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Originally Posted By: lngilbert
Wouldn't it be nice if mothers could make their own decisions without other mothers criticizing them? After all, it's a personal choice, isn't it? And it doesn't affect anyone but her family. So does it really matter what she decides to do and why she decides to do it?

Anyone with half a brain isn't going make parenting decisions based on what the "stars" are doing, so I wouldn't worry about her "role model status" too much.


Actually, I take issue with this. If it didn't affect anyone but her family, I wouldn't have written my article in the first place. Sadly, many people look to celebrities like J.Lo for all kinds of things, and her stating that her "research" indicated that formula as an equally good alternative will stick with some people. When she made this statement in a public forum (and while she was at it, made some pretty good money for doing so as another poster mentioned, SHE made her choice public, and up for debate. If she didn't want others to talk about it, she could have kept it to herself and not included a highly artificial, glamorized photo of her babies being bottlefed in the magazine.


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I'm new here, but I feel really passionately about this topic. My son was a preemie, and spent 9 days in the NICU. I had intended to breastfeed since...forever. But since he was 6 weeks early, he had no idea how to suck, and we didn't get the chance to try, since I had a lot of complications after giving birth and had to have blood transfusions, etc. But I pumped every two hours, until my milk supply came in 6 days later. My son never did learn how to breastfeed, but I pumped every three hours for the next 4 months. I was happy to do it, and we have a HUGE stockpile of breastmilk. He's 9 months old, and is still taking bottles of breastmilk. My point is, yeah, it's a hassle, and it's a pain in the butt, but isn't milk what boobs are for? BTW, I see nothing wrong with formula feeding your kids either, but it just wasn't for me. Plus, all the information out there supports breastfeeding, and it feels so good to be the only person that can provide this certain type of food for your child. It brought my son and I a connection I would have been hard-pressed to have with him had I not been pumping and thinking, "This is for my son, because I want him to have the best."

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Celebrity choices and lifestyle definitely influence and affect a lot of people. Obviously not 'all people' but a healthy number. Why would it not? Anyone who thinks otherwise is sadly mistaken.

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I nursed my first daughter for only 3 months - I was a single mom & had to go back to work. So she was mainly bottle (formula) fed. She was also in daycare and ended up with ear infection after ear infection for her first year. Now she is very healthy and shakes off colds, etc without a problem and doesn't have any allergies.

I nursed my second daughter for 12 months. I was married at the time. This kid catches everything going around, has a hard time shaking off colds, and has all sorts of environmental allergies and a mild milk allergy.

It's odd that this has worked out this way for my girls. Of course, they do have two different bio dads, so I'm sure this is part of the issue. I'm definitely pro-breastfeeding. I like the convenience and I do feel it is best. I liked how I could just go get my child, bring her into bed with me and nurse her.

I'm now engaged and my fiance & I are talking about more children. This time I will probably be using formula since I'm on a cholesterol lowering medication and that cannot be taken while nursing. Since my cholesterol problems are hereditary, I can't stay off that medication very long or the numbers go really crazy. My fiance doesn't have a problem with formula - but I'm still having a bit of an issue with the possibility I may not be able to because of health issues.

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And being a celebrity, she would have been under that much scrutiny and probably felt more comfortable saying "I did the research" instead of saying "This is my choice" and listing to the guff she is still getting anyway. I didn't read that where it said she did "research," she read and decided what was best.

I take issue with anybody that thinks it is their business whether or not a mom breast feeds. My first was a preemie in the hospital for five weeks. The undue stress I had to go through over breastfeeding broke my heart. I had to pick myself up and make a decision. My daughter couldn't keep anything down after coming home and had to switch to a special predigested formula. By the time she would have been finished with that regimen I would have been back to work and she was getting confused.

Crying I had to deny her of the nursing for her survival, after we had just started bonding in that way. She was getting confused as I was trying to do both so I had to stop. It was my first child I couldn't make it work, so what does this make us a failure. My mother couldn't do it, and my sister couldn't do it. We had blood type issues that affect the billiruben, which I learned after research and figured out how to handle the next time around.

I've done it successfully with my last two but not without problems initially. I was very upset when a family member told me another family member made comments about seeing a hospital photo of my second baby with a bottle. My second, who came early as well, but not as early as my first, had billiruben problems and had to sit under the special lamps. The babies require fluid so as not to get dehydrated and they have to give them formula, since the mom's milk isn't always in.

My third had a funny suck and couldn't latch well for almost a week. I'd be the first to say, no, it doesn't work for everybody and it is not worth driving yourself crazy over. Especially while many may be prone to depression after child birth.

