Jump to content


  • Please log in to reply
237 replies to this topic

#1 it'stime

Posted 18 December 2012 - 03:05 PM

I often hear such negative reviews on EB on the ABA's hard stance of exclusive breastfeeding only. IRL I have never met anyone who has had a negative experience with them.

In the last two years I have rang ABA around 6 times. I needed to use nipple shields until DS was 3 months and occasionally used formula for night feeds (I had 3 surgeries in the first 6 months post birth) I will also admit, when I occasionally went out with friends DH would supplement with formula.

I never felt judged, nor was I offered alternative advice to what I was doing. If anything I felt supported, especially when I was congratulated that I was still feeding past 12 months.

I often wonder if people forget they are volunteers. Or have I just been very lucky in the response I got?

#2 Jersey Caramel

Posted 18 December 2012 - 03:10 PM

I rang them 2 or 3 times and only ever had great experiences. original.gif

#3 Boombox

Posted 18 December 2012 - 03:16 PM

I think the fact they are volunteers is maybe their possible downfall. I imagine it might be hard to ensure volunteers maintain standard advice, unlike a paid health professional who is bound by a code of practise and shouldn't be giving advice swayed by their own experience and ethos.

I had a bad experience calling ABA with an unsettled tiny baby- she gave me some crazy talk that was completely about her experiences with her children, not the situation I was asking about.

That said I think the organisation is great, and their classes and booklets are invaluable. I do often wonder about the call line though.

#4 Roobear

Posted 18 December 2012 - 03:17 PM

I have had a negative experience with them unfortunately. It does seem to be the zone I am in though as another lady from my mother's group also had a negative experience with them. I have moved areas now and have been encouraged to join the local group as apparently they are all positive and friendly so I might tag along to a meet next year.

#5 Guest_3Keiki_*

Posted 18 December 2012 - 03:18 PM

I had a terrible experience with ABA, a total BFing crazy who had no idea and in a very isolated situation continued with a starving baby and pain for far to long before coming to my senses

#6 Guest_AllegraM_*

Posted 18 December 2012 - 03:20 PM

I had good experiences with them and found they were very supportive of mums who had to fulltime express. I wish I had gone to them for advice first instead of wasting my time with lactation consultants.

#7 Mitis angelam

Posted 18 December 2012 - 03:21 PM

In my experience with them, there was very definitely a sense that only exclusive breastfeeding was ok.  When I rang to ask for advice with the issues I was having, and on how to mix feed well, I was told to "just keep putting her to the breast."  

Combine that with the judgement from the MCHN, and yeah, I definitely felt like I was "officially" doing the wrong thing, and I felt that others perceived me as selfish, lazy and precious.  

I don't know if voluntarism is an issue.  How hard is it to have a script that says, "If mother says this isn't working because of x,y,z, offer comfort, support, and make a and b alternative suggestions"?

#8 ♥~Bodhichitta~♥

Posted 18 December 2012 - 03:21 PM

I only had good experiences with them also  original.gif

#9 katpaws

Posted 18 December 2012 - 03:24 PM

If you use formula or EBM you aren't really the person they want ringing and if the objective is to make women do breastfeeding, regardless of circumstances, why would i ring them for advice if i cannot get assistance on formula or expressing (which is what i needed at the time) and did not plan to change? I did ring when my milk was starting to dry up in supply; it was hard to get a call back and the only advice i got was to use Fenugreek (which i did use but didn't help). Advice like make sure you look after yourself and eat well etc would have been a lot better, something i had to find out on my own.

#10 Chicky whicky

Posted 18 December 2012 - 03:25 PM

I have personally never used them, and have heard very mixed reviews about the advice they give.  I do think they need to start monitoring phone calls and flow charting their advice like a pp has said. This will be very hard to do though when volunteers take phone calls in their own houses with no way to monitor what advice they are giving.

#11 =R2=

Posted 18 December 2012 - 03:25 PM

I think it's unreasonable to expect that the ABA would give perfect advice everytime. They are all volunteers after all. Even qualified LCs don't connect with everybody and solve BF problems perfectly every single time.

