Can I just add another thought to this. I see what you are all saying about the external pressures put on mums to BF from health professionals, other mums and society in general and I see how this can lead to feelings of failure and PND but what about the internal pressure. Do you not think that these feeling of failure are linked closely to a woman's own wish to BF? The internal struggle that I want to do this but it's just too hard. Research seems to suggest that most women wish to BF when they are asked antenatally. Feelings of failing to meet a goal were mentioned earlier in this thread. Or is the main problem that 'we' can't seem to find the middle ground of supporting women who want to BF in a real, practical and meaningful way while also respecting and supporting mums who do not wish to BF. I totally agree that we seem to have the balance all wrong at the moment..... Most BF mums I know don't feel supported and frequently complain about being asked incessantly about when they are going to wean, being told pain/mastitis/hourly feeds/etc is just normal so suck it up, many many comments about their milk being inadequate in some way and all the stress of being judged when feeding in public. Bottle feeding mums equally get negative comments from strangers when feeding in public, berated by know-it-all breast is best family and all of the other examples that you have mentioned above. We as mummy's just can't win hey?! So do the BF mums fair better in the PND stats tho because although they are getting the external judgement they at meeting their own internal goal but the mums who wanted to bf but couldn't are not succeeding in what they themselves planned to do????
But my argument is, why are we so desperate to bf to begin with, often to our own detriment? Why is formula such a terrible thing? Yes it's natural, it's how babies were genetically meant to eat. But I argue it more than being biologically driven to bf. It's the external pressure that pushes us over the edge. If formula wasn't so denigrated by the med pros we have close contact with when we are at our most vulnerable, I believe there would still be feelings of sadness and loss, but not the same levels of PND we are seeing.
I should add to answer your further questions. I think most bfer aren't judged for bfing generally, but feeding in public, feeding past the illusive 12 months. Bfing is still seen as the gold seal of 'good' parenting.... just with conditions iykwim. I suppose what I'm trying to say, not so succinctly, is that yes, how a mother fees about the feeding method is the main reason, but external judgment def plays a role for ffers as well.
Last edited by delirium; 03-09-2014 at 14:20.
I think it's also the language that is often used by "professionals". Breastfeeding mums are "nourishing" their babies, whereas ff mums are feeding. It's the same with birthing babies. The language used around emergency c/s can be perceived as very negative ("failure to progress", the word "failure" can be very emotive). So much judgment can be loaded into the words that we use. A close friend has a 2 week old baby she is formula feeding as her DS is having massive attachment issues and the number of people who ask "what's in the bottle?" Is amazing. Not necessarily are they judging her (often they're genuinely curious) but she's finding it tough and she is a) a third time parent and b) a very confident person but she's finding this really tough as she feels she has to explain again and again why he's on formula. If I ask someone what is on their child's sandwich and they tell me vegemite I don't expect an explanation.
And that's half the problem. Somewhere over the last 20 years when bf became all or nothing, formula became the devils milk. This right here needs to change. Health professionals, LC, the ABA, mums, midwifes etc need to STOP the demonising of formula and the all or nothing approach to bf. I'm quite confident if formula wasn't seen in such negative light of it "killing your baby", many, many bf relationships will be saved and in turn raise the rates.
For goodness sake, I for one am so over the breast, breast, breast message and the "ewwww, omg formula will make your baby stupid,fat and disease ridden". If you can't tell a bf baby from a ff baby or a bf adult from a ff adult then SURELY formula is doing its job of growing babies into toddlers into children into teenagers and adults. Isn't this a good thing, can we be praising and kissing the ground of formula makers for keeping MILLIONs of babies alive in the past century. Why is this product demonised?
Only 40 years ago good old carnation milk and sunshine powder was making babies thrive. I'm sure we all know someone raised on one of these, I know many family members the picture of Health and all in professional roles. Isn't this telling us something.
has anyone seriously gone up to their mum and said "wow mum thanks so much for bf me for 8 months, that means a lot to me, you are an awesome mum no because it.just.does.not.matter. Seriously who here cares if they we're raised on formula or breast milk. Who here has lost sleep cos their mum only bf them for 2 months, 4 months, 2 years or not at all. I bet no one . I couldnt care less and I'm sure my kids won't either.
H3ll millions of children are starving across the globe and no body is concerned, right in our country there is an ad campaign for kids going to school hungry and doing some breakfast campaign and no one seems concerned about this, so,despite all these issues plus many more of poverty, abuse etc, we have mums nourishing their babies with formula and they are being being criticised for FEEDING their baby. Is anyone as perplexed as me? Mums are FEEDING their baby and being punished by society.
I for one find formula absolutely brilliant stuff, having 2 babies who couldn't feed (I had an abundant of milk, good nipples, everything in place but babies who would not latch from deformities of mouth/palate).
Oh and before someone mentions it, as they will surely do whenever these discussions come up and someone praises formula, NO I do not work for Nestlé .
(oh and I'm also waiting for the "back in the 50s,60s formula companies did a lot of damage to babies.... Yeah well so did drs and peads for advocating CIO methods but everyone still sees a dr or pead and no one holds it against them).
Last edited by adeline14; 03-09-2014 at 17:53. Reason: Adding in
I know part of me was going to BF DD come hell or high water, as a means of finally getting over the residual feelings of failure I had regarding BF'ing DS. These were all pressures I put on myself though, they did not come from external sources.
I am not an Aunty and had only held a baby once in my life before having DS. None of my geographically close friends had had babies so I was very much out of the loop regarding the pressures mothers feel about feeding their babies when I had DS. But for what ever reasons, I still put a huge amount of pressure on myself to BF and felt awful that it didn't work out. To clarify, I never felt bad about giving him formula, I felt bad because I wasn't giving him BM.
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