Advanced search

AIBU to think that professionals shouldn't immediately lecture on 'breast is best' without checking WHY you're not breastfeeding?

(254 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

Bellabelloo Sun 19-Feb-17 23:36:55

Every single doctor, midwife, health visitor, doctor has given me a disapproving look and lecture on breast being best and asking whether I've given it a proper try etc without actually asking WHY I'm not breastfeeding. When I tell them that I had breast cancer when I was 30 and that I had to have a double mastectomy it shuts them up pretty quickly.

But I do feel really upset by it. I feel guilty that I can't breastfeed. I already feel like less of a woman having had my breasts removed, and now I am being made to feel like less of a mother.

There are many, many reasons why women might not be able to breastfeed and I just think the medical professionals should just ask whether there is a reason a woman has chosen not to breastfeed before judging and lecturing.

That's not unreasonable, is it?

hmmmum Sun 19-Feb-17 23:42:05

YANBU. Sorry to hear you've been made to feel bad.

VimFuego101 Sun 19-Feb-17 23:43:09

YANBU, and I would complain. They need to find a more sensitive way of wording it.

Crumbs1 Sun 19-Feb-17 23:43:46

There aren't that many thingswhich prevent women breastfeeding - but yours is pretty strong reason. Don't feel guilty feel delighted you were fortunate enough to preserve fertility through chemotherapy and your baby is going to do well without breastfeeding. Of course health professionals are going to encourage breastfeeding - its incontrovertibly better but many, many babies do fine on formula in Western world. It has some key advantages too.

ChishandFips33 Sun 19-Feb-17 23:46:36


it takes a few more minutes of their time and likely less in total when they're not having to spout their spiel

You are not less of a mother and don't for one more minute let them make you feel that way flowers

TSSDNCOP Sun 19-Feb-17 23:51:35

Crikey, isn't it all over your notes? Why would they ask you?

I didn't breast feed because I didn't want to and never had a seconds contention or disapproval. In your case I should have thought by now someone would have top-lined your rationale. You shouldn't have to explain.

Iwantausername Sun 19-Feb-17 23:52:47

How insensitive. I'd have thought it would be in your notes?
Either way, YANBU

Only1scoop Sun 19-Feb-17 23:53:36

YANBU that's dreadful
As pp I decided to FF by choice and was never questioned.

LilQueenie Sun 19-Feb-17 23:54:01

It doesn't matter why you do or don't nobody should be lecturing to another about it. In fact having a child is like being a child now. There is always some professional pushing new rules and facts - that change from one year to the next.

LoupGarou Sun 19-Feb-17 23:55:49

YANBU at all flowers, I also had a double mastectomy (and no reconstruction) prior to having DS. A complete stranger in Heathrow airport once came up to me and went on and on about how I shouldn't be bottle feeding and when I asked her what exactly I was supposed to use to bf she told me that even people as flat chested as me could still bf! shock hmm. Some people are morons.

Bellabelloo Sun 19-Feb-17 23:58:41

Thanks! Yes, he is our little miracle baby as I was told the chemo had left me infertile. We feel very blessed.

You would have thought it was in my notes!! But even since being out of hospital I have seen 4 different midwives and 2 health visitors who have seen me bottle feeding and have had something to say about it!

Am probably just being hormonal and sensitive! But I just think it doesn't hurt to question why. I know my situation will be unusual for my age, but other women may not breastfeed for a number of reasons and might not need the unnecessary lecture.


Bellabelloo Mon 20-Feb-17 00:00:20

Oh my God Loup!! shock

LoupGarou Mon 20-Feb-17 00:04:11

It was pretty special Bellabelloo hmm. Its crap though, I would definitely complain if I were you, you shouldn't have to put up with it, its definitely not you being hormonal or sensitive. What do you say to them? X

sycamore54321 Mon 20-Feb-17 00:05:25

@Crumbs1 your post is part of the problem. It is insidious and snide. Breastfeeding is NOT incontrovertibly better. There are some minor benefits proven for the first 12 months - fewer colds and bugs on a population basis - but nothing that would even allow you to group children as breastfed or not if you didn't know the answer. And "many" infants do fine on formula? What a hideous undermining statement. Properly prepared formula, suited to that baby's needs, given in adequate quantities will meet the nutrition and growth needs of all children receiving it. And reasons for not breastfeeding cannot be classed as strong or weak. Women's breasts and the way in which they are used, are not to be subjected to external opinion. The only questions that should be asked is whether feeding, in whatever form, is going well and are the parents happy with how their baby is doing.

