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Since when did infant milk formula become poison?

Posted by Karen Faulkner on
Since when did infant milk formula become poison?
I wasn't going to write about infant formula at all but that was until the breast feeding lactivists upset my sister.

Now it has become personal...and it's a step too far.

As you probably know I'm a midwife, a fact of which I am extremely proud. I support and promote breast feeding but I also support women's choice in how they feed their babies.

The Nurses and Midwives Council, UK, Code Of Conduct (2008) states that 'you should not discriminate in any way against those in your care'.

Women that can't breastfeed for whatever reason should never be made to feel bad by any midwife or mother or woman. It's abhorrent.

My little sister, Lesley, who's baby is due in 2 weeks went to a breast feeding group near where she lives in South Cumbria, England.

At this group the breast feeding activists who were presenting described infant milk formula as poison. Poison? Really?

Interesting statement. I thought it was produced under UK food standards. And most definitely NOT poison.

My sister was formula fed. I was breast fed. My brother in the middle, a mix of the two.

And who do you think is the healthiest in my family? No, not me, but my sister. My sister has no illnesses at all, absolutely nothing. All she's had is her wisdom teeth out. I had every disease of childhood and was never out of hospital since a baby. I was always ill, on antibiotics, anything 'going around' I'd catch it!

Same parents, same environment, different feeding methods as babies.

I have eczema (aged 14 years), hayfever (20's) and asthma (30's) and Lupus, an autoimmune disease, as well as many other things.

Now all you breast feeding activists are probably saying, but you would probably have got all these things worse if you weren't breastfed.

I really don't see how. Disease is in your DNA and all it takes is a few naughty viruses in my case and living too near a nuclear reprocessing plant to tip your immune system over the edge.

My sister wanted to speak out but couldn't. She's not as vocal as me. It's about time the sisterhood started to be a lot kinder to it's members and stopped judging.

I realised a long time ago that how we feed our babies in the developed world is only a small part of the equation. We have sanitation and clean drinking water.

Babies need love, attention and nurturing to grow. It's so much more than what goes into their mouth.

As midwives and health visitors (child and family health nurses) we need to be supportive to ALL mothers and that includes those who choose to formula feed for whatever reason. They are not second class mothers.


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