Breast is not best, it's normal.

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Breast is not best, it's normal.

Post  KoJaq on Fri May 01, 2009 1:44 am

well?

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Re: Breast is not best, it's normal.

Post  Henri on Fri May 01, 2009 1:49 am

Elaborate?
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Re: Breast is not best, it's normal.

Post  EeeGee on Fri May 01, 2009 1:52 am

Hmmm. That doesn't seem to make much sense? Breast is normal?

Anyway....

I am a bottle feeder. I have epilepsy and I am not allowed to breastfeed because my anti-seizure meds are contra-indicated. So it's nothing to do with whether or not I am physically able or whether I chose to breastfeed or not. The decision was taken out of my hands. This happened when I was pregnant with DD1 2 years ago and now I couldn't imagine breastfeeding at all.

This time around I chose not to find out if my meds were on the "Okay" list because I was happy with how things went last time.

Whether breast is best or not, I don't know and I don't care. I'm sick of having it shoved down my throat all the time at every clinic/midwife appointment/etc etc that I go to and even on the television.

It must make people who can't (like me)/are unable to/choose not to breastfeed their children feel really shit.

Right. That's my two pennies' worth. *Backs away*
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Re: Breast is not best, it's normal.

Post  MrsGoggins on Fri May 01, 2009 1:58 am

I agree that breast is best, but I think for people like EGee, the decision is not a matter of choice, its need. Like me with my two c-sections, I refuse to feel guilt.
I bf and still am, my 2 girls. For me it was the best thing to do. I had a wobble around 12 weeks both times due to lack of sleep and night feeds.
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Re: Breast is not best, it's normal.

Post  KoJaq on Fri May 01, 2009 2:03 am

Breast is best is what is shoved down everyones throats and this is what gets people's backs up. Surely if breast feeding was seen as normal (as it is in a lot of European countries) then the bf rates would be a lot higher in the UK. I just wondered what people thought of the Breast is normal phase....cos let's face it, before the early 1900s, breast was all that was available.

I do appreciate that some people are unable to bf due to a physical problem for Mum or baby or due to meds.

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Re: Breast is not best, it's normal.

Post  mummyloves3 on Fri May 01, 2009 2:21 am

I never knew anyone who did it when I had my kids so neva even consided it. Sum of the new mums i know did try but found it too hard. 1 wuman i know abit does do it. it is abit weid wachin her cuz i aint used to it but each to there own.

i dont like how some peopel are so arsy about ff. it aint poison.
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Re: Breast is not best, it's normal.

Post  Zog on Fri May 01, 2009 12:08 pm

I completely agree that breast should be seen as normal, not "best". I think it would improve bf rates because most people are happy to make parenting choices that are less than the absolute best. Let's face it, as parents we can't always be the best. A parenting choice seen as less than the best is totally acceptable. But a parenting choice that is less than normal? A lot of parents would not want to offer that, unless it was medically necessary.

The choice between breast and bottle is seen by some as something similar to the choice between sandwiches and school dinners for a school child - both have their advantages and disadvantages and the parents need to choose between two equally valid options. I think breastfeeding should be seen as the way to feed a baby, and formula is there for the 1 or 2 peercent of mothers who are physically unable to breastfeed. I certainly never considered the possibility of using formula. Even when both my sons had problems latching on, I just assumed I would persevere until I could do it, which is what I did. It never crossed my mind to give formula.
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Re: Breast is not best, it's normal.

Post  Jeliwobble on Fri May 01, 2009 2:45 pm

What Zog said.

I agree with the OP and those who have come after, in that if it was just seen as 'normal' then some people wouldn't feel it was shoved down their throats and others wouldn't even consider formula just because that's what everyone else did, because everyone else would be using what nature gave them.

