To say if you don't want to bf then fine but don't lie that you can't

(423 Posts)
Lily1986 Fri 23-Nov-12 10:21:42

A friend is ff her baby son. She tried to bf but gave up after a few days. Privately she told me that she didn't like having to bf and wanted her dh to share the load. To everyone else she is saying that she didn't produce enough milk and is seeking sympathy from others that her body wasn't able to provide for her baby. Really laying it on thick.

I really don't have a problem with how anyone chooses to feed their baby.

AIBU to feel angry at this friend trying to make people feel sorry for her?

claraschu Fri 23-Nov-12 10:25:52

It's annoying when people lie, and most people won't believe her anyway. I think almost everyone can breastfeed unless they have had surgery or are on certain medications.

LeBoob Fri 23-Nov-12 10:26:26

YANBU! I hate attention seekers!

ClippedPhoenix Fri 23-Nov-12 10:26:37

She doesn't want to open herself up to the criticism etc. that will probably follow which is rather sensible really.

ClippedPhoenix Fri 23-Nov-12 10:27:22

due to messages above I rest my case!

Yabu, I doubt she is trying to make other people feel sorry for her probably just trying to avoid people questioning her choices.

It's nice that you don't have a problem with how people choose to feed their babies but a lot of people do and they judge and preach and she may feel guilty and not be able to cope with that right now.

Maybe try not to judge your friend but see it from her pov.

soverylucky Fri 23-Nov-12 10:28:18

You feel angry? Seriously. You need to get a grip and get out more.

LalyRawr Fri 23-Nov-12 10:28:29

I think mums have this huge pressure to be the perfect mother and breast feeding is part of that.

Breast feeding makes me feel physically sick. Just seeing the word turns my stomach and makes my palms sweat, seeing a breast feeding mother makes me want to throw up. I have no idea why, but I cannot help it. Obviously I FF. but the criticism I got for it was unreal. One stupid old lady told me that I was condemning my child to a life of cancer (?!) for FF.

So while I don't think you are being unreasonable to be annoyed that she is lying and playing for sympathy, I can kind of half understand not wanting to put yourself forward for the ridiculous criticism some people feel the need to make.

But yeah, playing for sympathy is not cool.

FeckOffCup Fri 23-Nov-12 10:29:14

YAB a bit U, she has a brand new baby and is probably hormonal and sleep deprived and doesn't want to deal with judginess from people who think FFing is the devil's work. I would just let it go.

FreudianLisp Fri 23-Nov-12 10:31:24

Claraschu, I disagree (about almost everyone being able to breastfeed). And I'd be furious if some patronising person didn't believe me when I said that I'd tried as hard as humanly possible, but it didn't work.

Bluebell99 Fri 23-Nov-12 10:31:51

It really isn't anyone's business how she feeds her baby and she shouldn't need to justify it to anyone. Yabu to feel angry about it, what's it got to do with you?! Breastfeeding does invoke strong emotions. My friend didn't manage to feed her dd and still talks about and feels guilty 12 years later! I feed both my kids until they were 2 and really struggled for the first two months with ds, cracked nipples, and mastitis so I do appreciate how hard it can be.

dottyspotty2 Fri 23-Nov-12 10:32:21

No-ones business tried with eldest 2 DD1 I failed with and DS had to go on specialist feed that needed preparing in a pan so didn't even attempt with DD2 wasn't much support around for bf back then either.

ZZZenAgain Fri 23-Nov-12 10:34:07

maybe it was a combination of not producing enough milk and not wanting to bf.

MammaTJ Fri 23-Nov-12 10:35:26

I would tell her that she doesn't need to justify herself to judgy people!!

I could not breast feed my two youngest DC. Simply could not.

BumbleBee2011 Fri 23-Nov-12 10:35:55

YANBU, but only because hearing people like her talk is why a lot of my peers think BF is practically impossible, and you have to be some sort of freak to do it. Very sad state of affairs.

Sokmonsta Fri 23-Nov-12 10:36:44

Yabu. It's a damned if you do (public feeding), damned if you don't (not doing the best by your child) choice.

She has confided in you the real reason so be thankful you have her trust.

I bf dd for 4 weeks, ds for 6. The twins I expressed for 9 weeks. They are all fine but it's amazing the number of people who think they have a right to tell you how you should feed your baby. They surely wouldn't dream of telling an adult how they should or shouldn't eat.

Granted it possibly doesn't help those who genuinely struggle. But the flip side is maybe more support would also be more forthcoming to those who genuinely wanted to bf.

I genuinely wanted to but even with loads of help, neither myself nor baby got the hang of it. By the time the twins arrived I knew what would work. But grieved for the loss of an experience they should have had.

echt Fri 23-Nov-12 10:37:24

OP should back off and get a life. In what way are your friend's lies affecting you?

You "don't have problem" yet "feel angry"? Sort yourself out.

Beams. Motes.

CarpeJugulum Fri 23-Nov-12 10:38:26

It's no one's business really.

I tried with DS, but he had an undiagnosed tongue tie so couldn't latch properly, I was then in hospital after he was born with a suspected blood clot after the c-section. I expressed for as long as I could, but the hospital stay killed my milk production sad. I can still remember the HV telling me to keep trying when DS was screaming his head off and shedding weight. Switching to formula was the best thing for both of us.

My friend just had her second and decided to FF from the start (although she did give him the important stuff the name of which escapes me! at the start) so her DH could help; but didn't want to tell anyone as she was scared of being judged. I told her I couldn't care less and she was shock smile

Sometimes it's fear.

WorraLiberty Fri 23-Nov-12 10:39:40

Yabu, I doubt she is trying to make other people feel sorry for her probably just trying to avoid people questioning her choices

This ^^

Not everyone is confident enough to fend off all the judgey pants hoikers

Especially since she's not long given birth and is probably sleep deprived.

Perhaps after a few months she'll find the strength to tell everyone to fuck off and mind their own business.

cory Fri 23-Nov-12 10:39:42

It isn't a given that she actually knows herself which of these two is closest to the truth. I was very muddled trying to explain to people about dd's breastfeeding (I did bf but she failed to thrive) because I had no idea of what was going on. So I probably gave half a dozen different equally implausible explanations to different people. Doesn't mean I was consciously lying, just that I was muddled.

"didn't really want to" and "wanted dh to share load" might equally well be sour grapes. Or something that felt like the truth at one time, but not at another. You don't know. Why do you feel the need to judge?

LadyBeagle Fri 23-Nov-12 10:39:54

It's none of your business.
And she's probably only saying it to avoid the judgement of people like you.
I breastfed for about 3 weeks, I also preferred my ex to get up at night and to hand over ds to others with his bottle.
BF for me was boring and a tie.

echt Fri 23-Nov-12 10:41:47

cory a lovely post. I'm pained that a world exists where anyone has to explain what they do with their breasts.

ICBINEG Fri 23-Nov-12 10:43:33


So lets see the friend is lying to avoid simply saying "I chose not to BF" should anyone actually ask and should she happen to feel she needs to answer (both of which are unlikely).

Worse the friend is perpetuating a damaging myth that people don't produce enough milk and undermining the confidence of the people she speaks to who may yet BF and have those anxious "are they getting enough" moments. It is rare for people to physically be incapable of making milk. It is incredibly rare for people who can physically produce milk to not produce enough for a baby, or twins or triplets etc. But it is incredibly common to worry that you are not producing enough. She is being very irresponsible to undermine other mothers that way.

But oh no! The majority on here think she is perfectly entitled to behave in this way because it is just sooooo terrible, that someone might hypothetically question her choice, that any defence no matter the consequences is perfectly justified.

wheresmespecs Fri 23-Nov-12 10:46:13

I think on an individual level your friend is just making a decision to offer up a story which means no debate or potential criticism. I can't blame anyone for wanting to do that.

However - on a wider level, the 'not enough milk' thing is bloody damaging and dangerous to mothers trying to bf. Let me clear, so I don't offend - yes, A FEW women will have trouble with under supply and need to supplement or switch to formula. Tubular breasts, severe anaemia etc - it can happen.

But for the majority of women thinking they don't have enough milk, it just isn't true. They are usually trying to feed in the 'wrong' way or with the wrong expectations - expecting a new born to go hours between feeds and then worrying they are too hungry when they want to feed again - expecting a bf baby not to feed little and often, but in big 'doses' like most ff babies are fed - all of the mistakes mothers make when they and people around them have limited knowledge and experience of bf-ing.

If you are a new mum bf-ing, and finding it tough, and most of the mums you know tried and gave up bf-ing, and most of them said it was 'not enough milk' - well, you know where that's going. Thus the myth carries on.

I do feel as well for those women who do genuinely not have enough milk. Women using it as a line aren't helping them.

btw, as someone who is pro bf and bf-ed herself, I think there are plenty of reasons why someone doesn't bf, social as well as emotional and physical - and that's fine. BF-ing is great but not when it makes a mother deeply unhappy, or is very hard under social circumstances she can't change.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 23-Nov-12 10:49:03

YANBU. I've experienced this too. People who genuinely want to BF but find it so difficult that it is affecting everything they do tend to react very differently to stopping Bfing than people who just say they can't when actually they don't want to admit they they don't want to.

If people don't want to BF, that's up to them, but don't lie about it and perpetuate the myth that is excruciatingly difficult to other mothers. If people are confident in their own choices then there is no need to lie about them.

Vodkapleasenurse Fri 23-Nov-12 10:49:38

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treas Fri 23-Nov-12 10:50:22

claraschu - are you medically trained? If not your talking bollocks!!!

Having tried to breast feed a ds who was continually loosing weight and on the verge of being hospitalised and then eventually getting shingles due to the stress of it all - people making flip judgements like yours get right on my tits!

FreudianLisp Fri 23-Nov-12 10:51:19

What treas said.

Fancydrawers Fri 23-Nov-12 10:52:48

Can people not just worry about their own lives? Fucking hell. I formula fed. So fucking what. Bloody hell you'd think it was only bf mums who love their children. No wonder formula feeders get defensive.

wheresmespecs Fri 23-Nov-12 10:52:49

so .... how do those of you who DID struggle with low supply, and who had anxious and traumatic times because of it, feel about those women who lie about it?

MorrisZapp Fri 23-Nov-12 10:54:30

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BeerTricksPott3r Fri 23-Nov-12 10:54:56

She's just trying to avoid the judgy shitstorm that can follow the simple sentence "i don't want to bf, ta"

As evidenced on here so many times.

echt Fri 23-Nov-12 10:56:14

What BeerTricks said.

ICBINEG Fri 23-Nov-12 10:56:51

My expectations going into BFing where completely skewed by the people I knew who had babies before me. Two friends, one of which claimed she couldn't BF as her milk ducts weren't connected and the other that "ran out of milk at 4 months". My DM who claimed she "ran out of milk with me and my sister although not my brother.

I spent a lot of time stressing and worrying that DD wasn't getting enough milk and religiously plotting her weight on the charts to make sure she was okay.

In reality the first friend BFed her second child making the whole physically incapable story look a little ridiculous. After training as a peer supporter it is now clear to me that the whole running out of milk at 4 months thing is due to babies demanding more feeds suddenly. This means they want (and of course get) more milk. It doesn't in any sense mean you are running out...quite the opposite in fact if you feed through you get bulgy boobs afterwards when the growth spurt is and demand etc.

So all 3 of them supplied me with faulty information that made my first months with my DD far more stressful than it should have been.

People banging on about running out of milk, or lying about not being able to BF really are doing a lot to undermine other BFing mothers....

echt Fri 23-Nov-12 10:57:17

And MorrisZapp

ICBINEG Fri 23-Nov-12 10:57:47

beer yes a shitstorm follows on MN but I have never EVER seen anyone ask someone else why they FF let alone pass judgement on it in RL.

ICBINEG Fri 23-Nov-12 10:59:02

So if you do the right thing and say "I chose not to BF" then what? Someone is going to have a go? in RL? seriously?

The only people I know having a go at people are grandparents/husbands having a go at people BFing for being "selfish" etc. <might be a NE thins>

fedupofnamechanging Fri 23-Nov-12 11:00:05

When I had my 4th baby, I consider that I did not produce enough milk to satisfy her needs. Given that she was my 4th, I was not ignorant as to how often babies should feed and I'm pretty certain that I wasn't doing it wrong.

I don't consider that anyone knows better than me what my body was doing and whether my baby was satisfied or not.

Now it could have been that I wasn't getting enough rest or milk production would have upped eventually, but in the mean time my dd was hungry and I consider that introducing formula was the best thing. Advice form the HV was to for to bed for a couple of days and just eat and feed the baby. She didn't say what I should do with the other 3 kids, oddly enough.

Breastfeeders, should just concentrate on their own kids and leave everyone else be. I think your friend just wants to avoid the judgy attitudes people have towards ff.

WorraLiberty Fri 23-Nov-12 11:00:21

The Mum in question is not responsible for undermining anyone else for goodness sake.

She's just had a baby, she'll be tired and no doubt emotional. She's being judged by nosey fuckwits.

Does anyone really think her first thought is going to be, "Oh I'd better not tell them I'm not producing enough milk because I have a responsibility to not perpetuate a myth. Therefore in my tired and emotional state, I'll just let them judge me and make me feel like a huge pile of crap". hmm

fromparistoberlin Fri 23-Nov-12 11:00:26


I see this alot

I have far more respect for people who say "I dont want to BF", fair enough

but I know alot of people that lie, and as others have said its annoying as it perpetuates a myth

I think we are all likely very biased on here, MN has made me a bloody lactivist!

But FACT, most people that want to BF manage it, yup its hell on earth for a few weeks but you get there

ICBINEG Fri 23-Nov-12 11:00:36

Basically it isn't really okay to undermine other peoples experiences and chances of BFing just to protect your own back against potentially fictional attacks...

If you make a choice, then at least own it...

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 23-Nov-12 11:00:36

Wheresmespecs, a friend of mine who truly struggled to BF her first child (and is now a BFing counsellor) has told me it frustrates her when she hears people say they don't have enough milk when it's more than likely that they do, or that they didn't put in the effort to build up their supply in the early days.

She is someone I met at antenatal classes when we both had our first, and I remember her tears when she just couldn't do it, and her unreasonable but understandable jealousy towards those of us who could. It was partly down to the lack of support the first time round that led her to become a bf counsellor, as she managed much better the second time when she got proper help.

A lot of problems with bfing are down to a lack of good, experienced advice. Anyone who insists that they didn't make enough milk when actually they could have bfed just makes the problem worse, by making mothers who are worried about making enough milk believe that they might not be. It is not a harmless lie to tell, it has consequences.

sleeplessinsuburbia Fri 23-Nov-12 11:00:59

clipped summed it up beautifully.

Lia87 Fri 23-Nov-12 11:01:13

Could it be she actually did struggle and just wanted to make out it was a choice at first because she was upset?
She shouldn't feel the need to lie, but don't judge her unless you know her reasons 100%, maybe she changed what she told people after a judgemental comment

BeerTricksPott3r Fri 23-Nov-12 11:02:22

I had some smug fake pity aimed my way, IC <shrug>. They may have thought i was lying about what caused me to give up, which is hurtful and would have been even more hurtful if it was a friend who was thinking it.

No one owes anyone an explanation as to why they're not bfing.

echt Fri 23-Nov-12 11:02:23

ICBENG so you were stressed by tales from other women's experience which proved to be untrue. For you.

You don't deal with why they might have lied.

Extend the same rationale in the other direction, why don't you?

ICBINEG Fri 23-Nov-12 11:02:37

worra but she doesn't have to say anything at all! It isn't anyone elses business. The OP doesn't say people asked her about it and she responded, the OP says she is actively out there trying to get sympathy.

Just shutting the fuck up would have been the better option!

MorrisZapp Fri 23-Nov-12 11:03:13

Icbineg, what utter rubbish. If your friends had said 'babies like eating jelly and ice cream' would you have ignored your doctor, midwives, and the tsunami of scientific evidence against that?

Of course you wouldn't. You made your own choices. Nobody undermined you.

wheresmespecs Fri 23-Nov-12 11:04:46

Agree ICB.

Before I had DC, I heard quite a few mothers talk about 'no milk' and took it face value and never thought any more about it.

It didn't affect me personally as I never had a supply problem.

But having met lots of other new mothers and shared a lot of the difficulties and shock of those early days of motherhood - I'm sorry to say it, but a lot of them gave up bf-ing for various reasons, which were NOT lack of milk - but this was the line they subsequently gave out.

Like I said earlier - on a personal level, I don't blame anyone for lying to avoid possible conversations they don't want to have about bf-ing. BUT it is creating a widespread myth - and now when I hear a mum say 'not enough milk', I think - yeah, maybe.

Sorry, but that's not me being cynical or judging - it is having realised that some women do lie about it.

(I also know some women who thought they had supply problems when I don't think they actually had, they were just trying to bf with very unrealistic expectations of what it was like - "he wants to feed all the time, he must be starving" etc - and that's damn sad, because they got so anxious and ff when they really didn't want to. That makes me angry on their behalf)

ICBINEG Fri 23-Nov-12 11:04:56

echt at least one friend lied. The others just fell victim to the same myth currently being spread by the OPs friend for the dubious aim of gaining sympathy.

The friend that lied is a total drama queen and lied about a whole made up medical condition. The truth came out when she got pregnant and we all realised she was just making it up. (she did admit this in the end). So I guess she lied because she wanted attention and sympathy - just like the OPs friend.

soverylucky Fri 23-Nov-12 11:05:41

WTAF is going on here?

How dare she supply people with FALSE information that could DAMAGE the prospects of other new mums. I mean, its not like they could ask a health visitor, midwife, gp, la leche league, bf councillor or other friends for advice. Seriously she should be ashamed of herself. People are incapable of looking on the internet for information or visiting the doctor. It is HER fault other women don't try and breast feed with her spouting of her lies. Just what is she playing at?
I think we should make her wear a t-shirt saying " I LIED ABOUT BREAST FEEDING" Better still, lets brand the bitch on the forehead with a big picture of a bottle so people know what an irresponsible cow she is spreading these lies to members of the public who have every right to know what she did or did not try to do with her breast.

Or we could just not actually give a shite about some random woman trying to justify to her judgeypants "friend" why she wasn't still breast feeding.

DreamingOfTheMaldives Fri 23-Nov-12 11:05:50

Perhaps OP, you should instead aim your anger towards the fact that there is so much pressure on women to breastfeed and so many judgemental people ready to 'tut tut' at those who don't, that your friend felt the need to lie to people about it in the first place.

She felt able to confide in you so try being supportive, as she obviously didn't feel able to confide in these other friends and thought they would be critical of her!

Lia87 Fri 23-Nov-12 11:06:19

Also, if she only tried for a few days and had no advice it could be she genuinely believes that she didn't have enough if she was only getting colostomone (or however you spell it!)

MorrisZapp Fri 23-Nov-12 11:06:50

And placing the responsibility of promoting bf onto new mothers who hate bf is frankly odd, cruel, and beyond judgy.

