Breastfeeding – part of the circle of life.

[deleted account] ( 37 moms have responded )

Women have been breastfeeding their babies for centuries. The human race is built on breastfeeding. We have breastfed through wars, famines, poverty, disaster…We are strong!
So what has gone wrong? Why are women now saying “I’ll try to breastfeed and see if it works out” and “”I’d like to try but I’m worried my milk won’t be strong enough.” Why are so many mothers accepting at face value that their milk has “dried up” or “didn’t come in?
It seems that despite feminism, despite the fact that women have many more rights than they used to, we are losing confidence in our bodies.
It seems that despite feminism, despite the fact that women have many more rights than they used to, we are losing confidence in our bodies.
Let’s look at some facts. Yes, I said FACTS.
• Breastfeeding is part of the reproductive cycle. It’s not an add-on, or an optional extra.
• There is a very small percentage of women who can't produce enough, but this is estimated at less than 2-3% of women. As Dr Jack Newman says, when commenting on the myth that “Many women do not produce enough milk” “Not true! The vast majority of women produce more than enough milk. Indeed, an overabundance of milk is common. Most babies that gain too slowly, or lose weight, do so not because the mother does not have enough milk, but because the baby does not get the milk that the mother has. The usual reason that the baby does not get the milk that is available is that he is poorly latched onto the breast. This is why it is so important that the mother be shown, on the first day, how to latch a baby on properly, by someone who knows what they are doing.”

• Your milk cannot dry up of its own accord. Remember, your breasts are milk factories, not storage facilities. Jack Newman again, disposing of the myth that “Breastfeeding mothers' milk can "dry up" just like that” . “Not true! Or if this can occur, it must be a rare occurrence. Aside from day-to-day and morning-to-evening variations, milk production does not change suddenly. There are changes which occur which may make it seem as if milk production is suddenly much less.”

REASONS FOR LACK OF CONFIDENCE
• We don’t see breastfeeding babies and mothers as often as we used to. So it’s not seen as ‘the norm.’

• Big business – companies that produce artificial formula may indeed be providing a service, but don’t kid yourself – they’re in it for the money. And it’s BIG money. They generally have huge advertising budgets and, in many cases, their marketing practices are less than ethical. They (I’m generalising here) have a vested interest in producing the lack of confidence that leads to mothers deciding that they can’t breastfeed. And big business is so influential that many countries have not ratified the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes. http://www.unicef.org/nutrition/index_24...

• The big one – lack of knowledge. Foreknowledge is vital. Breastfeeding is natural, but it doesn’t necessarily come naturally. Many members of the medical profession have very little knowledge of breastfeeding, so advice given to the new mother is often based on inadequate understanding, or is downright misinformation. Very little, if any, accurate information about breastfeeding is provided in medical/nursing courses. Someone who is specially trained in breastfeeding information (such as a Board certified Lactation Consultant) is your best friend in this situation. Expectant mothers need much more than hope that things will “work out OK.” They need and deserve accurate knowledge. This is why it is so important for mothers to arm themselves with accurate information. Some very useful sites are: Kellymom, Australian Breastfeeding Association, Dr Jack Newman
So it’s time to take charge of our bodies, ladies! It’s time to say, my body can grow a baby, so my body can feed this baby! Don’t let ourselves be conned by big business and an inadequate health profession that should know better. We’re stronger than that!
SOME THINGS TO HOLD ON TO
• A newborn’s stomach is only about the size of a marble. Visualise it. Think about it. It doesn’t take much time to fill it, empty it, and be hungry again. If someone tries to tell you to wait a couple of hours before feeding again, roll your eyes, bite your tongue, and give your little one what she needs! Newborns NEED to feed often, sometimes hourly, sometimes half-hourly and for some it’s almost a continuous process!
• Bear in mind that in many cases, milk doesn’t “come in” for 5, 6, 7 days. Your milk may not come in till after you return from hospital. That’s fine – just keep feeding your baby that super-rich, super-nutritious colostrum. That’s ALL she needs till your milk comes in. Bottles of formula are not necessary!
• Know how to tell if your baby is getting enough breast milk – if he’s having 6 – 8 wet nappies (diapers) a day and is putting on some weight, even a tiny amount, he’s getting enough.
• Most importantly, get the latch right. This will enable your baby to suckle more effectively, and will prevent long-term problems with sore nipples. There are many great videos out there – go to YouTube and search on “breastfeeding ameda" (Ameda is a company that makes breast pumps. This is a brilliant video.)

