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Thread: Make Breastfeeding Compulsory for 6 mths? WDYT?

  1. #73

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    I am pro b/f. I b/f both my boys exclusively for 6 mths and then for another 3/4 months until my supply dropped to virtually nil. I feel very honoured to have been able to b/f for as long as I did, and I am proud of myself for doing this as I had some HUGE challenges at the start, where I believe many others would have given up. But that was my choice to make.

    That being said, would I ever judge a mother for FF her child? NEVER! How could I judge another mothers decisions? I have not walked in her shoes, I do not know the reasons she has chosen/been forced to use FF.

    In my mind, as long as the mother and child is happy and healthy, that is ALL that matters. Nothing else!


  2. #74

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    In an ideal world all women would be successful at breastfeeding their babies but unfortunately lack of education, lack of help and mis informatin is failing babies to be given the right to breast milk.

    I would never judge a mum for whatever she does with her baby and I dont think Gisele is either...do you think more people are up in arms with her comments cause she is beautiful in some peoples eyes, cause she is a celebrity and because BF came naturally to her? Would it be different if it was a average housewife saying this? I dont think we need to be name calling her she is trying to set an example and I think she has gone about the wrong way but at least it has people talking about feeding?

    BF has been very easy for me...we ll I have had my hard times...cracked nipples the pain when they first latch with toe curling and screaming..the refusal...but I chose to bit my lip and get on with it as I was not going to give up it my was choice...but where are the babies choices? You talk of human rights and peoples choice...arent babies humans? Im not bashing FF I just chose not to use it ever and will use donor milk if I ever had to...but thats not here nor their they are my choices and we all ahve to make them
    I dont thihnk it should be law thats just silly but sometimes I think we forget babies are little people who dont get a say and I wonder what their choice would be?

    We all try our very best...well you hope we all do and we have to make tough descions every once and a while..and the only person who can make you feel guilt or saddness is yourself...so be proud mumas who BF...be proud mummas who FF...lets just be proud woman are starting to speak up and get stuff noticed!!!!!

  3. #75

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    Quote Originally Posted by boomba View Post
    sometimes I think we forget babies are little people who dont get a say and I wonder what their choice would be?!
    I think they would be happy to have a full belly and be content, no matter whether it was from breastmilk or formula. So as long as that would be fulfilled, I dont think they would have a stronger choice than that.

  4. #76

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    Congratulations NeeNee!

    What a brilliant post!! I was fuming about this thread last night that I struggled to get to sleep. Everything you said is what was running through my head. Let's reiterate

    - so most women can physically breastfeed (ie there is milk in there) but it is far from black and white, like many of you think so. I was one of those mums. I thought we were doing so well breastfeeding until DD has her first MCHN checkup at 3 weeks and she had only gain 50gms. I was STARVING my child. To cut a long story short, we went to HELL and back until she was 12 weeks old. She was a lazy sucker and a very sleepy baby, I was expressing around the clock (to the point where seeing a breast pump made me feel physically ill), we both got thrush TWICE (very painful for those who haven't experienced it) and I was also diagnosed with vasospasm in the nipples (OMG, ouch with a capital O!!!) by my lactation consultant at around 10 weeks. I was on Motillium for my supply (highest dose) as it had dwindled due to DD lazy sucking, I saw the doctor so many times for thrush treatment and the vasospasm (before it was diagnosed), I was expressing around the clock and living in constant agonising pain in my nipples EVEN WHEN I WASN'T BREASTFEEDING. All this and trying to deal with a newborn AND, god forbid, avoid PND which was highly likely given the circumstances and the fact I had suffered depression before. Now, please tell me how many of you would have honestly continued breastfeeding if you were in my position??? Don't knock formula until you have really done the hard yards which clearly many of you have not.

    - I have done both. After our horrendous start to breastfeeding, I continued to BF DD and still do today, just her morning feed now though (yes, you heard right, we are still going!). I decided somewhere around the 14 week mark though to return the double breast pump and start supplementing with formula. It was the best decision for my sanity (I was struggling with disappointment when I only expressed small amounts, it was heartbreaking) and best of all it meant a happy mum and, in my case, a happy baby. DD was mainly breastfed but if I couldn't cope with the disappointment of expressing, DD was given formula when required. DD has never struggled with nipple confusion, she loves both breast and bottle, she is extremely healthy and reaching all her milestones. I am so grateful it is READILY available.

