions and more in her thoughtful book, Bottled Up: How the Way we Feed Babies Has Come to Define Motherhood and Why It Shouldn’t. Tune into this interesting and thought-provoking discussion!

 

What factors influenced your decision to breastfeed or bottle feed your child? What challenges did you face along the way? Where did you find support, whatever your feeding choice? Share your thoughts in our REPLY space!

 

For the Fearless Formula Feeder blog, click here.

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  1. elizabeth on February 25, 2013

    I appreciated the discussion of the “Only 1-5% physically can’t breastfeed.” That figure doesn’t account for all of the secondary problems with establishing supply. I took a breastfeeding class and read two separate breastfeeding books. NONE of this material explained how very fragile supply is in the first few days. Something as innocent as a brief illness or early latch issues can ruin it. Then you don’t find out until the baby’s 2-week appointment that the baby isn’t gaining weight. By then it’s WAY WAY WAY more difficult to establish supply.

    But the breastfeeding activists don’t accept this. They go on and on about how breastmilk is produced according to demand, and if you work hard to stimulate production, it will happen. And there’s always one more round of torture you need to put yourself through to prove you love your child. “Oh, you’re pumping every three hours? Try every two.” “Oh, you’ve done this for a week? Well, keep going another week.” “Here, try this prescription drug that may cause depression and permanent facial ticks.”

    Once you say, “Enough is enough” and move on to formula, THAT’S when they pounce on you with the ridiculous, out-of-context “1 to 5%” statistic and accuse you of lying about how hard you tried. It never comes up in an encouraging context, to get women through the early days of pain and constant nursing, when most moms feel like something isn’t right. It only comes up as a reason to bash formula feeders.

  2. Marti Erickson on February 26, 2013

    Thank you so much, Elizabeth, for sharing your perspective with us. If you haven’t read Suzanne Barston’s book, I think you would find it very affirming. Erin and I were very glad to have Suzanne join us for this candid discussion, and we appreciate that you listened and took time to comment.
    Marti

  3. Erin Rowe on February 28, 2013

    I fought very hard to exclusively breastfeed my son. It took us 5 weeks to establish a supply that would support his needs, so within that time I needed to supplement with formula. I think formula has a place and am grateful that it was available in order to help my son stay strong while we were working to increase my supply and his latch. With that said, I don’t think it needs any more advocates. It has the bottom line as an advocate, so to villify breastfeeding advocates who are not corporate or trying to make profit is misguided.