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there is way too much pressure to EBF?

(362 Posts)
ArtFine Sat 05-Apr-14 14:53:39

Just that really.

I've had a difficult journey with BF, and when I look back I know it would have been better and much more healthier for my baby (forget me) if I hadn't breastfed. She has CMPA and other allergies (and had awful silent reflux etc), and this would have been picked up very early on had she been bottle fed, and saved her a lot of pain and tears. hmm

Why is there so much pressure to EBF? Why is it always assumed that breast milk is THE best?

What's the harm for example in giving one bottle of formula per day so that babies get used to the bottle?

Writerwannabe83 Sat 05-Apr-14 14:56:20

Well I'm EBF and I'm getting pressure of various people/relatives to give bottles of formula. They are seriously pissing me off grin

It's ridiculous - you can't win either way!

Smartiepants79 Sat 05-Apr-14 15:00:54

Well it is a scientific fact that breast milk is the best food for newborn babies. Issues of colic and reflux etc don't change that fact.
Personally I BF my 2 girls until they were both 14 months. however they both had 1 bottle a day with their dad until they started to refuse them. And no, it did no harm at all and was a positive for my DH and gave me a break.
They never needed to get used to bottles as we never used them apart from that, they went straight to cup.
I do think it is important that breast feeding is promoted and supported as much as possible. We still have abysmally low rates in this country.
It is NOT the answer for all families and there are many circumstances when it is impossible but it should still be encouraged in my opinion.

RedPencilPot Sat 05-Apr-14 15:01:37

Who does this pressure come from? I ff my baby and never once felt pressure to do anything else!

Smartiepants79 Sat 05-Apr-14 15:02:19

I think better recognition of things such as silent reflux would be more appropriate than stopping promoting breast feeding.

stargirl1701 Sat 05-Apr-14 15:05:01

Too much promotion, not enough support.

WooWooOwl Sat 05-Apr-14 15:05:30

Some people see it as pressure, some people see it as support.

As many people want more support to make bfing successful, and educating people about it will encourage more people to do it and experience the benefits of it, I think YABU.

AnythingNotEverything Sat 05-Apr-14 15:07:24

I agree with smartie. I think parents ought to get a much more balanced view. Breastfeeding isn't always easy. In the early days it needs to be your priority to sit and feed the baby, but because we don't talk about how tough that can be, we also don't talk about how easy it can become after those first few weeks. We don't talk about reflux or colic and bf babies.

I think the one bottle of ff a day isn't recommended because it can (in some babies) lead to nipple confusion. I'm not sure I believe this, but I'm sure it can interfere will a new mum's supply and also her determination to continue on some of the tougher days. We don't have an open debate about this so it's really hard.

thebody Sat 05-Apr-14 15:10:46

Mm well I have been a parent your 24 years and fed my 4 how suited me. I bf for varying amounts of time and then went to ff/bottles/cups.

I never ever had a negative comment on bf, I had advise offered me from Various random people but as an adult I managed to sieve what suited me and what didn't.

I never felt pressure to either ff or bf I just did what suited us.

I am amazed at the angst over this. Not aspects of bf as it can he bloody tricky but the worry about what other people think.

Really do what suits you and fuck anyone else's opinion.

NancyJones Sat 05-Apr-14 15:11:39

Well breast milk is the best but that doesn't mean that formula is akin to poison as some people suggest.
There should be more support and tolerance for BF mothers and more understanding and tolerance for those who chose to FF. I never understand why people get so worked up about how other women chose to feed their babies. I EBF all of mine but I don't give a fig what feeding choices other women make.

stuckindamiddle Sat 05-Apr-14 15:14:04

marking place

WorraLiberty Sat 05-Apr-14 15:16:20

I FF all 3 of mine and I never got any pressure from anyone to BF.

Having said that, my youngest is now 11 so perhaps it was different then?

juneau Sat 05-Apr-14 15:21:42

I EBF both of mine and felt that for the first 3-6 months everyone was very supportive. After that, all I got was pressure to give formula or stop BF-ing! It's as if many people feel its almost indecent or something after the baby has started on some solids to continue to BF.

So I never felt pressure to EBF - that was entirely my choice - but I felt a lot of pressure to stop when others deemed it to be the right time hmm

Laquila Sat 05-Apr-14 15:23:25

It can't be denied that it has been scientifically proven, as a pp says, that breastmilk is the best food for babies. And with the greatest of respect, OP, you have no way of knowing whether your daughter would have been happier or healthier on formula.

However, the scientific evidence about beatnik being a better foodstuff fails to take into account that some mothers and babies have an incredibly hard time establishing breastfeeding - I know I did. I've only recently allowed my exhaustion and frustration to overcome my stubbornness, and have given the odd bottle of formula. It hasnt really made my life any easier, though, although fortunately it hasn't damaged my supply.

