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  1. #301
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atropos View Post
    Just on this (and not specifically to FTM or any other member, but in general) there often is flawed reasoning for switching to ff early on. I believe this is because our healthcare system, with regards to bf, sets us up to fail and is not the fault of the mother-think about it:
    You go to hospy and give birth. They tell you breast is best. They help you with that first bf, then you are off to the ward where they leave you. A while later someone comes in, mashes bubs face to your boob to get a good latch, then leaves. Next feed you are desperately trying to mash bubs face on the same was as last time when a mid comes in tut tutting and talking about nipple to nose etc... And when you've had every method there is thrown at you and are up in the wee hours with a screaming newborn who wants hourly feeds, you start to question if you're making enough milk. Probably because no one told you to expect this (this has been my experience) as a part of bringing your milk in. A seemingly helpful nurse might offer a formula top up or two- but in reality this is going to hinder your supply while it's still establishing. (Again, my experience).
    You get home and still have this baby that seems to want to feed constantly. You haven't been told about cluster feeding etc so again you question your supply. You try to pump and get only a few mls- this seals the deal- you aren't making enough (even though pumping is no indicator of supply) so you head off to the GP. The GP prescribes motilium, but at too low a dose to really help with lactation as Australian GPs aren't used to using it this way. It might help a bit, but many GPs are uncomfortable prescribing it for bf for very long (like mine) especially when they realise you're taking it at a higher dose (as you're supposed to for lactation). You see a chn who says baby has lost too much weight, time to start formula top ups. In amongst all this the GP cuts off the motilium, tells you to just give up bf and ff.

    I could add a heap more examples and scenarios, but the reality is, while our hospitals tell us breast is best, they don't adequately educate or support us in breastfeeding. There is no consistency. Our health professionals are often uneducated about breastfeeding and their role as a potential support for a breastfeeding mum. I have been treated awfully for ff my first by midwives who were happy to criticise my decision to switch but were not willing to listen to me when I told them DD was tongue tied (severely) and let her get jaundiced to the point of needing the special care nursery because bf was clearly not working- I believe this was because I was very young and a FTM.
    I firmly believe that policies surrounding breastfeeding within our healthcare system (and all it's many facets from hosp to gps to community nurses) need to be overhauled. There is no point to a "breast is best" message if the healthcare system spouting it doesn't consistently help mothers achieve this and conversely, it needs to recognise that sometimes, breast is not best and stop stigmatising mothers who cannot breastfeed for whatever reason (inc personal choice of course).
    I don't disagree with anything you've said. I myself was kicked out of hospital 23 hours after a very traumatic birth experience and I had no idea what I was doing at all.

    I still don't think that it's helpful for other members to point out that other members gave up BF for the wrong reasons (due to incorrect info for example). We already feel enough guilt, as you know. I realise FTM might not be one of the more vulnerable FFs out there, and don't consider myself to be one either, but there are plenty on here who really struggle and beat themselves up about it.

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  3. #302
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    Quote Originally Posted by delirium View Post
    Yes I agree Atropos. I think sometimes what seems like a lack of supply is nothing more than normal bfing behaviour. I believe as we lose that bfing knowledge from past generations (only one women in both sides bf so I had no one to help me or give me advice) we lack support. Middies are too busy and they do give mixed info that is often in opposition.

    But I believe the problem could be solved from more funding for LC's and middies. Not from demonising formula. I know you didn't mean that. But that seems to be a prominent tactic of the ABA - to bag formula, which then creates guilt, resentment and women getting defensive.

    Train the middies better in bfing. Give us more LC's. Make GP's do more modules on bfing at uni. That is what is going to work. Bc demonising formula..... the ones that didn't want to bf don't care anyway, and the ones that did want to bf just feel like sh*t. So that tactic doesn't work.
    Exactly. More LCs and compulsory training for GPs as well as consistent middies- exactly what I'm getting at. Demonising formula just compounds the problem- "breast is best, you can't breastfeed because of xyz, use formula then but know this- formula is what SATAN was raised on!!" How on earth does that attitude help anyone? As usual, I agree with you Delirium

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  5. #303
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    I get what some of you are saying, but I just can't bring myself to agree. What if someone gives up BF unnecessarily and is never properly informed? They may go on to misinform others, they may have another baby and make further decisions based on that misinformation.

    I get incredibly annoyed when people speak of "lack of supply" as an urban myth. It's not, I know first hand that it's not. But I also know that you can only find out for sure if you're equipped with real knowledge.

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  7. #304
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    Quote Originally Posted by kw123 View Post
    I don't disagree with anything you've said. I myself was kicked out of hospital 23 hours after a very traumatic birth experience and I had no idea what I was doing at all.

