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The pressures of breastfeeding Lock Rss

Sorry all, but I need a vent...

I am so over the pressure that gets put on mums to breastfeed like warriors the second they give birth, without any reassurance of "if you don't want to, or can't, then that is ok"

Instead I get the "if your milk doesn't come in, then we will keep yanking on your nipples till it does, until your breasts are cracked and in so much pain that you are reduced to tears and become an unconsolable stressed teary mess." Ok, maybe a touch of an exageration... but that's how it feels.

While I was waiting in my hospitals maternity area I was reading all the posters that were plastered everywhere about breastfeeding, and how far superior it is to formula. One poster ACTUALLY said... "BEWARE! If you don't breastfeed, your child will have a lower IQ, risks malformation, SIDS and Childhood Cancers" Honestly... how did this get approval to even be printed!

I feel like I'm the only person in the world that is disgusted by the pressures and one sidedness of breastfeeding.

I approached a midwife about this poster and told her that if I was a mother that was struggling to breastfeed I would find this increadibly stressful... and the response.... "Well actually less than 3% of women can't actually breastfeed, and the 3% that aren't, just aren't trying hard enough or persisting." Yup... my jaw is still on the floor.

Yes, I agree that there are stong benifits of breastmilk for a child, but at the same time, surely there comes a point where either option should be supported by midwifes and other mothers if formula is the chosen option. Medical professionals should be able to respect a patients choice and decisions they have made for their newborn without bias or putting pressure on them to change their minds. If a new mum has been educated on the pro's and con's of bf and formula feeding, and chooses formula... then thats the choice, end of story, stop making them out to feel like the bad guy.

I am due for a C-section in a weeks time, I have been attempting to express for an hour a day for a month now, without even as much as a drop of colostreum, and have already experienced what I call "the bullying approach" from hospital staff regarding me feeding my newborn in hospital.
There is a long history on my mothers side with the lack of ability to breastfeed, and it is looking like I am to follow in their footsteps. I am 100% totally comfortable with bottle feeding and formula, and plan on doing this in hospital if my milk still hasn't come in. I have told my midwife that this is my plan... only to be responded to with "no that is rediculous, we will keep your baby on your breast until it is fed."

Ummmm... no you won't.

I would much rather my bub have a full feed regularly via a bottle, then us both get stressed out and bub not fed adequetly through failed attempts of breast feeding.

Phew! End of rant. Glad I got that off my chest, thanks for listening!

Mothers who can breastfeed... high 5's to you
Mothers who can't, or chose to use forumla... high 5's to you too! smile

Agree with every thing you just said. grin grin grin

When i had DD, we had a rough start to life and was transferred to a city hospital for 4 week's. The pressure on me was unbeleivable. It was to the point were this one particular nurse turned around and reported me to the doctor and made him talk to me with her there stateing that if i didn't breastfeed my daughter there would be no chance of me bonding with her. I was absolutly gobsmacked. During this time while my daughter was in hospital i was alternating between exspressing and breastfeeding, which i believed contributed to me getting servere mastitis. I couldn't even touch my boobs without bursting into tear's, and all i got from them was "you have to perservier" I ended up in hospital myself for 3 day's on a drip with antibiotics. Needless to say when i got DD home eventually i could no longer breastfeed.

Sorry kinda took over there with my rant, but i felt absolutly and still do feel totally disgusted with that doctor and nurse saying that i wouldn't bond with my daughter because i was having trouble breastfeeding. They made me feel like a complete failure as a mother, which didn't help especially with DD being so unwell, wich in it self made me feel guilty enough as it was.

Good luck hun is all i can say, and you stick to your gun's, you take the bottle's and formula with you, it's your baby and your body, so it's your choice. Dont give up the first few day's though it dose take a little while for thing's to happen.
This is such a heated debate and i normally steer clear of these posts altogether but i just wanted to add that while these posters might upset you they are the facts and i dont think people should be not given the truth.
If u are ok with ur decision to not breastfeed and feel ok about it and u think u did everything u could then why do they bother you and why do the opinions of anyone else bother you if u know within ur heart u did everything u could.
I for one was desperate to breastfeed and had more than enough issues getting it established but i had so many friends and family trying to get me to stop saying i was too stressed out and so was my baby and it would be better if i just formula fed him, so i actually felt like my choice to breastfeed wasn't supported by majority of people, I even had a couple of midwifes suggest formula.
That 3% of woman who CAN'T breastfeed is actually a correct statement the percentage of woman who medically/physically cant breastfeed is extremely low, the number of woman who mentally cant cope or just find it too hard is another percentage altogether, i would never judge a mother who chooses to formula feed her child because the stresses and pain of it all became too much as i got very close to giving up too but want i dont like is when people say things like all the midwives are pushing for me to breastfeed and giving all these lectures ect on how great breastfeed is well duh of course they are they want best for you and your child and if they didnt try their hardest to get u to breastfeed i believe they wouldn't be doing their jobs properly, that's what they are there for to show us how too look after our babies and give them the best start in life.