OP lactivists have massively overstated the benefits of breastfeeding for healthy term babies. This blinds them to the reality of the very many different circumstances that exist, including yours, and leads to the horrible insensitive situations you have encountered.

Congratulations on your beautiful baby. If she is loved and fed, and it very much sounds like she is, I guarantee you are an excellent mother.

Winniethepooer Mon 20-Feb-17 00:06:41

flowers You've obviously been tnrough alot Op.

I've 6 dc. Only managed to ebf dc6!
No HCP asked after the 6 week check about how my babies were bring fed.

I never justified why i ff. I found with dc 6 the H.V really wasn't interested!

Its really not that big an issue in RL, in my experience

Bellabelloo Mon 20-Feb-17 00:07:45

Oh they stop pretty quickly when I tell them what I've been through! But none of them seem to have given the rest of the team the heads up! Maybe it's not in my notes if it's nothing to do with the pregnancy?

missperegrinespeculiar Mon 20-Feb-17 00:08:37

YANBU at all!! the pressure to breastfeed is too great and there isn't that much support, I almost died in child-birth, and couldn't breastfeed exclusively, I remember breaking down sobbing when I realised I had to give a bottle, a lot of pressure I did not need at the time, being sick myself and with a poorly baby, I think health professionals should be more aware of these situations. If you have access to clean water, formula is just fine!!

Grilledaubergines Mon 20-Feb-17 00:09:26

YANBU at all OP.

I chose not to and was never questioned about it by midwives/health visitor. Just as well really as saying no to breastfeeding is the end of the matter, not up for explanation of discussion.

downwardfacingdog Mon 20-Feb-17 00:12:15

YANBU. They should not be saying about bf to a mother who I'd already ff as the decision has been made so all their lecturing can do is make them feel bad, not increase bf rates and I say that as a bf peer supporter. I would complain as you might actually make a difference to the other women in your position. Congratulations on your baby flowers

Wishforsnow Mon 20-Feb-17 00:14:18

That is just so insensitive. If your child is just going for regular checks and you are not asking questions about feeding I just don't get why they ask.

LoupGarou Mon 20-Feb-17 00:35:40

We're not in the UK I'm not sure how it works there but it was all over my notes and to be fair all the HCP's who dealt with me were fully clued up. Could you speak to or send an email complaint to whoever is in charge locally to you? You shouldn't have to keep experiencing it, it horrendous enough going through mastectomies and all they entail let alone this insensitivity flowers.

DeadMorose Mon 20-Feb-17 00:57:17

I think you need to complain about them not reading your notes before seeing you. I don't think it's a big deal that they ask, but they really should know who they're about to see.


Rixera Mon 20-Feb-17 00:59:47

YANBU, it's so frustrating to have that message pushed from all sides. I was also told I was infertile, so to say the pregnancy was unexpected is a huge understatement... Yet at first midwife appt a week later the very first thing they asked was how I planned to feed, so they could push the breast is best drivel.

BF'ing was awful and triggering and upsetting but I still sobbed as I gave her the first formula feed. And guess what? At nearly 2, you couldn't stand her in a line with the others at toddler group and pick out who was FF, because as long as they're fed and loved they're all fine.

Butterymuffin Mon 20-Feb-17 01:00:21

Yes, I think in your case you should point out this has happened several times now and makes you distressed and the HCPs that deal with you look insensitive and unprepared.

user1481795553 Mon 20-Feb-17 01:02:40

I had the trauma of a preterm birth and no labour so my body just wasn't ready to feed ds. However I was told time and time again that I wasn't trying hard enough 😡.
So I had to deal with recovering from major surgery, nearly dieing, my ds in neonatal and then this condescending woman blaming me for having no milk. Never felt so bad in all my life plus the meds made my milk toxic to ds so feeding him was out of the question for a while anyway
You're right op, they should ask why before jumping right into judging a mothers choices.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: