Saturday, January 31, 2009

How it's Made...Formula!

Here's an excellent post and it's not at all a bashing post, just facts presented very well.
What's in formula? What's not?

Some people may think I have a hate on for formula...I don't. I do however believe it should fall into the category along with other medical interventions...such as antibiotics. Use with caution and only if absolutely necessary. Having just been through what I went through at the hospital, we have so far to go with building up women to successfully breastfeed. It's very bizarre in the NICU, everyone says "Breast is best...BUT" Everywhere you look is formula labels....the tiny bottles I was given to use...thanks to Ross Laboratories...boxes of Neosure and Enfamil sitting everywhere. Where was all the breastfeeding stuff......tucked away in a back room. Oh sure they have pumps available and the Lactation consultants are absolutely WONDERFUL (I mean they really ROCK!!!)but they're very limited as to what they can do. I mean, they certainly cannot override what the doctor says.

But, where was the signs and pictures of nursing babies in the NICU? They're aren't any. Where's the promotion of that? Nowhere. Most women in there end up feeling as though their breastmilk is inferior and either needs to be supplemented with Human Milk Fortifier (which, BTW, can be done WITHOUT any notice or permission from the parents...they just add it to the breastmilk at their discretion) or the baby needs a 'top up' of formula. *sigh* OK, let's look at Preemies.....they are a very special type of infant, one who is desperately trying to finish the amazing growth outside of the womb that really should be taking place inside of the womb. The rate of growth that happens inside the womb is astonishing....and the doctors are trying very hard to mimic the nutrition that is needed to sustain this rapid rate of growth.

They do that by supplementing the babies with a carefully man-made designer milk, fortified with a careful amount of vitamins and nutrients based on cow's milk (casein), whey and other issue....THESE ARE NOT NATURAL! They are exposing their tiny guts to cow's milk protein which is KNOWN to cause bleeding in the you see why I get upset?!?!? Our doctor even freely admitted that they are finding more and more infants are having casein sensitivities in the last 10 years than ever before.

Ugh, I could go on and on....ideally, I would've loved to have seen much more effort being put into helping these mamas believe that their milk is the perfect food for their babies...even if they can't fight the man-made stuff being added. It is so very lonely and difficult pumping for that long, they need support to help them through that and encouragement that it can be done. They need to be educated and reassured....all of which the lactation consultants do, but when the doctor starts the conversation with "Breastmilk is best, but......." it becomes a very difficult situation. Dr.Jack Newman sent me some wonderful info on breastfeeding well as some fascinating pictures of young preemies latched on and feeding. Breanna latched on perfectly at just 32w3d and nursed she'd done it all along. So, it can be done!!!

My LC was an absolute dream.......she was so funny and blunt...praise the Lord she's there trying to make a difference and maybe just maybe if she can reach just one mama, another preemie will be able to experience the glorious bonding and nutrition that breastfeeding can offer him/her.

Once again, I thank the Lord for the wonderful gift of being able to breastfeed my daughter...I cherish even more than ever before.


1 comment:

noelle said...

I love putting formula on the same plane as antibiotics.

The World Health Organization recommends the best ways to feed baby in this order:

-own mother's milk from breast
-own mother's milk in bottle
-donated human milk (from milk bank) in bottle
-formula in bottle

Formula is LAST on the list, but why do our hospitals offer it up so quickly? UGH!