Forum home You & Your Baby

Breast is best??

Hi ladies,

Just wondering if anybody saw this documentary and what you thought about it?


  • PeasnCarrotsPeasnCarrots Posts: 1,831
    Oh no way, I missed it, what channel was it on? I heard about it on the radio.

    Obviously I didnt watch it, but I think that there is too much emphasis on breast feeding and that if you are unable to breastfeed there is no help out there. You are left feeling like a cr*p mother because you arent giving your baby the "best"

    My boy was breast fed for a total of 2 days. I wasnt producing enough milk and he was one hungry boy so I put him on the bottle. *touch wood* he has never been to hospital, never had a chest infection, bad breathing, asthma, tonsilitis and is hardly ever ill, whereas my friends who all breast fed have poorly kids alot of the time. (Maybe thats because he got the colostrum for the first 2 days!??) I can still remember the look of horror on the other mums faces when I would go to the baby groups and tell them he was bottle fed "what, you DONT breastfeed?!?!" There was only him and 1 other baby in the group who were bottle fed and both slept through the night when the other mums were up every 2 hours image
  • JvLwithBabyBoyJvLwithBabyBoy Posts: 2,740 New bride
    i didnt see the programme either but i actually think its important to raise awareness about the benefits of breastfeeding and i do think women should try it. i know there are some that just dont get on with it or cant for some reason and thats fine but what makes me mad is people like a colleague of my husbands (she doesnt have kids and doesnt want any; is a very intelligent, educated woman) who said she cant understand why women today still breastfeed and that she finds it disgusting and we are not animals and should just use the formula out there because thats what its there for. i really want to bf my son when hes born and i do think breastmilk is best for babies so im hoping i manage. xx
  • cebpickle1cebpickle1 Posts: 6,786
    It was on BBC so you can catch on i-player, I haven't seen but want to. It is debating the issue on both sides I think. Also I am interested from a work perspective as I work with foster carers, some of who have the babies straight from the hospital and they are never breast fed
  • poppet12poppet12 Posts: 357
    I missed the programme too. Although I did a bit of breast feeding I switched to expressing. I combine feed my son as I want to know how much he is having. He has grown to be a healthy looking boy and maintained his weight and is above the 50th percentile in his weight since he was born.

    There is no magic formula and you need to do what is right for you and your baby. I give my son formula milk as his last feed, hungry milk by aptamil and found that gives him a good night sleep. He has been sleeping full 12 hours since week 7.5 - he is now 13 weeks old.

    Only thing now he wont take milk from my breast but am not worried, am still expressing and he is still getting my breast milk. He is happy and guzzles the milk! image
  • fruitpastille25fruitpastille25 Posts: 1,030
    I watched it. It was on BBC3 (may still be on the iPlayer MrsMcG2be)

    I have breastfed my 16 week old since birth and I have to confess in the early days I found it the most stressful, tiring and emotional experience.

    After an unplanned c section at 38 weeks I completely hadn't got my head into "mummy" mode. I had always just assumed that I would breastfeed as there is a huge amount of emphasis on it being "best" and had never really thought about not being able to do it.

    3 nights in hospital and we still hadn't got the hang of it and I was a total wreck. I found I didn't get the support I needed at the hospital and was in tears a lot of the time. Connie was only tiny to start with (5lb 15oz) so I was terrified I was starving her and she would lose even more weight.

    At this point my husband took charge and got me transferred to the birthing centre near home and I had a completely different experience. Because it was so small the midwives had more time and it was much more relaxed. Another 2 nights and we went home.

    She didn't gain much at first but has now put on 5lb in 16 weeks. After such a bad start I am still so paranoid and find it quite stressful at times.

    I did get in some formula "just in case" and tried her with it the other day and she flat out refused so I guess I don't have a lot of choice now!

    I live in a town with one of the lowest breastfeeding uptake rates in the country so here I am the odd one out! I would never judge a mum for formula feeding but they do say that even just a couple of days of breast milk can give a great start to your baby.

