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.