Wonderful letter from Danita Barry about the the Region of Peel’s “Formula? No, Thanks!” campaign. Her enlightened view, especially as a nurse, helps us understand that breastfeeding, AT ALL COSTS, is not always the best approach. Everyone agrees that breastfeeding is without a doubt the best way to feed your baby; however, we must not only take into consideration the baby’s health, but also the mother’s health and well-being. A mother should be given every opportunity (support, training, counseling) to help breastfeed her baby. However, it needs to be recognized that not every mother is capable of bringing baby to breast, without significant anxiety, fear and depression. Those mothers who are able to bring baby to breast with comfort and relaxation are so blessed.
Formula should absolutely be the last choice when making infant feeding decisions, but there are other feeding options that can be explored, such as breast pumping. Yet, even when a mother does decide to use formula, she should not be chastised or made to feel guilty for this choice. Other ideas to help mothers in the immediate days after giving birth to her new sweet baby would be to give a manual breast pump instead of a can of formula. That formula becomes way to easy to use on that first or second night home when mom is engorged and baby is screaming at 2:00 in the morning.