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So fucked off with midwives panicking me over breastfeeding

(52 Posts)
VJONES1985 Tue 05-Aug-14 13:26:33

My (patronising) midwife has just told me that I can't go home without her first witnessing a feed because I have expressed concerns about it. I'm pleased that she is there to offer support and advice when I need it but she talks down to me and makes me feel stupid.

My concern is how to encourage baby to feed when he doesn't seem to want to. I know I should be feeding to demand but so far his demand hasn't been enough and the midwife thinks this is because he is very sleepy, which in turn could be caused by his lack of food. Anyway, I have just told her that I managed to get him to feed even though he hadn't been crying for it.

I have been in hospital since Saturday. As of today I have been well enough to go home and baby is also well although I obviously wanted to get advice on this feeding problem first.

My issue now is that it feels like we are being judged on the feed the midwife sees later. Is she expecting to tell us to stay in hospital even longer if we have an unsuccessful feed? Bearing in mind that breastfeeding is challenging for most people... I am almost feeling pressured into 'giving up' and switching to formula just to be able to go home with my baby.

canweseethebunnies Tue 05-Aug-14 14:05:01

As far as I'm aware, you are perfectly free to discharge yourself and leave. If you are confident that your baby is ok (sometimes it's hard to trust your judgement as a new mum, but you probably know if there's something serious to worry about) then that is what I would do in your position.

I was kept in for a week with my dd as she was given unnecessary, 'precautionary' anti-biotics which turned out not to be needed. I wish I had left, but they scared me into staying, even though I knew she was fine.

During the time I was in there, I saw other woman getting badgered about supposed breast feeding 'issues', talked into top-up feeding, and eventually giving up on bf, because their babies hadn't quite met certain weight gain percentages, or whatever. It was very disheartening.

Trust yourself. If there's an issue once you get home you can always seek more help.

Cobo Tue 05-Aug-14 14:15:04

I'm sure this isn't a universal experience, so may not be true of your midwives, but I found that the midwives in the hospital were not much help when it came to breastfeeding. Even their designated breast feeding expert was no help when I was having problems. I would recommend finding out if there's a breast feeding clinic in the hospital or locally, or a La Leche League or Baby Cafe group nearby, and going to them for help rather than waiting for the hospital midwife to tick you off her list.

Vicky5910 Tue 05-Aug-14 14:17:09

As above, I would recommend just going home. I did, after being told breastfeeding wasn't going well and a midwife giving my baby formula overnight while I sobbed... I went home and instantly relaxed and everything felt easier.
The local midwife, health visitor, sometimes even local doctor are popping in every day anyway. You're just as likely to get support in your own home and you have your own bed and nice food there too smile
Congratulations on the birth of your baby xxx

Idontseeanyicegiants Tue 05-Aug-14 14:23:31

I was toldI couldn't go home with DD1 until they had witnessed me successfully BFing her. I discharged us both after 2 days with no support just a whole load of unsympathetic nagging from midwives and bf counsellors (one of whom grabbed my breast to try and stick it in DD's mouth).
I would discharge myself in your position and contact the La Leche League or see if a local children's centre has a support group x

hartmel Tue 05-Aug-14 14:23:48

I had the same problem. That I got really stressed out about it. Also I have flat nipples so he couldn't latch on very good. Which the nurse knew about. Anyway instead of bringing me a nipple shield they continued to push me into showing that I can feed him. I was also close to giving up and switch to formula..
At the end we asked to get discharged with the reason that a local HV would come by the next day.

Guess what once home, he latched on so good and ate really good that he gained overnight 200 gramms.
I still went and bought a nipple shield as he had problems latching on with right side.

From my experience I find being in hospital you feel pressured and stressed. If you and baby are doing fine then they can't hold you in.

Standinginline Tue 05-Aug-14 14:27:03

Yes ,my friend discharged herself. She had had her child that day with no complications but they wanted her to stay to show her how to breastfeed. As longs you know he's getting what he should and you feel confident that you're doing it properly then ask to leave.

TarkaTheOtter Tue 05-Aug-14 14:30:22

vjones I have had a sleepy baby. Tips you can try are change nappy first, take off layers of clothes, run a wet washcloth up babies back/babies feet. Try to get baby to feed at least every 3hrs (from start of feed) round the clock until back to birthweight.

squizita Tue 05-Aug-14 14:31:58

Have you asked on the BFing board? There are professional BF advisers who post there daily and are likely to give good advice (as you mentioned the baby was getting into a sleepy cycle).

squizita Tue 05-Aug-14 14:33:55

This board - ask for BF experts (e.g. TikTok) to give their opinions...

Fishcake77 Tue 05-Aug-14 14:35:24

I was kept in breastfeeding boot camp for 3 days before they would discharge me after seeing me breastfeeding successfully - so yes I was kept in hospital until then.
I had as many as 4 different midwifes a day manhandling my boobs to 'help' me express for my baby boy. In the end he had 10 heel prick tests as he was not getting enough food and had very low blood sugar levels. There was me thinking I had a very calm, non crying baby when in fact he was starving and needed some formula which he had to be forced to sip from a little cup. It was very distressing and all I wanted to do was feed him from a bottle and let him have a full tummy.
Once I could prove I could breastfeed him I was allowed home - I thought it was awful how they pushed and pushed breastfeeding when you are in such a vulnerable state.
I am now both breastfeeding and bottle feeding successfully - I am please I persevered with breastfeeding but I was so upset at the time with all of the midwifes.
Sorry for the rant!!

WaffleWiffle Tue 05-Aug-14 14:36:20

My baby breastfed in the delivery room but then when didn't feed through the rest of the night (he was born around midnight), that I wasn't allowed to go home as planned the following morning.

He just didn't want feeding. He was my third child (first two EBF for 6 months plus), I knew what I was doing.

They forced formula milk down his throat from a cup. Without my permission. I was fuming, but just wanted to leave.

I have decided that this time (currently 34 weeks pregnant) that I will just say baby had/is feeding well regardless. I will not be preached at or bullied in that way again.

DinoSnores Tue 05-Aug-14 14:36:22

I think I recognise your name as someone who has said elsewhere that you have T1DM.

If that's the case, there is the possibility that your baby has neonatal hypoglycaemia and that's why he isn't feeding.

If so, it is important that feeding is established as soon as possible so that things don't get worse and cause more problems, so that might explain the midwife's concerns, so I'd be reluctant to recommend that you discharged yourself until he really was feeding well.

MiscellaneousAssortment Tue 05-Aug-14 14:36:50

I was told they'd take my baby away and I wouldn't be allowed to hold or touch him unless I let the midwives give him formula.

I was bullied and scared and they took my baby and fed h in front of me. I wasn't even allowed to be the one to give him a bottle. They then walked last and laughed when I tried to breast feed later 'oh you won't stand a chance now he's on formula'. I secretly used a pump in fear they'd laugh at me more.

There was a bf councellor who visited the ward but she had been told I'd given up so she didn't have an appointment for me.

Then I got the fuck out of there and after a massive struggle I breastfed for a year.

I'm completely sure there are good midwives out there. But not on the ward I was on.

I'd advice getting the hell out of there and going home to establish bf. But do get support via breast feeding experts and home visit midwives, as you need to make sure your baby isn't having trouble feeding for another reason.

Good luck, and don't feel in prison, these people can't hold you against your will. Wish I'd gone home earlier, but was too scared of them.

Floop Tue 05-Aug-14 14:38:58

I discharged myself with my first baby after feeding issues. The midwives didn't like it, but I was fed up to fuck with them.

Get out OP!

ElephantsNeverForgive Tue 05-Aug-14 14:46:55

I lied, ticked baby had fed on the bit of paper and left.

DD2 was born at home, part of the reason was the judgemental intrusive nature of the postnatal ward.

That was 16years ago are they really still being so stupid?

Personally I'd just get up, pick up the baby and walk out, but I did discharge myself when PG.

thatwouldbeanecumenicalmatter Tue 05-Aug-14 14:47:17

Congratulations thanks

Go home and enjoy your baby x

smoothieooo Tue 05-Aug-14 14:50:34

When I had DS1 almost 16 years ago, I was told that if I couldn't breastfeed him, he might become brain damaged hmm - this was in St. Thomas's Hospital in London. My milk didn't come in for a good few days after the birth so I'm not sure what she expected me to do (other than grab a bottle of formula). The midwife does not always know best...