    - my mum FF all three of her kids purely because she didn't want to and didn't enjoy BF. That was her CHOICE. I can honestly say I come from one of the most loving, fun and ejoyable families. I am blessed to have such amazing parents and a wonderful upbringing. Many friends (including DH) comment on how lucky I am. Not to mention, all three of us kids are extremely healthy. Formula feeding didn't affect us at all especially, as most importantly, we were LOVED.

    - a very important note that NeeNee brought up which I've been thinking all along while reading all the posts that seem to be judging those who formula feed and that is 'Why do any of you care if another baby is fed formula? They are NOT your babies, it is NOT your decision and it does NOT affect your life AT ALL. So why on earth do you care so much?

    - I think, on a final note, I should congratulate some more of you...for doing exactly what all us BB members claim to hate and that is judging other mums for the decisions they make raising their children. Well done girls, some of you just became one of 'them'

    Sorry, I didn't mean to offend anyone but a debate like this seems ridiculous in this day and age, especially on BB when we are all meant to be supporting each other.
    Last edited by Taurean; August 4th, 2010 at 10:27 AM.

  5. #77

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    :yeahthat:

    i think any baby would be happy knowing they were fed and nourished, no matter where it came from, as opposed to knowing that mummy nearly lost her mind trying to breastfeed when it just wasn't happening.

    eta; my Yeah tht, was for arimeh's post..

  6. #78

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    Oh, and one last thing. How on earth did we get to this point?

    I've just added to the spiraling debate. Maybe I should have just said this:

  7. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by boobaloo View Post
    :yeahthat:

    i think any baby would be happy knowing they were fed and nourished, no matter where it came from, as opposed to knowing that mummy nearly lost her mind trying to breastfeed when it just wasn't happening.

    eta; my Yeah tht, was for arimeh's post..
    Excatly!!!

  8. #80

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    [QUOTE=allycat06;2421761]I disagree with making it compulsory but am a firm believer that formula should be prescription only. That way only women who genuinely can't breastfeed have access to it or women who simply choose not to should have to sign a conscious objection form stating that they have made an informed decision not too breastfeed. Just my opinion but I think having formula so readily available in the supermarket makes mother's a little too quick to give up sometimes without seeking help from other avenues first. Formula should be advertised as an adequate substitute for breastmilk not an alternative. Not intended to offend anyone. Just my opinion on the matter.[/QUOTE

    I had help and support and plenty of milk and kept trying, but the pain, bleeding and mastitis and then the postnatal anxiety was all too much. I then should have to explain to a doctor and ask for a prescription to feed my baby? Some people have no problems breastfeeding, some have many and still succeed, but no one should be able to control my choice to formula or breastfeed.

    I will try breastfeeding again this time. Wish me luck!

    I think Gisele means well but come on.. How could you even police such a thing?

  9. #81

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    I just wanted to expand on my previous post and add that my breastfeeding journey with Ds3 was FAR from peachy keen; I had 3 bouts of bad thrush, 2 bouts of extremely bad mastitis not to mention infected nipples from biting on top of being a homeless single mother to 3 kids under 3 in the middle of winter when we all get our sickest................it was beyond tough. And I had alot of very hard moments where if I had of had a can of formula I would have used it. But I couldnt afford it anyway. So it certainly didnt 'come easy' to me; I had to work bloody hard at it. But it was worth it for me and Im glad I perservered. That was probably due to being on my third go around of being a mother/trying breastfeeding; lots of information and experience and determination. And therein lies the key.

