Ah, the great debate.
Something people never told you about joining the ranks of parenthood is that everything is a competition. It’s not simply do as you see fit but instead it’s a constant competition and bantering over what’s best and what’s not.
I’m sure once having a child you’ve come to realize that everybody except you knows what’s best for them. Funny how that works right?
The thing is, parenting is not simply black and white. Yes, there absolutely are things that have simple, black and white answers. But the majority of parenting is messy, muddy, and full of gray answers.
One of the biggest debates amongst the parenting community as of late is which is more appropriate: fed is best or breast is best.
Obviously, a fed baby is better than a starving baby.
Before I truly dive in I want to start by acknowledging that there are many many reasons mothers choose to formula feed. Also, it is common knowledge that there are medical reasons and personal circumstances that prohibit a mother from being able to breastfeed, and thankfully there’s formula for that.
Keeping the above statements in mind, let’s carry on. The statement being pushed around the parenting community is “fed is best” and it is meant to counter the phrase “breast is best” which has been around for a long time.
Please understand that I agree fed is best and as long as you’re doing what is best for your baby that’s what matters.
However, at the same time, I think that rhetoric is taking a toll on younger moms and more specifically their knowledge when it comes to breastfeeding.
The very important facts are that breastmilk is in fact better than formula. There is no denying that whatsoever. When mom is sick, the antibodies baby needs to fight off whatever mom got are produced in the breastmilk. How amazing is that?! You know what formula produces when mom is sick? Nothing. It doesn’t adapt to give your baby what it needs when circumstance and environment changes.
Breastmilk is acknowledged and recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics for being the best nutrition for infants. It is recommended to exclusively breastfeed for the first six months of your babies life. Even after introducing your baby to solid foods, continuing to breastfeed for the first year of life will have your child reaping the benefits much later on in life.
Now onto the real issue…
The contributing factor as to why there is even a debate between formula feeding and breast feeding is a lack of knowledge. I also believe that many moms give up on breastfeeding because they had zero knowledge of what to expect or how to cope with the various inconveniences that can arise.
Knowledge is power and I think it is imperative that we get serious about breastfeeding and spread knowledge and resources instead of bias and focusing on what’s better or not. As of now, the only breastfeeding topic being discussed is whether or not it’s acceptable to breastfeed in public (which still blows my mind that this is even a topic up for debate) but in reality, there’s so much more important things that need to be discussed.
We live in the age of making decisions based on headlines we’ve read and videos we’ve watched on social media rather than taking the time to do our due diligence and research topics for ourselves to make an informed decision.
So instead of being divided, we need to be informed. And we need to inform others instead of pushing our ideals down their throat. Instead of the goal being to sway someone to our side of the debate, let’s make it so that our goal is to simply inform them so they can make their own educated decision.
Yes, I am an advocate for breastfeeding. No, I do not look down on those who choose not to! Motherhood is hard enough, no need to have a civil war. We’re all just mommies doing our best, time to uplift and support each other.
Much love as always,
Your mommy friend xx