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?

Smudging Sun 21-Apr-13 22:30:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MaryPoppinsBag Sun 21-Apr-13 22:56:46

I tried with both mine and failed miserably. Not sure if they got much colostrum as I topped them up with formula. DS1 just would not settle until we have formula and DS2 was admitted to children's ward at 5 days old as he'd lost too much weight. I tried to express but nothing came out on the ward. When I went home I got about 10ml out a day. I gave up after two very emotional weeks of feeding at the breast, giving him formula and then expressing. I was exhausted and felt as though I was neglecting DS1.

If I had a third I would consider very carefully whether to try again.

Maybe mine is a medical reason and I don't know whether it was linked to my under active thyroid (discovered when DS2 was a year old).

My friend chose not to and I didn't understand it pre DC. But I do now her body her right to decide what happens to it.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sun 21-Apr-13 23:03:08

Some women have extremely sensitive breasts. Or they just don't want to.

Are you educated now?

SantanaLopez Sun 21-Apr-13 23:05:45

I think the health benefits of BFing are overrated myself. When have you ever been able to look at a (not currently feeding at the time) baby, toddler, or child and say, yes, they were definitely breastfed?

As for the point of leukamia- how callous and offensive. Really.

WouldBeHarrietVane Sun 21-Apr-13 23:08:25

I think that, yes, colostrum is important for a baby, but it's equally important that the mother do whatever it is (within reason obviously), that makes her feel best about her parenting. If she feels that she will be able to cope better with a baby and toddler if the baby is FF from day one, then that is her choice and really, no one should question it.

I found colostrum VERY easy to express, easily expressed 2-3 ounces over 30 minutes, both breasts combined. Shame we didn't find the actual BF that easy!

Angelico Sun 21-Apr-13 23:11:41

I wouldn't express colostrum as it would be soul-destroyingly slow. Much easier for baby to take it straight from the breast.

Unfortunately there is so much dishonesty about BFing. I was luckyish - DD had a great latch right from the start plus I was in such pain after CS that BFing pain was mild in comparison. I had a horrible stage between 4 and 8 weeks where I kept getting recurrent blocked ducts - they were agony. The only reason I didn't jack in BFing was because it would have hurt even more in the short term because of engorgement.

Now at 7 months I'm still BFing DD and love the convenience and closeness of it. BUT - I think it would be more honest for hospitals to say, 'Look, you may well hit difficult periods but if you make it to 8-12 weeks you will probably love it.' I think the worst thing is for women who BF through the awful struggling weeks and then jack it in before ever experiencing the benefits. No wonder they wouldn't want to go through the whole thing again! If I had given up at 8 weeks I would have been bottlefeeding from the start if I had another DC!

AnneEyhtMeyer Sun 21-Apr-13 23:19:51

Harriet that link does not substantiate your claim at all.

SantanaLopez Sun 21-Apr-13 23:21:20

Harriet the key word in that link is 'may'. If only it were that simple!

Thingiebob Sun 21-Apr-13 23:22:58

I managed to express colostrum and it was fed to my dd by cup. Whether it has made a difference to her immune system I have no idea.
BFing, however, was a bloody nightmare and she ended up being totally formula fed by three months.

AnneEyhtMeyer Sun 21-Apr-13 23:23:48

Oh and I particularly think you need to retract your assertion that FF increases the risks of leukaemia. Wild extrapolation at best.

WTFisABooyhoo Sun 21-Apr-13 23:28:34

i used to think like you OP. when i had my ds2 and was BFing i just couldn't understand people who didn't even want to do it for the first couple of days.

but now, after 20 months of BFing i really am indifferent to how anyone feeds their baby.

reasons why I think people might not want to,
1) the colostrum has to come from their body and they dont want to have to express or feed a baby from their breasts. perfectly valid reason and nothing to do with being 'freaked out' by it. personally i think i would choose formula from birth if i had another baby

2) difficulty in the past or issues relating to their body image or perhaps sexual abuse causing a barrier

3) i think BFing prolonged my PND and tbh think not BFing is no big sacrifice in comparison to my mental health. i'm still putting myself back together and he's 4 next month. so if there's even the slightest chance bfing would cause that again then hell no, formula is perfectly adequate. my ds1 was FF and there are no differences between the two of them healthwise.

