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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caviar View Post
    I disagree with the proposal that the disposition to PND was obvious. When you are a psych you can make that call. Anything else is pure speculation. We don't even know if the woman in question actually had PND or whether she even displayed signs of having it. She may not have. I think we are veering off the track here regarding the proposal that the breast is best message isn't to blame for this woman's death.

    From what I have read of this case, my belief is that if the people she sought assistance from didn't have their heads so far up their backsides with the mindless 'breast is best' mantra then perhaps they would have noted other issues that may have surfaced and needed to be addressed as well as the breastfeeding.

    As another poster has already mentioned, this was definitely a case of the medical professionals having the wrong focus and I think it's more than reasonable to have these so called professionals held accountable.
    Her husband reportedly said:
    “There’s a ten per cent chance that any woman will get post-natal depression,” Chris told the Daily Mail. “For someone who has suffered before — like Jo following the miscarriages — there’s a 50 pc chance of having it again, so that alone should have set off alarm bells for those monitoring her pregnancy.”

    This link from the black dog institute says that previous pregnancy loss and depression increase the risk of PND- http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/...revioushistory

    The article also said she had been referred to the mental health crisis team. I'm not sure how it works in the UK but here that doesn't happen unless you are considered to be approaching, or at, crisis point. I do think it's fair to assume she was suffering something, whether PND or another form of depression.

    I agree that it would seem the medical professionals had the wrong focus, but as you said, perhaps she wasn't displaying symptoms. Perhaps she was only displaying moderate symptoms. We don't know. For all we know, they responded appropriately to the symptoms she displayed. Regardless, it's a tragedy.

    I wonder if there was investigation into the hospital and other staff and what the outcome was?

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  3. #62
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    Yes, she reached out to several health professionals, both in regards to bfing and her mental health. Even if we completely disregard that her husband said she had PND, her health records don't lie. I have no doubt in my mind she was very unwell and that she presented that way. You don't ask a worker to "take me with you" when everything is fine.

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  5. #63
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    It took me 6 weeks of struggling, insomnia and obsessive anxiety before I realized I didn't need anyone else's permission to switch to formula. I'm normally quite a rational person but after 9 months of assuming I'd breastfeed my child, and all the help I got in hospital (and i did get a lot of BF help), and from 2 lactation consultants, several calls to the ABA and long phone calls with helpful breastfeeding friends, the last thing I felt like I could do was stop trying and switch to full time FF. never once did any of these experts tell me that FF is ok. Of course I knew it was an option, but I felt guilty every time I topped DD up with a bottle after my pathetic attempts to BF and express every 2 hours.

    I strongly felt like I'd be letting all these people down, that id be failing my daughter (putting her at risk of disease, low IQ, obesity, no bonding), I felt like everyone I knew would judge me.

    Now I know that's not true, but when you're a first time mum getting no sleep and hearing rubbish like that BF is the best, and that formula damages their guts and their minds and their relationship with their mums, it's very hard to make that switch.

    I feel furious when I think about the anguish I felt before I made the switch and I wish no mother would ever have to feel that again. FF was the best thing for DD and I, and her Dad.

    So I don't believe you can simplify it and say this woman would have known how to formula feed. Physically feeding a bottle is easy. Emotionally it's very hard for many women who have been brainwashed by the BF propaganda.

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  7. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by lemonpancakes View Post
    It took me 6 weeks of struggling, insomnia and obsessive anxiety before I realized I didn't need anyone else's permission to switch to formula. I'm normally quite a rational person but after 9 months of assuming I'd breastfeed my child, and all the help I got in hospital (and i did get a lot of BF help), and from 2 lactation consultants, several calls to the ABA and long phone calls with helpful breastfeeding friends, the last thing I felt like I could do was stop trying and switch to full time FF. never once did any of these experts tell me that FF is ok. Of course I knew it was an option, but I felt guilty every time I topped DD up with a bottle after my pathetic attempts to BF and express every 2 hours.

    I strongly felt like I'd be letting all these people down, that id be failing my daughter (putting her at risk of disease, low IQ, obesity, no bonding), I felt like everyone I knew would judge me.

    Now I know that's not true, but when you're a first time mum getting no sleep and hearing rubbish like that BF is the best, and that formula damages their guts and their minds and their relationship with their mums, it's very hard to make that switch.

    I feel furious when I think about the anguish I felt before I made the switch and I wish no mother would ever have to feel that again. FF was the best thing for DD and I, and her Dad.

