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    Up until 10 days ago, I hated breastfeeding. Absolutely loathed it. I had attempted to breastfeed my now-2-year-old daughter, and the experience left me feeling deflated and depressed at a time when I should have been over the moon.

    My little girl was healthy and had a healthy appetite -- that I couldn't manage to satisfy, which just made me feel like a horribly inadequate mom. Perhaps as a result of the fact that I was induced, I produced little milk at first, and coupled with the amount of stress I and everyone around me had placed in my breastfeeding success, nursing just wasn't happening.

    I trashed breastfeeding every opportunity I got and thought of myself as a cheerleader for bottle feeding -- which I definitely felt was needed given our culture's borderline nutso obsession with nursing.

    But two weeks ago I gave birth to my baby boy and everything changed. I'm breastfeeding and loving it -- not because I'm a better mom, but because of 5 factors that had nothing to do with me.

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    Here we go again. Another study is out telling moms and dads that our kids are fat and it's all our fault. Tired of hearing these studies? Sorry guys, but this is one report you might want to read.

    See, the thing is, researchers from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine are now saying American kids are fat because of what we're doing to them as babies. And you might be surprised by their findings ... because this isn't just one thing that some moms and dads do!

    After studying a group of low-income parents, the scientists have come up with a whole list of mistakes parents commonly make with baby that can start them off on a lifetime of battling the bulge. The list is so long, in fact, that chances are good that you're doing AT LEAST one thing on the list! Heck, I'll even admit I did one!

    Don't think I could possibly mean you? Take a look ...

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    For a great many parents, breastfeeding was or is hard work. We trade hours of sleep and sore and bloody nipples in exchange for the promise that we're providing our babies with the best nutrition they can possibly get. We've read studies, listened to our doctors and friends wax poetic about breast milk, and there's no doubt in our minds that breast is simply best.

    But what if the benefits of breastfeeding have been overstated? What if you found out your child could receive the exact same health benefits from formula? A new study is claiming just that.

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    Would you love to end the breastfeeding judgment wars, once and for all? Sick of hearing about women being shamed for every way they feed their babies, whether it's bottle feeding or nursing in public? Well, one woman is on a mission to end that war. Martine Zoer is a mom who breastfed one baby and formula-fed her other, so she's familiar with both sides. She's created "Baby Loves Milk" cards to offer support and encouragement to moms no matter how they feed their babies.

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    By now I think every mom knows the benefits of breastfeeding. But there's one hardcore drawback, isn't there? Breastfeeding baby means always being around baby, which ... well, can't always happen! So what's a mom to do when she has her best friend's wedding coming up or she's facing the dreaded end of maternity leave? Teach baby to use a bottle, of course. 

    Only any breastfeeding mom who has tried to introduce the bottle knows this is easier said than done. Some babies just do not WANT to take the bottle, and when baby ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

    But have no fear ... help is on the way.

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    A new study reveals that breastfeeding has yet another benefit: it increases the likelihood that children will eat a more healthful diet filled with fruits and vegetables when they are in preschool. The study followed about 10,000 children in Britain, France, Portugal, and Greece over the course of four to five years and found that the longer moms breastfed their babies, the more good foods they consumed when they reached school-age. Comparing formula-fed babies to those who were breastfed at least three to six months, researchers found that those who were never nursed were 20 percent less likely to eat at least one veggie a day and 20 to 30 percent less likely to eat one fruit per day. 

    Unless you think a mom is nothing more than a set of breasts, I sense something very important is missing from this report -- mom herself. 

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  • Rant

    Formula Restrictions Are Unfair to New Moms

    posted by Ericka Sóuter November 1, 2013 at 2:37 PM in Baby
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    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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    There is a part of me that reads a study that says formula is as good as breast milk for iodine levels and I only see "formula is as good as breast milk." And that is just wrong. Nothing is going to be as good as mama's milk. This is not a knock on formula feeding moms -- I love all you, mamas. I know you're all doing what you can. But saying that formula is as good as breast milk is disregarding all the hard work a woman puts into breastfeeding, and how good it is. It's like saying the amazing babysitter is just as good as mom. Sure, the babysitter could be really fantastic, but she just isn't mom. No one can be. Just like nothing can be breast milk.

    But then there is a part of me that sees "formula is as good as breast milk" and I feel it's some sort of vindication for formula feeding moms. I know I'm a good mom. I also had to leave my kids with the awesome babysitter if you know what I mean.

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    The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has stopped issuing vouchers for baby formula to families that rely on government assistance. The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children has been drastically cut due to the government shutdown.

    About 80 percent of the state’s WIC recipients had already received their vouchers and can redeem them through the end of the month, but moms like Chelsea Combs look to be out of luck. She hadn’t picked up her vouchers yet and now doesn’t know how she’s going to feed her baby past the two cans of formula she has in her cupboard at home.

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    Gee. This one's a real eye opener. New research published in the journal Pediatrics has determined why many new moms stop breastfeeding after just a few weeks -- and the reason makes total sense.

    Of the moms who were interviewed for the study, it turns out that those who worried about breastfeeding from the get-go were more likely to quit. Whether it be anxiety over whether the baby would latch on correctly, whether breastfeeding would hurt, or whether they'd produce enough milk to feed their child -- moms who went into breastfeeding with these fears in their head were much more likely to make the switch to formula early on.

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