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Thread: What happens to the sisterhood when you FF?

  1. #1

    Default What happens to the sisterhood when you FF?

    I don't understand why some women are so insensitive to mothers who FF? Are we not all part of the same sisterhood ? Don't we all want what's best for our child ? After being part of this forum for so many years, it's so disappointing to encounter that kind of insensitive attitude. Please think about what you say to a mother who is unable to breast feed or even one who has chosen not to breast feed because you can really do some emotional damage with thoughtless words.


  2. #2

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    I didn't find my sisterhood deserted me when I had to FF. I'm sorry you feel that way, however I'd like to point out this section is here for FF discussion and support and it wouldn't be here unless it was necesarry.
    The support is here - many of us have had to take the same path xoxoxo

  3. #3

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    Thanks Lulu. I don't feel deserted by everyone. It's just that I tried really hard to BF because I loved the nurture and bond that I felt between my baby and I, and I honestly thought it would be the best thing for her. However after persisting for six weeks I couldn't go on because my BM had decreased so much that I was not able to sufficiently feed DD to meet her needs. It was such a heart wrenching and emotional decision to stop and start FF exclusively that I didn't go on the forum for two weeks ! When I finally did, I felt like I had to explain in detail why I had ventured over to "the other side" ! After getting some really positive responses I felt better. But some people still feel the need to be insensitive and hurtful about what I may have missed out on trying to BF. I know this is a forum promoting gentle parenting and such kinder parenting approaches. But I guess that does not mean that those people are necessarily gentle and kind. It just makes me want to leave this forum and tell everyone I know not to bother with BB.

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    Quote Originally Posted by prettybutterfly View Post
    I don't understand why some women are so insensitive to mothers who FF? Are we not all part of the same sisterhood ? Don't we all want what's best for our child ? After being part of this forum for so many years, it's so disappointing to encounter that kind of insensitive attitude. Please think about what you say to a mother who is unable to breast feed or even one who has chosen not to breast feed because you can really do some emotional damage with thoughtless words.
    I'm sorry you feel that way. People who haven't been through the heart ache of not being able to breastfeed just don't understand. It's like any situation. It's unfortunate that some women don't show support or feel the need to put other women down for their choices or for their situation simply because it is different from their own situation or experience but unfortunately it happens in evey facet of life. Surround yourself with positive people and refuse to allow those who are negative the chance to affect your life. Both my babies are/were FF after mummy's boobs decided they didn't want to work anymore. I had no choice. They are perfectly healthy. Sending you big hugs. I understand your frustration xx

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    Look, it's really up to you to decide what you want to do. It's clearly still painful for you and I do understand because my son refused the breast at 5 months and there wasn't anything I could do about it.

    The feelings that went through me when I had to open that damn tin of formula were many and horrible. I wanted to BF dammit, I'd never considered FFing. I was frightened of what was in that tin cos I didn't put it there ykwim?

    Now we all know breast is best, but just because someone says that doesn't mean they are saying you suck because you don't BF.

    At the very least, you should try (for your own sake hun ) to instead believe that someone is just merely talking of the benefits of BF xoxoxoxo

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    I totally agree with NikW - everything is the same, if you haven't been through it yourself you can't begin to imagine how hard some decisions are. I hope that you find peace with your decision to ff. It took me nearly until my dd was 12 months old & she is a truly happy & healthy little 2.5 year oldn now. Best of luck x

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    I think I saw the comment that upset you. It would have upset me a little too but I don't think it was meant maliciously, just a bit careless without knowing your background. My baby fell asleep on my breast beacause she didn't have the energy to suck because she wasn't getting enough milk. One example of when breast isn't best. Hugs to u Hun x

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    You know what? I never got one negative comment about having to resort to FFing from anyone IRL. I only ever got it online. Not exactly sure what that means, but IRL I got lots of support, particularly from my mum who had BF both my brother & myself so I didn't expect her to be quite so supportive.

