I am thankful for the baby formula that is available today.
I know. Me, the Notorious Despiser of Artificial Baby Feeding, thankful for infant formula. But it’s true.
If I believe that formula is vastly overused and overrated as a baby-feeding alternative, and I do, nonetheless I still recognize that there are times and conditions under which babies simply cannot be fed in the normal way by their mothers. In the very old days, the available choices were (1) find a wet nurse, or (2) die.
As time went on, various substitutes for mother’s milk were tried, but by the mid-20th century we had only gotten as far as evaporated cow’s milk + water + corn syrup. It must have worked, at least sort of—that’s what I was fed as an infant. Perhaps there’s a good reason they started month-old babies on solid food back then. Can I blame many of my problems on inadequate nutrition during a critical time of brain growth? That and growing up in a haze of tobacco smoke must cover a multitude of sins—or at least personality quirks.
If today’s infant formula still can’t meet the high standards of breast milk, it sure comes a whale of a lot closer than what was available 50 years ago. And if baby formula is overused, that’s all the more reason to be thankful that it has become so much better for babies.
Moms are happier. Babies are happier and healthier. That's a lot to be thankful for.
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