Musings of a Dinosaur

A Family Doctor in solo private practice; I may be going the way of the dinosaur, but I'm not dead yet.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Why Breastfeeding is a Bad Idea

The medical literature abounds with evidence of the beneficial effects of breastfeeding: maternal-infant bonding, enhanced response to immunizations and higher intelligence in breastfed infants, to name just a few. I don't dispute any of this, but I would like to point out an unintended consequence that I have not seen addressed previously.

Breastfeeding is too damn expensive.

Using my family as an N of 3, we observe that the first two children, each breastfed for about a week, ended up graduating from high school in the middle of the class and went on to in-state public colleges; a highly economical way to obtain a higher education. The third child on the other hand, breastfed for two years, wound up fourth in his high school class and now attends an outrageously expensive out-of-state private university, where expenses run five times higher than those of his siblings.

Clearly the effect of enhanced intelligence from prolonged breastfeeding led directly to these ridiculous tuition bills. Even if you banked all the money saved on formula via breastfeeding, there's no way to accumulate $40,000 per year; no baby eats that much!

So to all those new moms out there planning to breastfeed, think twice about the inevitable sticker shock down the road. Formula may seem expensive, but it's a bargain compared to a top tier college. Better to go with bottles and end up at state schools. After all, it's never too soon to start planning.



(Note: I have actual money riding on how many commenters don't get this.)

29 Comments:

At Thu May 22, 07:54:00 PM, Anonymous Alyson said...

Well, if you added up the cost of formula and then put it into an aggressive interest bearing account or investment, you might be able to make up that $160,000 in the 18 years. I guess you really need to talk to your financial advisor first ;)

 
At Thu May 22, 09:24:00 PM, Blogger TBTAM said...

You're not done calculating yet.

One has to ask - wwhat will these kids do when they are finished? If said breastfed child then goes on to an intellectual career in adademia, then there will be no financial return on the investment. If the other two end up as plumbers, well then....

 
At Thu May 22, 10:31:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How much money?

 
At Fri May 23, 03:38:00 AM, Blogger Russell Brown said...

Thanks for that, you just made me snort coffee everywhere and I only havbe 15 minutes to clear it up before I start seeing patients.

Have a good weekend.

 
At Fri May 23, 05:18:00 AM, Blogger 30 years from Darling said...

Hilarious!!! My eldest ...2 months. He's in the top 20%. Full scholarship. State school though .... 31 on ACT ...

Pk

 
At Fri May 23, 05:40:00 AM, Blogger WardBunny said...

Fantastic!
You would never think that. Although I'm impressed she managed 2 years!

 
At Fri May 23, 05:51:00 AM, Blogger Evil Lunch Lady said...

Ok, why didn't he get a scholarship? Just wondering.

 
At Fri May 23, 12:34:00 PM, Blogger The Happy Hospitalist said...

I breast fed until I was 7 years old.

 
At Fri May 23, 02:21:00 PM, Blogger wackyvorlon said...

In the tribe of the Wuktuks, in the jungle of East Quatanagungtao, the chieftain is sustained entirely by breastmilk. As a result, he is nearly 250 years old, and discovered relativity before the invention of the steam engine. He thought it so patently obvious, however, that it needed no documentation.

 
At Fri May 23, 02:55:00 PM, Blogger PharMama said...

It's just that education in your country is that (ridiculously) high. 40'000$? just: wow!

 
At Fri May 23, 04:23:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What say you about a study of people who resume breastfeeding as an adult? Will it also cause intellectual advancement?Or is it only uninterrupted breastfeeding that is the key?Any interested test subjects?
Yvonne ED RN

 
At Fri May 23, 04:42:00 PM, Blogger Simon said...

OK, now I'm depressed. Our second child is now 14 months old! The first breastfed for 20 months, and there was I thinking great only 6 month to go. :(

 
At Fri May 23, 07:07:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a riot. You know you're going to get flamed by all the lactation consultants, La Leche people, don't you?? :)

 
At Sat May 24, 10:17:00 AM, Anonymous noble pig said...

You are hilarious. Thank goodness I did not breastfeed my little munchkins.

I think this means I can go shopping and spend lots of money today since I'll be saving so much in the future.

Love your site.

 
At Sat May 24, 02:42:00 PM, Blogger Am Ang Zhang said...

Pity you were not blogging thirty five years ago. You were spot on. No my two girls did not come fourth. Higher. One even decided to go to school in the US ( I am from England).

I remember seeing one child whose father was so bright he went to university at 16, hated it so he sent his son to the worst school in the neighbourhood. He hated it too and is now sitting home on State Benefit. Wonderful, he thought.


The Cockroach Catcher

 
At Sun May 25, 02:10:00 AM, Blogger EE said...

Oh Dino, I love you!

 
At Mon May 26, 09:06:00 AM, Blogger Evil HR Lady said...

So, I nursed offspring #1 for 18 months and am currently nursing offspring #2 (currently,as in while I am typing this). Considering I can get formula for free (husband works for a formula manufacturer), does this make me extra stupid?

Not only will we have to spend extra on tuition, but I'm not saving any money right now. Hmmm...