    Most of the support you see online is from other mum's who've tried to BF but for a variety of reasons just couldn't manage it.

    I think it's like a lot of things in life, you really don't understand something until it happens to you. That's why when I post I try to post from experience, not theory.

  9. #9

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    Lulu, I understand a person being happy to BF and explaining the benefits. I was completely over the moon when I first started BF'ing and spoke about how wonderful it was, BUT I would never say to someone who tried BF'ding and did not succeed, "aaaw, you can't BF, well it's just the best thing ever !" To me that would just be a little thoughtless and mean to be perfectly honest.

    Yes NikiW you're right, that was the post that upset me and as much as I thought I had made this conscious decision to nourish my child, rather than let her starve just because she was getting a little breast milk, my heart absolutely aches that it did not work out. Perhaps it was a careless post but it really, really hurt.

    Quote Originally Posted by satya View Post
    You know what? I never got one negative comment about having to resort to FFing from anyone IRL. I only ever got it online.
    That has also been my experience....


    Thank you for your understanding....

  10. #10

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    Hugs my love I have no idea what post you are referring to... Maybe you should pm the person & explain your feelings. I am imagining if she said something hurtful to you - it wouldn't have been intended to be hurtful. We are ALL capabale of harming others with our words unintentionally. I am thinking if I said something to hurt and then read a thread about it - I would be equally harmed. kwim?

    I hope you can come to peace with where your journey is taking you...

    I know someone said you can't know how hard it is until you've been there. Well I haven't ff - but I had an incredibly exhausting, frustrating, painful and heartwrenching experience with my first baby - just remembering the first few months make my toes curl! My outcome was different - but as a Mama who hasn't ff - I can say I fully understand why some mothers choose the FF road...

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    Aww, big hugs to you, sweetie. I know exactly how you feel. But strangely, I would never have felt this way if I hadn't had *some* success in BFing - DD1 was FF'd and EBM for 6 weeks, then exclusively FF'd, and I never ever ever had even the slightest feeling of negativity or guilt about it - it wasn't a choice, it was the one and only option I had available to me. Simple. My child was fed, she was healthy. What more could anybody want from me?
    Then DD2 was born, no complications, and my milk came in straight away. We've successfully BF'd for 5 months but at this point, I'm supplementing her with formula (it's probably 4 bottles & 3 or 4 BF's in a 24-hour period) and I'm getting all those icky feelings that I'm somehow doing her wrong. But then I only have to look at how happy she is after a bottle (my milk supply is decreasing rapidly because I'm losing weight, and in turn DD2 is refusing the breast unless she wants boobie to put her to sleep, so I need to save my milk for bedtime so she doesn't get frustrated and worked up when she doesn't get a good feed), and realise how much more relaxed and happy we are during the fewer BFs we do have, and I know I'm making the best decision for us both. I refuse to let anybody try to tear that choice down and make me feel bad because I *can* BF this time. That's not the point - those who insist that I 'keep trying' are not the ones cradling a kicking and screaming baby, in tears, knowing that they have no milk and a hungry baby. It would be detrimental to both DD2 and I to persist with exclusive BFing, and my aim is to do whatever makes her happiest, even if that means she misses out on the benefits of being exclusively BF'd for the first 6 months.

    I too have found that my IRL network has been nothing but absolutely supportive in this situation - a lot of my friends have had what they consider to be negative experiences in BFing and are glad that I'm taking steps to avoid the heartache they went through. My mother, I think, is a bit jealous that I've BF'd successfully for so long as she didn't BF my brother or I, and as a bonus it means she gets to spend more time with DD2 because now she can be away from me for more than half an hour at a time (she refused to take EBM at all). DH can see that we're both happier and that makes him happy, as he can't stand the stress hanging in the air when he's home. But I've been reluctant to say anything on BB because while I know that the vast majority of members are caring, supportive and just want the best for me and my child, I know that sometimes tactless or unthinking comments slip through and while I shouldn't let them get to me... they kind of do, if I'm feeling fragile.

