Book Review: Saggy Boobs & Other Breastfeeding Myths, by Val Finigan
Saggy Boobs & Other Breastfeeding Myths is a fabulous little book! It may be a light read, but it is certainly not light on evidence-based information.
Dispelling breastfeeding myths is one of my main aims in antenatal classes, and the myths appear to be limitless: babies get the runs when you eat curry, champagne gives them hiccups, you end up with boobs like spaniels’ ears, and of course you’re at the beck and call of a miniature tyrant who never learns to sleep, if you breastfeed.
I love the clear, factual answers, especially the response to ‘modern formula milks are as good as breastmilk,’ (p.20) which I might memorise:
Even though modern milks are considerably better than old-fashioned milks they do not replicate breastmilk. They contain no antibodies to fight infections, no living cells, no enzymes and no hormones. They contain higher levels of aluminium, manganese, cadmium, lead and iron than breastmilk. They have significantly higher levels of protein than breastmilk, and the proteins and fats are fundamentally different from those found in breastmilk.
The constituents of formula do not change feed-to-feed, day-to-day like breastmilk and are not species specific. All we can say about formula milk is that it is successful at making babies grow well.
Each page includes the most amazing embroidered illustrations by Lou Gardiner, and the whole book is so unique, accessible and appealing that I think it should be standard issue for expectant mothers. The author and publishers may be interested to know that there is one at every Baby Cafe Local in Hertfordshire.
To order Saggy Boobs & Other Breastfeeding Myths with a 25% discount, just follow the link and use the discount code KH25 at the checkout.
Forgive my ignorance of this subject. The lack of antibodies aside, is there any evidence that formula feeding is actually detrimental to a baby’s long-term development? The differences between formula milk and breastmilk are interesting but are they correlated with differences in outcome? E.g. are higher levels of iron a problem?
I hear the “natural is best” fallacy a lot. In the case of baby milk, natural does happen to be the best, but not because it is natural. I don’t believe it is beyond the wit of human tech to surpass breastmilk one day.
I do believe it is beyond the wit of human tech. I find it really hard to write on the subject of ‘breast is best’ because it’s so hard to take the emotive stuff out (at least, what other people will perceive to be emotive). It is certainly something I can think about and get back to you on. But just off the cuff, yes, excess iron actually causes the gut to bleed, leading, ironically, to anaemia.