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Thread: Article: Suck On This

  1. #109

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    Hi all



    I wont go into the negatives of the article, as Kelly warned it may be offensive. I think statistically, it's important for some people that the info is out there. I do think there is a huge lack of education across the board when it comes to breastfeeding....and this includes lactation consultants who shouldn't be practicing, as they have a severe lack of education and lack of up-to-date information regarding problems that can arise during breastfeeding and ways to treat them. I do believe that breastmilk is best...no one can deny that...but, of course, it would be equally ignorant to assume that breastmilk is best for ALL babies. I think that people need to take a step back and approach with an open mind. In my experience of being around lots of new mothers, I've only met a couple who have chosen not to breastfeed. Most I know have breastfed, and a few have not been able to breastfeed. Not being able to breastfeed is very different to CHOOSING not to breastfeed, of course. Some mothers are on medications that will travel to the breastmilk - in this case, formula is safer for baby. Some mothers have huge psychological and emotional blocks regarding breastfeeding, and it is therefore not in the best interest of the child to be breastfed, as it isn't conducive to mother-child bonding, which is such an important aspect of breastfeeding. Other mothers (5%) physically cannot breatfeed, no matter how hard they try, their bodies don't produce the milk. This is an important point, I think. Breastfeeding is wonderful, magical, and perfect. Yes, of course. Women need more support when it comes to establishing breastfeeding. However, there are many people, including professionals, who don't know of the fact, that not every woman CAN breastfeed. There is a lot of literature on trusting ones body, and it will all work out, but, like everything in life, it will not always work out. Breastfeeding is taken for granted by so many people, who need to appreciate that there are a large number of women suffering terribly because, as much as they want to, they cannot breastfeed. We all need to come together and support one another. It is rare, I think, that one turns a "blind eye" to the breastfeeding situation. Definitely, it depends on social class...if you look at where a hospital is situated and their breastfeeding statistics, it's clear that the lower-socio-economic groups tend to not breastfeed, or stop breastfeeding earlier, despite the fact that formula costs a lot. I haven't written a thesis on the subject, so I wont even try to go into the numerous reasons why this may be so....So, more support for breastfeeding mothers, or those wanting to breastfeed, education starting BEFORE a woman is pregnant, preferably at school age, better education and further requirements for lactation consultants to prove their abilities, more awareness of breastfeeding, it's problems, and the facts regarding women who cannot breastfeed, more support for women who cannot breastfeed. Women often feel self-conscious breastfeeding in public (at least for a little while, anyway). However, most women who bottle-feed (and who cannot breastfeed), are cowering even deeper into corners in public, they are so ashamed and feel threatened by those around them, they feel they have failed their babies, and that they will be perceived as bad mothers. They haven't, had formula not been invented, their babies may not have survived (and certainly the majority of formula-fed babies grow up to have healthy, long lives). My summation - breast is best, there is lack of support around the board, not all CAN breastfeed, and there is a huge lack of awareness regarding this fact. Take care all, and happy feeding, whichever way you snuggle in with your baby and nourish them.

  2. #110

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    I think it's the general perception that breastfeeding is great "if you can do it" is what we are trying to tackle. Many women start out with the idea that its very difficult, and not everyone can do it.. and so begins their lack of confidence, which makes it so much easier to fall back on to formula feeding.

    A post earlier in this thread worded it wonderfully (quoted from the ABA I think) that breastfeeding needs to be perceived as "normal"... hang on.. will find it

    As an Association we now refer to breastfeeding as the biological
    norm, ie there are no advantages to being breastfed rather there are
    risks associated with not being breastfed........
    Artificial baby milk is not a breastmilk substitute. It is a greatly inferior product. Breastfeeding is not special.
    Special indicates something extra or harder work, not everyday or
    normal. Breastfeeding is everyday and needs to be incorporated into
    the everyday rather than seen as an extra.
    So the more we are out there promoting breastfeeding and making it the normal thing that it is.. the more general confidence there will be in breastfeeding.

