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Latest infant feeding survey

(58 Posts)
showtunesgirl Tue 20-Nov-12 22:30:46 Makes for interesting reading.

mumnosbest Thu 22-Nov-12 10:36:01

Over 8yrs and 3 dc i've seen a huge attitude change with mums and proffessionals, sadly not for the better. 8yrs ago all my expectant friends really wanted to bf and midwives, hv's all talked about the benefits of bf. This year with dc3, the choice and preference of mum and 'do what's right for you' seems to have taken over (completely understand that bf isn't always possible or even practical). It just seems that many make up their minds to ff without ecen giving bf a chance. I was quite alarmed in hospital too by attitudes to bf and lack of support. With ds (8yrs ago) he didn't feed properly untill day 5. There was no panic and give him ff attitude. I was supported and helped to bf every day, he was cup fed a little eb milk to calm him but we got there. This year with dd2 (dc3) after day 1 of no bf they suggested ff, with no support and a chat on baby needing to feed soon. Out of 6 ladies in my room, i was the only one who left bf ing. 2 ff from the start. The other 3 tried bf but being first time mums and getting no support soon turned to ff. The girl/lady opposite broke my heart. She desperately wanted to bf but after a bad 1st night ds wouldn't feed and midwives told her not to get upset. He needed to feed and ff would be fine. That way at least they could go home angry sad

Sorry a bit long but a subject i feel strongly on. I've loved bf but if I had my first dc today don't think i'd have managed it sad

EauRouge Thu 22-Nov-12 12:44:40

The HCPs don't have the time or training to support BF. I mean FFS, we've barely got enough midwives to give birth safely, let alone breastfeed if we're having trouble. It's fucking shameful. It would take a massive increase in funding to increase BF rates. Sadly it's just not seen as worth it, despite the latest UNICEF report. There's also a prevailing attitude of 'FF is just as good' even though there are hundreds of studies to show that it isn't.

tiktok Thu 22-Nov-12 13:46:33

This is how the survey works: mothers (something like 10,000 of them, or getting on that way, which makes it a good survey) are asked among many other Qs, 'how was your baby fed at x weeks?' and if you, at that time, were giving breastmilk only, then you would say so, and you would go down in the survey as 'exclusively breastfeeding'. The survey is not interested in your history, so your baby could have had formula earlier for a short time, and he would still be 'ebf' for the purposes of the survey figures at x weeks.

I have not seen the current figures in detail but from previous knowledge, they do ask 'what age was your baby when he had other milk?' and you would put down '3 days' if your baby had formula at 3 days. So at that time, he was not excl bf, but he might be, age 10 days. Babies can go in and out of these categories, for the survey.

showtunesgirl Thu 22-Nov-12 14:51:42

So it's actually quite a difficult thing to quantify EBF?

Sleepstarved Thu 22-Nov-12 14:59:35

You are right mumnosbest women who want help breastfeeding in hospital but can't manage it right away are often scared into ff because 'baby needs to feed' and unsaid, 'we need your bed'.
You need to be really very determined in the face of all that to carry on trying to bf, most women are too exhausted, inexperienced and compliant to argue.

showtunesgirl Thu 22-Nov-12 15:07:37

I think it's also luck of the draw as to which hospital you are in. I had to choose between two hospitals. The hospital I went to had a lot of support available whilst the other hospital didn't. I have definitely seen a correlation as to which mums in my local area carried on BFing after the first few weeks depending on which hospital they went to.

tiktok Thu 22-Nov-12 15:07:38

showtunesgirl - well, you could easily quantify it by asking mothers 'has your baby ever had anything other than breastmilk?' but my understanding is (and I would need to check to be 100 per cent sure this is still true) that this is not what this survey asks.

neontetra Thu 22-Nov-12 15:08:11

I'm so sorry for all the women who had a poor experience of BF support in hospital, but I did just want to say that I had brilliant support, both then and afterwards from the community MW, HV and all the people at the BF Cafe at my local children's centre. I would never have continued without all this (and DH and my friends and family being supportive, too). The hospital I was in was the Horton in Banbury, and they were awesome! So sad not everyone has this kind of experience.

showtunesgirl Thu 22-Nov-12 15:10:21

tiktok, if that was the criteria then I would not be able to say that my DD was EBF. sad

tiktok Thu 22-Nov-12 15:12:09

showtunesgirl, your observations are born out by the research. There is a higher chance of babies leaving hosp. breastfeeding if the hospital is a UNICEF Baby Friendly hospital - the studies have been done comparing the stats.