Women also have differing expectations on what they get out of calling the ABA. Some are happy to just chat to someone who has been there but some expect a full point-by-point solution to their problem.

#12 Guest_Sunnycat_*

Posted 18 December 2012 - 03:29 PM

I've rang them twice and both times they were non committal, provided no information and no advice. Pretty useless but they weren't rude or mean or anything. Maybe the volunteers who answered my call were inexperienced.

#13 Goggie

Posted 18 December 2012 - 03:31 PM

QUOTE (thecleanowl @ 18/12/2012, 04:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I had a bad experience calling ABA with an unsettled tiny baby- she gave me some crazy talk that was completely about her experiences with her children, not the situation I was asking about.

That said I think the organisation is great, and their classes and booklets are invaluable. I do often wonder about the call line though.

I had this too. I wasn't calling for a chat I was calling for advice and I didn't get anything useful it new things to try apart from go see a GP. Well gee thanks for that, I've already been there and they told ne to call you, so did my MCHN. In saying that, I do think they publish some helpful brochures and bf books which did help, so both positive and negative experiences from me.

#14 Percoriel

Posted 18 December 2012 - 03:37 PM

Ask 100 medical professionals about an issue they are all experts in and you will probably get a huge variety of answers, so I don't think its a volunteer thing. The ABA provides a very valuable service and whilst its not perfect, the mothers of Australia would be a lot worse off without it.

#15 elmo_mum

Posted 18 December 2012 - 03:37 PM

i rang once, explained my situation - ds was born at 24 weeks, my boos were full and engorged, i was in tears from everything
she ended up in tears with me, giving me great advice
she ended the call saying that she was honored to be speaking to me, and that i was doing a great job!

was great to hear!!

next time i called, the woman hadnt logged, and gave me really vague info... all i wanted was how to contact an lc - ds was home by then...

#16 Isolabella

Posted 18 December 2012 - 03:43 PM

Over three calls with them for varying problems like AV I was told on breast no shield no expressing etc..... This was for major engorgement, cracked bleeding nipples where putting bubs on the boob was causing me to go for the panadine forte. Less then 45 mins sleep in three days has no sympathy apart from keep bubs attached to boob at all costs.

Also given the line if wet nappies so all is fine for amount taken... In fact my DS ended up in the ED at 21d of age basically starving ( paed s words).

So no I am one who had crappy experiences.

Edited by lsolaBella, 18 December 2012 - 03:44 PM.

#17 MintyBiscuit

Posted 18 December 2012 - 03:47 PM

I've never had to use them, but I've heard a real mix of experiences, and sadly more negative than positive. I think as an organisation they do a good job, but as a one on one phone service it seems to be a bit lacking. The problem is it's the only option for a lot of women, particularly those isolated for one reason or another, and it's a shame that it doesn't seem to meet expectations a lot of the time.

Personally I'd love to see a government funded helpline or service to help with feeding babies, whether it's BF, formula or solids. It can be so confusing for new mums and there is a lot of conflicting advice out there.

#18 Isolabella

Posted 18 December 2012 - 03:52 PM

I also went to the ABA store to be confronted by very pro BF..... Commenting on how wonderful X was still BF her child of 7yrs... Even going to school at lunchtime to do so.

They also have handouts on expressing, EBM etc so I don't know how that can considered evil as such by their advice line and in store.

Edited by lsolaBella, 18 December 2012 - 03:53 PM.

#19 2bundles

Posted 18 December 2012 - 03:56 PM

I got put off when I saw a rep on the Today Show say "there really aren't any people who can't bf, they just need better advice".

I decided at that point to never ask them for help.

#20 *~dee~*

Posted 18 December 2012 - 04:03 PM

I only had positive interactions with them, but I only wanted to exclusively bf so I didn't want an option b anyway. They helped me a lot, and the ladies were absolutely lovely.

