Friday, March 12, 2010

Formula Fed America

Just saw the trailer for the new documentary "Formula Fed America" and wanted to share.

Formula Fed America trailer

In a lot of ways, it's not new information. We know that breastmilk is better for babies, we know the dangers of formula. But the statement from the first mom you see in the trailer, really struck a chord with me. She states that the argument "I was'nt breastfed and I turned out fine" is not valid. America is not fine.

I just had a conversation with my mom about this - she's the biggest breastfeeding advocate that I know - and she absolutely agreed. Mom wasn't ever breastfed and I always contended that she was fine. She's so healthy. My mom disagrees. I completely forgot about her terrible food allergies. She's struggled her whole life with food related problems. How could I have forgotten?

Sure, she's fine. But she doesn't have perfect health. Would a year of breastmilk have changed that? Maybe, maybe not. Since breastfeeding decreases the chance your child will have food allergies, I think the probability is pretty good that it would have at the very least lessened the severity of her allergies.

Another interesting fact that I didn't know is found on the Formula Fed America website.

"While commercial infant formulas are commonly perceived to be the medically recommended second choice infant food after breastfeeding, the World Health Organization (WHO) states: "The second choice is the mother's own milk expressed and given to the infant in some way. The third choice is the milk of another human mother. The fourth and last choice is artificial baby milk."

As I've said before, this is not my way of making people who were not breastfed feel bad or mom's who didn't (or couldn't) breastfeed feel guilty.

But if we don't change the way that we view breastfeeding in this country, nothing is going to change.

The WHO recommends breastfeeding for a minimum of 2 years and yet in this country, less than 20% of the woman who DO breastfeed are still exclusively breastfeeding after 6 months. Factoring in the women who don't breastfeed at all, we're talking about less than 10% of our population is being breastfed past 6 months. This is just appalling. We have a responsibility to educate ourselves as a nation and change the "norm". We need to refuse to be a part of a the majority and change the status quo.

"If a multinational company developed a product that was a nutritionally balanced and delicious food, a wonder drug that both prevented and treated disease, cost almost nothing to produce and could be delivered in quantities controlled by the consumers' needs, the very announcement of their find would send their shares rocketing to the top of the stock market. The scientists who developed the product would win prizes and the wealth and influence of everyone involved would increase dramatically. Women have been producing such a miraculous substance, breastmilk, since the beginning of human existence..." -Gabrielle Palmer


  1. Thank you for posting this, really useful information, but is there a typo in the quote at the end of the first paragraph?

  2. What a great post. My son is 11 months old and is breastfed. I plan on BF-ing as long as he is interested.

  3. Thanks for posting this. My daugthter will be a year next week and I'm still breastfeeding. I've gotten virtually no support from family that are ignorant about the entire thing because they all used formula. I've now started trying to educate all of my friends as they begin their motherhood journeys.

  4. I am also a HUGE, HUGE breastfeeding advocate. It is the perfect way to feed our babies.

    Thanks for sharing this!! I haven't heard of this video here in the UK so am so happy you posted on it.

  5. Well said:)
    i dont understand how so few people do breastfeed when thats what the equipment is designed for . The fact that non breastfeeding moms have to take a drug to dry the milk up and wrap up there chest after birth all to suppress the free food given to nurish their babies ,it amazes me .
    Breastfeeding mom to:
    baby #1 6 months(lack of knowledge)
    baby#2 5 years (yes thats years :)
    baby#3 19 months and counting

  6. 28 months and still going strong with my little man.
    Thanks for posting!

    Sarah S.
    Dallas, TX

  7. Another breastfeeding mama here!

    #1: 37 months
    #2: 22 months
    #3: 21 months
    #4: 17 months and counting
    #5: on the way!

  8. Molly - in the paragraph about the WHO's recommendation, do you mean that only 20% of women who breastfeed are breastfeeding *at all* after 6mo - or exclusively after 6mo?
    i'll include my stats since everyone else is :)
    #1 -10mo
    #2 - 16mo
    #3 - 4years
    #4 - 3years
    #5 - 19mo
    #6 - 25months and counting
    #7 - 1 month and counting