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Breastfeeding at any cost??? - Page 2

post #21 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nisupulla
I don’t believe that there are many people here are willing to decide for someone else how much exhaustion, pain and frustration is reasonable.
But there are some.

I wonder what would have happened if my situation hadn't improved (or if it regresses). What if I was so physically compromised, exhausted, frustrated, and depressed that I was neglecting my baby...leaving her to cry alone in a room for hours b/c I literally couldn't cope with taking care of her? (This is not so far-fetched--there actually were times where I had to set down a crying baby and walk away for a minute, b/c I was too wracked with sobs to even hold her; there were also some times when I felt "numb" to her and didn't respond as soon as I should have.). I don't think that nursing in and of itself causes depression, but in my case the two were very closely linked--because extreme physical pain DOES contribute to depression, as do extreme frustration, isolation, and feelings of inadequacy, all of which, in my case, were related to nursing. Should we risk compromising a baby's health--mental and/or physical--in other ways, just so long as he has breastmilk?

I feel deeply and passionately about bfing. That's why I'm sticking it out through so much difficulty and pain. But it's frankly shocking to me that we at MDC can't admit that there are SOME limits to what a person can endure, and that those limits vary from person to person.
post #22 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCVeg

I feel deeply and passionately about bfing. That's why I'm sticking it out through so much difficulty and pain. But it's frankly shocking to me that we at MDC can't admit that there are SOME limits to what a person can endure, and that those limits vary from person to person.
Very well said.
post #23 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCVeg
But it's frankly shocking to me that we at MDC can't admit that there are SOME limits to what a person can endure, and that those limits vary from person to person.
I agree. There are limits to what a person can endure and those limits vary from person to person. No argument here. AND I think it is a slap in the face to women who DO stick it out through problems for women to not try and then claim that it was just "too much" or my favorite- "we're doing what's right for our family...."

-Angela
post #24 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna
I agree. There are limits to what a person can endure and those limits vary from person to person. No argument here. AND I think it is a slap in the face to women who DO stick it out through problems for women to not try and then claim that it was just "too much" or my favorite- "we're doing what's right for our family...."

-Angela
saying "it was just too much" or "we're doing what's right for our family" is very often what is truly the case and it is certainly much easier and much quicker to say either of those statements than to elaborately explain every single thing that i personally tried to improve and increase my milk supply and finally explain what actually worked for us.

this is a very interesting thread... :
~claudia
post #25 of 474
My first eight weeks of breastfeeding were hell, (dd was tongue tied, I was recovering from a c-section, my nipples hurt more than my incision, my husband was having to leave the room when I nursed because he couldn't stand to see me scream at latch on). I received horrible advice from my OB, and three pediatricians. I finally had to search around for a doctor who could help and fix the tongue tie without putting my daughter under GA and who actually did tell me "Yes, tongue tie affects breastfeeding." Now, DD is 9.5 months and I feel that the time was so worth it, I love our breastfeeding relationship, I feel proud that I made it this far, and I am really grateful anytime I walk down the formula isle and think about the money we are saving!
I have a friend whose son was born two days before my DD, she tried bfing for seven weeks, had lots of problems, her son was at his birthweight at seven weeks, they ended up in emergency room because the doctor thought there was something wrong with him, she fed with SNS for several weeks or months, and pumped in between feedings, but never got her supply up. She decided to bottlefeed, and I can totally understand that. I wish that she had gotten help sooner, maybe it would have made a difference.

I do however, become frustrated when I hear that a mom had "tried" breastfeeding but it didn't work, and the baby is only a few days old (happened recently with a coworker, although babe was a preemie so I know they are more difficult, but my SIL just got my four month old niece who was a preemie back on the breast after months of pumping, so it is possible!). I don't think you are really trying unless you give it at least two weeks.

However, ultimately I blame our social system because it certainly doesn't support breastfeeding women.
post #26 of 474
I see two issues:

whether a woman is objectively justified in her decision to throw in the towel (ultimately this is something you can only ever know for yourself)

vs.

whether a woman is willing or able to justify her choice/situation to other people

Unfortunately I think that the women who have the most reasons are often the ones who feel most put on the spot by the culture of judgment (and yes, there is a culture of judgment), because they are conscientious. They hear endless bitching about "women who make up excuses and give up at the least little obstacle" and since they rarely have anything to compare their own experience to first hand, they start wondering "oh no, does that mean me?" even as their breasts are dripping blood.

