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

juneau Thu 10-Oct-13 16:32:25

Almost everyone I know started to BF and most then introduced formula and mix-fed from about three months (wealthy area in the SE).

I never saw the point of mix feeding though if BFing is going well and all that faff with sterilising bottles? I couldn't be arsed! BF truly is the lazy woman's choice grin

PatoBanton Thu 10-Oct-13 16:34:50

I'll back you on that Juneau smile

I know if I FF'd we'd run out of bottles in the same way we run out of plates.

nickelbabe Thu 10-Oct-13 16:37:07

from https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/breastfeeding-statistics-q4-2012-to-2013

"Summary of results

Initiation of breastfeeding

In England the breastfeeding initiation rate was 73.9% in 2012/13, which is similar to the annual percentage for 2011/12 (74.0%) and slightly higher than 2010/11 (73.7%), 2009/10 (72.8%) and 2008/09 (71.7%) (Table 1).

Amongst SHAs, the initiation rate varied from 59.3% in North East SHA to 86.8% in London SHA (Table 4).

Amongst the 147 PCTs that passed validation, breastfeeding initiation ranged from 40.8% in Knowsley PCT to 94.7% in Haringey Teaching PCT (Table 4).

Prevalence of breastfeeding at 6-8 weeks

The 6-8 week breastfeeding prevalence figures are based on the number of infants recorded by PCTs as totally or partially breastfeeding, as a percentage of all infants due a 6-8 week check.

When making comparisons over time, it is best to limit this to those quarters with high and consistent levels of coverage. There is evidence that the significant improvements in data coverage that were achieved in the early quarters of data collection affected the comparability of the prevalence estimates over time. This is because improvements in coverage have resulted in the inclusion in the statistics of a disproportionately higher number of women who are not breastfeeding.

In England the breastfeeding prevalence at 6-8 weeks in 2012/13 was 47.2% of infants due a 6-8 week check, the same as recorded in 2011/12 (Table 2).

In England the breastfeeding prevalence at 6-8 weeks in 2012/13 Quarter 4 was 46.8% of infants due a 6-8 week check, similar to the figure of 46.9% recorded in 2011/12 Q4 (Table 2).

Amongst the seven SHAs who passed validation, prevalence as a percentage of infants due a 6-8 week check varied from 31.9% in North East SHA to 50.7% in South Central SHA (Table 6).

Amongst the 125 PCTs that passed validation, breastfeeding prevalence as a percentage of infants due a 6-8 week check ranged from 15.7% in Knowsley PCT to 81.6% in City & Hackney PCT (Table 6)."

nickelbabe Thu 10-Oct-13 16:39:19

I live in the south east too, and hardly anyone I know breastfeeds exclusively, or at all, or did it for more than 6 months.
in fact, most of the people I see at group are FF before the baby is 6 months.

I have 3 kids and none of them ever tasted breast milk
I have no problem with anyone who chooses to bf or ff
Everyone is different

FunnysInLaJardin Thu 10-Oct-13 16:42:50

I was thinking about this yesterday and realised that the majority of women I know do or did breast feed

Bakingtins Thu 10-Oct-13 16:48:32

I think there is still a sharp class/education divide. Mother's income and educational attainment is a strong predictor of initiating and continuing to breastfeed. Peer pressure and social expectations must be a massive influence.
Round here I live on the border between a largely middle class and a largely working class area - which baby group you go to determines whether you are in the sort of group where nobody bats an eyelid at feeding your pre-schooler or you are the only BFer in the room and a total pariah.
The BF stats would make you weep though, a good three quarters start breastfeeding and the vast majority have given up by six weeks. Good breastfeeding support for every woman who wanted it in those first weeks would make such a difference.

MissPlumBroughtALadder Thu 10-Oct-13 16:56:34

Everyone I know breastfeeds, but then I live in a renowned breastfeeding-friendly city. My DS is two and I often feed him in public - no one bats an eyelid. Yesterday I fed him at his paediatrician appointment - doctor was delighted smile

nickelbabe Thu 10-Oct-13 17:06:43

but there is almost an expectation that you won't continue - DD had to go for a hip scan at 5 weeks, and the letter said "bring a bottle of drink for your baby"
we were worried that they would expect her to be taken away from us, maybe overnight, or that we weren't allowed in with her. so we rang and asked why. they said it was in case she needed to be comforted.

this wasn't a "catch-all" letter in case the child was older -0 it specifically said the scan was for newborns and had to be done prior to 6weeks.

cloutiedumpling Thu 10-Oct-13 17:14:24

That's great MissPlum. I've always felt awkward breastfeeding any of my DCs in public when they were over 6 months or so after receiving negative comments from a couple of people.

stargirl1701 Thu 10-Oct-13 18:04:42

Everyone I know tried to bf but few succeeded. The friends that did bf had no problems with bf from the beginning. Those who gave up had difficulties and struggled to find support. These difficulties are then compounded with guilt for giving up.

I didn't make peace with my bf disaster until I relactated. If I hadn't, I would not have attempted bf again, ever. It was the most incredible pain I have ever experienced, like razor blades scoring your nipples.

juneau Thu 10-Oct-13 18:12:31

Good breastfeeding support for every woman who wanted it in those first weeks would make such a difference.

This is SO true. I have several friends who swear blind that they 'couldn't' BF. I've never contradicted them, but there are very few women who simply cannot BF. What's lacking is good support. I was so lucky to have an active La Leche League BF support group when I had DS1. Those women, and a dear friend who came and stayed with me for 48 hours and literally showed me how to do it, made me into the EBF-er of two DC for two years apiece that I became.

