Do breastfeeding moms really need to be told this?

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-01-2002
Do breastfeeding moms really need to be told this?
19
Fri, 05-17-2013 - 9:47am

Another blog.  This time by a woman who failed at breastfeeding and places "blame" on the "medical people," not herself.  She tried to breastfeed, but fell into post-partum depression because (?) she wasn't doing well breastfeeding.  Anyway, she would have been a power breastfeeder had a "medical" person simply told her 2 things: 1.) it's okay to use a little formula during the early days when the breastmilk has not come in, and 2.) a pacifier is okay and soothes a baby.

My question:  Do breastfeeding moms really need to be told either of these 2 things?  Do breastfeeding moms really need a Study to be told these 2 things? Aren't they pretty much common sense?

The blogger references a "study" ~ The study took 40 newborns who had lost 5 percent of their birth weight and whose moms' milk hadn't come in yet and split them into two groups. One got ELF (early limited formula). The other group was breastfed exclusively. When they checked back at 3 months, almost 80 percent of the babies who were given formula early on were breastfeeding exclusively. Forty-two percent of the moms who'd breastfed exclusively from the get-go were still doing so. 

http://thestir.cafemom.com/baby/155461/breastfeeding_moms_could_need_formula

Really?  A study to know this..."Medical" people?...Really?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006

>>If the milk has not come in yet, baby should be nursed more often, not less. Not have their bellies filled with heavy formula. Not giving mom's breasts less stimulation because baby is feeding from a bottle and/or pacifier and sleeping more.<<

Spot on!

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006

>>I have never heard or read of any health care professional who recommends that mothers with post-partum depression not have children subsequently. <<

Blow me over with a feather. We're on the same side on this one. :)

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010

I have to wonder if she meant Postpartum Psychosis, not PostPartum Depression?

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Mon, 05-20-2013 - 12:06pm

thardy2001 wrote:
<p><blockquote class="quote-msg quote-nest-1 odd"><div class="quote-author"><em class="placeholder">arryl</em> wrote:</div>If you have never breastfed before, and you are not surrounded by like minded people or anyone who has breastfed before, then no, I don't believe they are common sense at all. I tried to BF with my first one, my nurse at the hospital was horribly gruff with me, and I no idea what i was doing any my mother had not nursed any of us kids "because she didn't produce enough milk", I had no support and I didn't have any idea back then that either of these two things may help me. Now with my second 2, the middle one I did a ton of research and attended a BFing class before I had her to prepare and it was very helpful, and the second one I had enough experience. But no, I don't believe it is common sense necessarily. I suppose it would be common sense that if you are planning on BFing, to do the research ahead of time and try and get all the support you can, but that's a different thread...</blockquote></p><p>So you never heard the expression "until your milk comes in"? </p><p>Before my first, there wasn't this much on the internet about breastfeeding.  I had no breastfeeding support and I only read parts of "What to Expect..."  And I still knew of this expression.  Heck, <em>even I</em> can't go days without eating ~ I knew my baby could not suddenly go days without eating when she'd been "eating" for months.  I couldn't take that away.  So nurses or not, I knew I had to give the baby formula and stop when breastfeeding began.</p><p>If nothing else, when mom breastfeeds, the feeling that no breastmilk is coming out is there.  Great if you didn't have this issue ~ you wouldn't even need formula.  I had the feeling for days. </p><p>Frankly, I could care less that the blogger claims she needed "medical" people and a study to tell her these things.  I think she's disingenuous and shouldn't actually <em>blame</em> anyone or anything.  Formula is not the devil's nourishment.  The idea of placing blame where none is due is pointless.</p>

I actually had read What To Expect from cover to cover, at the time I was 17 and had no idea what i was doing, and I also starting leaking colostrum at 5 months along, so I did know and understand the concept of milk coming in.  My breastfeeding experience was "fine", but I was 18 when I gave birth, and went back to working and going to school full time after a weel, I didn't have the support to continue breastfeeding and trying to work/school and pump.  At that time, 18 years ago, it was not common practice, at least not in the community I was living in that i had exposure to.  As for feeding formula for the first few days until your milk comes in, again, I don't agree.  I never fed either of my second 2 formula while waiting for my milk to come in, as others have said, you feed on demand, and a baby's belly at birth is if I recall correctly, the size of a pea, or maybe a pecan, but nonetheless, it is taught that you feed on demand the the more stimulation your breasts get, it sends the message for the milk to be produced.  So your claim that a baby would go days without eating, is completely not true, if you are feeding on demand, even in the early days of colostrum, your baby is eating realistically every 2-3 hours, or even more, the colostrum that is intended to feed them adequately until the milk comes in.

