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Bottle feeding, why are we looked down on (sorry its long)

(131 Posts)
jofeb04 Mon 17-Jan-05 11:09:28

Hiya all,
My ds is now 10 months, but since he was born we fed him with a bottle. However, this wasnt by choice.
However, i noticed that other mums always looked down at me because of this.
The reason why we bottle fed him was because once he was born, a pediatrition had to look over him (for quite a while), we he didnt go stright to the beast. Due to the method that he was born under, he had a severe head ache, so bad that he wouldnt let you pick him up.
He then went to neonatel for 6 days, and i expressed for him, but it was extreamly hard, as he needed to be fed every hour on the hour to low blood suger, infection and possibly hyperthumia. The doctor asked if it was ok to bottle feed him, we said yes, as it was the best thing to do for him.
We carried on bottle feeding once we got him home, and he loved it.
However, once we were home, the midwife that visited always tried to latch him on, even though ny ds didnt want to. He got stressed, i got stressed. When my hv came, she was alot more understanding. However, I noticed that other mums were the wrost, saying all sorts of things, from "you should breast feed him, not bottle" to "you'r gonna injure your son, making him use a bottle".
Please breastfeeding mums (I dont mean any of you though!!), when you see a bottle fed baby, dont always assume its just because mum doesnt want to.

singsong Mon 17-Jan-05 13:56:10

Hi jofeb04, sorry you’ve had such a bad experience with breastfeeding mums. I am breastfeeding my baby because that is what is right for me and my baby but I don’t have any problem whatsoever with bottle feeding. Who are these women who have made such comments to you? People you know or just random people in the street? I would never dream of attacking a mum giving her baby a bottle. From what you’ve said it sounds like bottle feeding was the best choice for you and your baby.

jessicasmummy Mon 17-Jan-05 13:58:50

totally know where you are coming from jofeb04 - i didnt get any milk so after 4 days of a screaming hungry baby, i also had to switch to bottle, but also get looked down upon by mother and baby group mums for not whipping out the breast!

Caligula Mon 17-Jan-05 13:59:23

jofeb, you've met some bizarre people. I wouldn't dream of making assumptions about why people are doing things the way they are, it's extraordinary.

I would seek out different mother's groups where you'll meet people who aren't so insecure or arrogant about the way they do things that they have to criticise others about how they do things differently.

I'm sure your DS is fine!

Beansmum Mon 17-Jan-05 14:02:28

ds is breastfed because I couldn't see any reason not to try it, it's the best way to feed him and I found it really easy, but I understand that some people have really good reasons for not breastfeeding and I don't look down on mums who bottlefeed. Although I do think that a lot of people who bottlefeed don't have a good reason not to breastfeed and maybe that's why other mums assume you dont have a good reason either.

try not to let it bother you, you know you are doing the best for your son and people who don't know the situation shouldn't comment.

MrsBigD Mon 17-Jan-05 14:04:25

jofeb02, it's a shame that you're being 'looked down' on by fg mums.

IMHO whatever is best for baby is best for baby, be it breast or be it bottle and a stressed mum defenitely won't help baby.

I had to bottle feed dd (now 3y) because she was too weak to latch on and with ds (4.5m) the milk just didn't come and he lost weight rapidly.

Both are perfectly happy though so try and ignore those awful people who try and make you feel bad for not 'whipping your boobs out'...

colditzmum Mon 17-Jan-05 14:06:01

Why do people need a "good" reason not to breastfeed? Does someone's reason really need to be sanctioned by someone else before it can be accepted? What if there is no physical reason, and it is purely psychologicval? Isn't that "valid"?

KateandtheGirls Mon 17-Jan-05 14:08:40

Somebody really said to you "you're gonna injure your son, making him use a bottle"???? I second singsong's question. Who was saying things like that to you? I find it hard to believe.

I was unable to breastfeed my first child too and was very upset about it, but I never had any negative feedback from anyone about it. Maybe because I'm in the US where breastfeeding isn't as common as in the UK, but among my circle of friends breastfeeding was the norm.

Sorry you have had such awful reactions. I don't think that is typical at all.

SoupDragon Mon 17-Jan-05 14:08:57

Well, I bf DSs for over a year each and I never looked down on bottle feeding mothers.

Caligula Mon 17-Jan-05 14:10:41

Absolutely agree, CM, whatever reason a mother has for not breastfeeding is valid for her, even if someone else might not find it valid for them.

lockets Mon 17-Jan-05 14:13:45

Message withdrawn

singsong Mon 17-Jan-05 14:14:51

colditzmum, I think a psychological reason is valid IMO. In any case whatever the reasons are for bottle-feeding I don’t think they are anyone else’s business. The important thing is that you feed your baby with something suitable for their age and that they are thriving.

colditzmum Mon 17-Jan-05 14:17:56

"You're gonna injure your son"!!!!!!! What an insecure thing to say! Don't believe it, it isn't true.

lockets Mon 17-Jan-05 14:23:15

Message withdrawn

Blu Mon 17-Jan-05 14:23:43

JoFeb, I was lucky enough to be able to put my first choice - breast-feeding - into action, and I am sorry, but not surprised to hear that you have experienced some negative reaction.
Sadly, I think that part of it is that once you are a Mum, whatever you do or don't do, someone will always 'know better' and make it theri business to let you know it! Wait til advice on sleeping, dummies, weaning, ear-piercing and the possibility of taking your DS out of school for hols all become an issue!! My DS had his leg in plaster (for an operation) when he was 10 months old - and you'd be surprised how many members of the public felt free to assume (and comment) that I had been negligent, or even cruel.

