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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atropos View Post
    Interesting. Doesn't France have one the lowest (if not the actual lowest) rates of breastfeeding in the entire world? What is breastfeeding education and support there like? I'm guessing it is minimal?
    France has the lowest BF rate in Europe, not sure how it compares worldwide.

    69% of newborns are breast feed while in hospital. It drops at 54% at 1 month old and 32% at 3 mo.

    Not sure why... Probably a mix of woman going back to full time work quite quickly after the birth (2.5 months post partum) and a society post feminist liberation.

    The main idea in France is that the mother has the choice to do whatever she pleased. Some people also do disagree with the breast is best and WHO campaigns about BF.

    However I believe that for those that chose to BF the support in hospital is there and they tend to wait for mums milk to come in before discharge.

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    My DD is 2.5 weeks old so the memory of the middies in the hospital is still quite fresh (and raw. Grr.). DD fed awesomely for the first night. With the help of a nice midwife we got her latching and once the MW was confident I could latch her on my own she left me to rest and cuddle and do all that nice stuff. At about 4am I was exhausted and needed help as she was doing the new born squid thing and my poor exhausted brain wasn't working quite properly so I buzzed for the MW and got another woman who, when I asked for help to latch DD, decided her help was to pinch my nipples until they hurt(and the b1tch had nails. Grr.) And grab the back of DDs head until she was screaming and then shove the two together. When this method didn't work she left, telling me she'd send my midwife in, which she never did and I was too scared to buzz for my midwife again in case I got her show up in my room. From then, whenever I tried to attach DD she'd start shrieking like someone was murdering her and if I continued trying, it only got worse. I told the midwives what had happened the next day when they came in to see how I was going and found that DD wasn't latching no matter what we did, so hadn't fed at all, and the MW informed me that she wouldn't remember what had happened anyway and to just keep trying. DDs last feed was December 13th at 11PM. I spoke to the MWs at 9am on the 14th. By the 15th she still wasn't feeding and was visibly frustrated so one of the nicer MWs taught me how to express for her so she was at least getting something. I was still trying to BF because I wanted to, to give her all the immune boosters and what not. I was worried but not overly anxious cause the MW kept telling me they don't usually feed for the first few days really cause they were still full from being in me and getting all the nutrients from me, so I could see she was frustrated but I thought that was kinda normal. Then at night on the 15th I got a MW that, should I see her again, I'll cheerfully box her ears. She informed me DD was screaming because she was starving. Every time DD started crying and screaming, I'd get told it's cause she was hungry and starving and I needed to BF her, so was put on pumps and expressing every 3 hours and continued trying to BF. I got discharged the next day because I begged to be. I had a lovely MW that day who got her to latch again for a few seconds but then the screaming started again. The MW gave me a list of different formulas that she recommended before I went home and wished me luck.

    The MW they sent me for my home visits were quite nice. The night I went home I expressed but not enough. DD was still hungry so I gave her a bottle of formula and she inhaled it, and the next one and the next one, so when the MW visited me she asked how everything was going and I told her everything that had happened at the hospital and DD refusing to latch and me not expressing enough. The MW
    listened and gave me a form to lodge a formal conplaint with the hospital about the two MW, then just explained to me how to sterilise bottles, how to prepare her feeds, etc. She was a LC and told me if I were to change my mind in the next week or so to give her a call and she would come back out and work on latching DD with me, but I didn't feel pressured to go back to BF from her. She gave me the information she felt I needed, did her job and opened up her own schedual to help me if I changed my mind and went about her day.

    I'm sure we could have eventually developed a BF relationship but, tbh, every time DD rejected being BF by me, I had the horrible MW in my head telling me she was starving. I did what I felt was the right course of action and fed her. I do find it amusing that the people who were so pro-bf are the ones who did the most damage to mine and DDs bf relationship though.

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  4. #33
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    My daughter was breastfed exclusively until 3 months, mix fed until about 11 months, then breastfed + solids up until this point (15 months).

    I'm not sure what to say about support. None of my family or friends have been against either breastfeeding or formula feeding. I haven't had a single negative comment, nor has anyone vocalised any disgust at me still feeding her etc. That doesn't exactly mean they've been supportive though. Some have been, and some haven't voiced any opinion whatsoever. It's been similar with health professionals.

