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Pressure to breastfeed

(31 Posts)
MummaBear14 Thu 02-Mar-17 09:02:00

I had my first midwife appointment this week, and I went in with my mind made up that I will not be breastfeeding baby no2. Baby no1 was premature, (and although that factors into me having very little milk supply) I had to try because baby needed breast milk. After 24 hours we had to use donor milk, as I just couldn't keep up with the tiny demand. Upon speaking with my doctors they have said the lack of milk is due to ongoing hormonal problems, and they even prescribed me tablets to help get my supply up. It didn't help at all, and caused a lot of unnecessary stress at an already hard time. I was so relived when baby no1 was discharged from hospital, as I no longer had the pressure to provide breast feed and we could start our bonding (2 weeks late!). This time I am not even attempting it, I want a more relaxed birthing experience than before, and the chance of being able to bond straight away without worrying about my milk supply. I want to bottle feed with formula, and that is my mind made up. I spoke with the midwife about it yesterday, and she said several times that we will keep trying to get my milk supply up if it is low again. Although I stated several times I wasn't prepared to try, she dismissed it and said the lactation consultant will help me. I know they have to promote breast is best, however I feel it will really affect my bond with baby if I'm being pressured, and constantly stressed out, again when there is another option for me out there. I feel this is the best option for our family. Can anyone advise what I can say in the future to put my foot down? I don't want to be pestered, or judged, about it when I've just given birth.
Thank you for reading.

Arcadia Thu 02-Mar-17 09:26:36

I would stay stick to your guns and go with what you have decided is best for you and your family. I personally think that the promotion of breastfeeding has gone too far and can cause misery for women at an already difficult time. I suffered so much guilt when it didn't work out for me but wish I had given in to the bottle sooner. Good for you for knowing what you need to do, go with your instincts.

passingthrough1 Thu 02-Mar-17 09:32:48

I'm a big supporter of breast feeding but it's up to you if you want to and not anyone else and not your midwife. Can you not just say you will think about it and end the conversation? She won't know what you end up doing. When the midwives and HV come over in the days after just say you are using formula and that will be the end of it.
It's not just breastfeeding, we all do things that aren't the official way. I don't discuss co-sleeping with health visitors unless they seem supportive. I don't discuss night weaning.

kel1234 Thu 02-Mar-17 09:35:18

I agree. It's your choice and your decision. I honestly think all you can do is continue to make it clear that you do not intend to try to breastfeed this time, and that you will be exclusively formula feeding from the start.
I knew I didn't want to even attempt breastfeeding. The midwife tried to persuade me otherwise, but agreed we could discuss it further later on (I think she hoped by then I'd change my mind.
Anyway we moved, so I never saw her again. The new midwife wasn't much better. He had a student midwife in with him, and (with my consent, under his supervision) she was asking me questions about my birth plan and feeding.
I made it clear that I would not be trying breastfeeding and would be formula feeding from the start.
She tried to put that I was willing to try in my notes. It wasn't until I threatened to report her that she didn't.
Luckily the midwife and student midwife in the birth centre were so supportive. They respected my decision and never judged me. So it does happen- there are midwives who won't judge you.
Good luck

GummyGoddess Thu 02-Mar-17 09:35:25

Just keep repeating that you are not going to breastfeed. It doesn't matter if the midwife keeps mentioning your supply as you already know what you want to do, just ignore her and ensure it's written on your birth plan. If you really can't stand her bringing it up then ask to change midwife and explain why.

You do not need to justify yourself.

AppleG Thu 02-Mar-17 09:41:18

I'm on my third baby and I tried and failed to bf my first one and had all kinds of problems and made my mind up that I would just ff any future babies. I haven't had any pestering from midwives or health visitors (still pregnant with no 3) and I think it's because I just point blank say im formula feeding and don't offer any further explanation or reasons. I know if I tried to explain or justify they would only try and come up with solutions or try and convince me it would work next time. I think if you just don't offer any further explanation on the matter and 'I am formula feeding' as a complete sentence they will not mention it again! I'm not usually blunt in other situations but for this I simply refuse to engage in conversation!

buckyou Thu 02-Mar-17 09:41:25

Just ignore her if you don't want to do it. It could be much easier this time though, but if you've made up your mind then don't let them make you feel bad.

ImYourMama Thu 02-Mar-17 09:46:40

I'm sorry if this is upsetting but why wouldn't you try? My daughter was in NICU so I know it's hard pumping for a baby you're not with but this could be a completely different experience. Breast is best but of course formula is ok as a last resort.

einalem1984 Thu 02-Mar-17 09:50:16

I really wanted to breastfeed but unfortunately my baby wouldn't latch on so had to bottle feed. I too felt guilty and disappointed but it's wrong we are made to feel this way! Just do what is best for you and your baby 😊

perfectlybroken Thu 02-Mar-17 09:53:39

I'm a big believer in BFing if you possibly can and sitting on my hands so as not to post on the other thread but in your case I can really understand your reasons, I would stick to your guns and be firm.

mimiholls Thu 02-Mar-17 09:55:15

What's best for you is what's best for your baby. Your decision is completely valid. I wouldn't worry about the midwife it won't even be her in hospital with you or probably seeing you post natally. Just repeat that you've made your decision and will be formula feeding.

TwentyCups Thu 02-Mar-17 09:55:17

She's been explicitly clear why she doesn't want to try Mama. It's ok as a last resort, and it's also a completely valid first choice.

If it comes up again just state that your mind is made up and you will not discuss it further.