SO, frankly, it is a BS issue. The kid is getting food one way or the other. Yes I believe breast feeding is better, but I believe it is a personal choice. I think our time could be better served working out our children's nutritional needs as they get older with all the other [censored] that is out there on the market as they grow.

Just because she is a public figure, does not mean she should choose breast feeding, it is still a CHOICE; and it is not killing babies. Now if she was smoking and drinking during pregnancy, than have at her otherwise leave her alone.

P.S.

I do apologize if that sounded like a rant, I do have strong feelings because I was pressured by many individuals over the simple issue of breastfeeding, and it hurt me greatly, because it was something I was going to do...and I couldn't initially.

I do think we should be more thoughtful to the feelings of those who decide not to do it. Pictures may make her look all happy during this time, but you never know if she is depressed, or taking medicine for something else, and that wouldn't be our business.

We need to get the information out there about the health benefits of breast feeding, but not in a manner that puts people off, and I'm sorry to say, a lot of people, including family members really put me off, during what was supposed to be a really joyful time in my life.

Last edited by Violette - Daughters; 04/16/08 09:12 AM.

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I think it's great that she's able to make that choice and stand by it, and that it's sad that so many people feel the need to judge others based on their most personal of descisions.
Rather than being worried about JLo, how about feeling concern for those who get parenting advice from celebrities? Talk about sad.

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Originally Posted By: Shay_LoveYourTummy
Originally Posted By: anythingforbaby
However, for Jennifer to insinuate that she chose formula because it is "best" for her babies is really an unfortunate choice. She could have elaborated OR said that it is what works best for her family, but she didn't, instead she claims to have done research and have concluded from it that formula is better than breast milk. I like that you include her animal rights issues and comments in your article. Apparently Jennifer does not know how to do research!


I really want to agree with you here! But you can find evidence to support anything you like if you look in the right places. It may be that JL really didn't want to breastfeed and found data to support what she wanted to hear. It probably isn't hard to do!

Shay


But that's the whole point, I'm making. Now SHE'S becoming part of the misinformation for other to find, and that's what's ticking me off. And to be honest, you'd have to work pretty hard to find any information that says formula is better for your babies. As I mentioned in the article, the back of the formula can says breastfeeding is best!

Nicki :-)


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Originally Posted By: Jeanne Daigle
I'm now engaged and my fiance & I are talking about more children. This time I will probably be using formula since I'm on a cholesterol lowering medication and that cannot be taken while nursing. Since my cholesterol problems are hereditary, I can't stay off that medication very long or the numbers go really crazy. My fiance doesn't have a problem with formula - but I'm still having a bit of an issue with the possibility I may not be able to because of health issues.


Jeanne,

Before you give up on it entirely, you may want to contact your local La Leche League leader about the issues with your condition and medication. If your medication really is off limits for a nursling, they have some associated doctors who may be able to make some suggestions for alternative medications or other issues. I don't know much about cholesterol or it's medications, so I'm not saying there is something, but there may be. I can understand not wanting to mess around with it much, but there might be something out there that makes sense. There's also a great book, called Medication and Mothers Milk that you can get through Amazon by Thomas Hale that talks all about all different meds and their restrictions. I think Dr. Hale also has a 900 number that you can call him and talk specifically about your condition for a minute by minute fee -- that's how he manages his phone consulting. Given the cost of formula, it could be a valuable trade if he had some suggestions for you! Let me know if I can help in any way...

Nicki :-)


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Originally Posted By: Owl
I think it's great that she's able to make that choice and stand by it, and that it's sad that so many people feel the need to judge others based on their most personal of descisions.
Rather than being worried about JLo, how about feeling concern for those who get parenting advice from celebrities? Talk about sad.


Again, that is the point really of my article and my own thoughts. People DO listen to celebrities.. she's been publicly named one of the most influential people in the country, and knows it. So I feel to make that kind of remark is just irresponsible.

I also have to ask, though, why you would consider breastfeeding "the most personal of decisions?" Breastfeeding, as a trend, is a public health issue -- raising breastfeeding rates is a goal of health organizations everywhere. While breastfeeding an individual child is certainly a personal choice, I don't think it is sacrosanct simply because it involves a breast which is supposed to make it taboo to talk about. That's a big part of breastfeeding advocates have to battle in the first place -- desexualizing the breast -- that sort of attitude is part of what contributes to women's awkwardness and discomfort in the first place -- a sort of vicious circle.

And as I've said before...if you are going to talk about it in a magazine, I think that kind of makes you fair game...


