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18th March 2012 02:57 AM #1
This breastfeeding article makes me feel sad
I have been reading an article written for abc News entitled 'Breastfeeding: Balanced Idealism with Realism'.
I suppose that it's clear from the title that it is not going to be totally pro-breastfeeding but after reading this article it made me feel sad. How does it make you feel?
I really believe that exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months and then continued breastfeeding beyond this is the best start in life a baby can have. This doesn't mean I don't understand the struggles and difficulties breastfeeding can bring - I have known these myself only too well. The article brought back to me something my health visitor said when she visited me at home with my 3 week old baby. She said that, whilst exclusive breastfeeding is great, in today's society with the other pressures and needs we have it doesn't really work (to exclusively breastfeed) and giving a baby a couple of bottles of formula day doesn't make any difference.
I'm glad I didn't listen to her and sought advice from a Lactation Consultant which enabled me and my baby to establish breastfeeding. I wish I had experienced better support from my health visitor. I know breastfeeding isn't always easy and doesn't always even feel natural at first but it was made to provide a baby with what they need in their early life. Is this being idealistic, as the article suggests? I hope not.
18th March 2012 07:38 AM #2
- Join Date
- Jan 2012
Yes, it is a bit sad that someone would think that the breastfeeding message is "propaganda." I mean come on, it has been shown to be of a huge benefit and as you pointed out LJ, although it doesn't feel natural at first it is the best way to provide nurishment to our babies.
That being said, I can also understand the other side of the coin on this issue because I was only able to breast feed my boys for 4 weeks. My milk supply never fully came in and I had no idea how to increase it. The lactation specialists I had at the hosptial weren't as helpful as I would have hoped. Looking back I know that I probably gave up too quickly but I was sleep deprived, my hormones were out of wack, I was worried that the boys were getting enough, was frustrated and quite frankly felt like a failure. What mother can't feed her own babies, right? It was horribly emotional and I cried over it all the time. When I had my after visit I was told that breastfeeding is absolutely the best but if it was putting too much stress on me and wasn't enjoyable I should stop -- two weeks later after one of my boys ended up in the hosital to have hyernia surgery, I stopped. I do regret it and often wonder if I had only had one baby if things might have worked out differently. However, I know MANY Mums of twins who successful breastfeed until 6 months and well beyond that.
In the beginning I also felt looked down upon by breastfeeding mums who made it to the 6 month and beyond. Like, "Why couldn't you do it?" "Whats wrong with you?" "You didn't really try!" of course no one said those things to me but that's how I felt. Looking back I think it was my own insecurity, disappointment and guilt that made me feel that way -- no one else.
Though I wasn't able to breast feed as long as I would have liked I am very proud of those who can, those who fight through the chapped sore nipples, battle painful mastitus, and lose lots of sleep! You are my heros!!! What you do for your children is amazing and don't let anyone convince you that it's not -- I doubt they could anyway
Last edited by DoubleSunshine; 18th March 2012 at 07:41 AM.
19th March 2012 03:57 AM #3
Thank you for your comments on this. You absolutely should not feel guilty about when you stopped breastfeeding - I am in awe of you feeding twins for 4 weeks. I honestly don't think I could have done what you have if my first babies had been twins. You should feel very proud.
It's a real shame you didn't feel you had enough support though. I wonder if there are some breastfeeding groups exclusively aimed at the mums of twins out there?
I feel that proper breastfeeding support is what is needed to help all mums through the early stages. Both through peer support and through healthcare professionals. I hope that articles like the one I linked to above don't have a negative effect on new mums.
19th March 2012 01:09 PM #4
- Join Date
- Dec 2011
Double Sunshine - you have nothing to feel guilty for. Breastfeeding one baby can come with challenges, so two babies could definitely be challenging. It is sad that you didn't have the support you truly needed. When I hear mums say they weaned much earlier than they wanted too, I don't think anything bad about them. I think that it is sad that they didn't get the support they needed. I weaned early with one of my children and gave formula, which was due to emotional issues and not having the support I needed at the time (with breastfeeding).
In response to the article, I dislike it being made to seem as though breastfeeding past six months or a year is unrealistic. It is very realistic and very possible. The message needs to be for mums to get support, not to be put down or made to feel guilty, but to be given support at a time when they are overwhelmed, hormonal, and unsure of what to do.
20th March 2012 10:46 AM #5
- Join Date
- Jan 2012
Thanks LJ and Jessica! You ladies are wonderful
I agree, I think that the issues that do arrise have more to do with lack of support and not getting enough information. I also think it's ridiculous when I hear stories of mums getting dirty looks if they are in public breastfeeding! That makes me so mad.
I think for most women if they have a strong desire to breastfeed 6 months is probably very realistic but if there is a reason that they can't they shouldn't feel bad about it -- it's hard not to though. Guilt comes with being a loving caring Mum I think
I do hope that this and ohter articles like this do not discourage mums from trying.