Monday, May 19, 2008


Yes, billion, with a "b." That is the current amount of yearly sales in the formula market in the US, according to an article in the NY Times. The article is actually about a new "organic" formula produced and sold by Similac that contains a controversial ingredient, cane sugar, as a sweetener. Since the formula companies are trying (and failing) to duplicate breastmilk, which is extremely sweet and is the preferred taste by infants, they need to add something to the formula so that it tastes good (although if you've ever tasted commercial formula, you know how disgusting it is...that stuff will gag you!) The Scientific Committee on Food (the EU's version of our FDA) has stated that cane sugar-sweetened formulas be banned by the end of 2009. Europe is concerned with the increasing rates of obesity among its young people, and we know how big the problem is here in the US, yet the FDA does not regulate which sugars can be used in infant formula. The use of this sugar is a bit troublesome, according to pediatricians, because it so sweet that it will lead to overconsumption. Besides, parents who are buying "organic" infant formula are assuming they are buying a superior product, when it may actually be more damaging than regular formula.
Anyway, my favorite part of this story is the first quote from a woman who describes herself as a "yoga mom" and has been formula feeding her son since the SECOND he was born: “When I saw the organic at Publix, I bought it, no questions asked."
If you are such a "yoga mom," perhaps you should have asked some questions and done some research. Wouldn't a true "yoga mom" be breastfeeding her son anyway?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Breastfed babies ARE smarter

Sorry I have not updated in a while. Things were kind of hectic here. My mom was sick and I was back and forth from home to hospital visiting her and I didn't have much time to get online. However, I did see this article in the news: Breastfeeding raises IQ. Isn't this a big, giant "DUH"? Of course the comments sections at all of the outlets that ran this story were full of remarks about how formula is just as good as breastmilk, especially now that there are DHA and ARA supplements in it. I guess some people can bconvince themselves of anything. Why is it that whenever the topic comes up, people who formula feed come out of the woodwork with comments about how mothers shouldn't be made to feel guilty if they don't want to or can't breastfeed. I understand that some mothers (a VERY tiny percentage) can't breastfeed because of an inadequate milk supply and another VERY small percentage because of medical problems, but what is everyone else's excuse? If you were exposing your newborn to cigarette smoke or drinking while pregnant, your doctor would have no issue making you feel guilty in order to stop, so why is it so bad for women to feel guilty for not breastfeeding? I am not saying that formula is the equivalent of giving your baby drugs or alcohol. I definitely think formula has its place, for adoptive parents, for supplementation purposes and emergencies, but I just don't understand why anyone who could breastfeed would choose to give their baby formula full-time. I just don't have much respect for the folks who don't even try. Even 6 weeks of breastmilk while you're on maternity leave is better than none at all. Of course this article mentions that I probably feel this way because mothers who breastfeed are different. They "tend to be smarter. They tend to be more invested in their babies. They tend to interact with them more closely. They may be the kind of mothers who read to their kids more, who spend more time with their kids, who play with them more," added Kramer, who led the study published in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry.

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