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to ask does Breastfeeding need promoting?

(135 Posts)
mummamizz Sat 18-Jun-11 20:25:07

It's a bit of a follow on from the thread about the controversial "apple dumplings" Anyone who wants to watch it it's here
If your answer is yes Why? How would you personally do it? What message would you want to get across? Do you think advertising would make a difference?

jaggythistle Sat 18-Jun-11 20:34:25

not so much promoting, as explaining and normalising.

there is so much myth and frankly so much bullshit around about it, that puts people off and means that they struggle unnecessarily.

I've nothing against formula, but the cynical manufacturers have done nothing to dispel the myths, but have in fact encouraged them and made up new ones in the name of profit. i think that sucks a bit myself.

the overall effect has been to give many women little or no confidence in their ability to feed their baby, this sucks too.

i can't click on your link as I'm on my phone so no comment on that. smile

RitaMorgan Sat 18-Jun-11 20:39:13

I don't think it needs promoting - way more money needs to go into training midwives and breastfeeding counsellors though.

Most women want to breastfeed, but there's a huge drop out rate - because of the lack of knowledgeable support in the NHS.

mummamizz Sat 18-Jun-11 20:57:07

When I asked my mw (who I couldn't fault for her help btw) if I could see a BF counsellor she told me there was about a weeks waiting list to see her (I presume this means there was only one) Are BF counsellors volunteers or paid for by the NHS do you know?
A few of my friends didn't BF longer than a few days (if that) because they didn't want to feed in front of other people and thought feeding so much meant they didn't have enough milk. Is that because they aren't told these things before the baby is born and do you think if you said for the first few weeks your constantly stuck to the settee in a state of undress that would help or hinder? That does sound really negative of me but I quite enjoyed the chance to put my feet up and have a cuddle. And I obviously didn't find it that bad as fed my eldest till 2 and my youngest is 15 months and still going strong.

Atually that above is a prime example of me not wanting to put anyone off but still wanting to be honest and struggling to find a happy medium

StealthPolarBear Sat 18-Jun-11 20:59:33

normalisong more than promoting IMO

My slogan would be "Your milk for your children"

LunaticFringe Sat 18-Jun-11 21:04:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ziptoes Sat 18-Jun-11 21:20:27

Read somewhere today that something like 87% intend to try but the falloff rate is huge. So I second the point that BF doesn't need promoting, but that there needs to be better training for midwives and more, and better trained, breastfeeding councillors.

And perhaps a few more BFers on telly would help make people fell less self conscious?

Adagoo Sat 18-Jun-11 21:21:15

Agree with stealth it needs to be normalised.

And yes, you need to be told the truth about it, as at the beginning it is harder than it will ever be. If you thought that it was always going to be like that then you'd really struggle to carry on.

Adagoo Sat 18-Jun-11 21:24:48

The BFers on telly tend to be the lallies out type. I've seen one person feeding discreetly on telly. They make Bfing look like it's not the type of thing done by 'people like me'.

All the Bfers that hide in toilets need encouraging to come out too. If you see someone feeding, and when I do to my male friend's disappointment you can't see IYSWIM then it makes you think that you can do it too.

Fernier Sat 18-Jun-11 21:27:20

People need to be told about the difference in the first few weeks of breastfeeding as opposed to the first few weeks of formula feeding. My first three children were bottle fed from birth and my fourth breastfed (she is ten months now and we are still going!). When I had my fourth I was worried mostly by the fact that she needed me so much more, feeding was constant, there as no napping in her Moses basket it was hold feed hold feed hold feed which was the opposite to my bottle fed babies who had a bottle then settled for a couple of hours. I just didn't realise it was normal to still feel as though you were physically attached to the baby! And that is what if anything woukd have caused me to give up.

chickenlickin Sat 18-Jun-11 21:40:22

I think the Department of Health should do a promotion film (like they do for strokes/heart attacks etc) on the tv but for promoting Bf. It would normalise it and reach the people who need the information. I am a midwife and there is a lot of women that attend Bf classes etc but these women already know the good reasons to Bf. We need to educate normalise Bf for everyone - that would be the start anyway!!

MrsDimples Sat 18-Jun-11 21:47:36

Money needs to be spent on providing support first.

When more women breastfeed, then more women will breastfeed because 1 it normalises it & 2 more women will have experience & advice to help more women.

TONS of women don't even consider bfing & see formula as the norm. If more women that did want to BF but 'failed' due to lack of help, bad advice etc, had been given support, we'd gave larger numbers bfing & therefore normalising it.

I'm definitely in the lactivist camp, but I'd rip out every single 'breastfeeding is best', 'hospital breast feeding poster' etc etc from maternity units til there is enough support for every women giving birth in them.

I have several friends that desperately wanted to breastfeed & didn't get the correct help & support & were devastated when they turned to formula.

My feelings on current NHS bfing policy is this, 'SHUT THE FUCK UP UNTIL YOU CAN PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS', & yes I do understand it is down to lack of funding. The funding being lacking because it isn't seen as a priority.

Adagoo Sat 18-Jun-11 21:48:44

fern what made you change/ keep going?

RitaMorgan Sat 18-Jun-11 21:52:40

chickenlicken - but most women already do want to breastfeed, and the support and knowledge among HCPs isn't there. Until the NHS is able to support everyone who wants to breastfeed, is there much need to educate the minority who don't want to?

