The pol­i­tics of for­mula

Carla Saps­ford New­man ex­am­ines why so many mums are con­flicted about making the switch from breast milk to for­mula

Time Out Malaysia Kids - - Parenthood -

Pol­i­tics and for­mula don’t nor­mally go to­gether, but in the case of new mums sort­ing out how to best feed their in­fant they definitely do. So what do we mean by ‘pol­i­tics’? Th­ese in­fant nu­tri­tional ‘hunger games’ of­ten put young mums who make non­main­stream choices in the crosshairs, leav­ing many feel­ing de­fen­sive and in­com­pe­tent in their new roles. In many ways, young mums feel damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

The feed­ing of an in­fant has got­ten po­lit­i­cal. Thirty or 40 years ago, a mum was praised for giv­ing her baby ‘su­pe­rior’ nu­tri­tion in a for­mula. Now, she is of­ten judged at best and crit­i­cised at worst for choos­ing for­mula over breast­feed­ing.

Here, we go through the rea­sons mums might feel forced to start off with for­mula, or switch to for­mula, be­fore the six-month mark. We speak to the ever-prac­ti­cal Jen­nifer Hor, a lac­ta­tion ed­u­ca­tor and nurse-mid­wife of Jen­lia Ma­ter­nal Ser­vices. And we’ll let you de­cide.

The im­por­tant thing to re­mem­ber, main­tains Hor, is that breast­feed­ing is a choice. It’s a mother’s right to choose. ‘Moth­ers who choose to not breast­feed their ba­bies shouldn’t feel guilty about it and oth­ers shouldn’t judge them. They can choose to feed their baby how­ever they want.’ So with that in mind, let’s look at the op­tions.

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