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  1. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by Savingfishfromdrowning View Post
    Seriously. If a woman says she can't breastfed then maybe she just CAN'T breastfeed. And she has tried hard enough and does know what she is talking about.

    If someone starts to breastfeed and it is hard and she stops because she couldn't go on, then maybe she stopped because she COULDN'T go on, not because she is uneducated or not determined enough.

    It's her body, I think she would know better than you? Why does she have to justify the outcome of her breastfeeding journey to ANYONE?
    SO well said! I can only imagine what some mums go through. And I know at 4-8 weeks I hated each feed, was horribly depressed, and forced myself to try '1 more feed'
    Im no stronger or more determined than any other woman, I just had the 'luck' to get through that hard patch (and while I couldnt exclusively feed, I still decided to do what feeds I could)
    Maybe next time Ill make a different decision. Even though Im still me, I will have a different birth and recovery, and maybe I will feel that my mental health (with a toddler and a newborn, on top of my medical issues) needs me to supplement feed or switch to formula all together.
    Or maybe I will just not want to breastfeed? And that should be my right, without being questioned over whether I tried hard enough.

    I think EVERY woman tries exactly hard enough to breastfeed.

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  3. #112
    headoverfeet's Avatar
    headoverfeet is offline The truth will set you free, but first it will **** you off. -Gloria Steinem
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    I thought some people I this thread might find this report interesting it rates Australia as 3rd last in breastfeeding support with a whopping 33 other countries a head of us http://www.savethechildren.org/atf/c...2012-FINAL.PDF for those that open the link the charts am talking about is on page 45 of 70 or page 43 if you go by the actual document. For the non clickers I'll try to post a screen shot.

    ImageUploadedByBub Hub1337122750.444411.jpg

  4. #113
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    Thermo - I thought BF/expressing breaks are protected in Australian workplaces? Is that not the case? I was told they are not allowed to refuse these breaks and are required to provide a place to express.

    Interesting that despite the poor score, we have a higher rate of BF at 6 months than most in the higher scoring countries.

  5. #114
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    Those statistics are really interesting Thermo. How sad that we are third last but in many cases this is just inspiration to improve.

    Cue - no, breastfeeding/expressing breaks are not legislated in Australia. Employers are required to make 'reasonable attempts' to provide an appropriate space to express, and provide reasonable breaks for mums to do this, but these breaks are not paid and need to be made up as overtime etc. Many mums just give up their lunch break or tea break to do it.

    I think this thread has generated some really interesting discussion, and I want to thank the mums who opened their hearts and shared their stories about their own breastfeeding experience. There are some really difficult, complex situations that have been described here, and it really must have been a torturous time for the whole family.

    Its a shame things got a bit derailed in the middle and it almost ended in a train wreck.. but I hope in amongst all that the message has not been missed.

    I guess what I was trying to open peoples eyes to by staring this thread is that when it comes to breastfeeding, debating endlessly about TIME magazine and something that only 2% of mums choose to do (ie breastfeed to 2 years or beyond) is irrelevant really - WHO CARES! Apart from making some people squeamish and uncomfortable, no real harm is being done. I think when it comes to breastfeeding, there are much more important things to talk about.

    What the stats say right now is that only 4-5% of women 'cant' breastfeed due to medical conditions. These are things like insufficient glandular tissue, thyroid issues, hormonal issues, previous breast surgery that has damaged ducts etc. The stats also say that 97% of women initiate breastfeeding, but only 70% are still feeding at 1 month old (56% exclusively).What I would like to know now, having read this thread, is what percentage of women 'cant' breastfeed because of significant and complex breastfeeding problems that have lead to a level of physical and/or emotional pain that is beyond bearable for the mother. In my mind, these mothers 'cant' breastfeed either. Unmanageable pain and suffering is an absolutely valid reason for anyone to want to stop, and it has nothing to do with the mothers' personality or lack of determination - and everything to do with the fact that things are just not working out and she has decided to end her suffering for the best interests of her and her baby. These mums need our support and empathy too (and maybe much more so than others).

