What is the minimum aount of time to give it when trying to BF?
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|Tue, 03-06-2012 - 3:26pm|
If you where asked by a mother wanting to BF how much time she should give to BF'ing when problems arise before she considers throwing in the towel what would you say to her? Assume here that we are talking about BF problems that are overcomable and not ones that would indicate clearly on that BF was a lost cause such insignificant glandular tissue in breast or some other issue that made BF'ing imposable or most likely impossible.
I sometimes hear from mothers who say BF'ing at say only a 2-3 weeks and I think to myself that seems a way to early given that the problems they described as having are not the kind that would make continuing to try and BF'ing as likely waste of time. I do realize that every mother has a different limit as to how much they can give to making BF'ing work, especially if they are dealing with severe BF issues but even so I do think that if you truly want to give BF'ing a good shot then there is a minimum that i would recommend you put into say at least 6 weeks, maybe more depending on the issue you are dealing with. I think that for some it may be advantages to consider at least continuing with partial BF'ing as I do support combo-feeding over completely switching to formula though i think exclusive BF'ing for 6 months is still the ideal to strive for. Now fo course if some mother feels she has has truly reached her limit with regard to BF issues before 6 weeks and couldn't take another day of trying to BF beyond that regardless of her chances of possible success or if she simply decides that BF'ing is not that important to her to justify working through her BF issue any longer then she has every right to quit BF'ing early. I do however think that some people fool themselves into believing that only giving BF'ing a few weeks or whatever was more then enough time to know they were not likely to succeed with BF'ing. Of course some moms just don't want to admit they gave up early becuase BF'ing wasn't that important to them and they simply did for that long due to pressure for their doctor, husband, friend, etc. Other give up so early becuase they are mislead into believing trying to BF any would have little or no chance of success or they are simply giving no support or poor support such that they are give up due to not having any solutions to their BF issues or the solutions they are given make the problems worse.
I think that for those moms that likely could overcome their BF issues if the just stick with it a little while longer, it would be very helpful if someone provided them with success stories from moms in similar situations who manage to overcome their BF issues and succeed. This would also help them see what kind of solutions worked for other moms.
There is another issue this brings up which we have discussed on this board before and that is when should a lactivist/BF supporter or doctor/LC/nurse/etc. thrown in the towel when it comes to BF support and stop pushing another mom to just stick with it a while longer. Where do you draw the line between encouraging mothers not to give up to easily vs pushing them to continued beyond that point they likely will succeed which could breed resentment? When I have offered support to moms trying to BF who had significant BF issue they where to overcome, I have tried to express that I believe there case is not a lost cause just yet while not making them feel like they would be horrible mothers if they choose to throw in the towel and declare this their limit as far a trying to BF goes. I usually try to convey that while it's ultimately up to them to decide how far to go with trying to BF, I believe that have a good shot at succeeding if they just give it a bit more time and then go into why I believe that.