Maintenance of bf seems unaffected, however.

tiktok Thu 22-Nov-12 15:19:50

Sorry, scrub that......showtunesgirl you said you noticed a difference in maintenance not initiation, and that does not seem to be a general thing, so far (if I remember the studies right).

tiktok Thu 22-Nov-12 15:21:15

showtunesgirl Thu 22-Nov-12 15:21:26

I would say that support once I was out of hospital was very patchy though.

The HV that came round on Day 2 told me not to eat beans in case I gave DD wind. hmm

showtunesgirl Thu 22-Nov-12 15:22:27

I kind of meant both. The mothers who went to the hospital didn't even initiate whilst the ones who went to the hospital I went to did.

VisualiseAHorse Thu 22-Nov-12 16:32:58

I had no support in hospital. Gave birth in a birthing unit, only two midwives present, and was home within 4 hours of having the baby. Don't even think baby latched on in hospital! But, the next day (and the following 9), one of the midwives present at the birth came to check our BF skills.

I think, regarding the EBF thing (I would consider a baby who'd only had 1 or so bottles in the very early days to be EBF), they need to ask "In the last month, has you baby had milk other than breastmilk?"

fraktion Thu 22-Nov-12 16:42:44

Interesting (and slightly worrying) results.

There desperately needs to be more BF support either from HCPs or volunteer BFCs or peer supporters. I suspect that 50% of the time it's a problem that can be resolved by someone with a bit of knowledge and a lot of encouragement but there are too few. It's taken 10 months after the point where the LLL would consider me for training for me to start training as a BFC. I don't know how long it will take to complete and I suspect that is a funding issue too.

midori1999 Thu 22-Nov-12 19:12:55

I think low rates are depended on good support from health care professionals, something that is seriously lacking, although its not really the HCP's fault, their training and time can be very limited, which isn't really good enough. I also think rates at uptake and continuation are due to societal attitudes and the fact that most women don't know many or any other women who breastfeed or breastfed for very long. Confidence seems to be an issue and it's harder to overcome that when there's no one to tell you 'hey, don't worry, that's normal!'

VisualiseAHorse Fri 23-Nov-12 21:30:27

You're both right, fraktion and midori - there is not enough support, but there are also not enough midwives. But, I do think this will get better as time goes by.

BadlyWrittenPoem Tue 27-Nov-12 21:14:03

I would say that there is too much focus on initiation rates and not enough on maintenance which I would guess is because hospital statistics are based on % initiation and on method of feeding when baby leaves hospital. I definitely believe that any breastfeeding is beneficial so if a mother who plans to FF gives one BF then that is great but it seems like there is all this propaganda* to get people to try it but then (based on the evidence that most people who stop would have liked to do longer) not adequate support to help people sustain it.

*In my most recent pregnancy I was not given any information antnatally about breastfeeding but there were posters all over the ward when I was admitted part way through my pregnancy and there was a DVD in the hospital waiting room. Both were just pushing people to try it (in a rather in your face kind of way) and didn't give any information that would help people practically to actually do it.

snowtunesgirl Tue 27-Nov-12 21:54:44

Yes, the Bump to Breast DVD is crap. It's just a propaganda DVD about how lovely and marvellous BF is but doesn't really show you HOW to do it. Only when you get into the special features bit does it tell you anything of worth.

AndMiffyWentToSleep Wed 28-Nov-12 00:15:27

I have just been told that the 1% ebf rate does NOT include those who took expressed breastmilk, only those fed from the breast directly every single time. Need to check that though. Quite odd if true, IMHO.

BadlyWrittenPoem Wed 28-Nov-12 06:16:31

AndMiffyWentToSleep, it's a long time since I read it and I wasn't particularly thinking about EBM at the time but the EBF was defined as whether they'd ever had anything other than breastmilk or medicines when I read it.

AndMiffyWentToSleep Wed 28-Nov-12 13:23:14

Yes Badly, that is exactly as I had thought. I'll have to go and have a proper read...

tiktok Wed 28-Nov-12 14:31:43

Andmiffy you are wrong. Bf for this survey is breastmilk feeding howrver it is done.

tiktok Wed 28-Nov-12 14:35:34

???? The dvd includes detailed info with graphics and film of the practicalities.

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