Educate me: why would you not want your baby to have the colostrum if no medical reason?

(239 Posts)
RainbowsFriend Sun 21-Apr-13 18:22:45

Just found out that a couple of my social circle are not attempting breastfeeding second time around, but will be going for bottles from day one. No medical problems/issues, just said it would be easier to have bottles and a toddler than breastfeed.

I didn't want to pry, and I respect their choice of course, but I'm really curious why you would not even express the colostrum to give your child - I thought it was soooo important for the immune system.

I admit I'm a bit biased as I still bfeed DD 22 months, and do use it as a parenting tool to a certain extent. We massively struggled at first as DD had a missed tongue tie that wasn't picked up til 5 months, so I know what it's like to have pain and struggle, and I remember from when our toddlers were little that these mums had to give up fairly quickly first time around and know how difficult it was. But why not express a bit of colostrum?

So please let me know so I can understand better?

I'd imagine its pretty hard to express colostrum. it's up to them really.

WouldBeHarrietVane Sun 21-Apr-13 18:51:11

People do express colostrum quite often eg for babies in nicu and scbu.

It is totally a personal choice if course.

Tbh op I think people underestimate the health benefits.

RainbowsFriend Sun 21-Apr-13 18:52:30

I know it's up to them, I just want to understand better why you wouldn't want to give your baby a good immunilogical head start, even if it is a bit hard for a week.

RainbowsFriend Sun 21-Apr-13 18:54:52

x-post with WouldBeHarrietVane.

Hmm yes I suppose I did A LOT of reading around how beneficial breastfeeding is, which is why I persevered despite our initial problems.

I suppose if mums haven't read up on it, or don't think it's that important, then that would explain it...

hellohellohihi Sun 21-Apr-13 19:02:55

I don't get it either....But then I don't get weaning early either.... some people just choose to go against guidance I guess.

Yes I know my baby best but I don't know about immunity and digestive health enough to declare that he/she does/doesn't need colostrum or will be fine on solids at 16 weeks.... So I'll listen to the current guidance.

WouldBeHarrietVane Sun 21-Apr-13 20:08:06

What's really interesting if you read the bf books is all the supposed 'advantages' of bf are actually disadvantages of ff as babies were designed to be bf.

In other words bf babies have the protection against leukaemia that nature intended babies to have and ff increases the risks of leukaemia sad

minipie Sun 21-Apr-13 20:28:29

IME expressing colostrum is incredibly difficult - it comes out in such small quantities, most of it dribbles down the boob or gets lost down the side of whatever it's expressed into. and probably quite a bit of it would get stuck in the bottle teat anyway as it's thicker and more viscous than milk.

it would actually be a lot easier to get the colostrum into a newborn by BFing (assuming they have a reasonable latch) than by expressing.

does mean you have to BF for the first few days though.

I don't understand why people wouldn't try either, but then I haven't had the experience of a toddler and a newborn, so not in a position to judge judging anyway though

RainbowsFriend Sun 21-Apr-13 20:35:23

Is there a problem with bfing for a few days and then switching to bottle though?

iliketea Sun 21-Apr-13 20:55:36

Personal experience: Had horrible, horrible experience with consultant led care, then horrendous induction followed by emergency c-section. After all that, I couldn't bear the thought of the closeness of breastfeeding, and 2nd, I needed to know she could feed and was well for discharging, so we could leave hospital as soon as she was safe to do so (we left after 36hrs, she was fine; I was able to walk to the car).

But at the end of the day, it's not your business, your friends' decision is just that.

RainbowsFriend Sun 21-Apr-13 21:05:32

Thank you for sharing that iliketea. That does sound like a horrendous experience but glad your daughter arrived safely.

Parker231 Sun 21-Apr-13 21:07:11

I did bottles from day one , also only ever used disposable nappies - its a personal choice. I never went to NCT classes after the first week - could stand all that breast is best and think of the landfill !

raininginbaltimore Sun 21-Apr-13 21:15:40

I breastfed dd for 5 days, because I needed to start medication that isn't safe for breastfeeding. It meant that I had hard, full and painful breasts for two weeks as her sucking the colostrum and first milk had told my body to make milk.

Some people have horrible experiences of bf and the very thought of doing it again, even for a few days is too much.

RainbowsFriend Sun 21-Apr-13 21:20:17

Ah ok so starting to breastfeed can make ot worse when stopping - I didn't know that. thank you

LalyRawr Sun 21-Apr-13 21:24:26

The idea of breast feeding makes me feel physically sick. If I see a breast feeding woman and don't leave immediately, I will actually throw up.

