26 answers

Breastfeeding - Henderson,NV

To breastfeed or not? I have 1 child and my sister has 2 with 1 on the way. She breastfed I didn't we are both stay at home moms, I am a smoker, she is not. I did not smoke during my pregnancy. My child had very few sick visits to the doctor. 1 ear infection and a fever when she was cutting teeth and she was always above average on height and weight. We have big babies.. My breastfed nephew had to take iron supplments, had jaundice, spit up all the time, way more than mine, has had numerous ear infections, had to have tubes, and is allergic to all forms of penicillin, which made it hard for the dr to treat his ears. Since the tubes he has had 2 ear infections. He is extremly clumsy and uncoordinated, but he is very smart he also was also above average in height and weight until he was 1mo and he fell to the 25th percentile in weight. He is 4yrs and is still below average in weight still in the 25th percentile. He was breastfed exclusively for the first year...never took the bottle. My niece was also breastfed the first year as well and she is 1 yr and again she has been sick, she has had numerous ear infections. My sister is very insistant that breastfeeding is better. My niece as well is allergic to all forms of penicillin and she is difficult to treat with antibiotics. When both of them were born I helped my sister as much as i could. I would do as much as i could to let her rest as much as possible. But with the breastfeeding it was impossible to let her rest. They both ate every three hours and they both would eat for an hour. and by the time they were finished and changed and my sister would eat or shower it was time to eat again. She has #3 on the way I am trying to discourage her from breastfeeding with this one, seeing that she will never have any down time, it was very difficult for ther to breastfeed and tend to the first child now she is having another on with a 2yr old and a 5yr old. Is it wrong of my to try to convince her to bottle feed? I am sure that breastfeeding has a beneficial side to it but I have yet to see it. Can someone enlighten me and tell me how to be supportive of her decisions. Thanks for your help.

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Thanks for all the feedback and for not being too hard on me. I know this is a very touchy subject. It is her decision and whatever she decides I will respect her and I will always be there to help where I am able. I love my sister dearly. She is my little sister and there is only a 13 mo age difference between us, Although I do feel she didn't get all the enjoyment out of breastfeeding as she thought she would she complains alot about having to breastfeed again. I always try to be logical and I respect all of your opinions. Just a thought to all of us, including me...breastfeeding should not be pushed onto a new mom, just as formula feeding should not be pushed. I really don't think one or the other has that big of difference on a childs life and either way a mother decideds should not be critiqued. Thanks for helping me remember that.

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I think it is wrong of you to try to convince her, sister or not!!! They are her children and her body. If she wants to breastfeed, GOOD FOR HER!!!
My daughter(2yrsold) was breastfed for 17 months and has been sick once, and not allergic to anything. She was also in the 90th percent for weight!! Each child is different!!!
Breastfeeding is best, no formula will EVER compare to what a mother can supply for her baby!!!

3 moms found this helpful

I've seen the same sort of anecdotal evidence as you with my kids, other people's kids etc. People are so adamant about breast feeding and I guess statistically they're right but like you, I haven't seen it. But I think the bigger issue is it's her decision. She's an adult. If she wants to make it "harder" on herself, it's her problem. I wouldn't feel obligated as her sister to pitch in extra bc of it. She decided to have 3 children and if she breast feeds, her decision too and therefore it's all her responsibility unless you just have lots of free time you want to give her. If you've mentioned it, I'd leave it alone and let her deal with it all.

2 moms found this helpful

Don/t waste time on this debate.
The science isn't really there and breast milk is not tested.
Ever baby is different and every mother is different.
Formula is fine and gives the mother more time, but maybe she
prefers to breast feed. Most babies do fine and with modern
medicine things usually go fine. Forget the argument and
what ever is done works.

1 mom found this helpful

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While I appreciate your concern, I think it is wrong. It is her choice, not yours, as to whether she breastfeeds. If you want to help her out you could offer to entertain the older children for a bit.

7 moms found this helpful

Correlation is not causation--your sister's kids are antidotal stories but they don't prove that formula is better than breast milk. There have been so many peer-reviewed, replicated studies that conclude that breast milk is a better source of food for babies than formula and two cases can't refute those findings. My own antidotal story would completely support the findings...I put my baby in daycare at 7 months and continued to breastfeed and he didn't get sick or get an ear infection until he was 18 months old and I had quit breastfeeding. So, who knows how sick her kids would have been if she didn't breastfeed! Finally, it has to be a mother's decision. Maybe she finds it emotionally fulfilling etc. It is really hard work (I'm breastfeeding my second), so the more support you can get the better. It's also free! I'm sure your sister appreciates your help so, so much--but you're not doing her any favors by trying to convince her not to breastfeed.

