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Article in The New Yorker Magazine about the history/ethics of expressing/storing breast milk

(44 Posts)
ipanemagirl Wed 14-Jan-09 11:05:26

you can email responses to the magazine.

BonsoirAnna Wed 14-Jan-09 12:16:37

That was a great article - thank you very much for posting it smile.

tiktok Wed 14-Jan-09 14:36:03

Very interesting - pumps are totally part and parcel of bf in the US, and it's very sad. Here, we use them for occasional convenience, mainly, at least pre-working. There, maternity leave is so poor it's the only way some babies can get breastmilk.

Never mind. Pres Obama will sort it all out hmm

BonsoirAnna Wed 14-Jan-09 15:19:37

Still, I would have thought that pumping was the lesser of two evils if it comes down to having to bottle feed (at least partially) - better to have EBM than formula in the bottle, and the pumping enables mothers to carry on breastfeeding when she is at home.

Here in France, where maternity leave is still quite short and breastfeeding for any length of time is very rare, no-one seems to even consider pumping. And the variety of formula on sale is breathtaking sad

tiktok Wed 14-Jan-09 15:32:50

Well, of course, nutritionally breastmilk is better, but women should have adequate maternity leave to bf in comfort, and direct

BonsoirAnna Wed 14-Jan-09 15:35:23

Well, yes, I completely agree tiktok. I think about three years maternity leave (on full pay) would be ideal smile.

It's such a hard one - I fear there is never going to be a time or place in a developed society where there isn't going to be a conflict between breastfeeding fully and the need to earn a living.

tiktok Wed 14-Jan-09 15:36:58

Anna, if everyone has 12 mths full pay maternity leave there's no conflict at all.

purplemonkeydishwasher Wed 14-Jan-09 15:45:32

just posting so i can read this later!

Stefka Wed 14-Jan-09 15:53:05

Out of curiosity does anyone know which country has the best maternity leave? It would be interesting to see if there were any figures on the positive impact decent maternity leave has on society.

Gsmom Wed 14-Jan-09 16:09:33

have to say that i loved my medela, beacause i expressed all of DSs feeds for 19 months. we couldnt directly BF but he still got my milk. I understand where the article is coming from but for some women, like myself who wouldnt want to use formula, and cant BF, the pump is the best invention ever.

chipmonkey Wed 14-Jan-09 16:12:49

I seem to remember a figure of 18 months for Sweden?

I have always pumped at work till the boys were a year old. ds2 and ds3 never had formula. Ds4 has had a little but not much.

It is also nice to be able to have a weekend away on occasion.

TheProvincialLady Wed 14-Jan-09 16:15:59

I often wonder whether expressing was the downfall of my breastfeeding DS1. He wouldn't latch on in the first 24 hours so it was give formula or express (according to HCPs) - then the whole routine of expressing every 3 hours, feeding DS by bottle, and trying to work out when my breasts would be 'full' enough to feed DS and when he would be hungry enough to be interested in trying. Obviously we should have had better support, but the midwives were so impressed that I could express so much for DS that they seemed to think it was more or less the same as BF direct and at least I could tell them how many ounces he had eatenhmm If I couldn't express as easily I wonder whether we would have received more help. Probably not.

Picante Wed 14-Jan-09 16:19:17

I expressed for a year because I failed miserably at bf. I worked out I'd produced over 600 litres. Had to buy an extra freezer to store it all.

Gsmom Wed 14-Jan-09 16:22:57

me too picante. i had a freeer full of it when i stopped pumping and more in FILs freezer in his shop under the frozen veg!

ipanemagirl Wed 14-Jan-09 16:23:40

It is very interesting isn't it?

I think Sweden is talked about as having great maternity provision. But then they pay humungous taxes don't they to pay for it?

I managed to express for dd so I could go out the other night and she totally spat it in dh's face... so disappointing. But she is four months old and hasn't been taught gradually, my fault really.

TheProvincialLady, that is hugely impressive of you, I can't imagein being that organised.

BonsoirAnna a friend of mine who lives in France says the childcare provision and financial breaks for children are very good, but I don't know the details.

ipanemagirl Wed 14-Jan-09 16:25:16

Picante that's amazing! How long can you store it for? It's about three months isn't it?

Picante Wed 14-Jan-09 16:25:36

Gsmom what were your reasons? Did you do it for just one baby? I'm currently pg and soooo determined to succeed at bf this time round so I don't have to feel like a cow. (Literal cow that is).

chipmonkey Wed 14-Jan-09 16:25:51

I was also a champion expresser when ds3 was a newborn prem and I found that hospital staff were completely indifferent to whether I latched him on or not. When I asked if I should try, I was told "If you want to"hmm

Picante Wed 14-Jan-09 16:26:25

Up to 6 months if you've got a big chest (no pun intended) freezer, 3 months for a normal one.

TheProvincialLady Wed 14-Jan-09 16:27:20

I worked out something similar picante...1.2 or more litres a day for 18 months. We deserve medals!

puddock Wed 14-Jan-09 16:38:57

Thanks for posting the link ipanemagirl, very interesting.

Maria2007 Wed 14-Jan-09 17:07:40

interesting article, thanks.

mamijacacalys Wed 14-Jan-09 17:51:45

Very interesting. Thanks for the link.

Bf DS for 14 mo and DD for 20 mo but never expressed although I went back to work after the regulation 6 months maternity leave (it was before the current situation of 9 months paid leave).

I work for an American company so am not that surprised at how meagre the maternity leave periods are in the US sad.

TheProvincialLady Wed 14-Jan-09 19:28:36

Picante I am currently BF DS2 (3 weeks) and it is going really well. I am sure things will be much easier for you too this time because you will be so well prepared. Good lucksmile

Gsmom Wed 14-Jan-09 21:27:38

Picante, i expressed for DS, one child! I couldnt get him to latch, got no support in the hospital, got him to latch at home for a day, he got very sick, turned out it was reflux and he needed his meds in a bottle, it was all against me!

Im 33 weeks pregnant and also doing all that i can to successfully BF this time round. I love my medela cos i was still able to BF ds, albeit from a bottle, but im hoping to do it the right way this time round!

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