 
At Mon May 26, 05:05:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That´s really a good one... I breastfed my daughter 2 years. Happily, I´m living in Germany where studying isn´t that expensive.

 
At Mon May 26, 11:43:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha! For working moms, breastfeeding doesn't even save any money up front -- by the time you buy a pump, lanolin, and nursing bras, you spend as much as you do on formula. And then in addition to the increased college costs, you've also got all of the science camps, piano lessons, and figure skating coach for the little prodigy! Breast milk: the gift you never stop giving...

Guess I am doomed to spend my retirement panhandling, as I breastfed daughter #1 for 20 months, and am (like evil hr lady) nursing daughter #2 as I type this! :)

 
At Tue May 27, 08:34:00 PM, Blogger Sid Schwab said...

There are additional expenses. Our son went to an Ivy League college from the west coast. The cost of maintaining two households -- not to mention the separation issues -- in order to maintain breast feeding while he was there damn near put me out of business.

 
At Fri Jun 06, 09:07:00 PM, Blogger Ad Broad, oldest working writer in advertising said...

Yes, this is why applications for jobs in advertising sagely pose the question: for how many months were you breastfed. Salaries, then, are inversely proportional.

 
At Thu Sep 11, 12:28:00 AM, Anonymous Amalia said...

This is just out of control!! Im not having a baby anytime soon. I am 16 yrs. old and was checking for my pregnant sister. She was thinking about not breast feed soo i google it and printed out 101 reasons for her to breast feed. Than she asked to google the negative effects and this is the best they could do. After i told my sister now she definitely want to breast feed. So thanks alot!!! To me that sounds very ignorant. Why wouldnt you want your child to go to a great college?? I thought parents should want a great future for their child. You never heard of scholarships, grants, finical aid????

 
At Thu Sep 11, 06:19:00 AM, Blogger #1 Dinosaur said...

Amalia, honey: look up "irony" somewhere.

 
At Thu Sep 11, 01:07:00 PM, Blogger The Happy Hospitalist said...

I think we found a bottle feeder

 
At Thu Aug 13, 11:44:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amailia- Look up sarcasm as well.

 
At Mon Oct 12, 01:09:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Breast milk does not make you smarter, Tart. I did not breast feed my daughter and she is in a Harvard grad and about to go to law school. My sister breast fed both her little demons and the eldest was convicted on drug charges last week. Maybe my poor little bottle fed baby can help him through his legal woes when she graduates in a few years. You breast feeding sagging boobs always think you know everything about parenting. If you want good, productive citizens, just teach them morales, guide them and give them the best you can as far as education, your time and most importantly...your love. Breastmilk is best? Nope!

 
At Sun Nov 08, 01:15:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well scientifically speaking breastfeeding is actually better. If you had bf your daughter imagine how much smarter your already genius child would be! The difference is about 8 points if I am not mistaken. Anyway, I googled "is breastfeeding bad" just to see what crazy ideas were out there and this gave me a much needed laugh!! I really hope that my 4 breastfed children cost me and arm and a leg when they get to the college years!

 
At Sun Jan 03, 08:47:00 PM, Anonymous Kelly01 said...

PLEASE..give me a break! Mother's who bottlefeed are not evil, most are VERY educated on the pros of breastfeeding, yet the attacks just keep coming. Did it ever occur to anyone that many mother's are UNABLE to breastfeed.

I was in the ICU for several days after my c-section with my son, so he had to be bottlefeed...yup my husband and I actually made the decision to keep him alive with man made formula. I was very disapointed and depressed and was judged by many breastfeeding mom's who never walked in my shoes. Today my son is in first grade and is first in his class. Most importantly he excels in reading and math...IMAGINE THAT!!!!!!!!!!! oh and has no allergies. Humm could it be that he has parents who put time and effort into his education? nah....


Now we are expecting twins in a few weeks, of course I plan on breastfeeding, but I wont' make myself sick and depressed over it if I cant' for any medical reason or if it doesnt' simply work out.


Statisticly, most men and women born generation x were bottlefeed..including myself, many of my friends, family members and peers are sucessful and productive citizens. I would attribute their success and mine mainly to our enviroment and up-bringing. But according to the first post, we are going to be in big trouble as in a few years (once all or most of the babyboomers are retired) the bottlefeed "slower" people will be ruling the globe but it will get better as soon as the lazy and ungratefull "x box" generation take charge (since they were bottlefeed things will go back to normal and we will have peace on earth).

Dont' get me wrong, I'm not going against the grain, I believe breatfeedding is best and yes cheaper but bottlefeeding your baby doesnt; mean he or she will get into an top university and it certainly doesnt' mean that bottle children are not intelligent.

I am not going to start going into the math-saving of all of this as I dont;' think that was the intention of the post.


To conclude, I think this "attack" is a lack of respect for many....

 
At Sun Jan 03, 09:38:00 PM, Blogger #1 Dinosaur said...

@Kelly01: The intention of the post was satire, plain and simple. I'll count you in with those who didn't get it.

Good luck with your twins, though. I'm sure they'll be fine, however you end up feeding them.

 

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