    For the first few months though, I don't think I got anywhere near the support I really needed. Looking back now, I'm sure there was advice etc. which could have been incredibly useful... but which nobody came up with despite my pleas for help. It was only my sheer stubbornness that got us through, because breastfeeding was something that I really wanted to do and not give up on (just have to add that I'm not implying anything about anyone else here...just my own situation).

    I definitely think that there's judgement both of breastfeeding and of formula feeding. Whether or not there's support obviously depends on your specific surroundings.

    As for improvements? What others have said with regard to education of health care professionals, funding for resources for new parents. That's really what would have been helpful to me.

  5. #34
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    I would imagine it would depend on which circles you mix with. As far as what is supported in hospitals I would argue that neither is supported as it should, it's part of a bigger issue, a chronic lack of midwives or quality trained support people to support women as a whole during pre and postnatal periods. I had diabolic BF advice from MWs when I had my first which was a massive reason why I didn't succeed in establishing proper BF relationship. DS also had jaundice and I was advised he needed fluids. We decided to comp feed at the hospital to give him his fluids so a MW bought in a small bottle of formula in a jug of water and told me to leave it in there for a while and test it on your forearm to check the temp, then walked off. The thing was, I had no idea what 'the right temp' was and the chances of getting her back were remote. We noticed the water in the jug was barely luke warm and wasn't going to warm up anything so I went and replaced it with hot water. DF and I took a guess at what 'the right temp' would be. So we had sh1te support for BF and sh1te support for FF.

    On a side note at least 2 of my health care providers at that hospital spoke to me as though I was a silly little girl who had got herself knocked up. The fact was I was 36, university educated, traveled, held a professional career and although DF and I weren't married it was a better, more loving and supportive relationship that 90% of the women in that ward.

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    I formula feed my first from about 3.5 months old and my second from about 8 weeks old. My third was breastfed for 12 months and my fourth is 7.5 months old and still going strong with breastfeeding.
    I honestly don't remember getting anything but support with all of my experiences. I have needed help finding the right formula and bottles for a constipated and fussy DD1, nearly two weeks of SCN and pumping and then three bouts of mastitis with DD2 and a few incidents of nipple/mouth thrush with DD3. I have always been given the help and advice I need with no overt judgement or having my choices questioned. The worst thing that has ever been said is "your game" or "time for a bottle" from one friend once DD2 & DD3 were bf with teeth.

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    Default Spin off- breast or bottle- do you feel your method of feeding is supported? ...

    I haven't yet read all the replies...

    I've generally had a good experience BFing DS weaned at 18 months. We had MASSIVE struggles in the first 12 weeks but my mum (who is a midwife) was my rock and a biggest supporter. If it wasn't for my mum DS probably would have been on formula, she also gave me the courage I needed to BF confidently in public.
    Also my MCHN was amazingly supportive, the first time I met her, DS (1week old) was feeding for 3hrs straight the night before, I was shattered and burst into tears as soon as she walked through the door. She helped me to figure out a rough guide and called me every couple of days to see how I was getting on and even left her mobile number for me to call her.

    My inlaws on the other hand weren't supportive towards BFing at all.
    My husband was to an extent, but ultimately pressured me to wean when we did. Most friends (not yet mothers) were great about it, one or two of them being the exception, strangely enough I don't really speak to them anymore.

    I'm not sure what could help the opinions of BF or BF rates... It seems that those who are against it are very strong headed about it. Apart from more people BF in public so it is seen more often, therefore becoming "the norm"
    Last edited by DewDanni; 01-01-2014 at 19:40.

