Wednesday, October 19, 2011


1. People throw around the term "Breastfeeding Nazi" all the time because women support breastfeeding or choose to breastfeed in public. Why on earth does nursing in public suddenly make us "Breastfeeding Nazis" when people run around formula feeding in public and don't get called "Formula Nazis?" Also, what is a Nazi? I'm fairly positive that the actual meaning of Nazi is so far removed from breastfeeding that they can't even begin to be placed in the same category.
2. Before you try to say that breastfeeding and bottle-feeding are the same, do your research. The FDA has NOTHING to do with formula. They can (and HAVE) put, let me capitalize that: baby formula. Formula companies try desperately to sell you on the idea that their product is the same, but no one knows all the ingredients of breastmilk because your breastmilk is made specially for your baby. Each child gets his/her own specially formulated meal every single time they eat! When you and your child are around certain germs, your body immediately begins formulating the antibodies to protect your child from whatever illness they have been exposed to. Even cooler? If your baby is, for some reason, apart from you and exposed to a germ, when they latch on to begin feeding, your breasts read that and are able to make the antibodies at that very moment!
3. Breastfeeding is the natural imperative. When a baby is hungry, they display the rooting reflex. That rooting reflex is not to find a bottle. It is to find a breast. Lean back with a newborn sometime and watch how the baby moves itself from Point A on your chest to Point B looking for his/her natural food source.
4. Breastfeeding is not just food. It is also a parenting tool. When your baby gets hurt, you can soothe him/her much quicker. Sometimes a baby just wants to make sure you're there, that you still love them.
5. Breastfed babies are healthier. This is not an opinion. It is a proven (and well-documented) fact that formula-fed babies get sick at a much higher rate than breastfed babies. Again, breastfeeding is the natural order of things; therefore, breastfed babies aren't "healthier." Formula-fed babies are sicker. This goes hand in hand with IQ. Formula actually makes children dumber. Breastfeeding allows your child to reach his/her IQ potential. Formula also enhances the likelihood of allergies. Breastfeeding helps prevent them.
6. Breastfeeding promotes a very distinct kind of bond with your child. While a bottle-fed baby may bond with his/her mother, there is a difference. Anyone who has ever breastfed a baby knows what I'm referencing, and anyone who hasn't just has to ask a breastfeeding mother. Along this topic, I have a short story to tell. When I first started breastfeeding, I had some positioning and latch issues. It was never enough to actually make me quit breastfeeding, but, then again, I had support. I still felt pretty lackadaisical about the whole thing, though. Then, one day, I started to go to the gym to try to get my booty back in shape. I pumped for my baby, which was fine. An hour later, I got home to find him sitting with his daddy getting fed. The jealousy that popped up at that moment was totally unexpected! I figured I'd feel relieved, that I would feel a little bit freer. The fact of the matter, though, was that I wanted to rip the bottle away from him! Granted, I was still a little hormonal, but, really, aren't we all? :-P

It is very important to note: There are some times when formula is necessary, and I do not condemn those who MUST formula feed. I simply want the knowledge out there so that everyone can make a genuinely well-informed decision. I also want to make sure that it is understood that it is a pretty rare occurrence for there to be no way for a mother to breastfeed. There are very few women who honestly cannot make enough milk or whose babies "just don't like to nurse." I'm not saying it doesn't happen--it's just far less common than people claim. Typically, the mothers who offer these excuses have not been supported in their decisions or are too self-conscious to ask for the help that they need. Once again, babies are MADE to nurse. A baby who can't lift its head or crawl can somehow manage to scoot to the breast mere minutes after it is born.

My final note for the evening is this: We are mammals. If you observe every other mammal on the planet, they ALL nurse their young, and they don't have the health issues that we have. The word mammal comes from the same base stem as "mammary." The mammary glands are what produce milk. We are mammals because we produce milk and feed our young. Want to read some about how other mammals nurse? I thought it was very interesting!

Let me know if there's a topic you want covered more in depth! Have a fabulous week!


  1. I agree with you whole-heartedly! I'm glad you had the awareness to put in that second-to-last paragraph. I think the reason the "breast-feeding Nazi" accusations has sometimes been hurled at people is because they don't seem to realize the need for exceptions to the rule.

    One clarification I would make, to #5: It's not that a breast-fed kid *will* be healthier than a bottle-fed one, it's that his/her *odds* of being healthy are much higher. Despite our best efforts, Toby ended up being 99% bottle-fed, and he's healthy as a horse. Again, that's the exception, not the rule, but if you're one of those few who have to bottle-feed you're not condemning your kid to a life of unhealthiness.

  2. That is true. Breastfeeding makes no guarantees. It's a lot like this: Smokers have a hugely increased chance of getting lung cancer over non-smokers; while you do have some smokers who get lucky and don't end up with negative effects, the vast majority do. The only reason I say that is that too many people EXPECT to be the exception and not the rule. Unfortunately, the rule is the rule because most people get stuck following it.