I am SO glad to hear your story and so sorry that you went through that. I really feel like its a 'bully' approach. I am already pschying myself up for the pressure I'm sure I'll get when I'm in hospital...

A friend of mine had a bub about a month ago and was unable to breastfeed the whole time in hospital, despite trying too. The midwife referred her to a social worker, and the social worker actually said to her "if you don't make more of an effort then I will have to contact the Dept. of child services to assess your ability to look after your baby yourself and you will not be able to go home with your baby at this stage!" Safe to say my friend resisted the urge to drop kick this very out of line social worker, and all ended up ok... but it made my blood boil! The amount of women there that don't feel like they can stand up for themselves without being rediculed. sad

It makes me so angry and sick to my stomache the pressure that's put on new mums. The stubborn side of me just wants to go into hospital and say "Yup, I'm formula feeding my baby and I'm not even gonna try breastfeeding....what you gonna do about it???" lol....

Completely depends on who you are around and your perception. I for one had a different experience... I badly wanted to breast feed and was determined to, and yet the way I was treated with dd was also that I was a failure and I'd never be able to do it. The midwives were awful about it and I WANTED to do it! I was struggling with all the usual things that come up and even though I wanted to get through it they gave me an icy reception as though i was whining about nothing.

Then when I got home dhs entire family were on my back saying I should give up and bottle feed. Some of the things my mil said was; breast feeding is disgusting, breast fed babies don't get nice and fat like formula fed babies, I was starving my baby because I couldn't tell how much she was getting, her sleep problems were because I breast fed.
After a little while even my husband was telling me these things. Everyone wanted me to fail!! Even the second time it took two weeks for it to not be painful and dh started saying things that had quite obviously come from him mother, such as our son was vomiting so much because he was rejecting my milk. Thankfully this time it didn't take as long to establish.

So you see... Whether you want to do it or not everyone has a different experience. There are people that are for and against with EVERYTHING. There are pressures with EVERYTHING. You just have to choose your stance and stick to it, brush yourself off when you're down and get back up again.

Good luck!!

Lizy D, totally respect your thoughts and opinions... I agree with you.

The reason why it makes my blood boil is as I have had so many friends that have wanted to breastfeed but for numerous reasons haven't been able to, and every single one of these ladies felt they were pressured and bullied to breaking point where it has caused them extreame stress and depression regarding their circumstance, and due to them each being so vunerable at the time, they never stood up for themselves and said "you know what, I can't do this anymore, I am going to try formula." and every single one of these woman regret to this day that they did not feel supported enough to say what they wanted to do out of fear of being told 'it was wrong.'

As for the 3% comment... I don't care whether it was 3% or 90%... to back that statement up by adding "those women just aren't trying hard enough" was sickening... I've seen woman reduced to tears from the huge amounts of stress they are putting on themselves, and I belive that by telling them "they're not trying hard enough" is just a kick in the mouth. There are more supportive ways to approach comments.

I'm all for people being educated on everything to do with conception, pregancy and motherhood... but believe it should be an informative approach that supports all options and choices without using 'fear based' practice.

Finally, as I initially stated, I'm not having a go at any particular avenue. I completely support whatever anyone choses to do with their own situation... I am meerly just having a vent smile

Rant away wink

I'll add to it as well.

When DS1 was born I had every intention to breastfeed. A few weeks in when I first visited the Child health Nurses the first sign of an issue became apparent because he'd put on hardly any weight since being discharged from hospital. Apparently they must have assumed I was one of the 3% that wasn't trying hard enough. For three months my son had weekly weigh ins, I even did a couple of trips to the lactation consultant and was on medication to increase my milk supply. I was given new advice from every CHN and lactation consultant I saw and when I advised that I had tried the advice only to have DS1 become more unsettled I was treated like I was making excuses and not trying hard enough. When I started supplementing with formula it was like I committed a crime.

As it turns out it had nothing to do with me. My son had a very severe tongue tie and simply could not attach. He couldn't even suck out of a bottle and had to chew the liquid out. In the end the formula that I was made to feel guilty about giving him was probably the only thing that saved his life. I still can't look at photos from those first three months without feeling guilty and wanting to burst into tears when I realise just how skinny and malnourished he looked all because:

a) a number of so called health professionals failed to take the time to do any kind of assessment to diagnose the real issue rather then jumping to conclusions; and
b) Continuing to push the breastfeeding agenda when it was very apparent it was not working and to the detriment of my baby.