<sits on hands to avoid using the n word>

echt Fri 23-Nov-12 11:07:16

Drip feed. How dare you say your friends are victims. Patronising twaddle.

FlatFacedArmy Fri 23-Nov-12 11:07:35

Those reasons might not be mutually exclusive you know - just because she has told you one thing and someone else another doesn't mean they're not both true, but that she feels free enough to admit the less-saintly reasons to you.

I'm giving up BFing, I've lasted 7 weeks today. There are a number of reasons: I want my boobs back, I would also like DH to share the load, I also don't like it much, it's a hassle being out in public and trying to find somewhere especially as a first time mum, I can't fit in any of my old clothes except maternity ones due to giant rock hard melons, I hate nursing bras and bloody lansinoh has stained some of my favourite big snuggly tops. These are the reasons I will only tell my closest friends BUT I also have a condition that makes it very painful and the medication gives me horrible side effects and in all honesty I get so little sleep as it is I can't be arsed with more pain getting in the way of sleeping. This is the reason I give my less close friends/other people because it makes me look better. I feel tremendous guilt over giving up; it's almost worse since I found the medication and discovered how easy it can be, but now feels like I'm giving up for "just" a headache, though its a vicious headache that won't be tamed by paracetamol or ibuprofen and that keeps me up at night when DS has gone to sleep, and that's sleep I can ill afford to lose.

But imo they're all good enough reasons to quit. It's a tough time. Based on my experience, I could believe that your friend has probably felt that there are enough small reasons combined to feel compelled to quit, rather than one big reason she is lying about. She's probably telling the truth about all of them, though is more careful who she tells the more-judgeable ones to. Except you've just gone and judged her.

At the end of the day as long as baby is happy, warm, safe and fed it doesn't matter a damn in the long run. I know this, rationally, but I still need to convince myself of it

MorrisZapp Fri 23-Nov-12 11:08:11

Soverylucky... best post ever. Here, have half of my maltesers xx

echt Fri 23-Nov-12 11:08:24

What soverylucky said.

Lia87 Fri 23-Nov-12 11:08:27

Could it be she actually did struggle and just wanted to make out it was a choice at first because she was upset?
She shouldn't feel the need to lie, but don't judge her unless you know her reasons 100%, maybe she changed what she told people after a judgemental comment

ICBINEG Fri 23-Nov-12 11:08:44

morris there are plenty of examples of commonly held misconceptions out in the world...urban myths etc. A lot of people believe a lot of things that are not at all true in reality. If everyone took responsibility for check the validity of every piece of information they received then the world would be a much different place...and none of the people who undermined my confidence would have thought such things themselves let alone passed them on.

In a rumour mill the people spreading the rumours have at least as much if not more responsibility for the ensuing chaos as those that listen in good faith not realising that it is rumour they are hearing....

LadyBeagle Fri 23-Nov-12 11:08:47

grin soverylucky.
Brilliant post.

Lia87 Fri 23-Nov-12 11:08:58

Could it be she actually did struggle and just wanted to make out it was a choice at first because she was upset?
She shouldn't feel the need to lie, but don't judge her unless you know her reasons 100%, maybe she changed what she told people after a judgemental comment

wheresmespecs Fri 23-Nov-12 11:09:27

outraged - yes, I recognise a lot in that account.

soverylucky Fri 23-Nov-12 11:10:29

Why thank you ladies! blush

ICBINEG Fri 23-Nov-12 11:10:41

echt why not victims? They wanted to continue feeding and where perfectly able to do so. But didn't because of the mis-information that had been spread.

Startail Fri 23-Nov-12 11:11:00

Rubbish like that discourages others from trying to give BFing a proper chance.

echt Fri 23-Nov-12 11:11:10

OP hasn't been back. Quelle surprise.

claraschu Fri 23-Nov-12 11:11:10

I'm not making judgements, and I'm not medically trained.

People should feed how they want to, and I would absolutely never question how anyone feeds their baby, their child, or themselves. I just have a much easier time with people who say "I am too lazy to cook, so I buy ready meals", than people who say " I can't afford to cook from scratch".

I tell my music students to say "I didn't practise this week because I didn't want to (or I had other things I preferred to do)", rather than "I was too busy to practise."

I do loads of things which aren't great just because I choose to do them. I try to admit this to myself and to other people when appropriate.

If your friend said: "I know it's probably healthier for my child to breastfeed, but I couldn't deal with having all that responsibility, and I didn't like the feeling of it." I would think that was completely fine, and wouldn't dream of judging.

I also think it would be completely fine for your friend not to talk about her feeding choices.

I'm prepared to admit I might be wrong about most people being able to breastfeed, but I would like to see some research about what percentage of healthy, well-nourished mothers in societies with no access to formula are unable to feed their babies. I'm sure there would be some, but I imagine it would be a small percentage.

When I had DS1 I knew there was the possibility that I, like any other mum, might have problems BF. My son at 5 days old was hospitalised due to severe jaundice because he was dehydrated BECAUSE HE WASN'T GETTING ENOUGH MILK. He ended up with a nasogastric tube in & I will never, ever forget that. I had severe PND so couldn't eat so I feel like it's my fault. I ended up on a high dose of antidepressants & told by my GP/CPN not to BF.

With DS2 I was traumatised by what happened with DS1 & didn't have the confidence to BF after a week. Again down to me, not anyone else. I tend to just say it 'didn't work out' without going into details.

I couldn't give a flying fuck what reason anyone else gives for FF & whether they're telling the truth or not.

ICBINEG Fri 23-Nov-12 11:12:31

sov ahhh I see so lying is only bad if it isn't about BF - when it is automatically fine!

My mistake

FamiliesShareGerms Fri 23-Nov-12 11:14:14

YY, what claraschu just said

Lia87 Fri 23-Nov-12 11:14:17

Aah sorry for the 3 posts, my phone seems to have decided to repost each time i clicked back!

Mrsjay Fri 23-Nov-12 11:14:18

perhaps she doesn't want others to tell her she is feeding her baby poison and a terrible mother, a bit extreme obviously but some people will look down on a ff parent as doing what is best for them , she shouldn't lie of course but tbh i dont blame her these days people are very critical of how people feed their babies,

ICBINEG Fri 23-Nov-12 11:14:37

clara no you are totally correct that the vast majority of women can physically breast feed. BFing rates are above 99% in some countries so it is sort of impossible to argue otherwise....although some people always do...

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Fri 23-Nov-12 11:14:40

I dont blame her for lying, the way you're reacting to it! No wonder she doesn't to tell people the actual (totally legit btw) reason she doesn't BF her baby.

Also I doubt she is actually seeking sympathy. I didn't when I decided not to BF for mt own different reasons. (Couldn't manage it simply because I hated it.) I wanted to drop the subject and move on. I bet she does too. SO sad that people make how others feed their babies their business despite it not affecting them!

DreamingOfTheMaldives Fri 23-Nov-12 11:14:57

I love the idea that people would lie about not being able to breastfeed, not because she is worried about people's reactions but, because she wants to get attention and sympathy from other friends. She's just had a baby.....I'm pretty sure she would be getting lots of attention anyway!

missymoomoomee Fri 23-Nov-12 11:15:53

I have seen some awful and disgusting things on here and other places about people who <gasp> choose to formula feed.

I can see exactly why she lied.

WorraLiberty Fri 23-Nov-12 11:16:19

Spot on soverylucky

If people are so stupid they believe something that important just because someone told them, they probably shouldn't go out alone...

ICBINEG Fri 23-Nov-12 11:16:57

mrsjay are people critical? really? I have only ever seen a few people complain that family don't want them to BF. I have never even heard of anyone being criticized for FF and I work as a peer supporter.

This is another ridiculous myth IMO.

Maybe that's your answer echt that people "think" they will be judged and so lie. and then lie about being judged....

If people stopped lying it would probably help quite a lot.

DumSpiroSpero Fri 23-Nov-12 11:17:01

If certain factions of the pro-breastfeeding brigade weren't so bloody judgy she probably wouldn't feel the need to lie about it.

As for 'laying it on thick', it may be that she is trying to justify giving up to herself so she doesn't feel a 'failure'.

TBH I think anyone who has any opinion on how others choose to nourish their child (providing they are not doing anything dangerous, obviously) is BU.

MorrisZapp Fri 23-Nov-12 11:17:23

Attention and sympathy? How dare a new mum want attention and sympathy. Get on with it love - that's what I always say.

As for urban myths that people believe, they don't really believe them, do they? My MIL is full of childcare chestnuts from 1968, but it would be my own choice if I decided that smoking near my baby, putting heavy blankets on him in summer, and weaning him on a Fray Bentos pie were the way to go.

Luckily for me (and DS) I have access to modern medical care, and Google.

soverylucky Fri 23-Nov-12 11:18:12

I think some posters are proving the points of the majority of posters rather well.

Lambzig Fri 23-Nov-12 11:18:29

I am one of those people who cant breastfeed because of the medication i am on.

I lie about it to friends and some family and say "it just didnt work for me" as i dont want to tell people about my illness and the medication as that is private to me. People do ask, including vague acquaintancies and make judgey comments and sometimes nasty comments ("your DC will be ill all the time", "you must be a very selfish person"), so i try not to discuss it further. Its not easy so i understand why people would lie when they dont want to.

WorraLiberty Fri 23-Nov-12 11:18:43

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

ICBINEG Fri 23-Nov-12 11:18:56

Can we stop mixing up MN and RL?

People are citical on MN particularly on AIBU but in real life I don't even know the feeding choices people have made, let alone asked them why or judged them for their reasoning. This just doesn't actually happen....just like running out of milk....

Mrsjay Fri 23-Nov-12 11:19:40

you only have to read the dozens of thread on here and the press and media and breast is best perhaps some mothers and fathers feel they have to explain away their choices by being misleading, me I really dont understand why people feel guilty ,

ICBINEG Fri 23-Nov-12 11:21:17

I really don't get the attitude that it is okay to lie about a medical condition and that the responsibility is with anyone listen to check the facts...


Would this be true in any other context than BF/FF?

True fact (not) tampons cause cancer!

ICBINEG Fri 23-Nov-12 11:21:48

homeopathy works!

ICBINEG Fri 23-Nov-12 11:22:07

the sky is blue because it reflects the sea

ICBINEG Fri 23-Nov-12 11:22:39

God exists! and doesn't want women bishops

ICBINEG Fri 23-Nov-12 11:23:05

anti-colic teats prevent colic

ICBINEG Fri 23-Nov-12 11:23:40

infacol prevents colic

ICBINEG Fri 23-Nov-12 11:23:52

gripe water does anything at all....

missymoomoomee Fri 23-Nov-12 11:23:53

True fact (not) tampons cause cancer!

<quick google>

No they don't

See how easy that was? hmm

MistressIggi Fri 23-Nov-12 11:24:13

I think I feel the same way about this situation as I do about people who say they are vegetarians, but eat fish - ie, it's a harmless thing in itself, and I don't care if they do formula feed/eat fish, but it has a negative impact on other people as it gets passed around (so, people try to give me fish as a veggie option, MIL tells me about her neighbour's DD who couldn't produce enough milk).

WorraLiberty Fri 23-Nov-12 11:24:32

Do you really think taking over a thread in that way by repeatedly posting shit is going to make people agree with you? confused

ICBINEG Fri 23-Nov-12 11:24:33

Well have a busy hour on google then! go to it people.

wigglesrock Fri 23-Nov-12 11:24:46

I didn't breastfeed any of my 3 children - didn't want to. When anyone in real life has asked me if I was breastfeeding (my youngest is 21 months), I simply said "No", now some of them asked "oh why not?" when I replied "I didn't want to" I'm big and ugly enough to tell the truth grin Their reaction was telling - I'm no longer included in a particular corner of the mums and tots group [shrug] I think a lie would have made them feel more comfortable with my choice.

Perhaps your friend couldn't be bothered explaining her choice, maybe she's fecking knackered and it seems the easiest option [shrug], but as many more eloquent posters than me have said why should she have to say anything and why should you care, really why does it bother you?

ICBINEG Fri 23-Nov-12 11:25:02

worra well when reasoning and facts don't work out you may as well try spam.

echt Fri 23-Nov-12 11:25:30

Not sure why anyone should have to account to anyone else about a medical condition that doesn't affect the other person, ICBINEG.

Lambzig Fri 23-Nov-12 11:25:58

ICBINEG - yes people do ask and comment (agree they shouldnt). I had DS 15 days ago and have only been out about five times and have been asked four times if i am bf and why not (by fellow new mum stranger in Waitrose, by DD's nursery carer, by a mum at DD's swimming and by a mum i dont know at DD's nursery). No nastiness from any of those, but plenty of negative comments from my previous experience with DD.

Perhaps its a cultural thing (middle class, nappy valley type area in SW London)

wheresmespecs Fri 23-Nov-12 11:26:06

Sorry, but if we are talking sympathy...

The overwhelming evidence is that when new mothers are surrounded by friends and family who have not bf-ed but ff-ed, they will very quickly stop bf-ing too - EVEN IF THEY DESPERATELY WANT TO.

When new mothers are in a society where bf-ing is seen as more normal, is more widespread, and peers are more knowledgeable about it, they are MORE LIKELY TO CONTINUE THEMSELVES.

Why are some posters here judging women who stop bf-ing as being stupid, or easily influenced? For believing other mothers when they are not telling thr truth? New mothers can be exhausted and emotionally vulnerable - of course the opinions and support of friends and family matter, and if they are badly informed about bf, they will pass on that bad information.

to blame new mothers for listening to other people, or paying attention to 'bad advice', when they don't know it's bad - that's just bitchy.

I could easily say to all women who ff to stop getting their knickers in a twist - to calm down, stop being aggressive, why do you care what other people think, or what you imagine they might think? ff women are grown ups, aren't they? Only they are responsible for how they feel. And so on.

The reason I don't say that is that I accept that feeding your baby is a complex and emotional issue, and when feelings run deep, just blaming those women for how they feel REALLY doesn't help.

WorraLiberty Fri 23-Nov-12 11:26:18

Why spam?

Why not just accept as an adult that not everyone agrees with your POV?

I think some women, myself included, feel judged for FF because they judge themselves & feel guilty for not BF.

And please one of the self-proclaimed BF experts tell me what I could have done differently with DS1, I'd really love to know.

MorrisZapp Fri 23-Nov-12 11:27:05

Of course its ok to lie about medical matters. The truth is a matter for the individual and their doctor.

I'm on anti depressants myself, but I don't generally tell people that. When pregnant women ask me about childbirth, I lie and make out that it wasn't that bad.

My mum believes wholeheartedly in homeopathy and alternative medicine.

Luckily we all have doctors of our own, so our friends and relatives are free to spout as they wish.

wheresmespecs Fri 23-Nov-12 11:30:38

Mrshelsbels - yes, I do see what you describe in some ff mothers, and it's really sad. I think when women project their own guilt onto others, imagine and invent all sorts of hostile responses and then get angry about it, it's just an impossible and miserable situatiom.

Lambzig Fri 23-Nov-12 11:33:17

So i should disclose my medical condition and medication to all and sundry (and worry family) just so future or current bf mothers dont get the idea its hard? I dont think so.

Agree people do feel guilty for not bf. I do and knew i wouldnt be able to before i got pregnant. (have had a friend of a friend say to me that i shouldnt have got pg if i knew i couldnt bf).

Going to step away from this thread as not good for me.

WorraLiberty Fri 23-Nov-12 11:36:03

<< Still idly wondering where the OP went >>

fromparistoberlin Fri 23-Nov-12 11:36:49

Its silly arguing this on here

FACT (hehe) MN is incredibly pro BF, its not the norm in RL
FACT, lots of people that struggledf with it feel even worsem, as MN is so pro BF

the only people in RL that asked me about BF were midwives, in fact with DS1 I naively assumed everyone BF, oh how wrong I was......

wheresmespecs Fri 23-Nov-12 11:37:06

btw - I don't think it ok, morriszapp, to routinely 'lie about medical matters' - and to place the entire burden of finding out the 'truth' onto an individual who may be very vulnerable and not feel confident abut trusting their own judgements is hugely unrealistic.

I have, btw, seen a friend with severe depression suffer badly and get into a near suicidal situation because of shit advice from another friend about how 'bad' antidepressants were. I've been depressed myself, I was sharing my experience and encouraging her to at least talk to a doctor and try them under close supervision etc - but the other, very forceful, friend, who was in any close closer to her, kept telling her she's be tranquillised, turned into a 'zombie' and a drug addict etc.

It was an awful situation - and I'm sorry, but taking the view that if my depressed friend had only got briskly onto Google and jolly well found out the facts for herself! doesn't get us anywhere.

MainlyMaynie Fri 23-Nov-12 11:38:06

I do think people should think carefully about adding to breastfeeding myth creation. But then it's understandable people don't want to get into discussions about this stuff with other people when there's so much emotion around it.

MrsHelsBels74 My DS also had severe jaundice and a nasal tube for feeding in special care. I actually had oversupply! Jaundiced babies get sleepy and don't feed so much and they really can't be bothered to deal with oversupply. We were lucky that the special care unit helped me with expressing until we established breastfeeding.

missymoomoomee Fri 23-Nov-12 11:38:41

Worra I think you will be left wondering. Its amazing how many people kick off a ff/bf debate and then fuck off.

WorraLiberty Fri 23-Nov-12 11:41:05

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

I don't think I had oversupply, as I didn't have any leakage or engorged breasts. When I tried pumping I barely got anything, even the nurses in the hospital commented on it. I accept things aren't always as they seem though.

BeanieStats Fri 23-Nov-12 11:41:57

I appreciate this is MN where no one is even allowed to hint they may find others choices a bit suspect, but the thing is, BF children, in just about every metric have better outcomes than FF children.

So, when people say they stopped / didn't BF "because they want their boobs back" or something equally tedious and selfish, I do judge. Just as I judge people who smoke during pregnancy or think its okay to do a few lines of coke on the weekend.

Sue me.

Idocrazythings Fri 23-Nov-12 11:42:43

soverylucky what you said is all well and good for the individual, but so many women say things like that and they are making breastfeeding into some thing much harder than it has to be. Yes, there are a few women who physically can not produce milk, but the lack of breast feeding in our community is due to so many more reasons than milk production and a big one is the way women talk about it amongst themselves, in their families, with friends and do not give each other enough support.

If you think about it, if you breastfeeding your baby for 6months and you live to the age of 75 that means it is 1.45% of your life devoted to breast feeding. Is it really that long a time in the span of your life??

Ido no it's not a huge percentage of your life span but at the time it feels like forever.

missymoomoomee Fri 23-Nov-12 11:44:34

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threesocksmorgan Fri 23-Nov-12 11:44:38

if she told people the reason she told you, she would get a hard time,
she is sensible and saving herself that.

MorrisZapp Fri 23-Nov-12 11:45:20

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MorrisZapp Fri 23-Nov-12 11:49:06

Yippee! Thanks beanie. You openly compared ff to smoking and taking cocaine. And called is selfish and tedious.

