Six Months of Breastfeeding Unrealistic for Many Mothers

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Six Months of Breastfeeding Unrealistic for Many Mothers
78
Mon, 03-19-2012 - 9:55pm

The recommendation to exclusively breastfeed for six months after birth is unrealistic and too rigid for many mothers, representing a clash between idealism and reality, according to a study published online March 14 in

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Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010

I struggle to understand - I guess that as long as formula seems an easier option, people will see baby's needs as not as important as everyone else's.

But then 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding sounds so easy to me - not because it was easy. No, not at all. But I exclusively breastfeed Josh for 18 months, and almost exclusively till 4.5 years - so 6 months sounds like a "walk in the park" in comparison! :D

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008

I wonder if some of the conflict is related to women who need to go back to the workforce soon, and this puts pressure on them.

I also wonder if some of the rpessure is the family pressure to be letting other family members take part in feeding the baby as if it is somehow an essential part of being a dad or a grandmother or whatever.

Also is some pressure from past illadvised practices? That older people still believe is the ideal because that is what they were told?

For a mother who is able to be with her child, even when there are other children, breastfeeding can fit in quite well. It is easier to pick up the baby and go, if you are going on outings, as there is no worry about taking food along. You can still be with older children while nursing a baby. I never used a sling, but I can imagine that assisting mothers especially with perma latch babies.

I guess if you see your life as going back to a similar level of freedom to what you had pre-baby, being able to easily go out without children and so on, then there may be an issue with breastfeeding in some cases. If you see that having children will change your life in many ways, and this is one of them, maybe it would be easier to go with the flow.

Teresa

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007

I don't see it as the baby being viewed

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006

Say baby's feed/sleep pattern doesn't work with the timing of older child's football training.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008

I agree that this is critical. To be able to go with the baby to places, and breastfeed the baby as needed. An older shild who is forced to give up outside interests altogether for a time could well come to resent the 'intrusion' of the new baby. Not a good outcome for anyone in the family.

I think that many babies are quite adaptable to going with the mother or parents wherever they need to go. A mother and a small baby should not consider that they are confined largely to the house because some sort of routine must be imposed, if they do not want to stay at home all of the time.

I've taken my children lots of places as babies, including on very long trips in excess of 24 hours of travelling time. I've also seen little babies taken lots of places.

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010

But do you not think that in 4.5 years of almost exclusive breastfeeding, his needs did not conflict with my family and my own needs? That there were not times that my older sons might have resented my time with him, or have my own resentment?

I still had to work and raise my family as a single parent, I still had to do for everyone - I know it isn't easy - and sometimes something has to give. I had my own juggling act, my own give and take to deal with. But I know that not everyone feels as strongly about giving breastmilk to their babies as I do.

As long as formula is seen as an easy fall-back solution to any problem - making sure that baby gets the biological norm will never have the importance as the way that baby is fed. If formula was not an alternative option, mothers and others would have to find other ways around these juggling acts.

Of course, there were other options back then too - pap, goats milk, wet nurses, etc. A mother has always had the choice whether or not to feed her baby - it is only recently that we have had a safer alternative in formula.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007

Yes, many babies are

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007

Sorry, let me correct that to "sleep routine"

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007

>>Of course, there were other options back then too - pap, goats milk, wet nurses, etc. A mother has always had the choice whether or not to feed her baby - it is only recently that we have had a safer alternative in formula.<<

I think back then mother's life would also have been more conducive to longer feeding.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007

>>But do you not think that in 4.5 years of almost exclusive breastfeeding, his needs did not conflict with my family and my own needs? That there were not times that my older sons might have resented my time with him, or have my own resentment?<<

I have no doubt that you did face these problems.

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