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Video says:Breast is best research is faulty

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10 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

So...what sort of support do you suggest for the woman who has to go to work, can't leave her meeting to pump, or will lose money if her break runs long, or might have to choose between eating on break or pumping?  

What sort of support do you suggest for the woman who has to send her new baby to her ex husband for the weekend and simply cannot respond to the pump enough to get enough milk out.  I mean...it's not like she can *not* send the baby to visit dad if that's what's in the custody agreement.  

 

These issues require systemic change - decent maternity leave to enable breastfeeding to be established, family courts to understand the primacy of the breastfeeding relationship and to cease order overnights for breastfed infants and toddlers.

But for that change to happen, people need to believe that breastfeeding is worth both supporting and promoting.

At an individual level, even moms who are struggling because of issues outside their control deserve accurate information. The mom whose workplace is affecting her abilitly to feed her baby deserves accurate info. The woman who has to send her baby on overnights deserves accurate info. It's not kind to give people inaccurate information.

You could say 'You're in a really tough position. I've got a few suggestions for you, but just so you know, they can reduce your milk supply. Would you like to hear those options ?'  That puts the ball in the woman's court - she's been accurately risk informed, and she can choose to hear those options and try them, or not, depending on what her tolerance is for risk to the breastfeeding relationship.

 

 

Edited by StellaM
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30 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

 

It's a fact that, especially but not only in the first few months, offering a breastfeeding mother these suggestions (don't feed through the night, don't pump or express regularly when away from the baby for extended time, engage in mixed feeding ) will risk her having a lower supply, and reduce the chance of a successful breastfeeding relationship with her infant.

It's not advice that should be given without a disclaimer that these suggestions can affect your supply.  If a mom doesn't care that it might reduce her supply and lead to early weaning, fine. If she does though....giving this advice without disclaimer may inadvertently disrupt or end her breastfeeding choice.

I think the suggestions are irresponsible to give to a nursing mother without the disclaimer re supply.

These suggestions are a good example of how treating formula feeding as the norm undermines breastfeeding.

 

14 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

You could say 'You're in a really tough position. I've got a few suggestions for you, but just so you know, they can reduce your milk supply. Would you like to hear those options ?'  That puts the ball in the woman's court - she's been accurately risk informed, and she can choose to hear those options and try them, or not, depending on what her tolerance is for risk to the breastfeeding relationship.

 

 

But at that point, in the scenario of can't pump enough and has to send formula, it isn't like NOT sending formula is an option anyway. If she doesn't  make enough via the pump, and some moms just don't, then she doesn't. Yes, she should still pump every few hours while baby is gone, but may not make enough, or may not be able to pump extra during the week when she is juggling things as a single mother, etc. That's when you say, some formula will be fine, try to relax. 

Now, the bottle at night thing...I do agree that adding the disclaimer that skipping feedings at night can lower supply is important information to share. 

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1 hour ago, maize said:

It depends on what the goal is. If I am counseling a mom who really wants to continue breastfeeding I am undermining HER if I give her advice that makes it difficult to maintain supply.

If I am trying to give generic advice that helps moms be successful at breastfeeding because they don't automatically have the background to be successful and there is a lot working against them and because breastfeeding is in fact generally good for both babies and moms I don't want to give advice that makes it difficult to maintain supply.

If I know a particular mom just needs encouragement to keep her baby fed and not stress over best--if she needs to know that good enough is good enough--then the above advice can be great.

I think that’s it.  If mom is trying to breastfeed successfully I’m not going to lie and say the bottle with formula, other caregiver thing isn’t potential a big problem - it is contrary to her stated goal and I would tell her so if she was asking advice or tips.  If she hasn’t asked for my opinion or help or doesn’t care if it potentially impacts her supply - if that’s a trade she’s happy with - I’m happy with her and wouldn’t say a word.

Not that it’s my job to validate someone else’s life choices either, but if I wasn’t asked it wouldn’t even come up.  If she seemed upset her supply was dipping I might suggest the formula feeding had something to do with it, but it would VERY much depend on the tone of the conversation and the relationship I had with her.

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3 hours ago, happysmileylady said:

The phrases I bolded (and left your bolding as it was) indicate to me a misunderstanding of my postion.

