Breast Feeding Views.(94 Posts)
I tried to breastfeed my first baby and only managed a week after i got an infection & found he was far happier on bottles. My second I had such a swift labour I was shaking and weak after and could barely hold him so we decided to bottle feed. This time I don't want to try, I have happy, healthy children that have always slept well and all were bottle fed, also I was bottle fed and am in better health than lots of my breast fed friends so I don't feel they have been deprived. My friend couldn't do it and was devastated, then after hearing professionals at a weaning class call bottles "artificial feeding" she was really upset. I just don't see it that way at all, I am not anti breast feeding it just hasn't worked for me and I don't want to try again as I'd rather bottle feed. I don't get the guilt, my kids are perfect and I've seen no correlation between good health and breast fed kids at all, In some cases completely the opposite. I would never tell anyone bottle is best and don't expect anyone to say breast is to me as my other friend experienced it being rammed down her throat at a class and now has her husband saying he wants her to do it when she's unsure. My husband doesn't mind either way but prefers being able to give them a bottle as he has with our other two. Am I the only one who is not deeply saddened it isn't for me?
I don't think you are, no. I was a very keen bfer, but I have quite a lot of friends who were happy ffers from birth- no guilt or regrets.
If you don't care then why have you started this thread?
Lots of people do care and a lot of the threads about this are about putting the right support in for women who do want to breastfeeding but are struggling.
I think it personal choice .. I do not feel the need to justify my decision to anyone as my reasons are personal
To me which is not to bf dc3 and I did not bf my other 2.. Other people have far more of an issue with it than me ...But be prepared for some backlash from all the pro bf on here
It's good that you're not deeply saddened, as you say, plenty of children have grown up peredflty well on formula and if there is a reason not to breastfeed (whether medical or due to the mother's choice) that's absolutely fine.
However, the current evidence suggests that as a wider population there are slightly better outcomes for breastfeeding. It would be wrong for the antenatal classes not to communicate this. It's the same way that they talk about sleeping patterns that will on the whole work well for most children and families - but understanding that some children won't fit that feed-play-sleep thing, and that's ok too.
The other thing is that, as you know, bfing can be really hard at first, and if it's not really encouraged then it's easy to drop out before weeks 4-6 where it really improves. I've done both, and I honestly found bfing a lot easier once it was established - but without encouragement would definitely have given up in the painful first few weeks!
Anyway, of course your choice is great - but maybe you feel a little defensive? Your friend deserves to make her own choice freely too, her DH doesn't have the right to make that decision for her but he does have the right to chat to her about his opinions for his child, and then she should make her decision without either of you pressuring her.
I haven't put this thread to be unsupportive to those who do want to feed my approach is that if it works for you then great, if it's not for you why should you feel bad? I have come across a lot of my friends being put under pressure to feed and I find it unfair that still they are made to feel bad for this. I started this thread because my friend is one of these people and she seemed to have few people professionally say to her its ok rather than make her feel awful. My midwife was wonderful and respectful of my decision.
It is great you feel as you do.
It's sad that some people end up feeling so bad about it, but I really do think health care professionals have to push it as hard as they do in order to increase the uk's abysmal rates of bf'ing. As it is there is a dearth of decent support and proper help for those who want to try and myths like 'my baby prefers formula', 'it helped my baby sleep through the night', 'I didn't have enough milk' abound.
I'd like to point out that with regard to my friend whose husband wants her to breast feed I have not communicated my opinion as I don't have one on anyone else's decision I honestly don't. I may sound defensive but honestly it's only because I can't comprehend people trying to make others feel bad, & I don't understand why. I once was told by a breast feeding support worker that she'd have made me feed had i been in when I was and I just find it inappropriate.
I don't always think people are trying to 'make other people feel bad' when they discuss breastfeeding or the benefits of breastfeeding. The problem is when you discuss breastfeeding some women take offense at the mere mention of it like it's an attack on their choice. It's a very sensitive subject so people can read into things and feel judged when no one is judging their choice.
Of course theoretically breast milk is the better choice and formula is a perfectly acceptable artificial replacement. However in reality breastfeeding isn't always the right choice and its becomes the mother's choice to do what feels right to her and fits her family the best.
Once again it comes down to staying open minded and respecting other people's choices. I know I will be trying to breastfeed this baby as I have my previous two babies as I feel it's the right choice for me and my baby but I honestly couldn't care less how others choose to feed their babies.
Best thing you can do is listen to your friend and how she feels so that she can work out what she really wants. Or tell her she can contact an NCT breastfeeding counsellor who will, again, listen to her talk it through without any judgement whatsoever. She'll need good support if she feels pressured in any way.
NO WAY you are not the only one! Be proud! Dc2 due in 3 weeks and I want to shout it from the rooftops I will be bottle feeding for all the same reasons as you. I could have written your post myself! I really feel for women who are made to feel guilty for not trying, or trying hard enough, etc. i wish there was more support for us/them.
OP and Larty74
I am totally in agreement with you both, for me I mix breastfed/FF for about 2 weeks then we went with FF because that was right for our DS and us as a family.