7 moms found this helpful

Just a guess - you're the older sister?

It's possible that her kids would be even less healthy if they were formula fed. Or the same. Based upon your logic, you could claim that having a mom who smokes prior to getting pregnant makes for healthier kids. Are you going to try to convince her to take that up? Probably not....

How can you support your sister? A good start would be to treat her choice as you'd like yours treated. Don't assume your actions are inherently superior just because things turned out better for you and your kids. Count your blessings. And give support by helping with the older kids, if you can.

Yes, breastfeeding can be exhausting, but telling her she'd get more rest if she didn't do it is not supportive.

Good luck to you.

5 moms found this helpful

sorry to say but YES it is wrong to tell her not to breast feed! I breast fed all 3 of mine, they were all huge girls, around the 90th percentile & up. Im still breastfeeding my little one. My oldest daughter who is almost 21, was given some formula and ended up with a milk intolerance that has so far been lifelong. Breastfeeding can be time consuming, but not always, while my middle child seemed to nurse 24/7, my little one now takes about 10 min, and drains me. As for drug allergies, breastfeeding wouldnt encourage them, formula would. Im allergic to penicillin and sulpha, and really havent had a problem using alternatives. and I was formula fed. cows milk is for baby cows. we are the only mammal that gives milk from another animal to our babies, and i personally think its wrong when its not necessary.

4 moms found this helpful

Ill say it

breastfeeding is better, no matter what circumstantial statistical excuses may present themselves in error or in coincidence. No mother should ever be shamed for NOT doing it, but certainly with 100 %certainty no mother should ever be convinced not to as well.

Its the best thing for the mom and the baby the majority of the time (barring unforseen medical issues or medicine)Your sister is right to breatfeed, even with a bad track record.

formula will never be an adequate replacement, in my personal opinion should only be used for emergency cases. I dont think it should ever be the way to go.

4 moms found this helpful

Breastmilk has been proven to be the best way to feed your child. Even the formula companies will tell you that. I breastfed both of my children. Neither one has any allergies, major illnesses or problems with their weight. My 3 year old is in the 90th percentile for height and 70th for weight. She's the smartest kid I know and a crazy active child.
Maybe the genetics of your sisters kids have more to do with it than the way they were fed as infants.

4 moms found this helpful

Trust me, I hear exactly what you are saying BUT...

If you want to be supportive of her decisions, you'll do nothing of the sort and allow her to choose how she wants to feed her children. Her babies, her choice.

I've been on the receiving end of the "Oh my goodness you didn't breastfeed?!?! Your kids will DIE!" mentality and it is nothing short of annoying. I can only guess that nursing mothers who get similar grief feel the same level of frustration.

She has to live with her choices, not you. While you may think bottle feeding is best for her, it's her choice. Be supportive of whatever decision she makes.

3 moms found this helpful

I can see where you're coming from but ultimately it will have to be her decision. A sample size of three kids is kind of small to draw a definitive conclusion regarding the benefits and drawbacks to breastfeeding. I think that every woman who answers this question will report a different experience but here's mine: Two kids, 1 exclusively breastfed x 5 months, then changed to formula and breastmilk x 1 month, then just formula; the other child fed with both formula and breastmilk from birth. Both kids have had zero ear infections, no antibiotics (they are 3 and 5 now), are healthy and smart. My sister-in-law had problems breastfeeding my niece so she was on formula from about week 2. She has been on antibiotics at least 5 times; she is now 2 years old and seems to have allergies and ear infections all the time. I tell you this not to shoot a hole in your theory but to point out that there will be as diverse a group of stories, as there are children. I'm sure it's tough to stand by and watch your sister do something you disagree with but you sound like an intelligent person who will do the right thing. Oh, and P.S. I smoked for 10 years and giving it up was both the most difficult and most rewarding thing I have ever done besides giving birth.

3 moms found this helpful

Share this article with her:

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/04/the-c...

i'm a nursing mom (first son til 17 months and currently nursing my 12 week old) because its easy for me and my kids and I enjoy it--but i would have no problem giving my baby a bottle of formula if she would actually take it lol. There are a lot of extremely exaggerated benefits to breastfeeding when in reality, formula is only slightly (very very very marginally) "inferior" to breastmilk.

3 moms found this helpful

I think it is wrong of you to try to convince her, sister or not!!! They are her children and her body. If she wants to breastfeed, GOOD FOR HER!!!
My daughter(2yrsold) was breastfed for 17 months and has been sick once, and not allergic to anything. She was also in the 90th percent for weight!! Each child is different!!!
Breastfeeding is best, no formula will EVER compare to what a mother can supply for her baby!!!

