Skip to content

    Health & Baby

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    2 Researchers Challenge Breastfeeding Campaign

    Say Moms Who Choose Bottle-Feeding Made to Feel Inadequate

    Attitudes Toward Breastfeeding continued...

    Along with University of Kent colleague Ellie Lee, PhD, Furedi surveyed roughly 500 new moms about their attitudes toward breastfeeding. A total of 63% responded that a woman should breastfeed if possible, but roughly the same number stated that supplementing breastfeedings with formula feedings was necessary on occasion.

    Less than a third (29%) of the women who intended to breastfeed exclusively were doing so by the time their baby was 6 months old.

    Of the women who fed their babies formula during this time, 32% expressed a sense of failure about not breastfeeding, 48% said they were not certain they were doing the right thing, and 23% were worried about what their health care provider would say.

    And one in five surveyed moms worried that feeding their baby formula during their first six months of life would have a negative impact on their future health.

    Lee tells WebMD that many of the moms in the survey worried that feeding their babies formula would increase their risk for developing conditions such as asthma and eczema. Multiple studies have shown the benefits that breastfeeding has to infants, especially in developing countries. But Lee says that doesn't necessarily mean that formula-fed babies are at high risk.

    What has happened, she says, is that a perfectly reasonable and evidence-based argument regarding the health advantages of breast milk has gotten turned into an argument that formula milk is intrinsically bad.

    Furedi agrees that, all things being equal, breastfeeding is better for babies than bottle-feeding. But he says moms who chose bottle-feeding for whatever reason should not be intimidated by what others think.

    "This is a choice that a woman should make based on her own circumstances. It is not one that society should make for her," he says.

    1 | 2

    Baby's First Year Newsletter

    Because every week matters, get expert advice and facts on what to expect in your baby's first year.

    Today on WebMD

    mother on phone holding baby
    When you should call 911.
    parents and baby
    Unexpected ways your life will change.
     
    baby acne
    What’s normal – and what’s not.
    baby asleep on moms shoulder
    Help your baby get the sleep he needs.
     

    mother holding baby at night
    ARTICLE
    mother with sick child
    QUIZ
     
    Chinese mother breast feeding newborn baby girl
    SLIDESHOW
    Track Your Babys Vaccines
    TOOL
     
    Baby Napping 10 Dos And Donts
    Slideshow
    Mother with her baby boy
    Article
     
    baby in crib
    Slideshow
    baby gear slideshow
    Slideshow