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Bottle feeding is a woman’s right!(62 Posts)
This is in the news today ... BBC and ITV. Just wanted to know peoples experiences of how they fed their babies and whether they felt supported by physicians but also family etc ...
I bottle fed. Didn’t want to boob feed and absolutely no interest in getting them out. No one else’s choice but mine.
I breast fed all 3 becuase I wanted to and becuase I had no issues with breastfeeding, if I had struggled with it or whatever I would of had no problem with formula. Midwives were very helpful with the breastfeeding I found and only family member I have a chat about feeding choice with was dh in a i’m going to at least try breast feeding kind of way and that was the end of it.
Don’t more people formula feed than breast? So i dont see how bottle feeding is seen as the devil tbh
I have bottle fed both of mine, I did not feel supported at all, even though the reason to bottle feed was that neither of my babies would latch to my flat nipples. The second time round I even employed a private lactation consultant determined it would work, it still didn't.
I felt like all anyone said to me was "oh just keep trying", even though neither baby ever latched, not once.
I felt as though nobody was willing to talk about formula, as it was like them giving consent for me to do it, which nobody wanted to.
It was the right choice for my babies, and I really wish someone had had the balls to say "do you know what, your nipples aren't ideal, so if you want to ff then go ahead"...my God it would have eleviated the guilt!
I breastfed my three back in the early to mid 90s. I got some support from the midwives in hospital after having DC1, but the health visitors after we got home with without exception clueless about breastfeeding.
I also got no support at all from family with the exception of DH. Both our mothers had bottle fed and were uncomfortable with the very idea of breastfeeding. To be honest I only got through the early weeks of bf DC1 by taking it day by day and refusing to give up. DH's support was invaluable too.
Breast feeding didn’t work out for me and I needed advice on formula feeding. Health visitor wasn’t allowed to give me advice or promote formula. I had to google sterilizing bottles because they couldn’t give me advice on how to do it .
I exclusively breastfed until my dd was 4 weeks old and still hadnt regained her birth weight. My mw told me how to do up formula bottles to top her up. We combination fed until 6 months when I stopped bf.
I seem to be a bit of a unicorn in receiving ff advice from a midwife though.
Opposite of support from hcps when I failed in bf. I was pretty ill after dd was born and only getting worse. Rehospitalised with lots of drugs. Unsurprisingly struggling to bf. Struggling to move actually. Treated very negatively by every single hcps for my failure.
I desperately wanted to breast feed. The midwifes were shoving a bottle in his mouth before I even attempted . They never even gave me help or a chance to try, they kept coming in and giving baby bottles.
I bottle fed , it worked for me and my ds's.
They were satisfied and I was happy with that.
Breast fed first few days with colostrum until milk came in, switched to express feeding for a couple of months, then formula fed. I hated the feeling of breast feeding, the let down made me feel like I was going to throw up.
I tried to bf but had problems because of my flat nipples and then got mastitis. Lasted about a week and then had to switch to ff. Asked for help from the mw/hv and was repeatedly told to just keep trying. I felt guilty for about 5 years that I failed at what is supposed to be one of the most natural human things in the world. Wish MN had been a thing back in 99!
The important bit of this is that midwives have been told not to shame mothers. Breastfeeding promotion over the last decade has mainly been based on making mothers feel, shame, guilt and inadequacy at a time when they are already very vulnerable.
This policy has failed to make any significant difference to breastfeeding rates despite huge investment and is largely regarded as a complete failure.
Support is largely irrelevant to breastfeeding rates in that context because women won’t engage with support when it is offered accompanied by haranguing and guilt tripping and moralistic lecturing. Normally given by another woman who has breastfed and is clearly judging you and quite often exudes an air of smugness.
They’re doing this because they have been consistently given that as a reason for non-engagement with breastfeeding workers. They think it will increase breastfeeding rates.
No other country promotes breastfeeding by making mothers feel awful. And no other developed country has such low BF rates despite other developed countries having much less maternity leave, pay and rights.
It’s been a long time coming, and that’s mainly because of breastfeeding campaigners resisting because they are usually women who have successfully breastfed and support the ‘bad mother, morally wrony’ message because they do judge other women.
It’s the best thing to promote breastfeeding short of banning the vocal breastfeeding campaigners and advocates (which I am convinced world double the rates overnight).
I think that I would have been much more successful breastfeeding if there had been less pressure to do so. As it stands I lasted ten weeks, and hated every second, partially because of the massive weight of the societal pressure to do so. I cried in the pre natal breastfeeding session because I was so terrified at failing. So scared about what the world might say if I couldn't breastfeed.