    Edited to add: She will take expressed milk from a bottle and has slept through the night since around 10 weeks image
  • mum2be2011mum2be2011 Posts: 1,172
    I didn't watch this documentary but I might try and watch it on iplayer. I do feel that breastfeeding is not something I would like to do, I come from a family of babies that were not breastfed and like others have said we were all perfectly healthy, maybe watching this programme will change my view on this as I do want the best for my baby. I am also very uncomfortable with the thought of breastfeeding in public and in front of a lot of my family members, not that I have a problem with anyone who does but personally I don't think I could do it.
  • mum2be2011mum2be2011 Posts: 1,172
    I've just watched this documentary and I can't say it's made me feel differently about breast feeding my baby. If anything, it may have actually put me off more so.

    I can't believe a man was drinking his girlfriend's breastmilk on cereal I think that is really weird. I also think it's weird that a mother is still breastfeeding a 5 year old, especially when he's shouting 'booby booby booby'.
  • poppet12poppet12 Posts: 357
    fruitpastille25 - try to give Connie another brand of formula milk - it could just be that. Doing a combination feed has worked really well for me and to help Connie gain weight formula milk will do the trick.

    When I started breastfeeding I was not producing straight away despite Thomas almost chewing my nipples off! The hospital finally gave him formula and from there I did combination feed and at the start gave him a majority of breast milk, now it is more formula as I am not producing as much but at least he still getting some.
  • NowMrsMNowMrsM Posts: 536
    You could also try mixing breast milk 50:50 with made up formula to gradually introduce the taste... But in the same way if you're happy breastfeeding and she's doing well then I wouldn't panic too much about it!

    Back to OP, this really struck a cord with me. I was very keen to breastfeed and Noah never learnt to latch on despite all sorts of professional input. I expressed 5 times a day for 10 weeks or so to get the supply he needed and experienced massive guilt when I gave up due to needing the time to play and interact with him. Looking back now- he's 14 weeks tomorrow- I'm glad I did it but I've got a gorgeous, happy, smiling, sleeping, 16lb biffa of a baby who isn't holding it against me... image

    Good luck to all who decide they want to give it a go, but I wish I could have let it go easier when it didn't work.

  • SteampunkbrideSteampunkbride Posts: 1,748
    I was so frustrated at having to defend my method of feeding.

    My son was born only 4 days early, so hardly premature, weighing at 6lb 13oz and coming in on the 25th percentile. He latched on and suckled for a few minutes after birth. We wanted to go home that evening and the midwives said that would be fine but could they see him feed before we went. Well, baby had been sleeping and I assumed that he would wake and cry when he was hungry. But the midwife woke him up and latched him on, and that time he didn't suckle. She told me their blood sugar can drop and they become lethargic, so she took a heel prick blood sample. It was fine. She fed him formula from a syringe with my permission as it had been 6 hours since the birth. They decided we needed to stay in overnight.

    During the night the midwofe woke us again and this time she tried to hand express for an hour and got nothing. Again, baby was fed with a syringe.

    Over the next 2 weeks I put him to the breast, he would latch, but he never suckled. From 2 days old he was bottle fed and I had been adamnat he would have been breast fed.

    My community midwife said I had done the right thing by offering him a bottle, it was easier to change my way of thinking than to force him to suckle. The midwives at the hospital may have been too impatient in trying to force him to feed when he wasn't hungry, but I don't think my milk had come in so baby thought 'why suckle when they will drip food into my mouth?'

    He lost half an ounce off his birth weight. Now 9 months old, he has never been ill, he is on the 96th percentile for weight and height, he is ahppy, healthy and I have bonded with him from the moment he was born.

    It annoyed me that I had to defend and explain why I was bottle feeding to FRIENDS who breast fed. I hate the 'breast is best' marketing campaign. I bottle feed my baby am I therefore not giving him the best? (one breast feeding friend had her baby lose over 15% of his birth weight and he ended up in SCBU, is that the best?). Breast feeding is free, convenient (as you don't need to sterilise bottles) and providing you don't smoke, drink or eat stuff that will upset baby's tummy, healthy. But it doesn't mean that bottle is bad.

    I was an avid suppoterer of the breast is best campaign, I still support those who manage to breast feed, great, if you can do it. But don't think those who bottle feed are not doing the best for their babies. I was sick of trying to talk to my friends about my guilt and frustration and in return all I got was 'well, I breast fed for 14 months with no problems'.