I am not attempting to actively encourage formula feeding (as a public heath good or otherwise.)  I am not a "formula proponent."  I am not trying to promote formula feeding.

I am promoting and advocating for EVERYONE to simply accept formula is ok.  That it's good enough.  I am not suggesting that we (as a society) advocate for formula.  I am not suggesting that it's equal to breastmilk.  I am not suggesting that it is "surpassing the positive" of breastfeeding.

I am ONLY saying.....................accept that it's ok.  Accept that it's good enough.  Accept that making that choice on purpose is ok

 

3 hours ago, happysmileylady said:

I agree with what I bolded.

I would add things like...

Ok, I hear what you are really struggling to get enough sleep to get your other kid on the bus on time, maybe have Dad give a bottle at midnight with formula so you can get a bit more sleep.

It's OK if you give the daycare bottles of formula and pump what you can while at work, doing so isn't going to harm your baby.  If you pump enough to send to daycare the next day, that's great, but it's not a failure if you don't.

Pump what you can while baby is with daddy for the weekend, but if you have to send a can of formula, it's not going to hurt your baby.  

 

 

The advice you have here directly contradicts the statement in bold above. If a woman takes this advice they won't be able to breastfeed for very long because their supply will tank. This is the advice many women get, don't get me wrong, but make no mistake it is pro-formula because it leaves a woman with only formula as an option. You don't think it's promoting formula feeding, but that's exactly what's happening. This may be where the disconnect is happening in the conversation because if you see your advice above as unproblematic as far as continuing to breastfeed then there has to be a misunderstanding somewhere about how supply works, how women are able to continue to breastfeed, etc.

No, the formula isn't likely to hurt the baby unless they have allergies or a sensitive gut, but if the woman wants to breastfeed this advice absolutely undermines that goal. But considering that, you really have no way of knowing if the baby has allergies or sensitivities or not, so I'd be reluctant to tell any woman that "X food won't harm your kid," unless I had a lot of information (can you tell my kid has allergies and I've had people tell me to just try this or that and it's not like it will actually hurt him?) and even then I'd be wary.

If she doesn't care about maintaining a supply or continuing to breastfeed then it's fine advice, but is directing a woman towards exclusive formula feeding.

As someone interested in promoting breastfeeding, I would try to figure out what the woman's goals were before giving any advice. In any case, the above advice doesn't allow the woman to make an informed decision because what you're omitting is that if she does all of the above her milk supply will diminish dramatically, likely within a few days or weeks. If she wants to make that choice on purpose, that IS okay, like you state. But most women given that sort of advice aren't advised of the consequences at the same time, or are told that their breastfeeding goals are a little bit silly and why put yourself out like that because all of the above is good enough. And that's where I think it's not good enough. Not that she can't make that informed choice for herself, but very few women are informed of the consequences of advice like that. Especially when it comes from a medical professional, but even through peers too.

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I will add that I've repeated my story several times in this thread, but in case I didn't talk about me enough, here it is:

At my baby's 3 or 5 day checkup or somewhere in the beginning, I was told he was losing weight and handed a bag full of those tiny bottles of pre-made formula. I asked about nipple confusion and the nurse looked at me like I was crazy. I had extensive knowledge about breastfeeding and knew what would happen if I cracked open those bottles. At less than a week old, my body would start getting signals that milk wasn't being removed from my breasts.

My ped, the person in charge of my baby's health and nutrition, made it abundantly clear that formula was not only good enough, but preferable to me breastfeeding my own kid. I was the one that wasn't good enough, but the formula was. And I desperately wanted to breastfeed. The doctor did not have the time of day for someone like me. And I know I wasn't the only one getting this advice.

This has been, IME with various peds, the norm for advice. If you are breastfeeding and your baby is gaining weight just fine and you don't say a word about how many times they wake up in the night to feed, the pediatrician thinks it's AWESOME that you're breastfeeding. Good job, Mom! If baby starts to slow down on the curve or plateau for any length of time they don't offer help with nursing. They offer formula or tell you to pump and bottle feed the baby after you nurse (a recipe for burnout if I've EVER heard one).

