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Most people don't breast feed do they?

(146 Posts)
ElBombero Wed 09-Oct-13 23:26:12

Or do they?

As a mum do a DS who is EBF I am just utterly amazed at the reaction to me feeding him. It's like I'm mental.

Lost count of the times I've been told / asked
Is he getting enough? He's using you for comfort? Maybe a bottle of formula at night to help him settle, or and latest from MIL after DS put on 11oz in one week...

". Do you think BM is enough for him? He's growing so much..."
Errr yeah he's growing so well cos of the BZm

BenNJerry Wed 16-Oct-13 07:02:49

I barely know anyone who breastfeeds. I am a young mum (23) and it seems that my generation are formula feeders. I know it's up to the individual mother, but it does make me a little sad that people my age don't even want to give it a go. A friend of mine wanted to breastfeed, but got mastitis after a couple of days and it put her off entirely.

I wanted to bf until 6 months. Unfortunately I had bad anaemia after a traumatic birth in which I lost a huge amount of blood. I was very very worn down and it affected my supply. I managed 12 weeks of ebf but DS just wasn't gaining enough weight. I then combine fed until my supply ran out a couple of days ago (DS now 4 months). I will definitely bf again if I have any other children.

(Oh and having done both I can say that DS certainly does not sleep longer on formula! He still wakes up twice a night and has done so ever since birth!)

HorryIsUpduffed Tue 15-Oct-13 19:46:52

Starlight I'm 37+ with DC3 and your first paragraph there is just what I needed to read tonight.


StarlightMcKenzie Tue 15-Oct-13 19:36:07

Life with 3 young-uns is the best. A bit chaotic and pretty noisy at times but visitors are in awe enough to ignore any lax housekeeping.

I had 21 months between my first 2 and thing that's the best ever age gap btw.

BraveLilBear Tue 15-Oct-13 17:23:15

This is a really interesting thread. I live in a Yorkshire city where there have been massive drives to increase bf and as most babies are born in the teaching hospital there is quite a bit of support.

I have mainly ebf - have used formula a handful of times and DS is 12 weeks old today. Virtually all the mums I work with ebf for well over 6 months. One lost all supply after post birth complications and had to ff, another had had a breast reduction earlier in life so mixed fed her second (was told to not even bother with her first).

My DP though does not know anyone who has breastfed. He has a different social background to mine. All of his friends' wags gave up bf by 4 weeks. One lasted a total of two feeds before she was put off by the fact that her dad appeared one visiting time when her son waa hungry. My DP was bottlefed as were all his siblings. One of his work colleague's wife tried to bf but couldn't because one boob ' didn't work'.

My DP hates that I breastfeed because our DS 'only wants me' and hates that we don't get to spend evenings together as DS cluster feeds til 10.

I'm constantly being asked about feeding when we see his family - his gran keeps saying things like 'are you giving him a bottle at night yet?' This surprised me but then I read upthread about the formula fashion in the 50s and 60s - when she had her boys.

I have never seen anyone breastfees in this city apart from the one time I made it to a support group.

IsleOfIslay Tue 15-Oct-13 10:01:50

I have been the only person out of my group of friends who has BF. Some just didn't want to others started then gave up after a few days. We are still going strong at 7m. I love it tbh, the convenience the closeness. I am going to be sad when it becomes time to stop. I have to say I was surprised even amongst my friends and family of their attitudes towards me BF. I do it as subtly as possible but even still some get flustered and embarrassed!

SHarri13 Tue 15-Oct-13 09:58:08

I live in the SE, greater London/ Surrey borders and most people I know don't/ haven't BFed.

working9while5 Tue 15-Oct-13 09:51:50


Yup. MSc on hold. Tell me life with three is awesome?

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 15-Oct-13 09:50:03

Wow Working! Congratulations!!!

working9while5 Tue 15-Oct-13 08:20:44

Zippity what's your take on 'socioeconomics and all that jazz'?

