Recently in China, police arrested two brothers suspected of adding a dangerous chemical to milk they sold to a company that produced infant formula that killed four babies and sickened more than 2,400 others, officials and state media reported Monday. Sure it happened in China and it will never happen here, or will it?
How do we know what the cows that produce the milk for our baby formula eat? What about all other ingredients? How funny it is we sterilize our baby’s bottles but we do not worry to much were the powder we mix with tap water comes from. When you breastfeed you know what you baby gets; as you take care of yourself, you are taking care of your baby. No middle man, no surprises. Also, we keep referring to the mother as breastfeeding, but the baby is breastfeeding, not the mom.
There is no mother out there who would not stand in the way of her baby getting the very best. So what happened? For decades, mom were told that the man-made powder called formula was better then what they produced. Even recently, we heard that mother’s milk lacks of vitamin D. The truth is that moms just don’t spend enough time in the sun to get the vitamin D they need and that the insistent scare for skin cancer has made us all put heavy sunscreens on our skin when we do go out in the sun. Vitamin D cannot be absorbed through food, so the excuse that we either have to supplement our newborns with an artificial version of it, or that we should feed formula because it is a complete meal, is ludicrous.
Once we decide to bring a baby into the world, we need to decide if we can trust that we have all that we need. Not only to carry this growing life in our womb for nine months, or to birth our baby naturally without all the medical interventions, but also to trust that we as mothers have all our babies’ needs for the first six to nine months of his life. Yes, breastfeeding at times is not as simple as putting a little man-made powder in a bottle, add some water, and shake. But if our government and our public agencies would provide more support to insure that what is best for the child—breast milk—is encouraged, and that mothers who have difficulties at the start of their breastfeeding experiences were supported via peer counseling and/or lactation professionals, we could prevent despicable disasters from happening, such as the tainting of formulas by some money hungry monsters.