So maybe I'm confused about this whole conversation because the only people who wanted me to succeed at breastfeeding as much as I did were the people everyone else terms "boob nazis", but they were the only ones who saw my determination as a good thing. My ped didn't. Most of my peers didn't understand it. And my mom and family certainly didn't understand it. The message given to me was exactly that formula was good enough, but that I was inadequate to feed my child with my body. It was me that wasn't good enough. And I'm sorry if that sounds dramatic, but trust me it felt that way when I was in a postpartum haze just wanting help getting my kid to latch properly and to this day I get anxiety whenever a doc weighs one of my bf babies.

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3 hours ago, Ktgrok said:

 

But at that point, in the scenario of can't pump enough and has to send formula, it isn't like NOT sending formula is an option anyway. If she doesn't  make enough via the pump, and some moms just don't, then she doesn't. Yes, she should still pump every few hours while baby is gone, but may not make enough, or may not be able to pump extra during the week when she is juggling things as a single mother, etc. That's when you say, some formula will be fine, try to relax. 

Now, the bottle at night thing...I do agree that adding the disclaimer that skipping feedings at night can lower supply is important information to share. 

But wouldn’t an even better alternative be if society was structured to acknowledge that breast feeding is valuable and make it possible for her to pump more at work, have her baby close by in a work attached nursery or heaven forbid actually provide some kind of decent financial support so mums can be home with bubs for long enough.

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On 5/9/2019 at 9:54 PM, hjffkj said:

I am a huge breastfeeding advocate but breast is not always best. No one can say what is best for every situation. My sil nearly starved her son because she was so scared of formula because of all the negativity surrounding it and she didn't know she was producing enough milk. 

I think breastfeeding certainly needs to be emphasized as the likely best option but care providers who are going to promote it so heavily need to be open to the fact that formula can be necessary.

Thank you.  I was so happy that overall I was not chastised in the hospitals or by health professionals. My youngest is 22 so I have been concerned that it is an even more popular option now.  I could not brestfeed because of health and medications reasons.  I was not breastfeed as a baby because I was not able to suckle due to hard cleft palate and my mom was a breastfeeding advocate. My daughter's both will have health and medications issues that probably will preclude breastfeeding too.

 

 

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On 5/9/2019 at 10:47 PM, Mergath said:

 

It's so ridiculous that the first linked study didn't try to control for any other factors at all. Which is the problem with so many of the studies that announced bfing will make your child a wealthy genius. Pretty sure the home environment and family income might have played a role there, too.

And not even wealth is needed to make a difference in IQ.  Cause there are plenty of people with high IQ whose families were poor or like my husband's lower working class. But the differences that I have noticed is that the parents are highly intelligent ( though may have other personality aspects or circumstances that keep them from better employment, like my in-laws.)

I always laughed at those claims about breastfeeding and IQ.  We are plenty happy with the IQs we ended up with.

Immunity and gut bacteria are the real issues.   I do not know and no one knows if my family's fantastic awful luck w autoimmune issues have to do w/ no breastfeeding or maybe intergenerational curse of extreme hardships( yes, there are a number of good studies that are seeming to statistically making a connection) or overuse of antibiotics or too many infections or little green men or ,,,,,,,

 

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Though breast milk plays a critical role in a baby developing its 'Innate Immune System'.  Where the mother shares her Innate Immunity with her baby.
This prepares a baby for many pathogens that they will encounter.
Otherwise a baby will have to encounter and develop their antibodies.

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On 5/12/2019 at 8:00 AM, Mergath said:

 

Citing sources when asked is silly? If you're going to make an outlandish argument like "Formula feeding causes harm to babies," you'd better have some sources to back it up if you expect anyone to take you seriously. Because I've never seen a single health organization say that formula is hurting babies in the developed world. Science isn't decided on the gut feelings of homeschooling moms.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2812877/

this one?

to be honest I’m somewhat reluctant to share because I don’t want to make anyone feel bad about their way of feeding their baby but it seems like there’s a whole discussion around how this topic is presented currently.

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4 hours ago, TravelingChris said:

And not even wealth is needed to make a difference in IQ.  Cause there are plenty of people with high IQ whose families were poor or like my husband's lower working class. But the differences that I have noticed is that the parents are highly intelligent ( though may have other personality aspects or circumstances that keep them from better employment, like my in-laws.)

