Friday, February 3, 2012

Baby Formula

Last night I called my best friend. We have been friends since we were 12 and stuck together through moves, military, marriages, divorces, and babies. No matter how well I hit it off with someone new, the history I share with this friend gives us a special bond that I have never been able to replicate.

And that's a good thing for our friendship considering we have almost nothing in common!

S is a school teacher and thinks healthy eating is a salad with low-fat dressing and a diet coke. Considering this blog... could we be more opposite?! But she is good for me. I think if you don't have friends that hold opposing viewpoints then you tend to get close-minded. You start to see the world in black and white. Anyone who thinks differently than you must be ignorant and small-minded.

But my friend is none of those things. She is one of the most loyal and generous people that I know. She became a teacher because she loves kids. She is a good friend and wonderful mom.

And she formula feeds.

S is about to have another baby. Since I have three young kids and am also a new aunt, it is easy for us to talk about baby things. We were remembering the joys of the newborn and I told her that Gretch's nine month old son is still not sleeping through the night. S advised me to tell Gretch to start giving him a bottle of formula during the night to help him sleep.

It took me a few seconds to compose my thoughts. I wanted to reply tactfully and without judgement.  "Ummmm I don't think you realize how committed Gretch and I have become to clean eating. And as far as the baby is concerned, Gretch is even more committed than me. She is shopping organic, throwing away all 'white' foods, and switching to raw milk."

Let me just tell you this is a very hard conversation to have with a mom who does not breastfeed. I do not want to criticize my friend! But have you looked at the ingredient list on a can of formula?

Similac Baby Formula
I just... I can't... I don't even know what to say. I couldn't buy this. I wouldn't eat it. I sure as heck couldn't feed it to my baby! It actually makes me want to cry. It was the thought of putting chemicals and HFCS into my perfect little babies that made me switch to clean eating in the first place. The thought of starting my baby's life with a diet of 42.6% corn syrup is abhorrent to me.

So I am sorry my dear friend that I didn't have the nerve to tell you last night what I truly believe. I don't yet know how to share my views without giving offense. I don't want to damage our friendship by cautioning you against formula. Especially since I know how you struggled to breastfeed with your first child.

But I promise, I don't think less of you for using formula. I get to sit here at my kitchen table and research these new ideas to my heart's content. But you are out there in the world making a difference and just like me, making the best choices you can with the information you have.

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