    I'm afraid I can't offer much advice on how to deal with these kinds of comments, other than to try and shake them off and focus on the ones that you do find positive And know that you're DEFINITELY not alone in having to/wanting to FF your baby - I personally see absolutely nothing wrong with it! I think society in general needs to be more educated as to the benefits of BFing, but if all else fails, formula's not a bad substitute - and you've given it your best shot, so please, PLEASE give yourself a big pat on the back for making it as far as you did. BFing may be natural and 'best' for baby, but it sure as heck ain't easy!

  12. #12

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    PB I can see how much this has hurt you. When I had to resort to FF DD, there were one or two comments on BB that really cut me. And I still get annoyed when people get really high on their horse about BFing being the ONLY option. But, over time I've come to realise a great many things. Including that often how I interpreted the comments was because of how I felt about it myself. I had to learn to be confident with the decisions I made (which extend further than just FFing) - and to know that the decisions I made were the best for my DD and for our situation. Everyone's situation is different and often sweeping statements don't apply to everyone (they can't!). I know comments still hurt - but take pride in that YOU have done what is best for YOUR situation. If I'm really hurt, I subtly try to describe the scene on the other side of the fence... and then let the person either accept or rebutt it. If they are unable to see benefits of both situations - then it is no skin off my nose. I made the right decision for my situation, and I'm not a closed book. I'm open to others opinions and I refuse to judge people for the decisions they make. Unfortunately not everyone in this world is open minded. The trick is working out, does the opinion of the person criticizing my decisions REALLY matter? have they walked in my shoes? Do they know how hard I persevered to achieve XXX before having to go to YYY? Do I have support and encouragement from the person/s who REALLY matter in my life?

    I'm not in any way trying to trivialise your feelings. I certainly understand how you feel because I've been there myself.

    There have been massive debates on this forum about BFing Vs FFing... and at the end of the day, everyone has always agreed that so long as a baby/infant is getting the nutrients they need - that is all that matters. But as a result of many of those kinds of debates, the FFing support section was created. And there are a GREAT many people on this site who HAVE FF. Myself included. Several of the Mods have FF and I know they are very supportive of those who go down that path. Whilst there are always people in every community who don't support everything, there are a LOT on here who do.

    MG

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    I have no wise words like so many others here on BB, I too FF all 3 winkies Ds was lucky to have BM until 9 mths but both DD's I managed only until they were 3mths ish, It was heart breaking having to stop BM, so I know how you feel, but we do what is best for our babies, and sometimes that is FF...

    IRL I dont know many women who BF most do a bit of both, other I have known only FF and never BF, that has been their choice and I have supported them for it...

    dont think your on your own, their are alot of us who have been though the same thing...

  14. #14
    kirsty_lee Guest

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    I wasn't going to post in here because to me, imo, its a never ending debate. But, I could of written your post word for word when I was first making the decision about making the switch because SHE needed it. I cried for a week, and then realised that it wasn't the decision that was making me so upset, it was that I would have to say that I had failed and had to ff, and people would judge me. No matter what anyone says, it happens ALOT, whether intentional or not, whether it's subtle or not, it happens. I even had one member tell me IN THE CHAT ROOM that I had made the decision for my own selfish reasons that I hadn't tried hard enough and that it was my child that was going to suffer because I was being selfish. that for me was one of the most painful things to hear. And I cried some more. I felt like a horrible mother. I know EXACTLY how your feeling babe, and even I read that comment and went errr insensitive. But you know what I have come to realise in the past few months? And this is totally my opinion and anyone they like can jump up and down and get upset with it. But I am Ava's mother. I feed her, shelter her, cuddle her when she's sad or sick. No one else does that, therefore NO ONE else has the right to say what I should and shouldn't be doing. No one on this forum, nor any forum will EVER make me feel guilty or bad for any decisions that I have made because regardless of what anyone else thinks, at the end of the day I made those decisions in the best interest of my child. I formula fed, I control cried, I disposable nappied, i've smacked, i've time out'd, I fed her solids before 6 months and I am DAME proud of doing all of that. Just remember hun, YOUR child. No one wakes up and thinks, hey formula is apparently bad for kids, I think I am going to give it to them because it will harm them. There is no malicious intent in feeding your child formula. yep it totally sucks that we couldn't finish our breastfeeding journey. But don't let anyone make you feel guilty for it babe, cause you know what. It's always something that someone isn't happy with. Jmo

