May 29, 2010 (3:09 pm)

Formula Fed America

by Kristen Suzanne

I can’t wait to see Formula Fed America!

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  • Ag

    wow – thank you for sharing. i have to fwd to my best friend, who is due a week after you! congrats!

  • Kateisfun

    I agree! I hope it will become easily viewable soon…

  • RhodeyGirl

    When and where does this come out?!?!?

  • Brooke

    I can't wait to see this either!!! Formula is so ridiculous to me. Our bodies are physically made to raise babies. That is the whole purpose for having two different sexes. I already had a heated discussion this past weekend about homebirthing and I'm not even pregnant yet. It's so hard to make other people understand the benefits of homebirth, especially when the person you are talking to was high-risk for all their kids. I'm just going to choose to not talk about it when I get pregnant because I don't want people trying to make me feel bad for not going to the hospital. Kristen – maybe you could do a post on this subject and how you handled it?

  • Kristen Suzanne

    Thank you for the comment, Brooke, and for the suggestion. :)

  • Barbara W

    While formula isn’t necessarily the best choice, there are certainly situations when it is absolutely vital for a baby’s nutrition. When my daughter was 3 weeks old, I broke out with chicken pox, and the medicine I needed would have been harmful to pass on to her through my breast milk. A week and a half into my chicken pox ordeal, I developed an infection in my gall bladder due to gall stones and needed emergency surgery. Had it not been for formula and one amazing grandma (thanks, MOM!!) my poor little baby wouldn’t have had anything to eat. It certainly wasn’t my first choice for her nutrition, but some Moms just can’t produce safe milk for their babies for a variety of reasons.

  • Laura Jane

    I am so excited to see this become more of a mainstream discussion! I wrote my senior thesis on the politics and promotion of breastfeeding in the United States as an undergrad 6 years ago. Among the things I looked at were the different state laws that impact nursing in public and the controversy surrounding the original Ad Council campaign to promote breastfeeding that compared formula use to endangerment. It was the only paper I wrote in school that I thought was relevant and meaningful. I also got a lot of raised eyebrows when I explained to others what I writing to graduate.

  • Carrie

    HI Kristen,
    I enjoy reading your blog and hope you avoid going down the path of displaying scorn for those of us who had no other option but to formula feed our children. I am a breast cancer survivor and only produced milk from one side for my 6 month old twins. As they started to eat more, I could scarcely keep up with their need for a greater supply of milk. So, Brooke I understand that formula is so ridiculous to you, but perhaps be thoughtful enough, and have the sense to acknowledge that for some of us that is the option we needed to go with.

  • Laura

    Hi Kristen,

    Looking for your ideas… I’ve breastfed my son, who is now 9 months old, and have contemplated what I can give him as a nutritious beverage after the 1 year mark if I want to avoid cow’s (or goat) milk and fruit juice. I’ve considered diluted coconut water and perhaps making my own juices. Not sure about almond milk for a child that young. Thoughts?

    Best wishes to you!

  • Kristen Suzanne

    Thank you for sharing, Carrie. I would hope that since you follow my blog, you would know that I would not scorn a woman if she couldn't breast feed – just because I wrote that I couldn't wait to see the documentary and because I'm a big fan of breastfeeding? I would also venture to say that Brooke feels the same way in that there are situations where some women can't do it, although I won't speak for her. A lot of us get fired up about this topic, but not because of women like you who had legitimate challenges. The point of this, for me, is that we have many women out there who CAN breastfeed and they are not, or they give up too soon because they, unfortunately, do not have the needed support. Many women write to me stating that they gave up too soon and wish they had tried harder or had considered other alternatives or simply had more people cheering them on.

    I believe that some women, capable of breastfeeding, are misled into thinking formula is a good alternative, even superior(!) – as I'm sure many doctors are still touting that mantra – and they choose that route as a result. I think it's a shame, but even still, it's not my place to judge. I'm hoping this documentary helps shed light on that topic so women who can breastfeed can make an educated decision. One of my best friends could not breast feed because of a prescription she had to take – my heart went out to her, but I certainly didn't scorn her.

    I'm a big fan of breastfeeding and if I couldn't do it, which I've already started preparing for in the event that that happens, I have options I'm considering. To begin, I'll try and try and try… and then I'll STILL try. And, if that doesn't work, I'll pursue a wet nurse or friends who have excess milk they can share, and I'll also consider goat's milk (possibly raw from a local farm) even though I'm a hardcore vegan. I'll “consider” it against the option of vegan formula and still want to do more research on it. Or perhaps I'll do a mix of all of the above.