    And another thing, going slightly off topic. I wish they wouldn't moan about their saggy boobs 'my boobs are round my navel, but I guess it's coz I breast fed'. Yes, you did! You were lucky enough to be able to, it was your choice, shut up about it. As far as I'm aware there are no health benefits after the first 6 months of breastfeeding so complaining that your one year old is biting is going to fall on deaf ears I'm afraid.

    Sorry if I sound harsh, a lot of it is my own guilt still coming out. Guilt inflicted by the media.

    Bottle or breast, so long as baby is well fed, happy and healthy, that's what's best.

    (Sorry this was so long..)
  • DuddersDudders Posts: 1,659 New bride
    We will be TTC soon, but I don't know what I want to do yet.

    What I do know, is that what is best for a baby is a calm and happy mother - if mum is on a knife edge, baby will pick up on this. My biggest bug bear is how sh!tty women are made to feel about not breastfeeding - my sister tried it with her first, and it just wasn't happening, my niece was really upset because she was hungry so we got formula. What I begrudge is how crappy she was made to feel by midwives and other mothers, because she and baby didn't get on with breastfeeding.

    I will try it, and if it suits baby and me, I will breastfeed, but if it doesn't it'll be formula all the way. There are undoubtedly benefits in the early days but to make a woman feel like a second class citizen just because she or her baby can't breastfeed is wrong. Just like everything in life, it's personal choice. xx
  • PeasnCarrotsPeasnCarrots Posts: 1,831
    SPB My son was exactly the same weight as yours - he was 5 days late and I had to have an emergency C Section with him. On day 2 he was shaking ALOT and I kept telling the MW that there was something wrong but they wouldnt listen. Eventually they checked his blood sugar levels and they were dangerously low. He had some donor milk because he had been feeding from me from 2pm until 10pm solid (the nurses were aware of this) and then I was also expressing and hardly anything was coming out. The next day we gave him a bottle and eventually he was at a healthy level again.

    It sounds like some of your experiences and thoughts are very similar to mine. I dont feel guilty for not being able to breastfeed.

    In my area during pregnancy there needs to be more emphasis on teaching you things like how to change nappies, bath your baby, sooth them, teach them things, deal with teething etc instead of having 2 out of the 4 antinatal classes on breastfeeding, having a lady come round to your house with a knitted b00b to show you how to do it and then your MW to question you in every appointment about it. Its overkill and when you are in that delicate first few months after having a baby when you're just getting settled and your hormones are everywhere you dont need an additional unnecessary stress/worry x
  • mum2be2011mum2be2011 Posts: 1,172
    I agree that the media over emphasise the fact that breast is best and it is especially unfair on ladies who do want to breastfeed and can't as this will only add to guilt and as previously said it can't be good for a baby to sense an anxious mother. I know they say you bond better with your baby but I've never seen a friend or family member who bottle feeds their baby and doesn't have a great bond, bonding starts in the womb. So far I haven't been asked about breast feeding by my midwife and I'm dreading it because I know they are pushy. One of my friends went through a very long and painful labour with her little boy and he had to be rushed away as soon as he was born because he wasn't breathing and when I went to visit she was an emotional wreck as it was and this was made worse by very pushy midwifes telling her she had to learn to breastfeed, so not fair to do this if it's the mothers choice not to. I feel that if you discuss this during pregnancy with your midwife and you are adamant it should be in your notes and they shouldn't be pushing you after the delivery. Nobody should be judging if someone chooses to bottle feed x
  • LJ69ukLJ69uk Posts: 157
    im a nursery nurse in the maternity department so i get to see both sides. They recommend to try breast as the first couple of days is colostrum not milk and that helps pass your antibodies to baby. Some mums produce milk/ colostrum others dont it just seems to be the way it is. I always encourage to try but at the end of the day it is whatever is best for both mum and baby that is best in the long run. If baby dont feed in hospital then they will monitor blood sugars. Also if you really want to breast feed keep massaging the breast and trying to express as the more you do this generally the bigger the flow of milk you will get.
Sign In or Register to comment.