Claire is our Community Manager here at New Moms Forum. A mom of two (almost grown-up babies), Claire has been building and operating community-based websites for almost 20 years. In her downtime, Claire enjoys spending time with her family and drinking copious amounts of red wine!
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Oh I wish this was the advice still given!! This is what new mothers need to hear, not YOU HAVE TO OTHERWISE SHAAAAAMMMMEEE
Goddamn, I wish our local “baby friendly” hospital had read this. They were complete assholes to my wife about breastfeeding.
❤️💛💚💙💜 wow. wish they handed this out in “baby friendly” hospitals
That’s so sweet. The lactation consultants at my hospital could take note lol. I saw three while I was there and 2/3 had no bedside manner whatsoever. Just grilling me with questions about how often I was pumping and my “goals” to exclusively breastfeed. Of course my daughter had already had formula in the NICU because she had low blood sugar, which was absolutely fine. They just kept pushing though, wanted to know why formula was given and not donor milk (who fucking cares??? probably becuase she wasn’t an ultra preemie and donor milk should be reserved for them???)
Luckily I had already educated myself before the hospital. The third lactation consultant was actually helpful and gave me a nipple shield for my preemie, and encouraged me to do some skin to skin.
My nurse was so pushy to start formula. My son struggled to latch and instead of trying to help, she just kept telling me to give up and that he needed formula. She didn’t even give me a few minutes to get situated. Just immediately flew to “he needs to eat. He needs formula if you can’t do this. I’m going to get some.”
Luckily, I brought my pump with me. So I told her I’d like to try pumping first and see if he can eat it from a bottle or whatever. She was so angry at me! She even looked at my husband and said “wow she just doesn’t listen. How do you deal with this?” But I’m glad I stuck to my guns. Because that worked.
He had trouble latching the whole time I tried to breastfeed and since COVID is a thing, there were no lactation specialists on the floor to help. So once we were home and still struggling, I decided to exclusively pump. It’s been a hard, hard road, especially since he turned out with MSPI. But it worked out.
I wish I could have breastfed. I feel sad about it once in a while. Turns out my son has a lip tie and if anyone had bothered to check, maybe we could have breastfed. But it’s too late now. So now I’m struggling with guilt introducing formula so I can have a break from all the pumping. He hates it. So it’s a cycle of “omg I need him to take this formula” and calling myself lazy bc “I should just keep pumping since I couldn’t breastfeed.”
Ladies, I discovered the best way to get rid of aggressive lactivists is to aggressively pursue them right back!
Call them each time baby isn’t latching and watch them run out of advice very quickly and will hide when you call them for help the third time that day!
I see far too many comments here about mums feeling guilty for not breastfeeding but the reoccurring theme is that they weren’t supported. I’ve been lucky enough to breastfeed both my children, my son is 8.5 months now and I’ve just started to really despise it. I feel guilty for that because I should be grateful. I think largely we are going to feel guilty about motherhood in one way or another for the rest of our lives.
What a lovely article! We had a very positive experience in hospital with breastfeeding, got lots of help and even when were home we were supported. Formula was the devil though! I got so confused and stressed because formula was so evil but also they weren’t happy with her weight gain? I found the best support at the Australian breastfeeding association, they were so lovely. They truly supported all kinds of feeding.
Love reading this I was the first person in my family to breastfeed and everyone was surprised and doubted I’d actually do it. We’re 7 months in and still going strong!
This must have been a rare moment in modern American history where the pendulum was in the middle rather than swinging to anti-formula or anti-breastfeeding. I wish it was always like this.
When I was pregnant I swore I wouldn’t feel any guilt if breastfeeding didn’t end up working for me and my baby. I figured that since I logically knew that a ton of people were formula fed and turned into completely normal adults I just wouldn’t beat myself up over not breastfeeding. God, I was wrong. I’m not sure what society has drilled into my brain but the idea of switching to formula has made me feel so guilty even though I logically know that it makes no difference! This was good for me to see tonight
Wow! The part where it mentions not knowing the exact schedule works for you especially struck me.