Privileged women are now far more likely to ebf.

From my perspective having had disastrous experiences with bf but having doggedly stuck at it irregardless til ds1 was 2 and ds2 1 (in both cases supply drying up when pregnant again) I think people who don't get why people ff are unlikely to have struggled.

With ds1 I had the usual misinformation and lack of support from HCPs, tongue tie etc... he had various periods of supplementation because of severe failure tothrive.

With ds2 I 'wisely' decided HCPs were not helping after a fortnight of every single one giving me different information and decided I would go it alone, do biological nurturing and skin to skin and cosleep and let him feed, feed, feed.

I was 'reclaiming' the womanly art of bfing.

At 20 weeks he was on point of hospitalisation and I had significant PND and I began supplementing. I was literally lying in bed feeding with him three whole days a week listening to relaxation tapes and expressing to stimulate supply when he was sleeping and feeling increasingly desperate and confused as to why nothing was working to increase his weight.

Bfing may be natural but in much the same way that I am glad I have ventolin for my asthma and might havr died in another lifetime, it's good that there are other ways to feed babies.

I can't imagine having done it all with financial strain and maybe no partner and no community support. Though I am far from sure I should have kept at it in my own circumstances and I will not be continuing ebf withthis baby in the event of no weight gain.

ElBombero Sun 13-Oct-13 20:20:18

Just been to a local restaurant a saw a friend,
" aw wow, your BFing"
"Aw god is he up a lot in night then. I couldn't bear it, mine went on the bottle after a week"
"Feed him whenever he wants it, usually 2hrly at night"
"When you gonna do it to? Don't you give him any FF. You should try one at night... He'll sleep longer"

mrscog Sun 13-Oct-13 19:27:22

Our of my friends (probably around 15 of us have at least 1 DC now) there is a 100% EBF rate until 6 months. I think social class and peer support (we've all helped each other in various ways) have a lot to do with it because it's in no way representative of the statistics.

ZippityDoodahday Sun 13-Oct-13 19:08:48

Most women ff IME. I bf. Human babies are meant to have human milk from their mother not in a plastic bottle from any Tom, Dick or Harry. For the life of me I can't understand why anyone would willinglp put their newborn on processed cow's milk. If done as a lifestyle choice then it's gross IMO. Socio-economics & all that jazz I guess.

MirandaGoshawk Sun 13-Oct-13 17:32:40

Re the cultural side - article today (lighthearted) in the Torygraph about the 'Seven Stages of Marriage', illustrated with cartoon-style drawings. One 'stage' shows a young couple, the woman holding a baby and feeding it with a bottle. They are never going to show a boob being used for its intended purpose, are they? sad

working9while5 Sun 13-Oct-13 16:33:52

Most people I know do/have.

JollyScaryGiant Sun 13-Oct-13 16:30:58

I have huge admiration for anyone who exclusively expresses. I did it for a wee while when DS was a newborn (like a fortnight) and it is so time consuming. Agree that EEers deserve medals.

CrazySexyCool123 Sun 13-Oct-13 15:00:08

Thanks Starlightsmile

CrazySexyCool123 Sun 13-Oct-13 14:59:07

Tiktok I knew before DS that I would have little chance of BF even though I really wanted to. (Inverted nipples) At my first appointment with MW I asked about it and she said "it's breastfeeding not nipple feeding so don't worry about it." On the day he was born a MW asked what I had done to prepare for it. sad

I tried a nipple shield but it didn't go very well so I began pumping....and haven't stopped! HCPs didn't give me any info on it (good pumps, how many, how often, how long, storage, heating, being out-and about, cleaning) so I had to use a little formula in the early days as it was very much trial and error.

I've found American sites the most useful for info on EE. I think that it's seen as just something that bfers do occasionally for a break and that maybe there are so few who do it that they don't bother to offer help. I can understand why people don't EE. I have come close many times to giving up,but looking back it would have been great to have more support/info at the beginning.

