9) The medical community’s “guidance” on breastfeeding is a scandal in itself. Even without the now abundant evidence of the immunological, nutritional, intellectual and psychological benefits of breastfeeding for the baby, and its psychological, hormonal and physiological benefits for post-partum mothers, common sense and human empathy would strongly argue against intervening in this intimate time of mother-child bonding. Yet generations of american children have been denied this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for normal health, growth and emotional well being on the basis of little more than uninformed medical hubris working in concert with a well-financed corporate marketing campaign. The social costs of this medically inspired mass emotional neglect are predictable.
Hospitals receive kickbacks from formula companies for handing out formula to new mothers, interfering with the crucial first few days when breastfeeding must be initiated:
Meanwhile, the US WIC program for low income families distributes vouchers for infant formula, promoting poor health and lower IQ among poor children:
Breast milk contains oxytocin, the hormone of love and bonding:
Bottle feeding linked to post partum depression
Lack of breast feeding linked to autism
Baby formula is contaminated with aluminum:
Fluoride from drinking water (and “fortified formula water”) combines with aluminum. The fluoroaluminum complex is transported into the brain:
This picture tells two stories: most obviously, about the often fatal consequences of bottle-feeding; more profoundly, about the age-old bias in favour of the male. The child with the bottle is a girl – she died the next day. Her twin brother was breastfed. This woman was told by her mother-in-law that she didn’t have enough milk for both her children, and so should breastfeed the boy. But almost certainly she could have fed both children herself, because the process of suckling induces the production of milk. However, even if she found that she could not produce sufficient milk – unlikely as that would be – a much better alternative to bottle-feeding would have been to find a wet-nurse. Ironically, this role has sometimes been taken by the grandmother. In most cultures, before the advent of bottle-feeding, wet-nursing was a common practice.
“Use my picture if it will help”, said the mother. “I don’t want other people to make the same mistake.”