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  1. #51
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    I'm my 14yrs of experience...you're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't! No matter what you do there will always be someone with judgement. And ppl wonder why PND is getting more and more common. My 3rd, 4th and 5th babies....I learned to stay at home and keep my bussiness to myself. Not even family were supportive, PND to mine and dh's family is 'rubbish'. Pfffttt is what dh's mother said to me after telling me her husband's 6 sisters helped her....I have no one. Yep...I have certainly learned its best to stay locked up in my own privacy than to be judged by ppl.

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    Atropos  (02-01-2014)

  3. #52
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    With my first I assumed I would bf as my sister had before me. When ds was born he had no interest in latching at all. We kept trying if ds did latch he would soon fall off and refuse to latch again. I started hand expressing and cup feeding and trying to bf. ds started to develop jaundice and had urates in his urine so i asked for a one off bottle and had to sign a form for it I felt like crap! I felt like midwifes gave up on me except for one she spent most of her shift with me and gave me a nipple shield which ds took too and loved! I continued to feed with the shield for 3 months, he had reflux and vomited heaps which everyone around me blamed on the nipple shield but ds would not feed without it. So I tried formula which made a difference or so I thought. 1 week later he was back to the vomiting but worse and my milk had dried up. I was so upset and unsupported.
    With dd I decided I would seek out my own support to bf and continue to bf to at least 12months. She was born and latched perfectly every time. My milk came in super fast I was so severely engorged and started to have cracked and bleeding nipple despite her perfect latch. Again I was given a nipple shield and started expressing to give them a break but developed mastitis so put her back to the breast. I went to breast feeding clinics which were free for the first 4 weeks on the final week with shredded nipples they found a tongue tie. Dd had it snipped and I was told to get her off the nipple shield but her we are at 9 months still using it.
    Ff and bf I found there is support out there for both you just have to seek it out yourself, advice is so conflicting though so I just took from it what I wanted. Both feeding techniques have there pros and cons.

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  5. #53
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    It was much easier for me to formula feed than breastfeed. I want very well supported with breastfeeding when I had ds1. No body in my family, or dps family breastfed, so I had no one to ask for advice. Ds1 started biting at 5mths and I was encouraged to wean by my dr saying he had breastfed for long enough. I didn't have internet back then. I weaned when ds1 was 8mths, and switching to formula was easy. I didn't need support with that at all.
    With ds2 I breastfed. But had a better idea of what to do, I had Google, and didn't need anymore support, but I felt I had it if I did need it. I'm still feeding him at 2.5yo.

    Dd is 2wks old and I feel I need a bit of support and I can ask my community middie for help, so I have support.

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    Atropos  (02-01-2014)

  7. #54
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    This is interesting

    All 3 of my DD's were bf until they chose not to-DD1 at 8mths, DD2 at around 4 and DD3 at 3.5. DS is ff.

    It never occured to me to ff, bf was automatic. Other than the usual touches of colic, thrush or mastitis I found it pretty easy. I did find in hospital that I was told each time that bub wasnt attaching properly, however all my girls fed this way and fed successfully so I ignored it. They were happy and I was happy

    The only negative experience I had with bf was with DD2, and was work related. DH lost his job, so I went to work at the Westpac call centre when DD2 was 6 wks old and exclusively bf. We got a morn and arvo coffee break for 10 min, and I had to deperately try and express in that time. Smokers got more breaks, I didnt. DH would bring bub to me at lunch where I had to feel her in the first aid room, so rarely got to actually eat during the day. A week in they decided I could no longer feed in there, and had to do it in the carpark in our very old, hot car in the middle of summer.
    It was no surprise that I broke down a few weeks later with PND-I was exhausted and my milk supply was dropping due to not being able to express, and the lack of food during the day. I had to quit. All this was Westpacs "breastfeeding friendly" atmosphere

    DS1 (10 wks old) was a HUGE surprise. I was on contraception, and as I was on antibiotics I also took the morning after pill. Despite this, I fell pregnant. I have serious joint/bone issues so was on a lot of medication but with careful monitoring I was able to continue the pregnancy. I knew from the start that I most likely would not be able to bf as strangely enough the medication I was on was fairly safe while pg, but could cause issues if I bf.

