Is breast always best?

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Is breast always best?

Contrary to popular belief, I do not believe breast is always best. I think it is best until it isn´t. Nutritionally breastmilk is phenomenal and yeah, formula really cannot match it. But we don´t make our choices to feed our babies in a vacuum. We don´t feed babies in a vacuum. So you have to keep in mind that sometimes you have to look at what is best in the overall picture. There are situations where babies truly cannot tolerate breastmilk. They are rare, but they exist. And thank God we live in a time where we have special formulas, amino acid based, that these babies can tolerate. But even for the mother, there are a ton of emotional reasons that can make breastfeeding really difficult. Things like post partum depression, being a survivor of sexual trauma. Breastfeeding can bring up a lot of issues for people who have survived sexual abuse or rape. Even OCD, things like that, that people might not see on the surface is a problem. They can be a problem for you. In addition, there are medications which make breastfeeding a little more dangerous. There are some that are acceptable and some that aren´t. And that is also a matter for the mother to make a decision on because the studies are not always so comforting when it comes to long term effects of some of these newer medications and how they go through breastmilk. So that is a mother´s choice to make. And what is best is having a mom that is happy and healthy and what´s best is having a baby that is fed. And other than that, that is really all that matters.

See Suzanne Barston, CLC's video on Is breast always best?...


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Suzanne Barston, CLC

Blogger & Author of Bottled Up

Suzanne Barston, CLC is the former Editor-in-Chief of Los Angeles Family Magazine, a Certified Lactation Counselor, and a freelance writer specializing in parenting, women’s interest, and science/health topics. She is the author of Bottled Up: How the Way We Feed Babies Has Come to Define Motherhood, and Why It Shouldn’t and blogs as her alter ego, the "Fearless Formula Feeder". "FFF", as it’s known to an international fan base representing over 40 countries, supports parents dealing with issues of guilt, fear, conflict and uncertainty regarding infant feeding difficulties and choices through critical assessments of research, pithy commentary, practical advice, and a weekly series allowing parents to share stories in a cathartic way. She is also the co-creator of the #ISupportYou movement. 

Barston was raised outside of Boston and earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Northwestern University in 2000. After living and working in Chicago and London, she now resides in Los Angeles with her husband, the photographer Steven Barston, and their two obnoxiously cute children. She and her husband were featured on two award-winning online reality series for, A Parent is Born and Welcome to Parenthood, about their pregnancy and first years as parents. Suzanne's writing and her work with FFF and Bottled Up have been featured in the New York Times, the Huffington Post,,, Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine, Parenting, Babytalk, OhBaby!, Fit Pregnancy, The Observer, Yahoo Shine!, Australia's Good Weekend magazine, and on a variety of radio programs including KPCC's "Take Two", numerous NPR affiliates, "Parenting Unplugged", "Positive Parenting", "Mom Enough", "For Crying Out Loud", "Voice of Russia", and more. Suzanne was honored to be one of the keynote Voices of the Year in 2012 for the annual BlogHer conference.

She currently works both as a writer and as an Infant Feeding Counselor. 


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