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Shannon - posted on 05/30/2011

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also if you are having problems with breast feeding ask for help and don't stop asking till you get it.!!!

Brandi - posted on 05/27/2011

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My mother breastfed me & I am breastfeeding my daughter. I don't know how other mother's feel or felt, but when my milk first came in ... I felt like a goddess!!! It is a wonderful feeling knowing that no matter where you are if your baby is hungry you don't have to warm, mix, or fix anything you have built in bottles right there and can feed your baby right then and there. & if you’re in public do what I do, use a blanket or a cover up. It's natural. Before breasts were used to sell cars they were a form of survival!! :)

Anne-Marie - posted on 02/24/2013

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When I hear about people not getting the right help and advice they need in the beginning, it makes me want to become a lactation consultant! Very sad that moms miss out on this because of poor advice.

Anne-Marie - posted on 02/24/2013

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I totally agree that you have to equip yourself with the right information. I have breastfed both of my children, still bf my 8 month old. My saving grace was going to my my local La Leche League when I was pregnant with my first and just absorbing all the information available and seeing latch ons first hand, and getting advice from bf moms, it was awesome and totally recommended. If you have a local LLL, go!

Janice - posted on 04/17/2012

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Rhonda I agree! Unless a mother has a pre-existing condition that will make breastfeeding unsafe, all deliveries should be followed by a mother breastfeeding her baby. The hormones released benefit mom and the colostrum benefits the newborn.



Unfortunately breastfeeding may not work out in the long term but breastfeeding should be considered a natural part of giving birth. IMO

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37 Comments

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[deleted account]

At 8 my son has been sick only two times. We still have nightly feeds and he continues to be one of the healthiest in his class.

Summer - posted on 03/03/2014

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I actually have a friend who's baby passed away after never getting over a simple cold and she was formula fed. My other friend and I only breast fed and both of out babies never even got but one cold in their first year of life!!! My first child I was very young when I had her with no help and she ended up being on formula and she was sick ALL the time. She had constant ear infections and ended up having tubes in her ears. Difference between formula fed and breast-fed babies are like night and day. Formula does not have the antibodies that babies need. If you are able by all means please please please breast-feed or at least pump. Babies are worth it!

Sorelle - posted on 09/20/2013

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When I hear people say they didn't even try I just wonder why. I fought so hard to breastfed! It took me 3 months of finding all the knowledge and support I could to keep my faith. My son began bf at 10 exlusivley. I am the happiest women alive and feel a deeper faith in my own body than birth gave me. Im growing a human from my very human body! Keep posting! These kinds of "faith in our bodies" posts are what kept me fighting for thr best experince of my life!

Cevia - posted on 09/05/2013

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I just wonder if any older moms like 40 or older are going to breastfeed ? Im an older mom and just found out Im going to have another one . we are thrilled . I breastfed my ten yr old for 2 yrs . I m going to breastfeed this one too . My dr says that he sees no problem with me breastfeeding so Im doing it .

Aleyna - posted on 08/28/2013

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Personally I think it all depends on the situation. Babies are more tough than we give them credit for. Are there definite benefits of breast feeding? Yes. But sometimes that isn't the best option for that moms life situation. And those babies are just as healthy and bonded to mom :-)

Kiki - posted on 08/26/2013

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I totally recommend too! I breastfed both my kids:3 months my first one and 3 years the second one.

