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Weird question for this board... - Page 2

post #21 of 46
From my understanding from reading here for the past couple years I think the breastfeeding environment IS different in Canada from the US. I do think in Canada it is much more the norm & much more promoted - although there is still a ton of misinformation given out.
post #22 of 46
Just to make sure I understand, it's just one baby that's formula fed you know? It came across as though you were saying all babies that are formula fed are unhealthy.

I thought I'd chime in. I tried breastfeeding and made full intentions of only breastfeeding but my thyroid levels plummeted after birth leading to a very low supply. It wasn't caught until my son was a month and he was on formula by then. I look back at the time I was struggling and in some ways it doesn't make me want to try again with the next one, but in other ways I'm more determined.

He was feeding around the clock, not producing enough wet diapers. I saw an LC that said everything was fine and rushed me out of the office. I had no support either. His jaundice was growing worse and neither of us were sleeping leading to depression on my side. I sometimes didn't want to hold him after he unlatched, usually he'd be right back on though. My nipples were cracked and bleeding too.

Once he was on formula his jaundice cleared up, we both slept, and I was much happier. I actually bonded as well. If you ask me, my son is thriving. I don't see an unhealthy or emotionally unstable baby. He's extremely vocal and active. I swear he's never still when he's awake. He's also a complete Mama's boy! At this very moment he has a runny nose and congestion due to the swollen nasal cavities that occur when 4 front top teeth are coming through. He's had a couple very minor colds, but that's it in his 7 months of life.

So from my side I can see why some moms don't even try breastfeeding. Maybe they had very bad experiences with the first baby, or heard too many horror stories, lack of support and info, having to return to work etc. There are so many reasons. There are also extremely personal reasons that they don't talk about because of the fear of being looked down on and being criticized for letting something so "petty" deter them from breastfeeding.

At this point I am mostly determined to try with the next baby. I will make sure I have a very good support system though and an endocrenologist prepared to draw blood weekly for a month so that I get on the right thyroid medication dose!
post #23 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by leappiah View Post
Looks like I may not have come across clearly in my original post. I do not ever act judgementaly or talk down to anybody I see formula feeding as I realize there are times when breast feeding is simply not a possibility (situations many of you pointed out). I just cannot understand why these mothers I know would decide to formula feed without even considering or trying breastfeeding (and yes, I know that the bottle has formula in it and that the baby has been on it from the beginning). It seems that I live in an abnormal community. Breastfeeding is expected and encouraged, by my family and most of my extended circle of influence, by the local hospital/medical clinic and staff, and by the "old timers" in the city I live in. My teen years were spent in a different community where, again, breastfeeding was expected and encouraged.

I fully intend to breastfeed unless my body fails me and I am, for some reason, incapable. I know full-well that it may not be easy or comfortable for me, but also know that it's the best thing for my baby. I didn't mean to come across as a wacked-out idealist who pushes my opinions on every new mother I see, I just wanted to understand why this decision is made in a society that seems, to me (a view which is apparently incorrect), to encourage and expect breastfeeding. Thanks for those of you who have helped me to understand a little better.
You came across perfectly in your first post. I used to feel exactly the way that you do. And then I had the nursing relationship from hell. I did a 180 in my beliefs and it has really made me want to become an IBCLC. But I can't think of anything anyone could have said to me before that would have made me come around, and so I don't quite know what to say.

I truly and very sincerely hope your experience is only "not easy" and "uncomfortable." That is what I wish for every mom. All I can say is that I am slowly learning that every mom has a reason. They may not be reasons that would be acceptable to me. They may be reasons based on lack of knowledge or misconception. They may be reasons that I don't agree with, but they are reasons. I wish they didn't exist as obstacles, and I actively try to help the women I know get past them, but they exist. The decision is rarely thoughtless, even if they don't share their thought process with you.

I wish you the very best in breastfeeding - may you never have a reason to know where the rest of us are coming from.
post #24 of 46
I find Canada as a whole to very supportive of breastfeeding. The hospitals don't tend to offer formula, and will instead offer you a hospital grade pump and access to their LC. Failing that, we were offered donor milk, which we used for several months via an SNS.