    Of course there is a small percentage of women who simply cannot breastfeed, but I'd say in reality there's a lot more out there who believe they are of that percentage.. but aren't really.. they just didn't have the right support to get through the difficult periods.

  3. #111

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    I dont' want to sound argumentative.. but with the 5% that physically cannot breastfeed.. do you know if they were demand feeding or schedule feeding? My mum's generation didn't seem to succeed for long with breastfeeding.. not making enuf milk etc.. but they were schedule feeding.. so of course their supply is not going to keep up. I also know a friend of mine who was schedule feeding and by 6 weeks was told that she was starving her baby, but her boobs wouldn't have had a chance to regulate themselves to the babies changing needs! She of course then didn't even attempt to bf her 2nd.

    There's probably a lot of factors that contribute to these 5% not being able to breastfeed.

  4. #112

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    I believe that there are diagnosable conditions that exist and prevent women from breastfeeding like Liana has experienced, but yes it is a small percent.
    Kelly xx

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    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
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  5. #113

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    Ivana_baby, I completely agree with you, there is a real lack of support. It should be known that breastfeeding is the 'norm'. I think it's a shame that women who can breastfeed maybe don't realise it, and may have a problem that can be solved with good support. However, the 5% I mentioned is the percentage of women with a true physical inability to breastfeed, I think, along with a greater awareness of this, there needs to be information saying "go get diagnosed, don't make an assumption". That is a problem, because it makes it even more difficult for the mothers who truly cannot breastfeed. So, assuming this change is made, I do disagree that the word should only be "everyone breastfeed", as it alienates those women who cannot. I believe there has to be an awareness of the whole picture, otherwise we are hurting some women while helping others, and everyone deserves support. It's a huge issue when a woman cannot breastfeed, a huge emotionally draining and mournful time, and it's so important that these woman know that it's okay, that they are still normal, it is normal to have imperfections, that is what makes us perfect. In order to make breastfeeding more desirable to those who are simply choosing not to breastfeed, I think it's really important to focus on the positives of breastfeeding, not scare tactics that leave a lot of women bullied.

  6. #114

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    And in such cases I think the first point of contact should be an experienced LC who sees such things on a daily basis and has formal training, unlike MCHN's who often rely too heavily on how babies fit in with charts...
    Kelly xx

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    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
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  7. #115

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    So true, the diagnosis is really only involving the mother, as it's physical - a really good lactation consultant (i.e, not one that just goes, "I dunno") is the way to go.

  8. #116

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    Liana, thanks for the reminder to watch my words. Even though I know that there is a small percentage of women who genuinly can't breastfeed I still wrote that 'everyone can breastfeed' without thinking of the distress that this might cause to those women who can't. I've edited my post to read almost everyone

  9. #117

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    Just to add about the women who "can't" breastfeed - my SiL "had trouble" BFing and now FFs, adding solids at about 5m. However, right from birth she only fed in 3+hr intervals, not when the baby was hungry, then complained the baby would fuss at the breast. Made sense to me, has anyone else been hungry, then a few hours later just not been about to eat anything, or messed around with their food? I won't criticise SiL too much because this was the advice she was given from her health carers, but I do not wish to do this with my own child.

    I don't see how the real figure can be 5% - some women's milk does come in a little later than "as soon as you give birth" (yes, I have a book that tells me milk comes in the second the baby comes out), some women create their own problems, some women are on various drugs so BFing isn't a good idea... but 5% of women can't breastfeed, no matter what? To me, that sounds like some evolutionary dead-end that would have been bred out via infant mortality centuries ago. How many animals in the wild "can't" feed their children?

  10. #118

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    Quote Originally Posted by Liana
    However, the 5% I mentioned is the percentage of women with a true physical inability to breastfeed, I think, along with a greater awareness of this, there needs to be information saying "go get diagnosed, don't make an assumption". That is a problem, because it makes it even more difficult for the mothers who truly cannot breastfeed.
    I don't understand why being diagnosed with a problem makes it more difficult?

