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  1. #41
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    I was well supported in hospital by midwives but was lucky to have most things go 'right' for me. I had colostrum from 9 weeks into pregnancy and bubs came out (c/s at 39 weeks) looking for boob. It was still somewhat invasive and intimidating though -- I was wheeled into recovery and had midwives pulling down my gown and grabbing my boob before they had even introduced themselves. One actually realised this and said "oh, sorry I'm so-and-so, I'm a midwife". DH was like "so you do work here then and haven't just come in off the street to grab at my wife's breasts".

    Over the next few days I got some conflicting info about how to latch and hold bubba, but on the whole the midwives were supportive and encouraging, checking in regularly on how I was going. Only one MW really upset me - another had told me to buzz her when I fed so she could check my latch. So I buzzed and another came in, looking stern and annoyed and made me sit in a chair even though I wanted to feed in bed and basically told me I was doing everything wrong. I got teary and stressed. After I got home I drove myself nuts trying to latch bub in a particular way when he didn't seem to want to latch like that. He was gaining weight and I wasn't uncomfortable so I just let him latch how he wanted. He's 14 weeks now and in the 90th percentile for weight so it obviously hasn't harmed him.

    I do realise how lucky I have been though -- baby who wanted to feed, milk came in on day 3, no tongue tie etc -- and it was still quite stressful at times. I felt like I was being given a 'good girl' label by midwives and child health nurses for these things that were really just luck. My sister is due in a month or so and her hospital has told her she won't be staying for much more than 24 hours. I think it would be very difficult to successfully establish bfing with so little access to immediate help. I already plan to pass on all the info I found helpful.

  2. #42
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    I am currently still feeding my 26 month old. Recently we night weaned and we are down to one feed a day.

    When she was a newborn, I felt like people supported me breastfeeding. The nurses and MACH nurses certainly did, there was never a suggestion of weaning, even when she started to drop percentiles when she was older (about 8m).

    As she got older though, I felt that people supported me breastfeeding as long as I didn't do it in front of them. Also I think people felt uncomfortable when I was still feeding at 6 months/12 months mark.

    Not that I got extremely negative comments, but people would look shocked and ask 'are you still feeding her' when I told them. Mostly that included people who don't have kids, but also includes those who bottle fed their children and who didn't appreciate that I was committed to breastfeeding. I remember when she was 15 months, I was talking to someone and we were discussing sleeping. I mentioned that she doesn't sleep well and i was told that 'I've got to get her on a bottle'. People also didnt get why I had to be their for the bedtime routine.

    So I stopped telling people after a while. I was sick of their looks and uncomfortable silences. It's just a couple of close friends and my wonderfully supportive DIG that know I still bf my daughter

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    Bubbles10  (02-01-2014)

  4. #43
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    I haven't read all of the responses but I was just thinking about this when reading a few threads recently where people have said they felt judged for feeding their baby formula. I was surprised by this because almost everyone I knew expected that my baby would move on to formula. I had so many comments like "oh you're STILL breastfeeding at 3 months?" "Yeah I've heard that breastfeeding older babies is more common now" - older babies?! She's still a newborn!!

    I bf for 6 months, my goal was to bf exclusively for 6 months, then due to my return to work, formula during the day and bf morning and night until at least 12 months. But my daughter didn't like that plan and very quickly began to prefer bottles so wouldn't breastfeed anymore. People even thought 6 months was a long time, and were shocked when I said I was aiming for 12 months.

    In my extended family, most aren't very well educated and tend to go by their mums and sisters parenting advice rather than doing their own research. Amongst my closest friends, we're all early-mid 20s and the only exposure they've had to babies are the teen pregnancies at their high school. Therefore no one close to me really has an informed bf advocate so I think formula is just expected, with bf only being for very new babies. I hope that by me breastfeeding for a little longer than the norm (their idea of the norm), when my friends have babies, they might realise that it's ok if they want to do it too.

  5. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by JR03 View Post
    I haven't read all of the responses but I was just thinking about this when reading a few threads recently where people have said they felt judged for feeding their baby formula. I was surprised by this because almost everyone I knew expected that my baby would move on to formula. I had so many comments like "oh you're STILL breastfeeding at 3 months?" "Yeah I've heard that breastfeeding older babies is more common now" - older babies?! She's still a newborn!!
    For me, the judgment came from a different place. Save for a couple of girls from my first mother's group who I didn't really get along with anyway, two women who were friends of friends who were always trying to hurt me anyway, and one particularly nasty mother in a parents room, I don't think I was judged by anyone in the general public for ff. It was midwives and other medical professionals that judged me. For example with DS, I went to visit a friend who had just had a baby. I took my 3mo DS, who had been mix fed and was no longer having ebm during the day (could have still been morning and night can't remember). I went, with my DS, to the visitors kitchen and warmed some water for his bottle. A nurse, despite me telling her twice that I was not a patient and therefore not her problem, lectured me on the evils of formula and the damage I was doing to my son for the entire time I was there. Fun times!

