Generational effect on infant feeding choices

Merry - posted on 01/01/2012 ( 87 moms have responded )

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Third try here, com keeps eating my posts!

Affect or effect? Lol :)

So does your moms choice of how to feed her kids affect how you choose to feed yours?

Does a bottle feeding grandma undermine the success of her daughters attempts to breastfeed?

Does a breastfeeding grandma judge a daughter who bottle feeds?

My mom and aunt breastfed, I grew up seeing it was normal and it was an easy choice for me.

Now I know some women who were bottle fed but chose to breastfeed and sometimes their moms were happy or ok with it but usually I hear their moms reacting negatively.

Maybe they feel their daughter is implying they did wrong by bottle feeding?

And on the other side I've seen breastfeeding grandmas totally upset if their daughter chooses to bottle feed.

Does our moms choices affect our choices?

Can they undermine our decisions trying to make us do what they did?

Does our choice greatly affect how our grandchildren will be fed?

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Jodi - posted on 01/02/2012

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"Sorry,laughing at that is in poor taste but seriously...it's very rare to not produce milk but it seems like every second person is unable to produce it "



And unfortunately there are those who laugh at, chastise, and denigrade (sp?) because of it. I am sure you know people like that, yes? People who, instead of trying to gently educate, decide to put them down, make them feel like they have done the wrong thing for formula feeding, tell them they are poisoning their baby and therefore, put them on the defensive, make them feel like they could have done better? Do you know anyone like that? Way to go.



Believe it or not, most women who are *unable* to produce milk, are unable to produce it because they need the right kind of help. I agree that it isn't necessarily about lack of milk, it is often about lack of knowledge, the lack of the right kind of support, etc. And people who *laugh* about it aren't helping matters. It's all good and fine for those of us in Australia to bitch at others for not breastfeeding, but in the US they have 12 WEEKS MATERNITY LEAVE. That's right, 12 WEEKS. NOT MONTHS. Now you tell me how a woman can possibly establish breastfeeding in that time? What right does ANYONE have to judge that situation?



And then, there are the women who actually CAN'T produce milk. There are a percentage of those too. Do you feel bad that MAYBE when you are laughing, that it might be a genuine situation?



Just saying. Feel good about yourself for laughing now? Pedestal, much?

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In the U.S. for a normal uncomplicated vaginal birth, most women get 6 weeks off for maternity, and for a C-section and major complications, it would be 12 weeks. By 6 weeks, many women, especially new moms, are barely starting to get the hang of nursing and figuring out how their body works. Plus around that 6 week mark, there is usually a growth spurt. So to think about the topic if generational moms offer guidance and insight, it's so dependent upon many factors. My mother didn't know how to help me as far as nursing, but after raising 3 kids, she knew my infant was HUNGRY. I had a 6 week old losing weight and just hovering around the 6 pound mark. It pained my mother to see such a tiny infant cry in hunger. It pained my mother to see her daughter struggle at feeding her child. While my mother still supported my efforts to nurse, she also started to see signs of post-partum depression because I wasn't the milk-machine that I expected to be. My mother encouraged formula so that my son could be nourished and to give my body a break from round-the-clock attempts to nurse. That was her way of supporting me because it was what she knew. Eventually, formula won-baby happy, mother happy, end of story.

I wasn't producing milk as Kel always points out that it is so rare. For 2012, I wish Kel would start to change to show empathy towards other moms and quit the holier-than-thou attitude because you were highly successful at nursing. Not every mother is, and it's highly degrading to those who genuinely did not produce a lot of milk.

Celeste - posted on 01/01/2012

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affect is a verb LOL So, you're right on how you used it :)

I do think that a bottle feeding relative (mom, grandma, sister) can undermine the success of other relatives. A couple of examples I can think of from my own experience:
-Grandma said that she couldn't produce milk and had to give my mom some kind of concoction. My mom also tried to nurse, but couldn't produce milk. However, I found that they were given terrible information for their doctors. My grandmother thought she couldn't because my mom was nursing often. And same thing with my mom, my brother was nursing often and the pediatrician told her she was nursing him too often (every 2-3 hours) so she quit. I've heard many times that new moms are afraid that they won't be able to nurse because their mom/grandma/sister couldn't, when in MANY cases, they were looking at the wrong thing.

-My mom gave me some outdated information that if I didn't know any better, I would've believed (she told me that I couldn't nurse if I had mastitis, and also, that my milk is a dairy product)

They did support my wish to nurse. But once we got past a year, then they reacted negatively..

Megan - posted on 02/14/2012

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my mom did not breast feed, said it hurt with me so she just did not try with my sister. with my first born i tried and like my mom it hurt. but with my 2nd born i wanted to try again. 5 and a half months old and still breastfeeding!! i think for me it was mostly the fact that breastfeeding does not cost anything. And how cute is it to see your child curled up feeding at your chest staring up at you totally content? aww

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 02/07/2012

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I was bottledfed, never ever learnt or heard about breastfeeding. When I had my daughter at 22, I chose breastfeeding. I breastfed her for 16 months and I was 35 when I had my son and breastfed him for 3 months (had to stop due to medical reasons). Come to think of it, no one in my family were ever breasfed but my children, inlcuding my DH and his brother. I did formula feed my son after 3 months but there was no choice. Although, 95% of the people I know breastfed or breastfeed, I am not sure though, if how they were fed as babies....