I always laughed at those claims about breastfeeding and IQ.  We are plenty happy with the IQs we ended up with.

Immunity and gut bacteria are the real issues.   I do not know and no one knows if my family's fantastic awful luck w autoimmune issues have to do w/ no breastfeeding or maybe intergenerational curse of extreme hardships( yes, there are a number of good studies that are seeming to statistically making a connection) or overuse of antibiotics or too many infections or little green men or ,,,,,,,

 

Regarding the gut issues.......the program I volunteered for had frequent Saturday lunch lectures for the moms who worked for them.  This was 19 years ago, so no notes, but we had a specialist on gut issues in infants speaking and what I took away was how important waiting to introduce any sort of solid was.  Full term baby’s gut was probably developmentally ready at five months which was the standard recommendation at that time.  When my nieces (40ish, 2 out of 3 with gut issues) were little the recommendation was three months which the specialist was very clear was not old enough for solids in most.  My mom gave me baby cereal as soon as she could and was thrilled to be able to buy proper formula.  And yes, I have some gut issues, so does hubby whose mom also fed cereal ASAP.  

The specialist did advocate BF in general.  At that time I wondered if it was because in meant you wouldn’t feed your baby that magic formula with just a bit of cereal mixed in so your baby sleeps.......I know everyone told me that I was totally missing out.  It was the big mom tip among my friends. Hubby actually came home from a client meeting carrying a can of the “magic” formula that he wondered if we should try just once. No!!!!!

 At the time I listened to this lecture my preemie Ds hadn’t started solids yet and I held off as long as I could (til 9 months) just to be safe with the full support of my pediatrician.  My supply was huge so it wasn’t a big deal except in terms of sleep for me.

I have no idea what research on this topic recommends currently but it is something your daughters should look into when they are preparing to feed their babies.

 

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9 hours ago, mumto2 said:

Regarding the gut issues.......the program I volunteered for had frequent Saturday lunch lectures for the moms who worked for them.  This was 19 years ago, so no notes, but we had a specialist on gut issues in infants speaking and what I took away was how important waiting to introduce any sort of solid was.  Full term baby’s gut was probably developmentally ready at five months which was the standard recommendation at that time.  When my nieces (40ish, 2 out of 3 with gut issues) were little the recommendation was three months which the specialist was very clear was not old enough for solids in most.  My mom gave me baby cereal as soon as she could and was thrilled to be able to buy proper formula.  And yes, I have some gut issues, so does hubby whose mom also fed cereal ASAP.  

The specialist did advocate BF in general.  At that time I wondered if it was because in meant you wouldn’t feed your baby that magic formula with just a bit of cereal mixed in so your baby sleeps.......I know everyone told me that I was totally missing out.  It was the big mom tip among my friends. Hubby actually came home from a client meeting carrying a can of the “magic” formula that he wondered if we should try just once. No!!!!!

 At the time I listened to this lecture my preemie Ds hadn’t started solids yet and I held off as long as I could (til 9 months) just to be safe with the full support of my pediatrician.  My supply was huge so it wasn’t a big deal except in terms of sleep for me.

I have no idea what research on this topic recommends currently but it is something your daughters should look into when they are preparing to feed their babies.

 

When I had ds the recommendation was to hold off till 6months but actually we had major issues moving to solids and in hindsight I think he would have done better with some food exposure earlier.  Most bubs start reaching for the spoon around 5 months or so and it’s like the sign to mum.

with my others I did baby led weaning and had much less trouble (though a tonne!!! Of mess)

when I think about it really if the food requires a blender it can’t have been the natural solution for humans through the rest of history.  A mush with a fork or something maybe.  But if the baby is so young they need it blended to a perfectly smooth texture they probably aren’t ready for food. 

Edited by Ausmumof3
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9 minutes ago, Ausmumof3 said:

When I had ds the recommendation was to hold off till 6months but actually we had major issues moving to solids and in hindsight I think he would have done better with some food exposure earlier.  Most bubs start reaching for the spoon around 5 months or so and it’s like the sign to mum.

with my others I did baby led weaning and had much less trouble (though a tonne!!! Of mess)

when I think about it really if the food requires a blender it can’t have been the natural solution for humans through the rest of history.  A mush with a fork or something maybe.  But if the baby is so young they need it blended to a perfectly smooth texture they probably aren’t ready for food. 

