Nipple Confusion or Nipple Coercion?


The phrase “nipple confusion”, in my honest opinion, is a scare tactic for new mothers created by breast feeding activists.

Before you chastise me, bear with me for just a moment. I’m a HUGE supporter of breast feeding and am currently nourishing my three month old, EXCLUSIVELY, from the breast. And when I say exclusively, I mean it; nope, not even a bottle of breast milk. I’ve tried. She won’t take anything but momma’s nipple.

So, “nipple confused”? I think not. This little girl knows the difference. There’s absolutely NO “nipple confusion” here!

So why, then, would someone who exclusively breast feeds and believes “breast is best” be so adamant that “nipple confusion” is a ridiculous notion made up by breast feeding organizations and their proponents? I’ve seen SO many of my friends, acquaintances and mother’s in groups in which I belong go from breast to bottle and back with their babies as young as a week old. If “nipple confusion” were such an issue, then it would surely be difficult for so many of my peers to do so. And, several doctors in which I’ve spoken to about this wouldn’t have balked when I mention the phrase.

Being the breast feeding supporter I am, I understand the desire to spread the word and encourage breast feeding. However, I also understand that it’s a personal choice. Unbiased information would go a lot further for breast feeding advocates. I’m hearing more and more moms say they feel bullied into breast feeding. How is that good for the cause?

Whether a new mom is bullied into breast feeding or not is a whole other topic–maybe a post for another time or another mother. It’s “nipple confusion” that has this mom so confused. In the beginning, I, well-informed, chose breast feeding for all of it’s benefits. Wanting to be sure that my baby and I were successful, I turned to the breast feeding “experts”: lactation consultants and nurses. As a new mother, I only knew what I’d researched and what friends and experts told me. All of the information–I’m now assuming is put out by agenda-seeking people–recommended imposed a four to six week period of exclusive breast feeding.

Maybe all babies are different and this recommendation works, but for mine it backfired. She still refuses a bottle of breast milk and isn’t shy about doing so. I’ve concluded–in my short time as a mommy–that if the breast feeding nazi’s champions had offered less of a one-sided view I would’ve felt more comfortable allowing my husband to offer an occasional bottle during those late night-early morning feeds when a new mother struggles between nurturing her child and wanting to jump off a cliff.


2 responses »

  1. Courtney, I couldn’t agree more with you about formula feeding, though I know some moms don’t have a choice; it’s not for me. I wish I had listened more to my own instincts in the beginning! Thanks for stopping by! I look forward to your email.

  2. I just looked at your e-mail to me, and came by for a visit. It really is so basic with your milk and your baby. You make the amount of milk that your baby needs…period. So, if you were to pump it out into a bottle, instead of directly from your breast, you’re still in sync with that connection you two have. It’s when you introduce a formula bottle that breaks that connection, because your baby get’s full, and puts less demand on your production, and you make less. It’s very cave woman, cave baby, but now we just have so many modern contraptions and conveniences at our disposal. So nice to meet you, and I will send you an e-mail.
    Courtney~LaDy LaDuke

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