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to think that hardly any mothers in America breastfeed?

(75 Posts)
Monsterspam Thu 22-Oct-09 11:49:15

Watching "A Baby Story" and other such tosh trashy telly, I don't think I've seen more than one woman breastfeed. Is it the "norm" in the USA to bottle feed? Or is this misinterpreted by the media?

fishie Thu 22-Oct-09 11:55:43

my impression is that (possibly due to very short maternity leave) it is common to express and bottle feed. so it doesn't follow that it is always formula.

although i do not know what 'a baby story' is.

notcitrus Thu 22-Oct-09 11:59:35

It's probably the norm in many areas seeing as so many women have to go back to work after 6 weeks, and less support than there is here.

Expressing is more common though.
I think some of my dozens of cousins were breastfed, certainly quite a few of my rellies born in the last decade have been, but almost all have had mothers working by 3-4 months so not bf in the day by then.

LadyOfTheFlowers Thu 22-Oct-09 12:01:11

I watch those prgrams too sometimes and have only ever seen one lady breastfeed and she gave up the next day.

Kathyis12feethighandbites Thu 22-Oct-09 12:04:00

My American friend who had her first baby a few months before I had mine sent me loads of leaflets about breastfeeding, from which I deduce that she assumed it was not the norm here and hence it is probably not universal there either (IYSWIM).
Also they do seem to be even more uptight than the UK about bf in public so perhaps women do it but not on tv?

Emprexia Thu 22-Oct-09 12:04:05

YANBU because of the media of those programmes.

but i can tell you, as i post and have done for over 9yrs on several american parenting sites.. you're very wrong.

Monsterspam Thu 22-Oct-09 12:04:20

Didn't think of that notcitrus.

Me too Ladyoftheflowers! Seems odd...

clop Thu 22-Oct-09 12:06:02

It depends a lot where you are. Basically, on the fringes (East and West coast) BrFing is a lot more common than in the middle/deep south.

My guess is that:
* the TV programme producers are adverse to showing active breastfeeding, it being something so intimate; they just don't want to show it.
* And (gonna get flamed here) many people who enjoy being portrayed on trashy telly tend to be more concerned about their image than what they feed their baby (and breastfeeding is still seen as 'icky' and uncool by most people, even among many people who do breastfeed at birth).

Mothering.com (very American site) has a vibrant Lactivism Discussion board, btw; and 4 different dedicated fora for other breastfeeding-related topics.

TrillianSlasher Thu 22-Oct-09 12:09:15

Or maybe the American TV censors are so prudish they might not let you show breastfeeding.

(remember facebook removing pictures?)

needtomoveon Thu 22-Oct-09 12:09:44

Michelle Obama said somewhere (don't have the links/ref) that bf was hard because just when you had got it right, it was time to go back to work. There is a dedicated band of "pumping moms" who manage to keep bf going via mostly EBM. I don't know how the hell they do. I think if Michelle O found something "hard", then a lot of other people are going to struggle too grin. My Dsis lives in the US and said the only way she could bf (and did) was to be a SAHM. Fine, as they could afford it but lots couldn't.

Monsterspam Thu 22-Oct-09 12:12:52

Ah, I am relieved that it does seem to be more common that the media is portraying. Isn't it odd that the most natural thing in the world isn't shown on TV very often but soft porn can? hmm

Monsterspam Thu 22-Oct-09 12:13:21

can is blush

francaghostohollywood Thu 22-Oct-09 12:16:59

Oh I've seen people breast feeding on those programs, but the majority didn't.

If you go to Park Slope (Brooklyn) the majority of women breast feed grin

francaghostohollywood Thu 22-Oct-09 12:17:31

Miranda from Sex and the city breastfed her baby.

mangosTrickyrice Thu 22-Oct-09 12:18:49

They have scary-short maternity leave. And my right-on (childless) American female friends kept trying to give me shawls and stuff when I started bf-ing dd in public - I think they were trying to be helpful rather than offended themselves.

undercoverelephant Thu 22-Oct-09 12:23:27

francaghost - I lived near Park Slope for a while and that was definitely my experience!
It was much like here - some people did and a lot of others didn't - or gave up very quickly. But then maternity leave is practically non-existent in the US

alana39 Thu 22-Oct-09 12:24:51

I used to watch these programmes when expecting DC1, but even in the British ones most of the mums were bottle feeding straight away. Could it also be reflective of the people who agree to appear on a TV programme as they give birth etc? Mind you if they are willing to have their deliveries films it does make me wonder why anyone would be concerned about showing a bit of discrete BF hmm

undercoverelephant Thu 22-Oct-09 12:27:04

sorry - that was confusing - a lot of women in NYC bfed, from what I saw, but I think elsewhere the story is different.
My paediatrician was always offering me free formula (the surgery was practically sponsored by a certain brand) and I left the maternity hospital with free sample sachets.

anonacfr Thu 22-Oct-09 12:32:06

I had my fist kid while living in the States (Ohio). There was a very big emphasis on BFing and all the non-working mothers I met BFed over 6 months.
I guess the issue with working mothers is different though. A friend of mine was very keen to BF as long as possible but when she went back to work found the whole expressing thing too hard and gave up. sad

CarmenSanDiego Thu 22-Oct-09 12:37:41

When I occasionally see mothers breastfeeding here, they tend to faff around with odd tents and blankets and stuff - but I'm not sure that's limited to breastfeeding. There's a culture of covering up babies in prams, strollers and slings for some reason.

I've been bfing in public for the last ten months here (California) though and had plenty of smiles and no dirty looks, so I don't think there's any real disapproval of it.

Formula milk is pushed much harder over here though and an awful lot of women believe they can't breastfeed for one reason or another. The crappy economy and maternity leave issues don't help either.

boundarybabe Thu 22-Oct-09 18:33:13

How long is maternity leave in the US? Just curious!

kickassangel Thu 22-Oct-09 18:44:25

i live in michigan, and have a young(ish) dd so still see lots of new mums.

they ALL breast feed, every one of them, haven't seen them do otherwise until a few months, when they mix breast/bottle. americans cover up far more & are quite 'modest' compared to the UK.

however, they also ALL use a cloth to cover themselves & would def express, then use a bottle if there were a camera crew around.

i also know several mums who bf til at least a year

mat leave is only a few weeks, but there seem to be more SAHM (we live in quite a cheap area, could well be different in an expensive city). they all talk about expressing milk when they do go back to work, so that is considered v normal too.

marenmj Thu 22-Oct-09 19:53:08

we were ALL BF'd and BF'ing was the norm for the first six months in my rural community - not urban by any stretch. This was also back in the 80's when US BF rates were at their lowest.

My mom is worried about me still BF'ing DD (10 months), not for the BF'ing itself but because DD is getting old enough to ask for it and mom considers babies "pawing" at their mother's breasts "embarassing"

My friend who hypno-birthed and exclusively breastfed STILL wore an apron-thingy at HOME with her HUSBAND. Dead serious.

It's not so much the breastfeeding thing that is Not Done as it is showing breasts.

Also, the person who said you don't see it on TV is right that the censors won't allow it. Breasts on TV for any reason is just not ok

And, wanted to add, they have NO restriction on advertising formula for infants of any age like they do in the UK, AFAIK

LeonieBooCreepy Thu 22-Oct-09 19:56:46

Message withdrawn

LeonieBooCreepy Thu 22-Oct-09 19:58:20

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