Kelsey - posted on 04/12/2013

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i would defo recommend to people to BF as it is so much better for them! my son is 11weeks old and he looks like a 6 month old baby he is thriving so well from it! i had always said throughout my pregnancy that i was going to try breastfeeding and from a couple of minutes after he was born i latched him on, his first day he wouldnt wake up to drink but i would keep trying as those who breastfeed know that its impossible to get them to latch on if they have no interest, but the midwife then said he needed to drink so gave him a bottle of formula because his sugar levels dropped she didnt even ask me if it was ook just went ahead and gave it to him, but i breastfed him after that bottle and ever since i am doing it, i know a lot of people say i tried it but its to painful yes it is painful but if you can go through labour then im sure you can put up with sore nipples for a few weeks to benefit your child.

Evergreen64 - posted on 03/19/2013

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why does that seem to be an aura that forumla fed babies dont bond with their mothers...

is this seriously the presumption here?

Evergreen64 - posted on 03/19/2013

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Hi my son was never breast fed and he is smart and healthy.

I didnt try to breast feed, he went on forumla and stayed on it and guess what-

HE HAS SURVIVED! He is 2nd yr at Cambridge...so he is by no means stupid. So u think he would be better/more intelligent/healthier had I breast fed?

Junia - posted on 06/02/2012

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BF is free
BF is easier (I am too lazy for all the bottles etc)
BF is best

Why would I mess with that?

Rhonda - posted on 04/15/2012

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Honestly I think it should be mandatory to at least TRY to breastfeed your child. It has soo many benefits for both mother and child! So we are required by law to have car insurance but not do what is best for our children?? Something is wrong there.

Cara - posted on 10/09/2011

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I was VERY lucky to have the support of family and friends to breastfeed. My husband also wanted me to BF as much as I did. I worried that I wouldn't be able to due to certain things from my past but I did not let those things stop me. With my oldest i only nursed for 10 weeks before stress got to me and i gave up, sadly..i must admit, i gave up. My youngest was BF only until she started solids and now eats solids and still is BF'ing. She is 8 months old. We plan to continue BF'ing until she is at least 1. Originally i said til 6 months but it was going great so we just kept on truckin! I was also very lucky to have one of the few dr's that didn't make some excuse or another as to why i should suppliment formula or anything like that. Both my girls have always been very healthy for the most part. It felt great having a dr that fully supported it as well!

Gill - posted on 09/05/2011

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I am in the UK. When my daughter was born she was tiny (5lb but full term) and extremely sleepy - she wouldn't wake up to feed and therefore wouldn't latch on. I was desperate to breastfeed but reluctantly gave her bottles initially on the hospital's request - they were very concerned about her weight and didn't want her to drop any at all (which she didn't). I was also very concerned that my colostrum was very red (perhaps blood tinged) and no one seemed to know if this was still ok to give her. When my milk came in I was determined to wean her off the bottles and on to the breast and with a lot of help and support from midwives and lactation councillors I managed to do it. Yes, it did hurt at first and I found it far from easy. My daughter is now nearly 12 months old and I am still feeding her myself - only twice a day now as she is eating three good meals a day and I imagine we'll be fully weaning in the next few weeks. I feel proud that my daughter has gone from the 0.04% percentile (only 4 in a thousand babies are born at this weight) to the 50th! I would urge any mum to persevere through the initial difficult stages... it is worth it (and actually easier and a lot cheaper than buying and making up milk!!!)

Jay - posted on 09/02/2011

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My mother was so strong to breastfeed 6 of us. Me and my sister are twins. 36 years ago in Ireland it was not the done thing and there were no rights for breastfeeding mums, so she had to just stay in with her babies for six months! I think this would have been so hard, As a new mum to be trapped at home! She breastfed my sister and I while my 4 brothers were young and my father was working in the US. Her family all lived in England and she was alone in Ireland! I dont know how she done it!
I am breastfeeding my 27 week old and loving it! But I love that I can feed him anywhere and not have to worry about rights, because I know I am allowed and that gives me the confidence to do it! Just wish he would take a bottle so I didn't have to be there all the time! :D xxx Well done all the Breastfeeding Mummas!! xxx

Janice - posted on 07/14/2011

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Kimi, wow!
More young women need to have your mindset. Congrats on making it work for you and your baby.

