"I supplement once a day... I mean, I need a break! don't you think?" - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 178 Old 05-17-2004, 12:44 PM
 
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The grandmother said the mother was trying to breastfeed. The mother may not have cared to go into a long speech about her parenting choices with a stranger.

But the stranger is enraged. The stranger's face changed. There are a lot of posts talking about how this board is for support and advocacy. Does that mean we only support and advocate breastfeeding to members of this board? The OP was moved enough to come here and rant, but not moved enough to offer support and information to the mom who is trying to adjust to life with a nursing newborn?

This is what got my back up. That we only support those who do it 100% and do it our way and that we can rant about them but not offer a helping hand. If you want to let off steam, FINE. I've got no problem with that. But other mamas here might be able to help you see the other side of the coin so you won't feel so "enraged". Should I support you in your judgement of this other mother? Should I support your prejudice against someone who is nursing her child all but ONE feeding a day? Or can I help you understand where she's coming from? Can I show you how there are other ways to approach the situation emotionally?

Had your post included something like, "I was so upset, but I told her if she needed anything to call me or email me." OR "I gave her the URL for these boards.", I think this thread would have been much different.

Cluck your tongues at other parents. But only after you've offered them what you can to make their lives better and easier and they've refused your help. If you don't have the time or resources to help out, try to at least give them your compassion. You don't know what it's like to be them.
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#62 of 178 Old 05-17-2004, 01:16 PM
 
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I think most of us have been talking about the general attitude that surrounds supplementing... not about taking this mom out back and to tar and feather her for feeding her baby a bottle. :
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#63 of 178 Old 05-17-2004, 01:26 PM
 
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Sorry. I guess I read it wrong.
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#64 of 178 Old 05-17-2004, 01:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by chellemarie
This is what got my back up. That we only support those who do it 100% and do it our way and that we can rant about them but not offer a helping hand.
Well said - I think this is what got my feathers ruffled as well.

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#65 of 178 Old 05-17-2004, 02:07 PM
 
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Well said - I think this is what got my feathers ruffled as well
Exactly.

And yes this is a advocateing forum, but does that mean that i have to feel enraged at a mom giving a bottle once a day? that i should go and hide because i disgaree with the OP?
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#66 of 178 Old 05-17-2004, 02:34 PM
 
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I have so many feelings on this subject. And I feel yucky and crabby today so shouldn't even be posting. :LOL With my first two kids I supplemented because the nurses/dr.'s etc pushed it so much! I was ignorant so I did it. Not because I needed a break (which I did "need" but motherhood doesn't really allow for that esp. in the first year) but b/c I was made to feel like I was denying my babies something if I didn't give them formula. I was also a single mother with my oldest child, 18, and a senior in high school. I had a job and almost got fired for pumping in the bathroom when someone turned me in saying I was using a vibrator in there! Anyway, my point with that is that I know what it's like to be single, young, and need a break. However, it was banged into my head when I was pg at 17 that this was MY choice to become a mother and there was a lot of responsibility that went with it. For that reason, I have not done the whole "I'm not getting sleep or a rest or whatever" thing. If I was expected to be the best most responsible parent at age 18 when my future was less than bright then why not at 30 when I have a good life? I found Mothering when my 3rd child was born and was so glad to not supplement him. I exclusevly nursed him until he was 1 (which was 3 months longer than his older siblings) and am currently tandem nursing my 3 1/2 year old and 18 month old. Neither one has ever had a bottle. Do I get exhausted? Of course! Do I not deserve a break? Yes but why does it have to be a feeding break? Why not nurse the baby and then take a hot bath, a nap, whatever?

That said, this is a breastfeeding support board. I think many of us have come here with gripes about FF babies or other similar issues. I supplemented FF with my first two kids and don't feel offended by what I read here. I just didn't know. And if you do know and feel comfortable with your decisions then no offense needs to be taken, KWIM? For those of you that "know" with your first children I'm jealous for sure! But don't feel angry when you all talk about it. As for the lady in the store, there's really nothing you could do. She's just following what she's been told. So be angry at society and the media and advertising. That's what I do! to all of you!

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#67 of 178 Old 05-17-2004, 03:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ekblad7
Do I get exhausted? Of course! Do I not deserve a break? Yes but why does it have to be a feeding break? Why not nurse the baby and then take a hot bath, a nap, whatever?
I suppose that this is the part that I find difficult to understand. What single mother of a newborn has time to nap or take a bath? Even though my kid is six months old, I can count the number of naps that I've had on less than one hand, and they have all been when the baby has been at day care and I decided to skip work for a day because I was so tired (risky business for keeping my job!). I know that I have it worse than some mothers since even as a newborn, my son never slept more than 10 or so hours in a 24 hour period. But the kid almost never takes a nap for more than 15 minutes in a row --certainly not on a schedule that I can count on him sleeping long enough for me to fall asleep myself (besides everything else that needs to get done during those 15 minutes).

As for a bath, I've had two in six months because someone was kind enough to come spend the night so that I could sleep and regroup.

I know that I am not going to change any minds here, but I think that deciding to once in awhile give a bottle was my first lesson in understanding that no, I won't always be a perfect parent. I can have an idea or a standard, but I need to be flexible enough when it is not working to try something different.

Also, it was a recognition that I needed to have some of my own needs met as well. I have not run a ton of AP stuff just Dr. Sears and a few mothering articles, but I think that a good parent must be a healthy parent. For me, taking care of my health meant recognizing that I could say up to once per day that my body was my own (so with a baby feeding 14 or so times a day, I got 1 time in which I could take care of me while still feeding him because no one else was going to).

Maybe some mothers manage to remain the perfect parent and never compromise on any of their ideals, but I'm not sure that this is actually a great lesson for kids in the long run. I don't have many months as a parent under my belt, but I have many years of teaching experience and one of the valuable lessons that we try to teach our students is that they may not always be able to accomplish everything they expect. Or they might not be able to do everything that they think is important all at the same time. They need to recognize when they get overwhelmed and problem solve to figure out what can change. Instead of disliking themselves or giving up on the whole process, they should try to understand what they can and cannot do and then compromise and be flexible.

To be honest, I don't know even if I had found a time for a nap or a bath (and believe me there wasn't), if those types of things would have given me the same thing that a break from breastfeeding did. I think that the definition of break varies among people mine was about my body. I also does not think that choosing to have a break from nursing at 2 weeks will somehow turn into leaving my child with random people in order to go shopping! It just meant that I found a way for the first two months of my postpartum period to take care of myself a bit, keep sane in a challenging time. After 10 weeks, we went back to exclusively breastfeeding without any problems.

For the record, I am not young and I went into choosing to have child as a single woman with my eyes as wide open as possible. No regrets at all. But it has been a learning process --no matter how prepared I might have been for the reality of being a new mom, it has been both more challenging and more joyous than I ever knew.

I would think that support means supporting all breastfeeding mothers not just ones who do it "perfectly."

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#68 of 178 Old 05-17-2004, 03:29 PM
 
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Chiming back in. It was the need a break comment that did it for me.

My second child had colic. She bawled six hours a day for 2 months. Finally, yes, I did need a break. I rented a hotel room for the weekend about 15 minutes away. And went there with my sewing maching and pieced a quilt top for my son. And drove back every 3-4 hours to feed my baby! And I was "only 23" at the time, and also had an 19 month old (when she was born, he was almost 2 when I did the weekend "away").

Ya know, most of us who are successful breastfeeders have hard luck stories too. My last baby, born in November, I had a horrible time getting him on the breast. He lost almost 13% of his birthweight. He had jaundice and was under glowy blanket at home. He had reflux and bawled constantly. Finally, had to put sugar water on my nipples every feeding time for over 2 weeks. I worried and worried that my nursing relationship would fail. And still I did it. He's still a pretty horrible feeder and my nipples are sore probably 3 weeks out of every month because of how he pulls of, gets on, kicks and squirms and knocks himself off, gets on. I just nurse him laying down now, unless we're out in public and I have to do it sitting. It's a matter of priorities. And the priorities of our society MUST change if we ever hope to see breastfeeding as more than a fringe practice.

So if you aren't "enraged" over a woman who's needing a break with a 2 week old infant, that's fine. Personally, every time I hear about a person that chose to have a child, but then doesn't want to give it the best they can, I am enraged. But to each their own I suppose.

This isn't about people who "can't" breastfeed. No one is critical of them. This is about women who CAN breastfeed, and choose not too, or choose to supplement, putting their nursing relationship in jeopardy. This isn't about me, this isn't about you. It's about supplementing being one step on the road to failure, either quickly, or by shortening the breastfeeding relationship by months.

I don't know how you can truly believe breastfeeding is best, and still find all these excuses why its ok if a woman "chooses" not to do what's best for her baby.

Edit: wait a minute, did I miss something in the original post that identifed the mother shopping as a single mother? If not, why are we talking about how single mother's need a break?

Also, before someone jumps on me for not understanding about single mothers, I was a single mother with three children, no car, no job, and no work experience. That was 6 years ago.
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#69 of 178 Old 05-17-2004, 03:37 PM
 
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I suspect that the woman has very little support for or information about breastfeeding and is just doing her best. She probably doesn't know that by formula feeding she is decreasing her own milk supply and compromising her infant's health. But to give her a dirty look or look away, what is that saying to her? It's only throwing more negativaty on the breastfeeding situation. Support and/or positivity would be better. Often times there is NO support for breastfeeding within the family and friends. Her doctor is probably supporting her supplementing, and possibly her whole family. We all know it can be difficult. We need to support all women who are trying to do their best to take care of their babies.
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#70 of 178 Old 05-17-2004, 03:59 PM
 
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Well i'm just going to end my participation in this thread with one last comment because its making me feel like tearing my hair out in frustration.

I think its fine that the OP came here and vented about something she saw in public that made her feel *enraged*. That's what she felt, and that's what she posted, and everyone else can post all day about why she shouldn't feel the way she did, but I don't think that's going to change how some of us FEEL when we see things that are almost surely going to lead to bf failure. This isn't a post about how she slapped the woman silly, or beat her over the head with a rotting fish. It's about the OP saying she FELT enraged. I for one, think that's perfectly fine.
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#71 of 178 Old 05-17-2004, 04:00 PM
 
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I am far from a perfect parent, that's for sure! But who gives the baby a bottle that couldn't hold him/her while you had a break? I guess I don't get that part. I never had anyone to do either so I didn't have time "off" either. That's part of being a parent, IMO. Yes, a healthy parent is a good parent, I agree with that. But when your baby is 2 wks old you should just be bonding and that's about it. Now when they're 15 months or so, taking a half day to pamper yourself is great! Or even an hour at the gym, on a walk, whatever. Parenting is NOT easy. It doesn't make you feel good all the time. That's just the way it is. Our society, IMO, is way to focussed on things being easy. We (in America) do have it pretty easy as far as many things go. We should appreciate that and suck up the rest.

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#72 of 178 Old 05-17-2004, 04:07 PM
 
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I guess a question is, what is the best way to support her? I don't think agreeing that supplementation is a good idea or that, yes, she needs a break, is truly supporting her or her baby. That is more like enabling. I think the best way to support her is to try to correct the misinformation she has received. And as a society, we need not only to correct the idea that supplementation is not detrimental to breastfeeding and to baby's health, but that babies have needs and we have to be prepared not to be able to get a break sometimes. That's part of being a parent -- their needs come first.

And I do understand the OP's feelings, whether they are "correct" or not. I can't tell you how sad I am when I go to pick up my son at daycare and see another formerly BF baby with a big can of formula. I can rationally understand why it happens. I know how hard it is to maintain a supply while pumping at work. But it still makes me sad. And odds are, this baby will be on 100% formula before he/she turns 1.

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#73 of 178 Old 05-17-2004, 04:15 PM
 
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Just popping back in for a moment to make a point. All you ladies with stories of giving yourself permission to give bottles so that you could have a break under trying circumstances - you do see that the examples you are giving are NOT what the OP was addressing, right? I'm getting the sense that most people can't get past their suspicion that the OP is pointing a finger at them to see that we are talking about two different things! ROUTINE SUPPLEMENTATION ON A DAILY BASIS is NOT the same as "I gave myself permission to give an occassional bottle so as not to lose my mind". Society at large pushes the idea that mom's who exclusively bf are martyrs and that you can't have any time to yourself, yadda yadda yadda - so you need to give that baby a bottle of formula at least once a day so that you can have a break! But that mindset totally ingnores the reality that doing so *can* have a detrimental effect on breastfeeding. Period.

Edited to add: I keep forgetting to mention that if you look in parentnig books like "What to Expect" and Dr. Spock, replacing a feeding a day with a bottle of formula is the same method they recommend for weaning a breastfed baby to a bottle if the mom wants to quit breastfeeding. Your body makes less milk and then you replace another feed with a bottle. Interesting that it is recognized in this context but seen as not a problem when done on a daily basis for "a break"!
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#74 of 178 Old 05-17-2004, 04:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Wildcrafter
She probably doesn't know that by formula feeding she is decreasing her own milk supply and compromising her infant's health. But to give her a dirty look or look away, what is that saying to her? It's only throwing more negativaty on the breastfeeding situation.

This is interesting.... society tells mothers that formula is just as good as breastmilk. (or better, some doctors say, this is what I was told when I had dd, that formula was EVEN BETTER... pleeease!)
Everyone accepts formula, it's everywhere, it's even "trendy" to ff, people look at YOU weird when you say you bf after a certain age, and you don't have to right to do the same? this is not fair. People give ME dirty looks sometimes when I'm NIP, why can't I do the same to ff mamas?
People think we are weirdos for wanting to nurse until are babies are ready, I think that gives us the right to think they are weirdos for giving their babies artificial milk BY CHOICE when they could be giving them the best.
IMO, there is enough information out there to know bm is far much better than formula.
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#75 of 178 Old 05-17-2004, 04:21 PM
 
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I don't think two wrongs make a right.
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#76 of 178 Old 05-17-2004, 04:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by ekblad7
But when your baby is 2 wks old you should just be bonding and that's about it.

Exactly! The baby was 2 WEEKS OLD! if you already need to supplement your baby at 2 weeks old in order to take a break, what will you do when your baby is 2 MONTHS OLD in order to take a break? This is what parenting is all about. It is exhausting, and we all need breaks, but will you compromise your baby's health so you can rest? I wouldn't.

I had my dd as a teen, and even though my husband (her father) was always there for me, I was alone, 17 and trying to figure things out all by myself, trying to juggle school, caring for my dd without anyone to help me other than my dh. I was beyond EXHAUSTED, but I chose to bf exclusively until I had to wean for medical issues at 3 months. and still at 3 months.. I did not want to wean her!
And formula does compromise baby's health. I am a believer in that all babies have at least a small allergic reaction to formula.
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#77 of 178 Old 05-17-2004, 04:29 PM
 
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That we only support those who do it 100% and do it our way and that we can rant about them but not offer a helping hand.
No. That is not what I am about, and not what others here are about either. If we just patted everyone on the back that supplemented then we would be doing them more harm than good! FF supp is not something to be taken so lightly, especially when the baby is a mere two weeks old! Just ask any lady that developed supply problems and had to quit earlier if she would have ever picked up that bottle....get my point? I took it to be a rant against the situation and not the girl. This is the place for such rants. It is a drag living in the bottle feeding culture, and it is nice to let off the weight of that world here, you know! We should be enraged that anyone, inlcuding society, thinks it is o.k. to take a break from a two week hold and jeopardize this baby's nursing relationship. Makes no sense.

Quote:
What single mother of a newborn has time to nap or take a bath?
Well, how is giving the baby a bottle a break, unless of course, someone else is giving the bottle. If that is the case, that other person can hold the baby while mama takes a bath instead of bottle feeding!
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#78 of 178 Old 05-17-2004, 04:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mom2six
Just popping back in for a moment to make a point. ROUTINE SUPPLEMENTATION ON A DAILY BASIS is NOT the same as "I gave myself permission to give an occassional bottle so as not to lose my mind".
You make a very good point and I *believe* everyone is in agreement that supplementing with formula when you are peferectly able to bf is a horrible idea and not good for baby or mother. I think the issue is just what is the best way to get this point accross - does giving the woman a dirty look and turning away help her and support her in her bf'ing experience? I don't think so. Why not say "Oh honey - ya know I understand that it's really hard in the beginning but supplimenting with formula this early really isn't a good idea. You might want to rethink it." KWIM?

Edited to add...

That said I think this is absolutely the place to come and rant and it's OK that we are all so passionate about all of this because maybe we can all come to some agreements about the best way to handle these situations we find ourselves in that make us concerned about baby / mother / bf'ing / ff'ing - whatever!

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#79 of 178 Old 05-17-2004, 04:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by gethane
So if you aren't "enraged" over a woman who's needing a break with a 2 week old infant, that's fine. Personally, every time I hear about a person that chose to have a child, but then doesn't want to give it the best they can, I am enraged. But to each their own I suppose.

I don't know how you can truly believe breastfeeding is best, and still find all these excuses why its ok if a woman "chooses" not to do what's best for her baby.
gethane: I love your post. I completely and 100% agree with everything your said. I really think it's not ok to 'choose" not to do what's best for an inoccent little 2 week old baby. And I don't know why this turned into a "single mother" discussion. This woman was not a single mom, and I could tell (from what she bought) she had a lot of money and her mom had the baby the whole time and it was not her first. (she had a 4 year old with her too)

So this is not against people that cannot bf or that try really hard and fail (bf'ing is not easy and no one is saying it is) it's against people who don't even try, don't even make en effort for their baby. And like the other post said, this baby will probably be 100% ff before she's a year old
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#80 of 178 Old 05-17-2004, 04:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by loving-my-babies
So this is not against people that cannot bf or that try really hard and fail (bf'ing is not easy and no one is saying it is) it's against people who don't even try, don't even make en effort for their baby. And like the other post said, this baby will probably be 100% ff before she's a year old
I think nursing your baby all but one feeding a day does qualify as trying.

I still contend some breastmilk is better than none.

I'm done with this thread.
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#81 of 178 Old 05-17-2004, 04:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by RubyV
You don't know what her labor and delivery were like. Or if she was getting enough help at home.
When I had dd, I was 17 years old, single (now married to her dad but we weren't married back then) I had no mother (she was living in another country) no support other than my dh. My dd was born by c-section at 36 weeks due to fetal distress, She presented a transitory tachimnea and had to be in the NICU where they fed her formula. I didn't get to see her until 24 hours after birth. She had jaundice too. When we went home, she kicked in screamed every time I tried to feed her. Again, I was alone, trying to juggle school and baing a young mom. I was determined to bf as long as I could.
A couple months later, after crying and screaming every time I tried to feed her, she was diagnosed with galactosemia and lactose intolerance.
I had no pump in case I was engorged or wanted to go out for a couple hours (in chile there are not "pump in styles" (by the way, I love my pump in style now that I have one) so it wasn't what you would call "easy" for me too.
But I ebf for 3 months until I had to wean because of the problems listed above. After 3 months of ebf'ing I was not even near of supplementing because I needed a break.
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#82 of 178 Old 05-17-2004, 04:55 PM
 
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Like Wildcrafter said, supplementing as early as two weeks can compromise your milk supply.

When you start supplementing that early, one bottle a day doesn't seem like much BUT that can make your milk supply lower. What happens if you give two bottles a day? Right...people will gradually increase the amount of formula given because "BM doesn't seem to be satisfying them" and then it becomes "I couldn't supply enough" or "my milk supply dissappeared"

Well..thats is because they started supplementing. LLL might seem super strict about supplementing but that is because they are for women bf successfully and supplementing that early will compromise that.

Also, giving bottles that early can cause nipple confusion. A nipple on a bottle is *much* easier for the baby to get milk from than a breast. They will learn that a bottle is easier and will become frustrated and angry while at the breat making the mom think "they don't want to nurse" or "they reject the breast, they must prefer the bottle" well yes, they prefer the bottle...it is easier.

That is why LLL doesn't recommend supplenting. Because it can completely compromise the nursing relationship.

If you must supplement, you should wait until at least six weeks.

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#83 of 178 Old 05-17-2004, 07:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by gethane
I don't know how you can truly believe breastfeeding is best, and still find all these excuses why its ok if a woman "chooses" not to do what's best for her baby.
Exactly!

*Of course* putting your baby in the rear facing car seat with 5 point restraint is BEST, but sometimes that's too time-consuming/hard/whatever, so is it OK to just put a regular seat belt on them or put them in a bassinet or leave the car seat straps undone?

That's what people in my parents' generation thought. Now we think that's lunacy. And, when we see people driving around with babies not in the BEST choice, we (collectively) get upset--there are all sorts of programs of assistance and methods to curtail this unsafety. No one would bat an eye if someone was upset at seeing a 2 week old unrestrained in a car.

Sure we don't know the situation there, either. Maybe they couldn't afford a car seat, maybe they forgot, maybe they got stranded and had to catch a ride, maybe they didn't notice the straps were undone (happened to me once). It doesn't change the fact that it is risky. Which is precisely how I view the mom's choice in the OP. It doesn't make her a monster. It doesn't mean I'm not happy about her bfing the *rest* of the time (just like I would "support" someone keeping their baby in a car seat MOST of the time).

I just get angry at yet ANOTHER example of someone choosing to not do whatever it takes to get the best for their child (especially at only 2 weeks in). I'm angry that she is probably armed with misinformation about what is the best. And I'm angry that she's likely going to perpetuate that misinformation. And if years down the road, that mom feels like shit b/c she didn't know that supplementing 1 bottle a day was not the best choice, that will make me angry, too! When will we wake up and make it the norm to bf in this country (the US)?! That includes providing the right information, supporting new moms so that getting a break is part of the experience, improving maternity leave, providing places to pump in the workplace, having a medical community that understands and promotes breastfeeding, making all public places bfing friendly (or at least bf tolerant), and generally making it on par with using an infant car seat.

This *is* the one place I can come and not feel like I have to use disclaimers about my support for bfing. I don't want to make anyone feel like shit either though. I like what someone said about it not being about "you" and it not being about "me." That seems important to me.

Anyway, I'm glad for this conversation--it's important to think about. I hope people don't leave feeling badly b/c of it.
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#84 of 178 Old 05-17-2004, 08:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by abimommy
Like Wildcrafter said, supplementing as early as two weeks can compromise your milk supply.

When you start supplementing that early, one bottle a day doesn't seem like much BUT that can make your milk supply lower. What happens if you give two bottles a day? Right...people will gradually increase the amount of formula given because "BM doesn't seem to be satisfying them" and then it becomes "I couldn't supply enough" or "my milk supply dissappeared"

Well..thats is because they started supplementing. LLL might seem super strict about supplementing but that is because they are for women bf successfully and supplementing that early will compromise that.

Also, giving bottles that early can cause nipple confusion. A nipple on a bottle is *much* easier for the baby to get milk from than a breast. They will learn that a bottle is easier and will become frustrated and angry while at the breat making the mom think "they don't want to nurse" or "they reject the breast, they must prefer the bottle" well yes, they prefer the bottle...it is easier.

That is why LLL doesn't recommend supplenting. Because it can completely compromise the nursing relationship.

If you must supplement, you should wait until at least six weeks.

That's what happened to me. I *had* to supplement. My first DD was physically unable to nurse. It turned into a vicious cycle. The supplemental formula made my supply problem that much worse, so I had to supplement a little more, which lowered my supply even more... and on it went until I lost my milk completely! BUT, I had a really good LC who got me started pumping and supplementing with as much EBM as possible, and I found a really great support network online, and I managed to break out of that cycle. It wasn't easy, it was actually the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life.

Anyway, my point is that it only took about three or four weeks to go from one supplemental bottle a day to giving formula for all of her feedings. IMO and IME that is just too big a risk to take if you don't absolutely have to.
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#85 of 178 Old 05-17-2004, 09:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abimommy
Like Wildcrafter said, supplementing as early as two weeks can compromise your milk supply.

When you start supplementing that early, one bottle a day doesn't seem like much BUT that can make your milk supply lower. What happens if you give two bottles a day? Right...people will gradually increase the amount of formula given because "BM doesn't seem to be satisfying them" and then it becomes "I couldn't supply enough" or "my milk supply dissappeared"

Well..thats is because they started supplementing. LLL might seem super strict about supplementing but that is because they are for women bf successfully and supplementing that early will compromise that.
I have heard this several times & I am sure it may be true for some people, but in my experience, it did not make a difference. We returned to exclusively breastfeeding at 10 weeks with no milk supply or nipple confusion problems whatsoever. My body seems to make as much milk as he needs when he nurses. Pumping is harder and I do not always get as much as I'd like.

I think the thing about this thread that bothers me is that in my work as an educator, I've witnessed some horrific abuse of children and some "benign" (sarcam implied) but real neglect in which parents don't meet their children's physical and emotional needs either because of indifferemce or econmonic hardship. These are children who grow up either tramuatized or feeling unwanted or perhaps feeling loved/wanted but without the social/physical/intellectual capacity that they need to be happy and productive adults. These are the children who may grow into adults who have serious problems or go on to tramautize others or commit crimes or lack empathy for others. That is a situation that enrages me and I want to do something about helping these parents (or if the parent truly does not care then their children).

I get the sense as I read this forum that many posters consider supplementing with formula to be as dangerous as the forms of child neglect or abuse that enrage me. While I don't agree with that assessment of supplementing and I really don't think that these children will suffer to level that perhaps you believe, I admire the passion of the posters who IF they do believe supplementing is a form of neglect, they choose to do something to help those parents as opposed to passing judgment. The world is filled with a lot of children (and adults) who are in pain & suffering, so I think any form of activism to address that suffering is great. And if you think that breastfeeding activism is where you want to put your energy, I think that is terrific. Since for me, neglect is something different, my energy as an activist goes in other directions.

As for why giving a baby a bottle is a break as opposed to nursing for some women, it probably isn't for me, it really was a physical/body integrity issue. I wanted some moments when my shirt was not up and my breasts were not being pulled upon. Maybe if I were a different type of person, a break would have been eating a pint of ice cream or watching a video.

But I find it strange that the idea that a mother should want a break bothers peple because parenting is "hard work." In some other cultures, there are extended families or grandparents wo give moms a break. But parents do need times to themselves one way or another. From what I've observed among parents who do unintentionally neglect their kids or moms who fall into depressions, not taking any sort of break (though definitions may vary) often is dangerous. So I think the question should not be whether a break is appropriate but how to help parents who need one but might not have the resouces.

my point of writing all tghis is not to criticize the original poster oir even debate but to share my experience and offer a different point of view.

clarissa
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#86 of 178 Old 05-17-2004, 10:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom2six
Just popping back in for a moment to make a point. All you ladies with stories of giving yourself permission to give bottles so that you could have a break under trying circumstances - you do see that the examples you are giving are NOT what the OP was addressing, right? I'm getting the sense that most people can't get past their suspicion that the OP is pointing a finger at them to see that we are talking about two different things! ROUTINE SUPPLEMENTATION ON A DAILY BASIS is NOT the same as "I gave myself permission to give an occassional bottle so as not to lose my mind".
I guess that I just want to clarify, my own original post was not about feeling accused or even about justifying my choices or trying to make excuses. I was just trying to share my experience and perspective to some people who might not have had similar experiences or might have adiiferent point of view. Nor did I bring up being single as if that is a good "excuse" for supplementing. I guess (and I hope if you go back and reread my original post), it was about explaining what supplementing meant to me and how I came to terms with doing something that was different than my original plans.

What I was trying to say is that if I had a partner, maybe nursing would not have felt as overwhelming or maybe a different sort of break would have been satisfactory. But somehow being the sole parent AND my breasts/body being solely responsible for feeding the baby were emotionally connected, so by letting myself know that my body did not have to be soley responsible for my baby's nutrition was both a physical and perhaps more importantly, a psychological break. It meant that for that hour the baby could "survive" and not go hungry despite the fact that I was the only parent/provider.

