August 18, 2011

Breatsfeeding vs. Formula feeding, the never ending discussion

I'm still breastfeeding Emilu.  However, I don't do it exclusively. I give formula at a 50/50 rate.  There are many reasons for this, but the most enduring one was the inability to keep up with the proscribed lifestyle.  Breastfeeding demands a lot. It comes down to a choice because the cons of breastfeeding are there, whichever way they like to remain unseen.  These include sore and painful nipples for several weeks, engorgement effects, leakage, dietary limitations, and constrained mobility or freedom to enjoy the tasks you used to do, and the one thing no one challenges, the myth of shedding faster the baby weight.

Ha! Finally a study says it :  Breastfeeding moms lost weight slower than moms who chose formula from the start. Why?  Because breastfeeding moms had less opportunity to exercise AND because lactating moms consume more calories because the hormone prolactin stimulates appetite and thus prompts milk production.

I finally have an answer as to why I haven't been able to lose the last ten pounds.  But you know what bothers me and also scares me to death.  That they tell women that breastfeeding makes them lose weight faster and they have been able to get away with this. Doctors. My own brother told me so.  It makes me mad because it assumes that women are stupid and vane and in order to make them choose breastfeeding over formula feeding they have to appeal to what seems to be their superficial, trivial side, our Achilles heel, when it's really not. It is in our sociological  makeup to want to be trim.

There is no argument that breastmilk is better than formula as long as you keep getting nutritious food and continue to keep a healthy lifestyle, the one you had when you were pregnant.  But today's formulas are just as good in the nutrition department.  Where breastmilk takes the lead is in preventive care, because it contains hormones, anti-bodies and enzymes.

So let's put it to rest: Women should not be shamed into breastfeeding their children. It's just not for everyone. 

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