Congratulations on the baby smile

PersisFord Thu 02-Mar-17 10:03:09

Formula isn't a "last resort". It's not gin, or pond water, or chilli sauce. It's a carefully designed, safe, healthy baby milk. It's a perfectly valid choice. Having a baby is really tough, especially after a traumatic time the first time round, and you should do exactly what is right for you as a family.

I would just say "we are going to formula feed from birth, we have decided this is the right thing for us as a family" and repeat as needed.

Thefitfatty Thu 02-Mar-17 10:09:44

Op I had a VERY similar experience to yours with DS. Unlike you I wasn't sure if I would try again or not. It wasn't till they handed my DD that I knew for certain that I would under NO circumstances be trying to BF. I made it very clear that I didn't even want to entertain the thought after that and my OBGYN stood by me, even though the MW "forgot" to give me the pills to dry up my milk (never came in anyway) and "forgot" to bring me formula when I asked (they supply it in the hospital where I am).

Thefitfatty Thu 02-Mar-17 10:10:05

Sorry, what I wanted to say before I hit post was Stick to your guns!!!!

Anotherdayanotherdollar Thu 02-Mar-17 10:15:25

Do you really need to say anything?
You know that breast is best, you tried it before and it wasn't for you.
Bring your formula in your bag if that's how your hospital works and feed your baby. Nobody elses opinion matters. And the HCP don't actually care anyway, they just need to be seen to be doing their job.

INeedToDoThis Thu 02-Mar-17 10:15:45

"There's no need to worry about keeping my supply up as I won't be breast feeding"
"After all the stress last time for the sake of mine and babies bond and my mental health I will not be breastfeeding"
"thankyou for the offer of support with breast feeding but I will be using formula"
Rinse and repeat. If all else fails;
"I don't feel you are listening to me, I feel very pressured and judged and would like to request a new midwife as this is a time in my life where I need less stress not more."

You have a perfectly valid reason for not wanting to breast feed. I wanted to, tried for 8 weeks to the detriment of my daughters health, and my mental health, my milk has virtually no fat so she wasn't gaining weight. The bf support team and one of the health visitors made me feel so shit about it that when I did finally quit I ended up sobbing to my MH team. The perinatal mental health lady I see raised an eyebrow and requested a new hv for me because its my choice and what's best for us. She was right. Hold your head up and do not allow them to bully you.

AssassinatedBeauty Thu 02-Mar-17 10:21:45

If they raise it at the next appointment, correct her and tell her you intend to formula feed from birth. If she doesn't accept that and continues to talk about breastfeeding, then I would ask to change midwives and tell them why.

Also check what's written in your notes. If there's anything there that says you're planning to try to breastfeed, then ask for it to be corrected.

SittingAround1 Thu 02-Mar-17 10:30:50

I think you need to take the broken record approach & just repeat 'No I'm going to bottle feed' over and over.
They'll give up. Your baby, your body, your choice.
Good luck with the birth

MummaBear14 Thu 02-Mar-17 10:35:36

Thanks everyone for your replies.

I really appreciate it. This post wasn't meant to be a debate about breastfeeding vs bottle feeding. I applause parents however way they feed their baby, and if you can and want to breast feed then I'm very happy for you. Mama you option is your own, and that's perfectly fine. I'm glad breast feeding has worked for you, but sadly it hasn't for us.

I was merely looking for advice on how to handle the judgements for not breastfeeding. I think I may take the approach with my midwife that it's something to think about, and il defiantly discuss it nearer the time of delivery. I will bring my own formula with me, for baby, and fingers crossed we are not in hospital for long after delivery!

She's a lovely midwife, and I'd rather not be hostile with her when it's clearly something they have to push and promote. It is sad that it is so forced upon you though, and defiantly makes mums that cannot breastfeed feel guilty.

Fed is best, is a great phrase smile

60percentofthetime Thu 02-Mar-17 10:48:12

Just tell your midwife that you'll try. She can't follow you round after you've had your baby! I had huge difficulty breastfeeding my first, and went into formula after about a week. My midwives and health visitors were not helpful and I was made to feel like bad mum. Second time round I just told my midwife that I'd try, and she left me to it. I did try when DS2 came along and we had success for a while, but eventually went back to formula which we were all really comfortable with.

MamaHanji Thu 02-Mar-17 10:49:26

These exact words worked for me the first time.

'You don't seem to be understanding me or you are deliberately ignoring my choice. I will not be breastfeeding. That is the end of it. And if you continue to ignore me and disrespect my choices, I will be reporting you.'

Don't get caught out in the hospital. Make sure you have all the bottles and formula and sterilising equipment and someone to help if possible so they don't say 'well you have to breastfeed then' like they did to me when i needed to wait for my partner to bring formula to me from the nearest shop!

MamaHanji Thu 02-Mar-17 10:50:58

And they are meant to advise that breast is best obviously. But they are not meant to ignore your clear choices.

c0nfused Thu 02-Mar-17 10:55:02

Formula is perfectly fine as a choice, not a last resort hmm stop being so condescending. The OP has said her mind is made up, no need to question her.

I wouldn't even let it bother you. Just reiterate what your decision is every time it is mentioned.
It is their job to promote breastfeeding, sure, but if an expectant mother has already firmly said she doesn't wish to that is their bit done as far as I'm concerned.

Chocolatecake12 Thu 02-Mar-17 10:58:03

Good luck with your new baby. I remember having such a difficult time as I had very little supply and my baby was so hungry. I felt so guilty for ages until a dr said to me at the 6 week check that my baby was doing really well and I was obviously doing a grand job!
Also when they all start reception school and are running about you cannot tell who was breastfed or formula fed.
Stick to your choices because we are lucky enough to have choices.
And enjoy your baby when it arrives .

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