NYC Health Officials Move To Get Babies Off Bottle

NYC Health Officials Move To Get Babies Off Bottle

Even though some formulas use nutrients found in breast milk, city doctors say research proves the natural way is best. “Decrease in infections, upper respiratory, ear,” said Dr. David Garry of Jacobi Medical Center. “Some benefit when it comes to IQ scores.”

This should have been done long ago. The evidence has been overwhelming. And one more thing: women should have the ironclad right to breastfeed in public whenever and wherever they need to.

Comments (3 comments)

olly / August 1st, 2007, 1:48 pm / #1

I’m sorry Sean, but as someone who has a 3 month old infant, you are being VERY short-sighted on this one. Is it the “natural” thing to do? Sure, no question, that’s what the mammary glands were intended for.

However, this fails to take into account a few things. First off, breastfeeding is not always the most beneficial thing. My wife, for example, had a very painful and unhappy time for the first two months trying to breastfeed. Because of that, plus the fact that she had two surgeries in two weeks (C-Section and Gallbladder removal), on top of a very difficult pregnancy (four months of bed rest), pre-existing health problems (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)… breastfeeding basically became the barrier, not the catalyst, to her bonding with her daughter.

The first switch we made was from breastfeeding to bottle fed breast milk. This hardly helped. Breast pumps are by no means comfortable (as my wife can attest to), and the baby was not getting the nutrients she needed to grow (she lost 15% of her birth weight, whereas 10% is the high end of normal). The simple factor of normal human stress is what was causing the lack of nutrients in the breast milk. Again, there was a barrier to bonding in that my wife was exhausted, and stressed to the point of near breakdown.

The second, and most beneficial switch we made, was to formula. Finally my wife was able to properly bond with our daughter, because the stress levels from lack of sleep, recovery from surgery, and just the general feeling of guilt she felt prior to switching (guilty because she wasn’t properly bonding with her daughter, it’s of course all circular with this stuff), was now gone.

Is my story unique? Somehow I don’t think so. You are seeing one side of this my friend. You are seeing the side of the science that says ‘breastfeeding is the best because immunologically and physically it will benefit them throughout life’. But what about the emotional bond between a mother and child? Numerous psychological studies throughout the years have shown that a child’s emotional health and mental well-being can be traced back to some of the earliest bonds with parents that we form. This goes all the way back to some of the things that Freud and Jung spent their lives studying, in our interactions with others, feelings about ourselves, and our ability to function in society.

Saying in a blanket fashion that breastfeeding is ALWAYS the best idea is simply dogma, and you ought to take a look at it from that standpoint. It’s the same dogma, boiled down, that says the “natural” way is always the correct one. This ignores millenia of human progress, in pushing our boundaries beyond what nature has bestowed upon us. Humans can fly, despite our natural state of being grounded by gravity. Humans can breathe underwater, despite the pressures and lack of oxygen that our bodies can’t handle. Humans have walked on another body in the solar system, despite being earthbound for the first 99% of their existence. You wouldn’t support a ban on airplanes, space travel, or scuba gear, so how is this any different? You yourself are a huge fan of Kurzweil and his A.I. work — if we simply accepted the “natural way” as the right one, we’d abandon all attempts at A.I., or at transfer of a human consciousness to a computer.

And from a libertarian standpoint, this argument doesn’t even hold water. It’s not the government that is paying to distribute samples of formula, it’s the companies that manufacture them (as my daughters pediatrician put it when he gave us a bunch of freebies “we have closets of this stuff that we can’t give away fast enough before Similac hooks us up again”). If anything, you are supporting a furtherance of government intrusion into the business of folks. Similac and Enfamil (the two big brands of formula) use the freebies program as a good marketing program — the idea being that once you find one your kid likes, you’re going to stick with it.

You are right, women should be allowed to breastfeed wherever and whenever they want; it’s time the prude old religious stereotypes were broken down. However, women should also not be castigated for choosing to use a bottle either; otherwise you are just choosing one misogynistic and dogmatic argument over another.


BlackSun / August 1st, 2007, 2:43 pm / #2

Hey Olly,

Sorry about that, I didn’t mean to imply that formula should be banned! The article is just talking about not giving away free formula in the hospital, and not advertising it either.

Obviously, there should be a balance. Having raised three kids myself, we used both breast and bottle. Of course, if the woman has a problem getting the milk to come in, then you can’t do it.

But what was happening, not just in the U.S. but worldwide, is that the formula producers were getting the hospitals to sign up all moms on formula from day one. This was having measurable negative effects on kids’ immune systems, which was really bad in underdeveloped countries where they didn’t always have access to antibiotics, etc.

I think it’s a good idea for hospitals to encourage moms to at least try starting out with breastfeeding. That’s all I’m sayin’ bro. Sorry you had difficulties. Hope everything is OK now.

olly / August 1st, 2007, 3:18 pm / #3

Haha, I just read my own post, and I wasn’t trying to be so antagonistic, I swear!

Thanks for the clarification :). Everything is great now, baby is healthy, mom’s doing much better!


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