(Closed) Slate article: Breastfeeding benefits vastly overstated

posted 8 years ago in Babies
Post # 77
1082 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

@quierajen:  Keep in mind that in the U.S. most mothers have to return to work within 12 weeks of giving birth, and many need to return even soon given that these are unpaid weeks off.  We are the only industrialized country in the world without a mandatory paid maternity leave policy.  It can be hard (if not impossible) to breastfeed and work no matter how much one wants to or thinks breastfeeding worth doing.  Instead of shaming each other we should be working to change our crappy policies — which, incidentally, would benefit us all. 

Post # 78
985 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

@bluegreenjean:  this again! Even if I’m not breastfeeding, a year of maternity leave paid (even though not full pay) like Canada Bees… UHM yes please!! But it certainly would make things way easier for breastfeeding mamas. Pumping is HARD work. You feel like a milk cow. And even though work has to allow you to pump and stuff that definitely doesn’t make it easier for women to do so, they still feel stressed out about it and feel worried they aren’t getting their work done and that co workers are resenting them of it. It’s just a big stress cycle really.

I’m so all for a year of paid maternity leave like CA lol.

Post # 79
774 posts
Busy bee

@bluegreenjean:  that would be ideal. like I said earlier my job isn’t even required to hold my job for me, or give me any time off at all, much less pay me for it! I’m lucky that they will give me my job back, and that I can take as much time off as I want within reason. I read a really interesting article that said with a proper support network something like 90% of women should be able to sucessfully breastfeed.

I’m lucky that I have a job to go back to that is very pro breastfeeding and that in the area I live in I got eactly one nasty look in the 18 months i breastfed my daughter. pumping sucks and I’m not looking forward to it. breastfeeding can be incredibly hard work ( my daughter was 6 weeks ealy with the weakest latch ever!) but  I still think it is really important to at least give breastfeeding a try, especially for the first 6 weeks. that said, I don’t think me breast feeding my daughter makes me “better” than anyone else, or means she is going to turn out to be a genius or something. 

Post # 80
819 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

@bluegreenjean:  That is one of the many things I advocate for, better maternity leave policies. It’s absolutely one of the biggest reasons our country gives up on breastfeeding so early on. It would be difficult if not impossible to work and breastfeed, something I might have to struggle with before I would really like to, but real life happens. It would be amazing to see a better policy to help moms achieve the breastfeeding goals they set out for.

Post # 81
957 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I completely understand “breast is best,” and I know there are undebatable benefits to the infants and mom (helping mom recover, the immunities passed onto baby), but I’ve always thought the long-term benefits to the child were exaggerated. I really feel like it’s more of genetics/upbringing that play into risk of obesity, sickness, IQ, etc. Myself, my husband, and many of my friends were only breastfed for a short time, if at all. Most of us certainly aren’t obese and we all have college degrees and well-paying jobs. I attribute that more to being raised with a healthy lifestyle and our parents putting us in good schools than anything we were fed as babies.

That being said, this is just one study, and many of the pro-long term benefit breastfeeding studies are not controlled well, so I don’t fully trust any study no matter the outcome. Honestly, I don’t care too much, either. Formula feeding is what works for my child, and she’s one healthy and strong little girl. And I’m a happy momma. That’s all that matters!

ETA: I just wanted to add a general YAY FOR HEALTHY BABIES WITH FULL TUMMIES!


Post # 82
8066 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

Overall, I personally think breastfeeding is best because it’s….FREE!  That’s my favorite part, at least.  Given the choice, I think something made by your own body that has evolved to do this job is certainly preferable over man-made formula.  But I wouldn’t judge anyone for using formula.  The only time I might (silently) judge someone is if they even refuse to try breastfeeding for reasons like “it’s gross.”  But I also silently judge someone who thinks periods or other natural bodily functions are “gross.”  I just think it’s silly to think these things about our bodies.

But I don’t think breast milk is going to make your kid incredibly smarter or healthier, I think genetics and nuture/upbringing have a lot more to do with IQ and behavior than breastmilk.  If you need to use formula because breastfeeding doesn’t work out (for whatever reason), or it doesn’t work with your job to pump I don’t see why anyone should judge that.  For the most part, I do think women should at least give it a try.

I was entirely breastfed while my twin brothers had some breastmilk but also supplemented with formula.  Now I actually consider myself the smarter, more successful sibling (lol) but I feel that has to do more with how we were raised a bit differently.  My mom took over a lot for me but she let me dad have a lot more control with my brothers, I think my mother did a better job…  I don’t really get sick ever and I don’t think my brothers do very often, so that is probably genetics more than anything.

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