Kimi - posted on 07/14/2011

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I was sure I wanted to breastfed when I was pregnant... one problem I was 15. Everyone told me I shouldn't do it since I would be in school but still I would spend hours on the mechanics and myths even ranting to my bf about how ignorant people are. Then my daughter was born 6 weeks premature and only weighted 4 pounds which made it harder since when I would try she would get tired easily and frustrated so they put her on a feeding tube. I still was pumping every 2 hours religiously but I only had colostrum. After 2 days the doctors tired to scare both my bf and I saying that she was gonna starve if they didn't give her formula- reluctantly we caved. The next day my milk came in just find but she wasn't digesting the formula right so for two days we couldn't feed her anything then she was crying constantly cause she was really starving. When she finally started feeding and gain weight they sent us home they told me to use a nipple shield and top off with formula each time she would throw it all up so I stoped using it and everything worked out perfectly. Breastfeeding was great and easier then the bottle I also know it made her healthier when I went back to school out of all the teen moms I was the only one who even tried breastfeeding and everyone thought it was weird that during the day I would have to go pump. I successfully breastfed for 7 months longer then any teen mother I ever know I had to stop when she wasn't latching on anymore. Its sad how these fromula companies would sacrifice our childs health for money-but you would expect that from them. But the doctors who are suppose to help people have no shame when they get paid to pass out formula, trying to sabotage breastfeeding.

Breann - posted on 07/09/2011

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I work 60-80 hours per week and was told (by a lactation consultant!) that I would not be able to exclusively breastfeed. I was devastated. My mother nursed all four of her children. I co-slept, pumped diligently at work and made it to 17 months - no formula. I was so proud of my body. I felt like a warrior princess! I am now nursing my 9 month son and would not be surprised if we are still nursing on his 2nd birthday.

Marie - posted on 07/08/2011

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I wish I could help all new moms I know to believe in their bodies and their ability to breastfeed their babies, but I never seem to have any luck! It's so hard to convince those who say they will "try" because as we all know, should shouldn't "try" to breastfeed, you should "decide" to breastfeed. I was a 23 yr old girl when I had my 1st baby. No one in my family had ever nursed a baby. I had decided to do it and despite many problems in the beginning, including the pediatrician telling me to supplement w/ formula, I nursed that baby for 10 months. My next one fo 13 months, and now 10 yrs after the 1st, I'm nursing my 3rd baby indefinitely, at home, at the movies, the park, the restaurant, wherever he may need to be fed because that is just what we do around here. That's how we feed the baby and now my 10 yr old son knows what they're for!=)

Lily - posted on 07/06/2011

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I like this historical and thoughtful aside- it redeems that which we have been trying so hard to support (for all the moms who refuse) thank you for putting it together!

[deleted account]

Many women seem to be hard-wired to believe that they won't be able to breastfeed. That mindset really undermines women's confidence. Glad things are going well, Heather!

Heather - posted on 06/15/2011

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I'm so glad you posted this. When I got pregnant with my now almost 3 year old my grandmother kept telling me don't be disappointed if you can't nurse. I was very upset. I would just say umm, that's what my body is made to do I'm not worried about it. I hit one rough patch because she was early and didn't latch properly. But with a lactation consultant was able to nurse for 13 months. I currently have 8 week old preemie twins and although it's been insanely hard and exhausting, I'm doing it again! And every day it gets 10 times better! If you can just make it through the first 2 months it's so very easy to stick with it!!!