  8. #37
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    Word of warning, this might be a long post!
    My Ds was in intensive care for 3 days and had trouble feeding. He was on pain relief and fluids so when it came time to breastfeed he was drowsy and not hungry. He had trouble latching and fell asleep within a few minutes. I had no idea what I was doing and didn't receive much help from the nurses. They decided to take him off fluids to increase his appetite but we continued having the same problems. I was expressing so he received breastmilk through syringes and then an occasional bottle, but even then it was a struggle. I was given the choice of putting him back on a drip or giving him formula. I cried and then decided to give him formula. He took the whole bottle and then threw it all up, I felt so sad for him and me and didn't know what to do. Eventually he was able to latch and feed (once he was off pain relief), I was using a shield on one side which helped. Unfortunately it wasn't the right latch and I didn't realise until days later, when the damage had already been done. By the time I got home I was in excruciating pain and Ds wasn't getting milk through the shield so he was loosing weight and my supply was going down. I went to see a paed to look for extra support and found out Ds had slight tongue tie. I took the shield off and endured the pain, I saw a lactation consultant for weeks and was comping after every feed with expressed breastmilk. My mental state was in a downward spiral, I felt like no one could help me and I felt like I was failing my son. I decided to start comping with formula which improved our quality of life immensely as I had more time to spend with bub. After 6 weeks of agony we turned a corner, Ds latched correctly and he was gaining weight beautifully. We've been breastfeeding exclusively since.
    I feel as though the hospital needs a lactation consultant on the ward and in NICU everyday to support mothers and babies from the start. While I was in hospital there was one group information session with a lactation consultant and I missed it because I was in NICU trying to feed my bub. And just to note, the only reason I was referred to the LC to begin with is because I was using a shield, I would have been on my own otherwise. I am thankful to the nurses and understand they are busy and understaffed, but hospitals need to do more to support new mothers in feeding their babies.
    Thank you for starting this topic and allowing me to share my story, sorry it's a bit long!

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    Atropos  (01-01-2014)

  10. #38
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    I bf my boy until he weaned himself at just under 2 years old.

    The support I received in hospital was great. I experienced a lot of pain when bub first latched and when they found me upset the midwives told me to buzz them for every feed. I didn't mind them touching/positioning my boob I was grateful for the help.

    I stayed in hospital for 5 nights when I left I was still in pain. By that point my nipples were bleeding. I didn't get any help primarily because I didn't ask for it. I didn't know who to ask. I tried to google lactation consultants in the area but it was too confusing. I didn't call the ABA as I needed in person help not someone to talk to over the phone. Problems with bf'ing wasn't something I talked to my friends about. And as for my mum she was never going to be any help: she formula fed simply because she couldn't stand the thought of something touching her boobs... I basically went on forums and asked advice, watched a few you tube videos and over the next few weeks things improved.

    I never really experienced any rude remarks or looks about breastfeeding. Probably because I never watched other people when I breastfed in public... Didn't really give a cr@p about anyone else. As for family and friends even if they did judge me they probably knew better that to say anything they knew I would rip their heads off.

    This time round I think I will get more help... Because I will
    Be more active in seeking it. I will seek midwife help with latching from day 1 to hopefully prevent any problems developing. And if I need a LC at home I have a better idea of who to call now to get help.

    Yeah I could have and should have asked for more help last time ... I'm sure it was around but as a first time mum I didn't really know where to go or what to do. This time I'll know better/

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  12. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennaisme View Post
    I buzzed for the MW and got another woman who, when I asked for help to latch DD, decided her help was to pinch my nipples until they hurt(and the b1tch had nails. Grr.) And grab the back of DDs head until she was screaming and then shove the two together.
    Grrr. This makes me so angry. How anyone could think that this will foster good feeding is beyond me. The hospital I had dd in had a hands-off policy where they did not handle the mothers breast at all, they just modelled good positioning by demonstrating holds against themselves etc.

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    Thanks @babyla - I found your posts hugely supportive too at a tough time! It's a shame Girl X is no longer around.

    I was also supported by my decision to FF by my MCHN but I think I'm in the minority as most sound pretty harsh. She did make some comments during mothers groups like "come on now, let's have some afternoon tea as all you breastfeeding mothers need to keep up your energy" which made me feel awkward and excluded although she just didn't think and it wasn't intended. The girls in my actual group were always nice about it too and always happy to chat to me about FF in the same way they did about BF as DS had tummy issues that were stressing us out when he was tiny. Again, I feel lucky that I had a nice group of women.

    I do know many close friends though who have been verbally attacked and belittled by both friends/family and strangers because they FF. I just find it awful but also laughable as I think someone is hugely uneducated if they think FF is harmful in any way. I also point them in the direction of the most recent WHO study if people start banging on about how their child will never be ill because of the magical powers of BM. Ummmm, no!

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