Our work here is complete.

fedupofnamechanging Fri 23-Nov-12 11:49:16

How can you be sure that it is the bf which results in better outcomes for those children? Surely there are so many other factors which influence outcomes, such as social and economic background, genetics, that it must be impossible to be certain.

Also what about children who were mix fed - where do they fall?

MorrisZapp Fri 23-Nov-12 11:50:56

Ps, even the friend who mentioned zombie-hood urged me to see my doctor and to be honest about my feelings.

Anyone who didn't do that would be no friend at all.

WorraLiberty Fri 23-Nov-12 11:51:47

I'm not sure Missy but I've covered my breasts in tin foil just incase....

LadyBeagle Fri 23-Nov-12 11:54:31

I ff and smoked though I did cut down hugely.
My 6 foot ds17 is never ill, he's very clever, in fact pretty much damn perfect.
Oh and I think I weaned when he was about 3 months, though I don't really remember.
<Bad mother emoticon>

I stopped BF DS1 after a few days as I could feel myself sliding into depression (a condition I have had in the past). I made a judgment that DS1 would benefit more from having a mum on a evenish keel than from BF. FF allowed me to get more rest and for DH to take a bit more of the burden. I am sure I gave people some fairly woolly reasons for stopping rather than turning around and giving them a detailed breakdown of my MH at the time.

BeanieStats Fri 23-Nov-12 11:59:52

There are mountains of evidence that show the benefits to both child and mother from BF in the short and long term. Mountains. Pages of the stuff. I didn't realise this was even in question nowadays.

BF is the single best thing you can do for your child.

Choosing not to BF "because you want your boobs" or some other vacuous reason is tedious and is selfish and yes, is on par with smoking while pregnant and a host of other things that really aren't very good.

If you care so little for your child you're not prepared to inconvenience yourself for as little as six months then why bother having kids in the first place?

soverylucky Fri 23-Nov-12 12:00:26

Cocaine, smoking, lazy mums...

Will no one think of the children...........

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

missymoomoomee Fri 23-Nov-12 12:04:03

Whats that you say - mountains of evidence? Pages of the stuff?

Worra I think we caught a live one grin

LadyBeagle Fri 23-Nov-12 12:04:57

I suppose that's something you should ask my ds Beanie.
He loves me to bits.
And at 17 he would probably look at you like this confused.

noseynoonoo Fri 23-Nov-12 12:05:26

I work with new mums and in my role it is absolutely not for me to judge how they decide to breastfeed.

The 2 most common reasons for stopping breastfeeding that I hear are milk supply (lack of) or DH wanting to help/mum wanting DH to help.

I have never encountered someone who gave up due to lack of milk supply whose story is that they went from exclusive breastfeeding to stopping due to lack of milk. The story always involves introducing a bottle of formula first that led to a lack of demand and therefore supply. If I work with someone who is considering introducing a bottle so that dad, grandparents etc can have a go I can pretty much anticipate that within the next 3 weeks breastfeeding will have stopped due to a lack of supply.

My thoughts on getting the dad involved is that there is plenty a man can do that doesn't involve feeding e.g. nappy changing, taking care of baby when he gets home from work. If the feeding element is a deal breaker then the mum could express and that milk be given to the baby straight away so that her breast is still experiencing the correct demand and supply.

I do feel that mums who say they stopped BFing due to a lack of supply without explaining what they did to hinder the demand do lead to the assumption that supply issues are very common and that BFing is going to be difficult. I remember myself saying to a MW that I would 'try' to breastfeed but my expectation was that I would fail because I 'knew' it would be so hard - and that was because my friends had not told me the truth of their experiences.


BF is the single best thing you can do for your child

er no
Not living in a developing country with a contaminated water supply and no medical care is better for your child than BF

Not living a war zone is better for your child than BF

Not being a substance abuser is better for your child than BF

All other things being equal BF is better than FF but how often are all other things equal?

I should add in my case

Being able to stop a slide into serious depression was better for my child than BF.

MorrisZapp Fri 23-Nov-12 12:09:34

Single best thing you can do for your child?


FreudiansSlipper Fri 23-Nov-12 12:10:53

i never got any sympathy that i hardly produced any milk i got more along the lines that i do and i should keep trying

but saying that openly saying that you do not want to bf is such a big no no and many will critcise her so i do not blame her really

i do not in any way feel offended that she is saying this i would imagine she does feel guilty in some way and really she has no need to

LadyBeagle Fri 23-Nov-12 12:11:39

How old are your children Beanie?

soverylucky Fri 23-Nov-12 12:14:18

The reason why I didn't bf is sooo embarassing that I can not even bring myself to type it on here just in case anyone recognised who I was and found out my secret...I think I mentioned it once on here and was so worried someone would find out. So perhaps the "not producing enough milk was to try and cover up another issue.

Thing is I used to get so upset that I couldn't bf. It took me years - yes years - to get over it. Now my children are school age and the most lovely, wonderful, beautiful children I realise that it just doesn't matter.

OP, YANBU if she is laying it on thick, i.e. really expecting a lot of sympathy from people. IMO she should just say she tried but it didn't work out, or she found it too difficult. No shame in that. There's no need for her to keep going on about it.

AllYoursBabooshka Fri 23-Nov-12 12:15:27

I wonder what happens if you snort SMA?

<wipes nose and twitches>

wheresmespecs Fri 23-Nov-12 12:15:54

morris - I actually wish that women would talk openly about finding bf-ing hard or impossible if that is their experience, I really do. I think from having bf-ed and been around a lot of new mums doing all kinds of feeding that a common theme is that we just weren't prepared for the reality of bf-ing, and how hard it can be (even if you don't have any particular big problems).

Of course we should hear about the benefits and pluses - but I think a lot of women felt they were experiencing a uniquely hard time with bf-ing because they were expecting an overly rosy version of it.

But someone choosing to lie about their supply isn't an honest sharing of experience. It's the opposite.

And unfortunately, someone peddling the line that anti depressants turn you into a zombie etc isn't necessarily 'knowingly giving biased information' - my friend's friend was absolutely convinced she was right and it was her 'duty' to stop her very depressed friend from taking tablets. I still don't know how I could have combatted that conviction.

Viviennemary Fri 23-Nov-12 12:16:17

I don't blame people for telling a lie about it. I'm quite judgey myself and think why should somebody choose not to breastfeed when it is a fact that breastfeeding is much better for the baby. Even if they only do it for a few weeks. To deliberately choose not to when all the benefits are known is quite selfish I think. Why would people not want to do the best for their child.

quesadilla Fri 23-Nov-12 12:18:00

What MrsHelsBels said to Beanie.

wheresmespecs Fri 23-Nov-12 12:26:15

cross posts galore - noseynoonoo, your post is really pertinent - EVERY mother I know who got into genuine problems with supply bf-ing fed formula very early on. The 'go on, just give them a bottle of formula at bedtime, I do, everyone else does' attitude around here is endemic.

I think if mothers CHOOSE to feed formula early on knowing it is very likely to affect their supply, and might lead to the end of bf-ing quickly, then that's one thing. Someone else feeding formula and not realising it could cause them problems is something else.

btw, I know a few women who found bf-ing overwhelming in the early days (being constantly on demand, feeding a lot at night etc) and having fed a few bottles, realised that it gave them a break and they could leave the baby with other people etc - and so they stopped bf-ing.

I think they might have felt better in the long run if they had got through those tough early days (cos it generally does get easier!) - but it's also possible/likely that actually, what they did, for them, was fine and the best thing when you look at the whole picture. Which I never knew, although I was close to them. I bf-ed 100 percent, but always said that if the sleep deprivation got so hellish (it was pretty bad) and I either felt I was heading for depression or a breakdown, I would think again and try formula.

I didn't have to but still think that was reasonable as an approach.

MorrisZapp Fri 23-Nov-12 12:30:49

I agree, specs. I wish that the potential negative sides of bf were much more openly discussed too. However, that runs counter to the whole undermining confidence thing that many on here are passionate about.

I feel fine telling my family and friends how much I utterly hated bf. They are all educated MC types who will bf regardless of my experiences. It would be a different matter if I approached random teenage girls on the bus and said it to them.

Re the anti depressants, again I agree. My SIL loves me dearly, and told me the zombie thing for my own good. But she also urged me to see the doctor. Seeing the doctor is the only truly good advice anyone can give. And of course, I did see the doctor.

Viviennemary Fri 23-Nov-12 12:31:16

Just to clarify I wouldn't judge anybody who tried but couldn't manage at least they tried. Also I wouldn't say anything to them as it wouldn't be my business. But I would think somebody who chose not to breastfeed for no good reason was selfish.

thegreylady Fri 23-Nov-12 12:31:32

I had cysts on my milk ducts so couldn't bf and have spent over 40 years worrying that my dc didn't get the best possible start.
6 and a half years ago I got invasive ductal breast cancer possibly caused by the annual treatment to deal with the cysts.Some people really cant bf and they care-a lot.

MrsMicawber Fri 23-Nov-12 12:31:32

So, so glad Beanie et al are not my friends. Or maybe you are and you secretly think I'm a self indulgant biyatch.

FlangelinaBallerina Fri 23-Nov-12 12:32:02

Yes OP, yabu. It has sod all to do with you, and I feel sorry for your friend who trusted you only for you to take to the internet with her confidences.

As for those of you who think OP's friend is putting other women off breast feeding, well Soverylucky has dealt superbly with you. But still, there is something you could do to help. Given that we know many ff women worry about being judged, you could more usefully spend your time sticking the boot into the more obnoxious and judgemental lactivists amongst us. If there were no stigma to giving up bf, nobody would feel the need to lie about it.

bondigidum Fri 23-Nov-12 12:34:53

Agree with people saying she probably didn't want to open herself up to criticism by admitting she just didn't want to bf.

MorrisZapp Fri 23-Nov-12 12:35:23

Vivienne, that's such a crap position. Either ff is selfish or it isn't.

The baby doesn't know why its mother chooses bf/ff, does it?

If we accept that ff is perfectly ok when bf not possible, we must accept that its ok full stop.

helenovhull Fri 23-Nov-12 12:37:02

I don't understand where all these judgmental anti-ffers ARE.

Hardly anyone breastfeeds, I am always in the minority at baby groups etc (usually a minority of one). The only remotely judgy person I've met was the HV who would know how unlikely it is to not have enough milk. IMO people are always going to ff in greater numbers while it's readily available, because it's more convenient, doesn't hurt or make you have huge tits and you can leave the baby/someone else can feed it.

I've had negative comments about bf but don't know anyone have them the other way, apart from from HV or MW.

drjohnsonscat Fri 23-Nov-12 12:37:57

Yes my sister lies about breastfeeding every day. She smiles and says to new mothers, do give it a go, why not. When actually she said it felt like having ground glass rubbed into her nipples. She's lying too you know.

OP. Butt out of your friend's world. She's got a new baby and she's trying to deal.

FushiaFernica Fri 23-Nov-12 12:38:00

Yabu-it is a shame that your friend feels a need to lie.

When I attempted to bf after dd was born a midwife seeing me struggling advised me to ff without feeling guilty-that was 8 years ago, how times have changed.

I always wondered if a mother has a really rubbish processed food diet should they bf or would the baby be healthier ff. Does anyone know the answer to this question?

YABU - she can tell people what she wants about feeding. TBH, it's really none of anyone's business how she feeds her baby (as long as she's not giving him a vodka and coke).

If this makes it easier for her, then what does it matter. I told my HV that I'd stopped BF when I hadn't, because every time I saw her all she'd talk about was BF. I eventually told her the truth, but as a new mum, the pressure to perform was just too much.

PolkadotCircus Fri 23-Nov-12 12:42:26

Maybe she feels she didn't produce enough and that it was so horrendous because of this.Feeding a baby who isn't getting enough is a total nightmare.

I produced masses but could never get it into them.Hours of feeding vampire bats was so awful I stopped at 6 weeks.

I know lots of people who don't feed their kids 5 a day(myself included) and give excuses,ditto screen time,not doing hours of extra homework,not ensuring my dc do hours of exercise each week,driving kids to school,letting them eat sweets......

Bf is but one of many parenting ideals,we excuse ourselves publicly and privately for many things.

The day op you do everything perfectly as a parent and never excuse yourself for less than perfect parenting check back in until then wide your neck in.

charlmarascoxo Fri 23-Nov-12 12:45:18

BF is quite a sensitive subject for me. I think if you want to bf and can then you should.

However I couldn't bf. I had a breast reduction at a young age and therefore will never be able to. I was made to feel like a complete failure as a mother.

wheresmespecs Fri 23-Nov-12 12:45:44

Fushia, babies nutritionally speaking and in terms of immune system benefits (which you don't get with formula anyway) would be better bf than ff if the mother was eating a bad diet of highly processed food. Since you ask! diet doesn't have a huge effect on quality of milk at all (well, if you were starving to death it would, but that's not what you asked). Diet of course has a big effect on the mother's health, which affects their whole life.

FushiaFernica Fri 23-Nov-12 12:54:08

Thanks for that wheresmespecs so it sounds like the baby would get all the good nutrients, and if the diet is poor the mother's health could possibly be affected.

Viviennemary Fri 23-Nov-12 13:00:40

I'm afraid I don't agree with you Morris. We do the best we can for our children within our ability to do this. If somebody can't breastfeed they can't. But just choosing formula and not even trying is pretty feeble I think. But that is my opinion since I was asked for it. I wouldn't dream of saying anything to a new mother. A midwife told me that the baby's immune system is boosted even by the first two weeks breastfeeding.

fedupofnamechanging Fri 23-Nov-12 13:18:36

All those people who say that mixed feeding affects supply - is it not the case that your body adjusts so that you still make the amount you need for the bf, but doesn't make too much?

Also, anyone know why I produced gallons of milk for my first 3 babies, but had hardly any by the time my dd was 6 weeks old. She hadn't been given formula at all at that point as far as I can recall. There were no health issues for me and i was eating far too well?

fedupofnamechanging Fri 23-Nov-12 13:19:07

sorry, dd was baby number 4

MorrisZapp Fri 23-Nov-12 13:25:18

The body is geared up to bf. My DS thrived on bf for 12 weeks when all I ate was yoghurt and bananas. I lost shedloads of weight (but was too depressed to enjoy it, bah) but my breasts merrily produced the stuff anyway. The baby comes first, as far as mother nature goes.

karma - I think mixed feeding effects BF, because baby realises it's easier to drink from a bottle - boobs are harder to drink from, they have to suckle a while before let-down happens etc.

PoppyWearer Fri 23-Nov-12 13:34:07

Just my two-pence-worth, have just stopped bf'ing DC2, 15mo, we mix-fed from a few days old (formula bottle at bed time) and I only bf from one side due to problems on the other. Never had a supply problem.

Really wish I had mix-fed DC1. DC2 has been a completely different experience, having had more freedom to hand him over to others when too tired, which has been Godsend given that I have other health issues going on. I cannot recommend mix-feeding enough.

I am still passionate about breastfeeding. I think it's wonderful, it's convenient (no warming up bottles in the middle of the night) and it's free. But mix-feeding was what worked for us, and it saved my sanity, just that little bit of extra freedom and not feeling so much like a milk-cow for my very hungry DS.

I get very sad about mums who don't even give it a go. A relative who gave birth earlier this year didn't even try with her DC2 and the whole thing was about the convenience of handing over the baby to others to look after, although she gave other excuses, blatantly untrue. Very sad, for both of them.

PoppyWearer Fri 23-Nov-12 13:34:57

VisualiseaHorse nope, my DS definitely preferred the breast (mix-fed). No question. Breast over bottle every time.

Why is it sad for both of then?

I don't think mine even know how they were fed, they really couldn't care less.

Fair enough Poppy! I do think that the other way is the case for some babies though, and why bottles are not recommended in the first few weeks if you want to establishing BF.

visualise yes I agree, that is why they advise you not to use a bottle for the first few weeks, different sucking action and instant milk which isn't always the case with bf were they need to suckle for a while.

snowmummy Fri 23-Nov-12 13:52:16

Yabvu. Perhaps she is trying to avoid questions, judgement from others, perhaps she is upset that she found it hard or disliked it. The possible reasons for her choice are endless and none of your business.

poozlepants Fri 23-Nov-12 13:54:32

My SIL did the same, tried for 48 hours decided it wasn't for her as she was too tired. Fair enough. Told the midwife who tried to help her to f off. Phoned me up to ask what formula, bottles etc to get. The story then became one massive "Poor me I couldn't do it and I tried for weeks. Noone helped me- there was no support". It was all a pile of bollocks.

She kept saying "Oh poozlepants was so lucky she could Bf and poor me I couldn't" I felt like throttling her I found bfing really really hard work as ds fed every 3 hours for 6 months. It took a week of hell to get the latch right. It was not the easy option and I'm no militant breastfeeder I had the formula in before the baby was born just in case I couldn't or didn't want to. I used to feel jealous of formula feeders as they seemed to have more of a semblance of a life than I did.
Some people are just attention seekers. My MIL is still going on about hard it was for her and how long she struggled.

I'm with Moomin, how is it sad for FF babies? Surely the most important thing is a happy, healthy and loved baby. Whatever works for the mother, it is nobody else's business. Some of my friends just BF, some only FF, some tried BF didn't get on with it..... What does it matter?

MorrisZapp Fri 23-Nov-12 14:59:05

Oh man. Not the sad face brigade.

valiumredhead Fri 23-Nov-12 15:08:04

I don't blame her at all OP - imagine if she told people the truth, she's protecting herself from criticism and I don't blame her at all, or her decision!

Pinkforever Fri 23-Nov-12 15:14:05

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

valiumredhead Fri 23-Nov-12 15:24:51

pink I had a similar experience.

wheresmespecs Fri 23-Nov-12 15:26:35

For all the posters saying 'what does it matter if the baby is happy, healthy and loved' - well, of course.

But breast fed babies are statistically likelier to be SIGNIFICANTLY HEALTHIER than ff babies.

Or coming at it from the other angle, ff babies are more likely to suffer from various kinds of ill health (gastro entiritis, ear infection etc) and more likely to have to go to hospital than bf babies.

There is of course no way of knowing how your individual baby will fare. And the baby's health is one of a number of factors influencing how women feed their babies. And you might have had the healthiest ever totally ff baby, or know someone who does - doesn't alter the facts.

When people say 'happy mummy, happy baby' I think - yes - and knowing i was doing the best I could for my baby's health contributed to my happiness. Btw, had I found bf-ing horrendous rather than just bloody hard, or had i faced a sleep induced breakdown, I would have weighed these factors up against the benefits to my baby's health, and would probably have ff'd.

What women who feel bad about ff ing seem to want to be told is 'there's no difference. ff and bf are just as good as each other.' Sorry, but that isn't true no matter how much someone might wish it was. HOWEVER - it is true that there are many factors involved in bf-ing, and different people experience different circumstances AND will attach different values to the same set of risks and benefits. So a mother might well choose to feed their baby in a way which doesn't prioritise their nutritional or immune system needs, but DOES prioritise something else which is very important - more important - to THEM.