My mom road my ass all the time for breastfeeding my daughter too long, in her opinion, not long enough in mine (but my daughter was ready to stop).... I told her to get over it! ;)

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♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 02/06/2012

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I was bottlefed because my mom didn't have much of a choice- my brother and I were adopted. We both survived without any ear infections, hospital stays, allergies, excessive weight gain or whatever else. Aside from my brother sticking crayons in his ears when he was a toddler we were relatively normal.



I tried to breastfeed my older daughter and it didn't work out very well so she was a bottle baby. I have been breastfeeding my nearly 11 month old since day one and it's been easy except for the teeth.



I don't believe my mom reacted negatively or seemed offended. I believe it's just more that she isn't used to the idea of breastfeeding because she couldn't do it. When I mentioned gumming and now biting she just says well, maybe it's time to stop, you did better with Lilli than you did with Abby. I don't take that as negative, I take it as someone who doesn't know what else to advise.



My SIL bottle feeds and I don't know how she was fed. I think part of her choice was influenced by my brother who is weirded out by my choice. I respected him by bottle feeding at his house before I moved. But I did point out that he wouldn't run out of milk.

Jenn - posted on 02/05/2012

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My mom thought I breasted my babies too long, they nursed for 20 and 26 months. Even after three months, she didn't understand why I was so "determine" to breast feed. Wasn't it exhausting? Didn't I get tired of being so limited? What about my husband bonding with my babies? On and on. I just tuned her out. Especially when my sister couldn't breast feed her babies so she pumped. Well, that also brought on judgement and questions of parenting decisions by my mother.



I am glad I followed my heart. I still do and always will. My mother now tries to poke lemonade and gummy bears down my kids during our visits. I have to detox them when we return home :)

Momof1 - posted on 02/04/2012

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I never knew if I was breast or bottle fed (until I was pregnant and had my son then my mom told me I was breast and bottle fed.) But even before I was pregnant I knew I wanted to breastfeed. My cousin breastfed her son, but I am not sure how long. My sister exclusively bottle fed her two children. So as of right now, I am the only woman in my family (this generation or my mom's generation) that breastfeed (no formula) for over a year. I can say the same thing on my husbands side of the family as well. I am not close with my family, my paternal grandmother died almost a year ago and my maternal grandmother died before I was born. So I do not know how they felt. I know my aunt thought I was doing a great thing by breastfeeding and I know she breastfed, but I'm not sure how long.



I think that you have to be a strong woman to decide to breastfeed if all you have are negative people around or family members who did not breastfeed. I had family look at me like I was nuts for still breastfeeding when my son was 9 weeks old. I am sure as heck going to teach my son and if I have a daughter about all the benefits. I also think it just depends on the person. If my daughter said, well I'm not even going to try to breastfeed, I don't know what I would say. I would be supportive and I wouldn't try to pressure her, but I would ask her why she feels that way and just keep talking to her from there about both breast and bottle feeding.

Pam - posted on 01/30/2012

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I would read all the other posts but I'm kinda ADD right now, so I'll just answer the question. My mom did not breastfeed me for long (she was a working mother), I am a mostly bottle fed child...sigh. Alas!! I'm an avid and proud breast-feeder. Sometimes when I'm inadvertently enjoying the faces my baby is making and we canoodle while breastfeeding my mom makes a longing look and once said "I wish I breastfed you both longer, I think that's why you were colic, because I stopped feeding you" And she has said things like "I think you really wanted more breast-milk, you used to fall asleep sucking the air like it was a breast" So I'm mixed up with this question. My grandmother breastfed all 9 of her children, buuuut she also gave them condensed milk from a can... :-| my father was our stay at home daddy, he gave us some formula but mostly cows milk. Yupp, I'm okay too. I think.... All I know is, my kids are going to be far better off than I.

Suzie - posted on 01/27/2012

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one last thought here its not how we raisse our children because children turn out diffrent raised in the same fashion and and with the same parents. My sister is four years older than me cant keep a steady job drinks and parties like shes in her early 20 and has not want for children. I am 30 have gone to college and have a degree never have been a partier partly because of the distruction in her life and have two beautiful children and a wonderful husband. Yes we were raised in a horibal situation with a mother that never cleaned laundery that was piled to the roof and abuse mentaly we are two diffrent women today. I am not saying that i am better than my sister but i am saying that we are diffrant and at two extreams was this based on my parents maybe but i have seen this from the best of homes as well. As a parent i will give my children a clean and healthy home full of love and teach them my values but I can not promise that they will use them later in life as I did not and know my children are know as thing and it by there grandmother.

Shelley - posted on 01/26/2012

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My mother was bottle fed, she breastfed me and her mother was really supportive. I breastfed my daughters i would encourage them to try breastfeeding but if it doesn't work i will be their biggest supporter for bottle feeding. i really don't think it matters that much.

Deborah - posted on 01/26/2012

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When my daughter was born, she had a lot of trouble with nursing. SHe would latch on properly but then she would just sit there, kind of like a 'what do I do now?" issue. She was 2 weeks 6 days early (HOURS shy of being premature) so that might have been the issue. THe nurses told me she had to eat before she could leave the hospital, so I was pressured into using a bottle right away, the idea of going home without my baby TERRIFIED me.



So I expressed as much as I could with a manual pump, and they mixed it with 2 oz of formula. SHe ate, but we had a TERRIBLE struggle with breastfeeding. While I was at the store I Found Dr. Brown's baby bottles, they have a contraption inside that prevents the nipple from collapsing, they claim to reduce colic(never had a colic-y baby so I don't know if that's true or not) and it imitated the way milk flows naturally from the mother's breast.



After using that bottle ONE time, my daughter figured out what nursing was all about, and we were successful, until I 'gave up' in the face of not enough support.



