I had a csection and started BFing right after DD was placed on my chest. Long story short, I gave up at Day 9. I was miserable and DD was miserable. I ended up with mastitis and a cellulitis infection. My GP was very supportive and so was my family when it came FFing. I cried when my GP spoke to me about FFing. It was the baby health nurse that made me take a deep breath and she said something that has stuck with me. Researching formula brands made me feel sad again. Having to agree with disclaimers that breast is best made me feel rubbish. I sucked it up and went and bought a tin of formula. I noticed a difference in DD after the first bottle. She had a full belly and was happy. I knew then I'd made the right decision for us but I still beat myself up about it for a bit.
I feel like maybe it should be said, breast is best but it's OK if you choose to FF. Also, the judgement needs to stop. Each to their own. I had a friend who BF and at every chance was telling me things to get my "supply" back when i'd been FF for months.
Wether you BF or FF, you are feeding your child either way.
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01-01-2014 17:08 #11Senior Member
- Join Date
- Feb 2009
- Gold Coast
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01-01-2014 17:11 #12
I totally agree with PPs that BFing past 12 months is not supported at all in society.
01-01-2014 17:19 #13
With DD, I actually do not think I was supported enough with EITHER choice. I was early discharged from hospital, despite DD not latching properly and me voicing my concern that she was not feeding properly. She had also lost more than the standard 10% birthweight. I was not offered the assistance of the hospital's LC. I was however told several times that "breast was best", however how to access this best breast with ease was (and is still) a complete mystery to me.
My local child health clinic was not helpful either. The nurse in charge berated me on one occasion for asking a stupid question. Actually, she berated many of the young sleep deprived mothers in a similar way. After two weeks, I ran in tears from the clinic after another failed attempt to breastfeed, and the unsympathetic b!tch telling me to try harder. This was when I met the LC for the first time, as she was outside and saw me. She offered to get me into the feeding clinic at the hospital, but told me I would have to continue like I was for another two weeks. I broke down, and my DH went out and bought a tin of formula.
On my next (and last) visit to our local clinic, I was told that it was disappointing that I had not succeeded. I was excluded from parts of discussion. Another mum who had also "failed" and I sat together, bottle feeding pariahs. When I went to get DD weighed, she had finally gained weight, this was the first time since she left hospital. I felt triumphant, until the delightful nurse told me that formula fed babies were always fatter, and that DD would now probably have weight problems later in life since I "gave up". I left.
With DS, I do not feel that I was supported nor do I feel unsupported. I was honestly not prepared to attempt to access the support after my experiences with DD. I am not the type to ask for help. I am very hard on myself, and I have a hard time dealing with strangers hurting me when I am at my most vulnerable. I did not access a health clinic. I "accidentally" forgot to tell the hospital that we had moved until the last minute, and then did not make an appointment for a home visit in my new area, because I did not want to deal with the nurses.
I am literally just realising that I do not trust early childhood nurses or LC's due to my experiences with DD. When I ask for help I was ignored. When I did not succeed I was treated like an idiot and a failure. They literally made the first few weeks of my first child's life one of the most miserable times I have ever had. I do not look fondly back on her first couple of months, it is just a period of pain and sadness for me.
I don't know what I will do this time. Perhaps it will be better.
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01-01-2014 17:27 #14
With my first child I planned to bf, didn't buy any bottles etc. Bfing in hospital was hell. The middies were nasty pieces of work that forced bfing constantly but were too busy to actually assist in any way. They even criticised me for pumping to give my bleeding nips a break telling me I would lose my supply and clearly I didn't want to bf. On discharge the NUM tried to say she refused to discharge me until I could prove I could bf off each breast like some dancing bear. Needless to say she copped an earful and I went home that day.
Then the CMHN that told me DD was skinny bc of me using formula (DH's family are all tall and skinny). And the old lady that came up to me when DD was about 4 weeks old while I was giving her a bottle, and who rolled her eyes said "oh you have her on formula ALREADY? the problem with today's generation is they give up too easy. I ended up with mild PND from it all.
With DS the hospital was much better. He never latched, ever, and the middies could see how hard I was trying and didn't know what was going wrong. After seeing the ABA several times she head counsellor basically told me to keep pumping (which I was fine with) and that I had put my heart and soul into it and she could understand if I wanted to use formula.
