Sunday, April 27, 2014

Breastfeeding Concerns

I have to say that the readings for this week completely blew me away. I knew that there has always been much controversy or even just talk over mother’s milk, but I never realized the full extent of the topic. What really struck me was Melanie’s picture comparison on the components present in breast milk versus formulas. I already knew that breast milk is almost always the better option when feeding infants, but the arguments presented in the readings made it obvious that formulas just don’t compete.

But the story doesn’t stop there. I say “almost always” because of today’s trend of acquiring breast milk via internet businesses that sell the stuff. Mothers donate to the sites and other mothers that, for whatever reason aren’t able to breastfeed, buy the milk. To me, this sounds downright sketchy. I’m glad that women understand the importance of breastfeeding, but buying mother’s milk off the internet is definitely not the ideal we should be striving towards.

At this point, I couldn’t help but research the ethical and biological concerns in more detail. I noticed the pressing issues that were addressed in multiple blogs were (1) the lack of knowledge we have on the complexity of breast milk’s composition and (2) how the components function and interact with infants. Instead of creating more online breast milk businesses and stressing the things that mother’s milk doesn’t benefit, there needs to be more funding towards the research of breast milk. Through this, we can improve upon formulas. Lastly, I feel like there needs to be less hate towards women that breast feed and those that don’t! It creates division and unwillingness to see things from a different perspective. All in all, fantastic posts!

1 comment:

  1. I agree with how shocking the picture Melanie posted of what is in breast milk compared to formulas. To me it was shocking that there was so much more in breast milk than the formula and I wondered how many people knew about this large discrepancy. If women knew that there was a lot less in the formula would they be as inclined to buy the formula? I think that would certainly influence my view when trying to choose the best option for my child. The interesting thing is that we still don’t know everything that is in breast milk and I wonder how many other beneficial parts are in breast milk and could they be incorporated into the formula.
    There definitely needs to be more research into the two areas you mentioned, the composition and how these components interact with the infant. It’s interesting to see how much time and energy is spent debating about which method is better and finger pointing, when people could be calling for more research into breast milk so that both options can be well understood and formula could be improved if needed. It is especially important to research this topic because this is what every human must begin with and it seems like we should strive to give everyone the best possible outcomes.
    I also agree with you that the unregulated sale of breast milk is very risky. I wonder why women choose to partake in this and if they realize the risks or just know that breast milk is better so they decide to get it online. Maybe this just shows that there needs to be more education on breast milk and what is safe for a baby. I know that I have never really had any education on breast milk but rather the only time I see anything about breast feeding is through the media, which is made clear through the blogs that the media often takes studies out of context or is very selective of what articles and studies they choose to present.