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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?

SirBoobAlot Sat 08-Dec-12 20:11:34

Agree with what was said about page 3 etc. Breasts are now more commonly seen as a sexual object than as what they really are for - feeding a baby. That combined with the powers of formula companies, and the amount of freaking media attention they can afford means a decrease in breastfeeding rates.

Would highly recommend The Politics Of Breastfeeding: When Breasts Are Bad For Business to anyone interested in this.

StateofConfusion Sat 08-Dec-12 19:58:22

Well I don't fit in anywhere, I'm young, unmarried (although dp is still around and ds, dd and dc3s dad) live on a shameless-esque estate, we are either on a very low income when dp works, but currently he's unable to due to knee and hip problems. Our ds was born when I was 18 dp 21, I bf him for 6mnths. Dd was born 16mnths later, I bf her for a year, I plan to bf dc3 aswell as I know the benefits for dc and me, also the huge amount of money it saves, and I enjoy bfing.

Healthy start vouchers can be used for fruit/veg/milk/formular. However its not enough for a full FF child to be free, £3.20 pwk for a child under 4 or pregnant lady.

I don't understand why bfing rates are so low, where I live its mainly seen as gross or weird, and many are all to eager to get someone to babysit, however I know perfectly inteligent doting mums who don't bf, so its just personal choice isn't it, how much support and what's the norm for you. I was bfed, I then grew up watching my cousins being bfed, and my brother and sister were bfed (they were born when I was 17 and 20) so that's possibly why I gave it a go.

nancerama Sat 08-Dec-12 19:35:46

My grandmother (very working class) had one baby in the 20's, one in the 30's and one in the 40's - my grandfather worked away a lot! She bf all of hers - I guess it was the only option for the first, and she stuck with what she knew for the other two.

My mother chose to bf in the 70's, probably encouraged by my grandmother to do so and was screened off from the other mums on the ward so "she didn't give them silly ideas". How things change.

TheSecondComing Sat 08-Dec-12 18:59:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Rudolphstolemycarrots Sat 08-Dec-12 18:57:14

Maybe it was seen as the most economic/normal route in the 60's/70's? I remember we never ate ready meals as they were too expensive either.

I think the middle class make an educated choice to breast feed these days - but also it seems very normal.

mrskeithrichards Sat 08-Dec-12 18:47:28

And who defines class and by what indicators? Total shit. Slings are middle class?

HollyBerryBush Sat 08-Dec-12 18:42:07

"ndComing - any need to be so abusive and personal?

I damned well know the lass, my age, my friend, we were pregnant at the same time, sat side-by-side at work on the same grade, went to the same clinic as me and got her milk for free. She had the same salary as me, and her live in partner earned twice what my DH earned.

So please, don't imply I'm a liar.

FutTheShuckUp Sat 08-Dec-12 18:08:58

The data still shows statistically breastfeeding rates are higher in the middle classes but via my job ive seen a lot more people of lower income backgrounds breastfeeding, so the message is trickling through.

TheSecondComing Sat 08-Dec-12 18:07:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bradyismyfavouritewiseman Sat 08-Dec-12 18:06:57

My Nan did not breastfeed any of her children. All born in the 1950s.

My mum didn't. I did breast fed dd but not ds.

All working class, so I don't get your point.

fatlazymummy Sat 08-Dec-12 18:05:57

Oh yes, re the cost of formula, if you really don't want to breastfeed then you find the money for it. I found that child benefit covered it [amongst other things]

fatlazymummy Sat 08-Dec-12 18:01:52

My mother [from a working class background] breastfed most of us kids, though she said she felt pressurised into it. My w/c MIL breastfed her 1st and attempted to breast feed her 2nd. My [very] w/c sister breastfed at least 2 of her babies, and loved it. I also know quite a fewother w/c women who breastfed.
To address anoher point that has come up in the thread, when I had my 1st baby in 1988 breastfeeding was certainly encouraged. And that wasn't really a 'middleclass' area.

DeathMetalMum Sat 08-Dec-12 17:51:35

Oops posted too early. I think its is more to do with what you have seen growing up. I bf dd and plan to bf next dc and certainly not middle class. My mum bf all five of her children. There is a big age gap between the oldest and youngest 20 years. She says the method of feeding that was pushed by HCP's each time was different. Presonally I dont think the cost of the method of feeding comes in to it at all.

DeathMetalMum Sat 08-Dec-12 17:45:39

Stargirl those vouchers can also be used for standard milk.

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)

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 17:23:46

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!

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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