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Thread: Article: Suck On This

  1. #37

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    Okay,

    I was waiting for things to settle down a bit before posting. I read the article and naive old me didn't know about the kind of tactics Nestle use! I can't imagine the pressure these poor women are under, not believing in themselves.

    From my own experience, I had my first 3 children without any family around. I BFed Ariani to 9 months, then weaned her onto a cup; Shay to 5 and a 1/2 months, then FFed him, and Zaki to 18 months, so I've both FFed and BFed. Yet now I have Charlie I'm constantly being told by my mum, who moved to Oz 3 years ago, that I'm starving my baby and should comp feed him. I ignore her for the most part, or point out that Charlie's putting on weight really well, but she doesn't believe me and constantly harps on it. This is because she never BF and neither did my sister, as in Singapore it was 'fashionable' to bottlefeed, with the Govt doing nothing to encourage BFing. There are no parenting rooms there, public BFing is a big no-no, and you were considered 'cheap' to not buy formula for your baby, as BFing was the poor man's alternative, for those who 'couldn't afford to buy the very best for their child'. Things are changing now, but this was the atmosphere of misinformation that used to be out there.

    I shudder to think how much the pressure to bottlefeed would have affected me as a new mum, instead of an experienced mum of 4. I can stand up to my mum and follow my own course, but my sister caved and bottlefed all her 3 kids, coz my mum said she had 'blind' nipples (Mind you she leaked milk during engorgement so not sure how 'blind' her nipples were)

    I sent bits of this article to my mum but she's very conditioned into thinking that BF is somehow deficient. I personally think that for people like her, a shock tactic or two wouldn't go astray. When you put the article into the context where they're trying to target people who have strong ingrained ideas against BFing, it has a place.


  2. #38

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    Kelly, Thanks for posting that article, I found it a very interesting read, as I did with all of the previous posts.

    Reading the part about babies being "topped up" reminded me of when I had Joel. I was 4 months off turning 18 but was adament that I was going to bf. Ha, nobody told me tht my nipples were going to kill, or split and bleed or that I would have to sit in front of these little circular heaters and have them heat my nipples, or that I would even have to go and have a laser pointed at tehm to help them heal... Anyway he was feeding great til he got to about 6 weeks old, when he started to fuss a whole heap and I was told to top him up by the MCHN. So after most of his feeds he was given 50 mls or so of formula. Knowing now of course that he was probably just having a growth spurt. Being the age I was and being quite naive in these things I of course believed her and did as I was told. To some extent it worked, atleast it shut him up I fed him til he was 9 months old.

    Jumping to Brandon, I was wiser and older and alittle more informed, he fed until 9 months also until I had to have an op and couldn't nurse him physically, (i had my wrist op'd on) Sadly I was told by the Drs to give it away.

    Noah I fed happily til he was 20 months old, he was quite a tall boy and the looks I copped of some people were ridiculous. I ended up feeling like I should be sitting away, hiding feeding him. I hated that I was feeling ashamed or embarressed of bf'g my toddler. I hated giving up feeding Noah, again out of my hands, another op and was told to express and throwout for 4 days or to "just take him off as he's old enough". I did the later, very reluctantly and still gave hima sneaky feed occassionally I used to get the comments "Oh yeah she's going to go up to Noah's kindy class and give him booby" And yeah Noah will still want boob when he's 10. Or the one my dad used, Oh yeah she only feeds to keep her boobs. My reply to that was if that was the case I wouldn't feed him in the first place, feeding bubs have killed my boobs

    Tehya is stillhappily feeding at 15 months and I aim to get to 2 years if thats what hse wants. We will wean when she is ready.

    Oh the whole bf/ff baby illness. My first bub was healthy, mild asthma and had both b and f. Chubby bubby. Very over active child - still is. Healthy teen now.
    Second, bad reflux, encourgae to feed as it is gentler on his stomach, got sick at 5 months with bronchialitis and asthma, but other than that was healthy. Chubbier baby, fast to reach some milestones but slower on others. Intelligent child now. Gets sinus.
    Noah, never got sick til he was 18 months with his first cold. Pretty quick on milestones, gets occassions roughspots on skin. Wheezy lungs in cold weather but not offically astmatic.
    Tehya on the other hand has been totally bf, ended up in hosp at 11 weeks with bronchialitis that turned into pneaumonia. She gets a runny nose at the drop of a hat, her ears are very sensitive and Dr says she will more than likely be asthmatic. Very fast to reach her milestones and quite a smart, intelligent little girl.

    I thinking I may've trailed away there, actually I know I did. Just showing that no matter what way you feed your baby illnesses will happen.

    I have had many a gf come to me for advice regarding bfing and I am happy to share it. I can become quite passionate about it, especially when they tell me they are doing something that I'm pretty sure will ruin it for them. I try and let them know but in the end they make their own discissions. I don't look down upon women who descide that it isn't for them. But, now I'm not saying this for an arguement, I do find that some people just don't persist for long enough. Babies need time to learn how to feed just as we as mums need to learn how to feed them. Also I think when promoting bf they need to say that your first 2 weeks or so will be uncomfortable to say the least. Our nipples aren't used to being sucked on for that ammount of time generally and we do need time to adjust to it.

