Fed* is Best

Here is the problem with the “Fed is Best” campaign. Well, there are several problems actually.
Let’s talk about the people that share this catch phrase. These people are usually self-proclaimed scientists or consider themselves to be superior in that they follow the science of things. These people are also Facebook pages that are supposed to be about science. They usually promote the science about vaccines, GMOs, and other areas that are full of pseudoscience.

So why is it they are unable to acknowledge the scientific consensus about infant feeding? All sense of the scientific method flies out the window and it is all about feelings. They claim they don’t want to “shame” parents that feed formula. But they have no problem shaming parents that don’t vaccinate. They have no problem shaming parents that shop exclusively at Whole Foods.

I find that these science pages are also up on social justice and privilege. They are quick to call out “all lives matter” on their bullshit that minimizes Black Lives Matter. But they don’t see the hypocrisy of the “Fed is Best” campaign in that it is analogous to the “All lives Matter” counter-campaign. Just like BLM existed to assert their power and claim their right to a society that has always held power over them. So did the “Breast is Best” campaign begin to promote the importance of infant feeding choice in a society where artificial baby milk was the default choice.

The “Fed is Best” slogan is not harmless, and while it may make a parent feel better for a moment, you are harming many more infants in the process when you continually attempt to minimize the importance of infant feeding choice. The science is clear that breast milk is the optimal form of nutrition for human babies. Every health organization in the world, with or without clean water, agrees that infants should be fed breast milk. You don’t have to minimize one thing in order to not shame a person that chooses another.

Can we talk about other ways that the social media science community isn’t evidence-based when it comes to infant feeding? I’ve seen several times where the topic of donor milk has been discussed negatively despite the evidence to support it. If “Fed is Best” then they would show support for a parent’s decision to safely feed donor milk, but they don’t. So Fed isn’t best in this scenario. I’ve seen the science community outraged when homemade formulas are fed, when raw goat and cow milks are fed, and when they see infants with soda in their bottle. Obviously, fed is best, right? Or no, not here.
“A fed baby is better than a dead baby”
Well, not when that fed baby is going to die from kidney injury or diarrhea because they were fed unsafe milks.
Please Don’t Feed Your Baby Homemade Formula
CDC – Raw Milk

The fed is best campaign is a dangerous political slogan that does nothing to help parents or infants in the long run. This is simply a way for people that can’t separate emotion from scientific discussions to appear to have the upper hand while they accuse us of shaming people that feed formula or being lactivists.

What if I told you that you can support a parent in their feeding choice without minimizing the other choice? Weird huh.

“The expert consultation recommends exclusive breastfeeding for six months, with introduction of complementary foods and continued breastfeeding thereafter. This recommendation applies to populations. The expert consultation recognizes that some mothers will be unable to, or choose not to, follow this recommendation; they should be supported to optimize their infants’ nutrition.”

Just like there is a scientific consensus about vaccines, global warming, and GMOs, so is there a scientific consensus that breast milk is the optimal feeding choice.
According to the World Health Organization, infants should be fed according to this order; mother’s own milk, another mother’s milk, commercial infant formula, homemade formulas, boiled animal milks.
Global strategy for infant and young child feeding The optimal duration of exclusive breastfeeding
Infant and young child nutrition Global strategy on infant and young child feeding

Advertisements