People who least deserve judgment end up taking the most of it on themselves. There is a similar situation with c-sections.

And then, too, if you don't "give up" or "fail" people use you as an example of what good girls do, and that feels very condescending and patronizing. HELLO, my experience does not exist to justify your moral paradigm! Excuse me for not being grateful for your approval!

It is unfortunate. I'm not sure what can be done to change it. Given the atmosphere, I think for women who are struggling to hold up their experiences and choices for public scrutiny is often unwise, because you will end up getting hurt.
post #27 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by melbb
But it seems that some women even look down on EPing, which I don't understand. Don't they think I would rather be BFing? Instead I have to be tied to the pump, washing pump parts all the time, etc.
First, because it sounds like you've been through A LOT to try and breastfeed and because you're doing, IMO, the next best thing (bottlenursing and EPing) which is no small commitment!

Second, I'm blown away by even the idea of someone looking down on EPing - it's such a gigantic labor of love, by far the most exhausting, difficult, time-consuming way for a mom to feed her baby. It requires true dedication and, if anything, is a testament to just how much an EPing mom values giving her child breastmilk. Sheesh, look down on it?!? Unreal!
post #28 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama
And you know what else? Don't advise people that they need to get to a milk bank, unless you know exactly what that entails, if it is even possible in their area, and are willing to help with the cost.
Very true.

But doesn't this speak to an even *bigger* issue? That milk banks should not be so a) scarce, b) exorbitantly expensive!
post #29 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by bri276
uh, considering I'm sitting here pumping for my 12 month old, and that I've had to pump pretty much every drop she's ever drank, except for what I've hand expressed, I guess I'd have to say, HELL YES, I think it's worth it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by bri276
I don't judge mothers who have quit in the face of less daunting breastfeeding challenges- I judge a society that makes it so freaking hard to get the right info and the right support to keep going, I'm mad at people who call themselves medical professionals who fail at giving correct advice in the most basic situations...
Bri, this is SPOT ON. Couldn't agree with you more. The *true* problem lies in our current culture, not with the vast majority of mothers who have been provided with misinformation and lack-of-support and bottlefeeding-formula images (instead of breastfeeding or pumping-bottlefeeding images).

And by the way, uh 12 months of EPing? You're my HERO. I have another friend who did that for her daughter, 6 cases of mastitis, crazy amounts of food allergies in her DD (so she, the mama, was on a pretty severe elimination diet), and working full time in corporate America... I told her all the time (and still do) how much I admire and respect her for making such a phenomenal effort for her DD (and that I would have supported her no matter her decision on how to feed her daughter). Anyway, you rock, Bri!
post #30 of 474
Thanks for starting this thread! My dd was unable to nurse at birth. To make a long story short, I am still pumping 9 months later. Thankfully I do not have to give her formula. I still periodically try to have her BF from the tap, but it does not go well for either of us. But I don't let it get to me now, since I know I am doing the best I can by providing her with breastmilk.

I pretty much gave up most hope around the 4-5 month mark for her to BF from the tap. I was crying constantly, so was dd, it was not fair to put her through the misery. I can tell my misery was getting to my dh and it was starting to effect our marriage. (b/c of me, not him. I had it in my head he didn't love me b/c I was consumed by the dream to bf, but he did love me. Gotta love PPD! ) I was unable to bond with my daughter do to our constant frustrations. When I gave up hope and continued pumping without the pressure of trying to nurse, we are able to bond. I am so much happier now, and so is she. My dh is happier b/c I am happier.

Pumping around the clock is exhausting. I have no free time. When dd naps, I pump. No napping for me! Eping is not for everyone. I don't think I would be able to do it if I had other children to care for. I would not neglect them to pump. Its so hard being sick with mastitis, getting thrush, and plugged ducts. Its no fun!!! We have no milk banks in this state. So if I had other kids and the story was the same, I would be FF now. I gave it a good shot for 4-5 months before I gave up hope. Giving up hope was the best thing I did. Atleast she is getting my milk. I know I am doing the best I can for my daughter, myself, and my husband. I will not wind up divorced over a dream to BF from the tap. My dd needs her daddy more than the milk from the tap. She likes her bottles anyway. Its me that wanted her to take it from the tap.
post #31 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtlewomyn
I don't think you are really trying unless you give it at least two weeks. However, ultimately I blame our social system because it certainly doesn't support breastfeeding women.
Funny you mention the "two weeks" thing. Any friends of mine who are expecting AND who actually ask about how breastfeeding went/is going for me (DD nursed until 2+ yrs old and weaned while I was pregnant w/ DS who is now 5 months old and at the breast, thankfully, after EPing for 5 weeks)... I tell them, due to the struggles I had w/ initiating BF w/ both my babies, if they're going to "try to breastfeed": Consider giving it at least 8 weeks before you decide if you want to breastfeed.

