Most people don't breast feed do they?

(146 Posts)
ElBombero Wed 09-Oct-13 23:26:12

Or do they?

As a mum do a DS who is EBF I am just utterly amazed at the reaction to me feeding him. It's like I'm mental.

Lost count of the times I've been told / asked
Is he getting enough? He's using you for comfort? Maybe a bottle of formula at night to help him settle, or and latest from MIL after DS put on 11oz in one week...

". Do you think BM is enough for him? He's growing so much..."
Errr yeah he's growing so well cos of the BZm

AveryJessup Thu 10-Oct-13 03:08:29

It felt like everyone was breast feeding when I ended up formula feeding DS after about 6 weeks of problems. Every single person I met seemed to have mastered EBF from birth with no issues so I felt like a complete failure!

It probably depends on where you live, maybe you live in an area with low bf but a lot of what we see is perception.

Shootingatpigeons Thu 10-Oct-13 03:17:02

I was lucky that I came from a family who had BF in spite of social trends, so working class 40s grandmother and upwardly mobile 60s mother so through all my problems I was constantly encouraged, it is so much easier in the end, BF babies look different, more toned, less chubby etc etc. It was a shock when I did encounter all that "top up with formula" " are they getting enough " etc guff. Neither expired from lack of milk and are now healthy adults who I just hope will continue the family tradition.

ElBombero Thu 10-Oct-13 07:38:30

Totally agree captainjack, how can it be easier FF?
Sterilising, measuring, warming, cost wastage? The crying whilst your doing all of the above hmm

Creamtea1 Thu 10-Oct-13 10:33:14

Totally agree - made to feel like a wierdo! Everyone presumes you are ff by default... I've had the hippy comment too.

soupmaker Thu 10-Oct-13 12:43:29

I mix fed DD1 until she was 4 months. She was EBF for 6 weeks. She had reflux and was very unsettled and I just don't think I ever got enough rest to be able to feed her. I also listened to too much "advice" about babies feeding every 3 hours, etc, etc. I was clueless and in hindsight didn't the support I needed to EBF. All my mum pals BF, including 2 with twins. However a lot of family have FF fed, including my thankfully ex-SIL who refused to even feed colostrum.

tiktok Thu 10-Oct-13 12:51:26

Rest will not have made any difference to your bf, soupmaker, but you are dead right about listening to rubbish advice and not getting support sad sad

cantthinkofagoodone Thu 10-Oct-13 13:01:44

Where I live I'd say that most FF after trying to and failing to BF or just deciding that BFing isn't for them. A few FF from outset but not most. I've never noticed a toddler bfing.

FWIW, I found FF a thousand times easier than BF. My baby didn't ever scream for milk because he was fairly predictable once he was FF and we always had spare ready made cartons in the house, just in case.

When BFing was so stressful, I was happy to wash, sterilise and make up bottles. It isn't complicated, you know how much your baby is taking etc. It's not all bad, the internet likes to make it strangely competitive.

TheFabulousIdiot Thu 10-Oct-13 13:07:55

most people don't breastfeed beyond a few weeks if not days.

Mintyy Thu 10-Oct-13 13:08:47

It is definitely a class thing. Ime almost everyone does breastfeed, I hardly know anyone who formula fed from the outset. But I move in very middle class circles.

LadyGoodman Thu 10-Oct-13 13:09:09

Personally i think people should and used to be judgey about it, i tried to BF DS now 22 months it was a bloody disaster which ended with much stress and tears and feelings of failure so firmly took my judgey pants off. Of around 10 people i know who have had babies maybe 3 have been BF'd to 6 months none past that and another 3 didnt even try.

It is not the be all and end all of bonding, child welfare and development but i dont underistand why the stats are quite so low these days.

NoComet Thu 10-Oct-13 13:19:36

Having done both BF is a million times easier than FF if you obey the new powder rules and 100 times easier (after six weeks using cartons) which 15 years ago were new and out of the question cost wise.

NoComet Thu 10-Oct-13 13:24:23

Oh bugger () in wrong place
It's meant to read BFing is easier (after six weeks) than using cartons.

Even with DD2, who knew how to BF from birth (believe me DD1 didn't) the first six weeks were painful and hard work.

It really annoys me that HV and the NCT pretend BF doesn't hurt if you do it right. IME it certainly does and women need to know that suddenly it doesn't and that moment is worth hanging on for.

SPBisResisting Thu 10-Oct-13 13:24:34

The comments presumably come from non parents too which makes it seem like there are more of them than youd expect. What I suppose im saying is that non parents are obviously non breastfeeders but they may comment on it too

redcaryellowcar Thu 10-Oct-13 13:31:45

Everyone i know from nct to old school and university university friends bf until at least 6m, some beyond, altjough less obvious after that as less frequent. The only two people i know who didnt are sil and one nct friend, although nct friend did for 2-4 weeks with each dc, think its quite usual where i live in south east
I did get ridiculous comments like you, but had decided that i wasnt really up for all the organising of sterelising bottles, fretting about how long it was safe to make up and keep milk, so stuck with breastfeeding until weaning, then found the endless spoons, small pots of mush and bibs a bit of a shock, but felt relieved i had avoided six months of organisung prior to this. Ds and i used toeave the house with a nappy and a pack

Dillytante Thu 10-Oct-13 13:35:06

Almost everyone I know did, but then I met most of my 'mummy' friends at a breastfeeding group. Presumably it's family making those comments, as I never had any negative comments except from my mother!

