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Do FFers get enough support?

(51 Posts)
FairMidden Mon 27-Jul-09 13:11:46


Interesting article - I wonder what the experiences of MNers are?

Clare Byam-Cook, "breastfeeding expert", is at it again I see.

KingRolo Mon 27-Jul-09 13:18:44

Well I assumed that the support to BF or FF properly was the job of the community midwife or health visitor when they visit you at home after the birth.

My MW showed me how to positon and latch DD on better and also offered to show me how to make a bottle up.

CBC is talking bolleaux again I see.

AnarchyAunt Mon 27-Jul-09 13:21:29

So the industry body thinks HCPs should give out more/better info on formula.


I agree. HCPs should indeed be able to give explicit information about formula - the risks associated and safe preparation should be discussed with any parent who needs that information. They should be able to explain the difference between different types/stages of milks too. There should be freely available information on the ingredients (including the ones with names like immunofortis) and their supposed benefits, their origins, full findings of any research carried out into them - maybe the industry body should campaign to get that information out inot the public domain? HCPs cannot disseminate information that they do not have.

RCM booklet should be interesting.

KingRolo Mon 27-Jul-09 14:21:15

Claire Byam-Cook:

"Many women want to breastfeed, but it is a myth that every mother has enough milk to do so. At the same time some babies simply cannot suck from the nipple, but will take a bottle."

That's just not true. In the vast majority of cases problems with supply and the baby's latch can be solved with some support from HVs, MW and breastfeeding counsellors.

And babies don't suck from the nipple anyway.

If she's an expert I'll eat my own feet.

pigletmania Mon 27-Jul-09 14:42:14

I do believe that bf mums get a roughter deal and for me at least a bit of a rearity, i hardly know anynone who has bf, only my SIL who is only expressing as she is a bit embarrassed about baby being on breast. They have to keep themselves discreet whereas ff mums do not, they are sometimes told to leave a place if they are bf, ff mums are not asked to move and feed their child elsewhere.

hunkermunker Mon 27-Jul-09 14:46:29

Clare Byam-Cook, for example, needs an additional "c" in her last name. And she could do with dropping an "o" as well.

hercules1 Mon 27-Jul-09 14:49:23

hunker - have you seen the early weaning thread going at the mo?

hunkermunker Mon 27-Jul-09 14:49:50

I have, Herc - I was steeling myself grin

Northernlurker Mon 27-Jul-09 14:53:47

Thanks for linking - have complained about the inclusion of CBC's myth comment.

Kayzr Mon 27-Jul-09 14:57:04

I got more support for FFeeding than I did BFeeding!

MW pushed formula despite wanting to BF.

troublebunny Mon 27-Jul-09 14:59:22

I was told by a NCT antenatal teacher that it was illegal for her to tell me how to mix a bottle of formula. Fortunately the MW was a little more helpful!

tiktok Mon 27-Jul-09 15:05:08

troublebunny - not actually 'illegal' for the NCT a/n teacher to demo a bottle, but certainly against the WHO code, UNICEF Baby Friendly and recognised good practice, including NCT policy. So she was right - she is not 'allowed' to.

Demo'ing a bottle antenatally is not an effective way of learning, and teaching this does not form part of an NCT teacher's training.

This is not the case with midwives, so perfectly appropriate for you to get instruction there.

Fruityjuice Mon 27-Jul-09 15:06:50

piglet That's such a shame your SIL is embarrassed to bf. I feel the opposite, I'm embarrassed to FF. I feel like people are thinking "Why isn't she BFing?" I'm sure they're not but I still feel I have to explain about my crappy non functional boobs every time someone says "you're not bfing" I'm sure they couldn't care less and are just making conversation but I get paranoid and end up telling all blush
I might start pretending it's expressed breast milk smile

tiktok Mon 27-Jul-09 15:15:45

Clare Byam Cook says "At the same time some babies simply cannot suck from the nipple, but will take a bottle.""

Now - if a normal, healthy, term baby 'simply cannot suck from the nipple' then something has gone badly wrong, or the baby has an oral anomaly (like a cleft) or some other disorder that needs investigating or possibly a mother with really unusual nipples.

