Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Slogan of Illusion

Why do we use the slogan, "the risks of not breastfeeding?" What does that mean? If there are risks of not breastfeeding, then there must be risks of breastfeeding. Relatively speaking the biological use of our bodies does create some risks. We use our legs and can walk. Therefore we risk falling down and getting hurt or dying. We can walk into traffic and die. Ultimately, walking isn't really risky. Nor is it really a choice, although we can refuse to walk and we can die while walking. Would we discuss, "the risks of not walking?" There is no need to discuss it. Walking is our normal biology. Likewise, breastfeeding is our normal biology.

What is the strategy behind the slogan of "the risks of not breastfeeding?" We avoid the real discussion of the risks of artificial baby milks/infant formula. Avoidance of issues, reminds me of the codependent behavior of families who are dealing with addictive behavior. Codependent behavior avoids the discussion of the reality of addiction. Daddy wasn't drunk last night, he was just sleepy. Mommy isn't addicted to painkillers, she just popps them alot because she is in so much pain. It is the refusal to see the reality and the refusal to talk about that reality. Aren't we, the lactation profession, dealing with an addiction? Aren't the dealers the infant formula industry? The freebies to get ya started, just one bottle. Society blames the victim/the mother for weakness, for giving into the one bottle. And there sits the dealer/the industry wealthier and more powerful than ever. And there sits the victim, poorer and powerless. She feels "guilty" because society would rather blame the victim than speak "truth to power."

The issue is quite simply, "the risks of artificial baby milks/infant formula. "
Infant feeding becomes a choice because industry is creating that illusion for a purpose, for a society of their choosing. The patents on human milk components shows that the illusion is to support the ownership and monopolization of infant feeding by the corporate world. Infant formula feeding is the risk.


  1. The term "the risks of not breastfeeding" encompasses more than just infant formula. People feed their babies soda pop, cow's milk, organge juice, etc? Infant formula is a relatively safe alternative - the only safe alternative, I might add - to breast milk.

  2. Right on, Valerie! I have noticed this obsessive trend in the breastfeeding community to avoid naming formula as the culprit and going along with the notion that formula is safe, relatively safe or acceptable. I think, it was Jack Newman who said that there has never been any research that would compare formula to other forms of feeding to conclude that it is in fact less risky than other options. Breastfeeding community turned lactation management community has been fooled into believing that formula is the only safe alternative.