I made the decision to breastfeed completely on my own, I knew my mom breastfed all of her kids, but that really had no influence on my decision -- I did research on how, why, and what breastfeeding was all about and knew that was the best choice to make for my little one.



I know I will encourage my daughter to breastfeed when she has children, and if she chooses not to nurse, I will encourage her to use a breastpump and still allow for a breastfed baby, but it is because of all the health benefits it provides.

Ania - posted on 01/25/2012

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I was mostly formula fed with combined feeding for the first 3 months. It was in the 80s. I chose exclusive BF because I did research on it and I was well prepared, maybe not during my pregnancy but when my son was born and we experienced difficulties. I researched A LOT and the more I read , the more it looke like I will BF forever :)

Maree - posted on 01/24/2012

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I agree with Jaime and Jamie....i think the way we are raised has a lot to do with it. Obviously it doesn't mean we will do EVERYTHING our mum did or agree with everything,sometimes we may do the complete opposite to them,but no matter what...what happens when we are kids still makes a difference to what we do in our own life in one way or another.



For example,my mum did her best and loved us kids but she was in a horrible relationship with my dad,he always scared her and yelled at her. They fought all the time and i was terrified he would hurt her. I would be so embarrassed when my friends came over and i swore that i would never subject my kids to that....i NEVER have !!!



On the other hand,my mum never worked while we were young.I am of the same belief as her, that kids are better off if they have a mum who loves being with them and where possible,finds a way to be with them full time and although i'm sure daycare doesn't hurt children...that they will be happier with a SAHM...a SAHM that WANTS to be with them,not one that is pressured to be with them full time. I only worked part time with my first baby and only because i was a single mum. With my second (10 years later) i haven't and won't be working at all.



That is my examples of being the opposite of...and being the same as...my mum and sharing v dissagreeing with her. Either way it had an enormous effect on me and on my mothering.



Same goes for bf-ing. My mum bf me for 2 years but not my 4 brothers and sister. She is very pro bf-ing even though she "felt" she was unable to bf 4 of her kids...(she was given the wrong advice). I think if i had grown up being told that she couldn't bf so i probably couldn't either,or if she had told me in the early days of bf-ing my son,that i should give up, he is "starving"(as my MIL told me) or whatever else,i may have taken her word for it...but she always said it would be better for him to be bf,especially as he had reflux,that he WAS NOT starving like others had said(she knew the signs,having 5 reflux babies herself). I needed her to tell me i was doing great and not to give up.I needed support but the last thing i needed was to be given reasons why i should give up...even though i'm sure she could have thought of many..

Jamie - posted on 01/24/2012

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I think it has more to do with the parenting practices you instill in your children.

If she specifically chose to formula feed and was against breastfeeding, then yes, I'm guessing it does.



I believe it is more the mother's view, rather than what she did with each child.



My mom weaned my sister at two months, I was born fourteen years later and was breastfed until six years.



Both my sister and I practice extended breastfeeding with our children. My sister said she saw first-hand the benefits i received breastfeeding as a school-aged child.



My mother was also an advocate of extended breastfeeding, and spoke out against the bad information she received in the '70s (when my sister was born) that made her feel forced to wean.



But there is a good chance that if my mother was not pro-breastfeeding that my sister and I would have bottle-fed. I could especially see it with my sons. A preemie born without a sucking reflex or a four-year-old adopted child? I'm sure I would think "Why bother?"

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i had wanted to breastfeed my firstborn but for one, she demanded the instant gratification that only a bottle could give since for another i couldn't produce much, and for a third i had no support from anyone except my husband and no one who could help me with production or calming my daughter down so she'd take to the breast. so i had many reasons that i had to bottle-feed.



as far as mothers and such go, when i mentioned that i wanted to breastfeed long before i had my daughter, i got mixed messages from my family and my husband's saying sure, that's healthy for the baby, but would i be able to do it since none of them could? they all said it hurt or it tickled and they didn't like breastfeeding. or were like my mother, who claimed she had breastfed me when she didn't have anything to do with me as a baby and left me with my great grandparents, so obviously there was no breastfeeding going on.



i certainly did not decide to bottle feed just because my family did. there were other issues forcing the matter. i hope that with this second child, though, i can try again and be successful.

Maree - posted on 01/24/2012

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absolutely...they just don't know that telling a woman to give the baby a bottle IS NOT fixing anything. They think it fixes things but then if the child starts getting sick or developing allergies,or the woman feels like a failure and gets depressed..they don't know what to do. Many times it's preventable just by having the conversation early on.

Suzie - posted on 01/24/2012

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I would also add that a lot of mom decide and never talk to there partner and there for they go with the flow till theres a bump and then they try to fix it not knowing how. ( I Love my husband But they do think Diffrent they are the Fixer and protector) .

Maree - posted on 01/24/2012

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Suzie,my husband was the same. We had long talks about how badly i wanted to breast feed...before our daughter was born,so i knew he would be very supportive. We did lots of research on the benefits and he was well aware how important and beneficial it would be to breast feed,both for me and the baby.I bf my first child for 18 months(not my husbands child)so i knew it was hard,especially having a reflux baby.



It was very hard the first few months with a reflux baby once again,mastitis,nipple thrush....i had told my husband no matter what,do not let me give this baby formula,i knew if i began to suppliment...it would be the beginning of the end. If i could get through the first few months i would be fine...i was alone with my first child so with a supportive husband this time i knew i would be ok and it should be a little easier.