3 moms found this helpful

My feeling are the same as yours when it comes to breast feeding but...I would never try to tell a mom that is like your sister not to breast feed. It is a battle you will never win. Can you maybe convince her to pump her milk and let the baby take a bottle so she can have a break sometimes?

2 moms found this helpful

I have to strongly disagree! And your statement that "you are sure breastfeeding has a beneficial side but you haven't seen it" is kinda funny to me. Breastfeeding is %100 more beneficial then formula. Unless for a medical reason you should NOT be telling your sister to not breastfeed her baby. Yeah so her other kids have some health problems...they would probably have had that if on formula too. Some kids just get more sick and have more problems then others. That could also just be due to her style of parenting but it's not because of her breast milk. I have breast fed both my babies. I am pregnant now with #3 and I fulling intend to breastfeed again. I don't care if it ties me down some it is the best thing for my baby. Haven't you every seen on the formula adds and how they say things like "next best thing to breast milk" or "now has some of the same vitamins as breast milk" because it is a well known fact that breast milk is the best. So good for your sister for doing that for her babies. It is not your place to tell her what to do.

2 moms found this helpful

If she enjoyed breastfeeding and feels she can do it again w/baby #3,
please do not discourage her. Despite all the difficulties you have listed, breastfeeding is one of the most amazing experiences in life, imo.
Though it's a challenge, your sister remembers how much pleasure
and bonding with baby she had during her first two babies' early months,
and wants to repeat that with her third child.
Please support her in her decision.

2 moms found this helpful

People are going to freak out on you for suggesting that you convince your sister to formula feed. lol I have to agree with you on one thing- my exclusively breastfed son was sickly, colicky, spit-up all the time, had horrible bowel movements and rashes, ear infections, tubes in the ears, allergies to medications & foods, etc. It was terrible, and definitely was not this "frolicking through the park with rainbows above" experience that other moms made it out to be. How could I bond over the boob with this infant when he was screaming 8 hours a day?
However, my baby girl is formula fed (for health reasons I was unable to BF very long the 2nd time around) and is the picture of perfect health. No colic, no rashes, no projectile spitting up- nothing.
Breastfeeding can be a nightmare if your child has food allergies, esp multiple food allergies (which turned out to be my son's issue). You can cut out everything but air and water, and problems can still persist. I remember wanting to slap these granola moms when they talked about how BF helps with colic and everything else under the sun. I was doing what was best, but things were only getting worse and I felt like I was killing my poor baby by just feeding him! So I can relate to what you are saying. On a side note- when I switched to formula, all the colic and spitting up stopped within days. Amazing...
Having said all that- it's your sister's decision. If she decides to breastfeed, then there isn't much you can do to change her mind. You can state your opinion on the matter, but don't push it. She obviously knows what a commitment breastfeeding is, and if she chooses that, then she is doing the right thing for her. You are a very sweet sister for being so concerned for her well-being! :)

2 moms found this helpful

I've seen the same sort of anecdotal evidence as you with my kids, other people's kids etc. People are so adamant about breast feeding and I guess statistically they're right but like you, I haven't seen it. But I think the bigger issue is it's her decision. She's an adult. If she wants to make it "harder" on herself, it's her problem. I wouldn't feel obligated as her sister to pitch in extra bc of it. She decided to have 3 children and if she breast feeds, her decision too and therefore it's all her responsibility unless you just have lots of free time you want to give her. If you've mentioned it, I'd leave it alone and let her deal with it all.

2 moms found this helpful

I know you have already received to s of answers and come to a conclusion but here's my two cents:
Your sister is your little sister, only 13 months younger. Your moms body wasn't truly ready to have another child only 13 months after you were born. Her nutrition storage had been emptied and therefore I suspect that your sister has also been sicker than you throughout her life. However, later in life I would bet she will be healthier because you smoke and she doesn't.
She has passed her DNA, her life and all she has to her children. Her partner also has done the same. If either one was sick as a child, it has likely been passed to the kids and no amount of breastfeeding can cure it. But with all that breastfeeding does for illness and development, can you imagine how sick the kids would be if not for her milk? There's no way to know but my guess is they would be much worse off on formula.
Breastfeed babies tend to be thinner once they begin crawling and walking, they also tend to have fewer problems. Later in life with things like diabetes. Your sister has also set herself up for lower risk of breast, uterine and ovarian cancer. And by lifestyle she probably won't get lung cancer and heart disease.
Your sister is a strong woman, don't discourage her from making the decisions that you don't necessarily agree with.

