I have ranted about this in the past, but recent events and The Feminist Breeder's podcast on Formula Falsehoods (to which I'm listening right now) have compelled me to write about this yet again.
When my husband's father was diagnosed with cancer, I wrote "What was that about feeding choice?" Since then, Dh has lost another close family member.
So I have already fought my way down this dark road. And it is a very very dark one.
We knew my husband had an increased risk of cancer because of the fact that he was formula fed. Now, that risk is even greater. There was another death in his family last week. Now, every single male on his father's side has been diagnosed with cancer. All but one has lost that battle.
This absolutely terrifies me.
As Gina pointed out on her podcast, there are benefits for mothers who breastfeed. I've always taken comfort in the fact that I have decreased my risks for various forms of cancer (including Ovarian cancer which killed my favorite aunt when she was only a few years older than I am). Even those women who did not receive the protections of receiving breastmilk as babies can still get some benefits from breastfeeding their children. I was breastfed and I have breastfed my children, so I have been blessed by the fact that we've avoided many of the dangers of formula-feeding.
My husband was never breastfed and obviously, he doesn't have the options afforded to me in regards to breastfeeding.
Really, you should just go read that original article. I made all the points I wanted to there. This is far too much for me to wrap my mind around. Things have just become a bit more bleak for us in the face of yet another victory for cancer and loss in Dh's family.
In that feeding choice post, I wrote this which sums it up quite well,
If you were to frame the discussion by explaining, "You can do X and increase your child's risks of illness and death for the rest of his life," do you think ANY mother would willingly take that option? What kind of a choice is that?