    And as a little sidenote; I have a friend who was told for her first and second babies that she is one of the rare few mothers who DONT produce breastmilk. At all. She is due to have her third baby in 5 or so weeks and I was very surprised and just a little bit happy to hear that she has found some very informed and helpful care providers who've given her hope that she may infact be able to breastfeed this baby. I cant imagine how she must feel knowing that she'll get a crack at it after being very sad something physical stopped her from sharing that specialness with her kids. Just goes to show that all these 'reasons' women are being given for not being able to breastfeed may not be a finality. There could be no more solid reason than not producing any breastmilk yet here she is being helped to atleast try and rectify it to give her a chance to breastfeed. Makes you wonder about the health system and all this supposed 'breast is best, breastfeeding friendly' initiatives

  10. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by boomba View Post

    I would never judge a mum for whatever she does with her baby and I dont think Gisele is either...do you think more people are up in arms with her comments cause she is beautiful in some peoples eyes, cause she is a celebrity and because BF came naturally to her? Would it be different if it was a average housewife saying this? I dont think we need to be name calling her she is trying to set an example and I think she has gone about the wrong way but at least it has people talking about feeding?
    I do think that whenever celebs weigh into an issue they are often dismissed simply because they are celebs and what would they know etc, but we forget that they are people as well and entitled to their opinion, it is just that they often use a very public platform to let everyone know what their opinions are kwim? As I said earlier, I don't have an issue with the essence of what she is saying, but being new to parenthood and breastfeeding, I think she underestimated the reaction she would get. She possibly didn't know that this is quite an emotive subject where the battle lines are frequently drawn. After all, she is a new mum, high on happy hormones after her birth and I gather successful BF relationship with her babe so she probably thinks, somewhat naively, that everyone should be made to experience something so wonderful. I think she is a good role model for natural birth and breastfeeding, so I can't see why she shouldn't use her celebrity to help change perspectives, especially in her native Brazil where surgical birth rates are high.

  11. #83

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    I just say go with whatever makes you happy.

    And if your mental and physical health is suffering from BFing, for whatever reason, you really shouldn't be doing it the way you currently are.

    If supplementing with formula or stopping BF completely makes everyone involved (spectators and the collective 'you' are not involved) happy again, I'm all for it.

  12. #84

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    Quote Originally Posted by tattoo_mama View Post
    Hmmm. Some great, thought provoking responses!
    what do i think? i think this country has a serious lack of resources and support for women to BF. Rather than guilting woman and making it comulsory, or formula by prescription only, how about better hospital support, compulsory visits from nurses of LC to womens home after birth, more widespread BF classes pre and post natal??
    I agree. We need more of all this stuff for sure..... BUT more women out there also need to seek the support they must know they need at the time to enable them to continue feeding their babies breastmilk...... if someone is old enough to have a baby, then they are old enough to be responsible enough to seek out the support and help also..... we have ABA and there are breastfeeding clinics avail in some suburbs, it's a matter of getting out there, talking to people, asking your local MCHN's about what services are avail to them in their area, contacting an LC to come to your home (some are very affordable too) etc....... had I not done this for myself I don't think I'd still be BF my girl today.
    With formula, on the shelves, and advertised EVERYWHERE its just made it far too easy (aka tempting) for women to stop BF their babies and go to formula....... had it been on prescription (as example)..... perhaps those women would still be BF their baby today?

    As for the above paragraph i've written, YES I completely agree for some women to BF their babies is simply not possible due to medical or emotional reasons, I respect that. I'm talking about the 'majority' (or 'others') whom stop BF their babies before 6mths who could have otherwise continued as nothing was wrong. They just "got tired of it" for example.

    JMO.

  13. #85

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    Schmickers: great post. I agree, I view infant formula as a body fluid replacement and a medicine more than just a food. That's why I compare it to insulin rather than a a tin of Milo. And that's why I maintain it should be sold in chemists rather then the supermarket. The ramifications of administering formula compared to say drinking Milo the wrong way is so much more serious (yes, i know you know that, just saying). You are not just "feeding" your baby whether you use formula or breastmilk... you are maintaining the child's entire state of health... you are maintaining their immunity (something a mere food does not do) you are administering and adjusting hormones (real or artificial) and stem cells and a myriad of non food chemicals.

    I don't really "buy" the argument that formula needs to be sold in supermarkets for parents who might run out in the middle of the night. What does a diabetic do if he runs out of insulin in the middle of the night? Go to the local supermarket and buy some more? No, he goes to a chemist. And yes in my experience chemists are more likely to be 24 hour around here than supermarkets now days. So just like any other person with a dependency on a medication you stock up and stay prepared. Should Ventalin be available for asthmatics in supermarkets incase they run out in the middle of the night? Many parents need to administer ventalin to their children on a daily basis. I am reliant on medication so i stay stocked up. I have used formula and understand how inconvenient it can be... but I stayed stocked up.

