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I wonder why the change re breastfeeding

(39 Posts)
cinders005 Sat 08-Dec-12 14:59:59

I was breastfed as a baby by my working class mum. Obviously finance and convenience clearly came into this. I am one of 6 children.
However, these days rate seem higher amonst the middle classes.
AIBU to wonder why this is?

ISeeThreadPeople Sat 08-Dec-12 15:01:48

YABU not to post in the bfing topic.

BegoniaBampot Sat 08-Dec-12 15:07:47

My working class mum Bf my older siblings but bottle fed me as it became the thing to do in the 60's and 70's. many folk started FF and sounds or the hospitals practically encouraged it. think babies were still separate in the nurseries and it was easier just to pop a bottle in their mouths just to get on with it.

SantaWearsGreen Sat 08-Dec-12 15:11:45

It is all rather odd, I agree. It has been proven that the more poor you are the more likely you are to ff and smoke.. Where does the money come from?

stargirl1701 Sat 08-Dec-12 15:13:40

If you receive certain benefits then you get formula free or at a reduced rate. It comes under the 'Healthy Start' scheme in Scotland.

HollyBerryBush Sat 08-Dec-12 15:17:57

Certainly when I had my eldest two (now 18) it was - to my irritation - the fact that single mothers, regardless of employment or cohabitation status got free milk from the HV clinic.

BF wasn't particularly encouraged 20 years ago, well it might have been in some areas but it vcertainly wasn't rolled out the way it is now.

mrskeithrichards Sat 08-Dec-12 15:18:41

That's not true stargirl. Some benefits qualify you for milk tokens if you have children under 5. They aren't doling out free formula.

HollyBerryBush Sat 08-Dec-12 15:21:13

I'd also suggest maternity leave wasn't as generous as it is today, at one point you geot 2 weeks before and a month afterwards if you wished to retain your job. At the same time you had an economic boom pushing up house prices because two incomes were required. Thus FF became a neccessity if you wished to keep a roof over your head.

5dcsandallthelittlesantahats Sat 08-Dec-12 15:22:07

My grandparents didnt breastfeed my parents (my parents were born in the late 1950s).They just never seemed to consider it an option. My mum tried to breastfeed me but she was type 1 diabetic and couldnt control it well enough while breastfeeding so I was formula fed from very early on. I would say that both my grandparents (mining families) and my mum were relatively poor. My great grandmother on my dads side didnt breastfeed either.I think I am the only person in my family to have breastfed for 3 generations, but I have no idea why!

FirstTimeForEverything Sat 08-Dec-12 15:22:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SugarplumMary Sat 08-Dec-12 15:44:34

My working class mum 1970 wanted to bf us all - was sabotage by hospital staff.

Today IME there middle class area have the services and trained HCP and as it’s more common there is more general acceptance.

In the working class area we lived the services weren’t here and when they were they were made every difficult to access and HCP especially MW were very poorly informed or hostile to bf.

The poorest area I have ever lived I have never seen so many smokers daily – no idea why though a large proportion of the population still didn’t smoke.

CogitOCrapNotMoreSprouts Sat 08-Dec-12 15:55:25

YANBU to wonder but I think it probably correlates with whether the mother stays home or goes back to work after the birth. That decision, in turn, is probably influenced by income.

SugarplumMary Sat 08-Dec-12 16:03:33

In the middle class area I lived in about the same number of women returned to work as in working area - in both a lot.

Still many more middle class bf - though often stop at 6 months or moved to evening only feeds. In both areas weaning early was very common - though middle class mothers more often cited going back to work.

The bf rate at 6 weeks was very obviously different and then 3 months so I don't think getting back to work was the issue in the areas I lived or not the first issue.

SirBoobAlot Sat 08-Dec-12 16:12:47

It was pushed by the formula companies very cleverly that people only breastfed if the couldn't afford to buy formula. This was a while ago, but you then get the normality of bottle feeding passing down the generations.

JesusInTheCabbageVan Sat 08-Dec-12 16:26:26

FirstTime I can see you not wanting this to degenerate into a stereotyping, benefit-scroungers, DM-type thread, but BF-ing does seem to be more a middle-class thing these days. Obviously there will be working class mums who BF and middle class mums who FF, but it's reasonable to wonder why a particular approach seems more prevalent among a particular class. I've always wondered.

I also don't get why baby slings seem to be more favoured by middle class mums - to me, they're just easier than manhandling a buggy around.

MrsLyman Sat 08-Dec-12 16:26:37

I also find it a bit odd that more people aren't keen to exploit the cost savings of breastfeeding, particularly as things are so tight financially for many. For many though it just isn't the done thing.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 08-Dec-12 16:30:50

Certainly when I had my eldest two (now 18) it was - to my irritation - the fact that single mothers, regardless of employment or cohabitation status got free milk from the HV clinic.

Not true, free formula/milk tokens have always been linked to certain out of work benefits

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 08-Dec-12 16:35:11

Also as far as I'm aware breast feeding stats are linked to the education of the mother rather than the social class

stargirl1701 Sat 08-Dec-12 16:59:23

It says here, if you qualify, you get vouchers for formula.

muddledmamma Sat 08-Dec-12 17:00:06

Can't help thinking another factor is the sexualisation of breasts by traditionally working class newspapers with their p3 girls. If boobs are perceived as being just for sex it's harder for women to use them for anything else.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 08-Dec-12 17:13:13

Star girl you are correct about healthy start but not everybody gets the tokens it's just those who do not work or who do work but also get income support because they don't work enough to get wtc.

OTheHugeInDavidsManatee Sat 08-Dec-12 17:14:24

Because working class women are more likely to need to go back to work quickly to make ends meet. That would have been even more the case when SML was shorter.

Breast pumps are expensive and SAHM-ing may not be an option financially speaking, so best just to get them on formula. Then after a few generations it's just what everyone you know does so it's harder to go against the tide.

TheCountessOlenska Sat 08-Dec-12 17:23:46

I've heard it suggested that it's linked to wanted to have the next baby fairly quickly (breastfeeding delays periods coming back) - Don't know if this is maybe more true of working class families (do they still have more kids than middle classes??)

I think it has a lot to do with what you see around you - my mum breastfed me, and I grew up in Brighton grin so it was natural thing for me to do - I can imagine if you hadn't seen it done, you wouldn't try it!

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Sat 08-Dec-12 17:30:32

Ffeeding is clearly the devils work hmm only for the likes of the poor uneducated hmm

TheCountessOlenska Sat 08-Dec-12 17:39:50

I don't think it's the devil's work but I think the divide is interesting - I live somewhere where not many people do it and I wish more did purely so I wasn't the odd one out!

On a similar theme, my Grandma was always v embarrassed that she had my Dad at home rather than in hospital as hospital that was the "posh" option - that is something else which has changed round as now homebirth is the more middle class option (imo)

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