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First Antenatal Appt - Breastfeeding
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#1 Mim12

Posted 01 February 2013 - 03:37 PM

Hi Ladies,
I went for my first midwife appointment this morning, and  she was lovely. She was very thorough and made me feel totally  comfortable with what was going on. She asked all the usual questions  and then the 'are you planning on breastfeeding?' one.

I don't  have my mind made up on this just yet- i had always planned on  expressing and feeding that way. I just cannot handle the thought of  breastfeeding for myself- but I have no issues with other people  doing it. I don't know, maybe i will get used to it... time will tell!

Anyway,  I was quite shocked when she told me that I would be wasting my time  and it wasn't worth doing something by halves and why wouldn't I want to  be giving my baby the best start that I could. I got really annoyed. I  am willing to express, not just feed the kid formula from word go!

I  guess I am just looking for some opinions (and I needed a rant!). I  don't want to go back if she is going to be on my case about it at every  appointment.
There's so much to get your head around without the constant pressure about this!

Thanks for reading the book! original.gif

#2 CharliMarley

Posted 01 February 2013 - 03:44 PM

I think she was trying to let you know in a nice way, that some women cannot pump milk and cannot get the milk out like the baby can. There is then the use of some sort of vessel to give the baby the milk and it is usually a bottle, which babies like because they can get the milk much faster than they can by milking the breast as the suckling the baby does is what tells your body to make more milk. Some mums may be able to pump milk and feed exclusively with bottles, but not all and when the hormones kick in with your little new bub, you may have a different outlook on what you want to do regarding feeding your baby.

#3 Natttmumm

Posted 01 February 2013 - 03:45 PM

Totally your choice. She shouldn't make you feel that way.
After you have had one baby you learn to take on board comments that help you and ignore the rest.
I would ignore that one if its not what you want to do

#4 JoMarch

Posted 01 February 2013 - 03:48 PM

I'm not entirely sure what your reasons are for wanting to feed your baby this way-and if you can manage it, great!  However, as someone who had to feed baby this way for about 6 weeks due to attachment problems, I just want to let you know, its hard work!  Its time consuming and (for some) difficult to get enough milk using the pump for babies needs.  I had to supplement with some formula.  Once we got past the problems and BFing was going well life was SO much easier.  And now that DS is such a champion BFer I hate giving bottles (I find it a PITA!).  

Using expressed breast milk means a lot of double handling-sterilising, express into bottle, store milk, warm milk up, feed baby...VERY time consuming (for me, anyway).

Feeding directly from the breast cuts out all the extra work & the milk is just the right temp for baby.

If you do end up going this way I would recommend getting a "hospital grade" (not sure if that's the right word, but you get the point) pump, my little Avent electric takes a bit of time.

#5 axiomae

Posted 01 February 2013 - 03:48 PM

I know that expressing and feeding exclusively is possible but it's a lot of hard work. Your body makes milk on a supply and demand process and a baby takes a lot more milk from the breast than a plastic pump. You would probably struggle to build and maintain an adequate milk supply if you expressed exclusively from the start (but it is possible - I just mean you'll be strapped to the pump all. the. time.) however if you breastfeed for at least the first 6-8 weeks you may be able to manage it AFTER you have build an adequate supply.

Personally, expressing sucks. I struggled with supply and needed to express after every feed to built and maintain a decent supply of milk for DD. I hated having to get out the pump, express (as it took forever and I never got much), clean the pump, wash bottles, sterilise bottles, make up bottles... sigh. It was SO much easier to just pop bub on the breast and have a cuddle. It was an extra chore, and I struggled with the transition to motherhood enough as it was. I didn't get to enjoy my baby because she was on the floor or in the bouncer most of the time while I was expressing. I didn't get to cuddle or interact as much as I would have liked to. When it came to settling for sleeps I would miss an expressing time and then feel like I wouldn't make enough milk and the guilt was awful!

That's just my experience though, it's up to you to decide what works for you. Just keep in mind that you can always switch from breastfeeding to expressing and/or formula, but it's hard to go back if you never give it a go.



#6 Roobear

Posted 01 February 2013 - 03:51 PM

She probably could work on her method of delivery but she is right about 2 things .. breastfeeding is the best start you can give you baby and expressing fulltime is hard work. You will need to be expressing at least every 4 hours all day and night to bring your milk plus preparing bottles of top of that. That being said there are some EB members you have expressed fulltime so not saying it can't be done. I don't think it is a waste of time though, some breast milk is better than none.