Ds never showed any interest until 9 months and then he wanted everything and fed himself.   It was actually really easy because he went right to soft foods....as in mushed with a fork.  He first reached for the pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving and still loves pretty much anything pumpkin.  I’ll be honest and say I skipped the slow introduction for allergies because he never reacted to anything I ate in breast milk and Dd had reacted to the same foods in breast milk as in solids.

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3 hours ago, Ausmumof3 said:

 

with my others I did baby led weaning and had much less trouble (though a tonne!!! Of mess)

Did your babies actually wean themselves?

Mine start reaching for food around 4 months and I just let them have whatever table food they can manage, but they have zero desire to wean. Ever.

I have to wean them at some point; the one who nursed until age four kept telling me for years they wished they could still nurse.

My older (verbal) nurslings all told me my milk tastes like ice cream so I sorta get it. What kid would want to give up access to an ice cream milkshake anytime they want? 

I've always been a bit amused by those moms who diligently avoid ever giving their babies anything sweet to prevent them from developing a taste for sweet things. Breast milk is plenty sweet, babies are born to like the taste of sweet.

Edited by maize
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8 minutes ago, maize said:

Did your babies actually wean themselves?

Mine start reaching for food around 4 months and I just let them have whatever table food they can manage, but they have zero desire to wean. Ever.

I have to wean them at some point; the one who nursed until age four kept telling me for years they wished they could still nurse.

My older (verbal) nurslings all told me my milk tastes like ice cream so I sorta get it. What kid would want to give up access to an ice cream milkshake anytime they want? 

I've always been a bit amused by those moms who diligently avoid ever giving their babies anything sweet to prevent them from developing a taste for sweet things. Breast milk is plenty sweet, babies are born to like the taste of sweet.

Lol no.  They “weaned” in that they ate significant amounts of solid food but dd weaned pretty easily when I was pregnant and youngest was almost 3.  It was a painless process compared to my first though.  Baby led feeding would be a better word.

and yes I have a friend who weaned around 3 and her verbal kid woke her up in the middle of the night asking for ice cream.

Edited by Ausmumof3
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On ‎5‎/‎9‎/‎2019 at 10:48 PM, Mergath said:

From the studies and information I've read, if you're comparing modern formula prepared with clean, lead-free water to breastmilk, I don't think there's any significant difference. And I say this as someone who is still breastfeeding a twenty-month-old, so I'm not bitter or jealous or whatever breastfeeding proponents like to claim. I agree with the video that it's all the other factors that make a difference, not the breastmilk itself. And the argument that, "My breastmilk changes colors so it must be better!" is the silliest thing I've ever heard. It changes color depending on diet, just like how raw cow's milk or chicken eggs look or taste different depending on the animal's diet. That doesn't make it superior to modern formula. I mean, my pee turns pink if I eat beets but I'm not going to squirt it in my kid's ear if she gets an ear infection. 🤣

Yup, every word of this.  There are absolutely *zero* controlled studies that show breast milk is superior to formula; it's all correlation.

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The thing about breast milk is that we don't understand it.  It isn't because it changes, which it does.  Scientists don't understand everything that is in it.  According to what we know, formula should be MUCH sweeter than breast milk.  I think I read 7X sweeter.  But it isn't.  So, there are some big things about breast milk that we don't understand. 

Without understanding what is in breast milk, we can't know that formula replaces every important aspect. 

That isn't to say that anyone should feel guilty for using formula.  A friend of mine due at the same time, couldn't produce ANY milk.  She'd had a brain tumor that was removed. 

 

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On 5/13/2019 at 1:34 AM, TravelingChris said:

 My daughter's both will have health and medications issues that probably will preclude breastfeeding too.

 

My husband has to stand his ground against anyone who overstepped. My MIL is pro breastfeeding but she was shocked at how aggressive some people were about formula being evil. My obgyn was supportive but my kids pediatrician wasn’t happy so we switched pediatricians. We want open minded medical professionals, not a one size fit all medical professionals for our family. Complementary medicine has been so helpful for my extended family. 

