For me it greatly depended on what # baby it was. DS1 I was treated very poorly by the CHN and midwife when I started express feeding him and then later switched to formula. DS2 was much the same especially as he was classed a failure to thrive on formula and had quite a few medical issues.
But by DS3, the midwife at the hospital was amazingly supportive of me choosing to formula feed on day 2 (blood sugar issues with DS3 whilst breastfeeding that almost saw him end up in SCU) for my own mental health. I was at a hospital that is extremely well known for the midwives being militant when it comes to BF but as I was confident in my choice and already had 2 children, the 2 midwives on the ward supported me and actually complimented me on being confident and happy with my choice. My CHN that I saw when DS3 was 5 days old to check he wasn't still losing weight was amazing, she congratulated me on being a content mother -I later saw her at the pregnancy and baby expo, working at the ABA stand. So there are definitely people out there who believe breast is best but still wholeheartedly support a mothers rigjt to choose how she feeds her baby. Sure I still get horrible comments, I find GP's to be the worst actually, which is funny as so manu people are saying to turn to them for support in FF. But at the end of the day what makes the difference is my confidence in my choices being the right ones for me and my babies.
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I breastfed for 23 months, I had a lot of support from family but the support from professionals was shocking.
I had mastitis due to over supply and the MCHN suggested I use formula top ups, a doctor blamed my milk for DS having silent reflux and another doctor commented that "He is a bit old isn't he?" When I was talking about feeding him at 13 months.
Friends and public, after 12 months I found little to no support and a lot of criticism and ignorance so I just stopped talking about it!
I've BF'd both my kids with full support from my family as BF is the norm. No member or my immediate family has used other sources of milk till 12mths.
I'm the only parent out of most of my friends and I often got asked about the trials and tribulations of BF. The pain, discomfort, ickiness, lack of sexual pleasure etc. I often have had to let ppl know that discomfort/pain isn't the norm. That usually indicates a problem. But my best friend is a doctor and cannot see the point of BF. Its something that she genuinely cannot understand why ppl continue past the first few weeks (since only the first few weeks matter according to her). It does make her and her partner uncomfortable if I feed around them past newborn stage. None of her family BF so for her it is strange.
My work is super supportive. We have a nursing/expressing room that all us nursing mums share (we have keys). I get 2 breaks a day on top of my usual breaks to express. They are happy if someone was to bring bub into feed. In my room of colleagues - more than 70% would have BF past 12mths or had partners that did so.
The only wall I ever came up against were from doctors and mchns. My OB was fantastic but GPs and paeds in general suck.
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I have a friend who is almost finished her studies to be a doctor. She said that there really isn't anything about bf in a GPs training unless they elect to study "mothercraft" and most don't bother. I've had interesting experiences with GPs and bf. One even told me to stop bf when DD had gastro as she "shouldn't have dairy"
I do think GPs should have to be educated in this area since they are often the first person we turn to as mums. They should have the knowledge to be able to support us whether we fb or ff.
I totally agree with you, GP's should be better trained in matters to do with feeding. I was quite surprised how little knowledge the majority of GP's had, considering they are most people's first point of contact for most medical matters.
I felt judged feeding DD1 formula from birth. Whether that was real or just me being paranoid due to feeling guilty, I don't know.
DD2 - got judged all the time for feeding past 6 months - especially as I got closer to 12 months. Mostly from friends (not mothers' group friends) just friends I've had for years and years. I stopped bf at 12 months because I wanted to. I wanted my body back. My baby never looked for it. Sob!
I've found most med pros dealing with new mums have little knowledge. The middies I had with DD seemed to have little idea about bfing, and as I said, little inclination to help despite being very militant. Many CMHN's have outdated knowledge and GP's are the worst of the lot.
I firmly believe this is the crux of our terrible bfing rates, not lack of education or drive to bf.
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