Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Happy 2018! And Why Does Breastfeeding Need to be Exclusive?

This exclusive breastfeeding initiative bothers me for several reasons:
- The goal is a healthy baby. Demanding a specific path to that goal is unnecessary and produces rules and policies in line with exclusive breastfeeding that are not necessarily in line with the real goal of a healthy baby. It's like locking 3 out of 4 exits in a burning building. Sure, maybe it's not ideal that people go through the kitchen to escape the building, but the goal is that they get out alive, right?
- Is there any evidence that supplementing with formula in addition to breast milk is not as good as exclusive breastfeeding? Why this emphasis on exclusivity?
- An unknown percentage of women are unable to breastfeed for various reasons. This unnecessary emphasis on exclusivity sets them up for disappointment and feelings of failure, during a particularly challenging time both physically and mentally.
- When studies controlled for factors like economic status, education, and mother's IQ, there was very little difference between exclusive breastfeeding vs formula feeding.

Much more info here at