Fernier Sat 18-Jun-11 22:12:12

Adagoo what made me choose to breastfeed the fourth time was nothing more than deciding to give it a go to save a bit of money. I said after she was born I'll just have a go and see what happens. I had everything ready for bottle-feeding to ready to switch if I wanted but never did.
The person who stopped me giving up was a midwife in the hospital, my DD was crying and feeding constantly for what seemed like the whole night after she was born and about 2am I was convinced it wasn't working but the midwife told me to keep going until 6 and if I still wanted to give up then I should. Of course by 6 she was fast asleep and settled. After that I always thiugh just see how it is in the morning the just see how it is at 2 weeks and then all of a sudden we are at 10 months.

faverolles Sat 18-Jun-11 22:22:23

Agree about normalising rather than promoting. I think as many people are put off by promotions as those who find them helpful.

HCP's need a huge kick up the arse. If they read some up to date information on breastfeeding, they may be able to do more than just recommend a bottle.
Midwives should give consistent up to date info and advice. This should be part of their training, rather than leave it to their personal feelings and ending up with new mothers getting conflicting and poor advice.
Breastfeeding councillors should be available in the early days to visit new mothers and help when it is needed. (maybe just my area, but it's near on impossible to speak to a BFC on the phone let alone have them visit). And as such BFC should be a recognised paid job - in an ideal world, can't see the NHS doing this right now, sadly.
People should be allowed to make their own choices and not be made to feel guilty for it.

within hours of giving birth.

faverolles Sat 18-Jun-11 22:24:15

Ooh. Random sentence there. Make of it what you will smile

choceyes Sat 18-Jun-11 22:32:35

I agreee that it needs normalising.

It doesn't help to normalise breastfeeding, when you come across a picture of a bottle indicating the Feeding Room in so many places...even in the childrens hospital I visited in Manchester and a Sure Start centre. Why not a breastfeeding symbol? or both?

I failed spectacularly on bf my DS. He didn't latch on and was disinterested in the breast and I was given bad information and advice by the midwifes and health visitors. I was determined however to give him breastmilk so I expressed all his milk feeds till he was 11 months old.

With my DD now 10 months, I read The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding before I had her and I must say it totally prepared me for it. Every pregnant woman must read this book before she gives birth. It gives such good information, like how normal it is for babies to feed so much in the early days and nights and how it's not a sign of not having enough milk etc

EverythingInMiniature Sat 18-Jun-11 22:33:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

biddysmama Sat 18-Jun-11 22:41:48

no, breastfeeding needs normalising, the best way to do this is to nurse in public, not make a big fuss of it, the fuss is what makes it stand out for the wrong reasons as does attacking ff mothers. imo the way forward is to breastfeed in public, be positive about bf and educate the children and pregnant women about it, they are the future, theres no point in attacking someone who already ff as they are unlikely to be able to relactate, its too late... does that make sense? im very very tired lol

Fernier Sat 18-Jun-11 22:42:10

Oh I forgot another thing would be to get rid of the idea that you need a special chair and lots if pillows/special positions. I was getting sore trying to hold my baby as it showed in the little leaflets and I was again feeling like I was failing because she didn't have enough nipple of she had too much or her body wason on the wrong angle or something. But a surestart breastfeeding lady told me to "lean back relax and wave her at your boob". And it suddenly seemed so much less stressful and just natural not like a test.

gallicgirl Sat 18-Jun-11 23:06:55

There is much more training needed for follow-up for ALL HCPs.

My CMW was brilliant and I never imagined BF would be difficult. I just saw it as a natural part of the baby-caring process. However DD had to be admitted to hospital at 6 days due to weight loss but hospital did nothing to support BF and advice about feeding in general was dreadful. It was pretty much "give her formula". In 2 days they couldn't manage to get a MW from the floor above to come and help me BF and the sole BF counsellor was on a 2 week holiday. I was given a cloth bag and a fridge magnet with phone numbers on it. Whoop-de-doo.

Even once we were home and I was at GP with feeding issues, he never supported BF and was of the attitude that if DD fed ok from a bottle, then give her formula. Why the fuss over wanting to BF?

You can promote BF all you like but if the WHOLE health care system can't support it once baby is born then you're wasting money.

spudulika Sat 18-Jun-11 23:21:01

No. Not if we banned ALL formula advertising. The mums clubs, the free cuddly cows, the ads for follow-on, the free samples, all of it. And then we could stop spending so much on breastfeeding promotion and start spending more on breastfeeding support.

But until this happens and until we start seeing vastly more public breastfeeding, promotion is the one way to keep it in the public eye.

spudulika Sat 18-Jun-11 23:22:12

"My slogan would be "Your milk for your children"

I like 'Mother's milk for father's baby' - accompanied by a picture of some rippling hunk holding an ikkle babby.

CurlyGirly2 Sat 18-Jun-11 23:24:54

I do think more promotion is needed, as others have said, just to normalise it. Like all advertising campaigns, this would need several 'styles' of promotion in order to appeal to as many people as possible.

Sadly, I think to totally normalise bf the advertising budgets of the big formula companies would be needed. I honestly have nothing against formula, but some of those ads are very very good at appealing to the perceived 'negatives' of bf, eg. the dad is up in the night boiling the kettle to do the night feed!

I also think more information is needed, rather than just pushing the benefits, and applying pressure to pregnant mums.

With my 3rd child I had a very traumatic labour and my milk took 6 days to come in....6 days of hourly feeding, baby sucking and sucking and not getting very much. Fortunately for me I was experienced, having bf my first 2 children for over a year each. However, had i been a firs-time mum I could easily have thought 'oh no, I haven't got enough milk'.

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