That's not hard to understand!

cumfy Fri 23-Nov-12 15:31:45

Is she generally very entitled or is this a one-off ?

valiumredhead Fri 23-Nov-12 15:36:20

But breast fed babies are statistically likelier to be SIGNIFICANTLY HEALTHIER than ff babies and the rest of that smug post is probably why the woman in the OP said what she did hmm

pink me too, ds3 was prem and 4lb 4. He would not latch and became distressed and tired whenever we tried, which didn't help as he was then too tired to feed.

We fed him from a cup for the first week then I expressed and bottle fed. It was the most miserable, tiring time I've ever had.

valiumredhead Fri 23-Nov-12 15:46:54

Me too moo - prem babies find it very hard to latch on ime - my ds was 3lbs 9oz and my boob was bigger than his head grin

CordeliaChase Fri 23-Nov-12 15:47:08

Wow, what a lovely friend you are. Take this judgey pants off, they're pulled up so high you could use them as dental floss. Is her baby happy? Healthy? Well cared for? If this is all you have to worry about in life I'd like to swap places with you please. hmm

usualsuspect3 Fri 23-Nov-12 15:48:27

I don't blame her, imagine telling some posters on this thread you didn't want to BF.

missymoomoomee Fri 23-Nov-12 15:50:48

All I read in that ridiculously smug post is - blah blah formula is the work of the devil, blah blah I suffered so much but powered on through for the sake of my pfb, blah blah statistics statistics statistics.

I bf all 6 of my children, 2 died, 3 have asthma and one is perfectly healthy. Go and stick those odds in your statistical pipe and smoke it. angry

Parenthood is one long guilt trip anyway why the hell are people trying to make others feel bad for their perfectly safe and legal choices.

Sorry for your losses.

usualsuspect3 Fri 23-Nov-12 15:58:52

I FF all mine. I don't give a shit if you think I'm selfish.

Valium yes my boobs are huge anyway, poor little thing was probably frightened!

I dont know why I stressed about it and made myself so miserable. Ds1 was ff from the begining and has no health problems.

wheresmespecs Fri 23-Nov-12 16:00:00

Sorry, but facts are not 'smug'. Getting angry and abusive and imagining malice and whatever else because you don't want something to be true is just silly.

as i have said (several times but lordy, people just read what they want to, don't they) -

There are many factors that go into the decision to feed our baby one way or another (and a few women are unlucky enough not to have any choice). These will vary from one individual to another - and what is very important to one mother will be less important to another. I think people need to take that into account rather than rushing to judge - or trying to distort facts to justify a choice they obviously are not happy or confident

How accurate is your comment about significantly healthier? Doesn't that only apply to babies that are exclusively breastfed for 6 months with no substitute feeds. Has there been a follow up to show how long the effect lasted once breastfeeding ended?

ClippedPhoenix Fri 23-Nov-12 16:00:41

Ditto Unusual, I did too. After DS taking over my body and shoving my organs out of the way for 9 months, no was was I letting him at my tits grin

WorraLiberty Fri 23-Nov-12 16:03:44

But breast fed babies are statistically likelier to be SIGNIFICANTLY HEALTHIER than ff babies

That completely depends upon the live they lead after they've finished breast feeding.

If they're fed nothing but shit, not encouraged to exercise etc...they'll end up as just another childhood obesity (and possibly adult obesity) statistic.

Considering more than one third of children in the UK are either obese or overweight.

snowmummy Fri 23-Nov-12 16:05:19

Here we go again - ff vs bf. Why can people not accept that what is right for one is not necessarily right for another and mind their own business. Why do we as mums criticise other mums when we should be supporting one another.

WhatsTheBuzz Fri 23-Nov-12 16:05:41

I don't understand why a person wouldn't breastfeed if they were able to when we're all advised that 'breast is best', etc. Supposedly it reduces various risks. Formula is hardly poison but why would you decide to use it exclusively because you simply don't feel like bfing? Surely when you decide to have a baby, his/her needs come first? I don't believe this makes me judgemental, it's an opinion based on advice that seems to have been around for years. If a woman told me she didn't fancy bfing, I wouldn't say any of this but I'd think it!

grin at clipped

wheresmy why do you care, it doesn't affect your baby so why would you be even remotely interested in others choices.

Quoting facts at people who arnt interested, haven't asked and have made their choice just seems odd to me


Exactly - BF babies may well be healthier than FF during the period that milk is the sole source of nutrition and that is undoubtly a good thing for the baby.

But if the BF baby lives with smokers and the FF with non-smokers who is healthier then?

usualsuspect3 Fri 23-Nov-12 16:08:12

My children are all grown up now. They don't give a toss how they were fed either.

snowmummy Fri 23-Nov-12 16:13:40

Whatsthebuzz - accept that people do not bf for many reasons, not just physical, maybe a young mum who cannot get her head around it, maybe a psychological reason - just because they are physically able does not necessarily mean they are able. We are all different. Accept it and move on.

Also, bf is only one way in which we can ensure our children have a healthy start in life. Are you sure that all your choices would be considered 'the best' by everyone else?

Ds1 is 18 and the same, he didn't even know how he was fed until recently. It was so bloody long ago.

WhatsTheBuzz Fri 23-Nov-12 16:25:12

yes snowmummy we are all different and therefore, have different opinions. And no, my choices are probably crap a lot of the time but I think it's sensible to at least attempt something which in most cases is definitely for the best. I accept other people's choices, I just don't necessarily understand them.

PolkadotCircus Fri 23-Nov-12 16:27:48

wheres I dispute the words significantly healthier. Sorry but if you follow guidelines your baby won't get gastro or have to go to hospital.Re ear problems often they're genetic and viral.I have read one report which says genes,babies in daycare are much more at risk and those who use a dummy(but then you get the SIDS benefit),they also list other risks,ff was a maybe(obviously you couldn't ever directly lay the blame as research would be a nightmare).My kids never had ear infections but were never in daycare-are we saying mothers shouldn't put their kids in daycare for risk of ear infections?I thought not.

My kids are the picture of health ditto my entire family.How they were fed 9 years ago is mere piffle.There are waAAAAAAy more things far more important to worry about re health in babies and children than 6 moths of formula.Think I'll reserve my concern for the serious stuff if you don't mind.

wheresmespecs Fri 23-Nov-12 16:29:48

Yes - babies that are breastfed are likely to be healthier while they are getting bf compares to ff babies. Problem?

there have been studies on the longer term benefits - but I am not knowledgeable about them. Perhaps someone else might come along who can help.

The argument that it doesn't matter how you feed your baby during the first months of its life on the grounds that you could, y'know, like totally feed them macdonalds and crisps for the rest of your life is just ridiculous. It always matters what you feed your child.

wheresmespecs Fri 23-Nov-12 16:34:29

Btw. There are NO GUIDELINES that say if you bf your child 'won't get gastro' or will never go to hospital. There is sound science and research based advice that your baby is LESS LIKELY to get a gastro infection, ear infection or spend time in hospital if you bf.

I hope to god people are intelligent enough to know the difference. Seriously.

PolkadotCircus Fri 23-Nov-12 16:34:35

Where tosh-my kids were weaned on 100% organic food with probably 10 portions of fruit and veg a day-they sure aint eating like that now at 9,9 and 8.They dip and flow re food like the maj or healthy eaters.At Xmas,Halloween and bday they eat shite-then we go back to our pretty much veggie,cooked from scratch diet with sweets on a Friday.

Perspective perleeeeeease!!!!

<whispers>you do know it's marathon not a sprint don't you?

WorraLiberty Fri 23-Nov-12 16:36:03

My point is, it's ridiculously hypocritical of some Mothers to bang on about breast being best, if they're going to then allow that child to become obese by the time it starts school...just like 1 in 5 UK children are.

And on the same subject, it's also equally hypocritical of Mothers to bang on about not understanding why women would choose not to 'give their baby the best start in life'...if that Mother chose to conceive when she was overweight - just like so many women do.

Putting your baby at risk in the womb and at possible risk of future health problems in that way, isn't something I personally understand but there you go.

We can all point the finger at other Mothers and claim to 'not understand' their choices but unless we've made utterly perfect choices that never put babies at risk, what's the point?

snowmummy Fri 23-Nov-12 16:36:15

WhatsTheBuzz - you sound rather sensible. Perhaps you could try a little harder to understand. If I explained why I did not breastfeed, you would understand. Perhaps try to understand that everyone has their reasons ...

YABU. You just cannot win with feeding babies, I bottle fed my first three and got comments about not breastfeeding. I breastfed the last two babies and have had comments about feeding in public and feeding toddlers.
I also have the joy of people actually asking if I loved my last two more so breastfed them (seriously hmm)

wheresmespecs about BF babies being healthier, that is crap quite frankly. The only friend of mine who BF her two for a year, well her two have permanently got colds and infections. The health thing is about genes, contact with others and environment, not milk choices.

PolkadotCircus Fri 23-Nov-12 16:41:17

Where it's widely acknowledged that kids in daycare get more bugs (and ear infections)sooooooooo by your logic no daycare.As parents we weigh up and make choices re what suits us as family.Nobody does everything the ideal way research tells us to.It is an 18 year marathon-some things you tick the current research boxes on,some you don't.<shrugs>Soooooo not worth getting stressed about.

Off to take my kids swimming(I get to tick the keeping my kids fit and healthy box today,not sure I will tomorrow)but hang on a minute they may get an ear infection(swimming pools are breeding grounds for infections).

Think I'll take the risk-have been going swimming weekly since they were 3 and never picked one up.

wheresmespecs Fri 23-Nov-12 16:43:30

ah, marvellous. Someone knows 2 bf babies who are unhealthy. So there are no health benefits to bf-ing and it's all crap.

God, I hate it when people blind me with science.

WorraLiberty Fri 23-Nov-12 16:45:09

There are plenty of breast fed babies and children who are unhealthy for goodness sake.

12ylnon Fri 23-Nov-12 16:46:48

YABU, there is a huuuge pressure to breastfeed. Some mums just don't like it and i think that's fine.

specs - I think that a lot of why BF babies are statistically healthier is actually do with their environment. We know that BF is more prevalent amongst middle-class, older mums, who are less likely to smoke/drink during pregnancy and afterwards.

See this is what happens, it always descends into indignant remarks when many of us are just saying, do what works, FF or BF, all mothers/babies are different. To make sweeping statements that BF is best, with no solid evidence is what pisses everyone off.

WorraLiberty Fri 23-Nov-12 16:49:08

Until what age are they 'statistically healthier'?

Whats - so you think a mother should BF even if it is detrimental to her mental health??

I have two, ds2 has asthma and ds3 eczema. We have quite a lot of eczema in the family though, it doesn't seem to make a difference how they are fed.

Well ds1 dsis and dn don't have it and were formula fed but I think it's just luck of the draw sometimes.

thebody Fri 23-Nov-12 16:51:57

Well everyone knows the science by now and the stats and facts.

Then as individuals they make up their mind to do what they prefer with their body and their baby.

A recent thread on here was about someone comparing her birth as harder than someone else's.

Dear God... Will people just mind their own business and stop comparing their parenting choices.

Op your friend is most probably trying to fend off criticism of her choice to ff and that's just so so sad.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 23-Nov-12 16:53:10

But breastfeeding is best and there is lots of solid evidence to prove it confused

Posters who are saying 'I know a BF baby who is always ill" are just pointing out that BF doesn't automatically make a healthy child. I'm sure they also know FF and mixed fed babies who get ill too!

MollyMurphy Fri 23-Nov-12 16:54:36

Your friend probably doesn't want everyone else's opinion heaped on her as it would be if she just stated outright "I don't want to". I empathize - I felt similarly with my first. This time I plan on just shrugging and changing the topic.

People are busy-bodies on MN and in RL.

snowmummy Fri 23-Nov-12 16:54:55

That is one sweeping statement outraged and was not true for my son. Accept it may not be true for everyone. Simple. Learn some compassion and understanding of others' choices.

thursdaynight Fri 23-Nov-12 16:55:11

Yanbu I have a friend who always likes to tell me how women that can breast feed have it so much easier, no washing bottles etc. She tried for two days before deciding she couldn't bf because she 'was only producing yellow gunk' ...erm colostrum maybe!?
I think some people can't be bothered to tough it out at the becoming but very unlikely that they can't actuly bf.

wheresmespecs Fri 23-Nov-12 16:55:59

of course there are bf babies who are 'unhealthy'.

But they are LESS likely to be so than ff babies. Can we understand that? It's the same problem here as 'oh, I was told bf babies NEVER get ill and here's one with a cold so that just proves it is all shite.'

Look here -

You got problems with that, you take it up with the nhs, ok? Lovely. oh, and of course there are other factors - lots of them - affecting infant health. That doesn't negate the benefits of bf-ing.

Outraged - yes BF is best, when mother is happy, baby is able to latch, mother can produce enough milk, etc etc etc.

Not when mother doesn't want to BF, baby can't latch, baby is allergic to own mother's milk (I know one baby who is), BF makes the mum go loopy etc etc etc.

Lily1986 Fri 23-Nov-12 16:58:27

OK I'm back... I haven't been lurking, posted this morning and as this is my first MN post I really didn't expect many responses. I log on and find 210! Oops!

I really wasn't trying to spark another bf / ff debate. It was always about the lying.

I'm going to be accused of dripfeeding I know but... my friend's ds is nearly 6 months now so this is not an emotional mother with a newborn. I feel angry towards her because of how she affects other mutual friends who have struggled like hell with sore nipples, mastitis, babies that don't sleep just to continue breastfeeding. One of these mutual friends has switched to ff after 4 months because it had become too draining for her. She is gutted that she could not stick it out and feels sad and selfish for giving up (when she tried so hard). My other friend then sits back watching and says how much she wanted to bf but couldn't. This means sympathy for her and criticism for the one who admitted the truth.

I just wish people were honest.

thursday - do you think your friend was actually told about colostrum? Sounds like BF hadn't really been explained to her.

wheresmespecs Fri 23-Nov-12 17:00:03

By the way - if someone was ff-ing and said 'yes, I know this is not as good nutritionally and in terms of immunity as bf - but I hated every minute of it and it was making me so miserable I couldn't enjoy my baby' - would anyone have a problem with that?

i think some basic compassion and empathy would go a long way here. Better that by far than denying scientific fact about the benefits of bf-ing. That's not going to help anyone.

snowmummy Fri 23-Nov-12 17:05:46

wheresmespecs - very well said, I couldn't agree more.

I wouldn't have a problem with that wheres.

thebody Fri 23-Nov-12 17:07:38

Op tell your friends that parenthood is a marathon not a race.

There's so much much more important things to come and breast feeding or formula feeding is a tiny tiny part of your child's life.

You need to stop comparing your approaches, get babysitters and go out and get rat faced.

thebody Fri 23-Nov-12 17:09:23

Oh and to add if you are bf and get rat faced chances are baby will sleep through... ( or perhaps best express).

thursdaynight Fri 23-Nov-12 17:10:02

visual yes I'm sure she did know about colostrum. I think it was just harder than she expected but I'm sure she could've bf if she had given it a few more days.

LadyBeagle Fri 23-Nov-12 17:13:15

It's still none of your business OP.

YerMaw1989 Fri 23-Nov-12 17:13:30


there are some very militant breastfeeders that can make anyone who wasn't earth mother feel like crap. If people weren't so critical of everything mothers did it would make life a lot easier.

but I agree lying is wrong.

CagneyNLacey Fri 23-Nov-12 17:14:59

There's a section specifically for this boring shit you know, precisely because most people find it either incredibly boring/sanctimonious/provocative whatever.

You shouldn't have a problem anyway, it shouldn't matter why someone didn't bf.

missymoomoomee Fri 23-Nov-12 17:19:13

What a horrible group of friends you have if you all sit about critisising/praising feeding choices. Its got nothing to do with anyone else. I can see exactly why your friend lied.

Rudolphstolemycarrots Fri 23-Nov-12 17:20:13

She should really say that she didn't want to BF I agree. BUT she is probably quite hormonal and not up explaining it to everyone.

EasilyBored Fri 23-Nov-12 17:24:54

You do know that on 5 years time, no onr is going to give a flying fuck how you each fes your babies, right? We're at 11 months now, and the conversations about feeding and nappies are long finished. I think people just ask about how you feed, simply to have something to say (tiny babies are lovely, but quite dull). You are all being a bit U, her for caring what others might think, and you for pretending not to judge when you do seem to be judging.

Tailtwister Fri 23-Nov-12 17:26:08

I do think people do this, but not to make people sorry for them but because the pressure to bf is huge. They feel they have to justify their decision and for many people saying they simply don't want to is not good enough. Maybe your friend tried this tactic and found herself on the receiving end of criticism?

I remember there was one girl in our NHS antenatal group who didn't bf. She had a hugely difficult birth ending in an EMC and a combination of recovering from that and a lot of difficulties with latching etc resulting in her mix feeding for a few days and them stopping bf entirely. The first time we met up after the birth she launched into a long explanation of why she wasn't bf. I felt extremely sorry that she felt she had to do that and perhaps thought I may be critical of her. Ironically, after the rest of the group stopped bf at around 5 months, I found myself on the other side too having to explain why I was still bf. I also felt I had to lie, using bottle refusing as my explanation when in fact it was simply because I wanted to.

I feel YABU and quite harsh on your friend OP. People lie for a host of reasons, but very rarely to garner sympathy (IME anyway).

ScaredySquirrel Fri 23-Nov-12 17:32:21

I have never had a discussion in RL where someone's choices or otherwise have been questioned. Yet there are always so many on here.

the only time there has been discussion about it is where friends/acquaintances have wanted to BF and not been able to for whatever reason, and have felt sad about it.

I strongly that there is not enough support to support people to bf.

I also feel strongly that there is not enough information, widely enough known, to allow people to make informed decisions about bfing or otherwise.

FlangelinaBallerina Fri 23-Nov-12 17:32:37

For every post I've read MN here denying scientific facts about the benefits of breastfeeding, there's been another overstating them. Bf is certainly better for the health than ff (assuming all else is equal, obv not if eg mother has HIV, is taking crack, hates doing it so much that she ends up not feeding the baby properly because she can't cope, is on medication that would harm baby etc). However, in a Western country with access to proper hygiene facilities, following all preparation guidelines and being scrupulous about cleanliness, the benefits become much less significant. FF is good enough, in these circumstances. If there were not an adequate alternative available, no doubt more ff mothers would bf, but there is.

So while we're on the subject of feeling sorry, I feel sorry for babies with mothers who are so poorly informed and sanctimonious that they don't get this. It must be awful to be so needy that you need to validate your choices by congratulating yourself for your feeding choices on the internet. That's got to have an impact on your parenting. I'm glad my DC won't have to deal with that. Sadface for the DCs of several posters on this thread alone...

TailTwister that girl in your antenatal class could have been me, I went through the same with DS1 and apart from getting over the shock of an EMC, I then got a serious internal infection so anyone who made me feel bad about stopping BF really upset me.

thebody Fri 23-Nov-12 17:36:03

Scaredy, there is information overload on feeding its getting ridiculous.