Totally not ashamed to admit I am FF, with some health professionals you almost have to constantly defend yourself!
I feel sorry for the women who want to BF, are struggling but not getting the support they desperately need- from partners, family & health professionals alike
Yes....because is was right for DS and our family.
My baby is due in 4 weeks and I am very eager to breastfeed - I will feel genuinely sad if it doesn't work out
I have 2 dd and 1 ds. With my first I had it rammed down my throat that breast was best. So for 4 very very long wks I struggled to bf, it got to the point where I was beginning to resent my dd for the amount of time I tried and failed to feed. It took a very good hv (yes they do exist) to tell me in no uncertain terms enough was enough and ff instead. From there on things massively improved. I learnt that it doesn't matter how you feed your los you have to do what's best for you.
I did go on to mix feed the next 2 but without the stress of knowing if it doesn't work then it really doesn't matter.
Just to add my ff ds is the one that sleeps, the one that rarely gets ill. Where the next 2 never slept and pick up every bug they can do.
It is important to make sure that all parents are aware of the choices and so called benefits to bf but I have found over the yrs that a lot of mws are starting to back off and let people make the right decision for them.
You do what's right for your family (and for me that was bf). Although I can't understand why ff mums don't express the colostrum and syringe it to baby in the first day or two? It's free and full of loads of antibodies, will hardly encourage the milk and you can still bottle feed.
There is a massive formula culture in the uk (not a judgement just a fact) but a breastfeeding culture antenatally. It's hard to get your head around the two different viewpoints. In real life I'd never comment on how another woman fed her baby. Although if someone made the decision to ff based on premise that it's weird or she couldn't deal with getting her boobs out in public or that boobs are just for sex I feel sad (not for her or the baby, more for the culture which encourages that view iyswim) I like to think ff is a choice and I'd like to see all advertising banned and the price reduced.
I'm a massive fan of bf but I do think ff is "easier" (routine!) and the babies do sleep better!
I hope bf works with dc2 as it did with dc1 because after initial latch problems it worked fine but I don't think either option is wrong and if I get infections or the dc has a tongue tie or isn't gaining well I wouldn't be sad to switch. It's too hyped either way like everything with parenting.
Very proBF myself even to the extent of tandem feeding my toddler and newborn at the moment. Yes, the population wide benefits are clearly for breastfeeding and I also think there is a lot of pressure from some sources to FF. However the differences are tiny and outweighed by individual circumstances including mothers choice. There is also a very vocal proBF lobby who can easily make women of can't BF or choose to do otherwise feel bad.
So, I agree with you that there is far too much guilt and pressure either way. BF or FF is fine.
I don't think it's appropriate to say the benefits of breastfeeding are 'so called' benefits - they are factually proven and it's misleading to state on a thread here where antenatal women are reading that they are anything but.
It is also important to be realistic I appreciate that but it's just a point I wanted to add.
Unless the baby is dehydrated or losing weight due to ineffective bfing, I just don't understand the statement ffing is better for my baby.
I agree that the term artificial feeding is a bit harsh and devised to prick the collective conscience of ffeeders.
I agree with bluesandgreen that there is pressure from society for both BF and FF.
Different strokes for different folks i guess. Make your decision then be proud of it. You shouldn't feel the need to justify it to anyone but yourself.
Bf advice is available in many places. If someone can't or for whatever reason doesn't want to bf, i prefer to be supportive of them as it's not my job to push the research on bf or make anyone feel bad about their choices. It's so trivial compared to the rates of maternal and child mortality in many other countries.
It's your personal choice and you know it. If you don't feel sad about it, do what you feel to do! People will judge anyway whatever you do, so what's the point)
I feel to BF my second baby as well as my first, I just simply like it and feel it's right for me and my babies. But people judge me anyway. For example, because I BF during my pregnancy
I agree that the term 'artificial milk' is a bit harsh and blatantly designed to tug at new mums' heart strings - I was given a dreadful leaflet from my midwide pushing BF which only referred to non-breast milk as artificial milk.
Having said that, I also really dislike the term 'formula milk' which was designed, IMO, to give it some kind of pseudo-scientificness which is why even now you find people (gwnerally older generation now) who think it's somehow better for baby than breast milk.
I also don't think it's accurate to say 'so called' benefits of BF - they are proven. But as has been said, they are proven at population-level. What is far more important is doing what's right for you and your baby. I really hope to BF my first and will be very sad if I can't. But I agree entirely it's my decision and I shouldn't be pressured or made to feel bad if for whatever reason it doesn't happen. I've a number of friends who were made to feel like failures when BF didn't work out - better support to help them (if they want help) is the answer, not making them feel like they've failed the first parenting test.
Bottle feeding is artificial feeding for mammals. Humans are mammals. This does not mean I have any problem whatsoever with bottle feeding,just that I don't think the phrase artificial feeding is in any way offensive. It is simply a statement of fact. If you don't want to breastfeed it is your body, your choice and none of anyone else's concern really.
As for the so called benefits of breastfeeding, the research uses a much larger sample size than just your friends and family. Obviously, what milk you had as a baby is not the only factor that affects your future health.
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