Interesting article about offensive labels such as 'breastfeeding Nazis' and 'Breastapo'

(44 Posts)

link here

The author is a breastfeeding counsellor and makes the point that these nasty terms " are distracting from the primary goal we should all have: raising healthy, happy babies".

It's nice to see an article like this carried in. a national newspaper.

MorphandChas Thu 07-Mar-13 10:15:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 07-Mar-13 11:19:49

So well written and so right. I've never had any BFC tell me what to do or make me feel guilty. However, when I've needed one, they've been there, on the end of a phone and only too willing to help me come to a solution that suits both me and my children.

Loislane78 Thu 07-Mar-13 12:32:04

Agree ^^

To improperly call someone a 'Nazi' or make references to the Gestapo is tasteless as best, abusive and has been libellous in some circumstances. However parents choose to feed is their business imo but I take offence at BFs and especially volunteers being called such derogatory names, which some might think is the ultimate insult.

HumphreyCobbler Thu 07-Mar-13 12:36:47

I was thinking about this the other day and wondering, given the fact that many of us have experienced formula being 'pushed' as the only viable route, there are no equivalent terms for those who promote formula.

I still can't help thinking it would be better to just have 'feeding' counsellors. Women who know about both breast and bottle feeding would be able to more rounded advice in my opinion.

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 07-Mar-13 12:46:18

Well I don't agree that there should be similar term for ff promoters, they are definitely out there and my Aunty is one of the best. She says she doesn't understand bfing at all and openly criticises bfing all the time. In fact virtually all of my family are or were ff and their response to any issue with a baby is to give them a bottle.

My Aunty just can't see the link with ff and early weaning and the chronic health of her DC though....

HumphreyCobbler Thu 07-Mar-13 12:49:23

Of course I don't think there SHOULD be a term for formula 'pushers'. I just think it is interesting that there isn't one. Society seems to be demonising breastfeeding promoters when formula manufacturers seem to actually wield all the power. Look at the differing rates of breastfeeding and formula feeding.

SirBoobAlot Thu 07-Mar-13 12:52:38

It's an interesting article, although I must disagree with you MorphandChas on your suggestion that breastfeeding supporters have had an easy time. A good percentage of my peer support friends had a difficult time breastfeeding that would have been much easier if they had had good support - which is why they go and do the training themselves.

All of us are volunteers, we do it because we love it, and because we care about the individuals. I've helped women start breastfeeding, and stop breastfeeding. That's my job.

The ironic thing is that the judgement we talk about is actually founded in hardcore advertising by formula companies. They are bastards very clever, and have managed to turn their product into not only a billion $ business, but something which divides women. They started the 'breast is best' slogan, and have used it to make formula feeders feel bad, and turn their anger against breastfeeders. It shouldn't be that way.

MorphandChas Thu 07-Mar-13 16:16:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

paperclips Thu 07-Mar-13 16:57:47

I was thinking about this the other day because a friend put a link to a pro-formula Daily Mail (surprise surprise) article, one of the ones this article links to. She commented that she'd not got any support with her DS's tongue tie, the hospital told her she'd have to wait 9 days to get it sorted and she felt the midwives were pressuring her and being horrible. So she formula fed. But it seems to me she was totally let down. I would have felt dreadful if I hadn't been able to breastfeed.

Totally agree with Sirboobalot that the guilt is turned against breastfeeders, and its sad. Humphrey also hits the nail on the head, that formula companies wield all the power.

Sometimes I could sing from the rooftops about how marvellous breastfeeding is. But I daren't because someone might get offended or I might sound smug. I look at my 5 month old who is so healthy and happy and has only ever had milk my body made, and I just think its amazing.

The low breastfeeding rates in this country are very sad. The thing is, pregnant women probably look on forums where people who are struggling with Breastfeeding are asking for help, and it looks like that's representative of ALL breastfeeders. I expect some women are put off even trying. But not everyone struggles, and the voices of the mothers who have found breastfeeding a great success, they never get heard.

mumtoboys Thu 07-Mar-13 17:07:46

Most breastfeeding literature also says that breastfeeding should be painless or you're not doing it properly. My experience, after breastfeeding three kids is that it always takes a few weeks for it to settle down and my nipples are really really sore for the first bit. :-)

tiktok Thu 07-Mar-13 17:25:55

I was glad to see the article.

It is quite wrong to assume that bf supporters have had an easy time of bf. Many have had a truly awful time, and are inspired by it to make sure they can do what they can to prevent other women struggling.

In training, breastfeeding counsellors specifically learn about women's feelings about feeding their babies, and they know very well that some women may have a very difficult time with their emotions.

It is very unfair to make these incorrect assumptions - I'd like you to take them back, MorphandChas and accept you have based your generalisations on a very limited experience.

