tv shows vs. real life - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 20 Old 09-20-2008, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Why do the women on the tv shows say "my milk did not come in and so I needed to supplement with formula" when its barely 24-36 hours after birth? I mean, who tells these women that their milk comes in immediately? And why aren't they taught the importance of colostrum? I just don't get it!

I am not trying to start a debate or anything, but I truly want to know if this is what people think/or are told in real life that their milk comes in immediately and if it doesn't, supplement?

I went through a breastfeeding class through the hospital and they were very clear on the fact that your milk does not come in immediately and that your LO's tummy is so small that the colostrum is exactly what is needed during this time.

Whats your take?

laural
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#2 of 20 Old 09-20-2008, 02:42 PM
 
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Do you mean reality shows, like a Baby Story or some such thing? Or fictional shows?
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#3 of 20 Old 09-20-2008, 02:49 PM
 
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It's not just tv I've heard at least a couple real live women say this.

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#4 of 20 Old 09-20-2008, 04:23 PM
 
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What I don't get is why we bother differentiating between "colostrum" and "milk". I can't help wondering if that would cut down on this "my milk didn't come in" stuff, which I have also heard women say in real life.
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#5 of 20 Old 09-20-2008, 05:36 PM
 
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A lot of people think it is "supposed" to come in really fast. Not immediately but people started telling me to supplement when I still only had colostrum 48 hours after DD was born.

The nurses at the hospital started commenting that she looked dehydrated, and when they took her to weigh her, they brought her back with a pack of ready-made formula and screw-on nipples "in case I decided to feed her", implying that I was not feeding her.

When we came home DH got in on the act too. He was upset because she was three days old and "starving". He was really freaked that she had "gone three days without eating". In his mind she was nursing every twenty minutes and not getting "milk, so she must be really hungry.

I think it's just not something that's talked about. When women imagine breastfeeding they imagine huge quantities of milk going into the baby just like if they were giving a baby formula an hour after birth, kwim? The longer it takes to come in the more tempted they are to cave. Formula is their "normal" and they hear people say "My baby took 4 oz every feeding when we were still in the hospital" so they think "Oh no my baby needs 4 oz of milk NOW" even if it's just a subconscious thing.
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#6 of 20 Old 09-20-2008, 05:49 PM
 
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The nurses at the hospital started commenting that she looked dehydrated, and when they took her to weigh her, they brought her back with a pack of ready-made formula and screw-on nipples "in case I decided to feed her", implying that I was not feeding her.
i think this sort of thing happens a lot. i know for me, with both dd's it took at least 3 days for my milk to come in. before that happened they nursed A LOT. i can totally understand how ppl could be swayed into thinking that their body isn't working as it should if they don't have proper support, so then they supplement. then because they supplement, they don't esablish a good supply, so they need to rely on formula even more. it's a vicious cycle.

and yeah, i find a lot of common "truths" about pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding to be immensely frustrating and anything but true.
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#7 of 20 Old 09-20-2008, 06:07 PM
 
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i think this sort of thing happens a lot. i know for me, with both dd's it took at least 3 days for my milk to come in. before that happened they nursed A LOT. i can totally understand how ppl could be swayed into thinking that their body isn't working as it should if they don't have proper support, so then they supplement. then because they supplement, they don't esablish a good supply, so they need to rely on formula even more. it's a vicious cycle.
Exactly. If I hadn't prepared myself mentally ahead of time, if I hadn't known what was happening was normal, if I hadn't known DD didn't need it, I would have given her formula. They never said "You are starving your baby" but the implication was there. I was so angry.

Actually, that is the exact reason I was FF. My mother had no experience seeing anyone else breastfeed. Her mom worked and it was the 60s. She thought her milk would come in pretty soon after I was born because she just assumed I would need 4/6/8 oz like all the FF babies got within days of birth.
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#8 of 20 Old 09-20-2008, 09:42 PM
 
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I was really fortunate to have BF'ing friendly pediatricians in the practice. Two different docs who came to see us in the hospital made sure to mention to me that it's not unheard of for it to take 6 days (!) for milk to come in when it's your first baby, and not to worry at all. Mine came in really quickly, and we were having plenty of diapers, etc., so I wasn't worried, but I was also very glad to know that they were telling new moms that info.
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#9 of 20 Old 09-21-2008, 06:19 AM
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It goes the other way too. I was trying to get an early discharge from the hospital (I had to fight to go home before 4 days) On day 2 the nurse said "Well has your milk come in?" (expecting me to say no so she could say I'd have to stay in the hospital) When I said "Yes". She looked at me like I was lying. I then squeezed my nip and sent milk shooting across the room. Her only response was "huh". Brilliant woman.
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#10 of 20 Old 09-21-2008, 12:30 PM
 
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It goes the other way too. I was trying to get an early discharge from the hospital (I had to fight to go home before 4 days) On day 2 the nurse said "Well has your milk come in?" (expecting me to say no so she could say I'd have to stay in the hospital) When I said "Yes". She looked at me like I was lying. I then squeezed my nip and sent milk shooting across the room. Her only response was "huh". Brilliant woman.
That's insane. Although, when I left, at 8 hours pp, they marked me down as FF! My nurse kept asking if he'd eaten. He was deep suctioned mec. and had no interest in nursing right at first.

When the public health nurse called the next day (they call everyone and visit if you want them to) she asked how feeding was going and I said his latch had gone a bit wonky. She was so confused! "I have you down as Formula Feeding!" I guess because I didn't ask for help in the hospital (I knew the basics from classes and hanging out on here : ) I wasn't going to make it? :

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#11 of 20 Old 09-21-2008, 12:35 PM
 
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It goes the other way too. I was trying to get an early discharge from the hospital (I had to fight to go home before 4 days) On day 2 the nurse said "Well has your milk come in?" (expecting me to say no so she could say I'd have to stay in the hospital) When I said "Yes". She looked at me like I was lying. I then squeezed my nip and sent milk shooting across the room. Her only response was "huh". Brilliant woman.
LOVE IT!

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#12 of 20 Old 09-21-2008, 12:43 PM
 
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I hear this from a lot of women in real-life. I am not 100% sure why they believe this; some were told this by medical staff at the hospital, some had initial difficulties and I think they were trying to find a good excuse to give up.

My milk came in within 24 hours and dd bf every hour like crazy in the hospital and the nurses didn't believe me (my boobs were HUGE) and they kept wanting to take her to the nursery to "give me a break". I did not give her to them. There was one great nurse on one shift that gave me a pump when I told her I was having trouble nursing on one side though; I think she was the only pro-bf nurse there.
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#13 of 20 Old 09-21-2008, 02:52 PM
 
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I have heard SOOOOO many people say this and those same people also were told by the nurses at the hospital that their babies needed formula since their milk wasn't in yet which is so mean imo bc they KNOW they KNOW that is a lie and tell mothers this bc why its easier for them to put a bottle in their mouths Ug.
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#14 of 20 Old 09-21-2008, 10:38 PM
 
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Wow! I feel so bad for you guys. The nurses at the hospital where I delivered showed me how to get proper latch, made an appointment with a certified lactation consultant for 48 hours after discharge, and never uttered the word "formula"! Guess I'm lucky in where I live!
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#15 of 20 Old 09-22-2008, 04:07 PM
 
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It goes the other way too. I was trying to get an early discharge from the hospital (I had to fight to go home before 4 days) On day 2 the nurse said "Well has your milk come in?" (expecting me to say no so she could say I'd have to stay in the hospital) When I said "Yes". She looked at me like I was lying. I then squeezed my nip and sent milk shooting across the room. Her only response was "huh". Brilliant woman.
that's great!
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#16 of 20 Old 09-22-2008, 04:30 PM
 
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People who appear on TV can get bad information just like anybody else. And it never ceases to amaze me how much bad information is out their when it comes to breastfeeding.

There is great breastfeeding support at the hospital where our kids were born. I really took it for granted when our first was born, but I've heard so many horror stories about other hospitals since then.

Julie - Mom to Elizabeth (Libby) age 6, Penelope (Penny) age 5, Elliott age 29 months, and Oscar who is 1 year old!
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#17 of 20 Old 09-22-2008, 04:50 PM
 
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well, sadly, I can't recall ever seeing anyone breastfeeding on tv. I don't have cable so I've never seen those "birth story" kinds of shows. If they really show consistently that women can't bf, and then don't show the normal things that could be done to increase supply and improve baby's latch and nursing... well, you should complain to the producers and the network about it. Maybe showing a woman with low supply who gets good help from a lactation consultant would be a great prep for those viewers who don't know about it... in case they are in that situation.

The hospital where our son was born (in their birth center) was very pro-breasfeeding, had me nurse him immediately after birth, evaluated his "latch" at that time, then had regular visits from lactation consultants throughout my stay, never a MENTION of supplements despite 4 days of light therapy for fairly severe jaundice (during which time they "roomed" me in with my son so we were never separated), and certainly no "free samples" of formula. I would have complained quite vocally and in writing to the hospital later if I had had any kind of formula-feeding promoted to me, and I encourage you all with the bad experiences to do that. Maybe there is an opportunity for education and improvement.

Hospitals (if not TV shows, which have a very different mission) should be giving women accurate information and support for breastfeeding. Some women really do encounter difficulties, and I understand from those friends of mine who have, that its quite scary, and that they can feel a profound sense of failure and self-doubt, and are greatly in need of support to breastfeed successfully. (Of course, they should also give accurate information about ff to women who plan to formula feed.)

That said my milk came in FAST, less than 24 hours, and I had the situation where people didn't really believe me, meanwhile milk was literally spraying out of my other breast when the baby was nursing... I did have to work hard to convince them that the milk was in (they kept, very correctly, assuring me that its very normal to take up to 3 days for a milk supply, and that colostrum is wonderful and neccessary for baby, etc).

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#18 of 20 Old 09-22-2008, 06:36 PM
 
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well, sadly, I can't recall ever seeing anyone breastfeeding on tv. I don't have cable so I've never seen those "birth story" kinds of shows. If they really show consistently that women can't bf, and then don't show the normal things that could be done to increase supply and improve baby's latch and nursing... well, you should complain to the producers and the network about it. Maybe showing a woman with low supply who gets good help from a lactation consultant would be a great prep for those viewers who don't know about it... in case they are in that situation.
I saw a show like this just the other day - "Bringing Home Baby", I think. She was having trouble nursing, and I figured she'd end up formula feeding like in most TV baby-reality shows, just as discussed above. To my surprise, they called a lactation consultant! Happy ending, right?

Well, only if you adjust your expectations dramatically. She DID continue to breastfeed, but her closing line on the matter was "Now I know that if I have to supplement, it's okay." And then the narrator went on to say "(Mom's name)now breastfeeds during the day, and then (father's name) gives (baby's name) formula at night, to give mom a break."

So, even when a lactation consultant is called in, they can STILL screw it up massively. UGH.
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#19 of 20 Old 09-22-2008, 06:51 PM
 
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#20 of 20 Old 09-22-2008, 09:01 PM
 
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I will say I had a good experience at my hospital. My little guy was three weeks early and he was not very interested in eating. The nurses and LC worked with me to get him to even open his mouth and latch on. He would only latch on about once every three times I tried to feed and would not eat very long at all. The LC did have me pump after every attempt at eating and them feed him what little C I had to him with a nipple (I was not crazy about this) but the idea was to help my milk come in and then would have what he need when he finally would get the hang of feeding. Even though he was not taking to the breast right away, they never mentioned supplementing. They were encouraging and on the last day when he finally latched on right and had been eating for 15 min. The nurse went to get the LC and they were both super excited for him and me. I have even talked to the LC since then with some issues and she was still very supportive and encouraging.

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