Breastfeeding Prevents Death

I am very passionate about breastfeeding. Many moms do not realize the real risk you take when you chose to formula feed your baby. I know that this picture is intense. I know that it probably will cause a lot of emotion on either side of the breastfeeding argument. Sometimes you need to offend people to get your point across.

When you chose to formula feed your baby—and because breastfeeding is the biological norm, it is a choice to not do it—you take the risk of a variety of health problems in both immediately and in the future. Obviously you risk mixing the formula incorrectly. This can cause the baby to not gain weight properly or even contaminate the formula. If the formula is contaminated, the baby could get very sick or even die. This risk is incredibly high in third-world countries where they quite often do not have clean water. Even formula fed babies in developed countries have these risks. Moms are quite often not taught how to properly formula feed and even if they are it’s easy to make mistakes—especially when it’s 3am and the baby is crying. You can’t mix breast milk wrong or contaminate it.

Beyond the immediate dangers, formula feeding has many lifetime repercussions. Formula fed babies are more likely to have asthma, lower I.Q. scores, and are even more likely to be obese later in life. Moms who don’t breastfeed are more likely to get reproductive cancers such as breast and ovarian cancer.

New moms are not informed of these facts. Instead, they are bombarded with formula companies giving them coupons throughout pregnancy, free samples at the hospital, and ads in all of the parenting magazines. These formula companies have slogans that insinuate that they’re just as good as breast milk. In reality, we have yet to figure out all of the “ingredients” in breast milk so formula companies don’t even know what to copy. Of the things we know are in breast milk, there are things like antibodies and even stem cells that formula simply can not duplicate because it is not living. Even the vitamins and minerals that are in breast milk are easier for a baby to digest than the ones in formula.

Since our hospitals and politicians receive money from the formula companies they’re obviously not going to tell these new moms the truth—you are putting your child at risk by formula feeding—I decided to create this image. I hope that it will make more pregnant and new moms investigate the risks to formula feeding.

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9 thoughts on “Breastfeeding Prevents Death

  1. Great post! We were just learning about this in my certified lactation consultant training last week. It’s amazing how many people don’t know the risks of formula feeding, or how to properly mix and feed a baby formula! Formula should really be a last resort, reserved only for babies who don’t have access to mom’s milk or donor milk.

    • I agree with everything you just said. I kind of want to become a lactation consultant.

  2. Fantastic post! I love the image, it really drives the point home if you will.

    I will never understand why someone would CHOOSE to formula feed (for anything other than a strict medical reason), most people just make excuses and are supported by society for giving a less than stellar nutrition choice to their children.

    • Exactly! All this stuff about it being mom’s choice. Formula great for if you’ve exhausted all other means, but it’s not an equal alternative!

  3. Pingback: Why I Started This Blog | Adventures of Lactating Girl

  4. you are a horrible human being. You want people to respect your rights to BF, then how about you respect people’s rights to FF.

    • Thanks for your input. 🙂

      I have become a lot more moderate with my wording with time. I understand there are times when formula feeding is necessary. It still doesn’t change the fact that many babies die directly because of formula feeding, especially in third world countries, and that evil formula companies market their products in these areas in a way that takes advantage of mothers.

  5. You do realize that most people in those third world countries probably won’t see this post, don’t you? If they have Internet at all, they’re probably not scouring the web for inflammatory images meant to scare mothers. If I had to depend on breastmilk only to feed my babies, they would have starved to death.

    As a mother with PCOS and low supply, I struggled to give my oldest a bottle of breastmilk a day and dried up by 10 weeks. I have been a little more successful with my second, but both babies refused to nurse due to supply issues and weak letdown. I’ve struggled with enough guilt on my own for having to supplement with formula. I don’t need women like you adding to it, and neither does any other mother out there, no matter what they choose to feed their baby.

    I’m all for breastfeeding, but shame on you. Mothers should support one another, not knock each other down for making the choice to keep their baby fed.

    • I am truly sorry that it was such a struggle for you. I wish there were better systems in place to help mothers trying to breastfeed and get donated milk to mothers who need it free of charge.

      I work hard to try to word things correctly, but I’m sorry if I have offended you. My blame is never on the mother. It is the formula companies, the hospitals that receive donations from them and do harmful practices, etc. that I blame for the sad state our country is in in regards to breastfeeding. You’re right, mothers in third world countries will never see this. That is not the point. The point is that people need to know that these companies do not have their best interests in mind. Beyond that, they will exploit mothers at a very vulnerable time in order to get higher profit margins. And yes, I do want mothers to know the benefits and risks in the choice to breastfeed or not.

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