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Originally Posted By: Violette - Daughters
My first was a preemie in the hospital for five weeks. The undue stress I had to go through over breastfeeding broke my heart. Crying I had to deny her of the nursing for her survival, after we had just started bonding in that way. She was getting confused as I was trying to do both so I had to stop.


Violette,

You really did go through a lot. Preemies are defintely a whole different issue for breastfeeding and for everything else. I have a friend who had preemie twins and is a major breastfeeding advocate. She'd been pumping like mad, and watching the docs give the baby formula was killing her (her babies were in for about 5 weeks as well.. a relentlessly long time!) I know she's working on getting them to both breastfeed exclusively.. not sure if she'll make it. However it goes, I'm going to ask her to write a guest article when things calm down for her about her experiences. I think it's great when people try, but issues with preemies are way too complicated to fit the "normal" mold, breastfeeding included.

Originally Posted By: Violette - Daughters
I've done it successfully with my last two but not without problems initially. My second, who came early as well, but not as early as my first, had billiruben problems and had to sit under the special lamps. The babies require fluid so as not to get dehydrated and they have to give them formula, since the mom's milk isn't always in.


Do be careful here.. there are many complicated issues surrounding jaundice as well. Some babies do require formula, but for others it is unnecessary and the routine administration of formula can be problematic. Each case needs to be evaluated independently, so I'd ask others not to draw the conclusion from your experience that jaundice automatically precludes breastfeeding or leads to formula. In your case, it may very well have, again with preemie issues mixed in.

Originally Posted By: Violette - Daughters
My third had a funny suck and couldn't latch well for almost a week. I'd be the first to say, no, it doesn't work for everybody and it is not worth driving yourself crazy over. Especially while many may be prone to depression after child birth.


Again, I feel your pain (My first daughter took four months to get the suck down! Not fun!) I'd agree that at some point, you do have to ask if the stress is affecting your sanity and your relationship with your baby. But as one who perservered through worse than many face in terms of latch and pain, I do wish women had access to as much encouragement and support to get through it, as there is pressure and ease to let it go. Again, do be careful with the depression issue though. There is a whole line of thinking and some research to indicate that not breastfeeding is a significant cause of post-partum depression. As breastfeeding is a natural biological step after having a baby in a pre-formula world, if you choose not to breastfeed at all, it can be interpreted by your body as a signal that your baby has died. It messes with the natural post-birth hormone balance and can actually contribute to PPD!

Originally Posted By: Violette - Daughters
SO, frankly, it is a BS issue. The kid is getting food one way or the other. Yes I believe breast feeding is better, but I believe it is a personal choice. I think our time could be better served working out our children's nutritional needs as they get older with all the other [censored] that is out there on the market as they grow.

I do apologize if that sounded like a rant, I do have strong feelings because I was pressured by many individuals over the simple issue of breastfeeding, and it hurt me greatly, because it was something I was going to do...and I couldn't initially.

I do think we should be more thoughtful to the feelings of those who decide not to do it. Pictures may make her look all happy during this time, but you never know if she is depressed, or taking medicine for something else, and that wouldn't be our business.

We need to get the information out there about the health benefits of breast feeding, but not in a manner that puts people off, and I'm sorry to say, a lot of people, including family members really put me off, during what was supposed to be a really joyful time in my life.


Well obviously, I do not think breastfeeding is a BS issue, or I wouldn't be contributing my time to trying to help women be successful at it! Ironically though, I feel like when people complain (not just breastfeeding, but career choices, childfree couples, and more) that others give them a hard time, those others aren't so much the advocates or those different from them, bu more often those they know -- friends and family! I am so sorry that your family gave you such a hard time, and you obviously have some lingering stress over this issue because of it. Please don't let or anyone them make you think that you did not do everything you could for your babies.. breastfeeding or otherwise.

However, I think you do Jennifer a big favor comparing her situation to yours. And I don't really take issue with her not breastfeeding. I take issue with her misinformed comment in order to justify her over stylized bottle feeding picture. Say that with her family's lifestyle it just wouldn't be compatible. Say that with C-section twins is was too difficult for her. Or hey, get out there and talk about her challenges -- it's nothing to be embarrassed about, and may have actually helped someone. But step up and own the choice.

And I do agree that post-breastfeeding nutrition of kids certainly leaves much to be desired! But actually that's one reason I love breastfeeding -- I've always thought about it as a "gateway drug" to conscious parenting and to some extent, more holistic living. Not that you can't get there without it, but I can tell you from experience, they do tend to go hand in hand!

Thanks for being willing to share your experiences, Violette. I don't apologize for breastfeeding advocacy for many reasons, but it's always important for those "trying to help," understand when they have crossed the line with an individual as your family clearly did.

Nicki :-)


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