I think my problem with all the 'breast is best' philosophy is that you only see the literature in the 8 months you're pregnant and in the system. Most of the rest of the time you see formula adverts, you see characters in the soaps bottle feeding, you only see mothers bottle feeding in real life as most bfing mamas hide themselves away, so of course you're more likely to think ffing is normal, when really it shouldn't be. I want someone in a soap to grab the bull by it's horns and show a new mum bfing, deal with the bfing as an issue to be tackled in the same way as AIDS, drug taking and homosexuality. I want the Australian Breast Feeding Association ads on British TV, or the NCT and LLL pooling their resources and getting some made for the UK. We need to stop rising to stares in public and getting our boobs out more!

There is so little help in the community afterwards with bfing support, which sucks because most of our mums ff (I know not all) and we have such fractured lives these days that we don't all live near our closest female relatives anyway, so the help, support and advice we should get from everyone who's done it before simply isn't there. Many times, the community midwives don't see a new mum more than twice during the first 10 days before sign off and many hvs are useless when it comes to bfing. The times that I've read a poor, struggling bfing mum has had 'Ooo, s/he's not getting enough from you, why don't you use formula?' or 'You look tired, why don't you give babe a bottle once in a while and let someone else do it?' or the classic 'Formula will fill babe up more so s/he will sleep better'...usually from mum or MiL...AAARRRRGGGHHHHH! I have a wonderful friend who struggled to bf her little man and EVERY time she asked for help from the hv she just said 'give him formula'. As that's the advice she was getting from both her mum and MiL, guess what? She ended up giving him formula. As she had already had the indignity of an emcs, she felt a complete failure. She has depression anyway and the failure spiralled her in even further. This is NOT right. The support should be there. It should be what is seen as normal, not formula seen as normal.

I also believe that formula should only be seen as a last choice, not an either/or choice. Not going to happen though. Bfing rates here in the US are even lower than in the UK because so many women go back to work so early on, so many don't bother trying or do it for the time they are home with baby, anything from two weeks to three months. This is not an excuse usually in the UK as we are extremely lucky with our maternity provision. So why do more mums not hang on in there with bfing? Why do so many give up? Why do so many, particularly younger mums, not even try?

I think most younger mums see their boobs as so sexualised that they don't realise that they are there for baby feeding until they are already pregnant and in the system. It's a rare younger mum who attempts breast feeding and those are usually the ones who've seen a sibling do it or have been lucky enough to have seen their mum recently bf their own sibling. This is wrong on so many levels. We need to shake off the taboo and stop being prissy about bfing in public. Stop sending bfing ladies to the loo because we can't bear to even remotely risk seeing a nipple. We need to take it to the masses. Every antenatal class needs to have a bfing woman come in and do it front of everyone.

Because it's NORMAL.

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Re: Breast is not best, it's normal.

Post  sunset30 on Fri May 01, 2009 3:13 pm

I think it's a great message, but I think it wouldn't be adopted, because it doesn't have the positivity. Which is sad, because I agree with everything that has been said about if it was seen as normal, the rates would be higher, (which WOULD be a good thing, it is incontravertable that if you CAN bf you are providing a BETTER start than if you ff) Normalising it would make it seem like less of an option, and more of a , oh, that's just what people do.

I fully understand the need to not feel beaten up over it too. I always told myself that I would try and bf, but maybe I couldn't because I might have needed to start my meds (heavy duty m/h ones) soon after birth, and in that case ff WOULD have been best for MY lo, and I would have known that no matter what any snotty hv said. In the end I mixed fed at hospital cos Iw as so stressed out, but once I got home, I bfd for 6 months. In my case, my hv was actually constantly advocating formular because it would help my m/h more - which I don't believe personally, but just wanted to provide a balance for the stories of hvs shoving bfing down people's throats

I really wanted to bf, so I was really determined in the face of persistant dissuading by my hv, cos i read somewhere that something like 90% of all people with severe m/h disorders were ff, adn my ds has a high risk already. However, what the stats failed to mention and I failed to notice at the time, was that the percentage of ff babies was something like 80% anyway, and when you are looking at whole population risk of 1% this skews the results somewhat. Js risk is up to something like 33% from 1% so, I was after anything to reduce his risk!
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Re: Breast is not best, it's normal.