WouldBeHarrietVane Sun 21-Apr-13 23:28:48

I'm not saying bf will stop children getting leukaemia. What I'm saying is that there is evidence that ff increases the risks of various conditions including this one, in the sense that bf is the biological norm.

Those risks and other health risks are, I think, underestimated by most people.

It is absolutely everyone's choice. I am just replying to op's question about why more people don't try to express the colostrum.

WTFisABooyhoo Sun 21-Apr-13 23:29:19

i also believe 'i dont want' is a perfectly valid reason without needing any explanation.

WTFisABooyhoo Sun 21-Apr-13 23:30:07

i dont want to

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 21-Apr-13 23:31:50

Nobody even told me about colostrum.

After I had dd I was asked how I wanted to feed despite huge issues (nightmares about the sensation of b/f and brainwashingbfrim family about hiw i wouldnt cope and bottle was easier) I wavered and said I might try but needed to give bottles as I had to return to work early/needed to leave dd with others.

Midwife said that's not possible it's one or the other and so I asked for a bottle.

LauraPashley Sun 21-Apr-13 23:33:53

I think the health benefits of BFing are overrated myself. When have you ever been able to look at a (not currently feeding at the time) baby, toddler, or child and say, yes, they were definitely breastfed?

What in the world does looking at them have to do with it?!! I don't think there is a health professional out there who could judge immunity/gut health/etc just by looking!

Formula as we know it is something that has been sold to us by businesses/marketing departments. It is wonderful that science has allowed us to create something that allows newborn babies to survive when bf is not medically possible, but all this crap about lifestyle choices is just what we have been sold over the past 40-odd years by Nestlé and co.

LauraPashley Sun 21-Apr-13 23:35:49

So sorry OP that was a rant and didn't answer your question! I don't understand not giving colostrum at least in the majority of cases either, but I would guess at least part of it is because we are too softly softly with emphasizing the risks of not giving it.

TSSDNCOP Sun 21-Apr-13 23:41:45

I didn't want to.

And since I respect your parental decisions, I expect you to respect mine.

AnneEyhtMeyer Sun 21-Apr-13 23:44:13

Harriet, no, you asserted something as medical fact when it is nothing of the sort. You may wish to read your link if this is not clear to you.

SantanaLopez Sun 21-Apr-13 23:44:35

The point is that it is impossible to prove that breastfeeding or formula definitely does X, Y or Z.

SantanaLopez Sun 21-Apr-13 23:45:41

Oh and Harriet, that is backtracking at its finest.

jellybeans Sun 21-Apr-13 23:46:10

The only people I know who didn't do any bf at all (apart from those who couldn't) all said that they are uncomfortable with bf. Often it is due to the sexualisation due to our society. One of my friends said it was a bit gross for example. I respect their choice but it is a shame in some ways. I wasn't that comfortable with it when I had DD. I was a teenager and didn't know anyone who bf but decided to give it a try. Didn't last long but was glad I tried and did first week or so.

SirBoobAlot Sun 21-Apr-13 23:46:29

Some of these responses are rather odd.

You chose not to breastfeed, then fine, whatever. But that doesn't mean the health benefits are non-existent.

And whilst the OPs wording might have been odd, she is right in saying that what are 'advertised' as lower risks for BF babies are actually the 'higher' risks for FF babies. Because otherwise you are looking at FF as being the norm and mark to work from with research.

WouldBeHarrietVane Sun 21-Apr-13 23:53:37

I originally said bf babies have the protection against leukaemia that babies are intended to have and ff increases the risks.

In other words, across the population generally, bf babies will of course still get the disease and so will ff babies. But ff babies are more likely to get it, because the bf protection they were designed to get is not there.

I have read this in two bf textbooks iirc and also understand it is on one of the bf leaflets the NHS issues. I linked to UNICEF to show I wasn't just randomly making this up. Was the first thing that cane up on google. Haven't read the link or any of the underlying studies, just the textbooks.

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