Although there are some women who don't produce milk or have some sort of medical contition that prevents them from bf-ing,i agree that most can bf if they want to badly enough. If they don't believe that it is very important then they will not see it as a failure...i personally would be feeling guilty for a long time if i had given up/failed..or whatever you choose to call it. Giving up was simply not an option so i just had to suck it up and suffer for a while...i am so glad i did and so proud of myself.



I think it's one thing to have a husband that is willing to help...but in my opinion it is also something that needs to be discussed in depth BEFORE the birth,if bf-ing is something that the woman really wants to do. I think men want their wife to be happy and well,they don't want to see them suffering needlessly and when they see that happening in the early days and weeks after the birth,they are likely to say "come on just put the baby on the bottle,don't feel guilty"...this is fine i guess but he is probably not aware of all the benefits and whether or not the woman desperately wants to bf.When she is in the frame of mind where she feels like she just can't do it anymore,she will usually believe that her husband is right and that it's best to give formula.If the baby is screaming,people think it's hungry...they are usually wrong. No one wants to see a baby suffering but many times they need to find out what exactly is going on before switching to formula full time. Men don't know things like this,family members as well...they mean well but they sabotage bf-ing efforts sometimes. So what i'm saying is that if the husband is aware of what the woman wants then he should do all he can to ensure that she is as comfortable as possible,reasure her that she CAN do it,cook,clean,get them to a baby clinic or doctor if necessary...whatever...anything he has to,to not give her a reason to give up. I personally would never have given up...no matter what...but i understand that many women are struggling so much that as soon as their husband(or anyone else) tells them they would be better off to quit...they do,cause i guess they don't have the motivation to keep going and are convinced that formula is necessary.



I know i'm rambling now but i just can't stress enough that these things NEED to be talked about and a plan needs to be made,the bf-ing rates would be much higher if the womens ideals are made clear early on so that the men and other family members know what to do to help...

Suzie - posted on 01/24/2012

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Kel



my husband was my suport but there were times with my first i wanted to stop because it was just to hard there were sleepless nights in tears and held my hand and said Hunny you can do this simply I think most failures come from the lack of suport on the front we need it most our Husbands or partners. with my second it was easy and only had one sleepless night and that was a growth spurt :)

Deborah - posted on 01/24/2012

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No, it doesn't. My mom fed us healthy foods when we were kids, but I was still a picky eater. It's only been in the last few years I like to have a tomato on my subs (but only subs, not hamburgers..weird)





Depending on how old the 'new mom' is, I can definitely see the 'grandma' having an influence over her decisions regarding diet and nutrition. Young mothers, like teen mothers, or moms who live with their parents are definitely going to have that influence. If the new mom is strong enough to put her foot down and make her own decisions, she might take her mother's opinion as simply advice.



My mom breastfed, and supported my decision to do the same, but I didn't have any 'help' from her... I moved back home to my mom's two weeks after my daughter was born, and even though she SAID she supported me, I had no help from her (she wouldn't help me shoo people out of the room so I could nurse(*I felt bad kicking my dad out of the room*), she wouldn't taking my daughter for ten minutes while I finished pumping, if I took a nap and my daughter woke up, instead of using expressed milk in the fridge she would give her a bottle of formula...)



So they can, it just depends on circumstances. I like to think I eat healthy most of the time, although I could use more fruit in my diet. so influencing my children to eat a varied and healthy diet isn't a bad thing, and that influence will likely spread to her children. If an obese woman sees the errors of her mom's ways regarding diet and nutrition, she might use that as motivation to change her child's eating habits, as well as her own.



It can happen, but it's not set in stone.

Amy - posted on 01/24/2012

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How my mother fed me has no effect on my decision to breastfeed, I honestly don't know if I was formula fed or breastfed but I would probably lean dowager formula. It's not that I don't value my mom because I do but I am my own person and was raised to be independent and think for myself. I chose to breastfeed without discussing it with everyone, it was something my husband and I talked about.



I have since found out that my grandmother breastfed and she's been very supportive but again I made the decision on my own accord. I don't judge moms that use formula, I've supplemented with it because I work full-time. I think as with any decision a mom needs to do her research and decide what's best for her and her family!

Amy - posted on 01/24/2012

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How my mother fed me has no effect on my decision to breastfeed, I honestly don't know if I was formula fed or breastfed but I would probably lean dowager formula. It's not that I don't value my mom because I do but I am my own person and was raised to be independent and think for myself. I chose to breastfeed without discussing it with everyone, it was something my husband and I talked about.



I have since found out that my grandmother breastfed and she's been very supportive but again I made the decision on my own accord. I don't judge moms that use formula, I've supplemented with it because I work full-time. I think as with any decision a mom needs to do her research and decide what's best for her and her family!

[deleted account]

My mother didn't care what I did as long as I kept the baby bed. She was breastfed but bottle fed because she didn't want to breastfeed. When I had to stop nursing, she was a great help learning how to use a bottle.

Stifler's - posted on 01/24/2012

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Effect is a noun affect is a verb :)



My mum was most upset that I bottle fed. She's also ignorant and didn't have the problems I had. There was no way to "perservere" when I couldn't even stand the kid being latched on my nipples were that fucked. My family and Damian's mother are the main reasons I am depressed.



My mum breastfed all 4 of us for a year. Damian's mum bottle fed all 3 of her kids. I haven't experienced judgement for wanting to breastfeed or for bottle feeding rfrom anyone but my mum.