When all 3 of my kids were born the hospitals (2different) gave me a paper where I was supposed to log how often the babies fed, for how long, and any b.m or wet diapers. It was a nightmare. Freaking homework hours after giving birth?!* They also insisted I make the kids have a 2hr feeding cycle. As in nurse every 2hrs all day and night, and no longer than 15min on each breast. My little piggies would graze for hours if I let them but once they were full they wouldn’t want to eat for closer to 4hrs. Even as newborns. So we spent our days at the hospital trying to stick to their schedule just so they would leave me alone.
With my last baby, they were hesitant to release us but finally did on the condition that we get into the pediatrician the next day so they could monitor babies weight as the hospital felt he was losing too much weight/not gaining back fast enough. (Born 9lbs 9oz). We called the ped as soon as we were told that plan and got in to see them. Our doctor, who had been treating my kids for the better part of 4yrs at that point, took one look at the baby and said he was fine. I explained the way the kids liked to eat. She said bigger babies tend to lose a little more weight because they have a little more water weight. As long as he got back to birth weight by 2wks she wasn’t worried.
We got home and got into our 3.5hr schedule that actually worked for us and got everyone some sleep. Little man was close to (or slightly over, he’s now 15mos, I don’t remember) 10lb at his 2wk check.
*Yes, I know they have those for the babies wellbeing. Just like they grill mom about postpartum symptom (which I had, got some great antidepressants). And I know that sometimes that stupid worksheet is the difference between a baby getting taken care of and a baby getting neglected. But in some cases it just causes a lot of unnecessary stress on everyone involved.
Wow. I had to sign a form claiming that I understood formula was awful before the hospital would allow my newborn to have some formula.
1975 suddenly seems far more progressive than 2021. This is a beautiful and compassionate way of explaining things to a new mother. I wish my own experience had been like this but I felt almost attacked by the hospital staff for even considering formula. I gave up after a week and felt such intense shame over it.
My baby lost too much weight because she couldn’t latch. At the “baby centered” hospital I gave birth at, they kept pushing breastfeeding. If they had just noticed her weight was dropping and given her formula, it would have been much more “baby centered.” I felt horrible I could not breast feed and pushed myself until I had bloody nipples and mastitis.
Fed is best!!
I’m currently pumping for a NICU babe born at 32 weeks, so the pressure to bf is super high!! I’m thankfully able to meet her needs easily but dang, I’ve heard what some of the doctors/nurses have said to other moms about pumping for their kids. There’s a real clear preference for moms to nurse.
End. Baby. Friendly. Hospitals.
This should be how it is now.
The pamphlet my hospital gave me when I gave birth said formula hurts babies digestive systems (with 0 sources) and should never be given except in an emergency. My supply was basically non-existent no matter what I did. Really wish I had seen or heard something like this instead.
Wow how incredibly straight forward. Why are we the way we are now?
I wish baby friendly hospitals were mom friendly like this
But it says Breast is best on all my formula boxes. How can this be true?! Wish I read this article before giving birth. I hadn’t even considered that I would fail at breastfeeding my child. I didn’t even know this was a normal occurence.
Man, the amount of moms that I’ve talked to this year regarding their experience in the mom and baby unit at my local hospital regarding the pushiness of breast feeding… let me tell you, it’s never been good.
I wish they would allow for a more compassionate approach to it. It would make those first few days of motherhood way less miserable. I was quite literally shunned by my hospital’s “lactation consultant” in a group meeting after saying I gave my baby formula (after asking to see this lady for days because I was having so much trouble). Like way to push to me want to breastfeed…
Wow, it’s rare that 1975 advice to women is good advice, but here we are!
Getting a little emotional here, and my kiddo hasn’t breastfeed in over a year! The guilt I felt then was unreal and I wish I could give past-me a big ole hug.
This is as applicable today as it was back then. I wish all medical staff had this type of mindset regarding breastfeeding.
This is perfect! So kind and balanced.
I love this to my core
I like how it assumes cows milk protein allergy is impossible through breastmilk.
Obviously we know that’s not completely true, it can happen, but it has to be one of the most overdiagnosed conditions. I’ve read there is something like 100,000x less CMP in the breastmilk of a dairy consuming mother than there is in formula.
Love this! How sweet and rational.
From “Caring For Your Newborn”, Boston Hospital for Women, 1975. My mom gave it to me while I was pregnant.