Parenting,  Uncategorized

Fed is Best vs. Breast is Best

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?

Wrong. 

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.

BUT.

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.

NOW…

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

 

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Gabby
Semi-sane, semi-crunchy, & overly-caffeinated first time mama trying to keep it real in all aspects of life. I survive on coffee, leggings, dry shampoo, and a few curse words. Life's a ride & I hope you'll tag along with me!

Semi-sane, semi-crunchy, & overly-caffeinated first time mama trying to keep it real in all aspects of life. I survive on coffee, leggings, dry shampoo, and a few curse words. Life's a ride & I hope you'll tag along with me!

9 Comments

  • Brittany Bright

    I absolutely agree with this post! I am 24, and I am currently weaning my one-year-old off of breastmilk. I consider myself a pretty young mom, and I get a TON of questions from other moms my age about breastfeeding. Some are able to stick with it, others are not. I stuck with it because it was not only healthier for my baby, but it was our special way of bonding.

  • Times with Kai

    I loved reading this! I am pro-breastfeeding; I’ve breastfed my son until he was almost three years old. I do agree that new moms don’t know what to expect when breastfeeding, which would cause them to give up. I for one, a new mom, prepared myself by reading a lot about breastfeeding. I love the takeaway from your message; you being an advocate for BF yet you don’t need to shove your ideals down someone’s throat – only to inform. 🙂

    • gabhatten

      Thank you! As a new Mom I feel like if it weren’t for my mom I wouldn’t have known what to expect at all. Thanks to her she helped push me along and pointed me in the right direction research wise! I think it’s so important for mammas to be informed before making decisions. Breastfeeding really is the most amazing thing! ❤️

  • The Frugal Family (@thefrugalfamily)

    I’m a big fan of knowledge is best. I feel lucky to have breastfed my kids, but I think there are many reasons that women don’t/can’t/won’t and I leave off judging them. I would like to see more real support of women starting to breastfeed, as so many give up in the early days as they just don’t have a kind person to support them.

  • Diana

    My main issue is how pushy breastfeeding advocates can be. I’m not against breastfeeding. I wanted to breastfeed, but I had a bad latch at the beginning due to lack of help, because lactation consultants don’t work on holidays. Maybe if they want more women to breastfeed they should work during Christmas because I wonder to this day if I had a better start if I would have been able to breastfeed. Instead, I ended up with low supply, couldn’t get it up. We had to supplement after 1 week as baby girl lost almost a pound! Once back at birth weight, I did go back to breastfeeding and only supplementing 1 bottle a day, but at her 1 month, she didn’t lose weight, but didn’t gain either, so it was back to supplementing after each feed till 3 months when she flat out refused the breast. We called it quits there and switched to formula. In my opinion, breastfeeding is great if you can, if you can’t, it’s stressful and the worst feeling ever. I wish I had quit sooner as I feel I lost those early months to anxiety.

    • gabhatten

      Diana, I absolutely agree with you! I am so sorry you had to go through that, but that is a perfect example of what’s wrong when it comes to breastfeeding. I absolutely agree with you that there are many breastfeeding advocates that give us all a bad name. Instead of actively trying to change the breastfeeding culture so to speak, they just talk down to those who’s opinions differ and it’s so very wrong! I really hope to change the atmosphere around breastfeeding. It’s important and it needs to change for the better 💜

  • Elle (CleverlyChanging)

    I struggled with breastfeeding my twins. The were preemies and it was hard getting them to latch and making enough milk. I felt so pressured. The pressure hindered me. I needed to relax and once I told my bff she helped me and I was able to breastfeed them until they were 2 years old. It was a special bonding time for us and I am glad that I didn’t give up.

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