Maree - posted on 01/23/2012

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Suzie you are right...it takes a lot of determination to succeed (depending on the person of course)...some more than others. Support is great but doing it without support and struggling through take a lot of guts

Ashley - posted on 01/23/2012

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I was bottlefed, I don't judge my mom as she was the sole worker and my dad was stay at home, and she was never a great milk producer, she DID BF my older sister b.c she was able to be with her. I BF all 3 of my boys still currently my newborn, my mother was my biggest supporter.

Suzie - posted on 01/23/2012

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no we make our own choice if we fail then we find resons to fail blaming grandma or mom. My mother and her mother bottle feed there children my sisterinlaw bottle feed hers. Simply because they were more concerned about having there body to thereself all of the other 14 children born in my family were bottle babys all my cousin bottle feed and blame there moms our whoever but i have nursed two wounderful children. my children never had formula and i work full time to help suport my children my daughter nursed till she was 22 months old and my son is still nursing at 17 months. its a choice and you have to be detrimend to make it happen

Suzie - posted on 01/23/2012

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no we make our own choice if we fail then we find resons to fail blaming grandma or mom. My mother and her mother bottle feed there children my sisterinlaw bottle feed hers. Simply because they were more concerned about having there body to thereself all of the other 14 children born in my family were bottle babys all my cousin bottle feed and blame there moms our whoever but i have nursed two wounderful children. my children never had formula and i work full time to help suport my children my daughter nursed till she was 22 months old and my son is still nursing at 17 months. its a choice and you have to be detrimend to make it happen

Jodi - posted on 01/05/2012

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Laura, my twins are Aurora and Dalilah and full of moxy. Either one of them would keep our hands full with their personalities...but they tag team us with their mischevious ways! lol My eldest has occasionally, and still ocassionally asks to nurse for a bit. Obviously this is for emotional reasons, but I'd say she's nursed about a half dozen times since the twins were born. As long as she feels the need or desire to, I won't turn her down. She'll be 3 this March!!!! lol

Sylvia - posted on 01/05/2012

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@Janice, totally! I met so many people whose "support" did a 180 at some totally arbitrary deadline or other :P I'm not sure it's totally their fault, though -- several mums have told me in all seriousness things like "Our paediatrician says breastmilk has no nutritional value after 6 months" and "My doctor says I have to stop drinking milk while I'm breastfeeding because DD/DS is lactose intolerant" D:

@Jodi, my situation was a bit like that too, except that my ILs *claim* to be supportive of breastfeeding while actually being totally the opposite :P (Disclaimer: when I say "ILs" I mostly mean my SILs/BILs and their families; DH is the youngest of 4 and his mom, who likely would have been more supportive just because she was a totally nice person, died 4 years before DD was born :(.) Almost everybody in DH's family starts out nursing, but quits for one reason or another by 6-8 months at the absolute latest. The one exception was DH's nephew's (now, alas, ex-) wife, the public-health nurse, and I think even she thought nursing past 12-18 months was pretty weird.

@Aleksandra, I reckon my grandmother was sabotaged in the same way. She tried to nurse my mom (born at 4 1/2 lb in 1941) in what was then the approved manner -- on a schedule -- and when it didn't go well, her uncle the doctor immediately said "You don't have to do that just because your mother did [with her 10 kids!!!!]. Just give the kid a bottle already." So my mom was fully FF and grandma didn't even *try* nursing her next 2 kids. She was a WOHM -- an RN, assisting my grandfather in his medical practice -- so maybe it was a help to her, I don't know. But the bad medical advice people used to get, and alas still get, about the physiology of nursing is just appalling. Can you imagine if patients were routinely given demonstrably incorrect, outdated, booby-trapped, and/or inappropriate advice on any other medical question, how incensed people would be?

Aleks - posted on 01/04/2012

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I was not breastfed, I was bottlefed ( mum reckons her milk never came in with me - personally, I believe, she was totally booby trapped).

She was happy for me to breastfeed, but she had many misinformed notions that would have undermined my ability to breastfeed if my confidence in it wasn't so strong and having had so much more information about it than she ever did. Also, lucky for me I did not encounter any hard problems in my breastfeeding with both my children, so I guess that also helps. Mum and I are quite close. But I must say, that if my daughter (if she chooses to have children) decides to bottlefeed for non-medical issues I think I would be quite disappointed.



***Edited to add: It is EFFECT (as she wrote it) and not AFFECT.

eg: we want to affect something to get the desired effect (ie, result). :-)

Merry - posted on 01/04/2012

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Jodi I can't believe your twins are a year?, wow! I re,ember talking to you just recently it feels while you were pregnant.
What are their names? I remember a thread on name issues for the twins :) and did your older girl return to nursing or was her weaning final?

Jodi - posted on 01/04/2012

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My grandmother breastfed all 12 of her children. My mother breastfed all 3 of us, her sisters (except a few) breastfed their kids. As we got older, my cousins breastfed, my sisters breastfed...and when it was my turn, there was no thought behind it. I grew up with it, breastfeeding was how you fed a baby. Then my in-laws got involved. Don't get me wrong, I love my in-laws, but completely opposite family histories on feeding. Formula all the way! One day in my first pregnancy my MIL asked me, are you going to bottle or breastfeed? I had never thought of it, it was the weirdest question to be asked! Obviously, my family was super supportive, knew just what to say, when to push, when to back away...and when to bring me some freakin' chocolate!!! lol My in-laws (who we visit on a weekly+ basis) always asked if I wanted them to prepare a bottle, that they had done up a spare room in the basement for me to nurse "out of sight" (I honestly think they were trying to make me more comfortable, not trying to be insulting or unsupportive.) But they accepted that I was breastfeeding and my MIL would tell her sisters that I was breastfeeding and seemed proud of me. So it was all good there. Until we hit 6 months...and then a year...and then the support kind of ran out...like nursing had expired and we should just quit. I mean, nursing was new in general...but extended nursing?! This was a new ball of wax. Then we hit 20 months and being pregnant with twins I had to stop. My twins turn 1 this month, and my in-laws, while supportive, I think are still trying to come to terms with walking babies who still nurse. My family is so supportive.