I do agree with the PP who said that banning the vocal breastfeeding advocates would double rates.
I really wanted to breast feed and got really frustrated at midwives and HVs telling me to just top up with formula when I was struggling to get DD to latch. I retrospect I should have listened to them but I’d been so brainwashed by the nct I thought I was failing DD by giving in to ff. I found all my HCPs pragmatic and sensible about ff it was me who was dogmatic and daft.
I'm always so shocked when I hear people talk about the 'failure' of not breastfeeding, when hardly anyone does it. I never met another breastfeeding mum, especially after 6 months.
Everyone (including hcp) were telling me to give my baby a bottle, rather than giving me support in feeding my baby. I was however able to seek out the advice I needed.
When I had my two children I guess I met up with and spent a lot of time with about 30 other mums, either NCT of people in my established friendship circle who were having children at the same time as me.
Out of those say 30 there was only 1 who exclusively breastfed from day 1 (as in she had decided to bottle feed before giving birth). Another 2 or 3 had trouble with breastfeeding and switched to formula after a few weeks. The vast majority of us breastfed for 6 to 12 months, some going on longer than that.
I think it depends on where you live and who you spend time with.
I bottle fed mine. They thrived! My son was very large at birth and the only thing that satisfied him was the hungrier milk formula, the midwife said it was unlikely I could have kept up with him if I breastfed! However you choose to feed your baby you should never be shamed for it!
From my experience yes the nhs are not allowed to promote or mention formula. And i agree you do feel like you are banned from telling a mother how to make up a bottle safely and this should not be the case.However breastfeeding is not the norm. I never blame any mum for switching to formula (volunteer breastfeeding supporter so one of those horrible breastfeeding advocates) and in fact tell them not to feel guilty as its not easy. However formula companies are set up to tell everyone how great formula is and how they should move on from breastfeeding. Look how happy i am on formula cos i am giggling. So its a loosing battle and i am afraid its lost entirely now to the likes of nestle. - yes flame me all you like. The problem is education, when all we show our children is bottle bottle bottle thats the norm. Even to extent of the relationship videos they show children at school - kittens feeding off mum. Human baby has a bottle so how can anyone in this country think baby needs the breast. Ask any child. If we educated our children when they were small breast would be normal and no one would bat an eye lid. Also we can education that bottle is fine too. I do agree breast is best is a horrible slogan and should be ditched.
I breastfed exclusively until 6 months then mixed fed until stopping BF at 11 months. Every single mum in my NCT breastfed, bar 1, and almost all the mums I met in the area around and about did the same. Bottle feeding was very much not the norm. I live in London and there was a whole network of ‘breast feeding cafes’ to help in the early days as well as consultants.
I bottle fed dd. I didn't like the idea of breastfeeding anyway but thought I'd maybe give it a go but when dd was born it was such a horrific experience and when asked if I was breast or bottle feeding, I was so rushed with a decision that I just said bottle and the midwives said that was so much better as they can tell how much baby is getting, which I found odd as I thought they promoted breastfeeding. I don't think bf would have worked with dd anyway as she was so hungry all the time. No one should feel shamed about how they feed their babies. As long as they're fed and happy.
I breastfed my first child for a few weeks, then went on to formula, and fed my other 2 formula from birth. Never had any pressure to breastfeed, or any negative comments.
At the time my eldest was born, mothers were taught how to mix formula and sterilise bottles in hospital (albeit the old fashioned miltons method), I really think this should still be done for the sake of safety.
I bottle fed both of mine. With DS1 I had a massive PPH of three litres and my milk took a lot longer to come in. He was screaming constantly and I was ill and could face it - I switched to formula after a week and felt guilty for a very long time.
DS2 was born with an oesophagal abnormality so was nil by mouth for two weeks and had surgery. We were told by the surgical team that it would be very difficult to establish any feeding after as he would likely have an unsafe swallow. Given my less than stellar track record with BF I decided to FF right away. I also couldn't face pumping when we didn't know if he would make it (he's 9 months old now).
I've never felt a second of guilt about DS2. He survived and when you've had a critically ill baby that's all that matters.
Breast fed both. No help from midwives or HVs. In fact HV encouraged me to introduce formula which really didn't help first time round.
Battled mastitis, and for DC2, living in the US, where public nursing was blinkin tricky.
But despite difficulties, in both cases everything settled down and it was lovely for me, and (hopefully) good for DCs.
The only thing I didn't enjoy was when I eased back to work and had leaky boobs on the train home bc I was determined to keep up with bedtime feeds. Gave me a v panicky feeling and some funny looks!
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