    I just think a change in perception needs to occur. Formula is not just a food... it is also a medication... and it needs to be treated as such. Maybe then mothers will be more likely to actually get the support they need to formula feed their babies! Has anyone thought that the broader public have a low care factor (both toward FF and BFers) because the whole process is simply viewed as 'feeding' children? The associations people have of "feeding" and "medicating" are quite different. Medicating is seen as much more "serious"... as it should be. Food and eating is seen as something which you can overlay a 'preference' "Hmmm what do i feel like eating today?" but taking your medicine is seen as something much more serious. Yes we feed our babies so that they are not hungry but that's not all there is to it (yes I know, stating the obvious to many in here) and this message needs to get out there.

    Finally I see no reason why anyone should take anything personally here in this thread. I don't know about others, but when I "speak" in here i speak the words i want the policy makers to hear... the original topic of the thread was about making it compulsory ie legislating it... so i am responding in the same manner as i would if i had to stand up infront of the senate or during Question Time in parliament. I'm voicing my opinion to the decision makers... not other mums. Maybe that's why some members take it personally they are reading the thread as if it's addressed to them personally... well that's not my intent at all. Consider it more along the lines of a draft letter to my local member.
    Last edited by Bathsheba; August 4th, 2010 at 12:23 PM.

  14. #86

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    Quote Originally Posted by skybie View Post
    My 2 cents-
    yes breast is best, we all know this, but atm there is only 2 choices.
    breast isn't best. It is natural and normal

    As I've said in a previous post in this thread, I am not anti-formula, it has its place for sure. If formula didnt' exist for those women who really truely cannot BF their babies due to whatever reason, it has saved lives!
    But I'm PRO-BF and we need to see more women BF'ing.... it is VITAL for the future of our population.

  15. #87
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    I don't know why people can't just feed their own kids and get a hobby to pass the remainder of their apparently ample spare time.

  16. #88

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    heart in the right place, brain not in gear before she opened her mouth
    in an ideal world, there would be unlimited support for new mum's to BF. there would be unlimited access to milk bank for those who simply cant BF (physically, emotionally) so that those parents and bubbas have access to BM. it would be fantastic if milk banks weren't so limited, that using BM from another mother didn't carry so much stigma etc.
    but the world we live in is far from ideal - and comments like the ones in the OP are anything but helpful. it gets people up in arms, sparks the BF/FF debate, leaves those who were unable to BF (for whatever reason) feeling judged.

    i don't believe anyone has a right to legislate how someone feeds their child - provided the child is nourished (be it at the breast or using ABM) and cared for/not neglected, it's no one elses concern.

    for those that have decided to FF (for whatever your reasons), please stop feeling judged by others comments. we all do what we believe to be in the best interests of our family unit, and THAT is what is most important. don't allow anyone to make you feel you have done anything inferior to someone else. you have done what is best for your family and thats all that matters. your decisions may have been different if more support was available to you, they may not - but the situation isn't going to change in hindsight, so don't let anyone make you feel bad about what you have done! it can't be changed now, and focussing on your past and what you did then takes you away from the present and the life you have with your family



    oh, just a little aside - the prescription only ABM comments - i can see some merit to this - ONLY for the factor that, if formula was under the PBS scheme, the rampant profiteering that is happening with the formula companies would stop kwim?

  17. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by slyder View Post
    I don't know why people can't just feed their own kids and get a hobby to pass the remainder of their apparently ample spare time.
    Because it is important for our future that we are all well imformed in our choices.

  18. #90

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shanti View Post
    I'm talking about the 'majority' (or 'others') whom stop BF their babies before 6mths who could have otherwise continued as nothing was wrong. They just "got tired of it" for example.

    JMO.
    Once again, isn't that a mothers freedom of choice? If she's 'tired' of breastfeeding, shouldn't she be allowed to make the decision which only affects her and her baby's life?

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