    So I don't believe you can simplify it and say this woman would have known how to formula feed. Physically feeding a bottle is easy. Emotionally it's very hard for many women who have been brainwashed by the BF propaganda.
    I sympathise with you and agree with you on much of what you've said, being someone who ff my first and struggled to bf my second (never managed to exclusively bf for long and used formula top ups). I remember feeling a failure having to top up DD2. It's not a nice feeling at all. But I feel uncomfortable/uneasy with one or two of the things you've said here.

    The reason that hospitals etc say breast is best is because, generally speaking, breast milk *is* the best food for babies. Obviously there are exceptions, but this is the case for the vast majority of babies. I think it's important to remember that knowing that breast milk is the best food for infants doesn't mean that formula milk is bad. I know some aggressively pro bf mums carry on this way, but they are wrong. Formula is the next choice to breast milk and is made to meet the needs of babies as closely as is possible. (ETA sometimes breast isn't best for MUM and I think hospitals don't acknowledge this fact in their policies a lot of the time)

    It is a fact that formula changes the gut- not a judgement. It is what it is. The other factors you mention. Some have been shown in studies- some studies put those risks as very small. But we must feed our babies, breast or bottle, they need feeding. The bonding one though- you can certainly bond with your baby, breast or bottle, as I'm sure you know. I guess my point is that it's not all "propaganda"- it's pretty well on the money. I just wish it would stop being presented as a judgement towards those who cannot or choose not to bf.

    To use a kind of dodgy analogy (because I'm struggling to get my point across coherently)-

    I have to buy a new car, so I buy a Holden. You also needed a new car, and recently bought a Mitsubishi. My choice to buy a Holden is not a judgement on your choice of Mitsubishi. The Mitsubishi suited your family/needs whereas the Holden works for us.

    Does that make any sense?

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  9. #65
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    So easy to say things like "she should have just done this or that, just gone out and bought formula, blah, blah, blah", seriously - what part of mental illness includes thinking things through completely and rationally?

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  11. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by beebs View Post
    So easy to say things like "she should have just done this or that, just gone out and bought formula, blah, blah, blah", seriously - what part of mental illness includes thinking things through completely and rationally?
    I get what you're saying. I'm not saying should have. I'm saying could have. And the fact she didn't to me demonstrate she had issues of her own (mental illness etc)... Which to me indicates that it wasn't *all* the 'breast feeding brigade's' fault. Should she have been given more help? Should medical staff realised she couldn't make decisions in her own best interests and stepped in? Absolutely.

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  13. #67
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    Of course it wasn't just the breastfeeding thing, no one has said it was have they? Just that, when you are in that kind of situation (and I was similar although obviously didn't kill myself), the whole breastfeeding guilt thing just feels like torture. It is really a horrible feeling. Now I can look back and think what idiot twats those women who had a go at me were - but at the time, I was literally devastated, I felt embarrassed to go out of the house and feed the baby/babies - even with EBM in a bottle because I was scared someone would have a go at me.

    I do think that the bfing thing is just pushed too much and too hard on vulnerable women. Getting the message out there is great - but as the others have said shaming is not.

    I don't doubt for a moment that not being able to breastfeed contributed to this woman's depression, I don't think it was the only thing going on though. Not by a long shot. It is so devastating that she took her own life. Just so sad for her family.

    Quote Originally Posted by VicPark View Post
    I get what you're saying. I'm not saying should have. I'm saying could have. And the fact she didn't to me demonstrate she had issues of her own (mental illness etc)... Which to me indicates that it wasn't *all* the 'breast feeding brigade's' fault. Should she have been given more help? Should medical staff realised she couldn't make decisions in her own best interests and stepped in? Absolutely.

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    This is a very tragic story and I think the system failed this woman. She was obviously reaching out for help and it sounds like her not being able to breastfeed increased an underlying mental unless and/or PND.

    If her baby was screaming for hours, loosing weight and mum was obviously not coping she needed help which she didn't receive.

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    I read this story a couple of days ago and it reads from the dad/husbands POV. My only question is where his blame lies?
    I understand the system and hospital failed her but to me he failed as well.

    Do I think the breast/bottle is an issue? Yes. I don't understand why so much pre natal care is about labour and delivery when it should be about caring for your new addition. Breast is natural (it is not manufactured) but bottle is not second best. A fed baby is all that matters.

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    Last edited by HollyGolightly81; 09-01-2014 at 01:16.


 

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