Just do what suits you and your baby and don't explain or apologise as its your baby your body so your business.

WorraLiberty Fri 23-Nov-12 17:41:11

First post on MN?

Oh, welcome then....

WorraLiberty Fri 23-Nov-12 17:43:23

So while we're on the subject of feeling sorry, I feel sorry for babies with mothers who are so poorly informed and sanctimonious that they don't get this. It must be awful to be so needy that you need to validate your choices by congratulating yourself for your feeding choices on the internet. That's got to have an impact on your parenting. I'm glad my DC won't have to deal with that. Sadface for the DCs of several posters on this thread alone

Well said

thebody Fri 23-Nov-12 17:56:36

Well said flangellina, wise words.

gimmecakeandcandy Fri 23-Nov-12 18:03:28

YaNbu at all. An extremely high precentage of mums will produce enough milk to bf with perseverance - over 95%, but it takes perseverance and TIME. Supply can take many many weeks to establish so I wish women who choose not too and haven't been medically diagsnosed as not having enough milk wouldn't keep saying they didn't have enough milk. I personally feel that if a woman bf she should, but that's my view and of course others can think and do what they want - but that's my view.

fedupofnamechanging Fri 23-Nov-12 18:30:06

But then those mothers who keep saying they didn't have enough milk (myself included) clearly didn't have enough if it takes perseverance and time to build it up again if it has significantly decreased. What are they supposed to do for the days/weeks that it takes to rebuild a supply? It is distressing to feel that your baby is hungry and uncomfortable while you are waiting for milk supply to increase (which it may or may not do).

As I said up thread, my hv said to go to bed for a few days and just eat and feed - personally I think my baby was happier getting a bottle of formula and not waiting for my supply to increse for however long that may have taken.

If you believe that supply can take many weeks to establish you should have a little more understanding of why some women decide they don't want to wait that long. Some people worry that theyre not producing enough in the beginning. Who are you to say they should persevere if they feel that way.

Lilicat1013 Fri 23-Nov-12 18:58:16

I get so fed up with the people saying everyone can breastfeed, that if it doesn't work it is because you couldn't be bothered to keep trying.

With my son I never managed to get him to latch on, not even once. I had a midwife or breastfeeding support person with me each time and no one could get him to latch on, he would just turn his head away.

This is likely because there was no milk, I attempted to express milk for him but it wasn't possible to get any. I also have inverted nipples which doesn't help.

Each time the recommended advice after every attempt to breast feed failed was to give him a medicine cup full of formula, which I did. Eventually we switched to bottles because it wasn't working, he was miserable and screamed constantly. He had to be removed from the ward because he was causing such a disturbance. It was listed in his notes that baby was 'hungry and distressed'.

I am due again in a few weeks, this time I have some 'nipple formers' to deal with the inverted nipple thing, some nipple shields, a suction cup thing which is also supposed to help. I also have a breast pump.

I have sought support and advice during my pregnancy and asked what I can take to improve milk supply but all I seem to get told is everyone can breast feed if they try hard enough. Since I already know that is crap I am not hopeful.

I think this time the best outcome I can hope for it to be able to produce some expressed breast milk with the breast pump which baby will be able to have as well as formula.

Still I am sure everyone will assume I was too lazy to try and secretly wanted to use bottles all along.

PolkadotCircus Fri 23-Nov-12 19:31:05

Wheres but the vast majority of babies are healthy in this country so the any "risks" from ff if you follow guidelines are absolutely tiny particularly if they're not predisposed to ear problems which can be due to genes.

I'm going to say the scaremongering word now!

gimmecakeandcandy Fri 23-Nov-12 19:33:11

Another thing is that if people like the op's friend lie and say it is lack of milk it is feeding this lack of correct information about bf and milk supply and that the fact it takes a while for milk supply to establish is utterly normal and natural and designed for a baby - ie: little and often. Too many women assume or fear they won't/don't have enough milk when that is simply not true in the vast majority of cases!

gimmecakeandcandy Fri 23-Nov-12 19:37:56

Lilicat - I hope I didn't come across like that to you. Yes, the vast majority of women will have milk but there are obviously cases where it will be extremely difficult or virtually impossible. You didn't have great support by the sounds of it and to be told that 'everyone can bf' is not on. I work closely with mums to help them bf and have never heard anyone say that - please do try your local bf support group/the LA Leache League for support this time and hopefully that can help you. X

Babies are all different, ds1 was 11lb 2 and wanted lots and often.

I think women are able to find information out themselves. I don't know anyone that decided not to bf because someone else had trouble with supply or because they didn't have information available to them.

FlangelinaBallerina Fri 23-Nov-12 19:45:20

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

showmethetoys Fri 23-Nov-12 19:45:23

OP I dont think YABU, although I can understnad why women say it (pressure to breastfeed etc).

I had this with one of my friends - I had given up breastfeeding basically because I hated it, it was really painful and it was making my life miserable - I lasted 3 weeks. My friend gave up because she 'just didnt have enough milk' and she made a big song and dance about it. The actual case was that because she had not fed her DS regularly enough in the first few days (she had had no support so didnt really know about demand feeding etc) her supply just had never really got going and because the HV had made a comment to her quite early on about the baby being too hungry to cry she had freaked out and broken out the formula because she thought she didnt have enough milk.

But it did piss me off a bit because she was able to go on and on about how she 'had' to give up because she didnt have enough milk, and it left me looking a bit selfish because I had more than enough milk, I just didnt want to breastfeed any more!

McTagster Fri 23-Nov-12 19:45:55

Maybe she's telling people this to avoid being judged.
I bf my babies for a couple of weeks before I went on to mixed feeding. I really didn't want to exclusively bf, and it was nobody's business but mine.

gimmecakeandcandy Fri 23-Nov-12 19:50:09

Karma and moomin - yes it is about persevering a lot of the time and baby does have enough - little and often is far more natural for a baby than a bottle of formula. My first baby fed Continously and it was physically and mentally exhausting but he was getting enough, it was just very very hard. There is so much ignorance and innacurate info on bf. Giving a baby breast milk - that is designed for a baby's needs and changes to adapt to that growing baby is almost always best for a baby and for their health - that is a FACT and not said to judge. How come we cannot even state facts anymore!

gimmecakeandcandy Fri 23-Nov-12 19:56:52

No flanggg, I won't stfu for having the opinion I have, just because I think women should bf if they CAN it doesn't mean I don't sympathise with women who have problems. One of my friends who I have recently met and who is becoming a very good friend gave up very quickly on bf because she found it very overwhelming and she didn't have any support or advice. I don't judge her, but I think it is a shame she didn't have more support or the right info to continue. just because I have the opinion Of bf if you can, it doesnt make me judgemental.

gimme what, so if you ff you can't do it little and often? Most people ff on demand little and often if that's what the baby wants. You make it sound like they're force fed a bottle of formula!

Have you ever tried to force a baby to feed when it doesn't want to? I have as I've had two prem babies who needed to be fed a certain amount every couple of hours in order to gain weight and be able to control their body temp.

It takes patience, time and perseverance. Mine were on a feeding schedule of ever two hours and took up to an hour to feed each time. Not as simple as sticking a bottle in and them drinking it all, that's a myth.

FlangelinaBallerina Fri 23-Nov-12 20:06:56

Well Gimme if you are choosing to judge and shoot your mouth off despite knowing that it causes ff women to lie, you are part of the problem you claim to be concerned about. Clearly you care more about telling others what to do than you do about stopping bf misinformation. Otherwise, you'd stop. And saying that women who can bf should very definitely is judgemental.

Leafmould Fri 23-Nov-12 20:07:46

Lily 1986. I haven't read the whole thread, but completely aside from the bf issues [which will get 11pages of comments, it's so emotive], I would go off a friend with so little integrity.

Tailtwister Fri 23-Nov-12 20:15:59

People lie about loads of things to do with parenting. Ok, maybe not out and out lying, but certainly gilding the truth. Sleeping through, weight gain, taking to solids, to name a few. Granted, none are so loaded with guilt as bf, but why oh why do we put our fellow mothers through this torment? Why can't we accept our experiences are different and support each other? Why does it have to be like a bloody competition?

We do it all our lives. Who is the prettiest, thinnest, has the most desirable boyfriend etc. it is torturous and especially so when it comes to our children.

Yika Fri 23-Nov-12 20:17:54

Have not read the whole thread but the op and some of the pro bf comments afterwards made me feel very angry. YABU. I had no milk for the first 5 days, not one single drop. I mix fed because I had to give my DD something. I was determined to bf and I worked really really hard to rebuild my supply. I never managed to ebf. I mix fed until 21 months and it was all hard work, though I enjoyed it once I got to the stage where the bf was essentially for comfort, not food.

I look back and I really wonder whether it was worth it. Formula is an excellent high-quality alternative and babies thrive on it. There is enormous pressure to breast feed. I utterly disagree that 'almost everybody' can breast feed. What counts is that babies get the calories and nutrients they need to survive. If formula were such a poor alternative the effects would be discernible in the people around us.

My experience with breastfeeding, and with being a wannabe bf success story and evangelist, has actually made me want to strongly advocate choice in feeding. Your friend should do whatever she wants. How she explains it to people is her business.

noseynoonoo Fri 23-Nov-12 20:19:05

Gimme isn't judging. She is entitled to an opinion and it is a shame that she is getting so much abuse for thinking that babies should, where possible, be fed using the product that is perfectly designed for their needs.

Moomin I have seen plenty of babies basically being 'force fed' in as much as I have seen mums with a crying baby, stick a bottle treat in their baby's mouth, baby continues to cry, starts to cough on the milk, becomes more hysterical etc. It's not for me to comment so I don't but I have seen this situation plenty of times - and thinking about it I can think of a fair few who have done this and also told me at some other time that they didn't have enough milk.

JeanBodel Fri 23-Nov-12 20:25:07

I love this 'everyone can breastfeed' malarkey. Reading some of these posts, I can only assume that 1% of women - or even less - is such a small figure that those women are statistically irrelevant and, in fact, don't exist.

How many women are there on MN? How many would 1% - 0.5% - be? Yet there are women on this thread looking at them and going: yeah, right. It is incredibly rare for people who can physically produce milk to not produce enough for a baby, you know. You must have been doing it wrong.

Since when does 'incredibly rare' mean non-existent?

LadyBeagle Fri 23-Nov-12 20:25:27

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PolkadotCircus Fri 23-Nov-12 20:26:56

Tosh Nosey-you've seen babies "force fed"-really!hmm

Babies coughing and spluttering whilst crying and have liquids shoved down their throats would be drowning.

You know us ff mums want out babies to be happy just as much as bfing mums.

To infer that ff mums are some kind of bullying monsters who shove a bottle in whenever they feel like it is discraceful and utterly incorrect.

noseynoonoo Fri 23-Nov-12 20:28:59

Well Polka I have seen it quite a few times. I put 'force-feed' in inverted commas. What I described is what I have seen - or are you calling me a liar?

FlangelinaBallerina Fri 23-Nov-12 20:31:24

Nobody said Gimme wasn't entitled to an opinion, nosey. However, she very definitely is being judgemental. Let's look at some online dictionary definitions of the term, and go through why they apply to her.

Oxford dictionaries defines it as 'of or concerning the use of judgement'. Holding the view that women ought to bf where possible is a judgement (just like my view that other women's feeding choices have fuck all to do with her). Wikipedia defines it as 'a value judgement as to the rightness or wrongness of something'. Well, Gimme clearly thinks that it is right to bf where possible and, by definition, wrong not to. I could go on, but i think I've made my point. Gimme is being judgemental, according to dictionary definitions of the word.

Incidentally, I can speak only for myself, but the abuse I've given her isn't for her view that babies should be bf'd where possible. She can think whatever she wants. It's for her insistence on telling the rest of us about it, despite the fact that views like that lead to ff women lying and that she apparently wants ff women to stop lying. She is contributing to the problem she says she is concerned about, and when this is pointed out to her she refuses to modify her behaviour. Oh, and if we're sharing horror stories about women's harmful feeding habits, some women with HIV bf and pass it onto their babies that way. Irrelevant? No more so than your account of ff babies being force fed.

Edma Fri 23-Nov-12 20:32:48

"BF Nazis" What a truly horrid expression. Why? Why the defensiveness?

PolkadotCircus Fri 23-Nov-12 20:34:14

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noseynoonoo Fri 23-Nov-12 20:35:44

Flange I would argue that given your definitions you are being judgemental too. You have an opinion, therefore you are judging her.

Please explain the HIV comment - are you saying that women with HIV put there baby at more risk if they breastfeed? I may be mistaken but I think that research has shown otherwise -I'd have to look it up though.

PolkadotCircus Fri 23-Nov-12 20:35:58

Edma why dont you read the thread-the title might give you a clue.

PMSL your post must be the daftest post I've read all year!grin

noseynoonoo Fri 23-Nov-12 20:37:37

Would you prefer me to video it next time just to prove myself. I'm not going to engage with you anymore.

noseynoonoo Fri 23-Nov-12 20:39:16

Breastfeeding Nazis - am reminded of:'s_law

Edma Fri 23-Nov-12 20:40:13

Good for you, you must lead a very happy simple life if this makes you laugh hmm

Loislane78 Fri 23-Nov-12 20:43:24

OP - I would suggest 'angry' is a bit strong (although i can see it might be borderline irritating if she's told you the real reason). Lots of people genuinely have trouble feeding and often don't get much support. Seems its personal choice in this case, which she's entitled to.

I know MWs etc. push BF but have to say i'm always intrigued by people who say they've been made to feel guilty about FF by 'BF Nazis'. I'm not saying that doesn't happen but given the latest stats are only 1% of babies are exclusively BF at 6 months, i'm wondering who and where all these judgy feeders are.

Astr0naut Fri 23-Nov-12 20:45:28

Where do all of you live? I've never, ever heard anyone judged for Ff round here.

I, however, am looked upon as a bit of a weirdo as I bf both my kids.

LadyBeagle Fri 23-Nov-12 20:48:51

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noseynoonoo Fri 23-Nov-12 20:52:39

Oops, I think my memory was wrong there. Often HIV mums will mix feed for whatever reason.

UNICEF say : 'Some immunological studies are finding that there are factors in human milk, especially the milk of the HIV-infected mother, that will directly combat the cells that contribute to the transmission of the HIV infection. A study done in Durban, South Africa showed that exclusive breastfeeding during the first 3 months of life resulted in a lower risk of MTCT than mixed feeding (breastfeeding combined with other feeds, juices or water)'.

Somewhat at a tangent from the Op but hey, we're trying to be irrelevant aren't we?

noseynoonoo Fri 23-Nov-12 20:54:16

I haven't said that there isn't more to motherhood than feeding choices and as for the age of my own children.

I really think you are putting words into my mouth.

And I'm not going to engage with someone who calls me a liar.

Edma Fri 23-Nov-12 20:55:29

You sound so defensive Ladybeagle. I wonder why you have to defend your past choices so vigorously...

LadyBeagle Fri 23-Nov-12 21:10:25

Because Edma, I won't be lectured too or told what to do. I'm happy with My choices.
And I pity any woman that chooses not to BF and are then been made to feel guilty by people like you.

PurpleGentian Fri 23-Nov-12 21:13:43

Maybe the OP's friend feels like she'd be judged for not giving BF a proper try, especially if lots of her other friends are breastfeeding.

I couldn't get BF established with DS for a number of reasons I won't go into now. I felt bad about this, as I'd been keen to BF. Before he was weaned, I often used to launch into very detailed explanations of my BF problems if anyone commented on his bottles. These problems were all true, but I did worry about other people thinking that I was making things up and that I just couldn't be bothered with BF. In retrospect, I think it's unlikely that anyone else really cared all that much about how DS was fed.

Edma Fri 23-Nov-12 21:13:56

? What did I say that could make anybody feel guilty?
You seem to have issues.

FlangelinaBallerina Fri 23-Nov-12 21:14:49

Nosey, yes of course I'm being judgemental, indeed I said so myself. The difference is that I'm not denying it, and not judging people for their choice of bf or ff. I have no problem with people judging, it's inevitable and indeed in some circumstances it's positive. I do have a problem with people pretending they're not, and refusing to acknowledge when their judging and their insistence on telling people about their judgements causes harm. Indeed, I judge the shit out of such people.

Last I heard, bf wasn't recommended for HIV positive mothers as it can be transmitted that way. This was the only UK guidance I could find, it's from 2004 though:

But I don't think it's changed, as the NHS website still lists being HIV positive as a reason not to bf.

Perhaps the Unicef research will change current thinking on the issue though, I don't know. Obviously medical science is always evolving. If it does, someone posted a horror story on here a while ago about their DH's new partner EBFing their baby and refusing to BF her for half an hour while she was screaming. We can use that instead.

Hands up who would actually judge - to her face, and say it loud "you are a rubbish mother for not wanting/trying to BF - a woman who wasn't BF her baby.

Go on. I want to see.

LadyBeagle Fri 23-Nov-12 21:41:37

I have issues grin?
Why, because I'm not going on a thread telling others what to do?
I think it's you that has the problem TBH, far too much interest in other people's lives and choices.
Concentrate on your own and everyone will be happy.

gimmecakeandcandy Fri 23-Nov-12 21:49:00

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nosey they discourage mums with HIV in Africa from mix feeding because if the water is contaminated, it can cause gastric problems and irritate the stomach lining which increases the risk of HIV being passed to the baby. If they bf there as less chance of the stomach lining becoming inflamed. You will find that most of the studies are conducted in the poorer areas, as they are more likely to be HIV positive and have poor water supplies, unsanitary conditions etc

We do not encourage HIV infected mothers in this country to bf

thebody Fri 23-Nov-12 21:54:53

For fucks sake!!!!!!!!!!!'!!!!!!!!!!!

Who gives a flying fuck how anyone else feeds their child?

Have you no lives? How dare you judge and tell women they could have breast fed if they persevered and why would you care...

Seriously it's a tiny tiny part of being a parent.

Wait till you have teens and older, then it's scary..

MorrisZapp Fri 23-Nov-12 21:55:14

I've never been criticised to my face for ff. Most people don't openly criticise people to their faces, do they.

But in my world (educated MC) it is simply assumed that our peers bf. I've heard many of my peers espouse the benefits of bf, and I know that while my family and friends love me and wouldn't dream of criticising my choices, they all believe very strongly that breast is best.

These aren't rude, judgy people. They are kind, caring people who don't really know any ff mothers.

I was the first and only person in my family to ff. It was fine of course. I don't give it a second thought now. But at the time, it was so embarrassing and weird for me.

There doesn't need to be open criticism for there to be pressure.

CagneyNLacey Fri 23-Nov-12 22:17:57

I literally, and I mean literally, cannot fathom how grown women can give a fuck what other women do when feeding their children. If they are loved and cared for and their needs are met, is that not good? Surely you could divert your attention to things that actually matter, like social inequality and, you know, things that actually have an impact on lifeoutcomes. And if you think bf has a major impact on lifeoutcomes then perhaps you are incredibly privileged and need to get out more.