    I have witnessed the judgement bf mums get from the public. I have been there when both of my besties were either told outright that what they were doing is inappropriate, or had snide remarks "are you STILL bf?" and the like made towards them.

    It seems to be a no-win situation. Ff and be shunned by the medical professionals paid to support you. Bf, and suddenly everybody is an expert on how long, when and where you should feed!

    Sent from my GT-N8010 using The Bub Hub mobile app

  6. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by crankyoldcow View Post
    Oh I just have to add, that when my DD was born prematurely with severe IUGR. We were in a hospital with a WHO breastfeeding accreditation. However, in the premmie nursery, I was made to feel like I was abusing my child by not agreeing to formula. She was very very small and they wanted to fatten her up quickly. Phrases along the lines of brain damage and starving her were used by the doctors.
    My experience right now is quite the opposite with both hospitals dd2 has been in. They can't be any more positive about giving dd2 ebm and are full of suggestions the moment I mention a problem with my supply. They definitely encourage all of the parents to breastfeed over formula.

  7. #46
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    With dd1, I was struggling with my supply and when I asked for help the LC just told me that happens and to, pretty much, just suck it up. Not exactly what a new mum needs to hear when asking for help and definitely not supportive in maintaining a successful breastfeeding journey.
    I switched to formula at 5ish weeks and never had any negative remarks. I went with well known brands for everything I needed, read the instructions and that was that.

    With dd2, so far everyone around me is supportive. The nurses are always offering advice and keep reminding me that a LC is available if need be. If I'm still breastfeeding when we take dd2 home, I really couldn't give a damn if a stranger has something negative to say.

  8. #47
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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?
    Yes France does have one of the lowest BF rates, and interestingly the highest (next to Ireland) birth rate in Europe - something like 2.1 babies per woman vs 1.8 in high BF countries. I read a great feminist book on this topic called The Conflict, where the author suggested that the less pressure on mums in France to do extended BFing and attachment parenting meant the parenting roles are shared more between mums and dads (and mums get more sleep!), and women have more balance and can return to paid employment, which encourages them to go back and have more babies. Makes sense to me.

  9. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by lemonpancakes View Post
    Yes France does have one of the lowest BF rates, and interestingly the highest (next to Ireland) birth rate in Europe - something like 2.1 babies per woman vs 1.8 in high BF countries. I read a great feminist book on this topic called The Conflict, where the author suggested that the less pressure on mums in France to do extended BFing and attachment parenting meant the parenting roles are shared more between mums and dads (and mums get more sleep!), and women have more balance and can return to paid employment, which encourages them to go back and have more babies. Makes sense to me.
    Well there's that and there's also full salary paid during your maternity leave, very subsidized Childcare (out of pocket around $500 a month in central Paris), free good quality school from 3yo, free uni, free health system, gvt subsided pension, ...
    Having children in France is MUCH cheaper than in Australia

    I don't think parenting roles are any better shared than here. From my personal experience I would say the opposite actually. However I don't know any SAHP in France whereas I know many here. And I have a lot more French friends too.

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  11. #49
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    The only times I felt a bit unsupported with my feeding choice (which was a combination of EBM and breastfeeding, and from 6 months to 13 months EBM only), was when my mother occasionally commented that she thought it was 'time to switch to formula'.

    I think some people thought I was a bit crazy for continuing to express feed for so long. I worked full time and it was quite draining, but I was prepared to do it as I felt it was for the benefit of my DS. That and the fact it took him a while and a lot of trial and error for him to actually accept formula!

    My boobs, my child - my call.

    From what I have seen and heard, breastfeeding seems to be supported by the wider community for the first few months, then for some reason there is an expectation for you to switch to formula.

    It perplexes me why there is so much judgement.

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  13. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lili81 View Post
    Well there's that and there's also full salary paid during your maternity leave, very subsidized Childcare (out of pocket around $500 a month in central Paris), free good quality school from 3yo, free uni, free health system, gvt subsided pension, ...
    Having children in France is MUCH cheaper than in Australia

    I don't think parenting roles are any better shared than here. From my personal experience I would say the opposite actually. However I don't know any SAHP in France whereas I know many here. And I have a lot more French friends too.
    The crèches in France sound amazing too! I read that most children attend from age 1 (even if there's still a parent at home), and the government puts so much importance on the children's nutrition. They give them very nutritious meals and even start teaching them about cheeses in crèche). I'd love to raise kids in France!


 

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