    This is an important topic and I'm eager to see how this documentary brings it to the forefront more.

  • Kristen Suzanne

    That's fascinating. :)

  • Kristen Suzanne

    Thanks for the comment, Brooke, and for the suggestion. Good idea :)

  • Kristen Suzanne

    Check Dr. Gabriel Cousen's book – Rainbow Diet. I think he has a chart in there for food for babies. Also, check out Baby Greens.

  • Kristen Suzanne

    Very cool.

  • Kristen Suzanne

    Thx for sharing.

  • Marika

    I watched this trailer recently (a friend showed it to me). I can't stand it. Makes me see red. The mother who starts rambling at 30 seconds is why I see red. She is LUCKY she is able to breastfeed. It is very narrow minded of her to assume that ALL mothers who feed their babies formula don't care about them and are contributing to the nation's obesity crisis. Come on! There are millions of mothers out there (myself included) who planned and hoped to breastfeed for X amount of time (in my case, I planned to breastfeed until my daughter turned 4, as inspired by Shazzie's book “Evie's Kitchen”) but couldn't for a whole myriad of reasons! In my case, my daughter was born with a tongue tie & couldn't latch on. Only hours after she was born, my nipples were bleeding & cracked (not to mention I was in agonising pain trying to feed her and my milk was pink because of all the blood!) I ended up pumpking exclusively & then bottle feeding my daughter my breastmilk so that she could still be breastfed, even though she couldn't latch on. I did this for 5 and a half months – until my milk dried up. :( I actually slipped into postnatal depression because I was so saddened that I wasn't able to breastfeed my daughter for as long as I had hoped. Breastfeeding is not that black & white.

  • Claireboe

    As a mom who breastfed both my kids, long term (4 years and 4-1/2 years each), I am so glad this information is getting out there.

    My heart hurts for women who truly can't breastfeed. It is a very rare occurrence (and truly, there would be no formula “industry” if those were the only ones formula feeding).

    A wet nurse or a milk bank is a wonderful alternative to formula, though not accessible to everyone.

    Previous generations of women supported each other in breastfeeding. Moms, grandmothers, aunts breastfed and taught the younger women. Since we lost a generation (or two) of breastfeeding women, some are forced to rely on untrained medical personnel, who have never breastfed themselves, for help.

    Thanks for the post, Kristen!

  • Kristen Suzanne

    Yay for your extended breastfeeding!

  • Kathryndettra

    Because of medical conditions, I could not breastfeed. The nurses in the hospital seemed to be appalled at my decision to not breast feed, and I had visits from La Leche League consultants in the hospital and many times had to explain that I was on medication (which is also embarassing, might I add). My area is very pro breastfeeding, and while I think that is the best and first choice, it hurts having people think I am some kind of delinquent because I had to give my baby a bottle. Should I really have to think my child is going to turn out inferior because he was fed a bottle? Anyway. while, I support breastfeeding women, my experience left me very hurt and offended.

  • rawkinwithtrish

    I know some people say that they could not breastfeed for this or that reason, but what did people do before formula companies? Answer: they found a way. I imagine the aim of the film is to open up more eyes to the idea that breastmilk is best for mom and baby. There are option s besides formula if it is a struggle though. (like milk banks)

  • Ashley Gotschall

    wow. I had such a difficult time breastfeeding initially. I was literally in constant burning horrible pain with mastitis and thrush off and on for the first three months of my sons life but I stuck it out and I am so glad I did. Some advice: It's going to hurt you might get infections but all are solvable and YOU CAN DO IT! I am so glad you are planning on breastfeeding!

  • saramd

    I'm looking forward to seeing this.

  • Leahdisney

    Breast feeding is difficult and painful for some. I had a lot of tears the first 6 weeks. My nipples would blister and bleed I was constantly going to health nurses and lactation doctors. I used formula occasionally to give my nipples a break or pumped milk. That’s my experience. My daughter us now 7 months and breastfeeding is great! And very easy but it took time. I think it’s important to create a community that supports mothers in there decisions but also educates. The goal can’t be to make mothers feel guilty or bad. That is something I am guilty of doing. I occasionally catch myself judging a woman who formula feeds and tells me she can’t BFeed. Check out “the feminist breeder” she has some great info on her site. She uses an example with car seats. Mothers don’t get to decide not to use car seats. I think education is the key here because breast feeding can be awful at first and you need to realize all the benefits and negatives whether you breast or bottle feed.

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Kristen Suzanne is a Raw food chef and author who blogs about all things green and mommy-related! More...

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