http://americanpregnancy.org/firstyearoflife/breastfeedingoverview.htm

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-01-2002

arryl wrote:
  I actually had read What To Expect from cover to cover, at the time I was 17 and had no idea what i was doing, and I also starting leaking colostrum at 5 months along, so I did know and understand the concept of milk coming in.  My breastfeeding experience was "fine", but I was 18 when I gave birth, and went back to working and going to school full time after a weel, I didn't have the support to continue breastfeeding and trying to work/school and pump.  At that time, 18 years ago, it was not common practice, at least not in the community I was living in that i had exposure to.  As for feeding formula for the first few days until your milk comes in, again, I don't agree.  I never fed either of my second 2 formula while waiting for my milk to come in, as others have said, you feed on demand, and a baby's belly at birth is if I recall correctly, the size of a pea, or maybe a pecan, but nonetheless, it is taught that you feed on demand the the more stimulation your breasts get, it sends the message for the milk to be produced.  So your claim that a baby would go days without eating, is completely not true, if you are feeding on demand, even in the early days of colostrum, your baby is eating realistically every 2-3 hours, or even more, the colostrum that is intended to feed them adequately until the milk comes in.</p><p>http://americanpregnancy.org/firstyearoflife/breastfeedingoverview.htm</p>

Thanks for sharing your experience.  That was not my experience.  After the colostrum in 1 or 2 feedings, my children were not getting breastmilk for days.  I could feel it.  Instead, I breastfed on demand and then gave the babies a bottle of formula.  The bottles came back empty.  So, yes, my children would have starved for a few days.  I was understandably against that. 

And then I was able to easily bf each for a full year as recommended by then guidelines.  So, it all worked out.  I used common sense and didn't even know there were studies.  Interestingly, the only breastfeeding "support" I got by medical professionals, were the nurses who handed over bottles of formula after I "breastfed" on demand.  (Obiously, no breastmilk came out for a few days.)  That little bit of formula was likely responsible for my successfully breastfeeding each of my 3 for 1 year.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-16-2010

thardy2001 wrote:
<p>Another blog.  This time by a woman who failed at breastfeeding and places "blame" on the "medical people," not herself.  She tried to breastfeed, but fell into post-partum depression <em>because</em> (?) she wasn't doing well breastfeeding.  Anyway, she would have been a power breastfeeder had a "medical" person simply told her 2 things: 1.) it's okay to use a little formula during the early days when the breastmilk has not come in, and 2.) a pacifier is okay and soothes a baby.</p><p>My question:  Do breastfeeding moms really need to be told either of these 2 things?  Do breastfeeding moms really need a Study to be told these 2 things? Aren't they pretty much common sense?</p><p>The blogger references a "study" ~ The study took 40 newborns who had lost 5 percent of their birth weight and whose moms' milk hadn't come in yet and split them into two groups. One got ELF (early limited formula). The other group was breastfed exclusively. When they checked back<strong> at 3 months, almost 80 percent of the babies who were given formula early on were breastfeeding exclusively. Forty-two percent of the moms who'd breastfed exclusively from the get-go were still doing so.</strong> </p><p>http://thestir.cafemom.com/baby/155461/breastfeeding_moms_could_need_formula</p><p>Really?  A study to know this..."Medical" people?...Really?</p>

A "study" consisting of 40 mother/baby dyads doesn't impress me in the slightest. 4000 babies would be better. Then follow those 4000 babies for a whole year.

Those two things you mentioned that you think should be common knowledge are controversial among those who feel breastfeeding problems are best overcome with breastfeeding solutions.

This woman blamed her PPD, in part, because of her own inability to breastfeed the way she thought she should. That was apparently based on "the books" she read. Maybe she should have blamed the books! Although I don't know what books tell you that it's all smooth sailing from the moment of birth. 

Catherine did a great job explaining how tiny a newborn baby's tummy is. In a normal situation (I hate to use a disclaimer but I guess I should), the baby is getting PLENTY in the first week or two.  Whether you believe in God, or Mother Nature, this is the way we are built. Baby is born, mother makes colostrum. Baby nurses a lot (maybe the constant screaming is Nature's way of making Mom put the baby to the breast just to get some dadgum peace and quiet, lol!). The consistent nursing stimulate milk production just in time for the baby to begin needing more than just colostrum. If this is how Nature/God made us, why would a man-made product make it easier? Why should that be common sense?

Of course in those not-normal situations...well, that's why formula was invented, right? To help feed the baby when Mom cannot.

I'm not saying that breastfeeding exclusively is impossible after giving formula here and there so Mom can get a break from the crying. I am saying it's not common sense. But then, these days a woman has to look pretty hard to find someone in her circle who is knowledgeable about breastfeeding, so common sense takes a backseat to that new-mother panic. Why make mom panic about what baby is going to do "until her milk comes in" if there isn't anything she NEEDS to do?

I share your disdain for yet "another" blog. I try not to read many of them, to be honest. I'd rather read funny bloggers like Jason Good, than these whiny

Kevali


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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-06-2013

I think that the amount of women that are induced these days plays into how well their milk production is at the start.  Labor is started naturally by a barrage of hormones in the end of pregnancy that, loosen and soften the cervix, produce rich colustrum and many other subtle changes that all are designed to work wonderfully together.  Forcing your body into labor with synthetic oxyytocin may produce a baby but shorts out all the other changes that would normally occur.  It seems logical that some of those women May not have ample milk at 2 to 3 days after birth because their babies wouldn't have normally been born then.

Additionally, I think it is very poor advice to encourage bfing by giving them formula and pacifiers in the days following birth.  Common sense?  Nonsense.

I nursed all 5 of my kids for between 18 and 28 months and none received formula.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006

Welcome to the debate Mardi Gras mom! Hope you chime in again.

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010

Welcome Nolamama - it's great to see you posting here!

That's a good point - I wonder how much difference it makes to your milk production to be induced?

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