Congratulations to you BTW! thanks

squizita Tue 05-Aug-14 14:53:08

Dino ... thanks for that. It was kind of what concerned me ... we don't know OPs medical history and it's a very emotive subject.
So one person's MW needlessly giving formula story might apply to them not OP IYSWIM. There might be another genuine reason a BF expert notices.

thatwouldbeanecumenicalmatter Tue 05-Aug-14 14:53:50

I remember being sat in hospital with DS2 and breastfeeding woman (don't know/can't remember who the hell she was or even if she was a medical professional) came to check if I was 'doing it correctly'. I told her I'd bf DS1 and knew what I was doing but as DS2 was due a feed I thought no harm in showing her. Straight away she criticized that I hadn't positioned DS2 correctly at the breast....I was in the middle of getting my tit out of my top.... hmm

noblegiraffe Tue 05-Aug-14 14:58:23

OP, please go over to the breast and bottle feeding board for advice. The midwives are right to show concern for a sleepy baby that isn't feeding very often and aren't just doing it to piss you off.

Important questions are how is your baby's weight in relation to birthweight and how many dirty nappies are you getting and what colour are they?

I had a very sleepy baby and you can't rely on them to demand a feed - mine struggled to regain her birthweight. I had to feed according to the clock, every two hours around the clock, setting an alarm each time. There are many ways you can encourage a sleepy baby to feed including stripping them off and tickling their feet to stop them nodding off, also changing their nappy halfway through a feed.

newnamesamegame Tue 05-Aug-14 15:02:46

I was bullied to the point of a meltdown by the nurses and midwives when I had DD about breastfeeding and I remain convinced that their overzealousness and lack of tact is one of the main reasons I never managed to breastfeed properly. After a 22-hour labour followed by a further night without sleep due to DD crying hysterically and after failing to breastfeed I asked if my DH could stay with her while I was allowed to grab some sleep (my first in nearly 72 hours).

The answer was no more than 2 hours at a time because they needed to wake me to get me to try to breast feed.

After a further night and day of this and without any sign that DD would latch, DH became distressed and went out and bought some formula. They said he would have to leave the ward if he persisted in trying to give it to her.

It took us a further 72 hours to basically decide we would rather give our daughter a bottle of formula at home, and live with the consequences, than be subjected to another day of this. So we discharged ourselves.

I know they meant well and I know they were following guidelines etc. But there was a total lack of human pragmatism and compassion, at the end of the day.

DD never really wanted to latch. I did make a few half-hearted attempts, went to some breastfeeding clinics etc. I expressed and bottle fed my milk for two months, supplemented with formula. Then I threw in the towel and gave her formula. And guess what, DD is now healthy and fine.

I will go to my grave wondering if I could have tried harder and I probably could, if I'm honest. Maybe she was tongue-tied -- I never investigated. Maybe I could just have plugged on at it like a demented woman whose life depended on it. But I didn't.

I also remain convinced that the mad, obsessive need to harass me about it on the hour, every hour, during those first few fraught nights was a major factor in my failing to get the hang of it. Had they chilled the f* out about it and offered me support in a more constructive way, I would have been more proactive about getting help once out of hospital.

I remain in favour of giving women as much support as possible to breastfeed both in and out of hospital. But from my own experience, I think the hysteria around the subject is quite often not terribly constructive.

squizita Tue 05-Aug-14 15:04:58

Noble yes! TBH as a person who was a 'sleepy baby' for serious medical reasons the blanket "Oh just go home - they're evil witches force feeding formula" message when you don't know the full story always worries me.

For many it was the case. But without knowing the full story, people could be advising a baby who genuinely does have a medical issue to go home!

mum2be91 Tue 05-Aug-14 15:15:39

I haven't even had my baby yet, but as I understand the on demand thing, it is perfectly fine to offer the breast before the baby shows signs of being hungry, but what you shouldn't do is to ignore feeding cues in order to stick to a routine. Newborns can often be too tired to show proper signs of being hungry, and if you don't feed them they get more tired and even less likely to show signs of hunger and so on. I think it is recommended you try to feed the baby at least every 3 hours until the baby has reached its birth weight. If the baby is too tired to breastfeed, syringe or cup feeding is probably a good idea.

thatwouldbeanecumenicalmatter Tue 05-Aug-14 15:18:10

But if OP felt baby wasn't improving at home she can go back to hospital/ring for advice and I'm assuming midwives will be doing regular home visits especially if they though there was a thriving issue.

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