2 moms found this helpful

I just don't think it is your place to discourage her from doing something that has been proven to be SOOO beneficial. Breastfeeding is a personal choice, and you should stay out of it.

1 mom found this helpful

Breastmilk is vastly superior to formula. Their health issues could be due to other things - vaccines, perhaps?

Do not discourage a new mother from breastfeeding.

1 mom found this helpful

Don/t waste time on this debate.
The science isn't really there and breast milk is not tested.
Ever baby is different and every mother is different.
Formula is fine and gives the mother more time, but maybe she
prefers to breast feed. Most babies do fine and with modern
medicine things usually go fine. Forget the argument and
what ever is done works.

1 mom found this helpful

Your sister's children sound like they have been vaccine-damaged. They exhibit the same symptoms as thousands of other children and have developed allergies from ingredients that are in vaccines. Breastfeeding them may have prevented even more serious injury to them and she may need to look at her diet and what affects them but it is far superior to their health than formula especially if they are having food reactions. I am very happy for you that it has been a success for you:o)

Please make sure YOU have done the research on vaccinations for YOUR child. The AAP recommended schedule of shots for children is too many, too soon. Here are sites and books that I always recommend for people to start their research and your sister should start with Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma, and Allergies: The Groundbreaking Program for the 4-A Disorders, by Dr. Kenneth Bock.

www.909shot.com
www.tacanow.org
www.nvic.org

The Vaccine Book, by Dr. Robert Sears

What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Childhood Vaccinations, by Dr. Stephanie Cave

Evidence of Harm, by David Kirby

I think it's fortunate that your child is so healthy, and a shame that hers have struggled. Breastfeeding is not a miracle elixir... it *helps* reduce the duration and severity of infections and illnesses. Yes, it's time consuming, especially in the beginning. But it is her decision. Respect for her is not shown by discouraging her from doing something that does offer protections to her children (imagine how sick they'd be if she hadn't breastfed them!), that makes her feel especially close to her baby and gives her a sense of pride in her mothering abilities. So you chose not to do it. Fabulous for you. Did she bully you about using formula? Tell you all the reasons you're making the wrong choice by comparing children with different genetics?

Yes, you are wrong. Imagine having a sister who tried to push her own views onto you and put down the choices you're making. I'm kind of sad for her. Breastfeeding is hard enough without people you love tearing you down.

NEVER discourage breastfeeding. It is still the best 'food' for a baby. It gives them antibodies at birth (the first milk) and though your nephew was sick, it keeps them healthier than their bottlefed peers. They aren't as obese at their peers. The milk is always at the right temperature for them. It's only at first that it's exhausting when it's every two to three hours but as they get older, it gets down to not as many feedings. It's TOTALLY worth it! I BF all three of my children and they are SUPER smart! They all skipped a grade in school and are healthier than their peers. My second child had many ear infections as a two year old but that stopped when we went to the chiropractor and started him on soy milk. Bottom line, if she wants to BF, don't discourage it.

They make some pretty great formulas now, organic and all that. I breastfeed, but it comes easily to me and I have had VERY strong, healthy kids. If it's not working out well, I'm with you!
Maybe you could research some really healthy formulas and present her with your findings, solely as an alternative option. Maybe you shouldn't DIScourage the breastfeeding as much as ENcouraging the benefits of the alternative. And of course, in the end, it would be her decision that you would then support. Also, she could do both! Then she could catch some Zzzz's while someone else could give the baby his feeding. Just a little formula feeding here and there.

Just because your sister's kids have been sick doesn't mean BF had anything to do with it. Some kids are just more prone to getting sick BF or FF. For some other kids they never get sick. I would ask how's your sister's immune system? If she's sick a lot she may have a lower immune system and probably passed that along to her kids. Or maybe her husband gets sick a lot. Yes BF makes you tired and can take up a lot of your time but it is a natural way to feed a child. I'm not a FF hater but am very pro-BF. My child was BF well passed a year and has never been sick (2yo now) but my husband and I are rarely sick, eat healthy and practice good hygene. Don't try to convince her to do anything, if she wants to BF and feels it is best for her child then leave it alone.

Breastfeeding is best overall but is not a guarantee. It can be difficult. Just as any formula fed baby may have a bad reaction. It worked out for you not to BF and it has worked out for many others. Same as BF has worked for many. Emphathize with her being tired and what not. And don't take it personally. Truth be told it "appears" that BF is not working for her but maybe it is and they would be even worse off??? In the end it is really not your concern what she does. So just stay positive with her and let her figure it out for herself. good luck.

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