LadyBeagle Fri 23-Nov-12 22:49:37

Then clearly Cagney, you have 'issues' wink.

thebody Sat 24-Nov-12 00:01:56

I am sure Cagney has issues, who doesn't, but she obviously knows what's important and what is most defiantly not.

How anyone else feeds Their baby isn't one of them?

MorrisZapp Sat 24-Nov-12 00:09:51

Exactly, Cagney.

LadyBeagle Sat 24-Nov-12 00:17:41

OMG Cagney, that remark was addressed to Edma.
I'm so, so sorryblush
Put's wine away and goes to bed.

beagle I thought you were taking the piss out of some other posters who seem to think you must have 'issues' if you don't stand in judgement of those who ff

Also goes to bed blush

leolion Sat 24-Nov-12 00:46:16

Yabu! I'm sorry if this sounds harsh but what sort of friend are you that posts on an open forum about about the way someone chooses to feed her child and the way she communicates it to other people? There are bigger fish to fry in this world. I think you should be a 'friend' to your friend and stop judging her. She's probably petrified of the reactions she'll get from others. In the grand scheme of things, this is not important!

Welovecouscous Sat 24-Nov-12 00:54:04


leolion Sat 24-Nov-12 01:00:58

Ps I breast fed both my dc's but couldn't care less whether my friends bf or ff, it's the judgemental attitudes and smugness around these issues that really get my goat. Motherhood is so hard and as women, we should be supporting one another, not judging. Anyway, too much wine for me so I'm signing off now, but we need a little more peace and love on mumsnet.

CagneyNLacey Sat 24-Nov-12 08:06:36

Haha, its ok Beagle, I do have ishoos, like having too much wine and thinking 'lifeoutcomes' is an actual word blush

FlangelinaBallerina Sat 24-Nov-12 10:10:33

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Edma Sat 24-Nov-12 11:12:29

Beagle Please quote anything I said that told anybody what they should be doing.

You seem to come down like fury on everybody that does not criticise BF, without actually reading the posts or trying to understand what they are saying. I don't know what your problem is, and why you are so agressive.
It really doesn't matter, I guess.

cory Sat 24-Nov-12 11:34:50

gimmecakeandcandy Fri 23-Nov-12 18:03:28
"YaNbu at all. An extremely high precentage of mums will produce enough milk to bf with perseverance - over 95%, but it takes perseverance and TIME. Supply can take many many weeks to establish so I wish women who choose not too and haven't been medically diagsnosed as not having enough milk wouldn't keep saying they didn't have enough milk."

And what if your baby loses the strength to suckle in the meantime? As it so happens, I had plenty of milk, but dd was hypotonic and unable to suckle effectively. The less milk she was able get, the weaker she got until she ended up in hospital aged 4 weeks. This had nothing to do with me being impatient; things weren't going to get sorted if I just waited; she was losing strength by the day and at increasing risk of infection.Photos taken at the time show her little ribs sticking out. The paed at the hospital took one look when I undid her sleepsuit and then stretched out his hand for the phone without a word.

Looking back, I can't believe I let that happen to her, just because I was so convinced that there couldn't be any problems if you breastfed on demand.

I could imagine something similar happening to a baby who isn't getting enough milk because supply takes longer than normal to establish. Once a baby starts getting weak they can go downhill very quickly and won't necessarily have the strength to just recover on their own.

Yes, statistically I know dd should have been healthier than my friends' babies who were formula fed. Is that a lot of comfort when in actual fact she ended up in hospital with malnutrition? (and no, I never did give up breastfeeding, so no axe to grind in that respect)

gimmecakeandcandy Sat 24-Nov-12 16:08:13

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cory Sat 24-Nov-12 16:43:50

gimmecakeandcandy Sat 24-Nov-12 16:08:13
"Well cory obviously you had genuine problems with bf! You didn't just give up !"

Are you congratulating me on that fact? The point I was trying to make was that if I had just given up, dd would not have ended up in hospital with her ribs sticking out.

I persisted because I thought I was doing the right thing and all that time I was putting dd at risk- I don't like to think what would have happened if she had gone down with a bug. If you think I'm telling this story to pat myself on the head for the right decision, you need to read my post again.

With my second baby, I did "just give up" and offer top-ups the moment I noticed he wasn't feeding effectively. His picture show a healthy chubby wide awake baby obviously in the best of health.

But the point is, if you had asked me, I would have told you that I had failed to breastfeed. My answers would have been vague and unconvincing and I am sure you would have told me in very outspoken terms that you didn't believe. Because how could I come up with a convincing explanation when I had no idea what was going wrong? My children were not diagnosed until pre-puberty and even then nobody thought to tell me that this would have affected breastfeeding. Dd was 10 when an occupational therapist mentioned that in passing- I nearly burst into tears from relief.

nickelbabeuntiladvent Sat 24-Nov-12 16:46:29

there's nothing wrong with someone saying "I had problems BFing and I decided that it was more important that I wasn't stressed than that I BFed"

I agree, OP, I don't like it when people say they didn't have enough milk etc, when it was most likely to be myriad other reasons.

However, it's a shame she feels she has to make up an excuse.
not least that she's doing it deliberately (seemingly) to get sympathy for it!

nickelbabeuntiladvent Sat 24-Nov-12 16:49:53

cory - i'm sure that's not what was meant - you did your best, you did what you thought was best for your baby, and you did do what was best for your baby.

The problem is that these days, there is so much pressure to BF, but little or no support (which we've heard time and time again), that if you had been told "just feed her formula" you would be right to believe you weren't getting the support you needed.
that's the problem, the fact that the people who should be helping are far too quick to say "formula" than to actually give real, genuine help that you would feel even worse giving formula.
As it happens, I have a friend who nearly killed her son putting him on formula top-ups when he was TT, because it turns out he's also CMP allergic.

cory Sat 24-Nov-12 16:51:07

But how do they know, nickelbaum? I had no idea what the problem was: my explanations were probably wildly out, but it wasn't making up excuses, it was trying to explain things to myself- and getting them wrong.

nickelbabeuntiladvent Sat 24-Nov-12 16:54:56

no, sad
it's so hard to diagnose something like that, isn't it?

it's hard to tell whether it's the baby not being able to suck or whether it's the woman not producing enough milk.

but I know your point - it's so much easier to say "i didn't want to" than to say "I couldn't" especially when you know that you could, but she couldn't. sad

cory Sat 24-Nov-12 17:01:14

"The problem is that these days, there is so much pressure to BF, but little or no support (which we've heard time and time again), the fact that the people who should be helping are far too quick to say "formula" than to actually give real, genuine help that you would feel even worse giving formula."

Actually that depends on where you live. I don't think anyone could want for more support than I got. I gave birth in a very breast-feeding friendly hospital, the breastfeeding supporter went round the next day asking each mum how she intended to feed and giving positive feedback when they said bf; I had a midwife ready to help me to latch on at every feed if I wanted to, when dd started to lose weight the HVs (who were very well trained) came round every day to support me to continue bf'ing, when I went into hospital I had long sessions with the breastfeeding counsellor (lovely lady) and when I was discharged she came to see me at home.

In fact, I think it was the masses of support that made it so psychologically difficult for me to give up- that and the fact that none of us had an idea of what was going on. If someone had been able to peek into the future and say: "actually, you know, by the time this child is 10 she won't even be able to walk, there will be hundred of ordinary healthy things that children should be doing that she will miss out on, you just need to let go and plan for a different scenario", then that would have helped.

But since that was not available, I think it was just as well that noone was around who was too picky about the way I described my situation- because I genuinely had no clue!

What got me about this thread was the suspicion aimed at any mum whose diagnosis of her situation might not be 100% medically accurate. Considering how many qualified doctors misdiagnosed dd, I don't think I could be blamed if I also got my explanations slightly muddled. The point is- we were none of us liars making up excuses on purpose. Not even the doctors.

"Worse the friend is perpetuating a damaging myth that people don't produce enough milk and undermining the confidence of the people she speaks to who may yet BF and have those anxious "are they getting enough" moments. It is rare for people to physically be incapable of making milk. It is incredibly rare for people who can physically produce milk to not produce enough for a baby, or twins or triplets etc. "

Not a myth in my case. The scale said otherwise. DS could feed and feed and had his latch checked, blah blah blah. He ended up in hospital for FtT a very sick and underweight little boy with a big bloated belly.

cory Sat 24-Nov-12 17:05:52

cross-posted, Nickel

in fact not even this part applies in my case:

"it's so much easier to say "i didn't want to" than to say "I couldn't" especially when you know that you could, but she couldn't. "

I had no idea until that meeting when dd was 10 years old that it wasn't me who had failed at breastfeeding. It took me long enough to realise it wasn't my fault that she seemed so lazy, that she could never walk or run like the other children, that she was always falling and hurting herself- but the bit about the breastfeeding just didn't click at all until somebody else pointed out. I really, really thought it was all my fault. (dd says it still is, because her disorder is genetic, and what do I think genetic means)

I had lots of support too. The community midwives were still visiting at 6 weeks and I had health visitors too. Our lovely GP would come round and change his nappy while I cried. I had lactation specialists etc etc. I also had plenty of bf friends.

About the only non-supportive environment I had was when I went to LLL, the mothers were very rude and nasty about me mixed feeding, despite my explanations.

ll31 Sat 24-Nov-12 17:22:55

Op I've read thread and still don't get it. . Why is it your business what any mother does. ..

nickelbabeuntiladvent Sat 24-Nov-12 17:29:42

I understand, cory.
i bet you're relieved that it's not your fault (cory's DD - not her deliberate fault wink)

gimmecakeandcandy Sat 24-Nov-12 19:38:51

Cory I'm not sure why you are so convinced I would have acted a certain way and you have taken my reply and read a lot into it - all I meant was that your situation sounds like you did your best and came to a decision based on your circumstances. And I have always said most women will have enough milk, I didn't say most women will be able to bf. I know many women who could not get their babies to suckle/attach so they kept their flow up by expressing. My initial point was that most women will have enough milk.

gimmecakeandcandy Sat 24-Nov-12 19:46:08

Bigbird - just because a few of us said it was rare to not have enough milk it doesn't mean we don't know that there are women who don't produce enough. Of course in your case this is what happened - of course it happens and I'm sorry to hear you went through this but all some of us were saying is that it is not as common as is thought. If anything, the fact that sime women throw the 'I didn't have enough milk' line around so easily when it wasn't the case takes away from genuine cases like yours!

MamaBear17 Sat 24-Nov-12 19:49:55

I didnt produce milk. My GP ordered me to stop trying after two weeks of struggling to get my flow going. I followed all of the specialist advise, expressed in between feeds to try and improve things and all I got was a big fat nothing. I didnt even get the rock solid boobs that people describe when they stop bfing - probably because there was nothing there. I was utterly devastated. For some of us, 'low milk supply' is very real. I really wish people would accept that.

gimmecakeandcandy Sat 24-Nov-12 20:54:37

Of course it is real mamabear which is why it is even more annoying that people use this very valid problem as their reason for stopping but they are lying! It is disrespectful to people like you who were diagnosed as having this problem and for who it was a real problem.

Edma Sat 24-Nov-12 21:03:58

Same as you Mamabear, I didn't have milk either for DD1.I was very well advised and prepared but the milk was just not coming. I tried and tried and tried. I gave formula through a special dispenser which was like torture in the middle of the night. I could not believe that it could happen to me as I was so motivated. I ended up mixed feeding for a long time.
Had no issue for DS and DD2.

fedupofnamechanging Sat 24-Nov-12 21:11:39

The thing is though, is that it is being said on this thread that unless you go to a doctor and have low milk supply formally diagnosed, then women are either lying or mistaken.

I think, given they were my breasts, that I was able to judge quite accurately whether enough milk was coming out to satisfy my baby.

It was my fourth time being a mother and I had successfully bf in the past, so I was pretty confident.

Just as an aside, my doctor knew very little about the realities of bf. At one point he was asking me about bf because his wife was bf for the first time. Why would I ask him to tell me what I already knew?

VivaLeBeaver Sat 24-Nov-12 21:13:35

Well it's no ones business why she stopped breastfeeding, though everyone will ask. So really I think it's fair enough she doesn't share the real reason if she doesn't want to.

fedupofnamechanging Sat 24-Nov-12 21:15:57

Also I don't care if people do lie about it - for as long as we have people comparing ff to smoking/drug taking during pregnancy, then it's perfectly legitimate, imo ,for a woman to avoid all that and just lie to get the militant bf off their back!

hairytale Sat 24-Nov-12 21:19:42

It's become very clear to me that women feel pressured to bf and to ff. I breast feed (but was never pressured to) and in tje hospital I was heavily pressured to give formula despite there being no real reason to.

hairytale Sat 24-Nov-12 21:20:25

And sorry - "militant breast feeder"? Wtf?

fedupofnamechanging Sat 24-Nov-12 21:24:06

Look up thread hairy, at the posts comparing ff to drug taking during pg - that's a militant bf.

FlangelinaBallerina Sat 24-Nov-12 21:56:59

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Proudnscary Sat 24-Nov-12 22:24:15

All mothers that didn't breast feed should lined up against a wall and shot.
Fuck them and their unholy, fabricated, tenuous reasons!!!!

<stands self up against wall and shoots self>

gimmecakeandcandy Sat 24-Nov-12 22:32:53

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I don't know if I should stand with you or not proud I dodnt bf ds1 but did the others. Obviously I didn't love him as much!

I haven't decided how I'm going to feed this time.

Fakebook Sat 24-Nov-12 22:37:25

I have never in my life come across anyone who judges a mother for FF or BF. Who are these women/men? Where do they live? I've done combined feeding with both my children and no one has ever batted an eyelid. Only hear about things like this on the internet.

Nor me fakebook I don't think anyone has ever been interested.

I have been judged in rl for ff by two midwives, a hv and the lady I went to see at the 'sling library' who asked why I wasn't going to (like it was any of her business) then shook her head hmm.

I'm sure I heard of a study done recently in Norway regarding pollutants being passed on in breastmilk. Not that that is my reason for ff but there are different sides to everything.

Megan74 Sun 25-Nov-12 08:01:55

Seems some of you world be horrified if I were to tell you I gave up bf due to one baby not being able to do it and the other because I wasn't producing enough milk. But on both counts I was told this by health care pro. So it is possible your friend has been told the same.

I spent many years feeling bad about my apparent inability to bf which in hindsight was due to a lack of support and anxiety on my part. Not helped by some very judgmental comments sent my way in the past. Particularly from my sister who found it so easy and couldn't understand why I found it hard.

My children are 7 and 5 now so I am long over the whole bf thing and unaffected by comments these days but I could put myself in your friends position. There is a disproportionate amount of judging about how other women choose to feed their babies. Ff is a perfectly acceptable way to feed a baby and not poison. Few would deny bf is better but when you consider the crap most people are happy to feed their children later in life it does seem a ridiculous argument to be having.

Theicingontop Sun 25-Nov-12 08:26:43

You're not being unreasonable, my friend did exactly the same thing. It's hard enough trying to convince others that breastfeeding can be achieved with a little patience and guidance, without people lying about how hard it is and encouraging others to not bother trying at all.

Thing is, if you say anything to the contrary you're seen as a breastfeeding nazi, so I've learned just to shut it.

FlangelinaBallerina Sun 25-Nov-12 09:23:13

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soverylucky Sun 25-Nov-12 09:34:40

Blimey - left this some time ago and am a bit at a loss as to why it is still here.
Such a shame that mothers feel the need to criticise others. If men had the boobs and had the babies I am sure they would just get on with it. Feed your baby however you want to. As long as you feed it.
The only problem is when you have a woman who wants to bf and is denied the help or support she wants/needs or a woman wants to ff and isn't given correct information on preparing feeds properly.

Why does it matter to anyone why a woman does or doesn't bf? Why does it matter if she lied?

Several people have offered plausible and imo justifiable reasons for lying (myself included) but it just doen't matter.

As someone who didn't bf but expressed because I believed I wanted my child to have breastmilk I cannot understand for the life of me why some women can be so stupid as to put women off bf for life.

Would I be put off giving bf a go because of one woman I met saying she couldn't get enough milk? Of course not - I would just think "that won't happen to me" (in fact I was very smug about bf thinking since every woman in my family had done it so easily why should I be any different)
Would I be put off trying to bf by women saying ff is no different to taking drugs in pregnancy and that you are a selfish lazy mother if you do? Well yes - as I ff my first such comments would get my back up so much I would dig my heels in and ff again. No mother likes to be told she is a bad mother which is what some on this thread are doing. You are never going to get people to try bf with subsequent children by taking such a dramatic and quite frankly horrible stance towards ff.

cory Sun 25-Nov-12 09:37:28


karmabeliever Sat 24-Nov-12 21:11:39
"The thing is though, is that it is being said on this thread that unless you go to a doctor and have low milk supply formally diagnosed, then women are either lying or mistaken."

Or rather: it is assumed on this thread that a woman who makes a possibly erroneous statement about the reasons for her failure is lying and being disrespectful towards those who have been genuinely diagnosed.

I had no idea what went wrong for us- except I could see clearly it was nothing to do with dd's latch, which was textbook. Any statement made by me was therefore quite likely to be wrong- as were those of the medics attending me- but it was bloody well not disrespectful: we were all stumbling around in the dark and grabbing at straws.

If I hadn't happened to have a visibly abundant supply, I would almost certainly have seized on the idea that I wasn't producing enough, not out of disrespect but because I seemed to have exhausted all the other possible explanations (frequency of feed, latch, support etc).

Dd has been misdiagnosed a fair few times later in life: in other words, somebody has given an explanation for her problems that subsequently could be proved to be incorrect. Does that mean that every time that's happened the medics have been disrespecting the people who really have those particular problems?

Or can we just accept that medicine is an inexact science, that we don't know absolutely everything about the human body, and that most people do actually try their best under the circumstances they find themselves in?

cory Sun 25-Nov-12 09:41:18

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FlangelinaBallerina Sun 25-Nov-12 09:54:59

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SundaeGirl Sun 25-Nov-12 10:43:21

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toofattorun Sun 25-Nov-12 10:47:18

What worra said.


cory Sun 25-Nov-12 11:52:33

I's the logic that gets me: "An extremely high precentage of mums will produce enough milk to bf with perseverance - over I wish women who haven't been medically diagsnosed as not having enough milk wouldn't keep saying they didn't have enough milk."

Because 4-5% is so extremely unlikely that anyone that claims it's happened to them has simply got to be lying... hmm

"This is what I am doing and I don't want to discuss it further." a very useful phrase for mothers whatever their feeding choices.

Avoids unwelcome judgement or advice, and also helps to NOT perpetuate unhelpful myths to people who may take them on board and have them affect their own feeding choices.

Hear, hear littlecarrot.

Or..."this is what we are doing, and it works best for us"

Edma Sun 25-Nov-12 12:45:39

What I don't get is that, although the marketing of the big companies has won and that BF is clearly for the minorities, if you even dare to say that maybe BF is good for babies, you get called a nazi and a militant.