    In the end DS ended up in special care due to inhaling blood as my placenta suddenly tore not long after he had been manually turned (breech). I was able to feed him colostrum for the first week, then wean him on to formula while he was tube fed. The Dr's and LC saw me daily and researched every possible option for bf. They were wonderful and the LC constantly told me that it was more important for me to be able to move around, rather than risk decreasing the medication. Shes the main reason I dont feel such a failure.

    I did find though that despite the LC doing a sign on DS's crib explaining the situation, I did still feel I had to explain to people why I was ff. It seems to be the first question medical prof ask a new mum-are you bf? Even the CHN asked me despite all of my files clearly stating NOT to ask as I am ff and grieving not being able to bf. Im not as touchy now but Im yet to ff in public.

    Ive always been extremely supportive of bf so am finding I cant do it very hard. I was one of those mums that has always bf openly and would have LOVED someone come up and complain, just so I could put them in their place. Right now I could cope easily someone commenting rudely on bf if I was doing it, but Im not so sure how Im going to cope if someone comments on me ff. So I tend to feel in my world bf is more accepted and supported, but alot of that is simply how I personally view it.

    I do want to say though that Ive learnt a couple of the myths about ff are exactly that-myths. Bf was SO much easier and faster esp if you fed in bed overnight(like me lol), and trust me, your boobs are so much saggier when having to let your milk dry, than bf for years. All up I bf for 6 yrs, and my boobs were fine. Let your milk dry up in the first few weeks-Omg theyve vanished!

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  9. #55
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    You know my whole bf story pretty much. But I have had people come up to me when bottle feeding (EBM the first time) a lady had an absolute go at me while I was sitting at a cafe with my mother in Newtown going on about how "dangerous" formula is. Another lady looked at me and said "disgusting" when I pulled a can of Lactose free formula of the shelf for my lactose free bub. I honestly believe it is where you are from. Breastfeeding is more common in some areas etc. Where I was when the kids were born, breastfeeding was normal, formula feeding was a type of child abuse. I also suffered through 3 months of agonising breastfeeding with the LC pushing and pushing me - until she finally realised that there was more going on and referred me to a rheumatologist ( I had no idea why she did that at the time). I didn't feel supported, I felt pressured and in heaps of pain which caused bonding issues with my first. I am glad that the LC really wants to encourage women to BF, but I felt almost forced and scared not to do it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Atropos View Post
    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.

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  11. #56
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    I have seen greater support for mothers to breastfeed when babies are young, but as the child gets older there is less support and more criticism, and an increase in support for formula feeding.

    In my mother's group, by the time babies were 8 or 9 months, very few were breastfed at all and i was the only one not bottlefeeding at times, particularly out of the house.

    I have been quite saddened by many of the stories in this thread. So many vulnerable new mothers treated poorly, or abused, by professionals who are meant to be supporting them so they can be strong, loving mothers to their babies.

  12. #57
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    I think the consensus seems to be that mums need to be supported better in general by medical professionals and community health workers. I do agree that there should be support available to you whether you ff or bf.
    I know from my own experience that bf can be a lot harder purely because there are more things that can go wrong. I also agree with formula being an absolutely adequate next best thing to bm but can see why it is not advertised/pushed by medical staff. If they want more mums to breastfeed, then they have to provide more than just the "breast is best" line- we need midwives and LCs who are easily accessible and free/affordable that can educate and troubleshoot and support. I remember how little I knew and how much I learned from more experienced women on the hub- I got way more support and education here that in the LC's or GP's office! But not everyone has a forum to rely on!
    I think they also need to get real and accept that sometimes bf is not going to work out and that it's mum's decision when to stop. By all means explain any relevant risks etc but accept the mother's educated decision (and it will be educated, if this team of health pros have done their job) and continue to offer support and education as needed.
    Another big factor in this is the social one- we have to stop judging each other. The whole mummy wars thing is out of control and this is one of the main debates. And it goes both ways. I've experienced the whole "are you STILL breastfeeding??" Complete with rolled eyes and a look of distaste. On the flipside, I know of others inc people in this thread who've been judged and abused for bottle feeding.
    I guess it's too much to think we should just support one another, right?

