Breastfeeding Advocate Compares Baby Formula to AIDS

baby bottleBreast is best! Formula is poison! We moms have heard it all. At least, I thought I had. Then a breastfeeding educator was caught telling moms that baby formula is "like AIDS."

Yes, that AIDS. The AIDS that created mass hysteria in the 1980s because people didn't know what it was and why it was killing people. Allow me to insert my eye roll ... here.


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Let me be clear. My eyes are not spinning 'round at the outrage over this ridiculous bit of nonsense from a so-called educator. What she said was just this side of insane. In fact, here's exactly what this woman told a room full of moms about the "dangers" of formula:

Formula is a little bit like AIDS. Nobody actually dies from AIDS; what happens is AIDS destroys your immune system and then you just die of anything and that's what happens with formula. It provides no antibodies. Every 30 seconds a baby dies from infections due to a lack of breastfeeding and the use of bottles, artificial milks, and other risky products. Every 30 seconds.

Every 30 seconds, huh? Well every 5 seconds a child in this world dies from not getting enough to eat. And that scary little figure is not hyperbole. That's a fact that puts the breast vs. formula debate in perspective, doesn't it? And I didn't have to make it up to scare parents.

Fortunately most formula-fed kids I know are not dead. In fact, after failing at all my attempts to breastfeed, my daughter's main sustenance during the first year of life came out of a can. She'll be starting second grade in a few weeks.

Unfortunately, however, moms are still hearing this type of ridiculous nonsense every time we turn around. Instead of cold hard fact, we are treated to hyperbole. And this is where the eye roll comes into play.

The takeaway message to comments like "formula is like AIDS" isn't "yes, formula sucks." It's that moms are still considered too stupid to make the right choices for our kids. Rather than present us with the truth, they try terrify us into once choice or the other. It's too bad -- they might have something worthwhile teaching us underneath it all, but they lose us with their inanities.

Please, stop with the "formula is poison" rhetoric. We get it. It's not as good as breast milk. As a mom who ended up going the bottle route, I'll readily admit it. I don't need you to sugarcoat it to make me feel better. I just need the truth.

I expect you to respect the intelligence of my choice. I knew formula wasn't like AIDS. Formula is there because sometimes breastfeeding doesn't work out -- for more reasons than I can list in just one blog post -- and when that does happen, most moms are smart enough to reason out that feeding their child something out of a can is far preferable to letting them starve to death.

Do you believe people who start with this kind of over-the-top rhetoric about formula?


Image via brokinhrt2/Flickr

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