How much stigma in hospitals re: bottle-feeding?(13 Posts)
For personal reasons we are choosing to bottle-feed from birth. I'm getting very concerned about the stigma and tellings-off we are likely to get from midwives and other mothers - especially in the hospital following birth but also from HV, etc.
Normally I would just take it all in stride but I'm sure following birth both partner and I are going to be exhausted and extremely emotional and won't be able to function/respond normally.
Any support from others who have formula fed from the beginning or very early on would be great, but as that's rare I'm mostly looking for opinions on what you'd think if you saw parents choosing to bottle-feed a newborn. Thanks ladies (and dads!)
Wow I feel very relieved. Sorry - new parent jitters. Thank you both.
I don't think you need to worry, frankly. There is more stigma around breastfeeding than bottle feeding, I'd have thought. Up to you how you feed your baby..
Whether you need to take your own formula and bottles seems to depend on the area - I think in our local hospital they have to supply them as there are no facilities to sterilise. Where we are there is only around 55% initiation for bfing, so no stigma here!
I have to say that I was the only one on the ward when I had my son 2 years ago that was breast feeding one other lady with twins tried to but got told to mix feed and ended up on full bottle feeds. I had I fight to stay BF and I ended up hiding away in one the quite rooms to bf my son as the midwifes mostly thought I should give my on BF and bottle feed. I cant see as how some one who knows they want to bottle feed would have any problems doing so, after all its the mothers chose if they do have any problems just shut the curtains or find a quite room.
Good luck with every thing.
My outer london hosp - no probs
the inner london hosp where my friend had her baby 8 weeks ago rather horrible experince as she was certain she did not want to bf but they insisted she attempted at least 1 bf and had to supply own milk & bottles and was given NO information on making feeds up ets as "they were not allowed to".
You need to find out what your local hosp protocol is and change hosp if it doesnt suit your needs.
At my hospital it was not a case of open stigma but more a sort of turn up their nose at you. No-one said to me you should BF but conversely no-one gave me any advice or help on FF. Luckily I am 35 years old and able to stick up for myself very well so if I needed anything I asked but to be honest they just left me to it. Best thing to do in my opinion is make sure you get your info from a reliable friend/family member before you have your baby and then remember it is your life and your child and you know what is best for you and your new family.
I also echo other posters saying that you should tell the staff you want to FF in advance - put it on your birth plan and stipulate that you do not want anyone to pressure you to BF.
A friend of mine gave me this advice as she had her baby 3 weeks before me and the midwife literally guilted her into BF the colostrum after she had given birth, then they coerced her into continuing which she did when in hospital. She continued got mastitis and cracked nipples whihc became infected and was then told by HV to bottle feed as she could infect the baby - what a hassle.
The HV she had then said if you have another baby stipulate that no pressure be made to breastfeed - this will then prevent the midwife coercing you as they will be afraid of legal repercussions at the hospital if anything goes wrong - i.e baby gets infected from nipples. This is drastic I know but indicative of today's society.
Anyway not sure how far any litigation would go but at the end of the day how long does it take to say 'My wishes are to formula feed and I do not want to be pressured into breast feeding'?
none - the hospital i am having DC2 in has a special kitchen area for making bottles up
please be aware that you will probably need to take your own bottles and formula with you (so maybe check)
Just had dc3 and i was the only person bf out of a room of 4 women.
Midwifes too busy to be judgey and in fact it seemed easier for them to hand over formula than spend time helping someone to breastfeed.
They just seemed to ask how you intended to feed and facilitated that.
"She continued got mastitis and cracked nipples whihc became infected and was then told by HV to bottle feed as she could infect the baby - what a hassle."
You can't 'infect' a baby with mastitis. I've had it three times along with cracked nipples etc and have continued to breastfeed with no problem for the baby
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