Breast Is Not Always Best, And We Need To Stop Telling Women That It Is!

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Breast is best. Almost from the moment you see those beautiful double lines, you start hearing that mantra. And you’ve seen research. Listened to friends. Had plenty of doctors tell you the same. Offices have lactation rooms.

Breastfeeding is legal in literally every single public space in America.

So why would so many people go through so much effort to educate you on the benefits of breastfeeding if it truly wasn’t the best option? And what about formula? Is it even safe to give babies formula? Why would any good mom give her child chemicals when breast is best?

Think baby formula is poison? Think again! The truth is chemically it isn’t much different than breastmilk, and when it comes to feeding babies, fed is truly what’s best.

Breast Is Not Always Best, And We Need To Stop Telling Women That It Is!

For most of mankind breastfeeding was the only option available for newborns. There was no debate on whether it was best, because it was all that was available. And while some advocates will tell you that what’s worked for thousands of years is still the best option today, that’s not actually the case.

For those thousands of years, there were still babies who couldn’t breastfeed. Those who didn’t die from starvation usually grew up malnourished or sickly. Their lives sucked because they couldn’t eat.

And I’m not saying breastfeeding is bad. Not at all. What I’m saying is that fed is best. 

Sometimes women don’t produce enough milk, or the act of breastfeeding is so excruciating that it raises stress hormones in mom (which are also bad for the baby). Or in cases of foster children or adoption, breastfeeding isn’t an option. There are some babies who can’t tolerate breastmilk (I was one of them) and alternatives have to be found.

Because when we don’t look at alternatives, the unfathomable will happen.

We’ve indoctrinated our society into believing breast is the only option to the point that sometimes new mothers can’t even tell when their own baby is suffering.

Jillian Johnson is a mom who experienced that first hand. When her new baby Landon was born, she wanted to do everything right for him. And that meant breastfeeding. At the hospital the lactation consultant assured her his latch was great. She fed constantly, did everything she was told to do. But Landon cried. All the time.

Within 24 hours of being discharged from the hospital, Landon went into cardiac arrest. He was severely dehydrated and as a new mom, Jillian had no way of knowing that her son truly was not receiving Any milk during all the times he fed. Landon died at 19 days old from starvation…one bottle…one single formula-filled bottle would have meant the difference between life and death for a little boy who would be five years old today.

But formula is poison, right? Truly, it is not.

The chemicals that make up baby formula are as closely paired to the chemicals found in breastmilk as possible. And while there are some benefits to breastfeeding, those benefits do not outweigh the need to make sure a child is fed and growing. Ultimately shouldn’t that be the big goal?

Over the past couple of decades breastfeeding has become big business, and corporations have cashed in by not only promoting products and supplements to make breastfeeding easier, but also by regurgitating hand-picked pieces of data to support their stance, rather than educating women on the full picture.

So women have done everything they could to fall into rank. There have been women who fed around the clock, women whose exhaustion caused them to fall asleep on top of their babies.

There have been women who spiraled into post-partum depression due to not being able to give their children their basic birthright.

And women like Jillian whose children suffered unnecessarily because they believed breastfeeding was the only option.

Breastfeeding isn't always the best way to feed your baby, and it isn't fair that we make women feel like it's the only way! #babies #parenting #advice #breastfeeding

Again, I’m not saying not to breastfeed. I’m not in anyway advocating for formula-only feeding. What I’m saying is that fed is best. Babies need to grow. For some women breast is best. For some formula is best. We need to take a step back and remind women that we will support them no matter which road they take. Their babies lives depend on it.

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  1. This article should have been a no comment article. Every mom is TO EACH THEIR OWN!! We’ve all had different experiences and as long as your child is fed and being taken care of, That’s what matters.

  2. Ma’am you are way to aggressive with your opinion. There is not a soul on the planet that would listen to you with the way you come across.

  3. This is ignorance and stupidity…breast is best, fed is required…only 1% of women cannot breastfeed..Rest of it is due to lack of education, support, help, and some women being selfish and lazy about it..and no a baby cannot be allergic or intolerant or breastmilk but they can be to what the mother eats, etc dairy, eggs, peanuts..There are also tongue and lip ties that can be revised that do contribute to a mother having issues with breastfeeding as well that most people are not getting educated about either..And you are always told to look for diaper output to make sure baby is eating so im sure there is more to that story of that baby..

