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Debate opener.... (please avoid if you don't want a debate/argument!)

(52 Posts)
Scoobyc Thu 26-Jul-07 19:40:15

[this is based on some musings I have had and I'm interested in what different people think]

If you are committed to the idea that breast is best but a mother is finding bfeeding so difficult they are very depressed about it, not bonding with their child etc etc

is it better for the child to be ff with a non-depressed mother who bonds with them, or bf with a depressed mother who doesn't?

(Assuming for the sake of argument that there is no way to change the mental state of bfeeding mother.)

(I'm musing on this one because quite a few people have said they stopped bfeeding for reasons like this and then found they were able to bond with their baby (and in fact it applies to me) so I am wondering if the "breastfeeding nazis" (tongue in cheek) out there rate breastfeeding higher than maternal bonding for baby welfare)

notasheep Thu 26-Jul-07 19:43:54

Dont quite get this one-from a personal level i had dreadful PND but felt breast was still best and still bonded with dd and ds despite a bad time

determination Thu 26-Jul-07 19:44:51

I think FF, as the mother would mentally be no use to the baby if she is in deep depression and not bonding.. If she thinks/knows she would feel better then the decision needs to be made.

Twinklemegan Thu 26-Jul-07 19:45:01

Here's my tuppence worth and then I'm off as I've got work to do.

1) I really wouldn't use the term you did, even tongue in cheek. It causes a lot of offence (and rightly so).

2) It's not that black and white IMO. For me it was a combination of breast and bottle that really helped us to bond because it took the pressure off the feeding.

I think many people would say that better support is what is most important to enable bonding when breastfeeding goes wrong. I think that to a point.

Scoobyc Thu 26-Jul-07 19:45:41

Hi notasheep!

Sorry to hear that.

I'm thinking of a situation where the depression was caused by/linked to the bfeeding so would only lift when bfeeding stopped.

determination Thu 26-Jul-07 19:48:00

Im the very person who believes that EVERYONE can succeed with bfing if they can turn off to initial pain and have shere determination too.

Having never experienced depression and thinking of what a depressed mum who is not bonding could be capable of doing... this is the reasons behind saying FF

notasheep Thu 26-Jul-07 19:48:16

then you remove the cause

Scoobyc Thu 26-Jul-07 19:49:15

Fair enough - BFN term retracted - apologies for any offence caused.

Assume also that combo-feeding not an option.

chonky Thu 26-Jul-07 19:50:17

Surely it's a case of happy mum, happy babe - whether that be b/f or f/f.

notasheep Thu 26-Jul-07 19:50:34

I did combo feeding

gothicmama Thu 26-Jul-07 19:50:48

in that situation ff would be better emotional health and development are as important as teh physical health benefits of bf as with everything it is the method that works to produce the optimum benefits that should be used

DollyPopsOut Thu 26-Jul-07 19:52:23

Please don't use that term to describe people who are into breastfeeding. It is really offensive on many levels.

I agree with Megan that you can't really make it so clear cut. Many people I know in real life have had an awful time with BF and felt terrible when they have had to quit. If they had had more support (or in many cases SOME support) they might not have had to give up when they did. This would have made their early time with their babies better. I don't think anyone who is pro BF advocates BF at any price. It is simply a question of support and education as by sharing info many problems may be easily fixed

FWIW, I had no problems BF my DD1, but did have bonding problems anyway in the first 3 months. Not everythign can be linked to feeding.

DollyPopsOut Thu 26-Jul-07 19:53:32

Sorry cross posts. Please ignore first line - I type too slowly

VeniVidiVickiQV Thu 26-Jul-07 19:53:41

Depends what's important to you, surely.

I had PND, worse after DS2 was born. To have not been able to "even breastfeed" him would've killed me.

The HV acknowledged that - she said she'd be more worried about me having to stop bfing than she was about me not having my PND treated because she knew how important bfing was to me (she wasn't up on ADs you can take while bfing - she is now ).

But that was for me. If bfing's not as important to you, you won't feel like that.

And why wouldn't you be able to treat the PND in another way?

You're assuming for the sake of argument there's no other way to treat the mental state of the mother, and also assuming that combined feeding not an option - I'd want to know why both these things were before I'd say that ff would be the "better" option.