In short (ok, that was REALLY long), yes, family has a HUGE impact on a woman's choice to nurse...but not her ability per se. I can honestly say, if my in-laws had been critical or outright, purposefully unsupportive of me, visits would have been limited to time between nursing sessions, not very long. But that's me. I agree with other posters, the more serious impact is work. I am fortunate enough to be a stay at home mom, so that has never been an issue.

Merry - posted on 01/04/2012

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Yes Janice it sure is surprising the 'levels'of support from breastfeeding moms.
Most common I've heard are,
Up til 6 months, up til teeth, up til a year, up til they walk, up til they talk, up til 1.5, up til 2, up til preschool, then I've heard even fine up til 5-6 but anything beyond is gross.
Lol
Then there's as long as you do it in private, or covered.
So many stipulations you have to wonder how they all claim to be fully supportive of breastfeeding!

Janice - posted on 01/04/2012

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Before I had my DD my one cousin really encouraged me to breastfeed. She breast fed all 3 of hers but all less than a year. Well my family threw me a surprise shower for DS and I was saying how I was so excited to learn to breastfeed in my new Ktan. This same encouraging cousin asked how long did you breastfeed DD and when I said 17 months I got the most disgusted look ever. Funny how even the breastfeeding supporters can turn on you! Lol

Sylvia - posted on 01/04/2012

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Heather, my ILs all thought I was insane when DD was still nursing at a year. (My oldest SIL, for instance, loudly declared that she'd weaned all her kids when they got their first tooth.) When she was still nursing at 3 ... I just figured it wasn't their business. Should the topic ever come up, and provided she's not around to hear whatever obnoxious comments they might make, I think I might enjoy making their heads explode by revealing that she actually didn't fully wean until she was four and a half >;^).

Bonnie - posted on 01/04/2012

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Nope. It didn't effect my decisions. My mother didn't breastfeed at all and neither did my MIL. I breastfed my first child for 11 months and my second only for a couple of weeks due to health reasons, but I will certainly try to breastfeed again with this one.

My mother didn't really care that I breastfed. I do remember that every time I was having trouble or I got an infection, so tried to persuade me to stop, but it had no impact on what I wanted to do.

Krista - posted on 01/03/2012

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My mom breastfed both my brother and me, and had always told me how easy, natural, convenient, and wonderful it was. She never understood why anyone would formula feed when it's such a nuisance to make up bottles, when you could just whip out a boob instead (this seemed to be the selling point for her...more so than better nutrition...)

I was totally convinced that breastfeeding was best and expected it to go just as smoothly for me as for my mom. It didn't, and after poor latch, bleeding, cracking, mastitis, thrush, and finally learning that my son was lactose intolerant, I gave up. I felt horrible about it, but my mom was really supportive of my decision and told me afterwards that she was relieved that I had quit because she hated seeing me so upset (I pretty much spent the first 6 weeks of my son's life crying). So, I suppose my mom's choice definitely influenced mine, but I'm glad that she was still supportive of my decision switch when things weren't working out.

Merry - posted on 01/03/2012

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I didn't even get the 6 weeks by law! I had only been working there a few days short of the cut off to be legally protected for those 6 weeks so it was only cuz my manager 'allowed' it that I got job protection for 6 weeks!
Thankfully I was a part time employee and I only had 5 3 hour shifts a week so breastfeeding wasn't too troubled but if I was a full time worker it would have been awful!

Vicki - posted on 01/03/2012

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I'm always appalled when I read about maternity leave in the US. Breastfeeding, and well, mothering in general, must be so difficult in that situation. At six weeks my son still felt brand new. He had a growth spurt and we spent an entire day in bed, just feeding and reading a book. I couldn't have contemplated going back to work at that stage.

I'm in Australia. As mentioned we get 12 months unpaid and money from the govt. Employers can choose to offer more. Mine paid for 12 weeks and you could take up to 2 years altogether (the rest unpaid). I took my 12 weeks plus 5 weeks leave I'd saved at half pay so the money lasted more than 6 months. Once we were approaching a year I didn't feel ready (I do 12 hour shifts including nights and ds was barely eating solids at that age) so I extended it to 18 months. By 18 months he and I were much more ready, no bottles of any kind were needed as even though he was and is still breastfeeding he just goes without while I'm at work. I only pumped once during my shift for my comfort and after a few months I didn't even need to do that.

Lady Heather - posted on 01/03/2012

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I don't really know. My family is generally supportive of anything in these matters. I was the first one to ever not be able to breastfeed though and to be honest I think it really hit me hard because I had never considered the possibility given how normal it is in our family to breastfeed. Thank goodness it worked out the second time.

I think there is definitely more judgment with extended breastfeeding. My family is good up to 2 years old, but past that I bet I'd get some comments from a few of them. I'm guessing my inlaws would think it was weird past a year.

Jodi - posted on 01/03/2012

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"Jodi -- you have 12 weeks of maternity leave if you have been working for your employer for 12 months and work full time. Otherwise, you are lucky to get 5 to 6 weeks in the US. I had a c-section and was forced to return to work at 6 weeks."



