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breastfeeding drove me mad WHO got on my tits!!!!

(74 Posts)
Suzy4321 Mon 07-Dec-15 09:12:15

Long story short.... Was planning to breastfeed, it was drummed into me all through antenatal . Every class was the same boob is best!!! Great baby born. Very small could not latch on and could not suck! In hospital midwives kept insisting baby on boob it was awful she was screaming I was in tears and they kept on and on . In the end I asked for a pump. Begrudgingly they gave me one, baby couldn't suck from bottle so she was syringe fed. This went on for weeks. It was terrible and I was made to feel like I was doing something wrong. Then came the words World Health Organisation recommend this. Baby had sever lactose allergy and reflux you would think she was being fed acid. Doctor turned around and said formula. With zero not reduce lactose in it and she lapped it up. I am so angry with midwives not listening because WHO recommend boob. It's not always the case you can't feed baby this way and they make you feel awful for not doing so! Fuck of WHO!!!!!

hazelnutjam Mon 07-Dec-15 09:50:53

Goodness, poor you for having a difficult time feeding your baby. Lactose intolerance can be very disheartening so fair enough to have a rant.

Breastfeeding is best for most babies but not all, as in your case. I think there should be much better bf / infant feeding support for all new mothers. All midwives, HVs and other medical staff who deal with expecting mothers and young babies should be trained in all the ins and outs of BF/infant feeding. This way mothers can be supported if they wish to bf and problems, such as toungue tie, lactose intolerance, reflux etc. can be identified early and mum and baby supported as needed.

Of course the way bf has been promoted in the UK has been, at times, patronising and ignorant. Just to shout 'breast is best' from the rooftops is hardly conducive and many women have struggled to establish bf due to a range of issues.

But, op, bare in mind that there is strong evidence that bf is extremely beneficial for mother and child (in most cases) and that we live in a society where big food industries have promoted artificial food to all families with heavy marketing and many other unethical ways of pushing the use of formula for decades. In this context it is necessary that bf is promoted however there should be adequate support for families, not just prescriptive slogans.

It's great that your doctor has found out why your baby was having difficulties and that a safe and suitable food option is available to you. This would not be the case for many other babies. For example babies have increased mortality due to being formula fed, especially but not exclusively in developing countries, where clean water is not guaranteed, not everyone is able to prepare formula safely du to lack of hygienic equipment, illiteracy, lack of access to medicines, in case baby does get ill etc.. Formula is expensive and unnecessary if bf is possible. The WHO have a evidence based policy on bf.

By all means, have a little rant but be aware that you are judging from a very personal and emotive situation and bf is important for most babies.

Suzy4321 Mon 07-Dec-15 10:02:13

I agree hazelnut. But my gripe is the lack of support if you can't. Midwives and health visitors are very judgemental and unsupportive,

I appreciate breast is best but only if it's possible. If it's not you seem to be left in the dark, and made to feel like your not doing the best for your baby.

hazelnutjam Mon 07-Dec-15 10:23:51

NO mother should be made to feel a failure for how she feeds her baby suzy. Feeding is such an emotive issue of so many reasons. First-time mums are in a delicate and, i think, vulnerable position, as they are coming to terms with becoming a parent and having such responsibility for their baby. There is also hormones to consider, sleep deprivation and the massive shift in family dynamic and identify, it's not easy!!!. I so wish there would be more support for mums (there is on some places through well-trained bf /infant feeding counsellors, bf drop in cafes etc.).

I know your baby is very young but may i suggest that this is the first of many situations, where you will have to say to yourself it, I have done well by persisting to find a solution for my dc's needs and be proud of yourself! There will be other times over the years, where you will have to trust yourself and realise that what may work for many others may not suit you or your family. If you feel inclined, take a look at the book 'what mothers do'. its a lovely read, which acknowledges all the often subtle but powerful things mothers do and is a really uplifting read.

I really think you should be proud of yourself for finding your way through a difficult beginning and getting the (medical) help your baby needed.

MiaowTheCat Mon 07-Dec-15 17:04:38

This won't end up prettily on here once the usual suspects arrive- but for what it's worth - I agree with a lot of it.