Which brings us back to alegna's "There are limits to what a person can endure and those limits vary from person to person."

And then I also was really when reading this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by GalateaDunkel
Unfortunately I think that the women who have the most reasons are often the ones who feel most put on the spot by the culture of judgment (and yes, there is a culture of judgment), because they are conscientious... People who least deserve judgment end up taking the most of it on themselves. There is a similar situation with c-sections.
:
post #32 of 474
I would have to say that if you truly are committed to breastfeeding, you will persevere through anything. Some of the PP's can really attest to that. I certainly had my share of troubles - postpartum anemia that caused supply problems, having to supplement, PPD, mastitis, etc. - and an initially difficult bf'ing relationship. At 4 months it all straightened out and I was able to bf exclusively and we have a wonderful nursing relationship now. Was all the pain and suffering and mental anguish worth it? Hell yes. Because it is NOTHING compared to the lifelong guilt and shame and disappointment I would have felt if I'd bailed and gone onto formula.

And I think that is the key differentiator right there: a woman WILL give up on bf'ing if the pain and anguish she is experiencing are worse than how she will feel for the rest of her life if she uses formula. If she can't face herself after she feeds her baby formula (exclusively, I mean - any bm is better than none at all) then she will keep breastfeeding no matter what. This is why I think society needs to demonize formula a LOT more and make using it a shameful thing. (Within reason - it has medical applications that should not be ignored. But it should be treated as a drug, not a food.)
post #33 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by spughy
This is why I think society needs to demonize formula a LOT more and make using it a shameful thing. (Within reason - it has medical applications that should not be ignored. But it should be treated as a drug, not a food.)
:

post #34 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by spughy
I would have to say that if you truly are committed to breastfeeding, you will persevere through anything. Some of the PP's can really attest to that. I certainly had my share of troubles - postpartum anemia that caused supply problems, having to supplement, PPD, mastitis, etc. - and an initially difficult bf'ing relationship. At 4 months it all straightened out and I was able to bf exclusively and we have a wonderful nursing relationship now. Was all the pain and suffering and mental anguish worth it? Hell yes. Because it is NOTHING compared to the lifelong guilt and shame and disappointment I would have felt if I'd bailed and gone onto formula.

And I think that is the key differentiator right there: a woman WILL give up on bf'ing if the pain and anguish she is experiencing are worse than how she will feel for the rest of her life if she uses formula. If she can't face herself after she feeds her baby formula (exclusively, I mean - any bm is better than none at all) then she will keep breastfeeding no matter what. This is why I think society needs to demonize formula a LOT more and make using it a shameful thing. (Within reason - it has medical applications that should not be ignored. But it should be treated as a drug, not a food.)
Great post - ITA! For me it WAS more a "I WILL NOT FF!" than a "I will BF" thing. I kept telling myself that formula was a nasty evil thing & I was NOT using it. That helped more. I actually was in the store recently & wanted to see the ingrediants on formula & couldn't cuz I was too embarassed to take it off the shelf.
post #35 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama
Do you really think that breastfeeding is SO important that it is worth enduring weeks and months of pain and frustration, exhaustion, and/or compromising one's mental health?
Quite simply, yes.

With my 1st ds, I pumped the whole time he was alive. If he had lived and never learned to latch, I would have pumped for 2 yrs.
With 2nd ds, I had chronic plugged ducts, multiple bouts of thrush, mastitis, PPD (caused, I think, by having him latched on 20 hrs a day for his first year).
DD had a horrible latch-on her first 3 wks. I had to breath thru it like a contraction. Then, we had thrush for 3 mos. It is just now becoming "easy".