    I still don't think that it's helpful for other members to point out that other members gave up BF for the wrong reasons (due to incorrect info for example). We already feel enough guilt, as you know. I realise FTM might not be one of the more vulnerable FFs out there, and don't consider myself to be one either, but there are plenty on here who really struggle and beat themselves up about it.
    I don't think BRV was meaning to do that. But even so, if someone wants to know where they went wrong, well and good, I think it can help to tell them- if they want to know. Another time it might be appropriate is if a person says "I really wanted to bf but couldn't because xyz" and you said "actually, xyz can be fixed by abc"- it might help them for next time, you know? But there is definitely a tactful and supportive way to go about these things
    Last edited by Atropos; 08-08-2013 at 17:17.

  8. #305
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    I might add, the fact that some women are defensive about their feeding journeys speaks volumes about the unsympathetic and judgmental waters they've had to navigate.

    While I don't believe it's useful to turn a blind eye to misinformation, I also acknowledge that plowing down vulnerable women with facts and figures that negate their experience isn't useful either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Atropos View Post
    Exactly. More LCs and compulsory training for GPs as well as consistent middies- exactly what I'm getting at. Demonising formula just compounds the problem- "breast is best, you can't breastfeed because of xyz, use formula then but know this- formula is what SATAN was raised on!!" How on earth does that attitude help anyone? As usual, I agree with you Delirium
    I think part of the problem is that in some bfing circles there is this mantra that if you want to bf you will. So therefore anyone that ffs does so bc they want to. And flowing on from that, they believe if they can create a really negative image of formula then those that solely *choose* to ff will bf. Which completely ignores the fact that most that use formula did want to bf.... and those that choose it could care less about the pro bfing tactics. So the message is completely missing the mark.

    We need to fund much more tangible support, and accept there will be always women that don't want to bf... and that's ok! We can't brow beat to increase the rates. We need to support those that are struggling more, and allow those that want to formula their choice without judgment. When that happens there will no longer be these debates.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lambjam View Post

    I get incredibly annoyed when people speak of "lack of supply" as an urban myth. It's not, I know first hand that it's not. But I also know that you can only find out for sure if you're equipped with real knowledge.
    Oh yes, it most certainly exists A close friend of mine really had no milk. When she put her child on formula he instantly gained weight and was a happy baby.

    And I agree. The defensiveness of some ffers really does show the flack we put up with. The stuff I have read on BH over the years has been very sad.

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    I agree with Atropos. I think sometimes bad education and support in hospital/following a birth leads to misunderstandings and many mothers unecessarily giving up bf'ing. Babies do lose weight in the first week. And feed like crazy to bring milk in. And sometimes milk doesn't come in until day 4-5.

    I don't think Big red was being rude. She was simply correcting information that may be misinterpreted by new mums.

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    Quote Originally Posted by delirium View Post
    Yes I agree Atropos. I think sometimes what seems like a lack of supply is nothing more than normal bfing behaviour. I believe as we lose that bfing knowledge from past generations (only one women in both sides bf so I had no one to help me or give me advice) we lack support. Middies are too busy and they do give mixed info that is often in opposition.

    But I believe the problem could be solved from more funding for LC's and middies. Not from demonising formula. I know you didn't mean that. But that seems to be a prominent tactic of the ABA - to bag formula, which then creates guilt, resentment and women getting defensive.

    Train the middies better in bfing. Give us more LC's. Make GP's do more modules on bfing at uni. That is what is going to work. Bc demonising formula..... the ones that didn't want to bf don't care anyway, and the ones that did want to bf just feel like sh*t. So that tactic doesn't work.
    Totally agree with you and Atropos. With DD I was in hospital for under 24 hours after the birth. There was no LC on shift in that 24 hours, and not a single person mentioned the availability of one to me at any time. Three middies came in and gave me confusing lectures on what I had to do, then walked away. Nobody actually checked to see if I was doing it right.

    When the nurse came for my home visit, she did not watch me feed, nor did she give me any bf advice, or offer the option of LC to me, despite myself and DH expressing concerns about her constant screaming and apparent dehydration. Instead she advised me that I had birthed an "angry baby", and there wasn't much I could do about that. She even called DD an "angry baby" in her blue book!

    It was only after I ran from the clinic in floods of humiliated tears that I was introduced to the LC, and in the end I think it was too late. They offered me a feeding and settling program if I could hold out a few more weeks. Considering DD had dry crystals in her nappy and a mum who was nearing the end of her coping ability, a few more weeks was too many.

    Had I had the support and information on hand in those early days, perhaps I would have lasted longer. DS got a few months out of me as I had more information under my belt. I also have supply issues, and tbh I am not terribly dedicated to the actual task either. I still wonder though, would my journey had been different if I knew that LCs existed, or motilium, or cluster feeds, or nipple shields!

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    Also, this is why I always get upset when the "just didn't try hard enough" style comments and insinuations get thrown about. Not specifically in this thread, I mean in general. I tried damn hard. So do the majority of mums. Often, it is less "not trying" and more "not supported or educated".

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