to wonder WHAT exactly it is about a breastfeeding mother that some find offensive?(335 Posts)
fledermaus - in the county I live in over 80% of babies are breast fed at birth but in the particular area I work in only 11% of babies are still breast fed by the time they are 6 weeks old.
However, the majority of the area I work in is quite deprived and I do wonder if the rates vary between geographical areas.
Of course rates vary - they vary among different areas and different demographic groups.
Oxford that would be the paragraph which starts "no-one can say definitely"
Why then your earlier posts about "not forgetting about life-time benefits" which are just hinting, heck more than hinting, that the failure to feed in your approved way has lifetime consequences.
sparkling - it's interesting you say that as no women in my family, except my sister, have been able to breast feed either. That's why all my family are very anti breastfeeding unfortunately. Some relatives in particular can't help but make their 'helpful comments and digs' as to why I should be bottle feeding instead....
We aren't a close family at all Writer so I had no idea beforehand. My Mum dropped it into the conversation about 6 months later. I think the family is pro Bf but just can't do it.
The only first inkling I got about my family's anti BF attitude was when my sister was breast feeding her baby (8 years ago) and our mom was making some very nasty comments about it. She told my sister that breast feeding was disgusting and she couldn't believe my sister was choosing to do it
Thankfully my mom wouldn't dare say anything like that to me. My feeding method is definitely a taboo subject of conversation though! I make a point of breast feeding DS every time she comes to visit though
How can people get upset and offended by a woman breastfeeding
In my 52 years on this planet I have never come across a woman breastfeeding it must be because they are uber discreet and I am not that nosey.
I breastfed 4 children, starting 24 years ago (with gaps obvs) and whilst breastfeeding no one but my baby has been able to see my whole boob.
I show more boob wearing a low cut top or a bikini top than when I was BFing.
I don't get it.
Thing is, its not the men who are bothered, they couldn't give a shit IME whatever way a baby is fed. Some women hate it, I don't know why.
They can't be women who BF so they must be women who FFed or women who don't have children.
I breastfed because, in one generation, my family has gone from being in perfect health to one riddled with autoimmunity and terrible stomach issues. I and most of my cousins are afflicted. My parents and their siblings were all breastfed, while the younger generation was not. You could argue that pollution and poor diet was to blame, except we were raised in quiet locations and ate mostly home-cooked nutritional food. I honestly don't know why the health of my family has deteriorated so much, but it was enough to convince me to breastfeed both my sons for 18 months plus.
I am strongly prejudiced in favor of breastfeeding, but, that being said, if someone has a strong aversion to bfeeding, I'm sure bottle-feeding is the way to go.
Writer I breastfed primarily because the concept was familiar to me and what I'd always assumed I'd do. Luckily I had both good support, and no serious problems.
Which, TBH, is I reckon the driving force behind most people's BF vs FF decision. Studies show as well that the most influential factor is what your friends and family do. So I think it's less that people have strong views about "what women should do" or the health benefits necessarily, but if it seems normal to you to BF then it seems like the normal/natural thing to do. Whereas if it seems more normal to FF then BF might seem like something special, scary, difficult. You might give it a try but ultimately not worry too much if it doesn't work out, or you might not try at all.
The thing is that in this country we are so lucky - we have access to clean water, we have money to pay for formula, the vast majority of people can read, if we don't understand the instructions we have lots of opportunity to ask others for help. We have an understanding of hygiene which is so developed it is almost instinctual, and we have excellent access to medical care, so something like diarrhoea for a baby is nowhere near the death sentence it would be in the developing world. For most babies the common cold is nothing at all to be concerned about.
In short while there are risks to using formula in comparison to breastfeeding, we are a rich nation and because of that those risks are negligible. It is and always will be a perfectly adequate, perfectly valid choice and option in the Western, developed world. So there's no need to attack one another
BertieBotts Thank you. I wish you had been my health visitor.
"n short while there are risks to using formula in comparison to breastfeeding, we are a rich nation and because of that those risks are negligible"
Only if you are prepared to disregard all risks (including increased risk of SIDS and breast cancer for non-breastfeeding mothers) other than those associated with insanitary formula preparation. unicef
But I agree with you that most mothers do what seems obvious and what they're comfortable with, though they may primarily justify a decision to breastfeed on a belief that breastfeeding is better for babies.
Everyone should have the right to be left alone to their feeding choice. As always every thread descends into bf v ff and drifts away from the original point...
For those people that went through a lot of pain and obstacles to carry on bf, it is quite hurtful and offensive to be told that bf is no better. It makes you feel like you went through all that for nothing.
Just as I would never dream of thinking or saying to a mum that she should have bf instead of ff I don't expect to be told that bf is no better.
In my opinion, bf is best for mums who want to bf, and ff is best for mums who want or need to ff.
From an analysis of SIDS tests
"The authors concluded that bottle feeding is not a significant independent risk factor for the sudden infant death syndrome. Patterns of maternal smoking, preterm gestation, and parental employment status account for most of the apparent association with bottle feeding."
"The authors concluded that the study is supportive of a weak relation between breast feeding and SIDS reduction."
It's interesting how on this thread people are trying to discredit breastfeeding with their stories, links to research and anecdotes, but you don't see any breast feeders trying to discredit formula in the same way.
I honestly believe that FF women give BF women a much harder time than the other way round.
I don't give BF women a hard time. There are probably a few threads on MN discrediting formula at any one time. It all goes back and forth in a relentless fashion along with the other MN 'hot' topics.
Sorry sparkling - I didn't mean specific people on this thread are giving BF a hard time, I just meant it as a general theme out there in public. I worded it rather clumsily
I know Writer. I think BF/FF will always be discussed like an age old boring record TBH.
This thread was not even about FF but somehow it turned into the yawnsome argument they always do with feelings hurt and guilt reignited. All mixed up with the pros and cons of both methods raked over and over.
winter you clearly missed this charming comment
I find seeing a baby being bottle fed with formula saddening and upsetting but wouldn't dream of saying so to the parent concerned!
I think most people the vast majority don't care.
However from my own experience
I think they also don't want to be endlessly lectured about it.
They don't want staged breast feeding
They think it is simply one way of nourishing a baby.
I also think that for most people breast feeding is just a thing you do or don't do whatever your choice or circs at the time. For others it becomes their entire life.
I think some ardent breast feeders do more harm than good to the cause of breast feeding
Oh and writer if mentioning my awful experience is "discrediting" bf then possibly you like my HV and feeding "counsellor" are happy to to peddle the lie it's so easy, so convenient, every-one can do it.
I belong to the group that would have dearly loved to have successfully done it but couldn't, and I have no idea where I fit into the debate TBH.
Reading about the benefits of BF benefits and possible FF non-benefits makes me feel a bit numb about it all.
Sorry one too many 'benefits' but you know what I mean.
Sparkling I often get the feeling that's what the intention is.
This thread has descended into that. The descent began with the comment from missy about being "saddened etc"
For a baby with committed parents, with a sufficient income , who don't smoke, understand nutrition and a good diet, a mother who didn't drink whilst pregnant I really doubt it makes any difference.
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