    So thanks for spreading more bullshit and making people who already lack knowledge about shit they should be educated on know even less…Great job..

    1. Coming from someone who delivered 1 month early via c-section and my milk never came in..,I have to say this should be talked about more not less. Just because it hasn’t happened to you doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. It’s horrible to feel like you want to feed your baby naturally and literally can’t do it. It’s depressing and you feel so defeated. There is no reason for women to feel this way when there are other options. We should support each other no matter what choice or hurtle we face with our children.

      1. Anne Marie, I agree with YOU, not the author

    2. Mariola, I totally agree with you! I said Ann Marie, but I DO NOT agree with her comments but now I cannot delete it. Just wanted to let you know

    3. Thank you for this bc I had no support of any kind with my oldest 4 kids I did not breastfeed at all bc my family had me scared to death about it my youngest son I pumped for 3wks of his life and the last WK of his life the doctors placed him on formula bc he was born with a heart defect my youngest I breastfed the whole first month n a half up intell I had to have 6 teeth removed and most of the meds I was on were not breastfeeding friendly so me n her pediatrician decided to move her to formula and she has only been sick once since I had her it’s bc she got the liquid gold and she is very healthy my oldest four were sick all the time and my now angel son he was moved bc he wasn’t gaining weight and he needed to gain for his next heart surgery but he didn’t make it tho and he had a gtube bc he couldn’t get his sucking down but I’m so happy I got to be able to breastfeed my youngest baby even if it wasn’t very long my next baby I’m breastfeeding intell a yr old and I’m going on 7wks with my next baby and it will be my 7 baby

    4. I had my baby prematurely and my milk production didn’t come in for 10 days and at that point only on one side and still didn’t produce enough to maintain my baby’s weight. I whole heartedly agree that “FED” is best. I now have 3 beautiful bright kiddos and all had to be exclusively formula fed by 2 weeks of age because even after trying with each one I never produced more than 27ml out of one side. My youngest spent over a month in the NICU and I cried when they told me that we had to do formula and that she didn’t qualify for donor milk anymore to supplement. I still pumped and tried to latch and feed her for weeks after with no change.

    5. honestly this article is spot on , and apparently you are the one that is uneducated

      1. If you think this article is spot on then YOU ate the uneducated one.

    6. @Mariola, so it worked for you. Congratulations ? and hope all your problems are little ones ☘️?

  4. Breast is best! Fed is a necessity! There are multiple options if you can’t breast feed like donor milk. Not to mention. You think corporations have taken over promoting breastfeeding? What in the actual fuck do you think corporations do with formula? Just ignore it? This article is hilarious

  5. Thank you for this. I came across your post right after I published why I chose not to breastfeed on my own blog. I hope you’ll read my post! My site is linked below. Thanks! ‘Cause I agree.

  6. Ignorance. Yes, fed is best, but all of the things you’ve mentioned are simply normal challenges that, with proper support and education, can be overcome. you were not intolerant to breast milk. You were probably intolerant to something mom was eating.

    Some wacko doctor told me that my first child was hungry because I wasn’t able to produce enough milk. It is a supply-and-demand thing. With my third child, having not even tried with the second one because I believed the doctors, I actually was educated. And I learned to nurse her correctly. And then my fourth child came, and there were all sorts of problems there, too. and with the proper help, I overcame them. And with the fifth child, even more problems. Overcame them all.

    This mom who couldn’t nurse, Chad each child until they wean themselves. That’s right, folks, full term breastfeeding.

  7. Yes breast is best. Not everyone can nurse (I never could solely nurse and had to supplement) but that does not change the truth that breast is best. We have evolved to produce the perfect food. Formula is a mere and lesser substitution.

  8. I love this article. My mother wasn’t able to produce breast milk. It was caught early enough that I could have die from starvation and I’m 55 with 3 younger siblings.

  9. I delayed surgery for 6 months so I could continue to breastfeed. I feel like it was the right choice to make because it was what was best for my baby. It was a few months of pain for me, with a lifetime of benefits for him. It was worth it and I would do it again.

    1. Good for you but again not every mom can breastfeed…I tried in the beginning and was unable to because of an array of allergies my son has.

