BF vs AF: I think they are all amazing mummies

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-05-2012
BF vs AF: I think they are all amazing mummies
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Wed, 02-29-2012 - 7:56pm

Whether a woman decides to breastfeed or not, I think she is still an amazing woman. What I feel is important is that she is informed and given advice on all of her choices.

In this post:

http://thesimplethingsinlife2012.blogspot.com/2012/02/simple-thought-on-breastfeeding.html

I discuss why I think all women are amazing mummies whichever method of infant feeding they choose!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-28-2011
Sat, 03-03-2012 - 2:51pm
I just wanted to add from my experience about guilt in hindsight. I took the prenatal classes while pregnant but the coverage on BFing was very scant. Time limitations played a large part but all I remember was three common holds and the many many benefits. So at the hospital I was very unprepared and uneducated. When DD was born, she was very mucusy (actually stopped breathing twice and turned blue and limp) and didn't like being horizontal in the three holds I learned about. She also would push my nipple out with her tongue so wouldn't latch. I started pumping, and we started finger feeding her to help with the tongue thing as well as keep her hydrated. I had no idea what to expect and so kept pumping and started using bottles, figuring I'd make a follow up with an LC to learn how to actually get this adorable little person near enough to my breast to latch without her screaming. Throw in a metrical emergency and injury to DH and my follow up to learn to BF was at week 11 pp. Luckily we had a very successful transition to breast and she's going strong at 11 months. I'm very happy with our BFing relationship but I do feel guilty about missing out BFing her as a newborn. No one has ever made any remarks to me about missing the early weeks but I feel like I could have done better for us. The regret I feel is internal and results from my feelings of being illprepared. Many people tell me that I did the best I could with what I knew at the time. I regret not knowing more and I regret not being sold on BFing until I got to experience it myself (I was ok with EPing at the time). Just my two cents
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008
Sat, 03-03-2012 - 6:02pm

Thank you for sharing. I find this inspiring, and it would be good for people to see stories like that. It would help them to realise that even if it does not work out immediately, there is still hope. Also, your own understanding that the delays you experienced in getting help were eventaully a source of regret and why this is.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2007
Sat, 03-03-2012 - 11:42pm
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I think it's worth noting that what we perceive and what is intended can be two very different things. Two analogies: first, the lighthearted one. I got a serious haircut last week. I cut about 17" off my hair and while it is not incredibly short (it is about chin-length now), my old hairstyle I had had for at least ten years. It felt very noticeable and weird to me. Later that day, I was due to go to my cousin's daughter's birthday party. I almost didn't go because I was so self-conscious about this haircut. There were probably 30 people at this party, 20 of whom are close family relatives (and who would obviously noticed I had had a major haircut). The only person who mentioned my hair was my mom, who went me to the salon. No one was thinking about my hair, although I perceived lots of people would. The second analogy is more directly relevant. When my son was born, he was not nursing well at all. We were getting in maybe one or two good nursing sessions in at first. We went to Target to buy some stuff (diapers and bottle liners, I think) and while we were there he needed a bottle. I insisted that my husband feed it to hiim and I tried not to make eye-contact with people because I didn't want them to know I was bottle-feeding my newborn. I just imagined they would think, 'Didn't she even try to breastfeed?' without knowing the struggle in which we were engaged on that point. I was horrified that I could still be nursing my almost-three-year-old but my newborn son was getting bottles (some of which had formula in them, at the first). For the first few weeks, until I was able to get him nursing more often than he was getting bottles, he got lots of bottles while we were out. We kept running out of things we needed so we were always at the store. And every time, I expected people were thinking horrible things about me or him or making assumptions our bf struggle. But in that time, I had nary a glance. Some people came to coo at the tiny baby (he was about five pounds when we got out of hospital), but that was it. No one said a single word. And I live in the state with the highest rate of bf initiation.
As such, I think so much of this is our perception, which is not often perfectly in-line with reality. We perceive we should feel bad about our decision, so anything anyone says on the topic comes across as judgment, one way or the other. I know because I've given lots of no-questions-asked bf support to people who, six months later, turn around and say that no one helped them and everyone was out to get them. I think in those early days, it is very easy to lose sight of the forest for the trees, and I think this goes along with that.




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Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Sun, 03-04-2012 - 9:16am

That reminds me - I recently went to a Welcome Baby shower for my new great-niece. I hadn't seen my nephew in years and had never met his wife before.

The baby was about 5 weeks old and during the party, mom went to prepare a bottle. No one said anything, but she immediately started to explain how she had tried to breastfeed but her milk didn't come in and baby was losing weight - born 3 weeks early at 5.10, down to 4.9.

Her doctor told her that since the baby was doing so well on formula to not bother to continue with breastfeeding. She exclaimed - "What doctor says that!?" She said she tried to continue pumping but was unable to get in a supply.

My husband volunteered that I led a breastfeeding forum online, and I had to remind him it was a debate forum, not a support forum. But she latched onto me, bringing up her experience over and over - and it felt like she wanted me to judge her.

When she brought up her inability to get any milk with pumping, I did tell her that not everyone responses to the pump and that while I had no trouble feeding my boys, I was never able to pump anything.

When we were leaving, she brought it up again, saying she wished she knew me when she was still trying. She started to say that she did the best thing for both of them, but she stumbled over her words and her voice broke. It broke my heart.

I just told her it was difficult to continue when you don't get the support you need with a small baby, losing weight, unable to pump and she went back to work at 8 days (and we are in Canada, with 1y maternity leave) - and I wonder now - did she feel judged?

I felt like I abandoned her, I could tell she felt sad about the whole thing. I would have loved to offer her advice. But I likely will never see her again, she lives very far away from me. So although I could have given her some ideas about relactating if that was something she wanted to do - I would not be available to help her.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-16-2010
Sun, 03-04-2012 - 10:59am
witch_power wrote:

That reminds me - I recently went to a Welcome Baby shower for my new great-niece. I hadn't seen my nephew in years and had never met his wife before.

The baby was about 5 weeks old and during the party, mom went to prepare a bottle. No one said anything, but she immediately started to explain how she had tried to breastfeed but her milk didn't come in and baby was losing weight - born 3 weeks early at 5.10, down to 4.9.

Her doctor told her that since the baby was doing so well on formula to not bother to continue with breastfeeding. She exclaimed - "What doctor says that!?" She said she tried to continue pumping but was unable to get in a supply.

My husband volunteered that I led a breastfeeding forum online, and I had to remind him it was a debate forum, not a support forum. But she latched onto me, bringing up her experience over and over - and it felt like she wanted me to judge her.

When she brought up her inability to get any milk with pumping, I did tell her that not everyone responses to the pump and that while I had no trouble feeding my boys, I was never able to pump anything.

When we were leaving, she brought it up again, saying she wished she knew me when she was still trying. She started to say that she did the best thing for both of them, but she stumbled over her words and her voice broke. It broke my heart.

I just told her it was difficult to continue when you don't get the support you need with a small baby, losing weight, unable to pump and she went back to work at 8 days (and we are in Canada, with 1y maternity leave) - and I wonder now - did she feel judged?

I felt like I abandoned her, I could tell she felt sad about the whole thing. I would have loved to offer her advice. But I likely will never see her again, she lives very far away from me. So although I could have given her some ideas about relactating if that was something she wanted to do - I would not be available to help her.

I suspect that what she wanted was for you to tell her it was ok, that she did the right thing, and/or that formula was fine.

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Sun, 03-04-2012 - 12:30pm
jessica765 wrote:
I suspect that what she wanted was for you to tell her it was ok, that she did the right thing, and/or that formula was fine.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2007
Sun, 03-04-2012 - 11:01pm
This is similar to an experience I believe I have shared here from the past. In case others haven't heard it, I went with my husband and daughter (then 5mo) to IHOP. The server commented on how cute she was, then asked if we were bf. We said we were. She then went into this long commentary about how she had a son who was 7mo and she had tried and tried to bf, but it didn't work. She probably went on for a few minutes while we sat there, captive, waiting for her to take our order. I don't ever ask a woman if she's bf. It will just come out in the conversation if we both have infants.




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Moderator
Registered: 05-02-2011
Tue, 03-06-2012 - 9:58am

I am fascinated by the judgement that gets laid out on both mom's who breastfeed and mom's who don't. I had a heck of a time breastfeeding my son, and went to hell and back to get him breastfeeding. My daughter latched on no problem, but I swore if she didn't want it, I wouldn't go through the stress I did with my first.

I think this blog post by Hannah Sung about her breastfeeding and forumula experience is amazing. It really makes me think about how I talk with my friends who are having babies. Just because I breastfed doesn't mean it's for everyone.

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Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Tue, 03-06-2012 - 1:32pm
CMKatrina wrote:

I think this blog post by Hannah Sung about her breastfeeding and forumula experience is amazing. It really makes me think about how I talk with my friends who are having babies. Just because I breastfed doesn't mean it's for everyone.

welcome

Welcome to the debate board. It's wonderful to see you posting here and I hope that you will stick around and post more often.

Thanks for sharing that article - it was an interesting read. I do believe there is not enough support for women who are unable to succeed with their goals, whose first choice was to breastfeed and for whatever reason it just doesn't work as expected.

I am impressed that she kept breastfeeding, even though she did have to suppliment.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Tue, 03-06-2012 - 6:01pm

>>A few days later, we learned he had

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