Contrary to popular opinion, most women can and do make enough milk for their babies

(36 Posts)
moondog Wed 20-Mar-13 17:57:35
AThingInYourLife Wed 20-Mar-13 20:17:43

Nobody thinks women should "beat themselves up" if breastfeeding doesn't work out.

Why would they?

It just seems a shame that so many women think they didn't produce enough milk when in many cases there was no actual problem, just a perceived one.

You can't measure breastfeeding and that freaks people out and makes them think it's not happening.

So much comes down to confidence, and it's hard to feel confident 3 days after some crazy lunatic gave you a baby to look after and it cries all the time, you haven't slept for days, your breasts are like rocks, you keep crying, and it's hard to remember to eat.

lyndie Wed 20-Mar-13 20:29:30

I do hear a lot of mums say 'I didn't have enough milk.'

I wonder if what they meant was 'I was exhausted and ill and sore and didn't have enough support and the baby was crying all the time and I just couldn't do it'.

But very few actually say that. 'I didn't have enough milk' sounds more acceptable.

AmberLeaf Wed 20-Mar-13 20:32:36

Nobody thinks women should "beat themselves up" if breastfeeding doesn't work out

Really? I disagree with that.

I agree that the facts in the linked article could be helpful to women, what isn't helpful is the tone in the title of this thread, which implies 'see, you can no longer use that excuse'

With the only one of mine who I didn't BF, the problem wasn't me, it was him, plus a whole range of factors - I think tongue tie (now with the benefit of hindsight), plus he was very jaundiced and had to go under lights, and they were almost putting a drip in to hydrate (sp?) him and it was 21 years ago and BF wasn't encouraged or supported - I was the only mother on the ward BF or even attempting to BF (had BF DS1 very successfully) and the babies were taken away at 8pm to the nursery and brought back at 8am and they didn't waken you.

So it can be a whole mix of things.

ProphetOfDoom Wed 20-Mar-13 20:34:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sunshine401 Wed 20-Mar-13 20:46:28

Not another thread on this again sad
You breast fed. Why? Because you wanted to.
I did not. Why? Because I did not want to.
Some women do try and are unable to (for whatever reason) they feel down about it but then it is not the end of the world. It definitely has nothing to do with anyone else.

Chocaholics Wed 20-Mar-13 20:47:56

I started out ebf both my children. With DD she would only feed for minutes at a time and go to sleep and I tried everything to keep her awake. With DS he was 5 weeks early and very sleepy, had to feed him on a schedule as he didnt demand feed and trying to make him feed was a nightmare. In both cases both babies lost weight and continued to lose it. I had loads of support from family and excellent midwives but after nearly 2 weeks of them not putting on any weight and in DSs case no dirty nappies for several days I started to do formula top ups. I was very upset to do so but they did start slowly putting weight on.

Not sure if this comes under baby failing to bf or me failing but initially I felt awful about it, felt like everyone was judging me but have since realised that no one I have met cares how I feed my children just that they are healthy and happy and they are. I would truely love to have been able to ebf but didn't happen.

NippyDrips Wed 20-Mar-13 21:01:31

I have formula fed 2 dc and bf dc3. I don't feel guilty about dc1 or dc2, they were fed. I bf dc 3 because I wanted to save money, time & effort.

I don't care how anyone else feeds their baby either, so long as they do feed it.

As a newly nursing mother I would have found it useful to know that only approx 1% actually don't make enough milk. If I were having genuine doubts about my supply it would have been reassuring.
That is the only reason I think we need to publisize this fact more. To reassure mothers that their body can and probably is doing the right thing. Not to take away anyone's justification, I don't need anyone to justify to me why they didn't breastfeed, its none of my (or anyone else's) business.

BettyStogs Thu 21-Mar-13 00:09:22

I don't care how anyone chooses to feed their baby, I do care that many mothers who want to bf aren't able to do so because of lack of support or being given incorrect information.

It's no good for hcps to tell mothers-to-be that they should bf for this reason or that reason if little or no support is offered following birth. If all mothers who wanted to bf were able to do so for as long as they wanted, and ff mothers were supported in their choice, well, you can't ask for more than that. So I think articles like the one above can only help.

When the support is not there mothers may 'fail' to bf, or those choosing to ff may feel guilty or that they are being judged. Cue the bf/ff bunfights, when really we're all just muddling along doing the best we can for our own children and in our own circumstances.

Schnarkle Thu 21-Mar-13 00:25:32

I wonder if what they meant was 'I was exhausted and ill and sore and didn't have enough support and the baby was crying all the time and I just couldn't do it'.

^^ That was my experience. I couldn't make myself to do it anymore so I stopped.

I agree that the reasons women give for not bf may be very different from the reasons they believe they didn't bf, which may differ yet again from the truth.

And unlike most parenting decisions, it is practically impossible to change your mind. If you could have a day/week/month off bf to regain your mental and physical resources, and start trying again from a better position, you might have more success. But the physiological processes don't support that.

Unless like me you torture yourself with a bastard pump for several weeks and extremely fortunately get a baby who's willing and able to switch from bottle to boob thereafter. Which is 80% luck and 20% sheer bloodymindedness (actually, maybe 90/10) and not something I'd necessarily suggest to anyone, let alone recommend.

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