The latest strike in the war against moms who don't want to breastfeed? Infant formula makers are no longer allowed to use pictures of children on packaging in China. The country wants doctors to promote breastfeeding with all newborns unless there is a medical reason that prohibits it. As such, formula cans must also include a message promoting breastfeeding over the powder alternative. Now, I do believe breast is best, but these new rules are far too extreme in my opinion.
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Breastfeeding is not the right choice for everyone. And having a picture of a baby on the canister will have no bearing on that choice. Now if there are safety concerns with the product (which has happened in China before), that brand should be banned. But that's not to say all formula is bad. Yes, women need to be educated as to the benefits of breast milk, but they shouldn't be made to feel bad if they choose formula instead.
But these new rules are representative of a larger issue. People talk so much of bullying in today's society, and as far as I'm concerned, this is another version of it. Women who elect to formula feed are made to feel like bad parents. This kind of thing is not just happening in China. Many people in the US are advocating for hospitals to stop providing formula for new moms and that's just not fair.
There are many reasons why a new parent opts to bottle feed. Obviously an illness or a medicine in the blood stream could prevent it, but those shouldn't be the only acceptable ones. Some women are poor producers, some can't balance the rigorous breastfeeding schedule while working or taking care of their other children. For others, it's a painful process physically or emotionally.
Personally, I breastfed despite the fact I wasn't a very good milk producer. I did it for as long as I could. Still, I don't judge mothers who can't or won't. You can raise a healthy newborn on formula. Beating up mothers who choose to do that just isn't right.
Are new moms unfairly pressured to breastfeed?
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