I found this article online today and I had to cry.
The idea of a woman in despair not being given the advice to just give formula a go, upsets me no end. A woman's mental health (and therefor ability to care for her children as best she can) is sooooo much more important than a baby having breast milk.
In answer to the question in the title I don't think the breast bottle war killed this mother but I do believe the pressure to breastfeed, especially by midwives in hospital (public more than private) is definitely a contributor to PND.
Me 31, He 34, DD 21 months, waiting for just 1 more to complete our family.
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07-01-2014 19:56 #1
Did the breast-bottle war kill this new mum?
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07-01-2014 20:17 #2Senior Member
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- May 2006
I read this online as well. It is amazing how many people truly don't think that being unable to breastfeed can exacerbate PND. For me personally it was one of the reasons I crashed and burned so badly with mental health issues. The pressure I felt to breastfeed was immense, and I just needed someone to say "You did your best, you did a great job, but it just isn't going to work for you". I am lucky I had a specialist who did that exact thing at 3 months of struggling to BF. If I hadn't I have no idea how long I would have gone on with the torture.
I feel so badly for this woman. Of course it isn't breastfeeding that made her take her life, but the pressure she felt about it absolutely could have contributed - in fact her husband believes exactly that. Since when is Breast so much more important than having a mentally well mother
07-01-2014 20:22 #3
I think being unable to breast feed made her pnd worse but it was the failure to recognize the severity of her pnd and get the help she needed that drove this poor woman over the edge.
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07-01-2014 20:41 #4
Such a tragic story. My heart goes out to her daughter and husband. Storys like this really upset me because those deaths are preventable, people need to be open and really listen to what is being asked or said. I don't think people understand the seriousness of this issue. Trying to deal with not only the physical pain but the mental torment of not being able to breastfeed is absolutely all consuming and debilitating. I had PND partly due to my breastfeeding struggles and I battled internally for weeks until I realised my baby needed a happy and stable mum who was emotionally available. During that time I felt so alone and that no one could help me. I felt immense guilt and I felt like I was failing my baby, I spent a lot of time crying because of my mental and physical pain. I needed the lactation consultant or nurse to tell me that formula was ok but they never did. It was my sister in the end that released me from those awful feelings. Lucky for me my story had a happy ending (we turned a corner and we're suddenly breastfeeding without issues). I'll be doing my best to support all women with whatever method of feeding they choose.
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07-01-2014 20:55 #5
Absolutely horrific and sad. I felt so much pain reading that, I can only imagine this poor woman's level of despair and sense of self loathing.
Feel sickened and so angry... that something as tragic as this needs to happen before people/hospital staff/nurses and anyone else stop and think before pushing their ideals onto fragile mothers. I had terrible experiences regarding BFing as well, feeling like I'd failed was often magnified by the responses and attitudes of some of the midwives during my hospital stay. I also experienced PND after my first baby and it is the single most horrendous feeling on earth.
I hope her family find peace and don't let her death be in vain.
"Life Is Ours, We Live It Our Way".
Last edited by ~Marigold~; 07-01-2014 at 21:06.
07-01-2014 22:47 #6
What I really don't understand is how anyone can let a baby go hungry... breast milk or formula milk how can an able adult let a defenseless baby scream and cry for food when we live in a country where options are readily available to feed the hungry baby. It's completely beyond my understanding... as a mother I could not watch my child cry knowing its hungry and loosing weight knowing I could get up and go to a pharmacy or grocery shop or 7/11 and buy formula... because breast is best? nah thanks Id rather my baby not starve.
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07-01-2014 22:57 #7
It is a tragic story.
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07-01-2014 23:00 #8Senior Member
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- Nov 2013
I have read this article and I think there is a lot more to this story than the husband is leading on.
I think it is unfair for him to blame the hospital. This woman was obviously suffering severe pnd and he had a responsibility as her husband to get her the treatment she needed.
I often hear about women with pnd holding it together and acting like everything is perfect. The hospital may not have realised the severity of her mental state. Yes, they should have asked and yes, they probably should have picked up on the signs. But if it was in the family why didn't her husband raise this earlier? Why wasn't it brought to the attention of the hospital? Why didn't he step in and demand that her mental health be assessed?
This is a truly heart breaking story, but I think the bf component is a small part of a complex story. I think her family and friends failed her.
If anyone in this forum is feeling this way, please reach out to your family and friends. Please get the support you need.
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07-01-2014 23:56 #9
The story said her medical records said she was stressed and teary. He did try and get her help, he took her to the hospital. They chose to concentrate on bfing, rather than identifying (and from what I've read, it would have been pretty easy to see she was suffering mentally) she needed to be passed onto adult mental health.
She clearly wanted to bf, and I don't have an issue with this, or any hospital supporting a woman to do so, in fact it's great. But I think the point of the story and her husband, is that middies and nurses were more worried about getting her bfing again than worrying about her mental health. Reading the article she was not holding it together. She was pretty much in the fetal position, severely depressed.
I know no one, including med pros are perfect, we all make mistakes. But imo it's the hospital's and other health professionals fault. They breached their duty of care to her. She should have been referred onto mental health within the hospital and made an inpatient, where she could of got the help she needed whilst getting visits from the middies to help with bfing. Instead they chose to push the bfing agenda.
This says it all "This brave mum reached out and asked for help, in fact she begged for help. In the weeks leading up to her death she had asked her GP for help, health visitors and the mental health crisis team referred to her case. Twice in those ten weeks she’d been admitted to hospital with breastfeeding problems and hadn’t wanted to return home.Not once was she advised to stop breastfeeding and switch to bottle feeding.
Her final plea was to a health care worker. She said, “Please take me with you” and was ignored. Three days later she left her husband with their newborn baby, walked to the railway line her her home and lay down on the tracks until a train ran over her.
Last edited by delirium; 08-01-2014 at 00:02.
08-01-2014 02:14 #10
The hospital in which I bore my first child pushed the bf agenda to a great magnitude whereupon they would wake me up to make me get my boob out and take sleeping baby, wake him up and perform the task to "make sure I was doing it right".
A 22 year old girl who'd never had kids before calling herself an "international lactation consultant" led the charge. She was very gung ho and also quite clueless. In the end, I said no and she put in a report about me refusing to feed my child.
It wasn't until my DH stepped in and threatened to take action when the staff backed off.
A horrible experience. Thank god I had back up.
I hope the husband sues the pants off of that hospital.
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