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why is there so much pressure to breast feed??

(588 Posts)
blondebaby111 Sun 30-Jun-13 18:34:01

Just that really??!!! At my first midwife app it was thrown In my face abit when I said I wasn't sure yet if I would but I'd feel more comftable doing both. Why are you made to feel like its such a crime. I'm only 12 weeks so have alot more appointments where this will be brought up.

I have friends who have breastfed and have had miserable babies that rarely settle, they are completely flustered with it and some verge on pnt because of all the pressure. Yet the friends that haven't breastfed or done both seem to have happy babies, they are a lot more happier in themselves and generally just so relaxed. So my views are mixed on this.

I don't want to start a debate but I just wish we could all make our minds up without midwives frowning or thinking its bad if we choose not too....just saying!!!

ouryve Sun 30-Jun-13 19:40:22

Why breast feed?

Because that's what they're for, isn't it?

LizTerrine Sun 30-Jun-13 19:41:32

Because its a massive public health issue.

I've fed one grumpy, colicky bugger of a first baby*, and am currently feeding a laughing, friendly, delicious bundle of a second.

*Now a charming toddler smile.

meditrina Sun 30-Jun-13 19:41:41

If you have BRAC genes, it probably diminishes the importance of all other factors to negligible, and I'm really sorry that's in your family Ilove

But for those who don't have such a dreadful genetic legacy, bf is one of the actions with the most marked protective effects (for the mother who bfs, that is, not the infant).

Ilove have you read about any of the ones other than cancer?

Meringue as I understand it before formula babies were breastfed, wet nursed or given pretty unacceptable substitutes. I'm glad we're now in a position in this country where there is an acceptable substitute

ThirdTimesABrokenFanjo Sun 30-Jun-13 19:44:55

the statistics are made up blonde? grin 1/10

PurplePidjin Sun 30-Jun-13 19:46:42

Also, maybe the bf mums you've met are confident in their choices and honest about how tough parenthood really is? The ffers might be feeling defensive about their choice - what with all this breast is best stuff around - and therefore concentrating on the positives more when in company hmm

Ilovemydog, MrsHuxtable is quite right - you are only talking about your experience (nobody ever suggested you were making it up!) The fact that bf'ing didn't affect your own children's health is completely irrelevant as far as the overwhelming evidence that bfing is best goes - it just means that it didn't work for you. Breastfeeding isn't a guarantee that your child will reap the bf benefits, it just increases the likelihood.

OP, As for ff babies being contented - BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA, good one smile I think BF'ing absolutely SHOULD be promoted, but you should never feel pressured. I wonder if you were just feeling a bit sensitive about it and therefore saw the MW's helpful advice as being 'throwing it in your face'?

twinklyfingers Sun 30-Jun-13 19:48:35

Ilove have a look at what meditrina said up thread.

Ashoething Sun 30-Jun-13 19:49:36

Well if we are going to talk about the olden daysgrin-I am sure pre ff that many babies were handed over to wet nurses or simply died if for whatever reason the mother couldn't bf. Plus I am sure then mothers didn't say oh well I cant possibly leave my 3 year old because he is a bottle refuser!

doublecakeplease Sun 30-Jun-13 19:50:59

I was put under huge pressure to bf despite telling staff i intended to ff. Various reasons which i won't bore you with. I was brought a pump hours after having an emcs and told that my baby needs me to express. I am usually a confident woman but i was extremely vulnerable. Turns out that meds i was taking transferred to my baby and made him seriously ill.

My experience doesn't make me want to shout that bf is bad, for lots if babies an mums it is great BUT it does make me question why it is forced so much. I think that so much emphasis is placed on bf being best that some of the negatives are overlooked.

I don't think that the op was after a fight - as a New mum she probably hasn't seen theprevious threads and fights on here and she was asking a question. Isn't it best that she arms herself with info either acquired here or from books, friends etc?

Op - it is a minefield. Do what is right for you.

Ashoething Sun 30-Jun-13 19:52:34

Ps-I am not defensive about not bf. As I already said I wanted to but couldn't as I do believe its best for babies. However their is most definitely a bf militant mob on mn who refuse to believe that not EVERY women CAN bf and who are vocal in making their views known. So I like to make my own views known toogrin

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sun 30-Jun-13 19:56:41

Breastfeeding is the normal and natural thing to do, so why wouldn't you do it?

FF is expensive, BF is free.

What's not to like?

FaddyPeony Sun 30-Jun-13 19:57:57

OP, you can't throw a strop just because people are giving you information you've asked for.

The reason that health professionals recommend that you breastfeed is because it is a public health issue.

You are not forced to take up their advice. You can feed your baby however you wish.

Isn't that great!

However, the statistics aren't made up. Sorry.

rascal1979 Sun 30-Jun-13 19:59:05

The midwives will expect you to use a car seat to transfer your baby home. Will you see this as pressure? They expect it because it is the safest for your baby. Just as breastfeeding is safer for your baby.

Everyone has the right to an informed choice but unless the information is provided you can't do this. I get fed up with people moaning they are pressured when they are simply being given information.

Babies are supposed to need you. Fact. It is societies unrealistic expectations of what a baby need and what you should be doing that causes so much unrest and stress for new mums.

rascal1979 Sun 30-Jun-13 20:00:35

Ashoestring the number of women who are physically unable to breastfeed are negligible.