ElBombero Thu 10-Oct-13 21:40:06

I agree there is definitely an expectation that you will give up. I get asked a lot... Are you still feeding him??? You give him a bottle yet??

ElBombero Thu 10-Oct-13 21:44:18

Where do you live MissPlum? Just our of interest? I happily feed anywhere, and it rarely gets noticed. I'm from NW but unfortunately don't think its common here...

I only know 4 people who have breastfed successfully, most try, some shudder at the thought.

I live in west yorks and in my area (which is predominantly low income/working class) very few women bf past 6 weeks.
My mother asked me a few weeks ago if dd was getting enough milk, she was 7mo at the time, wearing 9-12 clothing and on 98th Centile for height, 75th for weight. I was a bit confused and said well she doesn't exactly look starving to me! Yes but she's not chubby says my mum, no, I agree she's not chubby, but she is all arms and legs (exactly like me)

ouryve Thu 10-Oct-13 22:01:04

Eddiemairswife - you've stolen my punchline. I got the impression I was the only breastfeeding mother in my Co Durham Village when I have the boys!

And I felt conscious of a different approach in waiting rooms when the baby clinics were on. While other mothers all had their children facing outwards, mine sat snuggled in, facing sideways, so they could see me. As a recent incomer at the time, it seemed like a very big cultural difference.

DD totally refused to BF and I felt like a pariah giving her a bottle in public. Every single woman I know with a baby has breast fed for at least 6 months, most of them for significantly longer.

juneau your 'couldn't' is very patronising. I actually couldn't and that kind of attitude is what made me barely leave the house for the first few months of DD's life.

PolyesterBride Thu 10-Oct-13 22:40:44

I live in the NW too and you are right, round here, most people don't. It's really quite unusual. I have only seen someone breast feeding a baby in public (rather than at a breast feeding group) a very few times ever. Whereas when I lived in north London, there were mums feeding babies all over the place!

I think it is a very difficult thing to change - most people are most strongly influenced by their friends and family, so if they didn't breast feed, new mums won't either.

ceeveebee Thu 10-Oct-13 22:53:20

5 out of 6 mothers in my NCT group EBF until about 6 months and then it tailed off. I carried on feeding my twins until 11 months but not EBF, had some ff too. Am in SW London in a very middle class area.

But in the NW where I am from, I only know one person who EBF beyond a week or two, including both my sisters, my mum, my MIL, friends and other family members. My MIL was practically begging me to let her bottle feed my DCs at 1 or 2 days old. My dsis wouldn't even try as it made her feel "icky" (her word).

Friends from Japan were shocked that I stopped feeding as early as 11 months and quoted the WHO guidelines at me

It is all about culture, and this is very difficult to change.

Gonnabmummy Fri 11-Oct-13 03:03:43

No one seems to at all here sad I was shocked the other day when the four year old who lives next door to my dad came in and I was feeding. I didn't even think he would bat an eyelid but his eyes nearly fell out of his head!

MokuMoku Fri 11-Oct-13 03:30:53

In Japan, I think most women mix feed. I was put under a lot of pressure to give my daughter formula after she was born but I told them very firmly that she was fine on breast milk only and she absolutely was. Saying that, women in Japan tend to give breast milk for longer (in my experience) so it's not unusual for kids to be still breast feeding after 1 year. In the UK mixed feeding seems more unusual.

I honestly don't care how other women feed their babies as long as they are fed and happy. I had mastitis and got so many milk blisters it was unreal. My daughter is 2.5 now and still breast feeding even though I am 8 months pregnant.

I would never say BF is easier than FF or vice versa. I think families need to make the right choice for them and be supported for that.

nickelbabe Fri 11-Oct-13 10:52:12

whereas women in China don't BF at all.
there's huge scares about the quality and safety of formula over there and rather than give BF a go, they get friends and relatives to send them over.
but their parents were brainwashed into believing that formula was better, more advanced and more "western" than BF, so that's what they did.

PatoBanton Fri 11-Oct-13 11:17:46

Nickel I think we are quite close by, and there are a lot of BF mums in this area (well ones I know) but then it's a university city and so lots of educated, literary mners people about smile

But there are pockets of what I presume are less educated and more likely to FF mums as well. I was approached at preschool by a woman who asked me if I would be BFing my baby (this was 7 years ago when pg with ds2) and I said yes, I hoped to - and she gave me a look of absolute disgust, and moved further away from me and said 'Urgh, I could never do that' shock

It was apparently total anathema to her. She has since had twins, so I imagine that was hard work however she fed them.

Shootingatpigeons Fri 11-Oct-13 11:21:50

Nickel babe that is a bit simplistic 58 % Breastfeed at birth but that drops to 14% at five months and 2% at six months. The decline has been since the 70s, and marketisation, a combination of aggressive marketing (and quite probably corruption, it is part of Chinese society, doctors being paid to push particular brands of formula) and the fact so many women work, often in cities leaving babies with grandparents (if they are migrant workers they have no right to any government services for their children, nurseries, schools etc. in the cities) but you are right about food scares, formula is far from the only food to be adulterated, even toothpaste. The CCP are now pushing Breastfeeding hard and there are regular stories in the press, with, possibly staged, exposes of western formula manufacturers bribing doctors. At the school I helped pro Breastfeeding messages were blasted out over the loudspeakers at drop off and pick up, typically useless propaganda since precious few of the pupils were being picked up by parents, who were both out at work.

twatty yes my mum warned me that people expect babies to be formula fed chubby when Breastfeed babies are much more toned. I had comments that DD1 was thin, though she was average on the graphs and I had milk dripping everywhere because she loved to suck for comfort.

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