I fail to laugh at your joke about bottle feeding being seen as akin to irn bru and pies sad There are very sound reasons for not going into much detail about formula in the breastfeeding class; sound reasons for not doing group teaching about making up formula; sound reasons for preparing women who want to breastfeed by using the very limited time to talk about breastfeeding.

tiktok Thu 07-Mar-13 17:28:14

mumtoboys - soreness and pain on breastfeeding is common, but by no means experienced by everyone. Last time I checked the stats, something like a third of women experienced this. There is almost always something that can be done to relieve the pain and amend the cause, so I as a breastfeeding counsellor would be doing a very poor job if I told women that it was 'always' painful sad

HumphreyCobbler Thu 07-Mar-13 17:30:00

MorphandChas*I have to disagree that formula companies can push us into bottle feeding*

Honestly, why on earth would formula companies spend multi millions on advertising if it didn't work? We do not exist in a vaccuum.

And your poor SIL - breastfeeding counsellors are not mind readers. They can only go on what people say they want to do. I also know someone who was in your SIL's situation, her HV told her to formula feed and she did. Now she feels she was let down by people not supporting her in breastfeeding. These situations are so difficult.

I think paperclips makes a good point about new mums only seeing threads seeking support with breastfeeding. I think that there's a real imbalance, partly because women who've been successful at breastfeeding are afraid to say so for fear of being labelled smug.

I was lucky - I found nursing my first child incredibly easy. No trouble at all. Which is just as well because the second time around it was awful - faulty latch, tongue-tie, lip-tie, CMPI...

I don't like to give advice about formula feeding because I've never done it. But I have no problem referring a mum who's considering it to one of my fellow peer supporters who mix-feeds. It's up to the individual - if a woman has asked for my help and advice but still feels she wants to try formula then who am I to tell her she can't?

LadyIsabellaWrotham Belgium Thu 07-Mar-13 18:44:20

It's amazing isn't it. BF counsellors never killed anyone. The formula companies have been responsible for the deaths of heaven knows how many babies, each as precious as our own. And which side gets compared to the Nazis?

MorphandChas Thu 07-Mar-13 19:22:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SirBoobAlot Thu 07-Mar-13 19:31:02

Well put LadyIsabella.

Morph and that's sad she had such a rough time. But if she is attending a group saying she wants to continue breastfeeding, then you can't expect people to be mind readers and tell her to do something different. You're seeing it, understandably, from an emotively fulled POV. But professionally, the reality is rather different.

Kazooblue Thu 07-Mar-13 19:44:49

Hmm methinks when the hurling accusations of people having ishoooos and chips every time they object to scaremongering and stat twisting stops then maybe so will the use of these terms.

Too many pro breast feeders try to push their choice onto others
(verbally)and resort to the above when mothers make it clear they have made an informed choice and couldn't give a stuff.

MorphandChas Thu 07-Mar-13 19:46:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I've never met anyone (professionally or personally) who tried to push their choice onto me or anyone else Kazoo. They would get very short shrift if they did! In my experience that kind of behaviour is mostly limited to online areas.

But it's a vicious circle - women are told about the 'breastfeeding Nazis' and are afraid to seek help, so when they finally do it may be too late. Next time they have a child they're less likely to consider breastfeeding and may well be bitter about the whole experience. When if the namecalling idiots kept their mouths shut perhaps more women would seek help earlier when they can actually be helped.

HumphreyCobbler Thu 07-Mar-13 19:53:07

You make it sound like they were deliberately mean to her. Everyone knows formula is an option, surely? If your SIL needed someone to tell her to use formula why didn't you do it? Her husband? All of you were there too. Those women wanted to help your SIL do what SHE wanted to do, they tried their best. It is a shame to blame them imvho.

HumphreyCobbler Thu 07-Mar-13 19:56:45

I truly believe that we ourselves pile on the guilt about breastfeeding 'failure'. It does not come from outside, we do it to ourselves and then transfer. I nearly went down that route when I did not manage to breastfeed my ds. I came on here and read lots of pro bfeeding threads and started to feel genuinely persecuted. I then took stock and realised that it was ME making me feel like shit, not people who kindly try to help, not those who quote research about the benefits of breastmilk, not those who pointed out the nasty practices of formula companies. It was me.

Kazooblue Thu 07-Mar-13 20:06:42

Rubbish Humphrey,many,many women really don't think it's a big issue in the scheme of things.It's so patronisingly wrong to tell women how you think they feel.Those are your feelings and basically you're trying to pile guilt onto others because you felt it and don't like the fact that many others simply don't feel the same.

There is absolutely nothing to feel guilty about,it is a tiny parenting issue and one most forget about once their dc start chowing down solid food.

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