#21 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 18 December 2012 - 04:04 PM

QUOTE (Ange Vert @ 18/12/2012, 03:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
In my experience with them, there was very definitely a sense that only exclusive breastfeeding was ok.  When I rang to ask for advice with the issues I was having, and on how to mix feed well, I was told to "just keep putting her to the breast."

this experience was similar to several friends of mine.  They didn't find the ABA advice useful or particularly supportive once they mentioned they were doing mixed feeding.  One friend was bluntly told that she shouldn't be using formula and that she was harming her child!

However, I personally never experienced any negative feedback from the ABA helpline.  Mind you, there were a few times when I received vague/useless comments that didn't really help.

QUOTE (Percoriel @ 18/12/2012, 03:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The ABA provides a very valuable service and whilst its not perfect, the mothers of Australia would be a lot worse off without it.

agree with this

#22 axiomae

Posted 18 December 2012 - 04:06 PM

I rang them once about how best to help with a blocked duct... followed their advice and all good the next day! Lovely lady - just seems like luck of the draw.

#23 Copper and May

Posted 18 December 2012 - 04:09 PM

ABA volunteers are trained for about two years, before they go onto the helpline. They have had to have breastfed at least one baby for at least 6 months, to even get into the training. Like doctors, who train for 7 years, there are good ones and not so good ones, so come on guys, give them a go. Many mothers wouldn't know what to do, if it wasn't for the ABA and sometimes new mums want to hear what they want to hear - like DH wants to give my newborn a bottle of formula and afterall they are the Australian Breastfeeding Association and this is what they know best.

#24 **Tiger*Filly**

Posted 18 December 2012 - 04:39 PM


Edited by Tyrone Finkelmeyer, 26 March 2013 - 08:50 PM.

#25 somila

Posted 18 December 2012 - 04:47 PM

I had positive experiences with ABA - I really wanted to breastfeed and the meetings were a great way of getting out and meeting people with new babies.

With my second child I had dreadful attachment issues, constant pain, mastitis etc and the ABA-recommended lactation consultant was brilliant and I ended up doing a combination of breast, EBM and formula which ultimately meant I could breastfeed for 22 months (at which point I was ready to wean him).

By this time, though, I had two close and trusted friends who were ABA counsellors.  If I had rung an anonymous person my experiences may not have been so balanced and sympathetic.  All breasts and babies are different, and if you have only had positive experiences with breastfeeding I don't think you could understand how bad it can be.

My understanding is that the calls are monitored?  I also think that some people phone to "get permission" to wean when they are already at their wits end, and that ABA counsellors are trained to try to keep people breastfeeding so they are probably not the ones to call if you are in that frame of mind.  Not that you would know that as a new mother.

Snap Tigerfilly!

1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users


How a raisin can predict a toddler's IQ

All you need to assess a child's future intelligence is a plastic cup and a raisin, according to new research.

Kate Walsh: 'I can't have kids'

Grey's Anatomy star Kate Walsh has revealed she is unable to have children because she has experienced early menopause.

The parasite that could boost fertility

The Tsimane women of Bolivia are often revered as among the most fertile in the world - on average having 10 children in their lifetimes -- but some are even more fertile than others.

Family may sue cousin over genetics

A Melbourne couple is suing the Royal Children's Hospital for failing to diagnose a genetic disorder in their first child - an error they allege caused them to have another child with severe disabilities.

Strange things mums have done in labour

While most women in labour focus on the upcoming birth of their baby, some women do more interesting things.

Michael Clarke reveals baby's name

When Michael Clarke said he was wrapped around the finger of his little princess, he wasn't joking.

The logistics of breastfeeding twins

Our life is more or less divided into neat four hour parcels of time and it's hard to get much of anything done in the time between feeds.

How to stop people ruining Christmas

We can make a conscious effort about how we react to those curly Christmas day scenarios that can send us up the wall, or should we say chimney.

Lots of formula offers for desperate mum

The mum who was down to her last three tins of baby formula said she had received hundreds of calls and offers to send her formula.