    So, once these situations are taken out (medically 'cant breastfeed' and complex physical/emotional problems that mean a women 'cant' breastfeed), it leaves mothers who initiated breastfeeding, who wanted to breastfeed, but wean due to a more simple and perhaps fixable problem. Is that where we can make a difference? I think so. I work with breastfeeding mums quite a bit, and from my own experience only, many mums wean for much simpler reasons that are perhaps in the category of 'fixable' eg fussy baby, normal newborn behaviour such as frequent feeding or crying, worries they don't have enough milk when they do, a belief the quality of their milk is poor, not knowing how much milk their baby is getting because they cant see it, a belief breastfeeding is making them run down/unwell, a belief that formula will make their baby sleep better, discomfort feeding in public etc and many of these mums do eventually find the information they need and go on to have a very different experience the second time around. These are the mums I think we can really help (if or when they want it), and where we can improve the breastfeeding rates in Australia. How we do that gently, without upsetting the mums who had a truly miserable experience is the challenge and the key. I do also feel that education of our young people is vitally important - both at school and via aunts, sisters, mums cousins etc as this exposure to breastfeeding is what leads to learning and normalisation.

    In any case parenting is a mine field, and we need to be supporting and encouraging each other in all our choices - not finding an excuse for a battleground at every opportunity.

    Missy_macks utopia maybe
    Last edited by purplecat; 16-05-2012 at 21:13.

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  7. #115
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    I have argued that before purple, that the 2% only includes purely medical issues. It doesn't include PND, recurrent mastitis (bc while a medical issue it's deemed not a permanent barrier), issues of past sexual assault, poor attachment, low supply, an aversion to bfing etc etc

    I think that figure is not only questionable as it doesn't encompass alot of emotional issues, it creates a lot of angst. If only 2% can't feed, then what's wrong with me?? maybe I just didn't try hard enough?

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  9. #116
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    I often wonder how much of a percentage have an emotional issue with it, too. I had severe mastitis which landed me in hospital for several days but I still think an aversion to breastfeeding as a result of sexual assault, or hell just the fact that we're taught pretty much from the day we hit puberty that pur breasts are sexual and nothing else would be harder to feed through than my mastitis.

    I'm not overly sure on the PND either because I do believe for a lot of women breastfeeding would prevent pnd through the release of oxytocin and lots of women complain of pnd after suddenly weaning.

    Butfor a woman who already has pnd, the added pressure of suffering from problems with breastfeeding, pain and everything that can go with it when things go wrong, I imagine it would be enough to tip some women over the edge.

    Also, we many truly CAN'T breastfeed in a society where we are offered little or no HELP with it, just barrier after barrier after barrier along with all of the other added pressures that come along with being a new mum.

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  11. #117
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    DaughteroftheForest is offline Sometimes you have to forget what you want in order to remember what you deserve
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    Quote Originally Posted by lambjam View Post
    I should expect it by now, but I am still astonished when people say things like "Failure wasn't an option for me, I didn't give up because breastfeeding was so important to me".

    Enough. You didn't give up because you didn't reach the point where you had to. If you've never reached that point you simply cannot pretend to know what it's like.
    I could not agree with this more! To this day I still struggle with guilt over 'giving up' on breastfeeding my third baby. I fed my first for 25 months, I fed my second through my third pregnancy and up until she was 26 months. I tandem fed with my third baby until she was 3 months old. I'm pretty sure I continued breastfeeding my toddler for a week or so after my baby weaned. She still asks for boob when she's upset and it's been eight weeks since she weaned. It breaks my heart

    I know logically that after having the stress of having a baby in NICU, living in the hospital for 8 weeks, being hospitalized myself at 2 weeks PP for a nasty uterine infection, that reoccurred twice afterward, the ensuing anti biotics, the fact the doctors had her limited to a 15 minute breastfeed every three hours because breathing was already so much work that feeding needed to be easy or she'd just use up the calories she was getting from my milk in the time she spent drinking it - after all of that I'm actually fairly proud that I made it as far as I did. But by three months I had barely any supply, if I hadn't had my toddler still feeding I would have had nothing. I knew I could continue to struggle, continue taking pills and supplements and lactation cookies to up my supply, I could have kept pumping and crying because after 20 minutes I would get 20mls out of both boobs combined. But realistically - and here's the kicker - I was *missing out* on my baby by doing all of those things. I missed the first few weeks of her life because I was so lost in grief that this wasn't how things were meant to be, and I continued missing out on just enjoying her because I was so intent, so stubborn, so tenacious about breastfeeding her.