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  14. #58
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    I've had some struggles with breastfeeding requiring me to mix feed both of my babies. With DD I judged myself more than anyone else did and struggled with feelings of failure as nurturer of my baby. I felt the hospital was very supportive after her birth with latching, shields, a LC consult, showing me how to pump, when to top up, how to mix formula, how to wash and sterilise bottles, how to store milk etc. Once I was out I didn't feel like the local MCHN was any help at all, I had a lot of people in my life who had breastfed but none with low-supply problems and it was pretty much up to me and Google to work it out.

    With DS I was determined not to put myself through that hell again and was planning to switch to full time formula at the first sign of trouble. I didn't though, in fact we're probably been through greater struggles, but the after-hospital support has been better and that's helped. I hated BFing with DD, hated the thought of it for years after, and now I'm still going with 7 month old DS and I'm actually really enjoying it at last!

    Ways to improve things definitely would include more training for midwives including funding to make more of them LCs, ditto for MCHNs and more free LCs. I also believe that by taking so much care not to 'push' formula, they can't have useful resources in a hospital such as a step by step sign explaining how to mix and heat a bottle etc.

    With the better midwife education one incident comes to mind. With DS I was feeding him 2 hourly yet by day 3 he'd lost 10% and had urates so was given the same pump/top up/formula advice as with DD (as well as a motilium script this time - yay!), the pediatrician advised the midwife on duty to make sure I was feeding at least every 3 hours. So the next midwife on shift looks at my file, reads a note about 3 hourly feeds and when I tell her no worries he's feeding every 2 hours she tells me to buzz her when he wakes for a feed and she'll take him to stretch him out to 3 hours. WTF? We're trying to put weight on this baby and you want me to feed him less? I remember after 2 hours feeding him in my room with the door closed hoping that the midwife wouldn't come in and tell me off! The next midwife on duty rolled her eyes when I told her what the other one had said and agreed that of course I shouldn't feed him less! But imagine if I was a first time mum, this could have really messed things up for me.

    A positive experience with DS that I wish every struggling to breastfeed mum could have was the (new) MCHN on her first home visit when I mentioned that I was having pain. She made sure to give me all the details of the council-provided LC including the times she was there and the drop in session. I did wait a few weeks to see if things settled down and then went to the drop in and while the LC couldn't help me there and then, she made an appt for me asap and DS's posterior tongue tie was diagnosed. This is the sort of service that every local government should have funding to provide. It should not be necessary for families to pay 100s of dollars just to get help in continuing to breastfeed.

    Another note, it is a shame that some GPs won't prescribe motilium. I am very lucky that I've had no issues getting my scripts renewed, but then I am kinda assertive with these things. Would be nice if it was cheaper too!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubbles10 View Post
    I have seen greater support for mothers to breastfeed when babies are young, but as the child gets older there is less support and more criticism, and an increase in support for formula feeding.
    I totally agree with this. I didn't have any negative comments per se, but did get a whole heap of the "are you STILL feeding DD (2&3)?" Mil was one of 13 (I think) children so would have seen bf at some point, but treated me feeding either DD past 6 mths as disgusting. I still wish I had tandem fed them when aged 1 & 3 in front of her just to make a point

    My own family however thought it was wonderful, and the aunt we spend the most time with did extended bf with all of hers which would have been considered extreme back then. I know my grandma breastfed my mum and aunts for quite a while back in the 'condensed milk in bottle' era of the late 50's-early 60's, so this is most likely why I consider bf was the best supported method for me.

  16. #60
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    rainbow road is offline look at the stars, look how they shine for you
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    I've been supported by everyone so far however was VERY lucky to get a baby that latched well from the very beginning, because most of the midwives were completely unhelpful on the few occasions I asked for help. I am sure if we'd had any problems to start with, it might be a different story.

    Having said that, DS is only 7 weeks old and I'm already being asked when I will wean him!


 

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