Why is it always all or nothing?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Why is it always all or nothing?
12
Mon, 05-05-2003 - 11:20am
Many, many times I have heard a reason for either quitting BF or never starting to be that it just doesn't fit into one's lifestyle (is too time consuming, can't leave baby with anyone, aren't able to pump at work, etc.).

So why don't more women do both (nurse and FF)? I certainly think it would be better for a baby to get SOME breastmilk rather than NO breastmilk.

Why does it seem to usually be an all or nothing decision?

Lisa C. and nursling Grant 8/8/02, 2 DA's

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Avatar for kfira71
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 05-05-2003 - 1:01pm
That's a really good question. For me, I stopped completely because I was afraid of getting another bad case of mastitis. But if the BFing doesn't have any of those complications, I'm not sure why someone wouldn't continue to do it "part-time." They do say that a woman's supply is supposed to match the baby's needs, so I would imagine it would be possible to do, say, one nursing session in the morning, and one at night. I'd be interested to hear other's thoughts.

A related question: When studies are done on BF vs. FF babies, is it always *exclusively* BF, or not? Have any studies ever claimed that there are definite benefits, even when an infant gets a mix of bm and formula right from the start?

~Kim

"Becoming a parent means agreeing to allow your heart to go walking around outside of your body."

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 05-05-2003 - 1:46pm
I always take the studies to be done on babies that are fed only breastmilk or breastmilk and solids (depending on the length of the study). Otherwise, how could they compare breastmilk to formula if both were being used?

I would imagine that an infant getting both breastmilk and formula would still receive more benefits than just formula alone. The baby would still be getting some antibodies and such that they couldn't get from formula alone.

I have also heard that when a mother starts to wean that her antibodies in her bresatmilk go up to compensate for less intake. I think that is just too cool!

Anyway, good question!

Avatar for cl_sunny_side_up
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Registered: 03-25-2003
Mon, 05-05-2003 - 3:56pm
Well, for me personally.....that's just me. I am an "all or nothing" kind of person. I ahve always been that way. I don't half-ass anything. And to me......partially ff and bf is half-assing it. I'm either going to bf or I'm going to ff. Period.

I gave pumping a really good try. I rented one of the industrial Medela ones. I sought the advice of a lactation consultant and even used one of those things formula things that hang around your neck and goes against your nipple so you still get the sucking action. I barely got anything out while pumping. It was very uncomfortable to me. It was time-consuming. I was practically hooked up to the bloody thing every hour. It sucked(no pun intended). So.....I gave up and went totally to ff.

I was told with my second ds that I could continue to pump milk and give bottles of formula till his weight had reached a good level. We're talking months of pumping. NO thanks. I just switched to formula. "All or nothing."



christine


~christine~

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 05-05-2003 - 4:49pm
" I would imagine it would be possible to do, say, one nursing session in the morning, and one at night. I'd be interested to hear other's thoughts."

in theory, yes it's possible, but I'd say only after 6 weeks (when lactation is well-established). In practice though, there's also the possibility of nipple confusion where the baby doesn't *hurt* the mom, the mom doesn't realize he's "confused" but he suckles differently and thus stimulates the mom less, and she makes less and less. It does happen sometimes.

"A related question: When studies are done on BF vs. FF babies, is it always *exclusively* BF, or not? "

No, not always. Some studies aren't clear on what it is, either. There was one recently talking about asthma being more prevalent in bf'ed kids than ff'ed kids. But they neglected to say that the "bf'ed" kids had almost all had formula in the nursery at the hospital, and a lot were not EBF'ed. A bit like AIDS transimission being greater in the mixed-fed kids than in the EBF or the EFF'ed kids, I can see that this could have a major difference in the impact.

"Have any studies ever claimed that there are definite benefits, even when an infant gets a mix of bm and formula right from the start? "

I don't know what studies say what on this front, but yes, I believe there are some ones that say that on "certain elements" (ie, say on the breastcancer risk issue) there are disadvantages to part-time formula-feeding, but even MORE disadvantages to full-time FF'ing (to word it differently. ;-)).

I know that we don't live in a society as dirty as the 18th century anymore here, and that the formulae are different...but I still think it is very interesting that in a Dublin orphenage in the 1750's, children who were NEVER bfed had a 98+% death rate, whereas in London in the same era, children who had ONE nursing session per day had only a 50+% death rate. That is saying a lot to me about the benefits of even SOME breastmilk, even if it's from a dirty time period. ;-)

Fio.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Mon, 05-05-2003 - 7:52pm
That is a very good question, Lisa - and something I wonder about often. I see/hear so many women who wean early because they have to go back to work & won't/can't pump. It seems that they don't even consider that they do have the option of nursing the baby when they are together & letting the baby have formula when mom is at work. Of course, there are exceptions where mom travels a lot & it isn't feasable, but generally speaking, those moms who work "normal" schedules should at least try this option, IMO.