End of the day a few years down the line and you're left scratching your head wondering why the fuck you let it all get to you so much though. It's gone to bollocksness.

Incidentally my seriously dairy intolerant DD2 who was on Neocate as she couldn't tolerate anything else has since outgrown all of her issues and is an absolutely thriving little lady now.

PourquoiTuGachesTaVie Mon 07-Dec-15 17:09:03

On the other hand, some midwives, doctors or health visitors can be too quick to suggest formula when breastfeeding is difficult, because it's easier than trying to find a solution that enables breastfeeding to continue.

PourquoiTuGachesTaVie Mon 07-Dec-15 17:09:56

On the other hand, some midwives, doctors or health visitors can be too quick to suggest formula when breastfeeding is difficult, because it's easier than finding a solution to a breastfeeding problem.

PourquoiTuGachesTaVie Mon 07-Dec-15 17:11:03

Sorry for the double post, the first one didn't post the first time I tried!

hazelnutjam Mon 07-Dec-15 20:08:24

"This won't end up prettily on here once the usual suspects arrive" I don't see why this should happen.

It's obvious that the OP had a really frustrating and worrying experience and is venting, which is fair enough smile. I don't think anyone can easily challenge the health benefits of bf over ff for most 'normal' cases' i.e. where there is no adverse reaction to breast milk, the baby is feeding well and gaining weight etc, the science.

However, it cannot be denied that many women experience breastfeeding in very negative terms, due to the difficulties they encounter (there is another thread about this right now somewhere) and the top down and not very effective promotion of bf. This is a horrible shame and can knock the confidence of new mothers or make an already challenging time with a newborn even harder.

We are lucky in the UK that formal and specialist formula is available and that we have access to clean water, sterilising facilities, and are, mostly literate and can read the instructions on how to prepare it. Many families in the world don't have this luxury and for them bf v. ff can affect whether their babies live or die. The WHO (and NHS) has a policy of promoting dbf for 6 months followed by appropriately introducing solid foods to baby's diet. This is an evidence-based and beneficial (imo) policy. I think that if the policy didn't exist fewer people would bf which would have an adverse effect on population health.

However, if struggling with bf affect the mothers self confidence or makes her and dc's lives miserable, we are lucky in the UK that we have alternative, safe options to feed our babies.

hazelnutjam Mon 07-Dec-15 20:09:11

* whoops, the science on this is pretty robust.

hazelnutjam Mon 07-Dec-15 20:10:16

* dbf - ebf, stupid autocorrect.

redexpat Mon 07-Dec-15 20:20:39

I think that antenatal classes need to be more honest about problems that can occur, and also give more practial advice about positions, latching on, mastitis, sore nipples etc.

Lemonfizzypop Mon 07-Dec-15 20:46:00

I think you should get a full and thorough discussion and demonstration with a lactation consultant before you are discharged from hospital. Of course this is unlikely to happen as everywhere is so understaffed, I had a 5 min encounter with a bf support worker on the postnatal ward who latched Dd on but that was it, I was clearly recreating it wrong on my own and therefore had weeks of cracked & bleeding nipples and crying before every feed, breastfeeding shouldn't be that traumatic! The NHS are so keen on women breastfeeding but don't have the budget to support that.

Pocket1 Tue 08-Dec-15 07:17:02

Suzy poor poor you. And poor LO. But well done for pushing and getting that diagnosis. LO should hopefully thrive now.

I wholeheartedly agree that there is a laser focussed view that we must to bf, without any regard for exceptional circumstances to the contrary. And whilst the benefits of bf are well documented, there are some children who it just won't work for. Anyone who says otherwise hasn't experienced what we have!

We had the same nightmare as you with DD (who had exactly the same as your LO). No one helped and just encouraged me to bf bf bf. I was going out of my mind as she was losing weight and unsettled 24x7.

Eventually we paid to see a private gastric paediatrician - who prescribed formula (nutramigen) and reflux meds. DD improved immediately.

She is now a happy, lively, healthy 2 year old with a great appetite. She has grown out of her dairy intolerance and now has it regularly within her diet.

Just a watch out when you wean, DD had other food allergies (egg and Brazil nut) but with regular monitoring and testing, she seems to also be growing out of these too. Please please make sure you get referred to an allergy consultant if you have any issues when you wean. But hopefully you won't.