Also, sorry to hear that you and DS had a difficult start - it must make the 'attitude' even harder to put up with.

Whilst breastfeeding Mums are busying themselves standing up to the ignorant folk who can't accept public breastfeeding, they / we should be careful not to make assumptions/judgements about bottlefeeding.

Caligula Mon 17-Jan-05 14:31:34

Also, I think sometimes we can feel judged when we're not being. It's so difficult for other people to let you know they're not judging you as well. Short of saying "The fact that I am now breastfeeding my baby should not be taken as a criticism of your practice of bottle-feeding your baby", it's pretty impossible to carry around a disclaimer! I remember once when my DS bashed his head and I took him to hospital, and after she'd examined him, the doctor said to me "By the way, nobody thinks it's your fault, or you weren't careful, or you didn't look after him properly - please don't beat yourself up about this, because I know that's what you're doing and you don't need to."

If she hadn't been nice enough to say that, i would have gone away wondering if she'd thought I'be been abusive. Sometimes, we're just paranoid. And I think sometimes when I bottle fed, I would imagine breast-feeding mothers were looking down their noses at me, when in fact they were doing nothing of the sort.

babybob1 Mon 17-Jan-05 15:54:07

I think you need to do what feels best for you, i dont think it matters how you feed your baby if its breast or bottle its your own choice your lo dont care as long as they are getting food!! there are pros and cons to both and i dont think its fair to judge or look down on someone who is feeding there baby by bottle or breast.
Im sorry jofeb04 that you have had this reaction from breast feeding mums its very unfair people are to fast to judge.

FineFigureFio Mon 17-Jan-05 15:59:06

I never had any bad reactions off other mothers tbh. My gran and mum were disappointed

fisil Mon 17-Jan-05 15:59:32

Those are very hurtful things for people to say, jofeb04. The one that hurt me was "are you feeding him?". I always answered "yes, I find he gets very hungry otherwise," and made it into a joke, but it always really but me up that the implication of this question was that I was either breastfeeding my son, or completely neglecting to give him any nourishment at all!

nailpolish Mon 17-Jan-05 16:09:50

jofeb, please dont upset yourself or let others upset you. if they say 'are you bottle feeding' say 'yes he really enjoys his milk' how do they know its not ebm? and even if its not, so waht?

i bf my dd1 but bottlefed dd2, for reasons that is nobody elses business really. you sounded like you were having to justify why you bottle fed, dont sweetie, its not necessary. just look at your ds and feel proud.

can anyone tell who is bf and who is bottle? no of course not. there is no difference between my 2 dd's, except their personalities.

a baby would rather have a happy mummy than anything else, and if mummy is happy bottle feeding then thats what a baby wants.


tiktok Mon 17-Jan-05 16:20:32

It's no one's business how anyone feeds their baby or what their reasons are for using one method rather than another.

Jofeb04, the midwife who persisted in trying to latch your baby on - was she doing this against your will? If so, that's assault, to be honest. Or did she think you wanted her to do this?

busyalexsmummy Mon 17-Jan-05 21:36:35

OMG I can understand completely where your coming ds born feb this yr, I couldnt b/f him, god I tried I really did, but I had to give in to bottles and formula.
I had everyone take over, as if just because I was bottlefeeding, then it meant they could feed him when they wanted, I felt really cr*p, I didnt feel i had a bond with him till he was about 4 months, I felt that most b/f mums were looking down at me, especially at postnatal group and NCT group, I felt gutted and excluded from this "invisable"b/feeding "club".
But now I couldnt care a less, If i bottle feed my baby-so what?? Its no-one elses buisness why im bottlefeeding,I wont get involved in boycotting nestle, or reporting reduced price milk, I bottlefeed and I dont care what anyone else thinks!!

hotmama Mon 17-Jan-05 21:56:12

I incorrectly assumed that as long as ensured that DD was latched correctly that breastfeeding would be easy! I then had DD and soon found out this wasn't the case and after 8 weeks of trying eventually gave up. I must admit that when I was pregnant I felt that not even trying to breastfeed was being a failure - I now have had a reality check! Perhaps one of the reasons that bottlefeeding is "looked down on" is that there is so much pressure in antenatal care etc. I personally think that mixed and/or formula feeding should be talked about more in antenatal classes - and they should be honest that it isn't necessarily a bed of roses!

By the way, my response to a snotty cow looking down on me for bottle feeding would be rather rude - but what I do for my child or what you do for yours is no-body elses business - we are all trying our best aren't we?

piffle Mon 17-Jan-05 22:12:27

You do not need to apologise and explain your reasons for bottlefeeding, I bf both of mine luckily without any problems,and am a huge proponent of bf, but would never dream of judging another mother by how she was feeding her baby.
I am sorry you have met such ignorant and cruel people.

Amanda3266 Mon 17-Jan-05 22:17:51

Hi there,

I bottlefed almost from birth too as I had tremendous difficulties with breastfeeding. Even worse because I was a midwife and health visitor I stupidly thought that breastfeeding would be expected of me or at least that I'd be expected to make a success of it. It was an absolute disaster - by the time James was 4 days old I was crying everytime he woke for a feed as I was just so sore. It was the biggest relief in the world to give in and decide to bottlefeed - just wish I hadn't struggled on for so long before calling it a day. In my humble opinion, for what it's worth, if Mum and Baby are happy with the method of feeding then that's all that matters.


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