Women's bodies are really amazing things. When nursing, it will adjust to the demands of your baby...so you will have milk when you are with your baby and s/he needs to nurse, but when you won't be nursing, your body will slow down the milk production so you won't be engorged during the regular times you would be at work. I also know most working moms who opt to nurse when home & offer formula when mom is working are able to nurse full time on the days she doesn't have to work.

I guess I can understand the SAHM who doesn't want to do both, even though I think that some bm is better than none. What usually bothers me is when I hear of moms who think they have to wean (or don't even try to bf) b/c they have to work & either don't want to pump or won't be able to pump. Maybe it is just me, but I see the logical solution to not pumping at work to be nursing when together & formula when mom is away.

I think partly, it is our society that feeds the "all or nothing" train of thought. You here "breast or bottle?" all the time - like it has to be one or the other & there is no middle ground. Maybe it should be "breast, bottle or both?" instead.....

Michelle

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Registered: 03-19-2003
Mon, 05-05-2003 - 8:06pm
Fio,

I'm not sure that your Dublin Orphanage vs London children study/analogy is a fair one. From what you've said, it doesn't take into account the socio-economic factors that will also contribute the the mortality rate. Even though the 18th century wasn't particularly clean/sanitary, I'm sure the children growing up in London had better living conditions & were fed better than the poor children in the overcrowded orphanages of the time - I'm sure there was lots of neglect happening that also contributed to the mortality rate. I don't think it is fair to compare the two with regards to bf'ing. It would be much better to compare the mortality rate of bf vs ff children from the same socio-economic background and living environment, so you eliminate some of the other factors/variables that skew the results.

Remember..."There are lies, damn lies & statistics."

Michelle

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 05-05-2003 - 8:41pm
Michelle,

Wonderful post!!! I agree with everything you said. And, yes, the human body IS amazing!!!

When I get my Lamaze Instructor certification this fall, I think I will add this subject to my curriculum. Breastfeeding vs. formula feeding is a topic that deserves attention. I feel that Lamaze should present the facts and let women make their own decisions. So I will absolutely present breastfeeding as the optimum feeding choice. I will definitely add that I encourage any woman who thinks they won't like breastfeeding to give it an honest try before making up their minds. And I will continue to urge those women who decide that they don't enjoy breastfeeding much or is difficult to fit into their lifestyle to at least breastfeed part time. I think it's just that important. I feel every baby deserves breastmilk if at all possible.

Anyway, I just wanted to say you wrote a wonderful post!!!

Lisa C. and nursling Grant (8 mos.), 2 DA's

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Registered: 03-25-2003
Mon, 05-05-2003 - 10:06pm
I was a BF/FF w/ DD#1. I had to return to work after the 3 month FMLA time I had. I was unable to pump hardly any milk at all, so I had to use formula while she was at the sitter's house. Unfortunately, she self weaned @ 8 months, so then she was on formula only, for the last 4 months. I did find it interesting (maybe coincidental) that after she stopped nursing she started picking up the colds that run through daycare, whereas she had not been ill at all up to that point.

Janet & nursling Sierra

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 05-06-2003 - 9:12am
No, i think you misunderstood.

it was comparing 2 *orphenages* with similar types of kids in both. In one orphenage no one got human milk. In the other, they got 1 wet-nurse feed per day.

Fio.

Avatar for luv_my_boyz
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2003
Tue, 05-06-2003 - 10:16am
I agree! I think another advantage to bf at least part time is that for working moms, coming home and nursing can be a really nice way to reconnect. I had to work with my first ds and night time nursings were a very treasured time with him.

I did only work part time- 4 to 5 hours per day and he was still exclusively bf (not the combo that we're talking about). This leads me to another point which is that if mom is working part time, the baby may adjust to going without nursing during that period and make up for it with more frequent nursing when he is with mom. Even though I pumped, he never would take a bottle when he was at daycare, he would just wait for me. He remained a big chuncky baby so this arrangement was just fine! I know this solution is not feasible with a ft working mom.

I do completely agree that doing both is an option to be considered if mom feels exclusive bf is impossible. But, she should be aware that this may possibly lead to nipple confusion (as Fio said) and/or early weaning. I think its definitely worth a shot though!

Danielle

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