Is there too much pressure to breastfeed?

Discussion in 'Business, Politics, & Debates' started by amberncsa, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. amberncsa

    amberncsa New Member

    When I was pregnant with my first child, I just knew that I was going to breastfeed. Every source stated that "Breast is Best!" and that only breast milk would ensure that my child would be healthy and have a fully formed brain. Books, forums, and friends said that there was no excuse for not breastfeeding. And people who "weren't producing milk" were in actuality not giving it enough time or doing it wrong. What a surprise, then, when I discovered that I wasn't able to produce much milk at all. I tried everything from supplements, to lactation consultants, to pumping every hour, and I was still unable to stop my baby from losing weight. I felt so guilty that I was sobbing when I gave my very hungry, screaming daughter her first formula bottle. Even though she is smart and healthy now, I still feel a bit like a failure that I could not do the best for her.

    So, should there be so much propaganda in favor of breastfeeding that it makes mothers feel like failures when they have to, or choose to, bottle-feed?
  2. michellef68

    michellef68 New Member

    I bottle fed both of my girls. They have been two of the healthiest children I have ever known. One ear infection for each of them....and mind you their ages now are 10 and 16. Both are straight A high-honor roll students. They are excellent musicians, my older daughter playing the Vibraphone, flute, piccolo and trumpet. They are both excellent athletes. While I absolutely think that breast milk is the healthiest alternative, some of use can't breastfeed, and we should never, ever be made to feel guilt about it. When I look at the way my girls developed, mentally, physically and emotionally, there is no doubt in my mind that there should be no guilt that came from my decision to bottle feed.
  3. Yatte

    Yatte New Member

    I am one of those "bad" mothers that had to bottle feed both my children. I have an auto-immune disease that greatly decreases my vitamin and mineral absorption, resulting in breast milk that was just not good enough to support a growing baby. All this pro breast propaganda is just insulting, and derogative. I believe it is bad manners to incriminate someone of being a bad mother if they have no choice in the matter. And even if they do it is not anybody's place to judge another. It is the same matter as a working mother saying a stay at home mother is lazy, not considering that having your children in your care 24/7 is very restricting and much harder work that working for a salary and spending most of your day surrounded by other people.
  4. Dsperin

    Dsperin New Member

    Breastfeeding is ALWAYS best, but that doesn't mean that electing to not do it makes one a bad mother. I breastfed for just a month before switching to formula with both my children and although I felt slightly guilty, I knew it was best for my sanity and return-to-work schedule. I wouldn't call the breastfeeding initiative "propaganda" per se, but I would say its pretty intense. But understanding why it's so intense is important; many in our society have gotten away from "traditional" feeding of their children and instead pump them full of chemicals. And that's what formula is--chemicals.

    I understand the goal, but the initiative needs to be realistic. I'm not pumping (EVER) and I can't afford to be home all day to nurse. Plus, I HATED being tied to the baby 24/7 while hubby sat by helpless. I need sleep too, you know :)
  5. AnaKatOK

    AnaKatOK New Member

    I guess it maybe depends on where you live, because I breastfeed and haven't felt pressured to. It was just easier for me, and thankfully I am able to because we tried a bottle a few times and she wouldn't take it.

    I do have a few friends who couldn't breastfeed, despite trying to and wanting to very much and they felt a sort of backlash within their parenting community. It really is unfortunate.
  6. Digtersvrou

    Digtersvrou New Member

    Welcome to Motherhood - Place of Judgment!

    That should be the message that every new mom should be prepared to hear. This judgment, in my opinion, stems from every mom's insecurity as to whether she is a good (enough) mother. So we read, and google, and make our own decisions as to how we are going to raise our own children. So when we judge, we are justifying the decisions we made, forgetting that those decisions were for our own particular circumstances.

    I don't think there is too much pressure to breastfeed. I think that it should always be the first option. But I don't think new mothers have the confidence to breastfeed as everyone judges how she is doing it.

    I believe it's a personal choice. I believe that every mother knows her own body and its capabilities, and I believe she knows her child the best. If that means formula, that is her choice, and I would support her. I don't believe she came to that decision easily.

    I still breastfeed my daughter. She is now seven months old. Yes, I am exhausted and my body has been leeched of all fluids, but I am able to. And I am grateful to give her the best.
  7. Lilley1

    Lilley1 New Member

    Breast feeding is a personal choice and it amazes me how many mothers speak their opinions to other mothers about what is best. Of course we all know it is best to breast feed. Whether we do so any why is no ones business but your own. It really bothered me when women, even strangers in the store, asked me what I was going to do for my babies. I received the same look of shame and lecture every time my answer was to bottle feed. The outcome.. my boys are very healthy and we have a very close relationship.
  8. NewSues

    NewSues New Member

    My son would not latch on at all. After 3 days he was starving but it just would not happen. In the end I asked for a bottle and the nurse on the maternity ward almost cried with relief. They had been wanting to get him on the bottle but were not allowed to make the suggestion, it had to come from me. All this because my midwife had been adamant that all babies MUST be breastfed. The result of her words was a starving baby and a highly stressed mother. While I accept that in an ideal world breast feeding is best, common sense has to prevail.

    In support of bottle fed babies, I'm one of 4 and we were all bottle fed. I have an IQ of 147, my older sister and brother are college lecturers, my younger sister is a special needs teacher. My bottle feed son is star pupil at his school and wants to become a doctor.
  9. Paula

    Paula New Member

    I have never been under any pressure to breastfeed but then again I don't have any children. I would be personally very offended if someone asked me to breastfeed or tried to pressure me into it! I imagine one day I might consider it but having my own baby would be a must for me. I see there are some very fashionable new jumpers for mothers who breastfeed these days. I look forward to wearing one of them some day myself. Maybe by then Chanel will have its own range.

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