The breast is best vs fed is best debate has been on going for so many years now and we really should put an end to it.
I really cannot stand either term, whatever is best for each individual mother and her family is best, as long as the mother is fully educated to make a decision and supported in her choice.
Hate is a big word but I honestly hate the term ‘Fed is best’ you’re probably wondering why? It’s because fed is the bare minimum, it’s something that is required, as you wouldn’t just starve your baby would you? This term really is a nonsensical statement, it’s like saying breathing is best. If there wasn’t such a thing as formula would you feed your baby McDonald’s because at the end of the day, ‘fed is best’?
The reason I don’t agree with the term ‘breast is best’ is because breast is the biological norm, it’s the most natural way to be able to feed your baby, but the term ‘breast is best’ can come across as patronising to those who use formula to feed their babies. Some mothers really want to breastfeed but can’t for many reasons wether it be medical or something else, but some just don’t have the support.
Saying anything is best for baby is just feeding the war that exists between mothers, and these debates just add fuel to the fire.
Feed as you see fit, and what fits in with your parenting journey. Breastfeeding has long term physical health benefits for a mother and baby but how you chose to feed your baby has the same long term mental ramifications. Do what is right for you. Absolutely no one should be shamed for the way they chose to feed their baby. In the end we are all just doing our best within our circumstances.
I asked a few bloggers what do they think about this whole damned ‘breast is best vs fed is best’ debate and this is what they said:
Becca over at www.beccablogsitout.com said – As a breastfeeding mum, I hate both. Fed isn’t best, because it implies that there’s an alternative. You can’t not feed your baby. And if fed is best, why formula and not chicken nuggets? And breast is best just makes mums who can’t (or don’t want to) breastfeed feel guilty. It puts so much pressure on mums at a time when they’re already under a lot of pressure. We need to make sure that women are well informed and then support them to make the choice that works for them, without pressure or judgement
Kate over at http://www.countingtoten.co.uk said – I don’t have a problem with breast is best because I have spoken to a number of new mums who have said there is no difference between breastmilk and formula which isn’t true and clearly there needs to be more awareness. I don’t think anyone should feel guilty for their choices as long as they are informed. I HATE the term fed is best, yes feeding our babies is better than starving them, why do we even need to acknowledge that with a phrase?
Lauren overt at dilanandme.com said – Breast is best is a phrase invented by formula companies. No one who genuinely supports breastfeeding should be using it.
Mary over at https://Over40andamumtoone.com said – I hate both phrases. I was an over 40’s first time mum who truly wanted to breast feed. I just didn’t produce enough milk for my son. I tried everything, the midwife / hv team tried everything but I still couldn’t produce enough for him. I was beside myself when it was gently suggested I tried formula for both my son’s and my sake. I felt like I’d failed everyone and even now I have a healthy nine year old, it still upsets me. In the end formula was the best option for my mental state and for my son’s well being.
Emma over at http://www.lifeinthemumslane.co.uk/ said – I hate the ‘breast is best‘ phrase. It is nobodies business whether you choose to breastfeed or not. Why do we feel the need to shame mothers or pressure them? I formula fed both my children. Do I feel guilty? Hell no! Are my children healthy and happy? Yes! For the mothers that breastfeed well done and good on you. For the mothers that don’t good on you too. It is enormously important to do what is comfortable for you.
Christy at www.welshmum.co.uk said – I don’t see the point in either catchphrase. To have a catchphrase feels like it’s trying to put one opinion as the most important one and I don’t think there is a right or wrong here. I do think breast milk is better if you can, but I couldn’t breastfeed my son and had a tremendous amount of guilt because of it.
Becky over at https://www.abeautifulspace.co.uk said – we don’t need phrases to make one set of mums feel better than another we just need to UP THE EMPATHY we have for each other.
Carla over at www.mybump2baby.com said – I don’t like the phrase. My son came early and my milk just wasn’t ready and this phrase added to my guilt, didnt help my mental health and made me feel like a terrible mum before I had even held him.
Sophie at Mamamei.co.uk said – Breast is best was a phrase coined by formula milk companies. So it implies that’s what’s best but there’s an alternative. Breastfeeding is the biological norm. But I think both phrases are divisive and I also hate fed is best. I still breastfeed my 3 year old and 6 year old which people think is weird but that’s why babies are born with milk teeth and the natural age of weaning is 5-7 years old when kids develop their adult teeth.
Jenny at midwifeandlife.com/ said – I wrote a post about why I don’t like the term fed is best, I prefer informed is best. I feel like if I say something positive about breastfeeding, formula mums feel like they’re being shamed or judged, but it really isn’t the case.
Stacy over at www.momoftwo.co.uk said – it’s a fact that ‘breast is best’ but unfortunately the ultra pro breastfeeding mom’s that still breastfeed when their kid is 7 years old have turned the phrase from a simple statement that was most likely originally coined by medical professionals as a way to help encourage breastfeeding rates and turned it into a phrase that belittles any other way of feeding and if you don’t breastfeed you’re ‘inferior’. As long as you have chosen a way of feeding that is ‘best’ for you and your baby then no one else has a right to comment on your choice!
Becky over at Https://themummyadventure.com said – I think fed is best is the most ridiculous thing to say. Of course feeding a baby is better than letting it die of starvation. Fed is the only real option. I don’t think either phrase really has a place but of course breast milk is better for babies as it is their natural food and there are health risks to using formula.
Vicki over at Www.mummaandhermonsters.com said – I breastfed and bottle fed and I just believe that fed is best! I loved breastfeeding and I’m glad I got the Information and made that decision but I just couldn’t do it with my second and I was just happy he was fed!
Lynne over at www.newmummyblog.com said – Neither term really, although scientifically breast milk is more nutritious and alters to support baby when they need extra of anything. Support and knowledge is best, unfortunately two things which are majorly lacking. Adequate support and knowledge that breastfeeding is often painful at the start, support and not feeling berated, support to help mums establish breastfeeding and to continue as long as they wish. Better tongue tie support and quicker operations to fix them would help no end. Of course if they choose to switch to formula there should be no guilt either. I combination fed H due to her tongue tie taking so long to fix so I say this from experience.
A lot of great responses by all of these bloggers, and a lot of different views too. Thank you to all of you who took your time to comment.
Does anyone else have a say on this topic? Do you believe in any of these debates or do you agree that informed is definitely best? I would love to know.