I'm sure DD appreciated me not vomiting on her and giving her a bottle instead.

But thank you for calling me ignorant and thinking that my daughters immune system is not important. Really.

With DD1 I intended to breastfeed. Didnt buy bottles or a steriliser.

My care was horrendous. No one offered to help me. When a MW finally did try to show me she got frustrated and shouted at me. DD1 was starving and they wouldnt let me give her a bottle until hours later even though they didnt have time to keep trying bf with me.

A HCP gave DD1 her first bottle because I was so exhausted by the time they gsve in I couldnt hold her.

With DD2 I was completely put off but thought I would leave it up to the birth to decide. I was induced. A MW turned the drip too high and I went from 5cm to pushing in 20 mins. DD2 was born with ventouse, my pain relief ran out, I was in blinding pain and nearly passed out.

After the birth I was cold, shaking from the remi and my whole bottom half felt like it was falling off, because I had sat in the same position for 5 hours (constant monitoring) I couldnt even bring myself to hold DD2. There was no way I was going to add more stress to that.

So all of you on here saying you dont understand it, just stop, step back and realise that while its great you are able to bf, it doesnt make you a better mother or a better woman than those who cant. You cant possibly know what leads others to their decisions.

AliceWChild Sun 21-Apr-13 21:33:50

It's tough to express colostrum. I did it for my baby in neonatal. It's hard to get out, hard to capture. You can't use the big machines as quantities are too low so it's hand expressing drop by drop into a syringe. Takes a long time. I was very determined so did it but it's not an easy option.

RainbowsFriend Sun 21-Apr-13 21:34:24

LalyRawr I haven't called you ignorant or not thinking of your daughter's immune system. For starters I think your particular situation is what I would class as a medical reason - in that breastfeeding makes you sick, but also the thread is more about MY ignorance - I'm asking for people to educate me smile

Wannabe - that's the whole point of this thread - I AM stepping back and asking as I DON'T know - so I'm asking to have it explained. I am not intending to come across as superior in any way - just a bit ignorant of the reasons why people make this particular decision, as I want to support my friends better.

RainbowsFriend Sun 21-Apr-13 21:39:05

Wannabe - as an aside I recognise that horrible cold shaking feeling from induction sad I was still have sudden uncontrolable shakes a week later!

I also had continuous monitoring and ventouse, then forceps, then was rushed to theatre when that also failed. Was allowed one last attempt with forceps again and poor shocked DD eventually came, along with a haemorrhage. Not nice, and I'm determined to attempt a home birth this time. The midwives, although lovely, seemed just overworked and therefore incompetent from sheer caseload!

MrsApplepants Sun 21-Apr-13 21:39:34

Simple reason. Didn't want to bf. At all. The thought of it was just ickie and I'm a bit sceptical of the supposed benefits anyway. My breasts, my choice.
Have no issues with other women who want to bf and they should get all the support and help needed to do this. It doesn't make me feel sick to see babies bf or anything.

But for me, no thanks.

Myliferocks Sun 21-Apr-13 21:40:26

I bf DD1 for 7 weeks and I hated every single one of those 7 weeks.
There was no way I was going to bf my other 4 children.

tethersend Sun 21-Apr-13 21:40:53

I didn't with my second, as I just didn't want to. I hated breast feeding and didn't last long with DD1 before switching to formula.

It was such a great relief to be able to make the decision to FF from birth with DD2, and to tell people emphatically that that's what I was doing. I was a much happier and more confident mother second time around.

tethersend Sun 21-Apr-13 21:41:59

Had two elcs if that's relevant.

blueshoes Sun 21-Apr-13 22:06:15

I never noticed I ever produced colostrom. My dd was in NICU so I was desperate to express it but nothing.

I did not notice it with ds either, but then I just put him on my boob and let him get on with it.

iwouldgoouttonight Sun 21-Apr-13 22:15:22

I found giving birth much easier and less painful than breastfeeding. With DS he fed every hour and I remember sitting in bed feeding him and crying with the pain and sheer tiredness. After six weeks of it I switched to FF and from then on actually enjoyed him.

With DD I tried to BF again but after five days she ended up in hospital with dehydration because she hadn't actually been feeding properly.

I'm not planning any more DCs but if I was I'd be very doubtful about BFing unless there was much more support in place to help me with it. Having said that my gut instinct would probably still tell me to try as I know it so much better for them. And I still feel a touch of regret when I see other people successfully BFing their babies.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now