    Quote Originally Posted by Liana
    In order to make breastfeeding more desirable to those who are simply choosing not to breastfeed, I think it's really important to focus on the positives of breastfeeding, not scare tactics that leave a lot of women bullied.
    That says it all really.. the fact that there are a LOT of women who feel bullied by these campaigns, when really there should only be those few who have been diagnosed with a problem and understand why they are unable to breastfeed. They aren't likely to feel bullied because they know why they are using formula.

    It's a hard one because its such a sensitive issue, but the general perception of breastfeeding needs to change, and everytime we soften our pro-breastfeeding statements we help justify the use of formula where bf problems may have been overcome. If you were to ask women using formula how many of them think they were "unable" to breastfeed.. they'd probably all put their hand up, and it would be far more than 5%. People latch onto the possibility that they might not be able to breastfeed, so I kinda disagree that that 5% statistic should be promoted alongside the breastfeeding campaigns.

    Did that make sense? LOL.. I feel like I'm rambling when I try to explain myself!

  11. #119

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    Oh my gosh.. i can't keep up.. LOL..

    Ryn - re your evolutionary dead-end.. probably not bred-out of us because we used to use wet-nurses. So babies still received the correct nourishment of breastmilk. Unfortunately today's society is so riddled with infectious diseases.. there's no way I'd let someone else nurse my baby! Altho, I spose a sister or someone could.. would be hard to watch tho, coz the baby bonds with whoever it feeds with

  12. #120

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    But wet nurses were not the norm for most people - only the very rich, and only in the middle of the last millenium. This should have died out back in the dark ages!

    I do agree that the 5% statistic shouldn't be used though; it just seems to undermine the whole thing!

  13. #121

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    I dunno.. tribal cultures feed the babies too dont they? I'm sure people wouldn't have let a baby starve to death coz the mother couldnt feed it. In cultures that are very family oriented anyway. Maybe I should stipulate in my will that if something should happen to me, I request that my mother attempt to relactate before giving Tallon formula? (ewww LOL)

  14. #122

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    -Just a side issue but related to lack of support.

    Sometimes it isn't just the mother who choses not to b/f - I am fully breastfeeding Samuel (bigger twin) but the other twin due to being initally tube and bottlefed (EBM) for weeks refuses to breatsfeed. They spent 19 days in hospital and this has everything to do with it.

    Some premature babies just can't or won't breastfeed. In saying that I am trying everything including a nipple shield to encourage him. I am fortunate I can express for him. I have the time, family support and supply (other twin is helping keep it up). Though I can see if I had other children to look after it would make it very difficult. Plus very exhausting.

    Joel was just refusing point blank till I got shield yesterday -but still working on it .

    The cost to hire a good quality electric pump to express ($15 week) isn't much but for some formula would be cheaper -I am told ( I am ignorant about this cost or how long a tin of formula lasts).It took a few calls to find one and also get the double expressing kit (cost $82) - we had to travel to another area after ringing many chemists.I can see all these things hindering a mother with a premature baby, already stressed and recovering from early/traumatic birth.

    They tend to schedule feed premature babies too for medical reasons.This didn't suit Samuel at all and he wasn't feeding bottle/breast well ... so they wouldn't let me feed him anymore - his feeding regime was 2 nasogastric tube feeds (EBM) to one suck feed.So I was having a frustrating time getting breastfeeding established with only one to two chances to offer a breastfeed in 24hrs period. I didn't have opportunity to stay overnight once discharged. Joel was smaller and they didn't want to tire him so even though I had more chances to offer breast - he didn't take it much and they pushed comp feeds after a short try of breast (though again with EBM).

    They would have just given S26 if I didn't express - they didn't say anything to me about it being better for babies.I was luckily well educated and knew.Maybe they sensed this.