    In regards to the article yet again, I don't think that scare tactics are the way to go. The baby in the bottle pic is abit OTT. Just making sure the expectant and new mums are given fully informed facts and make informed discissions, not just ones that society wants them to see or know.

    Like most things in life, information is power.

  3. #39

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    I have always wanted to BF, all my imaginings of having a baby and of my birth were of giving birth and putting my baby straight to the breast. Unfortunately that did't happen as Kyla was born 11 wks early.
    When she was old enough I started to try to BF, sue to prem issues (sucking probs, no rooting reflex, low heamogolbin etc) I switched b/w BF and bottling EBM and finally went into a mother baby unit to try to get Kyla BF solely.
    Finally it happened and she started to BF! I was ecstatic!!!
    I have been on antidepressants for over 6 yrs and also during this time had PND. The following day I saw a psychologist who was 'amazed' that I was BF whilst on effexor. She said that it was known that this went straight through the breastmilk and arranged for me to see a psychiatrist to discuss coming off the effexor.
    I saw the psychiatrist who said he thought that due to my current state of mind it would be better to put Kyla onto formula. Either way - Kyla either had to go to formula or I had to come off my medication
    I was so upset!! Finally I had my baby BF only to be told that I should go to bottle. They showed me the nursury medication guide that said (if I remember correctly) that about 15% of the medication went through the milk. I was on 300mg daily which meant that my tiny prem bub was getting over 30mg of a mind altering drug. I called the hotline re: medications while BF and they didn't have a clue...just what I was given from the med guide and that there was no study as to the effect of the med on bubs.
    I could have gone off the meds but I was so depressed already that I could hardly get out of bed. So I put her to formula and cried for a few days about it.
    Had I read this article I don't think I would have put her on formula. Had the doctors been better informed I don't think they would have made me make this decision.
    I thought it strange that no one at the RWH commented on it - and that my pead had not said anything.
    So I made peace with the fact that I had to FF.
    Then I saw the pead weeks later and was told "I knew you were on that! You could have kept BF".
    I was sooooooooo angry!!!!
    I definately think there needs to be education on BF, especially by the so called experts. I was depressed and stressed and followed the advice of the "expert" psych, only to later be told that I shouldn't have worried by the pead.

  4. #40

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    Carrie, that is such a sad story. Thanks to all of you for sharing your personal stories and struggles with this, it certainly is very heartwrenching...

    With the baby in the bottle, that is a reference to the use of formula in third world countries, I don't think its a magazine illustration but from an organisation which specifically boycott Nestle for the reasons addressed in the article. I know the 'Nasty' slogan is from this organisation. They have a website, if anyone else is interested and you can electronically lodge your pledge to boycott Nestle products which they hand over to them at demonstrations. If you want to check it out, you can do so here. And a warning, this mob are very pro-breastfeeding and anti-nestle, there are many issues they are fighting nestle about, so again, if you don't like it, please don't visit it!
    Kelly xx

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  5. #41

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    Carrie - it's a shame that you had the loss of breastfeeding after you moved mountains to establish it. I'm not surprised you had PND after everything you had already been through and I'm sure this wouldn't have helped.

    Kelly - I was about to say that if you want to really hit Nestle where it hurts, it is most effective to boycott their products. I have a friend who hasn't bought anything from them in years.

  6. #42

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    Thats what the pledge is about Melbo, it's a pledge to boycott Nescafe and/or Nestle products altogether These pledges to boycott products are given to Nestle.
    Kelly xx

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  7. #43

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    I think when you look at it in context the "baby killer" picture is not offensive. I think if it was published in a different place, eg. a parenting mag, then it could be taken as deeply offensive to many people.

    I am just wondering, is the article intended to highlight the dangers of formula or the benefits of breastfeeding? I have always been more of the belief that if you want to promote something, like BF, that it is better to highlight the positives. By that I mean I don't think that a good way to promote BF is by listing all the reasons why you shouldn't FF. It's like saying "Buy a Ford because Holden's suck for these reasons". Besides, as we have seen here, that sort of argument gets you nowhere. All it does is put mothers (or Holden fans) on the defensive.

    But having said that, I agree with Sushee that with some people a few shock tactics wouldn't go astray although I wonder if it wouldn't make them more close minded. Not many of us like to admit when we are wrong!

  8. #44

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    That's a good point Bon. More info about BF positives should be more accessible to new mums, and a greater support network. GPs and nurses etc are too quick to tell you to comp feed, or if you have a touch of mastitis to wean the baby. We need the motivation to continue with the BF, not be given an easy out.. especially when they're not then telling us of the possible side effects of FF.

    Tallon was comp fed the first day and a half, because his sugar levels were too low, and I was terrified how it would affect him. Thankfully it was just a tiny bit, and they tube fed him, so he had no nipple confusion or anything by using a bottle. And it was always after a full attempt on the breast, so it didn't affect my supply.

    A lot of fear and doubt comes with being new mum, so if something isn't going quite right, it's easy to panic and agree to formula. That's where we most need the encouragement and motivation to persevere with it.

