I know what you are thinking.
A new mom-blogger on the scene has to state her claim on where she sits on this debate.
You have Googled this topic and come across this piece hoping for some insight on the pros and cons of each.
You are wondering how much more can possibly be written on this topic.
Where I sit on this topic is of no bearing on how you choose to feed your child. People much more eloquent and much more educated than I am in this area have written tonnes on either side of this debate. And I can’t think of anything to add to this debate that hasn’t already been covered a hundred times.
I have scoured the internet looking for breast feeding support and accurate formula feeding information and I have spent hours sifting through all of it. While I patiently read each expert, each opinion and each statistic, the reoccurring question I had was never answered. While it was easy to find people who supported one form of feeding over the other, I was unable to identify how the advocates themselves were fed. An article in The Journal of Nutrition indicates that in the US, the 1970s had an all-time low of breast feeding initiation; 22% in 1972. This percentage slowly increased to 54% by 1980. Without doing a formal poll, I think it is fair to assume that a number of the advocates on either side of the debate were born sometime in the 1970’s. Wait a minute…..Does that mean that some pro breast feeders were formula fed? Is it possible that the feeding stance one advocates is not how they themselves were fed? How come no one posts about that!? I can see the headlines now:
I was formula fed but think breast feeding is the only way to go. I wish my mom had breast fed me.
I am a formula advocate who was breast fed until I was 2. I wish I had been formula fed.
I am not sure I would want to be at the next family dinner of the author of those pieces.
This led me to wonder, since this debate continues to fester with little new facts to add to the argument, perhaps we need to start seeing some proof in the (milk/formula) pudding. What about celebrities, Forbes billionaires and cultural icons? Should their nutritional source for the first 6 months to 2 years of their life become a part of public record? Now that would make for some interesting debates.
Could you imagine if between Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, the public knew if one was formula fed and one was breast fed? The analogies that could be drawn between their products and stock options would provide students theses’ for the next decade at least.
Better yet, we could make the debate sexy! People magazine could have two lists: Sexiest Formula Fed Man Alive and Sexiest Breast Fed Man Alive. Can you imagine if Ryan Reynolds was number one on one list and Ian Somerhalder on the other? There is already a pop culture internet debate over who should portray Christian Gray; can you imagine the attention this curve ball would add to the fervor? (I for one would be forced to buy BOTH issues and stare at them for hours to see if I could see a difference dammit).
How about formula fed versus breast fed Olympians? Perhaps Mr. Bolt’s wins could be tied to one camp or the other? What if Olympic gold winners turn out to be predominantly one or the other? Would silver medalists curse their parents for choosing one over the other?
When I looked for information on this topic I found it easy to come by, while the debate to be repetitive. I was frustrated that I wasn’t able to find any concrete ‘proof’ on how it would affect my children in 20 or 30 years. I wanted someone to tell me that of the top ten Forbes billionaires, top ten Mensa members, top ten historical figures who impacted our present day life etc., were they predominately breast fed or formula fed. In the end, I spoke to my pediatrician for information and support and I fed my children.
I am signing off for a coffee break. I plan to flip through a People magazine…while I only have to buy one edition.