It's worth it because they are worth it. Human milk is biologically what they expect. It is what their bodies and brains need. I can give them no less.
post #36 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by MelKnee
It's worth it because they are worth it. Human milk is biologically what they expect. It is what their bodies and brains need. I can give them no less.
This is a great quote. I might have to borrow it

-Angela
post #37 of 474
Yes, I think it's worth it. I had a C-section due to a placental abruption, and the ped who saw DS in the hospital said, "Your milk might not come in and you might have to supplement." I said that there was no way in h*ll that my child was getting formula--so I fed him every 1-2 hours, round the clock, whether he was hungry or not. My milk came in, and in abundance, and DS only lost 5 oz of his birthweight. However, because of my oversupply, he was not getting any hindmilk, therefore he was not getting full and was wanting to eat every 45 minutes to an hour, 24/7. He was also very gassy and had GERD. The lactation consultant told me to feed him off one side at a time, and he stayed full longer. I also had cracked and bleeding nipples, and had thrush issues off and on for his entire first year.

I don't judge formula-feeding mothers, not most of them anyway. I judge the formula companies for throwing samples at pregnant women and new mothers "just in case" . I judge doctors who are quick to push formula, and a society that tries to relegate nursing mothers to dirty restrooms while allowing formula-feeding mothers to feed their children out in the open. I judge the so-called parenting "experts" in the mainstream who push babies to sleep through the night years before they're ready, acting as if a baby sleeping through the night at age, oh, three weeks is a sign of good parenting.

Most of the women I know who formula-feed, do so because they got a bad start or didn't know that the first six weeks is not the sum total of the breastfeeding relationship. They didn't know to feed the baby as soon as possible after birth, didn't know to avoid pacifiers, didn't know that, yes, the baby will need to eat every 1-2 hours from beginning of one feeding to the beginning of the next feeding, didn't know not to schedule feedings--and most importantly, didn't know that the soreness and engorgement usually clears itself up in six weeks or so (mine took eight weeks). That's not the fault of these mothers, that's the fault of society.

There are some who just say "I want to feed on a schedule, I want my baby to sleep through the night, I want someone else to feed him/her, it's too confining, I want to be able to drink/smoke/whatever." To which I just say . But for most mothers, I think it's a case of not knowing or not having support.
post #38 of 474
I find the topic very confusing myself.
On the one hand I'm disturbed that pumping oz. of blood, having badly scabbed nipples, and consistent thrush for six moths, is consdered a badge of "good Motherhood". Now, do not read too much into that, because of course, any woman, who goes through any of that is incrediable and deserves several badges. What I mean is difficult to voice, but perhaps others understand? I am of the mind that human milk is best for human babies, and in the case of a vegan family (we are except honey and wool), it is the only option. But motherhood is so, SO much more than boobies. (I know my dd doesn't agree, but oh well... ) Anyway, I know I'm sounding kind of fuddled, but it just seems sad to me that the ante keeps getting raised, in this department.
"My nipples are SO scabbed and raw, I just can't do it anymore , please tell me I'm not a bad mother!" "Have you tried some lanolin? I know, BTDT, I've pumped pure blood before. Hang in there."
KWIM? Or am I still not making sense? *sigh*
And the whole "birthright" thing. a child has the birthright to a mother that loves it uncoditionally, and doesn't cry when it needs to eat, tells it that she hates it, and is distant and removed, and potentionally resentful. Ah birthrights. Should we even go there??? Here are mine, which many MDC'ers will agree with: to be breastfed, to be intact, to be slept with... here are some more slightly controversial ones, (even here): to be vaccination-free, to never step foot in day-care... and even more strange: to be taught by their parents, to not be left with baby-sitters of any kind, to be raised vegan, etc, etc... Oh I could go on. My veiws of my children's "birthrights" are strong, and yet undoubtably differ from others veiws of "birthright". For the many Jewish families who are not part of the new intact movement, to them circumcision is indeed a "birthright" of their sons.
Anyway, I've probably lost you.
post #39 of 474
I agree all those things are birthrights too.
And I still say - to the mom who was pumping 8 oz. of blood to BF her DC... Someone *should* make her a badge. Is what she did a symbol of good motherhood?! Damn right!
post #40 of 474
Quote:
Do you really think that breastfeeding is SO important that it is worth enduring weeks and months of pain and frustration, exhaustion, and/or compromising one's mental health?
Yes I totally do. IMHO when you have kids you must learn to sacrifice, that is all part of being a parent.
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