Non-HCPs have been brilliant! People often hold DS while I express and DP is supportive. I get lovely comments from people, like yours smile thanks

I will be more prepared for when we have a 2nd DC. I do hope to bf, but if not I will aim for a min 3m EE. (Pumping has almost pulled out one side)

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 13-Oct-13 14:50:04

Wow crazy. EEers truly have the worst of all worlds in terms of demands on them. Their very lucky babies don't though.

GirlWithTheDirtyShirt Sun 13-Oct-13 14:42:04

I expressed for 3 months, at which point I was no longer producing enough milk to make it worthwhile so I stopped.

Most people I know breastfed and I was automatically ready with my story as to why I wasn't. I felt I had to justify my decision with everyone I met.

So I'd go with at least 90% of people in my circle breastfed.

tiktok Sun 13-Oct-13 14:38:04

Crazy, sorry to hear that......mothers who express for a long time are deserving of large medals, in my opinion smile

What do people say or do that undermines or criticises you?

CrazySexyCool123 Sun 13-Oct-13 14:04:56

Thanks Tiktok
I often hear of a lack of support for breastfeeding but I can tell you from experience at nearly 8 months of EE that there is no support for EE.
"Get a pump, off you go." Great.

PseudoBadger Sun 13-Oct-13 13:30:43

I've found that all my friends who have stopped breastfeeding have had incredible pressure from their mum or MIL and have found it easier to stop than constantly be harassed by them sad
I fed DS until almost 2 and a half and am currently feeding dd who is 6 days old. With DS I fed through undiagnosed posterior TT and it was honestly a painful nightmare; it was agony at the start and end of every feed, I had to hold him in latch and hold my breast as well for the whole feed. But I was damned if I was going to stop. Then suddenly it stopped hurting (but I still had to hold him and my breast for every feed until we stopped!).

Dd has so far been much easier; I've been pedantic with regards to getting the latch correct and although the last few days have been difficult due to breast engorgement and tiny mouth incompatibility(!) I can see light at the end of the tunnel.

But my mum or DP wouldn't dream of undermining my choice or not supporting BFing. MIL mentioned it occasionally but got told to do one pretty sharply....

RNJ3007 Sat 12-Oct-13 22:23:18

I mostly know ebf mums! Extended bf too. But then, I go to Baby Cafe and LLL...

I fed my daughter to 15 months (badly timed nursing strike, sad) and am happily feeding my 8 week old son; even got a high five for feeding him in the moby wrap in Sainsbury's this morning!

rockybalBOOOOa Sat 12-Oct-13 22:09:36

I think it depends where you live. In my city most people who can do.

islingtongirl Sat 12-Oct-13 22:06:30

I'm exclusively bfing my DD who is 7 weeks tomorrow. I found the first 2-3 weeks v hard - didn't realise how much it would hurt etc but I have to say I found the breastfeeding peer support in my area (north london) excellent and far beyond what I expected. It is NHS funded, there was a helpline I called a number of times open daily, and another number for weekends and a drop in clinic at a different children's centre each day of the week. Without that support I don't think I would have continued past the first few weeks, but I am so glad I did. Things have been so much easier in this second month. I really think a lot comes down to support over those first few weeks, as others have said. As soon as I had the baby my hospital got me doing the whole skin to skin and the midwife asked if I was planning to bf. I said yes and she helped me get DD latched on for the first time. On the postnatal ward however I got very little attention/help and the first midwife I saw at home wasn't very encouraging, but the local support was great. Looking at the 8 of us in my NCT group, 4 of us are bfing. Will be interesting to see if we still are in a few months time, I hope to but am just starting to try and get DD to take a bottle of expressed milk once a day to get her used to bottles so I can go out once in a while! That's the only downside of bfing for me - you are rather tied to the baby unless you express. I don't mind now while DD is so small but it would be nice to have some flexibility down the road. Current plan is to bfeed for 6 months then start weaning. Will see how it goes.

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