It just makes me sick, those poor babies made ill by milk powder in China. It reminds me of Nestle going into third world countries, telling the women to stop breastfeeding and to “use formula like western women,” all the while ignoring the fact that the water is unsafe to drink. The result is a 50% infant mortality rate in these countries because the babies die from dysentery. Now we have over 59,000 babies sickened and killed in China from drinking poisoned milk powder.
Fifty percent infant mortality rate. 59,000 sick and dying children. All these giant numbers, all these sanitized words used to cover one salient fact: some parent’s baby got really sick or died. Each of those hurt or killed had a mom and dad who either had to sit up worrying about a sick baby or they lost a little baby they loved, not to mention the fact that these little kids had to suffer through sick stomachs, diarrhea, and vomiting. Use sanitized words and it becomes so easy to forget that.
The other piece of this that strikes me is how truly sad it is that formula is fed to children instead of breastmilk. I wrote a law review article calling for laws requiring employer accommodation of breastfeeding women. For that article, I did extensive economic and medical research to back up my arguments. The conclusion I drew was that breastfeeding saves lives and money. We never should have switched to a system where it was not the norm. Of course, money drove the trend on many levels. Money, money, money. Everyone wants it. Everyone wants everyone else to think they have it. Stupid decisions are made because of it, from the decision to make our babies sleep in other rooms to the decision to feed our children milk made from powder to prove we can afford it. Later these decisions became the norm to the point where children who want to sleep with their parents are considered problems and babies drinking from mothers’ breasts is considered obscene. No one questions why it started and what was normal for thousands of years becomes disgusting and unnatural.
I continue to marvel at the ridiculousness of human beings. We’re too smart for our own good. Unfortunately, we aren’t smart enough to make milk that is as good as our own and the result is that it makes babies sick and kills them. Pitiful. Truly pitiful.
Excellent post Lara!
Trouble starts when we star thinking we are smarter than we really are.
Food scientists know better than God (nature) what babies need to eat/drink? Preposterous.
Children should be in a room all by themselves with the door closed so mom and dad can watch Leno in peace? Ignorant.
Children need day care at age 3 to socialize them for the real world? Socialist.
The list goes on where we (society) strays further and further away from traditional and proven practices to get on the bus for the next new theory of some egg heads who have no children or mentally abuse the ones they have.
Must work? Can;t be there to breast feed? I understand that. I’m sad for that. But then pump!! Fill up those artificial milk jugs with something natural and refrigerate. Trouble? Yes, I know, but nobody ever said having kids was supposed to be a walk in the park. It’s a walk in the mud with new pretty white sneakers!
Thank you Lara. Dare I say that I nursed my baby because you set the example for me? It’s true. Your experiences and support showed me that it was the natural and right thing to do for my baby. Yes, DrM, breastfeeding is not easy, arranging nursing schedules around work breaks, pumping, pumping, pumping – I think you know – but it is so, so worth it. It seems so simple – yet countless mothers feed their babies chemical nutritional substitutes that really don’t even come close to the real thing. And some of those mothers, unwittingly, are poisoning their babies. It’s so preventable – if women would be encouraged, and allowed to return to what their bodies are naturally designed to do for their young.
It IS so hard! I spent the first three weeks with raw nipples and a baby who could not latch on. Everyone who was advising me was an “expert,” telling me it was not possible for my breast to plug her nose. I could see that this is what was happening, but because “experts” told me otherwise, we struggled. Then one day I pressed my breast away from my daughter’s nose and lo and behold, she could breathe AND eat! What did I learn? What has parenthood really taught me in this and countless other situations? We are our own experts on ourselves and our babies. Other people can help us. In fact without them we would often be lost. But our bodies hold a lot of the answers, including what to feed our babies.
Built into every Mom is a junior Medical Degree! Unless you are totally unaware…a mother’s intuition and plain old common sense will prevail. No expert knows your child like you do. My wife can enter a room and “smell” if my kids don;t feel well. One look at their face or eyes and she knows when it’s time for a hug or if they are coming down with something. It is something all my schooling and 22 years of practice caring for patients cannot match. Even with my own kids!
Mothers need to continually encourage each other to do what is natural and right for them. Not every mom will be able to breast feed for one reason or another, but ALL women should be encouraged to try and to make it a societal goal to help make it possible and not a hindrance.