Shannon - posted on 05/30/2011

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i don't know very many moms that do breastfeed especially ones that make it past 6 months. my best friend who had her daughter 4 months before i had mine was told to supplement because her milk hadn't come in and it was day 4 or 5 already. and because her daughter had lost almost a whole lb. then she never produced enough milk after that. she tried several products to help her produce but said nothing really worked.

finally at around 4 1/2 months she stopped breastfeeding altogether. she said that when she was at work her daughter did not want to take the bottle from grandma and would search for the breast. so to make things easier for grandma and less confusing for baby she quit. its sad really but i do commend her for trying.

myself on the other hand now have a 7 wk old daughter and breastfeeding was hard in the beginning. it was painful for me and most of the nurses in the hospital weren't much help at all. i asked for the lactation consultant right away. i was not able to see her till the third day. i was lucky to have one nurse who was able to help me even more then the consultant who seemed to be in a rush. i was still in pain but it was getting better.

then on day 4 before we were released from the hospital the pediatrician had to give the ok. i was half asleep when she was talking to me and my bf was moving the car. i remember her telling me that my daughter had lost almost a lb but that was normal i also remember asking if she could come back when my bf was there because i was so out of it. she never returned and when i was released the nurse brought in some formula and said the pediatrician wanted me to top her off with it when i finished breastfeeding. i asked if i could talk to her so i could ask why should i do that if the weight loss was normal but she was no longer there.

so when i went home i called the local breastfeeding hot line with wic and just continued to breastfeed. when the consultant there returned my call she reassured me that there was no need to top her off. she scheduled an appointment and gave me several of helpful tips to till then. my daughter will be 7 weeks on wed and i am still only breastfeeding and i'm loving it. she has gained her weight back plus some.

my point being that breastfeeding can be hard but it is natural and its best for your baby so it is 100% worth it. what makes me mad is that the people who are supposed to, in fact it is there profession to help support and encourage you to breast feed and do what is best for your baby simply do not. they give the women the lack of confidence and the excuse to give up. its disgusting. and i'm sad for the women who listen to them and miss out on a wonderful bonding experience but even sadder for their babies who miss out on what is best for them.

Kobie - posted on 05/30/2011

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Well I am 23 anh i still breast feed my 14 month old. My mother breastfeed me and i didnt give it a second thought when i fell pregnant. It wasnt till i had my child that i realised what a bad reputation breastfeeding had, but i enjoy it so much. I feel sorry for all the women out there that never gave breast feeding a chace because they missed out on an amazing experience...

[deleted account]

Such a feeling of empowerment, isn't it, Brandi!

Janice, you're right - working mums have a whole new set of challenges to deal with! Keep watching this community!

Janice - posted on 04/22/2011

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I feel very lucky that I come from a family of women who mostly breastfed. As far as I know both my grandmothers breastfed and my mother breastfed me and my sister. And my aunts and some of my cousins did too. The firstfew weeks were tough but once we figured it out I was so happy I continued and didn't listen to those saying its ok to give up. I just stopped BFing my 17 month old. I will definitelt be BFing the next. I think a major challenge not mentioned in this article is working moms. I was home with my daughter so when my body stopped respoonding to the pump I just said oh well I am available anyways. With my next I am freaking out because I will only have 12 weeks and I fear that if I cant pump that of course my baby will get formula EW!

Tyrae - posted on 04/16/2011

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I fought to continue breastfeeding. My daughters latch was so horrible and because no one in my family breastfed they couldn't teach me how to do it. After 2 weeks of bleeding, cracked nipples a public health nurse came over and was surprised that I was still going strong. She told me that most other women would have given up by then. She taught me a proper latch and after 2 weeks of healing I was back to normal and 4 months later I'm still nursing my daughter. I love the fact that I have beat those "odds". Everyone told me I couldn't do it, family and all. Well I did and I'm proud of it.



One thing I do know though, my grandmother tried to breastfeed her first (my dad) and wasn't able to because for some reason her body was only producing water, she couldn't produce milk. I guess she was one of the very unlucky few who can't do it naturally...

[deleted account]

Yes, it's so sad to see women's wisdom vanishing, and being replaced b y this terrible lack of confidence in our own bodies.

[deleted account]

Our mothers' and mothers-in-law generation usually didn't breastfeed, so maybe we don't get much support from family. My mother breastfed me, but we were immigrants to the US. My mother-in-law doesn't understand breastfeeding. While she didn't outright discourage me, she repeated a lot of myths from her own generation (she had kids in the late 60s).

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