Post  McGiddyBiddy on Fri May 01, 2009 5:34 pm

Formula milk is normal too Kojack. rabbit
I'm tired of having breast is best shoved down our throats all the time. Most people DO formula feed after the first couple of weeks so surely that is the more normal way of feeding bubs.
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Re: Breast is not best, it's normal.

Post  Zog on Fri May 01, 2009 8:06 pm

That's the whole point, McGiddyBiddy. Formula shouldn't be the more normal way! It should be something that is used in the rare cases when the mother is unable to breastfeed.
I read an article written by a Norwegian woman once. She said that in Norway, the idea of a woman letting her own milk dry up and then going out and buying artificial milk would be as unthinkable as if she made her own sweat dry up and then went out and bought artificial sweat. It's a pity we don't have that attitude in Britain but I think the fact that there is lots of money to be made out of formula milk has something to do with our attitude.
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Re: Breast is not best, it's normal.

Post  3for3 on Fri May 01, 2009 9:49 pm

I think this is a great message. I hadn't thought about it before but actually saying 'breast is best' is a judgement...and starts the whole 'better than what..ie formula' argument. I can understand why it get's people's back's up when it is seen as a judgement. It should never be a judgement it should be, as you say ...normal. I know the use of the word 'normal' can upset people too but i am thinking in terms of natural....common....etc
I am massively pro bf - i did with both my babies and intend to with no3. I know the aim of the campaign on bf is to promote and educate so people realise the benefits...it saddens me when people take it to extremes or attack the choices people make and use it to judge others (and i refer to both bf and ff parents). Parenting is not easy and added pressure is no help...whether from external sources or internally driven. Believe me it is no fun facing negativity when you want to bf your baby - and I am not someone who feels comfy doing it in public...yet still found it to be a source of negativity.

If we could get to a culture where bf was seen as 'normal' i agree rates would probably be higher. Then people might respond better to it and those who chose not to bf or were not able to would be left to feel they are free from judgement. At the moment i think we're in the 'ff' is normal space in this country. I would like to see a shift.

Where did the 'breast is best' tag line come from anyway?
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Re: Breast is not best, it's normal.

Post  Jeliwobble on Fri May 01, 2009 10:09 pm

McGiddyBiddy wrote:Formula milk is normal too Kojack. rabbit
I'm tired of having breast is best shoved down our throats all the time. Most people DO formula feed after the first couple of weeks so surely that is the more normal way of feeding bubs.

I think the original post was about what we should be saying, that breast feeding should be normal, it should be what we normally do, rather than the rarity.

Do MOST people formula feed after the first few weeks? If so, why? I suspect most people who bf in the UK do so because they want to and most of those who do are determined to do it and not give up unless they absolutely have to, or they have to go back to work as they do here in the US.

I certainly didn't 'give up' after first few weeks and formula feed after that. I couldn't bf my first baby (no latch due to a cs - very common in cs births because they don't get the skin to skin contact in the first hour as mum is usually being stitched up, though this IS getting better - and I had to return to work early due to being a student prior to having her) so I expressed all her feeds for the first six months. I had to top up those feeds after the first three months with formula simply because expressing isn't the same as having a baby take milk and my milk was slowly drying up, but I kept going until I couldn't do it any more. In fact, the day I stopped expressing was the day she stopped drinking any kind of milk which I thought was testament to the fact that she preferred breast milk over formula but introduced a whole swathe of other problems! I bf both my other babies. My second daughter stopped wanting the milk herself at 12 months and went straight onto cow's milk and I had to stop feeding my son at 12 months as I was due to have radiation treatment for cancer, or I think he would have carried on until 2, he was such a boob monster!

