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"Breast Is Best": A Mantra to Promote Infant Health? or Stigmatizing Adage to Guilt Moms

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cjcsoon2bnp is a MSN, RN, NP and specializes in Emergency Nursing.

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In my last article “Becoming Dad: A Humbling Birth Experience of a New Father and Nurse,” I discussed my journey to becoming a first-time parent and included some of the challenges that being a nurse and a parent present when it comes to the health of your children. This article continues on my journey with the battle we fought against the “breast is best” movement, which advocates that mothers exclusive breastfeeding babies for the first six months of life. You are reading page 15 of "Breast Is Best": A Mantra to Promote Infant Health? or Stigmatizing Adage to Guilt Moms. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

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I didn't have time to read all the other comments, but I appreciate you posting this. I was "blessed" with large breasts and cursed with flat nipples (sorry if that is TMI). There was NO way any baby would ever latch on! I tried EVERYTHING! I went to the lactation consultant... Those plastic rings only made things worse... but I was determined to breastfeed, even if it was breastmilk via bottle... 3 months later I was exhausted. The time it takes to pump plus feed via bottle left me constantly busy with no time for much else. I lost all the baby weight and then some within the first 2 months, which may sound nice, but was definitely unsafe if I had kept on going the way I was. It was actually my PCP, who was also my OBGYN/the one who delivered my baby, who urged me to consider formula, as she was concerned for my health... Not all women are physically capable of breastfeeding. And they should never be shamed for it! I definitely believe I was a better mother after switching to formula, as I had more time for both the baby and myself. And even though breastmilk is the "holy grail" of healthy nutrition and wellness, oddly enough, my daughter who received breastmilk for the first 3 months of her life was sick much more often than my son who was formula-fed from the start...

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76 Posts; 1,105 Profile Views

I didn't have time to read all the other comments, but I appreciate you posting this. I was "blessed" with large breasts and cursed with flat nipples (sorry if that is TMI). There was NO way any baby would ever latch on! I tried EVERYTHING! I went to the lactation consultant... Those plastic rings only made things worse... but I was determined to breastfeed, even if it was breastmilk via bottle... 3 months later I was exhausted. The time it takes to pump plus feed via bottle left me constantly busy with no time for much else. I lost all the baby weight and then some within the first 2 months, which may sound nice, but was definitely unsafe if I had kept on going the way I was. It was actually my PCP, who was also my OBGYN/the one who delivered my baby, who urged me to consider formula, as she was concerned for my health... Not all women are physically capable of breastfeeding. And they should never be shamed for it! I definitely believe I was a better mother after switching to formula, as I had more time for both the baby and myself. And even though breastmilk is the "holy grail" of healthy nutrition and wellness, oddly enough, my daughter who received breastmilk for the first 3 months of her life was sick much more often than my son who was formula-fed from the start...

Love! Preach it sister! Formula feeding made you a better mom. Plain and simple, that is the experience for a lot of moms.

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klone is a MSN, RN and specializes in Women's Health/OB Leadership.

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If you could point me to that study it would be greatly appreciated.

Hamdan, A., & Tamim, H. (2012). The Relationship between Postpartum Depression and Breastfeeding. The International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, 43(3), 243-259. doi:10.2190/pm.43.3.d

Nishioka E., Haruna M., Ota E., et al. A prospective study of the relationship between breastfeeding and postpartum depressive symptoms appearing at 1-5 months after delivery. Journal of Affective Disorders. 2011;133(3):553–559. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2011.04.027

Groër M. W. Differences between exclusive breastfeeders, formula-feeders, and controls: a study of stress, mood, and endocrine variables. Biological Research for Nursing. 2005;7(2):106–117. doi: 10.1177/1099800405280936.

Figueiredo B., Canário C., Field T. Breastfeeding is negatively affected by prenatal depression and reduces postpartum depression. Psychological Medicine. 2014;44(5):927–936. doi: 10.1017/S0033291713001530.

Mezzacappa E. S., Katkin E. S. Breast-feeding is associated with reduced perceived stress and negative mood in mothers. Health Psychology. 2002;21(2):187–193. doi: 10.1037//0278-6133.21.2.187.

Ystrom E. Breastfeeding cessation and symptoms of anxiety and depression: a longitudinal cohort study. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2012;12, article 36 doi: 10.1186/1471-2393-12-36.

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note to flowerpower, don't EVER ask klone for citations, unless you REALLY want them. lol

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76 Posts; 1,105 Profile Views

Hamdan, A., & Tamim, H. (2012). The Relationship between Postpartum Depression and Breastfeeding. The International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, 43(3), 243-259. doi:10.2190/pm.43.3.d

Nishioka E., Haruna M., Ota E., et al. A prospective study of the relationship between breastfeeding and postpartum depressive symptoms appearing at 1-5 months after delivery. Journal of Affective Disorders. 2011;133(3):553–559. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2011.04.027

Groër M. W. Differences between exclusive breastfeeders, formula-feeders, and controls: a study of stress, mood, and endocrine variables. Biological Research for Nursing. 2005;7(2):106–117. doi: 10.1177/1099800405280936.

Figueiredo B., Canário C., Field T. Breastfeeding is negatively affected by prenatal depression and reduces postpartum depression. Psychological Medicine. 2014;44(5):927–936. doi: 10.1017/S0033291713001530.

Mezzacappa E. S., Katkin E. S. Breast-feeding is associated with reduced perceived stress and negative mood in mothers. Health Psychology. 2002;21(2):187–193. doi: 10.1037//0278-6133.21.2.187.

Ystrom E. Breastfeeding cessation and symptoms of anxiety and depression: a longitudinal cohort study. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2012;12, article 36 doi: 10.1186/1471-2393-12-36.

Thanks!! Believe it or not, I will be reading these.

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LibraSunCNM is a MSN and specializes in OB.

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Awesome, I'm so glad this dead horse got revived so we can all go back to refuting the literature by inserting our own personal anecdotes as evidence :banghead:

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