9 months into Daddyhood

Perhaps “Militant” is not an entirely appropriate term. However… the more I discover (which interprets as, “the more info Jo puts my way…”), the more strongly I feel about this issue. But let me firstly get one thing clear…

My issue is not with parents who choose to bottle-feed their babies!

Well, not entirely. Or not centrally. Applying a benefit of the doubt approach, I will start from the premise that no one makes such a decision lightly, and that the issue is with The System – primarily the ABM (Artificial Baby Milk) manufacturers and the sections of the medical profession who promote the use of formula, or at least who don’t promote the health benefits of breastfeeding enough. Now this blog entry is not going to be full of references and links and what-have-you, so don’t expect a highly literate, academic-type piece… see this as pretty much a splurge of my feelings on the matter, based on bits and pieces I have read, mine/Jo’s personal experience and so on. So…

Splurging away…!

POINT#1: human breast milk gives a baby, at least up until the age of 6 months, all the nutrients they need. All the nutrients. So why do some medical professionals and other self-proclaimed “experts” persist in “suggesting” that if a baby is not sleeping as much as he might be, he might be hungry (needing formula, baby rice, etc, “top-ups”), or he may be thirsty, requiring extra drinks of water? A breastfed baby needs nothing but breast milk!

POINT#2: also in relation to the above, why is it “suggested” that all babies, including breastfed ones, might need vitamin supplements? Human breast milk has all the vitamins a baby needs!

POINT#3: regardless of whether or not a mother chooses, for practical reasons, to feed her baby formula (from birth or later, partially or 100%, or whatever), why is society and the medical profession so afraid to tell the truth that breast milk is substantially healthier than formula – and that, in fact, feeding your baby formula can actually be potentially dangerous, leading to a higher likelihood of various illnesses and ailments…? Breastfeeding is not a “lifestyle choice”! It is giving your baby the best possible start in life!

POINT#4: the general conception is (it certainly was for me, pre-baby) that society (at least Modern Western Society) is far more liberal and accepting of breastfeeding than in previous generations. My present conception is… that this is not the case! It has only just been made illegal in the UK for cafés, restaurants, etc, to ask that a woman does not breastfeed on the premises. It is still seen as “a bit weird” and “hippy-ish.” My baby’s mother is a confident, outgoing person, but she still often has to make a conscious effort to not “feel funny” or “watched” when breastfeeding in public. Breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world, and it is one of the most loving and caring thing you can do for your baby!

POINT#5: why are ABM manufacturers not forced to put highly visible and honest health warnings on their products? In a democratic society, it is our right to make choices, but it is our right to make informed choices!

I could go on… but I’m still not sure how appropriate it is for a man to be “militant” about breastfeeding… 😐