to not understand breastfeeding support groups.

(127 Posts)
moogy1a Tue 22-Jan-13 12:04:53

My impression seems to be that you either find bf'ing relatively easy and get on with it, or you find it more or less impossible ( for whatever reason) and either don't attempt it, or realise after a few days it's not gonna happen.
So, what happens at these bf'ing support groups? people seem to go for a few months. Do people sit in a circle and break into a round of applause when your baby's having a feed? Do people who can't b'feed keep going week after week for some form of moral support.
I genuinely want to know what the practical benefits are.

IWorshipSatin Tue 22-Jan-13 16:00:52

YANBU since so many people don't seem to understand them either, but that's probably because most people haven't been to one. YABU with a couple of your comments - it's not a case of either finding it easy or giving up, and the 'round of applause' comment is uncalled for, but it's a comment I have had from several people in real life so you're obviously not alone in your thinking.

BFing is the single hardest thing I have ever done in my life but I was like a dog with a bone and refused to give up. She's my first child and I had no family around me to help (and wouldn't have wanted them to anyway), I can't tell you how important it was to be able to go get advice from strangers.

Plus, most weeks, if it hadn't have been for that support group I wouldn't have left the house at all since I hated the idea of mum & baby groups. I need a specific subject. Although it wasn't all sitting around talking about BFing, it was quite often just a nice friendly chat about nothing much, but it was a great platform to be able to ask for advice about anything baby-related once you're at that inbetween stage where the MW and HVs have signed you off and you're not really moving in any nursery circles.

Yfronts Tue 22-Jan-13 16:20:12

They have been a great support to me in helping me BF when I was finding it very hard.

moogy1a Tue 22-Jan-13 16:22:36

I'm obviously lucky. All the people I know either ff and don't appear to suffer huge angst about it or beat themselves with birch; or they bf and have no qualms about feeding where and whenever they need to.
I now know what bf groups are for, so thank you ( don't think I need to go to one, but will if I find the ironing / cake one!)

BarredfromhavingStella Tue 22-Jan-13 16:29:26

BF support groups are fantastic, don't knock it til you try it.

I didn't use them 2nd time round but I think when you are new to BF & unsure of yourself there is nothing more reassuring than someone else telling you they are having/had the same problem or issue & it's perfectly normal-so much so that I honestly believe they can help you to continue to BF when you are ready to give up.

I also made a really good friend at the group I went to which is a bonus.

I couldn't get DS to latch without a nipple shield for the first 12 weeks and I was on the verge of giving up. I'd had his positioning checked by the hv and she said it was fine. A lady at playgroup suggested a bf support group. I went along, had 5 minutes of 1:1 support from the bf counsellor and problem solved (the problem was positioning affecting attachment). I never had to use nipple shields again.
I started going every week. It was like playgroup, but sometimes we were given info on different bf issues. I have started my peer support training through them.

BrittaPerry Tue 22-Jan-13 16:47:23

I went to a La Leche Leage group and it was only slightly about breastfeeding :-). It was really supportive about bf, baby wearing, baby led weaning, co sleeping etc. i hardly knew anyone and it was the only baby group where I actually made friends :-)

BrittaPerry Tue 22-Jan-13 16:54:27

Also, the LLL group had plenty of extended bf mums. It makes it a lot easier to get though the hard bits when you see the first six months as only the early days :-). A lot of them didn't feel comfortable 'admitting' to bf past six months, never mind a year or two, in normal groups.

Booboostoo Tue 22-Jan-13 17:29:09

I don't have a support group near me (not even sure they exist in France) but have used MN for support and frankly without the forum I would not be breastfeeding. I got help to start off with a poor latch, support through the pain of mastitis and milk blisters, but most importantly the knowledge that there are other people out there who bf. DD is now 20mo and we're getting to the stage where everyone I know seems to have the urge to comment on how weird it is that she is still bf. In RL I only know of one other person who bfed more than I have so far and if I didn't know through MN that there are plenty of other people out there who bf for a lot longer than me, I think I would be feeling pretty isolated and weird (might even be questioning the decision to continue bf myself - DP also thinks I have overdone it with bf so no particular support from that side either).

So YABU I am afraid and also a bit condescending in some of your comments about what might be happening in such groups.

gimmecakeandcandy Tue 22-Jan-13 19:09:30

You don't sound very intelligent in your assessment op - and your perception of bf groups is odd too. They are a wonderful source of support. And FYI - the majority of people who breastfeed don't find it 'easy' they have persevered or worked really hard to breastfeed their child. In most cases, with perseverance, breastfeeding is achievable.

MoaneyMcmoanmoan Tue 22-Jan-13 23:12:16

That's not very nice gimmecakeandcandy.

gimmecakeandcandy Tue 22-Jan-13 23:49:16

The op's opening post wasn't nice, it sounded like she was being very condescending and silly about bf groups.