eddiemairswife Thu 10-Oct-13 14:14:11

I'm one of the older readers. When I had my 1st baby my only experience of babies was my breastfed brother, my best friend's 2 younger breastfed siblings and my uncle confiding in hushed tones to my grandma that his new-born son"wouldn't take to the breast". Consequently I thought that babies were only bottle-fed if their mums were unable to breastfeed, and I was amazed when the lady in the next bed to me in hospital said that she would put her daughter on the bottle as soon as she got home. We had just moved into the Durham area at that time, and I was apparently the only breastfeeding mum in the village. In fact when the doctor came to visit he asked why I had chosen to breastfeed, and I rather lamely replied, "I thought that's what you were supposed to do."

tiktok Thu 10-Oct-13 14:14:22

Starball, it's just not true that breastfeeding hurts - it's very common, but it is not inevitable. Infant Feeding survey reports 27 per cent of bf/mixed feeding mothers have breast/nipple pain.

As an NCT breastfeeding counsellor, I'm aware that positioning and attachment make a huge difference to comfort, but it's not the whole story....but to suggest that all women experience pain and and then 'suddenly they don't' is massively misleading!

In fact, women suffer a lot from this myth. They think that soreness is just something that happens and that one day it will just go....and the damage to their nipples may get worse and worse sad

Smartiepants79 Thu 10-Oct-13 14:21:51

Well I am the only one out of our antenatal group to have carried on feeding past three months or so.
I am still feeding at ten months.
No one has ever commented on my still feeding and I have never felt funny in public.

RubyrooUK Thu 10-Oct-13 15:12:21

I know lots of people who breastfeed/have breastfed but all of them have taken a year off work or gone part time or become SAHM.

I am the only person I know who has returned to full time work with a baby who only breastfeeds and won't take bottles. I have been forced to return earlier than in a perfect world (with DS2 at 6mo) and neither of my children will touch bottles - and believe me, I have tried and tried and tried. So they have both eaten solids during the day and then breastfeed all night (DS2 is averaging 10 feeds overnight currently).

Everyone I work with who has children either formula fed or bf for a short period so there is very little understanding that actually my child physically needs me there to get their main source of nutrition. So sometimes work will suggest I work 8-6 and then in the evening (normal in my very competitive line of business) and everyone is astonished when I tell them that my 6mo literally cannot cope with that arrangement. But I also don't want to starve DS2 till he takes a bottle.

I would love to meet other parents who combine full time work and breastfeeding a relatively young baby. Sorry, bit of a digression from the OP but yes, I know lots of breastfeeders in my personal life but very few in my professional life.

Sunflower1985 Thu 10-Oct-13 16:04:35

My local bf'ing groups are packed and new mums come every week.
A lot like me who didn't realise bf'ing could be so difficult. It would be interesting to gauge how many mums struggle initially with pain, mastitis, thrush etc but then go on to bf in the long run.
I'm finding if you do have difficulties you have to really want it to continue. Things like convenience or time spent with one method or the other isn't enough. Even baby health seems to be less of a factor as formula improves.
(My motivation is that warm fuzzy feeling I get when he has a good latch and feeds well)

PatoBanton Thu 10-Oct-13 16:21:05

I don't know, I don't tend to ask people. People have asked me so many times though. 'Are you feeding him yourself?'

I always have - ds1 till 16mo, ds2 till erm, 54 months-ish, and am feeding ds3 now who is 9mo.

I don't know what other people do - one thing is I am afraid they might think I was judging them. I only know what my closest friends have done in terms of BF. It's none of anyone's business though I always appreciate being told it's a good thing.

Patilla Thu 10-Oct-13 16:22:15

I bf DS until 14 months and am bf dd as I type. Dd is six months.

With DS I really struggled with recurrent thrush and mastitis and no support from professionals. Looking back I'm amazed I got through it but am pleased I did. We stopped when DS decided he didn't want his evening bf and it just felt right.

I've been much luckier with dd only having one bought of mastitis though we did a good job of me getting it and ended up at out of hours having had rapid onset of fever.

I live bfeeding it's so cuddly. That said when dd had bad reflux in the early days and was comfort feeding which then made it worse I'd have been tempted to give up if I wasn't so certain things would sort out and pass and that formula would not resolve everything. despite dm's well intentioned but ill informed recommendation to give up to give us all an easier life.

Most of my friends bf when i has ds apart from those with medical reasons. This time everyone in the baby groups seem to be ff crazily. We couldn't afford ff to be honest so it's good dd is a bf fan too!

Patilla Thu 10-Oct-13 16:23:25

Id like to clarify that I love bfeeding rather than live it.

Even dd doesn't feed that much now she is six months old

JollyScaryGiant Thu 10-Oct-13 16:23:35

I agree that you have to really want to continue if you have problems. For most people it is easier to give up.

First time around, I was utterly committed to BF. I have ginormous boobs and I feel like I've carted them around for years and therefore they better serve their purpose otherwise what's the point? We went through low weight gain, oversupply, nipple shields, exclusive pumping, colic, nipple vasospasms, bleeding nipples (for SIX MONTHS) and mastitis. But BF was so important to me that we continued.

(It really winds me up when people suggest that they quit because they had a harder time than I did. Some of them maybe did, but not many. They were mainly less committed to continuing than I was.)

Around here there's not much good support. There was even less when DS was born. Now I have another newborn (who feeds terribly easily, I am delighted) I see there are more groups but you still have to seek them out.

Sparklysilversequins Thu 10-Oct-13 16:29:57

Most women I know do or did. I actually only know one who didn't.

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