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Do you think this might have been too soon to give up attempting bf?

(24 Posts)
MsHighwater Sun 31-Aug-08 23:26:56

Relative had baby yesterday early am. Mum & baby got home today. Dad reported that they had tried bfing but that "baby wasn't having any of it" and because she was so small (5lb) they "had to" switch to bottles.

I don't know anything else about it but it just seems awfully quick to have given up on bfing within 24 hrs of baby being born. Surely an infant healthy enough to have been discharged from hospital today can't be so small that trying to bf for a little longer was contraindicated?

AvenaLife Sun 31-Aug-08 23:29:01

hmm perservance (sp?) is the key. Size shouldn't matter. The hospital wouldn't have discharged her if she wasn't able to feed.

mistyamica Sun 31-Aug-08 23:39:19

My friend has a terrible experience, her baby was born 17 weeks premature and when she did give birth, not all the placenta was delivered so she was rushed into surgery. She didn't see her dd for 11 hours after the birth!

It took a while for her dd to take to the breast but she did eventually establish breast feeding so it is possible.

What you need to consider is that your relative was probably panicking that her baby wasn't feeding at all so she felt she had to give the bottle.
I felt the same when my ds was born as my milk didn't come in for a while (which I later realised is totally normal!) But I was told that babies won't starve whilst your milk is waiting to come in!

bellabelly Sun 31-Aug-08 23:44:07

Hmm, nice to know that she has such supportive relatives ready to judge her decisions and find them wanting. hmm

Wisknit Mon 01-Sep-08 06:55:22

It is awfully quick to give up but she probably didn't get told that babies only need a very little bit of colostrum. Or maybe she didn't really want to?
But I have to say I agree with you.

2point4kids Mon 01-Sep-08 07:13:51

Come on, dont be so judgy!

Me and Ds1 went through all sorts of shit when he was born. I tried to feed him myself twice and he 'wasnt having any of it' (basically was in too much pain) and I couldnt take the stress of one more thing on top of what we already had to cope with so I felt I 'had' to give him bottles.
If any relatives had asked DH if I was bf'ing the day after we got home, he could well have said exactly the same thing to them as your relative did to you purely because we didnt want to have to explain every little detail to everyone.

Your relative didnt breastfeed longer than a day, for whatever reason. Maybe you would have perservered longer. She didnt though and its her baby, her call so Stop Judging.

FoghornLeghorn Mon 01-Sep-08 07:52:14

I wholeheartedly agree with 2point4.
As a mum to a 17 day old DD3 (who was in a similar position to the woman mentioned in OP) I find it shocking that you feel the need to judge !

hazeyjane Mon 01-Sep-08 08:05:52

You don't know what is going on emotionally, mentally or physically, so try not to be so judgemental.

AvenaLife, I don't quite understand about the hospital not discharging her if she wasn't able to feed, this happened to me with both dd's.

I don't think it is quite so easy as 'perseverance is the key'.

PuppyMonkey Mon 01-Sep-08 08:09:19

I gave up the next day with my last dd too. blush It just isn't easy for some people u know...

Wisknit Mon 01-Sep-08 08:53:18

I don't think you are being too judgmental. I'm assuming you haven't gone and said all this to her so a little anonymous judgeyness on a board is fine.

TheProvincialLady Mon 01-Sep-08 08:57:33

Well yes, it is too soon to give up attempting BF if the mother wants to BF - she could try lots of things and has plenty of time.

But no, it is not too soon if the mother finds it too stressful to try to BF a reluctant baby and isn't fussed.

Her choice.

FrannyandZooey Mon 01-Sep-08 09:01:32

it is nearly bloody impossible to learn how to bf in hospital
I bet you anything she tried and the nurses said "oh it isn't working you will have to give a bottle"

there is NO bf support in hospitals if your baby has any sort of problem
I asked and asked when we were in there - and got no help
I found it incredibly difficult to succeed with bf ds2 and I had a reasonably healthy full term baby and have 4 years bf experience under my belt

tiktok Mon 01-Sep-08 10:36:37

I don't see any overt judgement of the mother's decision in the OP. It is very quick to give up bf,and that applies whether or not the mother was happy, sad or indifferent to do so. It's just a statement of fact.

Many women give up bf after a short time, and they think there is no going back - it is not their fault that no one explains to them that it should not be hard to change their mind again after just a day or so.

Skilled bf help in maternity units can be in short supply and it can need skill to support a mum through early, difficult feeds.

MsdHighwater - if it feels appropriate, you can at least explain the mum can go back to bf, if she wishes.

Lib76 Mon 01-Sep-08 14:23:27

i think it is shocking that have posted on this site judging your relative!! so nice she has your support! im sure she would be delighted to read your post, im sure she feels bad enough!
out of interest, have you BF?