Thanks for clarifying Rebecca (also on the number of employees), I wasn't sure on the exact detail, but I knew the 12 weeks was a best case scenario.



Here in Australia, you get 12 months unpaid (but you DO have to have worked for that employer for at least a year), and 18 weeks of that you get minimum wage maternity leave pay from the government. A situation like that makes it MUCH easier for a women to establish breastfeeding. It has been 12 months here as far back as I remember (and my oldest is 14). The paid part of the maternity leave has only just come in, so it will be interesting to see if breastfeeding rates increase with its introduction because woman are more likely to be able to afford to take the time off work.

Sylvia - posted on 01/03/2012

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Whether it's 6 weeks or 12 weeks, it seems completely inhuman to me. I remember 6 weeks -- that was when DD started to get control of her own head and nursing finally started getting easier (also I learned to nurse lying down, OMG what a lifesaver!!). In no way, shape or form was I ready to go back to work, and I still remember how appalled I was when I first learned that 4 months is considered a *long* mat leave in the US. (12 months is relatively new here in Canada -- it was extended from 8 months in about 2001 -- but 4 months' leave is a relic of decades past here.)

I actually have wondered whether US maternity-leave policies aren't part of a vast right-wing conspiracy to keep mothers out of the workforce ... but that's probably just me :P

Janice - posted on 01/03/2012

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My apologize on the mis-information Rebecca. I did know that if you didnt work for a certain amount of hours prior to leave that FMLA didnt apply but I thought they still had to hold your job for 12 unpaid weeks despite company size.

[deleted account]

Janice -- it's absolutely not true that all women and men can take up to 12 weeks after the birth or adoption of a child. You are guaranteed 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the FMLA if your employer has more than 50 employees, you have worked for 12 months for that employer, and have worked more than 1000 hours during that 12 month period. If you work part time, have worked less than 12 month, or work for a non-covered employer, you are not guaranteed any leave. Normally, your leave would be treated as a general disability leave under the employer's disability policy, which will give you approximately 5 to 6 weeks of leave. At the employer I worked for during my first pregnancy, if you hadn't worked for them for 12 months, you were given 6 weeks leave, regardless of the type of delivery. If you had worked for them for a year or longer, you were entitled to 12 weeks unpaid leave, but they strictly limited you to 12 weeks. I was put on bedrest at 32 weeks and delivered at 38 weeks, so I "lost" 6 weeks of post-birth leave due to being on bedrest. As a result, I had to return to work at 6 weeks post-partum. The United States is the ONLY developed country that has such weak maternity leave policies. In the vast majority of other countries, maternity leaves are paid and extended, sometimes up to 2 years. I agree that your work situation is often the biggest factor on whether a woman continues to breastfeed. I know the day I arrived back at work, there was no place for me to pump, even though I had called two weeks before and spoken to human resources about having a secure place to pump. They turned the pumping room into a storage closet in the two weeks before I returned to work (personally, I think my boss just didn't want me wasting "his" time pumping at work).

Janice - posted on 01/03/2012

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Oh and concerning the US law on maternity leave - ALL women and men can take up to 12 weeks leave after the birth or adoption of a child. Their job must be held for them. However, most of the time this isnt paid leave. In NY if the company is large enough you get compensation wage for 6 weeks (vaginal) or 8 weeks (c-section) which is not your whole salary. Many women must financially go back after that time. I think that is a bigger influence on how a woman chooses to feed her child than her mother's input. Basically, if pumping doesnt work out your screwed!

Janice - posted on 01/03/2012

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I know for me my mothers choices did not have a huge influence. I am close to my mom but typically I dont go to her for advice. She breastfed my sister and I for less than 8 weeks each.

Before my DD was born I said I would try to breastfeed but I wasn't dead set on it. When I talked to my family (mom, MIL, aunts, cousins) they all agreed breastfeeding is great but don't stress it because .... then I got all the stories of why them stopped after a short time. However, the fact that majority of the females in my family did breastfeed for at least a bit meant that I wasn't "fighting" anyone or defending my choice from the get go.

When DD was born I suddenly felt that breastfeeding was the only way and it was through support online that I made breastfeeding work.

However, I am still the weirdo in my family since I never gave DD formula and I breastfed till she was 17 mo. I'm pretty sure 6 months was the longest for any of my family.

Although I'm unsure how long for my grandma who passed before I had children but my mother always said she was against the norm for her generation and breastfed.

I am constantly dispelling myths about breastfeeding with my family. If I wasnt so strong willed I could have definitely been swayed by my mom and MIL to give up in those first tough weeks. Also if I listened to my family I wouldn't have gone for as long.



I truly hope that my DD and my DS wife will breastfeed. I will definitely be there with all the support and info. If breastfeeding didnt work out I would still be supportive too as long as they tried.

[deleted account]

This isn't a scientific survey obviously, but it's been my experience that most moms that formula fed seem to really encourage their daughters to breastfeed if they can. Most of them seem to feel bad that they had problems breastfeeding and want to help their daughters do things differently.



I didn't have the luxury of having my mother around when my children were born so I can't comment on my own personal situation, but I know my mom (who BF all 3 of her kids for 6 months (me) to 1 year (my siblings) supported my sister in her struggles with BF, but also encouraged her to quit if it wasn't working for her. My mom also frequently commented that women who breastfed in the 70s were treated as freaks. My grandmother and aunts were very supportive of me nursing as well as supportive of us receiving some donor milk. Apparently, my grandmother was a wet nurse and she says back in the day it was common for women to nurse each other's children.