  10. Breast really is best, but it isn’t the only option. Poor research, poorly written article. A child will not starve to death, you have to keep returning to the hospital until the baby is back up to their birth weight. So maybe that mother had poor physicians or didn’t do her due diligence. Either way, you have no actual medical experience and you’re not a chemist or a nutritionist. Leave this type of writing to professionals who actually know what they are talking about.

    1. Fed is best. As long as the child is fed and happy, that’s all that matters. This article is right on. You never no someone’s circumstances. Icould breast either one of mine. Yes I tried. O even pumped every 2 hrs for a month with my second. While we dealt with lip and tongue tie. Even was on meds to help my supply. So I had to formula feed. Yes I was upset but I understood my child needed to eat. Fed is best!

    2. Your claims of a baby cannot starve to death are not correct. It happened in my own family. My sister in law wasnt producing enough milk and didn’t realize she was starving her baby. Baby was in intensive care for 5 days she almost died. So ABSOLUTELY you can starve your baby if you don’t produce enough milk and don’t pay attention. It happens way more than you know or mothers speak about.

    3. @Anonymous, facts. My son was losing weight and wasn’t getting enough nutrition because I couldn’t produce enough milk. I started giving my son what I was able to pump and throwing it in with a bottle of formula. I eventually gave up pumping because I was getting an ounce if I was lucky. He wasn’t latching onto me correctly either. So formula it was. Now I have a very happy, very healthy 2 y.o boy. Fed is best.

  11. I feel for the mother that lost her child; however, the author states that there was no way for this new mom to know whether her baby was receiving milk. As a mother of three and currently being 7wpp I can say that there are many signs that a baby is receiving milk – drinking sounds, throat swallowing, weight gain, 6-7 wet diapers a day, soft spot isn’t sunk in, etc. Please do not use one woman’s loss (that could’ve easily been prevented) as a way to push others towards using formula.
    Breastfeeding is a wonderful thing. I personally do it, but I also understand that its not for everyone. Just like formula isn’t for everyone. As long as the baby is well taken care of and receiving the proper nutrients that is all that matters.

  12. Is is amazing how God created a woman’s body to be able to produce milk, but I am so thankful that there are other options! I had trouble producing for all three of my boys, and there is a lot of pressure that comes with supplementing. When my second child was born, I was trying to nurse but he never seemed satisfied; so irritable and crying after nursing for a long time. The day we were supposed to be discharged from the hospital, he started running a fever. They started doing all kinds of tests and couldn’t find anything wrong. Then they asked if they could give him formula while they ran more tests. Rights after that, he fell asleep and his fever was gone. The poor boy was starving! With my third I took some formula with me to the hospital; the nurses got upset, but I knew what had happened with my other two. I know not all nurses and lactation consultants are like this, but I had ones that were very unrealistic or even outright lied. Moms definitely need support, not more pressure! We have enough mom guilt already! ?

  13. I’m interested in seeing IQ test results of the children whose mothers lashed-out at this author, as a higher IQ is one of breastmilk’s praises, and sadly, those women who repeatedly used the very impressive word “stupid” in their comments seemingly need to offer their children an IQ-boosting alternative!
    The author does NOT say that breastfeeding isn’t good, and she does NOT imply that breastfeeding your baby will KILL your baby, so please, ladies, stop. You seem angry; is it the tattered teat that’s got your panties in a bunch, or the lack of freedom you had/have during breastfeeding?
    The poor girl is simply trying to make moms who formula feed feel like they aren’t losers because women like majority of the commentators here do make formula-feeding moms feel inferior. They shouldn’t.
    Formula is a synthetically-designed alternative to breastfeeding.
    Antibiotics are synthetically-designed alternatives to dying of tuberculosis, for example.
    Hell, my mechanic says my car’s engine prefers synthetically-designed oil!
    It’s all good, people. Do what you need to do – make your babies, live your lives responsibly, and don’t make more babies than you can afford to feed, be it breast or bought!!

  14. This article is REALLY ill written.

    Fed is best, sure! Lactation consultants will never push you into breastfeeding if you can’t produce, just don’t want to, or baby isn’t thriving. Hell, you can get free samples of formula in pretty much every centre that caters to babies or expectant mothers! Buy a baby product? You get formula coupons in the mail!