But if you just don't want to bfeed and it's making you miserable doing it, don't do it.

Or did you want someone to come and say "you must breastfeed, whatever your mental state, because otherwise you are evil"?!


bookthief Thu 26-Jul-07 20:01:23

In an ideal world, postnatal support would be of a consistantly high quality, convenient and available for everyone. I truly believe that this would reduce the shockingly high percentage of women who struggle to bf. It might also reduce the incidence and severity of pnd, or at least mitigate the effects.

I don't think it's a simple either/or choice for many women. I don't think there are many people suggesting "bf at all costs" either.

chonky Thu 26-Jul-07 20:05:31

Well put VVVQV. I didn't have PND, but was pretty depressed for other reasons IYSWIM. B/feeding was personally important to me, so if I hadn't have been able to do it it would have felt like a double blow.

SoupDragon Thu 26-Jul-07 20:05:41

My first choice would always be to endeavour to correct the difficulties the mother is having with breastfeeding. Most problems are fixable.

If this fails then ff with a non-depressed mother who bonds with them.

But you should not use the term you did in the final sentence. It is highly offensive.

Scoobyc Thu 26-Jul-07 20:07:03

Or did you want someone to come and say "you must breastfeed, whatever your mental state, because otherwise you are evil"?!

No I'm interested in what you think is best for the baby. Ie, do you rate the health benefits of bm above the baby's emotional needs from their mother.

Personally I agree with gothicmama.

I know in rl nothing is as clearcut as the example I've set.

Scoobyc Thu 26-Jul-07 20:08:38

yes thanks soupdragon I have already retracted and apologised for that....

UCM Thu 26-Jul-07 20:08:54

I would want the Mother to do exactly what she wanted to do, if she wants to stop. Stop. Most women, I assume know whether something is making them miserable or not.

I don't know if the baby picks up on hapiness or not. Either way, it's important that you are relaxed and happy, just for you.

SoupDragon Thu 26-Jul-07 20:10:07

Oh well excuse me for replying to the OP...

Scoobyc Thu 26-Jul-07 20:13:01

sorry soupdragon - assumed you had read the thread!

Does anyone know if there is any way of editing the OP as I do regret using that term? (even though it was genuinely just a tongue in cheek reference to other threads)

UCM Thu 26-Jul-07 20:13:39

Eh, what, Soupy? I wasn't referring to you, just to the op.

margoandjerry Thu 26-Jul-07 20:20:38

But I know what she means...

I did bf but I got there through bloody mindedness and because I had sod all else to worry about. If I had had another child to look after or was ill or depressed or whatever, I wouldn't have persevered. And I think that would have been fine.

I'm all for bf - but we need to get to a point where we say "if you can, great; if you can't for whatever reason, fine".

I really think that for as many people who get enthused by the bf campaign there are as many who are turned off by the exclusive bf campaign (I was tbh - I felt cheated by the argument that it's natural and therefore easy).

I would just like to see a bit more realism with women treated a bit more like sensible, thinking people, ie "you might find this really difficult and it might take you three months to sort it but if you can there are health benefits" rather than "you must never use formula or your chances of bf are shot forever"

I used formula to supplement, on hv advice because of prematurity (weak sucking), jaundice and problems with bf. It absolutely saved bf for us and I finally stopped bf at 8 months. OK so I never got to exclusively bf but I think I got a really good outcome with a bit of help from formula.

terramum Thu 26-Jul-07 20:22:22

Forgive me but I'm not sure I follow this.....if this hypothetical breastfeeding mother is so depressed about how badly bfing is going & it's not possible to help her mental state...then surely that means that her bfing cannot be helped either...which theoretically means she will end up ffing anyway as bfing that isn't working usually ends with switching to formula at some stage. Which kind of makes the choice between bf & ff a little pointless?

Or looking at it from another angle... if her depression was so untreatable by simple bfing information and support (assuming that this woman has acces to or is aware of orgs such as LLL, ABM etc) then her method of feeding is surely irrelevant & she needs to get some proper help for her depression from HCPs.

Or am I missing the point?

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