My sister sent me a link to a Bbc news article re:bf rates in the uk. (she also said how special I am to have ebf for 6 months let alone feeding at all at just over a year) Anywhoo, does anyone know what % of women still feed at 1yr? No agenda, just curious. Thanks
Are poor bf rates really down to "bloody marketing bastards, poorly trained health care professionals (some are great though _ don't get me wrong!) and general lack of support networkconflicting advice"?
I must live in some sort of vacume then, I hear this all the time on mumsnet and read about poor rates in the news but my bf experience was so very different and not at all affected by the above.
I got given info about bf from my midwives, I chose to bf and I did.
I went to nhs bf class when pregnant which gave me some idea of what to do, looking back with hindsight it wasnt very helpful but it did give me some basic understandings of which I had none to begin with.
It took a lot of time to work out what to do in the early days but I didnt need to consult anyone about it fortunately.
Early problems and anxiety I did have were sorted out in part because I was stuck at home with terrible back pain after labour and couldnt do much except for stay in bed and feed DS.
I never even considered using formula until he was 6 months as that is what the guidelines were and I chose to follow them.
I really think blaming "bloody marketing bastards, poorly trained health care professionals (some are great though _ don't get me wrong!) and general lack of support networkconflicting advice" is a bit patroninsing to mothers who make a concious choice to ff.
(This does not apply to those who have had difficulties bf and who really struggled to make it work and didnt get support they needed. Of course these mothers exist as well, but I am just saying that there are plenty of others who make a deliberate and informed choice to ff)
I think DD2 probably qualifies as 0.000000000001% of DC were still BF.
I'm happy to accept she was something of an exception, but 2,3 and up to 5 are perfectly achievable.
I don't know why people feel they have to give up at a year, the mum's I know best didn't they carried on in to toddlerdom, some self weaned, some stopped because mum got PG, some were encouraged to stop because mum wanted her bed back.
It seems so sad that mothers feel they have to stop.
Carrying on is easy, perhaps dear DD2 too easy, DCs will settle to night and morning or even just evening, they can miss a few days and start again. Feeding a baby to sleep is beautiful, but feeding to sleep an older child who understands it's special too is the greatest honour of all.
There are no guidelines which differentiate between breastmilk and formula at 6 months or any other age - the recommendation is exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months and then breastfeeding alongside solids for however long you want, the only guideline about formula is to keep using it until 12 months rather than cow's milk (and not to use follow on until 6 months).
"One reasons I initally wanted to stop was to ttc (have not got my period back) but now I am having doubts about having any more DC as I dread bf them but I know I couldnt live with the guilt of formula feeding them.
Feeling very selfish and a failure of a mother tbh "
Kelvinator, this was one of my worries wrt another child. I was not looking forward to the soreness and was worried that it would be too much for me to manage while looking after my existing child. However, I have actually found BF much easier this time. I did still have the sore bit but it lasted for a shorter length of time and I didn't have all the stress and worry that was created for me the first time by all the information I had been given that said BF does not hurt if you are doing it properly. I had more confidence that I was doing it correctly, the soreness wasn't as bad and I knew that the soreness wouldn't last. First time round I honestly would have switched to formula if my husband had suggested it (but fortunately I had drummed so much into him about how good BF is while I was pregnant that he didn't) but this time round I haven't ever considered it.
I am also baffled as to why people stop after the first few months. I found the initial bit the hardest and can totally empathise with why people stop earlier on but to go through all that and then just decide to stop once you are in the easy bit seems puzzling to me. I'm sure people do have good reasons - I just can't think what they could be and feel like to ask would seem like a criticism.
Also, I have read the infant feeding survey in detail and the definition of exclusive breastfeeding is nothing except breastmilk and medicines. This means that if you have given your baby sips of water before six months (which my HV with DD1 advised) then you don't count as EBF at six months. I think a lot of people who would consider themselves to be exclusively breastfeeding would not count as such for the survey. (e.g. I wouldn't with DD1 because she had 7oz of formula over day 3/4 when I was very sore and had water albeit probably negligible from a sippy cup from about four months)
Only one of mine would have counted as EBF at 6 months.
DS was weaned before 6 months because our HVs were a bit pants and I didn't frequent MN then.
DD1 did BLW and had helped herself to a couple of bites of things around 5.5 months.
DD2 also did BLW but had no interest at all in food until nearly 7 months.
All three of them were bf past a year, though, and neither of the DDs has ever had any formula.
Kelvinator, but those who make a decision in advance to ff and never even try bf are a small minority -- I think it's 19% in the latest survey, although I may be misremembering. Most mothers do want to do it and do try, but somewhere along the line it goes wrong. Very very very often IME they are led to doubt that they are producing enough/good enough quality milk and are advised to top up rather than being helped to boost supply.
I think the rates are so shockingly low because there is too much air time given to profit hungry companies. There is also a huge lack of education among medical professionals, so women are often put off. We live in a society where bottle feeding is the norm, and that in itself creates a cycle: more mums bottle feeding, pregnant mums haven't seen many mums breastfeeding, they don't know much about it and have no one to ask, so they bottle feed, next pregnant mum sees them bottle feeding...
DS weaned himself a few months ago, just before turning three.