MummyOfSunbeam Sun 30-Jun-13 20:02:15

I adore bf at ten months and the relaxed, happy steriliser-and-schedule free life we have is made so easy with bf. it is the most amazingly joyful, smooth, practical thing for us.

I am amazed to hear about your experience OP - my LLL friends' babies and my baby are all bf for months and SO chilled and are all so happy, while in my experience the formula route put lots of stress in a couple of my friends - they told me a lot about it and both said they wished they had gone bf route but they didn't get support sad sad . But maybe it won't be like that for you. I agree it is different for everyone.

Bf does give benefits but VERY few do it to six months - apparently only 1 percent in Uk? So the vast majority do t do it and are fine. But I am overjoyed we can because my dd and I find it magical. Prob some of the loveliest moments in my memory. Hard for the first two weeks though! (One thing I wd say is the LLL womanly art of breastfeeding book in my labour bag was a godsend! Doubt I could have worked it out otherwise!)

Branleuse Sun 30-Jun-13 20:02:25

because its generally got a shitload of health benefits that formula doesnt.

im surprised you didnt know

doublecakeplease Sun 30-Jun-13 20:05:08

See Ali (didn't mean to single you out, lots of people share your view, yours is just the last post i saw) i think its that type of blase attitude that makes people think that bf is normal and so the only way (maybe because of our social view of what 'normal' is in all of general life)

My experience wasn't normal but i don't want to have to justify how i feed my baby because of it. And what's not to like? Lots of people could do you a list but i didn't like the fact that it almost killed my child.

Again it doesn't make me preach that ff is best - but it was best for my child

Serialdrinker Sun 30-Jun-13 20:10:32

Do what you like, no one actually cares. Actually for your pfb and those with a pfb around you might care/ and judge. Get to number 2 and no one gives a shiney one.

I have had a similar experience to dog in that I fully bf my first, the most sickly kid ever and combined fed number 2 who's fit as a fiddle.

What I don't know is how much MORE sickly number 1 would have been if I'd combined/ bottled fed. At least I know I did my best and will never beat myself us over not bf with what ifs.

The evidence is there do as you please with it.

FaddyPeony Sun 30-Jun-13 20:11:28

Here's the thing about babies.

They are not easily explained in terms of how they are fed.

Some babies decide to be unsettled, colicky and wakeful from the word go. Then, at 8 months or a year or 2 years, they become little angels. They eat and sleep well and are easy. With a child like this, the mother usually feels like a dog's dinner in the weeks and months after childbirth. This is hard. However, she feels more rested and happy at a time when the child has limitless energy and needs lots of stimulation. This is good.

Other babies decide to be placid, angelic, sleep-throughers from a ridiculously young age. Then, at 8 months or a year or 2 years, they become little hell-devils. They tantrum by day and stop sleeping well at night. With a child like this, the mother usually feels more rested and happy in the weeks and months after childbirth. This is good. However, she feels run ragged at a time when the child has limitless energy and needs lots of stimulation. This is hard.

There are other variations on this, of course. But I wish that somebody had told me this in the early days. Feeding your baby formula or breastmilk does not give you an automatic ticket to an easy baby. Either way. And despite whatever anecdotes you hear.

sonlypuppyfat Sun 30-Jun-13 20:13:19

I used to go to a BF support group you could tell which women hated it they were SO BLOODY TENSE no wonder the babys wouldn't latch on and relax for a lovely feed. I think the problem is that no one has the time to sit and show a woman how to BF

MummyOfSunbeam Sun 30-Jun-13 20:14:13

And - other posters have listed w heath benefits and stats etc but - in addition to the sheer JOY if it (see my previous post) how AMAZING is it to know you are giving your child something so precious? One midwife in hospital said to me, after she saw how much I was embracing bf, 'and every day you do it it is a gift that will help your baby even when she is older, even adult (!) some protections still last' and it is just SO wonderful to be able to do something that can potentially help like that. (I recognise it isn't a panacea but wow it is still extraordinary)

I didn't know if I would bf or not. I am so glad I did. I am passionate about t now - not just for baby but for mum. I wish all women who want to do it had awesome support to help hem because it is AMAZIng.

And that is before I even start on how it helps one adjust to motherhood. And reduce chances of PND - stats show that too!

NumberTwoDue Sun 30-Jun-13 20:17:20

Do what's right for you, OP, but don't post on a thread that all the bf babies you know are "miserable babies who rarely settle" because all you'll do is put the back up of every mum who chose to bf her baby (including me - my wee one is lovely and slept through from eight weeks, if you'd care to add me to your scientific research).

Also, the MW has a list of variables that she has to bring up as a duty of care, so don't get p'ed that she's doing her job - we're all bloody lucky to have these choices in the first place, let alone having a hcp available to explain/discuss it with us on a one on one basis.

4leafclover Sun 30-Jun-13 20:17:46

I am really unsure as what to do, I'm 22 weeks with dc3 and I have said that I will breast feed but now I am so undecided sad
My reasons for this are as follows..
I didn't breast feed ds who is 8 and he is so healthy it's unreal, he very rarely gets a cold, but dd aged 6 was breast fed for 6 months and she basically lives in and out of hospital constantly sad she has got the worst immune system I have seen in a child.
But I'm stuck as what to do because I know this could just be a coincidence so I don't want to rule out breast feeding just yet.
My mum has breast fed all her 7 kids (youngest was breast fed for 3years) and some of us get ill all the time with general illnesses and others haven't even been ill since being born.

I have been asked time and time again from health professionals from the beginning and I just don't know what to do hmm

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