La Leche League was a huge help for me, first baby, latch problems, soreness, all take more than ne visit to get over and get comfortable. By then you are making friends babies same age, helping each other over other difficulties, not just breastfeeding, we talked about sleep and weaning, and tantrums and everything else you could think of. Including, tandem nursing, toddler nursing, fertility.
Second baby went back again and ended up becoming a group leader, lots of helping moms over the phone who didn't want to go to a meeting.
An invaluable experience that I wouldn't have missed for anything.

ArtsMumma Wed 23-Jan-13 07:44:47

There can be all sorts of issues that arise during breastfeeding that could do with some advice from other people in the same boat. Also, there is often the facility to weigh your baby properly at the groups which is very reassuring because when breastfeeding you never know how much milk your little one is getting.

moogy1a Wed 23-Jan-13 08:04:17

How unpleasant cakeand candy. Don't hink it makes me ver stupid to ask what goes on in a group I've never attended.
Also, if you have the intelligence to read all my replies, you'll see that after lots of responses I said thanks for the info, I now know what happens and understand their purpose.
Also, do you often insult people who maybe aren't actually very intelligent? let's start a bashing the thicko thread, we could even have a subsidiary thread where we mock those who aren't very pretty.

photographerlady Wed 23-Jan-13 08:10:35

Being someone expecting and having no one in my life that breastfeeds I can't wait to pop along to my local bf support group when my mat leave starts. Those women that have been bfing for months know a lot about the ups and downs so I am not going to be waiting on the leader to answer all my questions. I mean it would be nearly impossible to get support from a room full of first timers overloading one woman with questions.

MrsHuxtable Wed 23-Jan-13 08:25:21

You sound ignorant beyond belief!

You either don't have children or didn't breastfeed!

It's not either easy or impossible! There are plenty of statistics that tell you that over 95% of women can breastfeed if they really want too and that the biggest factor of predicting whether breastfeeding will be succesful, is the mother's determination.

I'm still bfeeding DD who is 1 next week and the first 7 weeks were hard. She didn't latch on great, in fact not all for the first 2 days, my nipples were red raw for weeks and weeks and we got thrush. I was crying everyday for weeks because it was so painful BUT I carried on because I was determined.

I muddled through by myself with the help of online forums but if there had been a breastfeeding support group in my area, I would have been there like a flash! Because they support women who do a very important job. I wish there were more of them.

So yes, YABVVU! You also sound rude.

rainbowrainbowrainbow Wed 23-Jan-13 10:22:36

do people sit in a circle and break into a round of applause when your baby's having a feed
Baffled as to why you wrote this op?
It sounds derogatory, patronising and unpleasant. Perhaps it wasn't meant like that?

gwenniebee Wed 23-Jan-13 10:28:02

I'm afraid I agree that your op was rather derogatory. But it sounds like you understand what they're for now smile

It took me 12 weeks to get bf more or less pain-free, so it wasn't easy at all. The support groups were great as one problem resolved and another appeared. I think you are wrong to say those people who find it hard give up.

moogy1a Wed 23-Jan-13 11:38:50

mrshuxtable I have 3 children and have breastfed till about 18 month ( 5-6 months ebf). DC3 is just 6 weeks old but I assume I will do the same.
And yes, I'm lucky that I find it incredibly easy, don't need any determination or help.
If you bother reading the whole post I've said about 3 times now "thanks for the replies, now I know what the groups are for". Jesus there's some narky people about.
I wasn't saying I disagreed with the groups or thought they were a waste of time, I said quite clearly that I simply didn't understand what happened at them.
You are a very rude woman who should read all the thread.

SirBoobAlot Wed 23-Jan-13 11:56:37

Can you not see why your first post was derogatory?

moogy1a Wed 23-Jan-13 11:59:48

Have you not read my subsequent replies?

SirBoobAlot Wed 23-Jan-13 12:06:09

Yes I have... But you are still surprised that what you said has grated on people hmm

13Iggis Wed 23-Jan-13 12:08:14

Made my best 'baby friends' at bf group. OP I think you are unreasonable to criticise people for commenting on your original post. If they didn't like it, they can say. They are not compelled to read 121 posts in order to say they didn't like your attitude.

boschy Wed 23-Jan-13 12:08:18

well I am obviously a complete wimp, having given up with DD1 at 4 days, when I was bleeding from both nipples and had mastitis in both breasts. When the HV suggested (after 3 days of bottles, bloody marvellous days) that I try mixed feeding I cried at the very thought. And with DD2, when my nipples started bleeding at 2 days, that was it.

Had there been a BF support group I don't think I could even have got there when they were both so little... so I congratulate those who persevere if that's what they want to do.

allthegoodnamesweretaken Wed 23-Jan-13 12:08:52

I found bf very very difficult and incredibly painful, I went to a breastfeeding support group and they were fantastic. I am still feeding DD two years later.

The women who worker there helped me latch DD on properly and one of them actually came out to the house a few times. The other women there were great sources of support, especially the ones who had struggled in the beginning themselves. I am still v close to a few of them, despite not having been to the group for over a year.

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