How to make it better?
more funding, more funding and more funding. Better training for middies for cases where there are clearly issues extending past just not wanting to bf. A less judgy attitude by health care professionals. Acceptance some women simply don't want to bf and that's ok! A less black and white attitude by lactivists who think they are better, and that ffers are just lazy.
As to whether I think formula is supported, def not. I think BH is a just a snapshot of real opinions people voice that they would dare not say to other women's faces. So I think it's a real representation of what society, especially mothers, really think about ffers. Bfing on the other hand is very socially supported imo and women are seen as better parents.
Last edited by delirium; 01-01-2014 at 17:32.
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01-01-2014 17:32 #15
Oh, I forget this:
I think that education on feeding babies should be improved on a whole. When I was pregnant with DD, the "Breast is Best" message was pushed, but there was limited information on the struggles, what is normal, when you should see a professional etc. We were not really given info on FF either, except that we should not consider doing it. The message was merely breastfeed or fail, and goodluck, goodbye. It is all well and good to push a message, but if you are not going to support the people who you are trying to reach, what exactly is the point?
I have no doubt that access to kind supportive and empathetic professionals would have made it easier for me to access help second time round. I may have still FF my DD, but it might have made me feel more comfortable trying with DS.
01-01-2014 17:35 #16
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01-01-2014 17:38 #17
Yes I felt my method of feeding were supported. I chose to BF and the medical team (MW, GP, MCH nurses, OB) was very supportive.
I swapped to FF when bub was 8 mo and I don't feel judged or anything. However I had no contact with medical
Childcare staff don't care either way and I guess my friends had been asking me if I was still BF so they are ok with FF.
If anything, the French community in Australia feel that the Australian society is pressuring women into BFing.
It wasn't my personal experience but again I had chosen to BF so I didn't get any pressure from anyone.
Different story for my friends who chose to FF from birth.
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01-01-2014 17:48 #18
No I didn't feel supported - technically or emotionally.
After seeing several lactation consultants and midwives, it wasn't until I saw a mchn who told me I was pretty much pushing $hit up hill and there was nothing wrong with the decision to let it go, that my body wasn't going to suddenly start producing like it needed to to nourish DS and that ff was perfectly nourishing for my child, that I finally felt it was ok. The only other support was from reading posts here from @kw123 and @GirlX.
01-01-2014 17:50 #19
I've been breastfeeding continuously since DS1 was born in Sep 2007..a fair bit of that through pregnancies and I've done a lot of tandem feeding..esp in public. TBH I've never looked for support or noticed judgmental looks that much, although I have gotten a few once my children were toddlers (12mths+). Really my journey has been too long to go into too much detail, it hasn't always been easy..my CHN for DS1 was awful, the LC she referred me too didn't even want to see me..just told me that 9 weeks was good enough and to move on. Needless to say I've basically winged it on my own since than with the help of the aba and the kellymom website.
I've never FF my child so I can't compare peoples different reactions. But I totally agree with the previous poster who mentioned how babies are fed in the media, look in the dolls isle of your local toy shop, pick up a childs book about babies, pick up a baby picture book and I'd bet you $100 that there is a bottle in it. Have a look at all the women who have been booted out of public spaces for breastfeeding. Even when we support breastfeeding so many people doubt your ability, there is always that book or that app telling you how you should do it. I feel like breastfeeding advocates are battling the money makers..if they can place doubt into your breastfeeding relationship and make money out of you they will. There is also the issue that nobody seems to breastfeed in public anymore, or they do it hiding under a sheet so other women never get the chance to see and learn how to do it, it isn't normalized..I wish society found it as boring as watching someone eat a sandwich..it's just normal people!
01-01-2014 17:54 #20
I bf for six weeks, started mix feeding and switched fully to formula by about six weeks with no regrets or guilt. I felt supported while bf'ing but I had zero issues so didn't really need any help.
Our local MCHN is notoriously known as a zealous lactavist (friends, neighbors, mg friends all have stories about her) her best little gem is "why are you feeding your baby that poison" (in reference to ff). I firmly told her it was my choice and that I would not be seeing her again so I didn't just made my appointments at another center where the wonderful nurse simply asked how I was feeding and if I needed help with it. When I told her ff and no I didn't need help we moved into discussing my sons eczema which I did need her help with.
So yes I felt supported but I did have to develop a thick skin and be firm in standing up for myself and my son.
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