Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Does the Bottle Indicate Neglect?

Does the Bottle Indicate Neglect?

Breastfeeding versus bottle feeding study shows bottle fed infants more likely to be neglected. This statement created quite a stir in the mommy world when it was mentioned last week on Eco Child's Play blog. The core issue, I believe, isn't bottle versus breast at all. Rather, neglect in general. Bottles were only introduced fairly recently in comparison to the history of mankind. Neglect, on the other hand, has been an issue for all of history.

The Bible says, "Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you" (Isaiah 49:15 NKJV).

This isn't a scripture to bash nursing mothers, but exemplifies the least likely candidate for neglect, a nursing mother. The flip side to this is that every woman has a free will and can choose to neglect or not to neglect; the bottle isn't the determining factor. Even according to this study, the chemical oxytocin, produced in the brain by animal studies during breastfeeding (and presumably humans), doesn't completely eliminate neglect; the study showed even a percent of nursing mothers neglected their children.

The wonderful thing is this: Even though the least likely candidate for neglect, the nursing mother, can forget her child, God will not forget us.

Mothers choose how they treat their babies; parents in general choose how they treat their babies. If you are a parent researching the best home environment, the most healthy and natural way to raise your child, how to avoid exposing your baby to unnecessary toxins, and doing all the neurotic research you can imagine, then the fact that you are putting in so much time regarding the upbringing of your child indicates your concern. Therefore, in my mind, your concern in action greatly reduces the risk of neglect.

I wanted to comment on this subject because I am a happy breastfeeding mother, but I do not find it appropriate to belittle or insinuate a mother that bottle feeds is not a good mother.

Sure, breastfeeding is an amazing bond for infant and mother, but can you think of all the other amazing bonding moments parents can share with their children?

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