    I’m sorry for the mother in the article, but please, do not fear monger. Breastfeeding did not kill her baby. A poor support system and lack of educational resources did.

    And the idea that breast was always encouraged is straight up ignorant. There were generations and decades of people that were convinced by social standards/expectations that breastfeeding was for the poor and low class, and that formula (which was not as good as today’s formula) was to be preferred! There are still huge social stigmas to nursing in public.

    Here’s the deal: breast IS best product-wise, andis recommended… if you can breast feed. Formula cannot micmic the natural antibodies and fats of real breastmilk. And breastfeeding on its own has a lot of benefits for mom!

    But, breastfeeding can be hard. And if it’s not working out for you, that’s okay!! You did great mama!! A fed baby is a happy baby, and that’s all that anyone really wants.

    My advice for this whole debate is always: give breastfeeding a good try. Even if you have the eebie geebies, you never know until you do it! If you decide it’s not for you, or your baby isn’t thriving, by all means, pick up a bottle of formula! There are lots of great brands to choose from! Do what’s best for you and your babe.

    Sincerly, mom of a breastfed baby and a formula fed baby.

    1. Oh boy is this wrong. when I struggled with supply it was the lactation consultants who talked me OUT of giving formula. Fortunately I had a pediatrician appt the very next day after discharge and she told me to supplement IMMEDIATELY because my son was dehydrated.

  15. Something doesn’t add up with this…
    My daughter had her first good feed moments after her birth, and then showed little interest for hours. It wasn’t until the early hours she fed again and then went to town.. yet here she is 2 years later.
    They don’t get mature milk in the first 3-7 days (time frame mature milk can come in) It’s colostrum. They get it in drops compared to when mature milk is in. Feeding is relentless in the early days/weeks. Especially days, they are never off the breast.
    If there was a problem then the lactation consultant would have picked it up (unless said person wasn’t what is claimed in the article) I can’t help but think the mother wasn’t fully responding to baby or baby had another problem that hadn’t been picked up. It just seems far too drastic for a ‘within 24 hours’ period that a baby would be so severely dehydrated.

  16. What a bunch of uneducated crap. Any lactation consultant in a follow up visit would of seen baby wasn’t transferring milk and recommended formula Of course there had been issues for centuries thus wet nurses for infants
    This is the stupidest article I’ve ever read. Of course you feed your baby and if there are issues you supplement
    From and IBCLC

  17. Breastfeeding is a choice. The article is hypocritical… the babe that died because she chose to breastfeed is absurd….there is more story than that. Milk formula is a “poison”?! Who would say that… only the author of this article. Breastfeeding is best and it is the right of everyone to know the benefits of it. Milk formula is an option if breastfeeding is not working for you or if you don’t want to breastfeed. I did not breastfeed any of my kids because it is my choice and expect people to respect my choice. So when people choose to breastfeed then we should respect that too.

  18. My Sincerest Gratitude for sharing this article.I’m one of those women who shuttered into PND because of not producing enough breast milk and being forced by a number of circumstances to formula feed.By day 3 my baby was crying propulsively and had fits, I knew I wasn’t producing enough and immediately gave him formula. I tried everything From Domperidone from the Doctors, expressing and supplements, spent hundreds of hard earned pounds (mat pay isn’t much) in something that didn’t work because that is all that is preached in pre-natal classes, formula feeding information only takes a small section of feeding classes like 10% if not less.You would be surprised how many formula feeding women don’t know after how many hours to discard milk or how long it should stay after being prepared when untouched and touched.Most women expect to Breast feed, hence are unprepared for formula feeding and let’s be honest here..apart from WHO guidelines, Formula tins instructions, and the leaflet provided by Health Visitors..There are NO formula feeding support groups hence issues like formula poverty tend to rise and other practices less spoken about.After all formula feeding isn’t encouraged hence poor practices exist, unfortunately. I am pro-education, the only thing that’s best is seeing your child feed & grow. FEDisBEST

  19. And you’re making everyone look stupid? Obviously, if those are the cases, you should feed your baby with milk formula or else they will die. There is no question the the breastmilk is the best for babies because they are yours, not ? ?!
    This is really stupid. You’re misleading. You make it seem that breastmilk is not healthy or best at all. You’re not even capable of showing why it’s not best other than those obvious cases.
    Shame on you spreading this stupidity!???

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