It's like saying 'some babies simply cannot breathe' or 'some babies simply cannot turn their heads' - breastfeeding is what babies do and yes, it can be messed up by heavy-handed interventions, but there are no healthy, term babies who come into the world only able to suck from a bottle

Fruityjuice Mon 27-Jul-09 15:26:23

I agree that breastfeeding is what babies do but, unfortunately, if the milk isn't there, as in my case - I do not have enough milk producing tissue due to having Tubular Hypoplastic Breasts (thank you PCOS! hmm) - then women still need the support the FF.
However, I have to say, that if I wanted (or had time for!) FF support, I could have got it, I'm sure.
I didn't get any help before I realised what was wrong with me. I was just told to keep feeding "supply on demand" (Like I wasn't already doing that) and "every woman has enough" hmm
Unfortunately health visitors/GP's/midwives don't know anything about Tubular Hypoplastic breasts. It's a shame.

MadEyeballsMoody Mon 27-Jul-09 15:32:06

This ia an argument that I had with my SIL when she had her first, 7 years ago and long before I had dd. She told me that, at her NHS run antenatal classes, the mw said she was not allowed to answer a question about bottle feeding, they were not allowed to refer to it, and if they wanted to find out more they had to figure it out for themselves. I couldn't believe that they were treating grown women like idiots but sure enough, when I had dd last year the same thing was said.

And yes, Claire BC is a nutter but she's dead right with this bit;

"It's all very well to say they can go away and read the tin if they want to bottle-feed, but many mothers find themselves in a complete panic at three in the morning, scared stiff with a new baby in their arms. There needs to be good, clear advice on sterilisation, making up feeds and how much to give."

pigletmania Mon 27-Jul-09 15:37:30

Totally Fruityjuice, I was sooo embarrassed when out in public, bottlefeeding as I was worried that some people might imply that i am not doing the best I can, or why isent she bf, so had to justify why as my norks where non functional lol. It was nice to see some bf mums in public when i was sitting down on a bench, and we did have a chat about it all.

pigletmania Mon 27-Jul-09 15:40:40

My SIL on the otherhand had big engorged norks with loads of milk but still express and is expressing exclusively now that her dd is 7 months, and i think she will continue till dd is 1 year wow. There are times when i just want to tell her why dont you just pop dd on your breast much easier but she is a bit sensitive like that really. She had to leave a family bbq early to go home to experss as she forgot her expresser thingy.

Penthesileia Mon 27-Jul-09 15:45:56

MadEyes - the NHS do provide good clear advice. There is also a downloadable leaflet.

I'm surprised that an NHS midwife would refuse to give such advice, since the NHS itself offers it. That is disappointing, I agree (unless it was a BF workshop, in which case I could understand, I suppose).

Sadly, though, if a mum's in a panic at 3am, I'm not sure it's because of too little advice, IYSWIM? sad

tiktok Mon 27-Jul-09 15:49:11

I think it is true that some midwives and HVs claim they 'cannot' give info about ff - they are wrong and it is part of their job to do so when asked, or even when not asked, if a mother is ff (or planning to).

Any mother in a panic about how to make up formula at 3 am can call her maternity unit and ask them what to do - I think that is part of their job, too.

Penthesileia Mon 27-Jul-09 15:54:47

I must say, though... I'm a bit mystified as to why CBC thinks that reading the tin isn't, or rather shouldn't, be good enough advice. Why are formula manufacturers (who commissioned this study, incidentally... hmm) getting away with putting such shoddily crap instructions on their own bloody products that people feel "panicked" and unable to follow them without mistakes or endangering their babies? Why should the NHS be responsible for this? As a potential consumer I'd be more pissed off at this, frankly.

hunkermunker Mon 27-Jul-09 15:57:14

I agree that if a woman's in a panic at 3am, she's not got there in isolation - a lot of the support she should've had has clearly failed if she's in that position in the first place.

CBC often describes these sorts of scenarios, then e.g. comes in, all brisk, and tells the mother she's "not a good milker" and should give a bottle.

Weird. And unhelpful.

MadEyeballsMoody Mon 27-Jul-09 15:58:47

Thanks Penthesileia, I have never seen those leaflets. Bit late for me now and I bloody well hope to not need them next time but it's good to know there is something there.

I take your point about 3am panic probably not being related though.

I can understand why MWs don't want to be seen to be promoting, but I thought they would be able to answer a couple of questions about it.

This all goes back to the other thread and needing clear advice from an impartial source.

tiktok Mon 27-Jul-09 15:59:59

hunker, I think she also says if she was an animal the vet would put her down, or something?

Anyway, it's the sort of 'honesty' thing some people love, apparently

hunkermunker Mon 27-Jul-09 16:02:26

She has a way with words, that's for sure, Tiktok. They really reach the people. Or make the people reach - hmm, maybe that's it [boak]

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