I do live in a crunchy part of Vancouver, so around here it is pretty taboo to offer a bottle unless you have a very good reason. This is great when supporting BF moms, but a little off-putting for those parents that bottle-feed for whatever reason. DD has never had a bottle, but I can imagine what it feels like when everyone stares at you with big fat questions behind their holier-than-thou looks.

We used a Lact-Aid at the breast, with formula at times. You do what you have to do. All I can say is that I hope BF comes easily for you, hon. If it does, you are blessed. If it doesn't, you've got a big community here who can help you out in the Breastfeeding Challenges forum.

Congratulations on your baby!
post #25 of 46
I tend to think that most mamas are doing the very best that they can, making the decisions that they feel are right for their family.

That said, I've had very easy nursing relationships x 2 (I'm pregnant with #3). In my case, I can't fathom not nursing. It's just soooo, so much easier than formula feeding could ever be. Mainly, cause I'm really, really cheap. And, I hate to shop. And, like it or not, to procure formula, you've got to shop.

But, other women aren't the same as me. Some of them see my choices as crazy. So, they tolerate my decisions to not leave little babies with babysitters (including my 3 year old "little baby"), and I tolerate their formula feeding. And come home and vent to my sweet, sweet dh.
post #26 of 46
It bugs me that there's not more societal (?) support for breastfeeding. If there was more, then I'm positive more women would initiate and have successful breastfeeding relationships. Not to get off on a tangent, but in most other cultures around the world, female families members (who've mainly all breastfed) help new moms from the get-go so there's help 24/7. It's just not like that for most moms here. It's sad really.

Personally speaking, I've noticed that the babies who've been only FF (no colostrum), ARE sick more often than those who received at least some breastmilk, even if they were weaned after only a few weeks. Those moms who did go straight to FFing believe that FFing is just as good as BFing (because they weren't BF and they're juuuuust fine REALLY?), can only see breasts in a sexual manner (though claiming to be religious- a bit ironic), and are very uneducated (ie ignorant) in general. Sure I feel like moms owe it to their babies to offer BFing, but I'm not going to dismiss someone as my friend if they don't because 9/10 it's from lack of knowledge.
post #27 of 46
I think the OP's sadness is directed towards mothers who don't try, or have any intention of trying. At least, that is what I got from the post. I know many people IRL and from this board who couldn't nurse for various reasons, and I have no judgement of them at all. But I also know people IRL who never even wanted to try, and yes, that does make me sad.
post #28 of 46
Honestly? It does bother me. I'm a low supply mom. I have worked my bum off to make as much milk for my children as possible for as long as possible so that they can have an experience as close to CLW as possible. My dd had a slew of her own problems which resulted in her not latching on all the time until she was almost 6 months old. I've been to h*ll and back time and again and still haven't given up. I see mothers who had no problems with milk supply issues or babies with issues (I'm talking about women I actually know, not some random stranger whose history I don't know), and yes, I get jealous. I would give up so much to have what they just threw away. And then, if they go on about what a drag it was to pump a couple of times a day (I pumped for years, around the clock, in addition to nursing with LAs) or how they were glad they stuck with it as long as they could (before it became too convenient to drop their 6 month old baby off for a couple of days at grandma's house or one of the other excuses I've heard), yes, I get angry.
post #29 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by boheime View Post
Honestly? It does bother me. I'm a low supply mom. I have worked my bum off to make as much milk for my children as possible for as long as possible so that they can have an experience as close to CLW as possible. My dd had a slew of her own problems which resulted in her not latching on all the time until she was almost 6 months old. I've been to h*ll and back time and again and still haven't given up. I see mothers who had no problems with milk supply issues or babies with issues (I'm talking about women I actually know, not some random stranger whose history I don't know), and yes, I get jealous. I would give up so much to have what they just threw away. And then, if they go on about what a drag it was to pump a couple of times a day (I pumped for years, around the clock, in addition to nursing with LAs) or how they were glad they stuck with it as long as they could (before it became too convenient to drop their 6 month old baby off for a couple of days at grandma's house or one of the other excuses I've heard), yes, I get angry.
many s!!!

it bothers me too and i've had to really temper myself. i can not help others be tolerant of bf if i'm ranting like a lunatic

four of my five bf relationships have been difficult. three ended up with formula and i do have guilt over that. i hope i never add to a mother's guilt by promoting bf.
post #30 of 46
What angers me, is women who choose to FF and give crap reasons -like DH's cousin who said BF made her cramp (it is supposed to; it is one of the many benefits in the early days, to help your uterus shrink to prepregnancy size) - or say it's uncomfortable, or something. I would rather these women just be honest and say, you know, I just don't want to BF; I'd rather FF without trying to excuse their way out of it.

