I think sometimes health professionals are too focused on one aspect that they fail to address the others... I was basically harassed by the mental health department when my now 7 month old was 12 weeks old - I was begging for someone to listen to me that there was something wrong with him but all they thought was that I was struggling with PND because I had before. Turns out there was something wrong with my son and nothing with me yet it took 5 days for a member of the mental health team to contact me and a whole month for them to do something about my son.
They need to listen to mothers more instead of assuming they know whats best for us.
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I don't think it should ever get to that point for any mum (ie the traumatic experience not if you intend to ff from birth cos I am a supporter of any feeding method).
The bottom line for me is all options should be put forward by health professionals and choices supported. It all boils down to bodily autonomy for me. If a woman wants to ff, has to ff then she should be supported to do so. It's her decision. Making formula taboo within hospitals and in GP clinics only serves to make vulnerable women feel unsupported, judged and like they have no where to turn. This makes mums less likely to try bfing again with the next child.
Support women that want to bf by giving them the help they need. Support women that can't bf or only want to use formula by giving them the help they need.
How lucky for you that you obviously had no issues BF as soon as baby came into the world. Unlike you. my milk did not come in until I left hospital, even at that there was next to none and I switched to FF after a month of trying.
In hospital, the midwives REFUSED to allow me to give my DS fomula who had not eaten for days. All because of their "BREAST IS BEST!!!" policy. They also don't allow formula from outside the hospital, meaning they only allow formula that's made from their source of it. Yes, my son starved, lost weight, screamed for days because I was told to push on with no milk for days, being refused to give my child, something, anything just to help his hunger pains. I was highly stressed, my blood pressure was sky high and I was severely depressed all because I was refused what I had requested to provide for my newborn.
But no, after 4 days of receiving nothing, a lovely midwife finally said ""look, we normally never do this but seeing as bub hasn't eaten in days, would you like a formula top up?", OMFG!!!! It's a miracle, I'm allowed to nourish my baby for the first time he came into the world! I had to wait 2 hours to get a little measuring cup of formula, and had to sign pages of legal documents saying I agree and wont sue the hospital for giving my son formula.
So no, it's not so easy as JUST giving their starving, screaming, defenseless losing weight baby baby FF in hospital.
My babies had top ups in hospital too. I just signed one form. I'm not sure what hospital you went to but I wouldn't be going back. They absolutely cannot legally prevent you giving your baby the formula of your choice (for future reference) if you are formula feeding. I'm very sorry that you had this experience. I've given birth in two public hospitals, been present for three other births and known many women who've had babies and I've not ever heard of anyone who was told they weren't allowed to go buy formula and give it to their child. Not to say I don't believe you, I do, clearly it happened and was very upsetting, but I think you should know this isn't the norm for most people. Usually if you are ff you are required to provide your own formula. I tell you this so you can see why some people might just wonder why you wouldn't just go buy a tin of formula iykwim.
I agree completely that the crusade for higher breastfeeding rates is taking a toll on mothers (and babies too by flow on effect - no pun intended haha).
My mother has commented several times that she believes mothers are under a lot more pressure in many areas than just one generation ago.
I am glad that we have access to so much info, but I guess the downside is the constant second guessing and comparing that can come with it. Prior to the internet we probably would have just gone with what our parents or the GP said to do.
Little Miss Sunshine (08-01-2014)
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