    I still feel like a bad mother because I don't breastfeed my DD2. Because of her condition, she needs it more than my other children did and they both fed for at least 21 months longer than her but I didn't stop because I didn't want it enough, or because I didn't have the education or support to continue. I stopped because at a certain point it became too. Effing. Hard.

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    I wish midwives were all LC's and that they were *good* ones. I was so fortunate to have *one* amazing midwife (that I never saw again) on my first night after having DD that told me I could lay down and feed. Something so darn simple! And this was in the private system.

    If I'd gone public, I'd have been out after 1 night.

    We are set up to fail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaughteroftheForest View Post
    I could not agree with this more! To this day I still struggle with guilt over 'giving up' on breastfeeding my third baby. I fed my first for 25 months, I fed my second through my third pregnancy and up until she was 26 months. I tandem fed with my third baby until she was 3 months old. I'm pretty sure I continued breastfeeding my toddler for a week or so after my baby weaned. She still asks for boob when she's upset and it's been eight weeks since she weaned. It breaks my heart

    I know logically that after having the stress of having a baby in NICU, living in the hospital for 8 weeks, being hospitalized myself at 2 weeks PP for a nasty uterine infection, that reoccurred twice afterward, the ensuing anti biotics, the fact the doctors had her limited to a 15 minute breastfeed every three hours because breathing was already so much work that feeding needed to be easy or she'd just use up the calories she was getting from my milk in the time she spent drinking it - after all of that I'm actually fairly proud that I made it as far as I did. But by three months I had barely any supply, if I hadn't had my toddler still feeding I would have had nothing. I knew I could continue to struggle, continue taking pills and supplements and lactation cookies to up my supply, I could have kept pumping and crying because after 20 minutes I would get 20mls out of both boobs combined. But realistically - and here's the kicker - I was *missing out* on my baby by doing all of those things. I missed the first few weeks of her life because I was so lost in grief that this wasn't how things were meant to be, and I continued missing out on just enjoying her because I was so intent, so stubborn, so tenacious about breastfeeding her.

    I still feel like a bad mother because I don't breastfeed my DD2. Because of her condition, she needs it more than my other children did and they both fed for at least 21 months longer than her but I didn't stop because I didn't want it enough, or because I didn't have the education or support to continue. I stopped because at a certain point it became too. Effing. Hard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by delirium View Post
    I have argued that before purple, that the 2% only includes purely medical issues. It doesn't include PND, recurrent mastitis (bc while a medical issue it's deemed not a permanent barrier), issues of past sexual assault, poor attachment, low supply, an aversion to bfing etc etc

    I think that figure is not only questionable as it doesn't encompass alot of emotional issues, it creates a lot of angst. If only 2% can't feed, then what's wrong with me?? maybe I just didn't try hard enough?
    I think there might be a misunderstanding here - because I agree with you - the figures according to medical reasons are that 5% of women cant breastfeed (not 2%), but I personally think the mothers with complex issues as you have described should also be included, and I would love to know what percentage of mothers stop due to those types of very difficult circumstances. I am interested to know what percentage of mothers stop feeding at 1 month who fall outside these 2 categories of 'cant' breastfeed (ie what percentage of mothers stop for simpler and more fixable reasons?), because those are the mums we can help. Does that make sense? Sorry my post was too long so it probably all got lost in translation...


    (The 2% came from the number of mums who breastfeed to 2 years and beyond, which is what all the fuss was about after the TIME mag - a fuss over what only 2% of people do).

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