Enjoy that LO smile

Cat2014 Tue 08-Dec-15 07:19:31

Great post hazel

Suzy4321 Tue 08-Dec-15 09:42:53

See I just think it's disgusting that there is no advice given if breastfeeding doesn't happen! Total lack of support. And I appreciate that breast is best but there is alternatives and just because WHO think it's great our midwifery services are not allowed to talk about anything else. I live in the developed world I can use alternatives if I live in the undeveloped world then I agree. But I don't. One midwife actually said she is prohibited to talk about it as its against the guidelines. And I would have to see doctor. I really think this is a disgusting attitude.

captainproton Tue 08-Dec-15 09:56:53

I'm a breastfeeding peer supporter Suzy, we are not allowed to ram breast is best down mother's throats but only support the mother's decisions. I can't comment on militant BF advocates, but I agree actually that you can't always breastfeed every baby. We have just received training on formula feeding, because believe it or not, not everyone who formula feeds does it correctly. As you say it is not taught.

My eldest had to go on formula when she was 5 months old due to me getting pregnant and her refusing to feed anymore. Some people can't seem to marry up that yes I did formula feed one of my children for 7 months and yet I am a breastfeeding peer supporter. These people who spout EBF is always best really are just a little bit naïve to all the problems that could prevent that.

That said most mums and babies can breastfeed with the right support. But it should be about quickly identifying the problem and getting a solution in place asap.

Suzy4321 Tue 08-Dec-15 10:22:09

Captain.... Seriously every class was boob orientated there was booklets, quizzes an artificial boob and a bloody video. But nothing on formular. Or even what I would class as antenatal. Boob boob boob. It's not fair. There were twenty new mums to be with partners and we were baffled by how much there was. I seriously thought I signed up to wrong class.

Owllady Tue 08-Dec-15 10:27:19

Well i'm going to upset both sides but i successfully fed for 18 months (less the first two) and i hated every bloody minute and could have throttled anyone grin including who!

TheSecondViola Tue 08-Dec-15 10:37:03

The WHO have a job to do, and they do it well, they aren't going to stop telling the truth because some people don't like it.

One reason for there being little advice about bottle feeding is most people don't need it. There are instructions on the box, you just follow that.

Suzy4321 Tue 08-Dec-15 10:47:12

Thesecondviola. WHO has a job to do . Yes. The instructions, bottles and feeding amounts are not on the boxes! It's guess work most of the time.

Some bottles and teates are better than others, some formulas are thicker than others. And if you can't breastfeed there is no advice or help. By your statement that you follow instructions on box surly is the same statement for breastfeeding. Put baby on boob and let them feed. And we all know that don't work straight away.

There is a percentage of the population where support should be given but know we are left out and made to feel like failures!

TheSecondViola Tue 08-Dec-15 12:08:17

Left out? You're the massive majority! Of course it's not the same thing. Never seen a bottle feeder with bleeding nipples.
Bottle feeding is far easier, one reason so many people do it. You either read the pack, which tells you how much and how to make it. Or you ask someone. Its not that hard.

Suzy4321 Tue 08-Dec-15 12:41:25

Obviously thesecondvilla. Of course if u have or had problems e.g. Bleeding nipples or not producing enough then there was a health visitor or midwife you could talk to. But bottle feeder no you can go on a website and ask a stranger then hope they have it right!!!

What I am asking for is the same support SHOULD be given regardless to how you feed!

Doublebubblebubble Tue 08-Dec-15 12:51:31

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Formula is not poison!!
As long as you are feeding your baby who cares what you choose to feed it

I'm surprised you weren't given more support though i bf my DD(6) for 19 months and am currently bf my ds(7weeks) and I couldn't fault the care I got with him (we had a MAJOR over supply issue which led to lots and lots of vomiting) op flowers

PourquoiTuGachesTaVie Tue 08-Dec-15 12:53:57

The instructions are on the box of formula. Make up bottle, feed baby when it's hungry. That's really all there is to it. Taking resources away from breastfeeding to promote or support formula is a terrible idea, especially when those resources are already stretched.

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