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    well said Kirsty - lee, sounds too me you are what meny on here wont admit to been a normal mother I too do all that you have said above, and all the mothers I meet IRL are they same... we can only do the best we know how to do...

    BB is great for the support it give but has made me feel like I am not a good mother when reading some threads, yes I put my hand up and say the TV is on all day in my house, I smack, scream and shout, I spend too much time on here ,I FF , my Dd2 was in sposies from birth but I love my winkies and I am doing the best I know how...

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    I wasnt going to post as I have been apart of these debates since I had DD - but I just wanted to let you know that I feel your pain. I tried to BF from birth but I never got any milk - not a drop so FF was my ONLY choice. I still feel upset by that and I will admit that there are alot of comments on here that I take to heart - even now and DD is 11 months old. I feel I failed and its hard to come to terms with - its even harder when there are ppl put there that make you feel worse.

    I do agree with MG - Its sometimes how I read the comments and how I choose to interperate them but they are still very painfull for me.

    I have only really had one or two bad experiances IRL about FFing but I have have had many bad experiances in here, but I choose to stay on BB and move on any maybe try to educate ppl and make them relise its not as cut and dry for some ppl as they may thinks it is.

    How ever you feed your child doesnt matter at the end of the day - its how you love them!

    Hugs babe.

    Kate

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    I've never really FF so I'm not qualified to comment on that, but I really am sorry that you feel unsupported at times.

    From my experience, when we're offended or unsupported by someone, I really really think it's worth PMing the person in question - they may just have worded something badly, or it's come across wrong, or they've been skimming and missed some details. And I suppose we could say 'well members shouldn't post unless they have time to focus' but if that was our standard I know that I would be around a lot less. Even if they have just been insensitive (and we all make errors of judgement at times), at least give them the chance to apologise.
    So that would be my recommendation. For all of us really. PM the person (no matter who they are!) and let them know how their post made you feel and ask if perhaps you misunderstood them?

  18. #18

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    I am hearing from these post a real "us & them" attitude. I feel sad to read that.

    I feel sad to be reading such an attitude. Such a division made only on the grounds of choices.

    You are right KL nobody can make you feel guilty... You choose in every moment how you will feel & react. That is responsibility.

    I have never once read on this site that a mother that formula feeds is a "bad" (sic) mother.
    I have read a lot about how people feel "bad" (sic) when they read of others touting the miracle of breastfeeding...

    What do you all see as a solution to this?

    This is a gentle parenting site. It is a site that parents come to to learn more about getting back to basics with regard to conception, pregnancy, birth & parenting.

    As such we will always discuss the superiority of breastmilk. We will always discuss the superiority of informed decisions...

    Opening threads to have a go at a person in another thread is hurtful - the very thing that was touted as the reason for this thread!

    We are never here on BB going to tell anyone that FF is better than breast feeding. That's not going to happen. You will always be given options rather than FF. But at the end of the day if your baby is going to starve - well of course you FF.

    The sadness and grief some women feel about the decision to FF needs to be owned and not projected as anger onto those who have tried to support breast feeding.

    It needs to be remembered that breastfeeding mothers are in the minority in our country. We as a site want to see that change...

    Of course not to the detriment of babies and mothers. However, to silence those that advocate breastfeeding for fear of stepping on toes of ff mothers. Well that too is to the detriment of mothers and babies.

    It is like trying to argue that a hot dog is as healthy as a burgen bread salad sandwhich.

    I wish everyone peace with their decisions - rather than making this an us and them argument...
    __

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