    ETA: It frustrates me to hear of nurses and GP's promoting such old ideas when it comes to BF and sleeping habits etc. When it's our mum's telling us how they did it, its easier to 'ignore' because we understand that things have moved on from then.. but when it's a professional who is supposedly up to date with things giving this advice.. then any uninformed mum is going to do what they say.

    oh.. and SHAME on Nestle for what they're doing. I just looked at their site.. I didn't realise that Maggi was them! wow. Boycotting is a good idea.. but I love my Milo

  9. #45

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    I think the article is intended to highlight the formula feeding side and a behind the scenes look at what terrible things formula manufactuers are doing. It's a bit of a mix of info from both sides, but I would think given it's not in a parenting mag but a health/political (if you can call it that) one, I think it's addressing those issues and not being pro anything? I think I have just confused it even more LOL... but I understand what I am trying to say!!!
    Kelly xx

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  10. #46

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    Bon, I interpret it to mean that they are highlighting not only the possible dangers of FF, but also their frustration at the tactics used by Nestle to find loopholes and undo all the work that pro-BF gorups are trying to do in the 3rd world and underprivleged/under-educated areas. To see it from their point of view it must be like walking around in circles, constantly repeating yourself - for every bit of headway they make in educating these groups of people, Nestle are right there behind them. if Nestle spend up to $20 (or pounds) per baby trying to get mothers to use formula, then they must lobby government to spend $21 IYKWIM? And I say this as a Mum who did FF (and to explain why is unnecessary). I am not pro this or anti that - but I am for what ever is best for babies.

    It would be naive to think that many of the governments in the 3rd world are not corrupt, who would gladly take kickbacks and incentives from companies to encourage use of their products because governments control the hospitals where babies are being born. Yes there is legislature in place to ensure correct labeling and advertising, but they find another way around it.

    I assume that like most groups, Pro BF ones are seriously underfunded and just can't do as much as they would like to go to these places, not only 3rd world, but in 1st world where there are many underprivleged mothers and give them the tools to be able to successfully feed their children. And not only that but to change social perspectives of BF.

  11. #47
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    Re the shock tactics (the baby in the bottle ad), psychology studies have shown that the scarier the message, the less willing recipients are to follow the message. Remember the grim reaper commercials for AIDS? All the shocking smoke-and-this-awful-thing-will-happen-to-you ads? They don't work.

    Positive information is the way to go, not to scare people or put them on the defensive

  12. #48

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    I don't think I would go so far as to boycott Nestle, because I really don't think that would stop them, but I think they should be beaten at their own game and the extra support given to the health groups trying to change the problem and attitudes of people.

  13. #49

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    This may be true, Sal, but guess what? My mum called this morning to say that she read some of the article (just the big headlines and the pictures, no doubt, she has no patience for anything else) and didn't realise that FF had so many downsides. Hey, if it changed one person's mind, I'm happy!

    But it's true, in developed countries like Australia, positive messages are definitely the go. But while my mum could have gone the other way and dug her heels in, I believe she truly wants what's best for her grandkiddies, so is willing to admit she's wrong since it came to that. She didn't believe me, but she believed the article!

    BTW I found out my MIL has boycotted Nestle for years due to this issue! Looks like I'm going to be giving up my Milo!

  14. #50

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    But the whole putting them on the defensive - it is our own emotions that do that. It's known that when we feel threatened or cornered we become defensive. I don't think that article attacks formula feeders, rather the companies that make them, the lack of support, education etc. I had an induction and an epidural, and even as a Birth Attendant, I don't look back on that and feel defensive and that I put my baby at risk and I was weak. I think, I was in a tough situation, perhaps I was not as informed as I would have liked, but I did the best I could in the situation that was presented to me in a moment of weakness and lack of support. I do not dwell that there was a risk I could have had a stillbirth as a result or other things - what happened happened, and I am just pleased that now I am much more informed and will do things differently next time. Sure there will probably be things happen that I don't expect and just because I am informed it wont make things run any smoother or perfect, but I know I will deal with it better and make sure I have good support to help me through.

    WoOoO hooOO Sushee!!! It's great when they open up about things isn't it? Not that she has to agree, but at least keep an open mind.
    Last edited by BellyBelly; June 15th, 2006 at 10:57 AM.
    Kelly xx

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  15. #51

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    I think one of the main reasons that in order to promote breastfeeding, the risks of formula feeding are highlighted is because by listing the benifits of BFing its sort of putting it on a level that may seem un achievable to some. But by normalising it & showing the risks of formula it brings bfing back down to a normal level. After all it is normal. Does that make sence?

  16. #52
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    FionaJill, I disagree with you (in the nicest possible way ) I think the pro BF lobby has decided to pursue the angle that FF is not really a viable alternative to BF rather than the angle that BF is the best, is the natural thing to do and *we* should all be getting back to that. It is just a promotional angle.

  17. #53

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    Who knows - perhaps I might ask a few what their angle is? But there is no point guessing, it's all open to interpretation really... so maybe I can find out some facts.
    Kelly xx

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  18. #54

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    I know ABA has taken on the "risks of formula" over "the benifits of breast"
    I will ask why they do it this way.

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