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Stop telling women that it's easy. - Page 5

post #81 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by savithny View Post

 

   At its peak painfulness, I would say that the toe-curling sharp shock of pain as my son latched on was *more* painful than my labor with him.   

 

THat's not to say it was excruciating and made me quit.   But since Conventional Wisdom is that labor=the most pain and breastfeeding=no pain unless you're Doing It Wrong -- the fact it was more painful than labor made me worry that something was wrong, when really?  Nothing was wrong.

 

You don't think you are an exception, though?

 

I would expect that for the majority of the population, if breastfeeding is more painful than labour something is wrong.

 

Pain in BFing can be normal, and it can be a sign something is off; BFing can be hard and still normal, but it can be hard and a sign that something needs tweaking.  

 

"BFing is hard and pain in BFing is normal" is no more helpful a message than "BFing is easy and pain means you are doing something wrong."

 

I get some people do not think all the lactivism messages are helpful, but it is possible for the message pendulum to swing too far the other way as well….

post #82 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

 

You don't think you are an exception, though?

 

This totally underscores my point. Why the focus on who is "normal" and who is "exceptional"? Wouldn't it be more productive to encourage each woman to speak openly and honestly from her own experience (which savinthy was doing very well, I thought) without having to label? Then the role of the advocate could be to say 1) here's the broad spectrum of experiences that women have and 2) if you're struggling, here are some things that have helped women who have also struggled. And just take the whole normal/exceptional judgment out of the equation.

post #83 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by CI Mama View Post

This totally underscores my point. Why the focus on who is "normal" and who is "exceptional"? Wouldn't it be more productive to encourage each woman to speak openly and honestly from her own experience (which savinthy was doing very well, I thought) without having to label? Then the role of the advocate could be to say 1) here's the broad spectrum of experiences that women have and 2) if you're struggling, here are some things that have helped women who have also struggled. And just take the whole normal/exceptional judgment out of the equation.

I like your post (I like Savinthy's too, I am just trying to sort things out).

 

I think the focus on what is normal and abnormal is to try and help women figure out when to seek help.  

 

I do think it is possible for pain in breastfeeding to be both normal and abnormal.  I think both messages are messages that should be given out.

post #84 of 116
It is important to know what is average in terms of expectations for moms-to-be. If I based my decision on the story of my sister-in-law (it was excruciating, that's why I quit!), I would never have even *tried* breastfeeding. And pain should prompt a review by a more knowledgeable person, to rule out an actual problem!
post #85 of 116

Yes, let's find the language that encourages women seek help and get support, I am all for that! I just think we do it best if we avoid value-laden words like normal/exceptional, easy/hard, right/wrong. (As much as I hate the word "normal", I hate the word "abnormal" even more! Who wants to be "abnormal"?).

post #86 of 116
I don't think knowledge of average is particularly important, when there's not guarantee a particular woman's experience will be average. I think it's more important to know the broad range of normal, so that when you have an experience that isn't average you don't quit thinking something's wrong but work through it knowing your experience is still inthe range of normal.
post #87 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by CI Mama View Post

Yes, let's find the language that encourages women seek help and get support, I am all for that! I just think we do it best if we avoid value-laden words like normal/exceptional, easy/hard, right/wrong. (As much as I hate the word "normal", I hate the word "abnormal" even more! Who wants to be "abnormal"?).

Ita
post #88 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by CI Mama View Post

Yes, let's find the language that encourages women seek help and get support, I am all for that! I just think we do it best if we avoid value-laden words like normal/exceptional, easy/hard, right/wrong. (As much as I hate the word "normal", I hate the word "abnormal" even more! Who wants to be "abnormal"?).


How about this?

 

http://www.first6weeks.ca/

post #89 of 116
What a neat site!
post #90 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rrrrrachel View Post

I don't think knowledge of average is particularly important, when there's not guarantee a particular woman's experience will be average. I think it's more important to know the broad range of normal, so that when you have an experience that isn't average you don't quit thinking something's wrong but work through it knowing your experience is still inthe range of normal.

What is average is extremely important for a first time mother to use to decide if she needs help! If she bases her decision on your story or what you have written here, she may continue with a poor latch, and that may impact her milk supply enough that she switches to formula. It's pretty obvious that pain means "get a more expert review" to determine if there is a solvable problem! Even if it doesn't affect supply or her decision to continue, why should she be in pain if it can be corrected? Just so you can have a fellow sufferer?

