Advanced search

We've spent weeks researching and testing breast pumps and bottles in real homes with real families. Read our baby feeding bottle and breast pump reviews to find out which ones were awarded Mumsnet Best.

BF myths: did you stop BF due to something that turned out to be untrue ?

(40 Posts)
kookool Wed 09-Mar-05 20:16:49

I never realised how wonderful and important, indeed an obsession, BF would be for me until the birth of my son about 9 months ago. I have told people that the only thing that will stop me from BF my DS is if I get hit by a large bus

However, both before and after his birth I have heard lots of what I would term "myths" about BF, some of which have stopped people I know from BF.

One myth involves a memebr of my own family. My sister's 3rd baby was 5 kilos at birth - she started giving him formula at around 3 months old because she was convinced she could never produce enough breastmilk for such a large baby . I don't know who told her this, but despite the fact that we have allergies in the family (I have heyfever, her oldest DS has heyfever and our brother's DD has both asthma and eczema) someone must have rammed it into her head that such a large baby could never live on breastmilk alone.

At the time I didn't know anything about BF, and she probably wouldn't have listened to her younger sister any way . But I am quite saddened by the whole thing, esp. as her baby is now at the risk of developing an allergy. She also put him on solids at 4 months, for the same silly reason: "he is big - he is always hungry".

I would just like to hear other people's stories and how a "myth" got you to stop BF.

wordsmith Wed 09-Mar-05 20:18:35

Oh no not another one....

PrettyCandles Wed 09-Mar-05 20:25:17

Apparently I didn't have enough milk to feed my ds (my first child) and after two weeks was persuaded by my midwife to move over onto formula. Fortunately I can be bloody-minded and continued to breastfeed before each bottle. Eventually I managed to increase my breastmilk and cut down on the bottles so that ds was getting more breastmilk than formula. Maybe I would have developed PND in any case, but I'm certain the pressure to bottle-feed and the distress it caused me had a strong effect.

Fortunately, when dd was born I had a marvelous HV and wonderful midwives, and I managed to bf dd. I had a visit from 'that' midwife when my regular one was off, and it wasn't my imagination last time - she was awful. Only this time I knew better.

piffle Wed 09-Mar-05 20:44:48

nope but I sure agurued about my 2nd to my HV

hercules Wed 09-Mar-05 21:15:27

I was told to give formula with both kids as they were big and needed more than my milk. With the first I believed them and struggled with the second I knew it was crap and stuck to my guns.

dinny Wed 09-Mar-05 21:45:52

At least your sister's ds had breastmilk for three months, Kookool. Seems like she tried her best...
And also, it's not necessarily all bad to start solids at four months, is it? My Mum started me at about 8 blooming weeks!

KatieMac Wed 09-Mar-05 22:07:28

I B/f to 9 months
I was incontienent (sp)my Physio said that I would never be dry whislt B/Fing. So I stopped.

6 years later I had an op to cure my incontienents (sp)
Silly woman

NotQuiteCockney Wed 09-Mar-05 22:41:11

I stopped BF DS1 at 18 months because I'd been told that if you fed past 2 years, the child would remember bf when another came along, and would want to tandem feed.

a) what's wrong with tandem feeding?
b) DS1 did remember, when DS2 was born, and was a bit interested, but because I was mellow, he didn't really try.

flic23 Thu 10-Mar-05 12:03:04

not strickly relavent coz i didnt stop but came within 10 minutes of making a huge huge mistake. I developed a DVT 21 days post delivery i herfore had to be put on warfarin. Every doctor that came in contact with me both in A&E and OBS told me BF was unsafe as the warfarin would pass to the baby. I was devastated by this as DS had only come out of SCBU 2 days earlier after 19 days. He was unable to feed for the first week and we worked so hard to build his strenght and weight so he could come home the idea of swapping to bottles felt like another set back (and BM is really encouraged for preterm).
Only 10 minutes before he was due his first bottle feed a midwife queried what had been said did some quick checking and indeed found that new research deemed warfarin safe as only tiny amouts passed to the milk. I myself have found this all over net. Is it just me or should the doctors not have known this in the first place or at least checked before just saying u have to stop

tiktok Thu 10-Mar-05 12:11:34

Of course the doctors should have's a disgrace they didn't check.

Breastfeeding counsellors get calls all the time from women who have been told they 'can't' feed because of medication. We can't tell them to go against their doctor's, but we can direct them to other sources of info, mainly on the web.

tiktok Thu 10-Mar-05 12:12:19

BTW, it;'s not new research that shows Warfarin is ok with bf - it's never been unsafe.

flic23 Thu 10-Mar-05 12:22:07

as far as i know it was assumed it passed to the milk but apparently warfarin binds to proteins and as BM is made up of fat molecules it cannot bind so only tiny amounts pass to the milk. In the end i was told just to watch for bruising and bleeding in DS but they said that it was only really and issue in really high doses

secur Thu 10-Mar-05 12:36:13

Message withdrawn

beatie Thu 10-Mar-05 13:26:34

That's interesting what you say Secur. On another message I frequent someone posted a load of information about how there are actually very few medications which are unsafe to take during breastfeeding. One woman was told to stop to take antidepressants and it was making her feel worse about everything, as her son is 4 months old and she breastfed her other 2 children for over a year. Luckily, some people knew of other people who had taken ADs whilst breastfeeding and they were able to pass on this information.

beatie Thu 10-Mar-05 13:31:39

I didn't stop breastfeeding due to a myth but I did introduce formula to my dd at 5 months old because she was an awful sleeper and everyone says formula makes babies sleep for longer through the night.