    At first hosp I wasn't even shown the expressing/feeding room (in postnatal ward) until 2nd -3rd day (overnight).I was still in the antenatal ward though.I was miserably and painfully expressing 2-3 mls colostrum by hand and a syringe - feeling like a failure.It was weekend so no lactation consultant.I was briefly shown how to use and left to it.

    The 2nd hosp had an electric pump right in the nursery thankfully - I just used it.

    Another young mum with a baby (born @ 34wks) started breastfeeding and was going really well. She and partner were even coming back in very night to feed at 9pm but by middle of 2nd week she had lost supply (while baby was still in hosp) and then decided on formula.I don't think she was encouraged enough by MW's to keep it going.

    Several times I had to wash and sterilise the equipment myself, - after another mother had used , left it 'dirty' waiting to be cleaned .The Nurses hadn't always the time to do themselves ... but they didn't have enough expressing sets. Obviously not well used equipment or so little demand!

    I can see a less educated mother giving up faced with this situation.

  15. #123

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    The evolutionary dead-end theory doesn't really work for me I'm afraid. It supposes that the reason that women can't breastfeed are all genetic and also caused by dominant genes. If all genetic conditions just came to a dead end we wouldn't have to worry about conditions such as CF, thalassaemia and sickle cell aneamia. In addition there are other reasons that women can't breastfeed that aren't caused by an inability to lactate. As Liana mentioned some women may have emotional issues caused by things such as sexual assault that make them distressed by the intimacy of breastfeeding, other women need to take medications which could be harmful to thier babies and I know of at least one woman who has been unable to feed from one breast because of a breast cancer operation. By acknowledging that a small percentage of women are genuinley unable to breastfeed rather than insisting that all women can breastfeed we can reduce the burden that these women may carry for being unable to do something that 'all' women can do. Also if we can point out what a small percentage is genuinley unable to feed people might be likely to reassess thier perception of thier inability IYKWIM.
    BTW DH was BF by his aunt - I think that there are still quite a few wet nurses around still only its less common in western cultures and also quite underground.

  16. #124

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    I'd be interested to know how the ABA tackles the issue of premature bubs and breastfeeding. I wonder if hospital "policy" is as bad in this area as it is for birthing?

    Dach - those emotional and medical issues you mentioned would fall into the 5% surely? If that's the case, it can be diagnosed and recognised as a genuine problem.

    I don't think it's so much insisting that all women can breastfeed, but rather not making a fuss about it at all.. as it's normal to breastfeed.. why is it ever questioned in the first place? It's like anything else.. it's normal to have 10 fingers, but you wouldn't quote statistics on how many people don't, and say, but don't worry if your baby only has 9. LOL - thats probably a terrible analagy.. but its what popped into my head

  17. #125

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    Trish, have you tried your own Lactation Consultant? An IBCLC is worth their weight in gold...
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  18. #126

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    Hi,

    I bottle-fed my DD after trying for a week to get her to latch on,I also cried when i had to buy formula and i know that if i were well informed and had help with my inverted nipples that i couldve done it.Well.....this time i will be doing my all to breast feed i have already gone into preperation,like educating myself and i even bought a product called a Nipplette for women with inverted nipples to help the nipple out.What made me the most sad is that when i was at the hospital with DD one of the midwifes told me ''WOW you have more milk than any woman on the ward'..shame your nipples are so difficult!!''...WTF? I thought that was a mean thing to say considering she wasnt helping ,she just kept telling me youll get the hang of it.
    Well this time god willing things will be diffrent,i strongly believe that a child should be bf till they are 2yrs old.
    I havnt read the article yet ,but i will soon.
    also i wanna know,If your BF and you fall pregnant ,do you have to stop BF?? i have been told that when u fall preggies that ur milk goes watery and is not nutrituos for bubs anymore.is there any truth to this??

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