I didn't have much family support; my mom couldn't really BF me; she was a senior in High School at the time and that really wouldn't have been encouraged. so I got the old-fashioned formula of evaporated canned milk and Caro syrup I was a very healthy kid and am healthy now- but then again, I didn't get vaxed on schedule either - not on purpose; that is just how it worked out. I didn't get "caught up" until right before kindergarten. My mom was skeptical of my desire to BF; my grandma and aunts were like, great if you're able to; we weren't - same thing from my MIL and her family.

BUT - I have a great network of BF'ing friends. Never went to LLL meeting. It was hard at first. I cried - I was so engorged DS couldn't latch. so we pumped and gave bottles of Expressed BM for about a month, with me nursing only a couple feedings a day. it broke my heart to pump - I knew I would have to when I went back to work; but didn't want to before I really had to. Now at 12 weeks, DS is a great nurser, I have a great supply and I wouldnt change a thing but it is not this way for everybody.

I don't judge women who FF or get angry at them. I just want them to be honest about why (most that I've met are not
post #31 of 46
Hmmm..... It doesn't make me sad when I see formula fed babies. they aren't loved any less than my baby, and I don't know the family situation. It's not my place to judge.

That said, it seems like mostly everyone I know (both mainstream and otherwise) at least TRIED. And I think it's wonderful that everyone is at least trying.

There has only been one mom in my circles who flat out didn't even try. She said it was really gross to even think about it and she didn't want to inconvenience others. This mama said she once baby-sat a BF baby and the poor thing cried the whole time because it wouldn't take a bottle. She said she would never do that to a sitter. So she didn't BF because she didn't want to inconvenience a baby sitter (and she's a SAHM). Nothing (and I mean NOTHING) anyone said to her would change her mind. And the sad thing is that her entire family is obese, diabetic, asthmatic, etc. My family has a similar background and I am willing to do just about anything to give my son a good start- breastfeeding seemed like a good way to help his body avoid some of the problems we see in my family.
post #32 of 46
I wonder what the stats are for women in Canada with attempting and continuing BFing....?

I'm in the UK. 91% of women commence breastfeeding at birth. 6 days PP around 31% are still going. So if i see a woman in the street who is bottle feeding, there's only a 9% chance she didn't want or try to BF - too small a chance for ME to assume she didn't even try for no good reason. The main issue to me is why, if 91% of women clearly WANT to BF, it takes less than a week for a majority of them to switch to formula. The answer of course is lack of support, lack of education, lack of care, and a society which isn't bothered either way and is only swayed by its own selfish priorities - i.e. workplaces who would rather you FF so they don't have to provide a place and equipment for you to pump, health visitors who don't care if you FF so long as your baby gains well enough not to flag in any way as a feeding concern so they have to do more follow-ups and paper-work. Right down to a husband who doesn't care if you FF because he wants to sleep and thinks that will make a difference, and besides his mom says FF is better than BF anyway.

It's a pity it's so hard to commercialise BFing. Exercise is good for us, and thanks to the advertising of big gyms there is no societal stigma against staying in shape. But BFing? Pfffft? Who can make a buck THERE?
post #33 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by ein328 View Post
I'll be honest. It does make me angry. The more I learn about it, though, the more I blame our culture and even the medical community for making bottles the norm, and making women question their ability to feed their babies. Here I think we need to differentiate between those who, for one reason or another, cannot breastfeed, and those who choose not to.