I felt wretched the day I bought the formula but all my other NCT friends had supplemented with formula at some time or another and all of my NCT friends had babies who slept through the night (even though it wasn't down to the formula)

The introduction of formula did nothing to aid my dds sleep but once I had it in the house, I continued to give her a bottle every night and I got lazy about expressing, so when I went back to work a few weeks later, my EBM stash only lasted a few weeks. We very quickly went from exclusive breastfeeding to just a morning and evening breastfeed and then she self-weaned at 9 months. Annoyingly whilst we were on holiday and my newly deflated boobs failed to fill out my bikinis

I think with baby #2 I will be more confident about judging when my baby has a sleep problem and sorting out that sleep problem with other methods.

secur Thu 10-Mar-05 13:31:40

Message withdrawn

tiktok Thu 10-Mar-05 13:49:11

I think you are right about the 'cover your backside' mentality, secur....but I don't know of any instances where medications taken during breastfeeding have actually caused problems years later....and I think no one would hold them accountable morally for something they genuinely didn't know and couldn't find out.

Most drugs are fine used in bf, and a lot don't get anywhere near the breastmilk, or if they do, they are then destroyed in the baby's gut and become inactive.

The medics who say 'you have to stop bf' should of course be accountable for advising a mother to use formula, when it's not necessary. But if they think it doesn't matter what the baby has to eat and drink, then they won't think it's a big deal

frogs Thu 10-Mar-05 13:53:45

I was taking a powerful immunosuppressant drug while bfeeding my older two, so did quite a lot of research into this, and got opinions from a couple of consultants who had reason to actually know what they were talking about, in contrast to the many medical staff who will sound off on this topic while knowing absolutely nothing about it.

I think some medical personnel envisage lactation as a kind of watering can system -- whatever you put into the top of the watering can is what will come out of the spout. The reality is more complicated -- drugs are metabolised in different ways and pass through to bmilk in different quantities. It also doesn't help that drug companies tend to advise that almost any medication shouldn't be taken when bfeeding, but that is less to do with actual risks to the baby than with them protecting their backs against litigation. For most drugs, no-one's ever bothered to look at their concentrations in bmilk -- not a sexy topic, nor a lucrative one either.

The upshot of my findings was that: There are some (very few) drugs that are absolutely contraindicated in bfeeding. These are mainly anticancer drugs, which are designed to damage rapidly-dividing cells. Clearly not the thing to be feeding your newborn.

Most other drugs will pass through to breastmilk in such small quantities that the advantages of breastfeeding will almost always outweigh the disadvantages, though care may also be needed if you are taking combinations of several different drugs at the same time.

I was told by a (fairly junior) paediatrician that I wouldn't be able to feed by ds because it would damage his immune system. Luckily I was able to point out that I already had a 4yo at home who I'd fed for 12 months and who appeared to have the immune system of an armoured tank. I then suggested she might like to telephone the specialist centre in Oxford and discuss it with the consultant there. And that was the end of that.

Just wanted to get that off my chest.

secur Thu 10-Mar-05 13:55:36

Message withdrawn

Bramshott Thu 10-Mar-05 13:55:56

Flic23 - I've probably missed you now, but thought you (or anyone else who's interested) might like to know about this new(ish) charity who are having a campaign at the mo to try and raise the profile of thrombosis and pregnancy. I went for a venogram last week and when I was being checked in, the staff nurse said "gosh, I've never heard of a DVT happening post-natally before" - arrrggghhh!

Like Flic23, I was told by several doctors that there was no way I could breastfeed on warfarin, but luckily found out this was wrong.

mummytosteven Thu 10-Mar-05 13:58:16

On the subject of ADs in PG then BFing

I was actually encouraged to BF by my psychiatrist (started taking Prozac at 30 weeks PG), as he felt it would lessen the likelihood of DS experiencing any withdrawal symptoms after birth.

flic23 Thu 10-Mar-05 15:46:39

bramshott- Hi there went to site you mentioned it is great that a body is trying to improve education about clots in pregnancy so many women may then be able to aboid this horrible conition which the medical profession seems to ignore

kookool Thu 10-Mar-05 19:36:33

What about this funny one: I was really badly constipated for the first time in my life about 4 days after giving birth to my son. The midwife who visited me at home told me that there was absolutely nothing I could take that was safe - and that I would just have to put up with it . I also have quite severe heyfever during the summer months and have been told by numerous health profs. that there is nothing safe to take.

Ok, I try not to take anything at all, but I just feel that, as many of you have said and the research so far seems to indicate that most meds. are safe when BF, then a mother shouldn't have to suffer serious pain and agony because she is too afraid to take anything and is given inaccuarate advice about the safety of meds. She also shouldn't be told to give up BF, when the health prof. in question isn't actually sure what they are on about. I have a friend who gave up BF just before Xmas because she was told by her doctor in Austria that she mustn't Bf whne she has a fever ! Surely the correct advice is do BF even when you have a fever or the baby has a fever as it's the best way for baby to get your anti-bodies and recover quickly ? I have breastfed my son through two lots of flu (both my DH and I had high temp.) in the last 3 months. DS never even sneezed let alone catch our flu !

Actually, the best info. on meds. and BF that I have found on the web is by the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) - they have a whole list of meds ranked by "risk level". Excellent stuff and I have referred to it many times, even when I wanted to take cough med. for a bad throat and the list told me what was relatively safe !

Twiglett Thu 10-Mar-05 19:37:47

but they give you lactolose after a section delivery to ease passage of faeces

silly mare of a midwife

Twiglett Thu 10-Mar-05 19:38:21

you can also get an anti-histamine that is safe for BF .. it is liquid form though IIRC

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: