Mothering Forum banner

1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
369 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After several conversations lately on breastfeeding, I have heard it a million times in a million different ways:<br><br>
"My milk dried up."<br><br>
"I didn't have enough milk."<br><br>
"My milk wasn't rich enough."<br><br>
"I don't make milk."<br><br>
ad nauseum. What it boils down to, is somewhere in the breastfeeding education (which we know is minimal if you don't research it yourself) there is a glaring problem. Why aren't new moms told that just because their baby wants to nurse frequently (or maybe even every 15 mintues!) for the first few weeks does NOT necessarily mean the babe isn't getting enough to eat?<br><br>
The above quotes were taken from different people in my family, all of who tried to breastfeed, thought baby wasn't getting enough to eat, then supplemented with formula - which in turn caused supply problems, and so they then began to only formula feed.<br><br>
I think that the hospital literature especially (but I think in WIC as well), etc. needs to clearly state that a frequently nursing newborn does not necessarily (rarely, probably) mean that mom isn't making enough milk!<br><br>
Just a rant. Thanks for reading.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,142 Posts
I have a friend who responds to those statements with "who told you that?"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
457 Posts
Yeah, I have a friend who weaned her DD to formula around 9-10 mos because she "wasn't making enough" -- which was obvious because her DD was nursing more frequently -- um, so you had a good supply for the last 10 mos but NOW you don't? Hmmm, not sure about that one. More likely DD was nursing more due to a growth spurt, teething, on-coming illness, separation anxiety...And if you'd just nursed her, you would have made enough!<br><br>
Unfortunately, I couldn't offer this info because when my friend told me this, I didn't have DS and hadn't learned what I've since learned about bf <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
271 Posts
I agree that there is definately not a lot of encouraging info that is offered to pregnant women/new moms about breastfeeding.<br><br>
I also think many times those type of statements ("My milk dried up." "I didn't have enough milk.", etc.) are used as excuses to why people chose not to breastfeed, it makes them feel better to say they couldnt rather than they didnt want to. Which unfortunately just perpetuates the myth to those who listen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,335 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Momtwice</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7234208"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I have a friend who responds to those statements with "who told you that?"</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
thats what i say<br><br>
then I go on to explain what it DOES mean. hopefully before the mama weans completely but if not then hey at least she knows for next time!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,348 Posts
Naydog, I am sorry to hear about your difficult experience. No one is saying you're a failure if you can't breastfeed, and I don't think anyone is saying that low/no supply never happens.<br><br>
It does happen, sometimes due to difficult, uncontrollable experiences like in your case, and other times due to bad advice--like baby should be put on schedule, or introducing pacifiers or bottles too quickly. But, it is also true that percieved low supply is much more common than actual low supply. Which is why breastfeeding education is so important.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,615 Posts
I think to some new moms, BFing is scary because you read all over the place how many ounces baby is supposed to be getting - and how can you tell if you're BFing? Those statements about ounces just serve to destroy BFing relationships, some before the baby is even born. Yep, I've heard a new, first time mom say "I didn't BF because I was paranoid baby wouldn't get enough ounces like the books say she should." So she never even tried. So sad.<br><br>
And what if baby is a sleepy nurser or distracted in the beginning and doesn't nurse for 10 minutes on each side? Does that mean she's starving? Or what if she nurses for 15 minutes or more on each side? Does *that* mean she's starving?<br><br>
I've also had a mom of 3 tell me she didn't BF because it seemed like work and I "must be a martyr or something, doing all that." My baby was 7 weeks old, at the time, too. I said "Really? Because it's so easy. I'm always with baby, and my breasts are always with me, so we're always ready! Cleaning bottles, preping bottles, buying formula, making sure I always have enough clean water - that sounds like a pain!" She laughed and said that yeah, maybe sometimes simple is better, huh?<br><br>
New moms need to know that every baby is different. That it can take some time until you feel confident nursing, but the baby will almost always seem to know what she needs!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,142 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sunnysideup</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7237164"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><br>
It does happen, sometimes due to difficult, uncontrollable experiences like in your case, and other times due to bad advice--like baby should be put on schedule, or introducing pacifiers or bottles too quickly. But, it is also true that percieved low supply is much more common than actual low supply. Which is why breastfeeding education is so important.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
I agree with this.<br><br>
It didn't work out with my first child either (but it did with my second.) <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> to anyone who is hurting over a similar pain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
369 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>naydog</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7237036"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Are you saying that those things DON'T happen?</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
No, I am not saying that a bit. But I think that for many women, it isn't the case. I also don't think for many women, it is not for a lack of trying, it's just not knowing, especially the first time around.<br><br><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>naydog</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7237036"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">And for others to imply and generalize that those mothers who DO research, want to, believe it IS best and try to do everything they can to BF and it doesn't work, that they're just not good enough, is really offensive. Not everyone is able to have the same experience. There are certain situations that should be considered before one makes a judgement call like that.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
No, I am not judging - i am saying that after talking to the women in my family, this is what I heard each time as to why they didn't breastfeed longer - or at all. While perhaps it was true for some of them, I think in all actuality, they just didn't know. I might have stated that most of those quotes were from the older (grandma) women in my family - and that was a different time. Nevertheless, I wasn't looking down on them for their decisions, it just seem to be a glaring problem that if someone had said - babies nurse A LOT: count dirty diapers, or is baby gaining enough weight, or hang in there, baby won't want to nurse so much after a bit - they might have been able to hang on longer.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>naydog</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7237036"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I wanted to BF exclusively. My DS was a preemie. A 34 weeker by c-sect (my membranes ruptured, there was no amniotic fluid and he was Frank breech). He was in the NICU for 11 days. I didn't get to hold him until he was 5 days old. I had a lactation consultant come in and get me a pump so I could start pumping from day one. I never pumped more than 2 tsp., which I know is fine in the beginning. After I was able to hold him, I began BFing (AND pumping immediately afterward - and believe me, the nurses strongly encouraged BFing), but he was not thriving. They had to make the decision to supplement. When we got home, I BF'd every two to three hours and pumped right afterward. I never got more than 2 oz when I pumped. DS was not gaining weight, jaundice was starting to set back in, as well as an iron deficiency. So, here you go: My milk NEVER came in. I NEVER experienced engorgement. For my DS's health, I made the hard choice to supplement with formula, while continuing to BF for 6 months.<br><br>
I know for many BF'rs, that is considered failure. But my DS is now 7 yrs old, the brightest, best-behaved kid in his class, healthy and perfect.<br><br>
I am having my 2nd child this Friday and, thank god, I'm full term (I have to have another c-sect because of a low, posterior placenta and low amniotic fluid - again!). I am planning on BFing exclusively, again. I have been reading "So That's What They're For!," as well as other literature to help me brush up on BFing. That's the plan. But it's not a failure to want and plan for the ideal situation, but then have to go another route when the ideal doesn't work out. I understand that now.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
My seven year old son was also a 34 weeker - and I had HUGE problems with nursing. Mainly, he wouldn't latch and no one told me that preemies sometimes have a very hard time with that. I was encouraged to pump and give it to him in a bottle - and I did. I also wasn't educated in pumping correctly, so as he grew larger, my supply started to dwindle (he also was hospitalized for meningitis at 10 days old - that didn't help a bit) - he became a formula fed babe at 2 months. I feel pretty badly about this now.<br><br>
So what my point was had to do with education - had I been better educated (and I can only blame myself for not being), I might have succeeded in breastfeeding. I was not trying to imply that some moms don't truly have problems - only that if we did better educate new moms, more moms would realize that they didn't have aproblem after all.<br><br>
Last, if I did offend you, I apologize. That was not the intent of this post.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
151 Posts
My personal pet peeve is this story a woman on a "mainstream" board likes to tell new, BFing moms about how her son was STARVING so she HAD to switch to formula because she wasn't making enough...<br><br>
what she leaves out is the fact that this "starving" evidently took place within the first 2 days of his birth- you know, when those newborns are sooooo hungry! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
230 Posts
I think it's funny how many stories you hear about moms who "can't make enough milk," and I know that it DOES happen, but I think it's like less than 5% of mothers. But it seems like you hear way more than 5% of the mothers you know say that. When it is the geniune 5%, it's unfortunate. When it's someone being disingenuine, I wish they'd just say "I decided not to breastfeed."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
369 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>luvmy2girls</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7238900"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">When it is the geniune 5%, it's unfortunate. When it's someone being disingenuine, I wish they'd just say "I decided not to breastfeed."</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
<br>
I agree - but that is also where I think education comes in. The women in my family <i>truly believed</i> that they could not make enough milk - or as my grandma said "the milk wasn't rich enough and it wasn't satisfying the baby." <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br><br>
Now perhaps one of these women were part of that 5% (though I really doubt it), but certainly they all weren't - but they all belived this information. I was told my MIL "dried up" - it was after probing that I discovered that she thought the babe wasn't eating enough, so she started supplementing with formula - like in the first week...she did not pump. Well obviously, eventually her supply dwindled down. When I heard this I knew from my own Bfing education exaclty what happened - but her side of the family was clueless! She never even tried to breastfeed her other kids after that. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,155 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>wanderlost</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7240333"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I agree - but that is also where I think education comes in. The women in my family <i>truly believed</i> that they could not make enough milk - or as my grandma said "the milk wasn't rich enough and it wasn't satisfying the baby." <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
This is a generation of women (our grandmothers and mothers) who where sometimes given drugs to dry them up (without their permission), told it was dirty and low-class, asked to leave all public places to nurse (and humiliated for even trying), and some were pushed to work very soon after birth. None of this is mother/baby friendly, but it is what they were taught, what they believed, and what they now pass on. You also have formula companies who have heavily influences all of our doctors. We have a VERY steep hill to climb!!<br><br>
The good new is that we are getting up the hill!! Keep talking and educating and breastfeeding will become a norm.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,102 Posts
I wish more new mums knew that every 3 hours is the absolute minimum!!! Babies need to nurse AT LEAST 8-12 times in 24 hours (I'm hearing 10-14x more and more from LCs and others who also work with bfing mamas). 8x in 24 is every 3 hours. 12x in 24 hours is every 2 hours. Its very common that babies will nurse much more than this.<br><br>
Know that weight gain and diapers are the only accurate measure of good milk transfer. Not pumping, not expressing, not how your breasts feel, not leaking, not engorgement, not even how often baby is nursing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,473 Posts
Honestly I wish someone would have told me that it's normal for baby to be a bit hungry while you're waiting for your milk to come in. There's really nothing you can do but nurse frequently and repeat over and over, "my baby is not going to starve".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,348 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>stacyann21</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7256004"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Honestly I wish someone would have told me that it's normal for baby to be a bit hungry while you're waiting for your milk to come in.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
I don't know that it is so much that baby is hungry... but wanting to be constantly attched to the breast for the first few days is normal. It's nature's way of getting the milk to come in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,503 Posts
I spent the first three months constantly leaking, engorgement was common, I could always tell I had milk. Now, it's not so obvious all the time and if I didn't know better I'd think my supply was down as well. I can definitely see how women could think this. However, DD eats very little solids and does not by any means scarf them down like she's starving! She's 90% bf and growing all the time and has fat little leggies <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">: to prove the milk is sufficient.<br><br>
I think that women should be educated to look at not the signs their breasts give them, but the signs their babies give them. After all, a glass of beer can make you feel engorged, but studies have shown it actually slows down letdown (and people still tell me "have a beer, I heard it's good for breastfeeding!" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes"> )<br><br>
Also, babies don't only nurse for the food.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
840 Posts
I used to get that from DH. (we r 1st. time parents) "Why is she nursing soo much?" "Maybe she's not getting enough milk from you..." It was bad enough that I doubted myself, DH's lack of confidence was hitting me hard. What kept me going was my believe in my research, I believed what I heard from mothers before me, that it was ok and necessarily sometimes for DD to have a feed-a-thon ( hello growth spurts!). Am I glad I toughed it out. With everything I went through in the beginning (DD in NICU for 2 days under bili-lights for jaundice - slept round the clock, will not wake to feed, not even when we settled at home. I had to wake myself up every 2 hrs. to feed her in vain.) Those were dark days.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">: I didn't think I would see the day where she will be nursing. It came to the point that one of the NICU nurses felt so bad for us and suggested that we get rest and they will feed (Ha! try to feed) her formula. I was so distraught at her being in the NICU, under the lights and her not eating and losing more weight than dr.s are comfortable with - I gave in. We rested (sort of) and the nurse gave her formula that night. I will never forget, I was home pouring out formula in one of those little Medela bottles. I can read it in my mind now, the little sentence with the big impact stamped on the bottle "Breastmilk is the perfect food". My heart sank every time I reached for the bottle. The stamp on the bottle mocked my competence as a mother, it obliterated 9 mos. of preparing for the day to breastfeed. Yet here she is today @ 10 mos. happily nursing. Whenever she is near the area or smells it, she will put on the cutest face like she can't get to the breast fast enough.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> And if you check out the cheeks (and oh-the chub on the legs) you will see that the girl is packing in the calories. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> To the moms who are on the brink of giving up, hang in there and have a little faith (who am I kidding--a lot of faith).<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wave.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wave"> Get the help of a lactation consultant (I did) and see what happens. I'm not such a bf militant to say you must nurse or else but I agree with PP, that information (unless you actively do your own digging) is not available enough. Nurses and other medical practitioners are either not educated or otherwise not advocating the education enough. I was lucky that I am research and computer savvy.<br><br>
What I lacked as I learned, was not milk but the confidence to know that I can breast-feed.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bfinfant.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bfinfant">:<br><br><a href="http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r...devonsiggy.jpg" target="_blank">http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r...devonsiggy.jpg</a><br><a href="http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r.../marydevon.jpg" target="_blank">http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r.../marydevon.jpg</a><br><a href="http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r186/newmothermary/DSC_0211.jpg" target="_blank">http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r...y/DSC_0211.jpg</a>
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top