As it happens, I didn't have enough milk for DD1 and had to take domperidone for 6 months to even manage to mixed feed.
The only times I have feld judged was by people intrigued because I BF past 6 months.

cory Sun 25-Nov-12 12:47:34

If gimme's statistics are correct and just over 95% of women can establish adequate milk supply by perseverance, surely that doesn't make the remaining 4+% a myth? There must be plenty of medical conditions that affect less than 5% of the population - does that make them all myths? Is the definition of a fact "something that happens to the majority of the population"

<waits for dd to be miraculously cured!>

In my books, something that affects a smallish percentage of the population isn't something that could never happen to me, it's certainly not a myth, it's merely something that statistically speaking probably won't happen to me. A "myth" would be the perception that something rare happened very often, not that it could happen in any one given case.

FlangelinaBallerina Sun 25-Nov-12 13:04:47

Edma I'm not sure that the high percentage of ff is because of marketing. The fact is that ff offers many advantages that bf doesn't, and this is as indisputable as the health advantages of bf. Obviously not everyone considers the ff advantages to be relevant to them or to outweigh the health advantages of bf, but plenty do. Inevitably when you have an adequate alternative that doesn't involve pain, most people can afford, allows the responsibility of feeding to be shared without having to wait to master pumping and allows the mother the freedom to leave the baby for lengthier periods if she likes, some women are going to choose it. Others won't, but lots will. Indeed, there have always been women who opted not to bf even before the advent of an adequate alternative and modern advertising.

And the people being called BF militants and nazis are really not the people who simply say bf is better for babies- and I say this as someone who has issues with the term bf nazi. It's the people who are so stupid and blinkered that they eg compare ff to drug taking.

Edma Sun 25-Nov-12 13:13:53

Unfortunately I disagree Ballerina. I really do think marketing is the main reason.

I really recommend this book. It opened my eyes.
And I am not one for conspiracy theories!

YerMaw1989 Sun 25-Nov-12 13:24:18

IME its seen as 'easier' I have just come off a labour ward, I have to top up with formula every feed and I'm getting some stick for it.

I was the only person on my ward bf in any way shape or form and the ages/class etc varied hugely on there.

I don't agree with the marketing either, even when they advertise 6m formula they make the statement breast is best

Edma Sun 25-Nov-12 13:41:15

The reality of it is that many women have never seen any other woman BF. Not on TV, not in any film, not around them.
When they are pregnant they get bombarded with the message that breast is best but it is not anchored in real life for them as until then, all they have seen are babies being BF.
Marketing is more subtle than just advertising on TV and magazines.

I see many mums and newborns through my work (not medical) and the vast vast majority of babies are FF. So yes the industry has won.

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 25-Nov-12 13:44:13

Happy Sunday all
Just want to say that we're aware this is a v divisive topic and twas ever so, but please do stick to our guidelines

Edma Sun 25-Nov-12 13:48:00

Is it me? Did I say something wrong? I just went through the guidelines and I can't see what it could be confused

Edma Sun 25-Nov-12 13:57:09

Please someone enlighten me as I am very puzzled.

FlangelinaBallerina Sun 25-Nov-12 14:07:11

Well Edma, the fact is that women have long sought out alternatives to bfing their own children. The wet nurse has been found in many cultures for a long time. How does your hypothesis take account of this fact? Women who did this before the twentieth century or so clearly couldn't have been influenced by advertising, and women who did it before ff existed couldn't have been influenced by ff. Both of those things would be impossibilities. As such, the theory you put forward needs to explain those two things. It also needs to explain those of us who saw lots of bf when we grew up and were raised with bf as the norm, who had access to bf experienced female relatives for support and who still chose to stop bf because we absolutely hated it.

The unfortunate and unpalatable truth is that we could have all the advertising bans and bf education we wanted, but some women would still choose ff because for them, the disadvantages would be minor compared with the advantages. And this is not an illogical position. Most women have ample pain and exhaustion during labour, so it is perfectly sensible not to want to volunteer for more when it can be avoided with an adequate feeding alternative. Which ff is. I say this as someone who supports a woman's right to bf if she wants, for as long as she wants, whenever she wants.

I assume we would all agree that the majority of mothers do at least some ff- although most women actually use both bf and ff, the difference being in how much they do of each and when. You may well be able to personally attest to this, but that doesn't mean you are able to provide a simple generalised explanation as to why this happens. Actually I don't think there is one tbh, there's probably a different set of reasons and circumstances behind every woman's decision as to how to feed her baby.

Edma Sun 25-Nov-12 14:22:28

Yes I totally agree Ballerina, some women would always chose FF and that's completely fine and to be protected. I am a proponent of BF but I would always support a mother's decision to pick formula, for whatever reason.
But I really don't think that both methods are on an equal level, because of the industry's lobbying and the lack of proper education (which should start way before pregnancy).
As to a benefits/drawbacks assesment, again it's for each woman to decide, if she has been given the means to make an informed choice, and my point is that most women have not.

Calmisthemantra Sun 25-Nov-12 15:16:49

I haven't read the whole thread but felt I needed to comment. I was excited about bf and all seemed to be going well with my baby until the 10 day weigh in and to be told she'd lost 15% of her birth weight and carted off to hospital. I was (and still am) distraught that I couldn't provide enough for my baby. I did everything I could to try and increase my supply including :
Expressing between feeds, long baby moons in bed with skin to skin, feeding on demand, fenugreek, Domperidone, bf cousellers, lactation consultants, bf clinics all with no success. I have had no surgery or on any medication that could hinder bf but was told by specialists that I did in fact not have enough milk! And they suspected that dd had a 'lazy suck' I persevered for 9 weeks where i was either feeding or expressing and became a hermitsad I feel a great sadness at not being able to feed my baby myself and 9 months on I am now having counselling as I feel it led to my pnd.

Everyone of course makes their own choices that are best for them and their babies but I WANTED to breastfeed and felt it was taken away from me. I was incredibly jealous of friends that seemed to bf so easily and I would die a bit inside any time I had to give dd a bottle in public or someone new. I felt judged by them, even though rationally I knew they wouldn't give 2 hoots. I do feel that I have failed - dd is a very bright and healthy 9month old but I still feel that I've let her down.

I am now pg with dc2 and already worrying about 'failing' again with this baby. I don't necessarily think there is any right or wrong as everyone makes their own choices/decisions, but I am gutted that my choice was taken away from me!

CecilyP Sun 25-Nov-12 15:56:20

Edma, the artificial feeding of infants predates the marketing of formula by many of years. In earlier times, it was just diluted cows milk with an added spoon of sugar. I believe Mrs Beaton had several recipes. Sometimes parents also used sweetened condensed milk with tragic reslults. So much so, that manufactures were legally obliged to have large notices on their labels saying 'unfit for babies' on their labels. During WW2, the government issued something called National Dried which was fortified and an improvement on on previous offerings. There were also commercial companies such as Ostermilk and Cow and Gate that produced formula, though I doubt if their marketing was particularly aggressive at that time. Is anyone else here old enough to remember when Carnation Milk had infant feeding instructions on the label?

Tailtwister Sun 25-Nov-12 16:22:12

I'm sure DH was given Carnation milk and he was born in 1973, so not that long ago. There must have been formula available then too, because that's how my brother and I were fed and we're older than DH.

I don't know what the answer is really. There are so many other things which impact our children's well being (diet, education etc), but they don't seem to be so loaded with guilt. It's a real shame, because we are so vulnerable in the early days and to have those precious weeks and months spoilt by guilt is very sad.

Tailtwister Sun 25-Nov-12 16:22:45

By 'diet' I mean solid foods.

CecilyP Sun 25-Nov-12 17:05:39

Yes there was formula then, National Dried, Cow and Gate and Ostermilk. SMA came in in about the mid-60s and was extensively advertised. In the mid 70's the earlier formulas were found to be less suitable for babies and were withdrawn from sale, while SMA continued and other manufacturers started to produce formula modified in the same way. Carnation still has something like, 'not suitable for regular infant feeding' on its label, which suggests OK to use now and again.

digerd Sun 25-Nov-12 17:26:47

Some people tell lies for whatever reason. She could be lying to OP about the reason, or not, But she is telling another story to everyone else, she is deceiving either OP or the others.

cory Sun 25-Nov-12 17:42:25

digerd Sun 25-Nov-12 17:26:47
"Some people tell lies for whatever reason. She could be lying to OP about the reason, or not, But she is telling another story to everyone else, she is deceiving either OP or the others. "

Not necessarily. She could be veering between different explanations because she doesn't really know which the true one is or there might be an element of both and it's about which one she is stressing at any one minute.

Edma Sun 25-Nov-12 17:50:30

Yes formula predates the mass-marketing campaigns but it has taken it to a universal scale which was not known before.
Not just TV advertising, but also the ante-natal campaigns, the advertising, gifts, conferences for the midwives and HVs, the freebies for new mums, the pseudo-science etc...

CecilyP Sun 25-Nov-12 17:55:07

Yes, but formula feeding was already very popular in the mid-60s. Do hospitals still routinely give women big tablets to help their milk supply dry up? Because they did then.

lovebunny Sun 25-Nov-12 18:36:42

i haven't read the guidelines and would be unlikely to stick to them.

there should be a lot more good advice and significant support for breastfeeding.

You can still get tablets apparently but I've never been offered them.

FlangelinaBallerina Sun 25-Nov-12 18:47:33

Hmm Edma I'm glad to see you're not a bf extremist, but you have yet to convince me that you're qualified to comment on whether most women are able to make an informed choice or not. I simply don't accept that you (or anyone else) could have sufficient information to make that call. You may well have met some women who weren't. That isn't sufficient information to decide that the same is true of most women.

This, unfortunately, is the problem with a lot of pro bf arguments. At their core is the idea that the decision to ff is one that is of less value than to bf, and that if only women were given the right education they'd decide differently. But you see, it wasn't advertising that gave me a lifelong aversion to having my nipples touched. Education is not going to make it easier for women to cope with the horrific sleep deprivation that you can only really understand if you've had several sleepness nights of labour followed by a baby who wants to feed every 45 minutes. You can teach women that it's normal and won't last forever, but you can't protect them from the negative health effects of sleep deprivation. Big Pharma and it's evil tentacles is not responsible for the fact that even toothless gums can shred a nipple. These things are all Mother Nature's fault, the bitch. And education about the undoubted health benefits of bf may well lead women to conclude that they are not especially significant in a Western context for most people (obviously this may be different if eg you have a family history of ear infections or your mum had breast cancer). so be careful what you wish for!

carocaro Sun 25-Nov-12 18:53:18

Why does it bother you so much? Really, why? OP I would really like you to answer the question.

Why are people so obsessed with sticking their noses in to other peoples business and be so judgemental about decisions they have made. Reality check - it has nothing to do with you whatsoever, nothing at all. People can make their own decisions on all sorts of subjects and as long as it does not harm you or anyone else, it is none of your business.

The world would be a better and nicer place if people just got on with themselves instead of being so judgemental.

exoticfruits Sun 25-Nov-12 19:10:51

Exactly carocaro-I can't see why it bothers anyone.

Edma Sun 25-Nov-12 19:40:31

Ballerina I am sorry you have a phobia (I also have one although very different so I can understand) and although BF is not always a walk in the park, you certainly have a horrific vision of it!

As far as value, even formula company advertise that Breast is best, so this, I would have thought, is not debatable!
And regarding education, Scandinavian countries could teach us a thing or two.

I will leave it here as I find it tiresome to have to walk on eggshells just to have to state the obvious:
Breast is best.
The formula company spend hundred of thousands in clever multi-platform marketing campaigns (I work in the marketing industry).

FlangelinaBallerina Sun 25-Nov-12 19:54:08

Edma thanks but I don't have a phobia. I'm not frightened of having my nipples touched, it just goes through me. I find it physically horrible, and I'm not alone in this either. Which is why I hated bf so much, I suppose. As for telling me I have a horrific vision of bf, that won't really do: I've done it myself and the other examples I mentioned were taken from experiences of other women here (if I'd had a DC who woke for a feed that often I think I'd have lost my marbles by now!).

What it comes down to is this. You can't really dismiss the bf experiences of me and other women. They happened to us, so they are valid, and they did not happen to us because of advertising or our lack of education. There is no magic combination of circumstances that will make the circumstances I mentioned less excruciating for the women concerned. Some babies just wake up more than their mothers can cope with, it happens. Some people find it impossible to get rid of thrush, it happens. nothing to be done about it. For women who cannot endure such situations, ff is a godsend. Prior to that, we'd perhaps have been amongst those who sank into postnatal depression, harmed our infants when at the end of our tethers, or who turned to unsuitable alternatives that left our babies ill. This all happened before ff advertising, and it happened because some women find bf an impossible ordeal.

Nobody is saying breast is not best so I wonder why you mention that? The issue here is that you think there is a problem that can be solved with better education and, I assume, advertising reform. I, on the other hand, don't see the current situation as a problem and feel there is insufficient acceptance from some pro bf advocates that many women make well informed choices to ff because they want to.

PropertyNightmare Sun 25-Nov-12 20:00:08

Yanbu. Anyone who knows anything about breastfeeding understands that there are very, very few women unable to bf. I always take the statement 'oh, I tried to bf but I didn't produce enough milk' with a large pinch of salt. You hear it countless times. To me, bf is the fourth trimester. It can be hard work and demanding but is the absolute best start you can give your baby. I completely understand that some women don't want to bf (pregnancy and birth are exhausting) and that is 100% their choice. Be honest about it though. Don't spread negative lies about bf. Lots of people wean their babies on jars of food. You don't hear them saying " I tried cooking fresh food but could not do it". If you are going to make a choice then own it. Just say "I made a decision not to bf as I find bottle feeding easier".

MyGoldenNotebook Sun 25-Nov-12 20:29:39

I know what you mean Ballerina! This whole debate really riles me. I have three degrees, a successful professional career etc ... I am educated and more than capable of researching important issues! I did try to breast feed but after a short time I made an informed choice to FF (for reasons I don't feel the need to justify to anybody at five months down the line - did suffer in the early days from guilt but I'm over that) and I do not need to be patronised.

I think the OPs friend can be forgiven for lying if she feels guilty / pressured. The OP has royally betrayed her trust though.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHopeful Sun 25-Nov-12 20:37:34

I don't think the op is BU. Her friend could very easily just tell people, I tried bf but it didn't work out. Lying to get sympathy would annoy me too.

I do think the nhs, health visitors etc should be more honest about what bf is like in the early days. At our antinatal class we were told the baby would be born and instantly climb up your stomach and latch on. Bf would then be simple. I was livid with them for painting such an unrealistic picture for the class who were all first time mums (as was I).

I then went on to give birth to a baby who crawled up my tummy and latched on straight away.
Problem was getting her off, she fed every 45minutes for an eternity a month.

PropertyNightmare Sun 25-Nov-12 20:45:26

^^ agree entirely. I've extended bf all four of mine but it is hard at the start and no-one warns you. An unrealistic picture is painted by health professionals and this leads to people stopping bf as they feel that they are someone failing as it is not easy as they have been lead to believe that it will be.

A few people have asked why it bothers the OP so much that her friend used a fake excuse.
I suspect that it isn't the individual woman's excuse that is causing the 'bother'. I can understand that someone might choose to say one thing because it helps gain sympathy and avoid judgement. And no-one deserves flack for their feeding choices, regardless of their reasons.

The 'bother' comes more from the cumulative effect of many, many, many people repeating the same reason; "not enough milk". More people repeating that as a reason than proportionately truly suffer from the complaint. And the cumulative effect is that many people are subsequently convinced that "not enough milk" is a huge problem, affecting a majority of mothers, resulting in doomed breastfeeding attempts. This means that doctors, midwives, health visitors, mothers, friends, husbands, mother-in-laws and Uncle Tom Cobley and all are all on hand to unwittingly undermine the confidence of a new, struggling mother by suggesting that she too might have this very common problem.

And so on it goes.

My heart does sink a bit when I hear people quote this as their main reason, although obviously I say nothing and I offer sympathy if it is wanted. I have no way of knowing if they have a medical problem or a problem of technique which was potentially fixable or are in fact covering up their real reasons. And it isn't my business to enquire either. But it is sad that it is thought to be a very common (as in affecting far more than a few percent) and unfixable problem.

FlangelinaBallerina Sun 25-Nov-12 20:53:50

See I knew bf could well be awful, but wanted to have a go anyway. Perhaps slightly optimistic given the nipple thing, but I thought it was worth a try. The reason I stopped wasn't due to an unrealistic idea of what bf would be like. It was because of a realistic idea of what bf was like! But yes, it does no good to lie to women.

I've yet to see anyone explain why exhausted new mums who find bf an imposssible ordeal should take the responsibility for ensuring others aren't put off. That's the job of the pro bf organisations, not women like OPs mate who are frightened of being judged by women like some of the obnoxious militants we've come across this thread. Fortunately, women do have access to sources of information other than their friends.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHopeful Sun 25-Nov-12 21:05:00

flangelina I think people (and new mums) do have a responsibility to be honest about the problems you can face.

I thought I wasn't producing enough milk because dd was feeding for so long. If I had listened to friends telling me, they had had the samd problem and to just top her up. My milk would have dried up.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHopeful Sun 25-Nov-12 21:06:00

Oops didn't proof read that last post

gimmecakeandcandy Sun 25-Nov-12 21:15:45

Totally agree PRopertynivhtmare, which is why I tell those who I help how hard and how relentless it can be.

FlangelinaBallerina Sun 25-Nov-12 21:35:00

Ok WhenSheWasBad, I disagree strongly because new mothers are going through so much already. Putting any more responsibility on them is outright cruelty, as well as being utterly unnecessary in this context given that there are so many sources of information out there already. Because it is too much to expect of new mums, it is the responsibility of people who are not going through as much to get the message out there. And the fact that you didn't listen to your friends rather undermines the argument that people like your friends put women off. Presumably there was some reason why you didn't do this. If you didn't, I have to wonder why you assume lots of other women do.

But as we do know that some ff mums lie because of stigma, the good news is that you can help. You can do everything you can to stop people who insist on broadcasting their negative judgements of women who ff. This is what leads some women to lie.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHopeful Sun 25-Nov-12 21:49:36

Sorry I should have been clearer.

If I had listened to friends telling me, they had had the same problem and to just top her up. My milk would have dried up.

I didn't have any friends telling me to give the bottle. That was just an imagined scenario. I was lucky and had tonnes of support (and a baby that fed well). Sorry that wasn't clear.

I'm not saying she should have stood up and said "I stopped bf cause I couldn't be arsed" a simple "we tried and it didn't work out" would be fine. People really aren't that nosey in RL.

Also new mothers don't stay new mothers for long. The ops friend has a 6 month old, I am assuming there is no pnd.