What I think the OP wanted was to re-brand the slogan 'Breast is Best' with 'Breast is Normal' in an effort to make it seem so. Formula should NOT be normal, it's artificial. Like Zog said in her second post:

I read an article written by a Norwegian woman once. She said that in Norway, the idea of a woman letting her own milk dry up and then going out and buying artificial milk would be as unthinkable as if she made her own sweat dry up and then went out and bought artificial sweat. It's a pity we don't have that attitude in Britain but I think the fact that there is lots of money to be made out of formula milk has something to do with our attitude.

Although formula not rat poison, I think half the reason why bfing mamas get so uppity about it is that they've HAD to be uppity about it. If you haven't bfed, you have no idea the stares, tuts and utter contempt from some people that you get. It takes someone with brass balls to bf in public... So when someone challenges you as to why you are bfing, you need to be able to turn around and say 'Formula? Why should I give my baby something so revolting?' even though you know that it's not disgusting, just that it shouldn't be the norm.

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Re: Breast is not best, it's normal.

Post  Anybugger on Fri May 01, 2009 10:24 pm

I think I must be a bit of a rarity, aside from on the internet, I have never come across any kind of indignation for either way of feeding.

For the record I BF DS1 for 6 weeks before gradually swopping it over, Before he was born it never occured to me to FF. I rang the labout ward at 3am when my milk came in and I was in tears from the pain. They told me to give him a bottle and i didn't have one in the house - not one!

With DS2 and DD1 I was more open minded and just decided to go with the flow. Everyday DH asked if I wanted bottles sterilised and I said not today. I fed DS2 for 6 months and was convinced by DH to stop feeding Lara at 16 months.

Whilst not having seen any adverse comments on either way I have come across an awful lot of pressure to BF. It is physically and nutritionally BEST for the baby, anyone who says otherwise is wrong imo, however it might not be RIGHT.

It saddens me that its not the NORM and I think more should be done to promote that.

My sister is expecting her first and whilst she knows (as a nurse) the benefits of BF I have already suggested that she gets a stock of bottles and milk in. At the very least it will take the pressure off, even if just for the odd feed.

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Re: Breast is not best, it's normal.

Post  McGiddyBiddy on Sat May 02, 2009 12:22 am

formula milk is better than breast milk. I only buy the best 100% organic formula for bubs, unless u eat only organic then your milk isn't organic neither. I know witch I'd rather give to bubs.
They try to make you ff in hosp anyway cos they do'nt have the time to help. So it cant be bad or the majority in this country who was formula fed would be unhealthey.
The bubs who are breastfed at baby clinic are always in the scrawny side ime.
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Re: Breast is not best, it's normal.

Post  Anybugger on Sat May 02, 2009 12:29 am

McGiddyBiddy wrote:formula milk is better than breast milk. I only buy the best 100% organic formula for bubs, unless u eat only organic then your milk isn't organic neither. I know witch I'd rather give to bubs.
They try to make you ff in hosp anyway cos they do'nt have the time to help. So it cant be bad or the majority in this country who was formula fed would be unhealthey.
The bubs who are breastfed at baby clinic are always in the scrawny side ime.

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Re: Breast is not best, it's normal.

Post  Jeliwobble on Sat May 02, 2009 12:32 am

McGiddyBiddy wrote:
The bubs who are breastfed at baby clinic are always in the scrawny side ime.

Are you saying that formula makes you fat?

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Re: Breast is not best, it's normal.

Post  McGiddyBiddy on Sat May 02, 2009 12:40 am

no Rolling Eyes
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Re: Breast is not best, it's normal.

Post  Zog on Sat May 02, 2009 12:45 am

McGiddyBiddy wrote:formula milk is better than breast milk. I only buy the best 100% organic formula for bubs, unless u eat only organic then your milk isn't organic neither. I know witch I'd rather give to bubs.
How sad when women have such little confidence in their ability to nourish their own baby.