Surviving breast cancer while pregnant

It was last thing Rebecca O'Donnell expected at 30 weeks' pregnant. One morning, while putting on her bra, she felt a pea-sized lump in her right breast.

Cot sheet brands for the nursery

With so many awesome cot sheet options these days, we thought we'd put together a list of go-to brands for you to seek out for your baby's bed.

The Bugaboo by Diesel Denim launch

Essential Baby attended the launch and it got messy!

Father's letter to Bataclan terrorists

A grieving father whose wife was killed in the attacks on the Bataclan Theatre last weekend has written an open letter to her killers.

Adele's new song to sing along to

Singer follows up success of Hello with new belting ballad When We Were Young.

Major retailers restrict formula sales

Coles and Woolworths have imposed tighter buying bans on baby formula amid a shortage blamed on Chinese consumers.

Three-year-old breaks family's news

If you are three-years-old and an only child, then news doesn't get much bigger than this.

Swapped babies stay with families

A boy and girl accidentally swapped on the day they were born will stay with the families who have raised them, a South African court has ruled.

How life is different with three kids

I knew having a third child would alter our lives, but it's had so many impacts - both tiny and enormous.


What's hot on EB

Win one of two ABC Shop prize packs in time for Christmas

What a boon it would be to have your toddler's Christmas gifts covered this year. We have two awesome ABC Shop prize packs to give away to two lucky winners.

Beautiful 'now and then' images of premature babies

They are stunning photos that the parents of these beautiful no doubt feared they may never see.

Physios warn pregnant women not to crunch like Michelle Bridges

Experts are urging pregnant women not to do exactly as Michelle Bridges does when exercising, or they risk developing rectus abdominus diastasis.

Penny-pinching supermarket shoppers switching in droves

Half of Australia thinks it can get cheaper groceries by switching supermarkets, and about one in four of us have already switched.

Baby breastfed by wrong mother after hospital mix up

A newborn baby has been breastfed by a stranger after a NSW hospital bungled the identities of two newborns, devastating one mother and potentially exposing the newborn to health risks.

Nurses invent skin to skin c-section drape

The determination of three US nurses to provide immediate skin to skin contact to mothers delivering their babies by caesarean section has led to the invention of a unique surgical drape.

Baby's first photo shoot features a special guest

You can always be sure of a few things not entirely going to plan during a newborn shoot – little accidents are almost par for the course – but this shoot was memorable for a whole other reason.

We are not the family you think we are, I promise

Kids have a way of presenting a completely inaccurate impression of you, as parents, and as a family.

The hidden harm of foetal alcohol syndrome disorder

Experts believe many children diagnosed with ADHD might actually have FASD and that the number of people suffering from the condition across the country could be as high as 500,000.

Anaesthetist facing charges after ignoring woman's pain during caesarean

An anaesthetist could be punished after telling a woman enduring an "excruciating" painful C-section that she was not actually in pain.

When your baby starts life in NICU

Our daughters are finally home after spending nearly four weeks in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Wellington hospital.

How to save for a deposit while renting

As hard as it sounds, it is possible to save money when you rent, and certain things can be done to build a deposit faster.

Medications pregnant women should take, avoid, and think about

There are actually very few medications that must be absolutely avoided during pregnancy.

Paid parental leave uncertainty a growing concern

Eight months out from the due date of the government's PPL cut, some expectant parents are facing an uncertain time.

7 commandments of using the internet as a parent

What you need is careful, objective and repeatable science. Not anecdotes or old wives' tales, but data.

A rethink on screen ban for kids under two

With new guidelines being developed, the discouragement of use below two years of age is being revised.

10 things I want my wife to know

It's on those crazy days that I must remember to stop and let her know some things she needs to hear.

Better education about SIDS needed as deaths plateau

The number of sudden and unexpected deaths in infancy has decreased in NSW for the past 15 years but the most recent report into child deaths reveals the decline has plateaued.



Can't decide?

Check out the Essential Baby Names section for some inspiration

Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.