Most in today’s “mom culture” believe” breast is best” when it comes to feeding babies. What does “breast is best” even mean? “Best” is not a medical term, and it’s not something that we can measure (at least not at an individual level). When you consider the exceptions and situations where breastfeeding or breast milk are absolutely not the “best” choice or option for a parent or baby, it starts to sound more like a moral judgement than a fact. So, honestly there are so many times when “breast is best” just isn’t even remotely true.
I am not saying that breastfeeding isn’t a good or healthy choice for you and your baby, or a great choice for many families. Not at all. I breastfed both of my babies to varying degrees and absolutely loved breastfeeding my son. This isn’t to downplay the benefits of breastfeeding and breast milk, which have been well-documented. Highlighting situations in which a well-used phrase simply isn’t true doesn’t downplay the other situations in which it is; it simply tries to uncover the truth: what’s “best” for one mom or woman or baby or person, isn’t “best” for all moms or women or babies or people.
Before I had babies I bought into the “breast is best” philosophy, too. So hard, in fact, that it was absolutely devastating for me to not be able to exclusively breastfeed my babies, and I actually thought I was harming them by supplementing with formula. I now know that breast is only best, you know, when it is.
I am going to repeat myself: breast is only best when it is best.
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