I will also point out that I went on to successfully breastfeed DS2 for 12 months and DS3 for 11 months and counting.

I do believe that breastfeeding is the best option for babies, but seriously if they are going to continue to push the agenda to the level they do currently then they need to ensure that all professionals are full trained to recognise the barriers or sheer inability for mothers that experience difficulties in regards to breast feeding and to be realistic in regards to what is in the best interest for each individual mum and bub in their individual circumstances.

[quote post="3233936" name="Serendipity575"][b]Serendipity575 wrote[/b]:

A friend of mine had a bub about a month ago and was unable to breastfeed the whole time in hospital, despite trying too. The midwife referred her to a social worker, and the social worker actually said to her "if you don't make more of an effort then I will have to contact the Dept. of child services to assess your ability to look after your baby yourself and you will not be able to go home with your baby at this stage!" Safe to say my friend resisted the urge to drop kick this very out of line social worker, and all ended up ok... but it made my blood boil! The amount of women there that don't feel like they can stand up for themselves without being rediculed. sad


I understand what your friends went through, this midwife i had turned around and said to me to that if i didn't establish breastfeeding my baby they would have to seriously concider wether or not to discharge my DD to me to come home. What gave this damn midwife the right to turn around and say that to me, yes i agree i was ill and i had just gone through the most horrifying experiance of my life nearly loosing my daughter, so i was very scared and anxious handling her, but i needed support not critism from this woman. In saying that i was lucky that she was the only one doing this to me, the other midwife's were absolutly brilliant, very supportive and understood what i was going through and never pushed me, it was actually a younger midwife who picked up on me being so unwell and told me to go to emergency.
Chalys N J... you're right... its just another one of those things in life that people are gonna shove their opinions in your face with...

Got me thinking about all the comments people make to you while your pregnant... "you can't eat that" "you shouldn't be doing that" "you're not seriously thinking of naming your baby that" "oh you're not going there to have your baby are you" lol... we should just walk around with a "If I wanted your option or cared for it I would of asked" card to shove in their faces when we get unsupportive comments. smile

At the end of the day, I'm gonna try, if I can I can, if I can't I can't. As long as bub gets fed, then that's the important thing in my eyes smile

I do agree 100% that the way the midwives go about supporting woman to breastfeed should be be done tactfully and not using scare tactics ect is just rude and when ur already dealing with sensitive new mothers they really should be more aware of when to push and when to back off and be supportive.
Most of my friends have not been able to breastfeed for lots of different reasons and thats fine they knew for the own sanity ect that it had to be done but luckily everyone around them as far as i am aware were supportive of their decision.
It does break my heart when i hear of woman being bullied into breastfeeding and it causing post natal depression and midwives should be really looking for these signs cos sometimes its just better for a mum to be happy in her decision to formula feed that pushed into breastfeeding and her having a horrible experience becoming a new mother when it should be the happiest times of our lives.

That's exactly what I tell my friends... Lots of them are having their first bubs and they've often turned to me for feeding advice because I've breastfed 2 kids already... Their experience will be different to mine so unles they want specific details on how it's done I just say that it doesn't matter which way your baby gets its food, as long as its fed!!

Hmm I just want to add another side lol with dd, I would have agreed 100% . I was so angry at all the midwives and the women on huggies being so pro breastfeeding! (I had a horrible time with poor dd- breast feeding never got easy/comfortable and she was not gaining weight and was screaming all the time so I put her on formula at 10weeks, was really upset about but just wanted to stay enjoying motherhood!) but...

When I had ds I knew what I was in for and went in expecting pain, had lansinoh and soothing breast pads at the ready and was expecting a shocking couple of months and he is now 12 weeks and we are successfully breast feeding and I see what all the people "pressuring" me were going on about! It really is the best thing/experience I have ever had. Nothing beats it and I feel so lucky I'm not in the 3%.

So now if a friend or anyone said I'm putting bubs straight on formula or only doing breast feeding if it's not hard, I would be very tempted to encourage them to try (or try longer) for THEIR sake and for how beautiful it is for the mum. It wouldn't be with judgement at all (I know that's how it feels at the time, I've been there and some midwives should not be in that field!!) it would be because I feel really sad that I missed this experience with dd and I might have missed it with ds had I not listened to the pro breast feeders on here and took their advice even though to start with they infuriated me!!

All I'm saying is sometimes what sounds like judgement is actually meant to be encouragement so YOU don't miss out. It is hard but worth it! In saying that, I think the posters and health professionals should try a different tact and be more supportive and educating women more rather than just saying you have to do it or your baby will be dumb etc... and not be so rude when handling our boobs and our babes!!

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