You seriously remind me of my sister-in-law, who has a "everyone should experience what I experience" attitude about pretty much everything.
post #91 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post


What is average is extremely important for a first time mother to use to decide if she needs help! If she bases her decision on your story or what you have written here, she may continue with a poor latch, and that may impact her milk supply enough that she switches to formula. It's pretty obvious that pain means "get a more expert review" to determine if there is a solvable problem! Even if it doesn't affect supply or her decision to continue, why should she be in pain if it can be corrected? Just so you can have a fellow sufferer?
You seriously remind me of my sister-in-law, who has a "everyone should experience what I experience" attitude about pretty much everything.


I think you've totally mis-read her comment, but I know Rrrrrachel is more than capable of explaining her own position, so I'll leave it at that.

 

Your suggestion that she'd encourage women to avoid seeking help simply so that she can have a "fellow sufferer" is really insulting. I don't see anyone here advocating for keeping women in the dark so that they will suffer.

 

As for the "everyone should experience what I experience attitude"...well, that can work in all directions. I think it's a pretty normal human thing to assume that what we experience is "average" and transferable to other people. That's why it's so important to include multiple voices in the conversation, to broaden our perspective.

post #92 of 116
She *is* influencing, whethere she realizes it or not, women who read these threads and do not post, or ask questions. And since she has not expressed agreement that a new mom experiencing pain should seek help, she is implying no help is needed. And the comment where I liken her to my sister-in-law is far more insulting. But at least my comments were finally recognized! Shame I had to insult someone, though!
post #93 of 116
I actually had a pretty easy time breastfeeding, pain wise. Hardly any pain at all, but some discomfort. Barely even needed nipple butter (until I started pumping, that is). I absolutely wish all women had the same breastfeeding experience as me.

But I know they don't. I know my experience is only one variation of normal. I think society spends a lot of time trying to convince women their body is broken, and I don't want to perpetuate that by pretending mine is the ONLY version of normal. That's all.
post #94 of 116

Controversy! Women who are displeased with their breastfeeding experience have so much negative emotion and feel free to share so much.

 

There is no scientific evidence that there is something wrong with telling women that breastfeeding is easy. If you go to kellymom.com you will find the  articles "Breastfeeding: It's So Easy" and many others. Kellymom.com is a well-respected, evidence-based web site. Breastfeeding advocates believe that to improve rates we need to normalize breastfeeding and part of that is telling women it is easy. It is common for women in the US to find motherhood difficult no matter how they feed their babies.

 

It's not really going to help the babies of the women that have weaned if we say breastfeeding is difficult. We may help more babies get a chance at breastfeeding if we say it is easy. Remember the women that come online to talk about breastfeeding may be an accurate sample of the typical experience.
 

post #95 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by foreverinbluejeans View Post

Controversy! Women who are displeased with their breastfeeding experience have so much negative emotion and feel free to share so much.

 

I am not sure why they shouldn't feel free to share.

 

There is no scientific evidence that there is something wrong with telling women that breastfeeding is easy. If you go to kellymom.com you will find the  articles "Breastfeeding: It's So Easy" and many others. Kellymom.com is a well-respected, evidence-based web site. Breastfeeding advocates believe that to improve rates we need to normalize breastfeeding and part of that is telling women it is easy. It is common for women in the US to find motherhood difficult no matter how they feed their babies.

 

I agree with much of this paragraph, but I question the bolded.  Something does not have to be easy to be normal.  I had 3 vaginal births.  All would fall within the defines of normal.  I would not call birth "easy" though.  Lots of things are normal without necessarily being easy.

 

It's not really going to help the babies of the women that have weaned if we say breastfeeding is difficult. We may help more babies get a chance at breastfeeding if we say it is easy. 

 

I think it might be best to stay away from terms like "hard" and "easy" when talking to a pregnant or new mum unless you are asked in a very point blank sort of way.  For a pregnant mom, it could set up unrealistic expectations (in either direction), for a new mom that is struggling with breastfeeding, hearing that you think breastfeeding is easy can seem like a slap in the face to what she is going through.

post #96 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by foreverinbluejeans View Post

Controversy! Women who are displeased with their breastfeeding experience have so much negative emotion and feel free to share so much.

