Monday, 21 November 2011

Boob & Bottle - The Feeding Debate

Okay early this morning (too early for a debate if you ask me!) there was a lot of discussion over on Twitter about a certain well known TV nanny who tweeted about her favourite formula brand. Now the tweet before this was actually a warning to state that some supermarkets have allowed sales of this brand's formula milk go by when the sell-by date had past, however this person still backed this product and this caused a fair bit of discussion. I felt it best to write about it on my blog as 140 characters isn't enough to talk about such a lively topic.
Cherry Healey's documentary "Is Breast Best?" was very interesting.
Cherry Healey has very quickly become one of my favourite female television presenters and enjoyed her documentary following her pregnancy with her first child. So when I heard she was doing more documentaries on parenting (including one about breastfeeding vs bottlefeeding) naturally I was on iPlayer the second it was possible (sorry, Cherry, you know what toddlers are like but thank goodness iPlayer lets me watch your shows in my own time!) and found "Is Breast Best?" a good documentary that fairly showed both sides, something which I have to say the NHS do not do. She talked about the fact she breastfed her child but suffered with Mastitis (rather nasty breast infection) and was admittedly to hospital. She tried to go back to feeding her daughter but sadly didn't work out for her. She felt guilty and that she had failed her daughter, but I disagree. If any mother out there is willing to give breastfeeding a try with each of their child then I say hat's off to them! It's not fun, nor enjoyable to begin with, but trying is better than just saying "no way" and sticking a bottle of formula into their kid's mouth.

Err... don't go too far on this breastfeeding business, please!
Now I breastfed for just over 4 months. I suffered with an infection in one of my breasts (didn't end up in hospital, but it was not nice at all!) and at this age my son decided he wanted more than just my boobs and started to refuse to feed from me. This went on to the point he lost weight and doctor suggested I wean him. By this point as he wasn't feeding from me my breasts stopped producing and so I had to go on to formula milk. My Health Visitor made me feel like the worst mother in the world and her words were "well the damage has been done" when I told her I was now using formula. She should be glad she's not met me since that day as I would really like to say some rather strong and rather angry words to her, but seems she no longer works at my Health Centre any more and glad to say we have a much more open-minded Health Visitor whose very helpful.

Mmm... Boobtastic!
In the end of the day Breast IS Best for your baby over any of the formula brands out there. If you are unable to breastfeed like Cherry or even myself then before buying a buttload of formula milk I'd very much recommend you do some research online and ask other parents what formula milk they used and whether they had problems with any certain brand. The big issue with this well known nanny's tweet was she was basically advertising a brand that is well known for giving babies nasty reflux and constipation. I considered buying this brand purely on cost issues, but we did our research and spoke to some other parents and found the formula that worked well for our son. He settled on to formula rather well and at the age of 1 year old we moved him on to full fat milk, which he happily enjoys in the morning and just before he goes to bed. The problem we had was learning to make formula correctly and trying to get it all right and made in time, otherwise we had a very hot bottle of formula and a screaming baby who doesn't understand we are trying to cool it down for them but it takes time. I very much suggest researching everything beforehand and also checking out Childcare Is Fun for free advise to all parents, whether you are breastfeeding or bottlefeeding.

Images from BBC, Sainbury's and some random website with picture of  Robert Deniro with a fake boob.
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