And while it is true that I did not actually end up using that break every day --meaning I probably only gave him a bottle a few times per week, the once per day thing was the boundary that I put around meeting my own needs. It was me saying (according to my pediatrician) even if I choose to give him formula once per day, he will still be OK and I will still be OK and my milk supply will be OK as well; but I will not go over once per day." It was a boundary that I created about the issue and that I managed to stick by. In my experience, allowing myself to know that it was OK for me not to be perfect and to give the occasional bottle was incredibly helpful and stress-relieving even though I ended up not making use of that option as much as gave myself "permission" to do so.

I don't think that people need to agree with my choice & perhaps I am not being articulate enough to even help anyone understand. But I'm absolutely not complaining about the difficulty of parebting a newborn or saying anyone should pity me as a single mother and thereby excuse my choice. Instead, I'm trying to show that my process was more complex than others might assume. And show why someone might make such a choice even with a good milk supply. I stand by that choice as being right for me for the first ten weeks and when it was no longer right for us, it was easy to stop using formula.

clarissa
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#87 of 178 Old 05-18-2004, 12:09 AM
 
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I agree that a little bit of formula is better than no formula at all.

But I am a breastfeeding advocate and personally anyone I talk to about breastfeeding, I encourage them to do it exclusively.

The formula companies do a good enough job at telling moms its ok to supplement or take a break. My job as an activist of breastfeeding is to try to stear them away from that way of thinking.

Mom can take a break. She could feed her baby, have dad, grandma, a neighboor etc, take baby for 2 hours or so and she can take a bubble bath or go for a walk, or what ever she wants to do.

When my dh was working 10-12 hour days and I was home with my newborn. I would feed my baby and take the dog for a nice 1/2 hour walk and feel so refreashed. A bottle wouldn't have given me that same sense of freedom and relaxation.
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#88 of 178 Old 05-18-2004, 01:01 AM
 
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I hate this attitude_ "I walked across burning coals uphill in a blizzard to give birth to my bab, 48 hour labor with no meds, therefore anyone who does less than that is a lesser woman? Okay, saints of breastfeeding, it is wonderful that you never succumbed to the dreaded bottle. But, to other people, there are probably shortcuts that you take that they wouldnt. We are not perfect. Sometimes even intentionally so. You NEVER gave your baby a bottle and you never will. Will you never let that child watch tv? Only 100 % organic food forever? DO you read to them 1 hour per day every day? DO you never use any of the following: playpen, stroller, johnny jump up, bouncer, exercauser, crib, high chair? Because all of those things are considered detrimental to baby's health by someone. We all decide which battles we want to fight. They wont be the same battles. Why not give a poor 2 week pp momma a break?
I would feeldifferently if this post was about the OPs dear friend or sister that she had given every bit of info and support to and yet that momma was still choosing to ff. The op does not know this mom, or her story. She might be a victim of sexual abuse and have a really tough time coping with nursing. She might have screaming thrush. MAybe she is in an abusive relationship and this is the one thing she CAN control. Maybe she is suffering from postpartum depression. Maybe she just hurts when she nurses. I think it can be safe to assume that she too the attitude thatshe did (of needing a break) due to not wanting to be judged adn feeling defensive. BC yes, there can be a lot of support for formula feeding. Or, there cannot be a lot of support for it, depending on the crowd your running with
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#89 of 178 Old 05-18-2004, 02:16 AM
 
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You know I have been following this thread and putting my two cents in here and there and isn't this the breastfeeding advocacy forum? Why can't we talk about our frustrations with formula here without being attacked?

Why can't we bash formula? We have chosen to breastfeed and MDC has given us a wonderful outlet to give support to one another and share our frustrations. And I support the OP 100%. I would have felt the same way. It just pains me to see what non support she has gotten with this thread.

Sarah - wife, mom to Riley 7/9/03 and Jacob 7/15/05 and Hannah 1/5/11 a successful vbac.gif
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#90 of 178 Old 05-18-2004, 03:27 AM
 
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The problem comes in when it is not the formula that is being bashed but the mother who is using it. And she IS breastfeeding.
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