It's also worth noting (as an article on kellymom points out) that just because a baby accepts a bottle at one point in time, it didn't necessarily mean that will always be the case -"getting them used to bottles" isn't always possible.

I do think people underestimate the role that new-mother hormones, guilt and baby blues can play in contributing to the pressure that women often feel to ebf.

Laquila Sat 05-Apr-14 15:26:20

Beatnik = breastmilk, as you might have guessed!

MammaTJ Sat 05-Apr-14 15:27:29

I fed my 19 yr old DD for few weeks and found it a struggle. I had no support but no judgement either.

DD 2 loved BF and we were doing rather well but she was very ill, so at aroun 7 hours old she was literally removed from my breast and taken to SCBU. She was then collected ant taken to a hospital over 60 miles away that I was too ill to go to. When I finally joined her the next day and in the intervening period, I had tried to express. They told me the shock of her being so ill made my milk dry up.

DS was born by EMCS weighing 10lbs 5 ozs. I was in ITU for the first 24 hours of his life. When I joined him I said I wanted to try BF and got told that with him being so large and me do weak, it was not a good idea. The nurses had been giving him a lot of bottles while I was out of it.

There was never any pressure apart from the pressure I put on myself!

noblegiraffe Sat 05-Apr-14 15:40:53

No, I don't think there is. There is pressure to breastfeed, I think, but not EBF, and only really at the start.

Neither of mine had bottles and I don't know anyone else who didn't introduce a 'bottle at bedtime to get break' or similar, fairly early on, and then completely to formula sometime before a year.

As an EBFer, I was never asked by a health visitor at the checks or vaccinations if I was still bfing at all, let alone ebfing. No health professional seemed to give a shit, and neither did anyone else, except to ask when I was going to stop bfing.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Sat 05-Apr-14 15:46:12

Where is the pressure coming from? I never felt any pressure to BF - and in hospital I had to battle with the night MWs to stop them from giving DS a bottle.

You shouldn't be feeling pressure to BF - you should be getting evidence based support, advice and treatment to help you to do so if you want to BF. Sadly this is rarely forthcoming sad and you need to seek it out.

WorraLiberty Sat 05-Apr-14 15:47:55

The only 'pressure' I've ever seen has been on MN

And even then, MN seems to reflect real life less and less these days imo.

JackShit Sat 05-Apr-14 15:56:13

YABU. There is no pressure to bf. MOST people ff and bf rates are far too low in this country.

When in hospital for 6 days after emcs I saw very many people come and go and I was the ONLY one bf. Every single other woman ff from the off and it wasn't questioned.

ff is the 'norm' still and this does need to be corrected through promotion.

Woobeedoo Sat 05-Apr-14 22:19:16

At my anti-natal class I was told that my hospital was pro-BF and would not under any circumstances offer FF to mothers. I wasnt too fussed by this as I planned to BF.

However after he was born my son was found to have tongue-tie so he couldn't latch properly, nor could he feed properly. I had one occasion where I was switching from one boob to the other for 4hrs and on another occassion, 6hrs - non-stop. My OH would find me holding DS, slumped over him, shaking and crying from exhaustion. Told the HV this, got cats bum face and asked "Would you like me to help you with the latch?".

I gave up BF'ing, bought a breast pump and formula and still got 'the face' at the next visit. I was made to feel the shittiest, crappiest mother alive for not exclusively BF'ing and could feel myself slipping into PND which thankfully and god knows how I managed to claw my way out of before I fell too deep.

HVs and MWs need to get with the times. Not everyone wants to or for whatever reason is able to EBF. They need to accept our wishes and support us.

TheFabulousIdiot Sat 05-Apr-14 22:24:10


Breast milk IS best, it's a scientific fact.

Most people I know, who wanted to breast feed, we're subjected to sustained attempts to scupper their breast feeding.

I DO think that health professionals should be promoting breastfeeding, but they tend to booby trap it with bad advice and stupid ideas.

So yabu to think that there is too much pressure. Most people don't breastfeed longer than a few weeks.

126stickscupsareace Sat 05-Apr-14 22:24:37

Do you mean pressure on mumsnet?

spatchcock Sat 05-Apr-14 22:24:48

I had my first baby in the UK. FF with no comments whatsoever, only sympathy when I was upset about being unable to bf.

Second baby in a country where there is a huge push to breastfeed. Got endless comments and questions from medical professionals, friends and strangers. Still getting them! I'm unable to bf for medical reasons so didn't appreciate the 'why not?' or the tuts that I inevitably got when someone saw me with a bottle. I don't feel like I owe strangers information about my medical history.

So probably not relevant to this probably UK-centric thread but just wanted to sympathise with anyone who does feel they're getting pressure because it's really not pleasant.

runnerBeanee Sat 05-Apr-14 22:26:14

Yabu. As other posters have said, breastfeeding rates in this country are abysmally low and it has to be promoted and reminded as best otherwise no one would bother, particularly as formula companies promote their brands so heavily...

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