The other thread in the bottle feeding section has me amazed and dismayed that some people think their method of feeding their baby is not supported socially or in other ways. I know bf is well supported on the hub but I must admit that I'm surprised that people think it's a well supported choice in real life. If this was the case surely our bf rates would be higher? Anyway, Here is my experience.
DD1 had a severe tongue tie. As a 21 yr old FTM the midwives ignored me telling them this and tried to keep me bf. It was painful and ineffective. She got jaundice and went into special care and I demanded they give her a bottle. I had to fight for it. When they saw I meant business, I was taken to the "artificial feeding room" and the midwife showed me how to make a bottle, how to sterilise them and discussed what formula to use. After I left hospital, I did change from s26 as it made her constipated to another brand- the local chemist was able to help me choose another type in conjunction with the baby health nurse that worked out of the pharmacy doing baby weighs and free advice sessions each week. The ECHN didn't bat an eye on hearing she was ff, the only issue was initially in the hosp.
Socially, no one ever said a bad word to me about ff or questioned it. I told some people of my experience in the hospital and all agreed that the nurses should have listened to me from the start.
DD2- she was EBF for the first couple of weeks. I had to top up with formula as she was not gaining weight and didn't have enough wet nappies. The top ups were recommended by the ECHN who recommended nan ha gold. I believe I was topping up too long but they didn't seem interested in getting her off the formula. I did everything I could to build my supply (and was well supported by many hubbers to do so) but even my GP declined to give another script for motilium and told me to ff instead as "it's the same". Neither my GP nor the MCHN offered any info on building my own milk supply up. Socially, I had probably just one friend that had successfully bf and she offered me advice and support. Other friends just asked why I didn't just ff? At my baby shower I think I got three formula dispensers (I didn't mind, not at all just found it interesting that it was assumed I'd need one- which I did! ) I also had a terrible time with a painful latch and again, the GP told me to ff and the ECHN suggested swapping to ff if we were comfortable doing so. An LC that I sought out helped a bit but it did take a lot of perseverance and research on my part to fix.
Socially, I've been stared at, pointed at and snickered at by strangers. A close friend's mum had a go at me for bf at a backyard kids party. After the sunrise nurse in, I made the mistake of reading some of the commentary online- both opinion pieces and reader comments. The amount of people who think breastfeeding is utterly disgusting, dirty, wrong and liken it to s3xual abuse is staggering. Outside the hub and places like it, I don't think bf is hugely well supported by our society.
I'm basing my views on my own experience, so it's obviously subjective. I'd like to read others views if you care to share.
I have said before that I believe with better education and support, more women would bf. At the same time, I don't condemn anyone who ffs. Clearly I've done both! So I'm hoping not to have a breast vs bottle debate, I'm just interested to hear
A- your experiences and
B- what you think could be done to improve things.