Formula Anyone?

This photograph was taken by UNICEF in Islamabad, Pakistan.

These babies are twins. The bottle/formula-fed baby is a girl. She died VERY shortly after this picture was taken. Her twin brother was breastfed and, as you can tell, thrived. The mother was told that she would only be able to produce enough milk for one baby, and that is why she chose to bottle-feed the girl. I wonder if she knows the impact this picture is having on people around the world.

I can't think of anything that so definitively and so powerfully shows why it is fundamentally important that breastfeeding is promoted and supported and that pharm companies that produce formula are required to give less biased information.

I know, opening a can of... fake milk here, ain't I?


Kim said...

That picture is a bit frightening!! My first thought is whether or not the twins were very different weights at birth and the girl was just not well to begin with (I know that can happen sometimes ... one twin is huge and the other is very very small).

Karen said...

I hope you don't mind, I linked to this entry on my blog. It's such an important topic!

Kathy said...

I think I'm going to cry. Or be sick. So sad!

Amy said...

A picture is worth a million words.
I will link this to my site too.

Kimberley said...

I think you should link the news articles as to just exactly why this poor baby was bottle fed and what exactly (besides the apprent reason of formula) killed her.

Nicole D said...

Ok - here ya go Kimberly- since you seem on a kick here -

http://www.whale.to/w/baby_milk2.html (notice the news reports cited)

And the reasons why:
Water in these areas are unsanitary - causing dehydration from diarrhea, inadequate nutrition, and inadequate immunities for an already disease-ridden country.

This is not a formula piece - this is an educational piece - we need to support breastfeeding in other countries because there, it is LIFESAVING.

A result DIRECTLY of choosing a male over a female (social bias) because she KNEW one was better and safer (breastfeeding) and one was less adequate and safe (formula feeding - nutritionally and hydrationally).

Nicole D said...

Ha - forgot to tie in the 'water in these areas' section - you need water to mix formula... figured everyone reading would know that, but just in case...

kris said...

dear God, that is horrific.

Agatha said...

There is more to this picture.

The little girl died hours after this picture was taken, & the woman asked that the picture be taken as a warning to others.

Makes me wonder why this woman listened to others & didn't trust that she could feed 2 children.

Aidan's mom said...

I think breastfeeding is very very important. It would be amazing if every woman's body did exactly what it was supposed to do. It doesn't always work that way.

My goal was to breastfeed my son for a year. Circumstances outside my control led to a very premature birth at only 28 weeks. My son spent 15 weeks in the NICU. I pumped like a MAD woman. 10 times a day. I NEVER made the amount of milk I was supposed to make. I took fenugreek, I ate oatmeal, I did all the things you are told to do to up your milk production. It didn't happen for me. I resorted to ordering domperidone from Canada. It sort of did the trick in that it doubled my production. I exclusively pumped for my son for an exhausting 9 months. At that point his consumption far exceeded my production and I had to begin formula. My son's lung condition in his first few months of life made him so exhausted feeding directly from my breast, that he could never get enough milk.

I think if you can breast feed, you should. The only thing that was painful to me in seeing this picture was the idea that every woman can do it and some choose not to.

I received more than a few judgemental stares in mother's rooms when I would give my son a bottle. Little did these strangers know that for most of his first year, it WAS my breast milk. And that I would give anything to have been able to have that experience.

I know I am more the exception than the rule. Yet I feel the intense need to beg women not to judge others. Sometimes whether or not you are breastfeeding is not a matter of choice.

If you are interested in my son's birth story...you can get to my blog from my sign in name.

Great blog!

Nicole D said...

I agree Aidan's Mom and thank you for your insight. I was unable to nurse my first because of a postpartum complication as well, so I too can understand the 'condemnation' that is sometimes felt and given for formula feeding.


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