 

There is no scientific evidence that there is something wrong with telling women that breastfeeding is easy. If you go to kellymom.com you will find the  articles "Breastfeeding: It's So Easy" and many others. Kellymom.com is a well-respected, evidence-based web site. Breastfeeding advocates believe that to improve rates we need to normalize breastfeeding and part of that is telling women it is easy. It is common for women in the US to find motherhood difficult no matter how they feed their babies.

 

It's not really going to help the babies of the women that have weaned if we say breastfeeding is difficult. We may help more babies get a chance at breastfeeding if we say it is easy. Remember the women that come online to talk about breastfeeding may be an accurate sample of the typical experience.
 

 

 

it's really not helpful to not be upfront and honest either.  My experience was horrendous the first time around and it was due to the RAH RAHing around me and everyone telling me the pain I felt was NORMAL.  And it wasn't at all.  Just massage that out and you'll be fine.  I wasn't.  And really that almost ruined it for me.  I felt let down by my community of BFing mothers.  I really did.  I knew nothing about it and wanted so badly to do it.  And really I consider my 60lb weight loss in 6 wweks and severe postpartum depression to the failure I felt about breastfeeding. 

 

I continued to BF and did so for my second bb, but I will NEVER NEVER NEVER tell a woman that she's just doing it wrong or lie and tell her it's so natural it's easy.  I would want them to know all of it.  Knowing everything would not have stopped me from bfing but I do think I would have gone in earlier when the pain was too much.  I wouldn't have felt like a failure and I would have gone through so much pain. 

post #97 of 116

The reason kellymom.com IS such a great resource is that it acknowledges the many difficulties you can run into with breastfeeding. It also offers solutions. I used the site all the time when my son and I were learning how to breastfeed (yeah, both of us had to figure it out!) and never felt that it was telling me breastfeeding was necessarily easy. 

post #98 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rrrrrachel View Post

Like anything else, it makes life a lot easier or one mom, not for another. These experiences are never universal. Of course there's always the unknown of what would a particular kid have gone through with/without breastfeeding. Maybe my daughter would've gotten more sick more often. Maybe your kid is just lucky and wouldn't have gotten sick much either way. Who knows!

Me too, but you know that's because our kids were vaxxed, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharlla View Post

what i meant is  if it hurts there is something going on like tongue tie, lip tie, bad latch etc.  if dont correctly BFing should not hurt KWIM?  ive just heard too many women use this as an excuse to stop trying without addressing why it's hurting. kind of sad

With DD, she had latch issues, a lip tie, and I was pumping and syringe feeding her. It hurt like hell. 

With DS, he latched perfectly 5 minutes after birth, had no lip or tongue tie, and his latch was checked by two different LC's. AND it hurt like hell. 

 

I tell all my pregnant mama friends who are first time moms three things: contractions are not the same thing as "bad menstrual cramps", crowning feels like your vaginal opening is being tattooed, and breastfeeding might hurt like hell for the first month or so. 

post #99 of 116

Breastfeeding definitely HURT my nipples and both my kids' latches were perfect. After a few weeks the pain lessened but during times of teething it came right back. It was really frustrating for me to hear that BFing wasn't supposed to be painful at all... it made me feel like I was doing something wrong even though I wasn't, my nipples just weren't used to that kind of touch.

post #100 of 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post

Me too, but you know that's because our kids were vaxxed, right?

With DD, she had latch issues, a lip tie, and I was pumping and syringe feeding her. It hurt like hell. 

With DS, he latched perfectly 5 minutes after birth, had no lip or tongue tie, and his latch was checked by two different LC's. AND it hurt like hell. 

 

I tell all my pregnant mama friends who are first time moms three things: contractions are not the same thing as "bad menstrual cramps", crowning feels like your vaginal opening is being tattooed, and breastfeeding might hurt like hell for the first month or so. 

 

 

GAWD, I was just thinking about this.  I thought I had to pee and that my lady corner was being dismantled all at the same.  RING OF FIRE!!!  However when the nurse told me I didn't have to pee I had to push I felt pretty relieved because that burning was HELLISH!

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