Formula Anyone? From Bellies and Babies
I'm so glad that Nicole Deelah's blog reminded me of this incredible illustration.
This is such a dramatic photo and story of a woman who was told that she would not be able to breastfeed both her twins, so she formula fed one and breastfed the other. Of course in many parts of the world, the water used to mix formula powder is unsafe; and the expense of formula leads mothers to water down the formula in order to stretch their supplies. This leads to the state of the child on the right. Absolutely tragic.
Do some babies need formula in order to thrive? Yes, and thank goodness that it's available for those babies. I'm thinking of one friend in particular who had a post-cesarean infection that resulted in her milk supply never being fully established (even so, she breastfed and supplemented with formula for four months, before switching to formula exclusively). But I'll be darned if I don't see the majority of babies on formula who don't need to be and it makes me upset, in part because it funnels money to these companies who continue to market their product to women who live in parts of the world that just don't support the proper use of formula.
It's unfortunate that women are given terrible breastfeeding advice; that we live in a country where the chips are stacked against women breastfeeding for longer than 6 weeks; that our maternity care system includes standard interventions that interrupt the natural cycle of hormones and bonding that can be vital in establishing breastfeeding.