EasilyBored Sun 25-Nov-12 22:02:57

I spent ages trying to decide whether to continue BFing (DS was thriving, I was not), and talked to so many people about it. I got advice from here, from LLL advisors, from friends and family. None of it seemed to deal with the fact that I really hated it even though there was nothing practical wrong. In the end I think it was my mum who said that all I really needed was to feel like I had permission from someone to say actually, I HATE this, it is making me miserable and making me resent my baby, I don't want to do it anymore. When people asked afterwards, I explained for ages all the myraid little ways it was difficult for me, now I just say that it didn't work out for us. Because 11 months down the line I can see that, for us, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter. At the time I felt like shit about it, like I was a horrible selfish mother who was putting her needs above her baby. Many tears were shed. I look back now and all I remember is that I did love the first few weeks of snuggly feeds, and also the sheer relief of finally deciding to give up. I felt like a huge weigh had been lifted and I was so much happier and more engaged as a mum afterwards.

BUT, none of that is anyone elses business. Where I live, it is just assumed that you will BF at least for the first couple of months, and I did get a few 'oh, you're not BFing anymore hmm ' comments, but most people were either supportive or just not really invested in how I fed my baby, except for a couple of notable exceptions. I know now that I don't need to justify my choice, and now I recognise that anyone who would think less of me for making that particular choice, is not a friend I want.

FlangelinaBallerina Mon 26-Nov-12 08:53:48

Thanks for the clarification WhenSheWasBad. Unfortunately, it's incorrect to say that nobody's that nosy in real life. People have posted examples of such nosiness in this thread- so we know that there are certainly people out there that are. It happens. As for new mothers not being new mothers for long, that's irrelevant: during the time when they are new mothers, you want to put an extra responsibility on them. Not only is that cruel, it's also daft, because new mothers are not exactly renowned for their ability to accomplish things beyond sorting the baby out and sometimes themselves.

cory Mon 26-Nov-12 09:40:28

PropertyNightmare Sun 25-Nov-12 20:00:08

"Anyone who knows anything about breastfeeding understands that there are very, very few women unable to bf. I always take the statement 'oh, I tried to bf but I didn't produce enough milk' with a large pinch of salt. You hear it countless times. To me, bf is the fourth trimester. "

Ah, so you'd take it with a big pinch of salt then if somebody told you their baby had been born prem? hmm

I still don't get the logic of this: "It has been shown that problems occur very rarely, therefore we should not believe anyone who says they did have problems."

Where else in life do we apply this kind of logic?

A. -My baby was born at 26 weeks of gestation.

B.- No, no, I'd take that with a big pinch of salt, because statistics show that most babies are born between 36 and 42 weeks of gestation. I think you're making excuses.

A. -My aunt died from Reyes syndrome.

B. - This has got to be a myth, because over 99% of the population do not develop Reyes syndrome.

A. -My 3yo can't walk.

B. - Don't try to make us sorry for you: the vast majority of babies learn to walk before they are 2 if you just keep trying hard enough.

The problem with the bf promoters on this thread is that they are talking about two different questions without seeming to realise it:

a) should we assume that the vast majority of any given population of women would be able to breastfeed if given adequate support (yes, we bloody well should!)

b) should we assume that any one individual has got to be lying if she claims to be unable to breastfeed (no, that's a different issue).

In the same way, playschools, schools, towns are laid out on the assumption that the vast majority of 3yo's will have learnt to walk. And very right and proper too. But I think we could all agree that it would be cruel and counterproductive to assume that any one mother whose child doesn't fit in, is lying (and rather ignorant to assume that doctors would always be able to diagnose the reason straight away).

cory Mon 26-Nov-12 09:48:06

In my case, it would have helped enormously if someone had said at an early stage:

"look here, I don't want to upset you, but has it occurred to you that some babies do actually have SN; if your dd is one of them you won't change things by insisting that she has to be able to do the same thing as other children; you may just have to go with what works for her"

You see, I had got muddled between "you should be able to expect this of the majority of children/mothers" and "you should be able to expect this from yourself and your own child". And I was even taught logic at school, so really had no excuse.

PropertyNightmare Mon 26-Nov-12 10:09:24

Cory, a prem baby born at 26 weeks is obviously that is not a usual situation therefore taking feeding issues outside the norm re ability of mother and baby to bf successfully with perseverance.

As I said, there is no shame in not bf. People need to be honest about their reasons for not doing so though. 'I didn't want to' or 'I wanted my husband to share the load' are both fair decisions. Saying 'it was impossible due to lack of milk and a starving baby' is unfair when it is not the truth. Every damaging lie told about bf makes it that little bit harder for women to bf successfully.

cory Mon 26-Nov-12 11:03:16

Ok, never mind about the prem baby: an aunt dying from Reyes syndrome or a toddler unable to walk at 3 is an unusual situation- so does that make it a lie? What you seem to be saying is, anything we know about is the truth, anything that is rare and little understood has got to be a myth.

What I am trying to drum home again and again is that many parents go through parenthood blaming themselves for what later turns to be undiagnosed SN/medical complications.

Believe me, I've been there. Being told again and again not to make excuses for all the things I failed to do with dd and having no idea what was wrong, why she was failing to thrive, why she wasn't walking.

Diagnosis for us came after 8 years; before that I was routinely dismissed as a parent with no perseverance. A liar. Would you have liked to live through those 8 years surrounded by people who thought your muddled explanations were wrong because they were making it harder for other women to parent their children?

How could I possibly be honest about anything when I didn't know what I was supposed to be honest about? What form should that honesty have taken? What could I have said except "dd is starving, she is losing weight, I have lots of support and am following all the advice and feeding round the clock and she is still losing weight"?

cory Mon 26-Nov-12 11:07:29

And in case you think I am unusual, can I just point out that a survey made of people with dd's condition revealed that over half the sufferers surveyed had waited over 10 years between first seeking medical opinion and finally receiving a diagnosis. So expecting their mums to know what was going wrong during the first months of their lives might be asking rather a lot...

PropertyNightmare Mon 26-Nov-12 11:48:47

Cory, I don't know the back story to your situation but I can appreciate that it must have been very upsetting and stressful not knowing what was wrong with your child. I'm sorry that you had to go through that. If you were one of the people unable to produce enough milk or for some other reason your dc could not thrive on breastmilk then I understand that it must have been very distressing fir you and dc.

The point people on this thread are making is that it is wrong to lie about reasons for stopping bf. Most of the people I know who stop bf give lack of milk/starving baby as their reason. Statistically they can't all be telling the truth, though obviously the odd person is. It would be better for the minority telling the truth if people like OP's friend did not lie. If I had only heard a few people mention failure to produce milk then that would fit with the stats. It would also be better for breastfeeding generally if people admitted to stopping bf being due to a 'choice' rather than as the result of medical impossibly to bf.

The latest friend who gave up bf due to 'failure to produce milk ' did so at 24hrs post vaginal birth. The midwife explained that her milk had not yet come in but my friend was convinced her baby was starving (her husband was quite vocal in agreeing it was cruel to deprive the baby of milk) and so she turned to bottles. Absolutely fine and her decision. No one would have milk at that point though and I find it sad that my friend (and her dh) thought her body had failed her when it hadn't. All the shouting about 'lack of milk' can subconsciously sabotage women and men's belief in bf being a good choice.

cory Mon 26-Nov-12 12:05:00

"Statistically they can't all be telling the truth, though obviously the odd person is."

But the problem is, you can't know which one. So assuming that any one woman has to be lying can do a lot of damage to an innocent person. Your friend probably was lying, I wasn't. So judging me by her would not have been right.

And I feel a bit hurt at the suggestion that any mention of our problem constitutes shouting and that I shouldn't really talk about my difficulties because it would be wrong and upsetting for the "normal ones".

chipmonkey Mon 26-Nov-12 12:10:47

When SIL was pregnant with her first dd, she was very vocal about NOT breastfeeding. She wasn't going to do it, she said herself that she was "too selfish" wanted to be able to go out and leave the baby with MIL, have her dh share the feeds etc etc etc. So she ff her dd.
When she was pregnant with her ds, I remember having a similar conversation with her where she said MIL was pressurising her to bf and she told MIL that if she hadn't bf the first, she was hardly going to bf the second.
All four of her children were ff.

Then a few years later we were standing around talking to neighbours and she told them all that she "tried to bf dd but failed miserably"
It DID annoy me because I knew it was a lie. I didn't actually care that she'd ff but I didn't like the lying, particularly because I was the only one of the neighbours there that had bf, and she knew I knew her reasons for ff and wasn't bothered, so I wasn't sure why she was bothering to lie about it.

PropertyNightmare Mon 26-Nov-12 12:25:55

Cory, I did not mean to hurt you and I am sorry if I have. I simply wish that people would be more honest about reasons for stopping bf. As someone telling the truth I can see that you have strong feelings about this. People like mine and OP's friends are doing a disservice to both bf and mothers like you.

cory Mon 26-Nov-12 12:55:55

"People like mine and OP's friends are doing a disservice to both bf and mothers like you."

Afraid you can count me out over this one. Over the 8 years before dd's diagnosis and the 8 years that have passed since, I do not recollect any harm coming to either of us through anybody else's muddled account of their own parenting difficulties. I've never had the slightest difficulty in listening sympathetically and accepting that people have different experiences and what happened to you is no guide to what will happen to me.

Otoh enormous harm has been done by suspicious people who have persisted in believing that if our experiences did not tally exactly with what they knew about, then we had to be lying. That was the attitude that nearly drove me into PND when I was trying to keep dd fed and things weren't working out. That was the attitude that later drove dd to school refuse, to self-harm and eventually to attempt suicide- because she knew people would think her a liar if her explanations of what was happening to her body didn't make sense to them.

chipmonkey Mon 26-Nov-12 13:19:41

Cory, I agree.
Much as it annoyed me when SIL lied about why she didn't bf, I don't believe she did anyone a disservice but herself.

I also think that there has to be a sliding scale of ability to produce milk.
I don't think it's as simple as saying 2% of women can't produce enough milk. Even from one baby to another, I'm fairly certain I produced varying amounts of milk and the baby him/herself will definitely influence things.
I have bfed five children. Ds2 and ds4 gained more weight in their first six weeks than any of the others. Same mother, same breasts, different babies.

nickelbabeuntiladvent Mon 26-Nov-12 13:47:19

Property - i think that the very phrase "milk not come in yet" might be one reason behind the problem.
women are usually told what it means, but if their DP doesn't understand what it means then they're probably convinced that means the baby if not getting any milk at all!
maybe the phrase needs to changed - call colostrum "post birth milk" and normal milk as "regular milk" (or similar)
then it can be explained better to DPs ("she's still got her post birth milk" sounds better)
(and sometimes to the women too - it can be a tricky idea to fathom)

nickelbabeuntiladvent Mon 26-Nov-12 13:48:40

cory - you're right - i agree with you completely - if you had been told that it would be an idea to think about SNs then you wouldn't have felt so guilty about FFing.

FlangelinaBallerina Mon 26-Nov-12 13:57:38

PropertyNightmare forgive me for nitpicking, but it's not statistically impossible for all the women you know to have lacked milk. We've seen lots of percentages mentioned on this thread, and the valid point made that it may be a sliding scale. Let's conservatively assume 1%. There are usually about 700,000-750,000 babies born in the UK each year. I don't know how many are multiples. So let's say about 650,000 women each year in the UK give birth. 1% of them is 6500. I doubt you know more than 6500 women. The number you know will be comfortably inside the 1%. So statistically it isn't impossible that everyone you knew who said they didn't have enough milk was telling the truth. Very unlikely, but possible.

And the more I read people saying ff mums bear the responsibility for informing new mums, the more I think how silly it is. There are organisations out there entirely devoted to bf, and some of you want knackered women who are frightened of being judged and usually don't have expert knowledge to be responsible instead? That's ludicrous! Of course it isn't going to work. The responsibility for spreading the correct information belongs entirely with those of you who think there's a problem. You could start by sticking the boot into people who criticise ffers, as that's the reason why some people lie.

fedupofnamechanging Mon 26-Nov-12 14:04:00

I would think that plenty of women produce some milk, but not enough to satisfy their baby and that they feel they are doing the right thing by ff, rather than have their baby be hungry whilst they attempt to increase their milk supply.

Other women will think it is worth holding out until the supply increases.

It's a value judgement.

elkiedee Mon 26-Nov-12 14:41:03

YABU to judge your friend in this way, and to express it how you did in thread heading. Not everything you say is unreasonable though.

Do you wish she had continued to breastfeed? I don't think wishing more women would breastfeed, and would continue to do so longer is unreasonable, but I think the phrasing of your opening post is a bit harsh - it would have really upset me when I was miserably and guiltily bottle feeding DS1.

I think most people can breastfeed with the right support when they had problems, but I think an awful lot of people don't get the right support when they have problems - it takes a lot of luck and effort to find the right advice.

I had a lot of problems and was pushed into giving formula with DS1 when he was a week old, and I felt terrible about it - I certainly wasn't lying. With DS2, I had a rocky beginning but worked incredibly hard to overcome the problems, and made sure formula top ups which I was pushed into giving by the hospital were only top ups, and phased them out. However, it was really really hard and I really wouldn't argue that everyone else should do what I did, I just couldn't bear to fail the second time. It was an obsession with me, and I'm sure there are records in various NHS places about how difficult and stubborn I was.

I feel sad when people choose not to breastfeed. I feel sad when people give up too soon. But maybe your friend isn't lying, and if she is, the reasons why she feels she has to are coming from other people (possibly including you).

bubalou Mon 26-Nov-12 14:55:06

I haven't read all the replies.

I really, really wanted to breast feed - I did for a week but poor DS lost so much weight from not eating.

He had a tongue-tie and couldn't latch properly.

He went onto bottles fine & I managed to carry on expressing for another 4 weeks to try & give him what he needed.

Echocave Mon 26-Nov-12 15:03:51

In a perfect World, everyone would be able to bf because they would have all the support they needed, individually tailored for their character and their baby. But it isn't like that. Low supply can be a problem not biologically but because of the way the feeding is going.
And the feeding can go badly due to expectations and characters of the baby and mother plus social reasons.

Dd lost too much weight in hospital and topping up with formula led me into a cycle of bf, expressing and topping up with formula. So determined was I too cut out the ff that I put myself and dd through hell and was never able to give up ff in the end. Dd just got too impatient to bf and kicked up a stink until the bottle arrived despite my best efforts and loads of support.I mixed fed til 6 months and
expressed til 9 and felt shit about it. I felt rejected by dd and still do a bit but I still don't think anyone's responsible for perpetuating myths.

Sometimes, for various reasons, it's not a myth.

And OP get off your high horse

As I said, there is no shame in not bf. People need to be honest about their reasons for not doing so though. 'I didn't want to' or 'I wanted my husband to share the load' are both fair decisions. Saying 'it was impossible due to lack of milk and a starving baby' is unfair when it is not the truth. Every damaging lie told about bf makes it that little bit harder for women to bf successfully.

This and the title of this thread assume the two are mutually incompatible. That not wanting to feed and not being able to feed can't happen at once and therefore if someone doesn't feed and says they don't want to then that can be the only reason.

I was told by lactaction specialists (who presumedly know more than most on this thread) that both my stress and lack of sleep was making it worse and reducing my milk supply. One of the things they had me try was having my husband take the baby for a while so that I could sleep and relax. If this is true and you are trying to breastfeed when you really don't want to then it would be no great surprise that it is less likely to work.

As for being honest. Many are criticised for not wanting to breastfeed. I did want to but I had two friends with little ones who got criticism repeatedly (in the name of breastfeeding support) because they didn't want breastfeed. I could see lying so people would just shut up if I was them.

Saying 'it was impossible due to lack of milk and a starving baby' is unfair when it is not the truth.

And doubting whether someone is lying is damaging to those who aren't. You don't even need to say it, often your body language gives it away. To those of us who are going through it they don't need a single shred more stress.

hiviolet Mon 26-Nov-12 15:41:54

I don't quite understand why people are fixating on perceived lack of milk as bring the only reason why women give up breastfeeding.

My nipples are so flat I may as well have tried latching DD into the back of my hand, for all the success she was having with the nipple. Poor little soul wasn't even aware there was a nipple in her mouth.

I got no help from the midwives, other than trying to shove her on, and let's face it, anyone can do that. My nipples were too flat for the dreaded nipple shields as well.

Fast forward five days and DD was dehydrated, jittering with low blood sugar and her weight was dropping like a stone. She was getting NOTHING. I moved immediately into formula.

Anyone who thinks I am overstating the problem in order to assuage my own guilt (I have none) or to garner sympathy is sorely fucking mistaken.

gimmecakeandcandy Mon 26-Nov-12 19:05:28

Karma but in most cases there IS enough milk to satisfy a baby, it is just bloody hard work and relentless getting milk supply established!

I breast fed ds1 and ds2 for a combined total of 3 and a half years. I breast fed ds3 for 4 weeks. Why? Didn't produce enough milk.

fedupofnamechanging Mon 26-Nov-12 21:05:21

gimme, my supply was established - I didn't give up in the first week or so, before supply could get going and for my previous 3 babies I'd had more milk than I knew what to do with! But for some reason with baby number 4 it dipped. I have no idea why - I just know that there wasn't enough for her.

karma - snap. Was overflowing with ds1 and ds2 for the whole 3 and half years I was feeding them (especially at the beginning in both cases - had far too much). Dried up completely with ds3. I couldn't sit in bed all day establishing supply as I had a severely autistic 5 year old who needed looking after :shrugs:

Tailtwister Mon 26-Nov-12 21:14:50

There comes a point where tough decisions need to be made. If a baby is dehydrating and losing weight, the something has to be done. Whether that is topping up with expressed milk if available or formula, there is no alternative. In a good number of cases it's the only option. Of course, this affects nursing frequency at a crucial point where supply is getting established and a downward spiral of supply follows.

I have a huge respect for women who face these difficult choices. You can only make decisions on the information and situation the time. To carry a burden of guilt for simply doing the best you could is surely heartbreaking.

sunshine401 Mon 26-Nov-12 21:34:14

I ff all mine. Not because I had to because I wanted to and to get out of the night feeds grin
Anyone who asks me in RL (which was very rare when they were babies and never comes up now they are not babies anymore) I tell the truth. Simply.

LivingThings Mon 26-Nov-12 22:01:17

DS would not latch at all (went to lactation specialists the works) no tongue tie just could not get it. I was bursting with milk and bulied bymidwives whilst looking after a baby screaming withhunger who they refused to give formula to. A lovely health worker got me a breast pump on day 4 and we never looked back. Looking back I should have told then to F off -they were cruel and starving a newborn baby for their statistics.

DD was a natural and I could of fed her for ages had I wanted to but frankly I didn't so after 4 weeks she went on to formula too. Thnakfully most people I know are normal and don't need to question people personal choices.

chipmonkey Mon 26-Nov-12 22:04:03

jimjams says she didn't produce enough milk and I believe her cos she is so

I am. As my midwife said to me at the time 'hm well you could try spending a few days in bed feeding but I'm not quite sure how realistic that is given your life' (while watching ds1 climb the curtains and onto my shoulders). I just wasn't producing anywhere near enough.

I'd fed the other two so easily it was a bit of a shock to find it so hard with my third.