They try to make you ff in hosp anyway cos they do'nt have the time to help.
This is also very sad but I do know mothers who have had this experience.
So it cant be bad or the majority in this country who was formula fed would be unhealthey.
Have you ever been in a doctor's waiting room? We're not exactly a healthy nation.
The bubs who are breastfed at baby clinic are always in the scrawny side ime.
That's what babies are supposed to look like! The fat babies are overweight, not normal!
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Re: Breast is not best, it's normal.

Post  princesspink77 on Wed May 06, 2009 11:03 pm

KoJaq wrote:Breast is best is what is shoved down everyones throats and this is what gets people's backs up. Surely if breast feeding was seen as normal (as it is in a lot of European countries) then the bf rates would be a lot higher in the UK. I just wondered what people thought of the Breast is normal phase....cos let's face it, before the early 1900s, breast was all that was available.

I do appreciate that some people are unable to bf due to a physical problem for Mum or baby or due to meds.

I completely agree ... thats what breasts where made for - to feed our lovely babies!
Unfortunately our society has made bottle feeding normal ...
Breast feeding should be the choice for parents and bottle feeding a back up for those that can't due to mdical issues!

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Re: Breast is not best, it's normal.

Post  princesspink77 on Wed May 06, 2009 11:07 pm

McGiddyBiddy wrote:formula milk is better than breast milk. I only buy the best 100% organic formula for bubs, unless u eat only organic then your milk isn't organic neither. I know witch I'd rather give to bubs.
They try to make you ff in hosp anyway cos they do'nt have the time to help. So it cant be bad or the majority in this country who was formula fed would be unhealthey.
The bubs who are breastfed at baby clinic are always in the scrawny side ime.

OMG!! How can artificial be better than natural!!
Breastmilk is a drink then a feed ... it changes consistincy - Formula is always one consistency hence Formula fed babies are larger - does this lead to obesity???????

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Re: Breast is not best, it's normal.

Post  McGiddyBiddy on Wed May 06, 2009 11:12 pm

That's guff, U can change the consistincy of formula. I just add more powder or less dipending if bubs is hungry
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Re: Breast is not best, it's normal.

Post  Jeliwobble on Wed May 06, 2009 11:14 pm

That's guff, U can change the consistincy of formula. I just add more powder or less dipending if bubs is hungry

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Re: Breast is not best, it's normal.

Post  sunset30 on Wed May 06, 2009 11:21 pm

It's all about the protien chains in breast milk - it can't be replicated. In cows milk the chains are smashed up due to the processing, and in formula, well, they never existed, so although the protiens are there the natural chains are not. This is why breast milk is so much better at improving immunity and building germ resiliant babies.

Formula works, babies get nutrition, but it is not the best option.
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Re: Breast is not best, it's normal.

Post  Cadiva on Wed May 06, 2009 11:39 pm

I think traveling down the breast is normal route rather than breast is better is a much better (sorry!) way to encourage mothers to breastfeed. I find it really sad that it's not the instinctive thing for a mum to do with her newborn in the UK where we seem to have let the big pharmaceutical companies take over pushing that formula is easier and less hassle.

I have to say, I just don't understand how having to sterilise bottles or make up a feed in the middle of the night is supposed to be easier than reaching over, grabbing your baby and letting it feed from the breast!
My SiL was adamant she wasn't going to breast feed because bottle would be easier and my brother could help her out with the night feeds. Well, as he was going back to work you can guess what didn't happen and she did later admit when I was feeding James, that she wished she'd tried breast feeding her daughter and that she would give it a go with any subsequent kids (although as she's now split up from my brother I've no idea whether that will ever happen).

I fed James myself until he self-weaned at five-and-a-half months. He also had a formula top up bottle last thing at night from about six weeks. But I had introduced a bottle at three weeks as I needed him to get used to a bottle so I could express, which I did, so I could leave him with my parents in the knowledge they'd be able to get some milk inside him (had to leave him at three weeks for two hours when my OH's parents came up from Devon and wanted to take us out to lunch to "discuss" things).
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