Poohbah Mon 01-Sep-08 14:58:12

People post comments like this to help them understand better so that actually they are less judgemental. Many people do seem to give up awfully quickly and there are varied reasons for doing so. I think women are ill prepared to feed their babies in general. The magazines bang on about the birth but thanks to the advertising power of formula comapnies little is mentioned about breastfeeding and therefore people are ill informed about breasting and sadly do not therefore make a real choice about feeding their babies.

Lib76 Mon 01-Sep-08 15:39:31

Mmm, i feel very strongly about people being critised for stopping bf. i bf my ds for 7 wk and ended up in hosptial for 4 days with bilateral mastitis, giving my baby formula was the last thing i wanted but in the end i had no choice and i still feel people judge me!
you are right of course that mothers are ill prpepared for bf and the focus is very much on the birth.
there is a huge need to support bf mothers when having problems. had i had enough help from health care professionals it would never had got so bad i ended up in hospital.

Poohbah Mon 01-Sep-08 15:48:44

Exactly Lib76, situations like yours are so common sadly and could easily be avoided with a little more help and support at the right moment.

Lib76 Mon 01-Sep-08 15:53:06

indeed! the only good that came out of it is that next time i will know what to look for if it starts to go wrong.

the only good advice i got was from a bf counsellor.

tiktok Mon 01-Sep-08 15:59:42

One of the sad things about stopping breastfeeding before a mum planned to stop is that she can see judgement and criticism where there isn't any

Lib (and others who have said the OP is judging): read the OP again. There is nothing judgemental in it - at least not towards the babies' parents. She quotes what the father says, and expresses surprise that breastfeeding ended so quickly (within a day) and doubts that breastfeeding was 'contraindicated'. I read it as not judging the parents, but as possibly wondering what the heck was going on in the maternity unit.

Wisknit Mon 01-Sep-08 16:04:08

Absolutley agree Tiktok.

tiktok Mon 01-Sep-08 16:10:57

The clue is in the word 'contraindicated' - that's a hospital word, not one a parent would use. Shows me that she was criticising (or at least doubting)the maternity unit,not the parents.

hazeyjane Mon 01-Sep-08 17:51:17

but the title puts the emphasis on the mum 'giv(ing) up attemting bf', which is , i think a little judgemental.

Also, I know that I am probably more sensitive because b'feeding went wrong for me, but some of the judgeyness was not imagined, I had some health care professionals, a b'feeding counsellor and some friends say things that were pretty hurtful.

A friend who b'fed both her lo's said that if you b'feed you often feel as if everyone is judging you negatively for b'feeding (in public, for too long etc), and if you f'feed you feel judged for not b'feeding - so maybe it is just general mum paranoia, about how we feed our babies!

ChairmumMiaow Mon 01-Sep-08 18:45:50

Surely there should have been someone at hospital to tell them that its not unusual for babies not to take to the breast immediately, and to encourage them to wait (or at least express and cup/syringe feed) to give the baby and mum a bit longer to figure it out.

My DS didn't feed properly for nearly 3 days, and a friend had a similar experience (but is a breastfeeding peer supporter so chose to go home and rely on support from her peer supporter and BFC friends instead ) and I although I didn't get much practical support, I was encouraged to basically just keep trying and told that there was nothing to panic about (while expressing colostrum and giving enough to keep DS happy but not so full up he wasn't interested in the breast).

I would think that something like that would be what the OP would be hoping for, rather than hospital/midwives etc supporting (or not commenting on) a decision to give up, probably based on incorrect or insufficient information?

MsHighwater Mon 01-Sep-08 19:43:53

Wow. I thought I put it really neutrally. It wasn't my intention to judge anyone. If anything, I'm sad that she wasn't able to keep going though I wonder what support and information she received.

I bf'd my dd exclusively for 5.5 months and continued for 11 months altogether. I don't take that to mean that absolutely anyone can bf successfully - I'm not daft enough to assume that what goes for me goes for everyone.

I'm certainly not judging my relative - I haven't and won't say anything because the last thing I'd want would be to upset them and I'm not close enough or confident enough to raise it without risking doing so. I also don't know any more than what was said on the phone which leaves a lot of room for relevant detail to have been omitted. I'm simply assuming they were willing to give breastfeeding a try so I'm a little inclined to think that the information and support they had in hospital might have lacked something. They're first time parents and, in their shoes, with a small baby not taking to the breast straight away, I might have been persuaded to try bottle feeding, too.

tiktok - thanks for your support of what I was trying to say. I should point out that "contraindicated" was my choice of word. My job is vaguely medical and it seemed the shortest way of saying what I meant.

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