On 5/13/2019 at 1:59 AM, TravelingChris said:

I always laughed at those claims about breastfeeding and IQ.  We are plenty happy with the IQs we ended up with.

Immunity and gut bacteria are the real issues.   I do not know and no one knows if my family's fantastic awful luck w autoimmune issues have to do w/ no breastfeeding or maybe intergenerational curse of extreme hardships( yes, there are a number of good studies that are seeming to statistically making a connection) or overuse of antibiotics or too many infections or little green men or ,,,,,,,

 

I have been asked too many times what I feed my kids (no I didn’t feed them any IQ enhancing food nor did I take any IQ enhancing prenatal diet 😒 ). While malnutrition might be why my dad has learning difficulties, it doesn’t explain why my brother has similar learning difficulties other than genetics from my dad’s malnutrition.  

My nephew and I who have red streaks in our hair as kids have the worse case of eczema. We think there is a genetic link. None of my grandnephews and grandnieces has red streaks so far. 

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Human milk oligosaccharides differ from bovine milk from which many formulas are produced. Formulas are now adding HMOs which they are hoping will improve formula.

https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/452818

Oligosaccharides help to establish a healthy microbiome in the infant which in turn reduce inflammation and help to build a strong immune system.

Quote

It turns out the oligosaccharides are there to nourish not the baby but one particular gut bacterium called Bifidobacterium infantis, which is uniquely well-suited to break down and make use of the specific oligosaccharides present in mother's milk.

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/19/magazine/say-hello-to-the-100-trillion-bacteria-that-make-up-your-microbiome.html

I'm in the camp that believes parents shouldn't feel guilty if they can't breastfeed. Sometimes you have to do the alternatives.

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I do think postpartum care has much to be desired in the US system. It was easy to give the “correct” answers to the postpartum survey. My mom has nurse visits to help postpartum. It was probably a legacy of the British colonial days and all moms are eligible.

US has postpartum visits but the coverage is specific and not for every mom.

“Families are not charged for PPNBHVs or NICU Pre-discharge Home Visits. Medicaid is billed for eligible families. Funding from the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant helps support home visits to families of newborns weighing less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces at birth, infants born at less than or equal to 37 weeks gestation, and to mothers who are 17 years old or younger at the time of delivery.” https://scdhec.gov/health/family-planning/pregnancy/postpartum-newborn-home-visits

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I think it comes down to the idea that it should be the mother's choice, but we as a society owe it to moms and babies to make sure it is an informed choice, and that there IS a choice, ideally. By that I mean, making sure women and doctors know the facts about feeding, and making sure our society supports women if they do choose to breastfeed. not support as in slogans, I mean support as in help available, work policies that make sense, etc etc. I am still surprised how many doctors and nurses don't know some basic things, like how to find out which medications are safe for nursing mothers, etc. 

How many moms weaned because they were told they had to due to medications, when those medications actually were very safe? Sure, she might still choose to wean, but she should be given the information so she can make a choice. When I had surgery I had multiple doctors/nurses who had no clue that it was safe to nurse after anesthesia, they didn't know which meds were safe for pain, etc. I had to do all the research on that. Two told me I'd need to wean or postpone surgery - how many other women did they tell that to who trusted them and did wean? 

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38 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

I think it comes down to the idea that it should be the mother's choice, but we as a society owe it to moms and babies to make sure it is an informed choice, and that there IS a choice, ideally. By that I mean, making sure women and doctors know the facts about feeding, and making sure our society supports women if they do choose to breastfeed. not support as in slogans, I mean support as in help available, work policies that make sense, etc etc. I am still surprised how many doctors and nurses don't know some basic things, like how to find out which medications are safe for nursing mothers, etc. 

How many moms weaned because they were told they had to due to medications, when those medications actually were very safe? Sure, she might still choose to wean, but she should be given the information so she can make a choice. When I had surgery I had multiple doctors/nurses who had no clue that it was safe to nurse after anesthesia, they didn't know which meds were safe for pain, etc. I had to do all the research on that. Two told me I'd need to wean or postpone surgery - how many other women did they tell that to who trusted them and did wean? 

Yes to all of this.

And...if no one could breastfeed following a surgery no mom who delivered via C-section could ever breastfeed. Surely a doctor could think that through?

Sigh.

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