Karen - posted on 01/03/2012

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I think that If I had lived closer to my mother when tring to BF my oldest son, I think we would have crashed and burned. My MIL was my biggest influence in getting going and sticking with it.

When My little guy was 5 wks old I went down to visit her and he nursed every few hours - normal. She was trying to convince me that babies shouldn't eat more than every 4-5 hrs and to give him water inbetween if I felt he needed more. Now that my sister has kids and she was also nursing, my mother has become a little more understanding and aware, I think a lot of people from the older generation had been given wrong info and it's only until the last 10yrs that we've started to see a change in how BF is looked upon. I have heard many times from my grandparents that BF was nutritionally bad for their babies, apparently that is what some of the nurses and doctors had been telling them. I am thrilled that now BF is acceptable and more the 'norm'. When I first had my oldest son 12 yrs ago it was a lot different. I think this change in society will effect people, not necessarily mothers or grandmothers.

[deleted account]

Jodi -- you have 12 weeks of maternity leave if you have been working for your employer for 12 months and work full time. Otherwise, you are lucky to get 5 to 6 weeks in the US. I had a c-section and was forced to return to work at 6 weeks.

Mary - posted on 01/03/2012

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Tara, my mother nursed my sister and I for over a year; we were born in 1970 and 1972. Like your mom, she did feel somewhat isolated in her choice; very few mothers did this in the 70's. Her own mother was supportive, but had no clue how to "help" her. My father's mother was a bit dismissive of it, although not overtly antagonistic. My mom was just a bit of rebel when it came to birthing and motherhood choices (she also had unmedicated births with us - again, not a mainstream option at the time). However, she was so passionately committed to these choices that it really didn't matter what the hell anyone else said to her - she was doing what she firmly believed to be best with or without the approval of those around her.

When my sister and I had kids, I don't think either one of us even considered for a second to not try breastfeeding. We had grown up listening to my mother singing the praises of it (not only was she an L&D nurse, but she was pretty active in LLL throughout a large part of my childhood). I have to say, she honestly never pressured either one of us. I guess she figured that we more than knew what she believed, but ultimately, it was up to each of us to decide what was best for us and our babies.

In answer to the OP...I think the degree of influence that preceding generations has on feeding choices varies widely from family to family, and with the nature of those individual relationships. Some daughters, like myself, grew up to be very close with our moms. Not only did I love her, but I think she was the absolute best mother in the world; of course I want to emulate her as a mother. Some of us grew up having shitty relationships with our moms, and intentionally chose to do things much differently with our own kids. Breastfeeding is only one of many parenting choices that can be influenced by the example of our mothers.

Erin - posted on 01/03/2012

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** Mod Alert **

I have deleted an offending post. Thanks to everyone who flagged it. Personal attacks will not be tolerated.

Erin - DM Mod

Johnny - posted on 01/02/2012

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My grandmother nursed my father. My mother nursed me. My aunts nursed my cousins. All until at least 6 months or so and some for a bit longer. Most people we know breastfeed, and that has been the case since I was a kid. I did notice it was not as common when I was babysitting in the early 90's. But otherwise, I have seen it all my life, it is the norm. Did not stop me from having a hard time and struggling a great deal. I had severe low milk supply and even very enthusiastic lactivists and LLL leaders I knew did not think I would succeed at breastfeeding because of my history. I did supplement until 5 months with formula, and I went on to nurse for 23 months. Lucky for me, the only people who really judged me or harassed me were on the internet. My friends, family, acquaintances and co-workers knew that however I fed, my goal was to do the best for my daughter. I think that is generally the case for most mothers, and if people care about the child's well-being, they will support the mother.

Katherine - posted on 01/02/2012

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Kel your comments toward mothers who are unable to produce are very hurtful!!!

There are so many reasons why moms cant breastfeed....I am one of those who tried and tried and tried...but couldn't. Reading your post actually made me cry due to the fact that my body was unable to provide the nurioushment my son needed and something that I wanted to do!!!

I am proud that I was able to brestfed for the 8 weeks that I did....It was HELL but I loved every single minute of it, and I still miss it terribly....and my son is now over 9 months old and I still cry when I think back to switching from nursing to ff'ing!!!

I spent many days walking/busing to see LC's both at the hospital within the first 3 weeks and then at different drop ins around my city....they all said different things.
- get your doctor to prescribe domperidom - it helps your milk come in
- your son has a upper lip that is tied (tied frenulum) - see a specialist to get it clipped
- you and babe both have thrush - use the violet stuff on both of you
- it's supposed to hurt
- you've got to much milk - go off the dom
- he eats all the time because he's so big
- get a nipped guard - it will help with the pain
- pump to get your milk going again
I heard it all, I saw many LC's and emailed the LLL's in my area MANY times......everything i did failed

My Issues nursing -
- low milk supply - the dom HELPED so much
- the pain - a tight frenulum on my son - I could live with it
- the eating all the time - my IUD dried up my milk
- the eating all the time - the LC told me to go off DOM!!!

Do I blame myself?
yes and no
- yes because I wanted the IUD inserted - was told it WOULD not affect nursing - it happens more and more each and every day to many unsuspecting moms
and No - becuase I was listening to the "professionals", some who gave me good info and others who gave me the WRONG info!!!

With my next child I will nurse him/her as long as I am able to....I will not see an LC (that is provided by the city but one that I will pay for out of pocket - hopefully that makes a difference) and I will NOT get an IUD!!!

Please watch what you say/type, your words hurt and sting

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