In my view, a lot of things are "a pain." It's a pain to take my daughter out of her sling and put her in the carseat to drive a block when I'm out shopping. But I do it to protect my daughter. Would you consider driving your child around town, without putting him/her in a carseat? You're conscientiously taking a risk. The same goes with choosing to formula feed. The benefits of breastfeeding are well-documented. Choosing not to BF is choosing to put your child at a higher risk. (Again, I'm talking here about CHOOSING, not being unable to.)

And guess what? Sometimes what's best isn't what's easy. And I know A TON of people who quit BFing because they were "tired"/"sick of getting up at night." And these women had babies that were a few weeks old, had great breastfeeding relationships, no supply issues, etc.
This is exactly how I feel. 100%.
post #34 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by craft_media_hero View Post
I don't know. I get spanked by the Mods when I start in why people choose formula when they are capable of breastfeeding. It is also still a trend in the parenting in my community (I don't live in Crunchy Town), too. I think it is bizarre, and it bothers me. I do not think that formula feeding would be easier. I was really lucky, I guess. Put babe to boob, feed babe. Yes, my nips cracked, yes I got mastitis, yes I was tired being the only one up at night, yes my kid bit me, yes I got tired of being the human pacifier all night long for ever . . . I still don't think it was that hard or that the drawbacks of doing it even came close to the drawbacks of not doing it. I don't get it either.
I totally agree with this post. I admit I am judgemental on people who don't even try as op was talking about. Also moms who get all the advice and don't heed it really bother me.
post #35 of 46
Quote:
Also moms who get all the advice and don't heed it really bother me.
But have you never in your life gone with your gut, despite the advice, and done something your own way? Doesn't everyone have a right to live their own life and pay for their own mistakes along the way? Sure it's sad if you FF and then your kid gets diabetes or something which could have been less likely if you'd BFed, but do you really think mama's in that situation don't care about the diabetes?

We ALL live with our successes and regrets in life. We ALL do things which in retrospect maybe weren't the best idea, and it's pretty clear from a lot of what PP's have written that MANY of us had ideas about parenting which actual parenting shattered - sometimes it takes a kid or two. I recently met a mama of 6 who was REALLY struggling with #6, a high needs baby after 5 mellow ones. It is killing her, and she feels like a complete failure because everything she did with 1-5 is totally irrelevant with 6. Life teaches all of us lessons. Some of us will know "BFing is the way to go" from being little. Some of us will learn it in highschool, some of us will read a magazine, some of us will learn it from friends or relatives, some of us will learn it only when we are already mothers, and some of us will only realise it in retrospect, after we are done having babies. Really, what is the attraction of being angry or even overly interested (unless your interest/input is being sought) about the path of learning another person is on?
post #36 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post

We ALL live with our successes and regrets in life. We ALL do things which in retrospect maybe weren't the best idea, and it's pretty clear from a lot of what PP's have written that MANY of us had ideas about parenting which actual parenting shattered - sometimes it takes a kid or two. I recently met a mama of 6 who was REALLY struggling with #6, a high needs baby after 5 mellow ones. It is killing her, and she feels like a complete failure because everything she did with 1-5 is totally irrelevant with 6. Life teaches all of us lessons. Some of us will know "BFing is the way to go" from being little. Some of us will learn it in highschool, some of us will read a magazine, some of us will learn it from friends or relatives, some of us will learn it only when we are already mothers, and some of us will only realise it in retrospect, after we are done having babies. Really, what is the attraction of being angry or even overly interested (unless your interest/input is being sought) about the path of learning another person is on?
I think that is very wise. Very wise.

Before I had a baby, I would sometimes think - although not to the point of being outraged, that's just not my personality really - "Why do parents tote their babies around grocery stores in buckets? Why don't they just take them out of the car seat and carry them?"

And then I had my own baby. In the middle of winter. In a cold climate. You think I take my baby out of the car seat in the parking lot with snow coming down every time? Heck no, I tote him inside in his bucket.

Motherhood is teaching me to be humble. I don't know someone else's life. Unless they ask for help, it's none of my beeswax.
post #37 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by lalemma View Post
Motherhood is teaching me to be humble. I don't know someone else's life. Unless they ask for help, it's none of my beeswax.
Beautifully said.

