I've been thinking about this word a lot lately.
When I tell a new mom that a formula fed baby is 100% more likely to get ear infections and 26% more likely to get childhood leukemia, I would expect an "Oh my Lord, I have to protect my child" type response. Instead, I get "no. I don't want to do that." When I say "formula feeding causes diarrhea, allergies, obesity, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease" I still get a "I'll use formula anyway."
When I say, "If you breast feed, you will have less bleeding, a lower incidence of osteoporosis, heart disease, breast, ovarian, and uterine cancer", I am most often times met with a fake smile and a "get the heck out of my room" stare.
It's their choice, I tell myself as I leave the room.
This thinking makes no sense to me. Mothers the world over (but mostly in this, our wealthiest country) make this "choice" everyday. They are saying, blatantly, to their children "I don't care enough about you to give you what is 1000% scientifically known to protect you. Sorry."
Before I get hate mail, let me say that of course I know there are instances when a woman is unable to breastfeed. Those instances, though, are very rare. In the grand scheme of things, it is an incredibly small percentage of women. Women who are HIV+, women who are HTLV+, women with active, untreated TB, infants with galactosemia, women with untreated hypothyroidism, and some women with PCOS (though 1/3 of those women over-produce). Surgical techniques are getting better, but still a few breast reduction patients are unable to produce enough milk if the ducts have been severed. Women with insufficient mammarian glandular tissue.
So why do so many women make this "choice"?
Because they feel entitled. "It's my body", they cry. "It's my choice."
While their baby takes whatever nourishment it is offered, trusting...yes, trusting that of course mama will give me what is best for me.
Doesn't this all sound hauntingly familiar?
Ohio is presenting a new law for consideration this week. In it, it will make abortion illegal once the heartbeat of the fetus is obtainable.
This is huge. Finally, a law that will say what we have known for years.
If it has a heartbeat, it must be alive.
The pro-abortion side is up in arms, screaming about the "choice" being taken from women.
"I don't want a baby right now because I'm in school."
"I don't want to breastfeed because it will tie me down to my baby."
"I can't have a baby now. We are saving for a house."
"I can't breastfeed. I want to be able to eat and drink what I want."
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit", the Bible warns us. And yet, it's done every day.
In the name of Choice.