I might have been more willing to agree with the OP about three months ago, before the birth of my first child. We had a heck of a time with breastfeeding, mostly due to tongue tie. It was terribly painful for weeks. I stuck with it, but I also had a supportive husband and family, access to really great IBCLCs, a sympathetic and proactive pediatrician who referred me to a cooperative ENT doctor, access to a world-class children's hospital where the pediatric ENT was located, good insurance to cover all this and enough disposable income to pay for what wasn't covered... You get my point. Take away any one of those factors, and I might have been ready to switch to formula.

I can never know all the factors, so I try not to judge. Even if a mother chooses to formula feed without extenuating medical circumstances, it's her choice and she's still providing for her child. Now that I have some idea of how difficult breastfeeding can be, I can only imagine how hard it would be with no support, no role models, no cultural precedent.
post #38 of 46
I think I have a good grasp of the huge long list of reasons why breastfeeding doesn't work out and how based on that experience that some mothers will decide to not even try next time around, I might not agree, but I can understand that it happens, just like I understand that someone who had a traumatic vaginal birth might want a c-section (I happen to believe that provided counselling is given and options explored, that a psychological reason is a medical reason).

What I struggle with and I think this is what the OP is struggling with to, is how that applies to first babies. I do feel that an "I'll give it a try" attitude is a contributing factor to it not working out for a proportion of mums, but there are also many who gave it a try and ended up doing it longer term.

I can still think of lots of reasons that make sense even for first babies, like a woman that has to go back to work in two weeks, drying up as quickly as possible makes sense, but when it's twelve weeks that reason loses credibility, you could breastfeed for two months and give loads of benefits, but still be dried up and done by the time you go back to work.

But then that isn't what the OP seems to be describing, which seems to be how can a well informed family that chooses things like cloth diapers, organic food, somehow also not at least TRY breastfeeding, and on that one, I am stumped, because whilst I realise there must be women who are in that situation who don't even try for reasons such as sexual abuse that they don't want to share, that can't be the explaination for every apparently well informed mother who seems to act as if the breastmilk v. formula just wasn't something that came under their radar are something to decide upon.

I'm stumped!

I like the UK numbers, the don't even try breastfeeding numbers are low enough to be explained away by a mixture of true medical need, mothers who have been abused, 2nd time mothers who had a really bad experience the first time etc. That to me gives so much more scope for dramatic improvement than a country where less are starting, but proportionally more are still going at any given time, because unless you actually start you don't have a chance.

I've met mums in the UK who intended to formula feed and only gave it a try because after the baby was born someone said "why don't you give her one feed" who then ended up feeding for months even though they had ticked the box that said planning to formula feed, obviously there are people who are angry that the box being ticked was ignored, but I've met enough people who ticked that box just because they didn't know any other way and were glad they were given a chance, rather than handed a bottle.
post #39 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gentle~Mommy :) View Post
One of my close girlfriends just didn't like the feeling of nursing, said it felt sexual put her baby on formula at 1 day old.
actually that is true. for some. with whacky hormones. i had that happen to me. for the first year i was 'turned on' every single time my dd nursed. sometimes at letdown i actually experienced an orgasm.

i can see why she would NOT choose to bf.

however i was hell bent on nursing and am still am. so i didnt let that get to me.
post #40 of 46
I wondered the same thing until I attempted this perfectly "natural" feeding solution. It has been the absolute most challenging thing I have ever done. I have had thrush, clogged ducts, blood filled blisters on my nipples, latch issues, engorgement issues, waking up in a sticky puddle of my own milk. I have had a 102 degree fever for two days because of a clogged breast duct. I have been exhausted, holding a screaming baby that just ate an hour before, with no sleep and raging hormones and feeling like a failure. I have oversupply and for weeks I would soak through pads, my bra, my camisole, and my shirt-- stuck at church with large wet spots on my chest. When you are tired and overwhelmed being a new mom, spewing milk can really feel like the end of the world.


And we are only 7 1/2 weeks in. It isn't as romantic as it seems. Worth it, but not easy.

ETA: I think that a lot of people do try. I have a very uncrunchy circle, but most of the moms I know do make an attempt (maybe a weak attempt, but still an attempt). I had a friend that quit after a couple of successful months because she felt by breastfeeding she lost all of her freedom.
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