If you are in the public system I highly doubt you will see that one midwife again. You can always tell her that you are looking into your options if she asks. In the meantime maybe look into yourself and make up your mind that way.

Good luck original.gif

#7 Mim12

Posted 01 February 2013 - 03:51 PM

Thanks for your reply original.gif
I do understand that side of where she is coming from, I just thought it a bit strong for the first visit.

I explained to her that at 13 weeks pregnant after a previous miscarriage, I have not explored many options as I was waiting to make sure everything was okay this time around first.
Also that it was my opinion at the present time but may very well change, as you said, once bub arrives.

It's almost information overload and being a ftm it's like being an easy target original.gif

#8 Chief Pancake Make

Posted 01 February 2013 - 03:51 PM

They are obsessed with breast feeding right from the moment you conceive.  I always thought it was a stupid question to ask a 6 week pregnant woman.  Most people plan to breast feed, but you never know how it will work out until the baby arrives.  If you say no - like the OP did (which she is totally entitled to do) maybe they think it will give them 8 months to convince you other wise.

#9 Mim12

Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:01 PM

QUOTE (Roobear @ 01/02/2013, 03:51 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
She probably could work on her method of delivery but she is right about 2 things .. breastfeeding is the best start you can give you baby and expressing fulltime is hard work. You will need to be expressing at least every 4 hours all day and night to bring your milk plus preparing bottles of top of that. That being said there are some EB members you have expressed fulltime so not saying it can't be done. I don't think it is a waste of time though, some breast milk is better than none.

If you are in the public system I highly doubt you will see that one midwife again. You can always tell her that you are looking into your options if she asks. In the meantime maybe look into yourself and make up your mind that way.

Good luck original.gif


There are pros and cons to every situation, in this case delivering in a small hospital = 2 midwives on staff. original.gif

#10 Jo-Anna

Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:04 PM

It is a very personal choice OP and I think it's good that the midwife brought it up so you can begin researching and exploring your options. I honestly think what she said was probably not put the best, but had a bit of truth to it.
As for my experience.. I found expressing horrid. I had absolutely no issue with breastfeeding (the breast part) but the expressing was hard work and made me feel like a cow. I rarely  did it once feeding was established.
Personally, I would have all the things you need to do both, keep an open mind and see how you feel once baby is here.

#11 Roobear

Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:07 PM

QUOTE (Mim12 @ 01/02/2013, 05:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
There are pros and cons to every situation, in this case delivering in a small hospital = 2 midwives on staff. original.gif


Oh bummer! I had my babies in a big city hospital so never saw the same midwife. Maybe you will need to work on you best "Back off" face to put at the end of your "Thank you for your input but I am looking into my options and will get back to you when I made a decision" .... It will come in handy anyway when you get inundated with all the 'parenting advice' from everybody from the shopkeepers daughter to the man at the post office wink.gif

#12 elizabethany

Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:16 PM

unfortunately, the probreastfeeding message is very quickly turning anti women and anti choice.  What the OP experienced is a symptom of that.

OP, I hope you can make the best decision for you and your family in the next 6 months, whether that be breastfeeding, expressing or formula.

If it is a purely psychological thing, maybe talking to someone about it would help, but ultimately the choice is yours.  I would recommend trying to breastfeed if you feel able to, you may find it works well for you.  Expressing can be a challenge, especially while you are still getting used to parenthood, but many women do that sucessfully too.

#13 lucky 2

Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:17 PM

I don't think it is a stupid question, ie. asking how you intend to feed your baby, to get you to think about the possibilities.
I think it is better suited to around the late 2nd trimester/early 3rd trimester mark though.
I know of women who have been through a pregnancy with MW care and haven't been asked much about infant feeding, these are women who have had various types of breast surgery that is likely to have negative impact on milk production, but they haven't been asked about it or had a breast assessment.
Addressing infant feeding is a normal part of pregnancy care and preparation for motherhood.
Women who have felt positive and interested in bfing prior to and during pregancy are more likely to end up bfing.

OP, that MW didn't do the right thing with you, she just put you off-side instead of listening to you and asking if you'd like more information about feeding/expressing etc.
If she was acting in a non-judgemental and professional manner this is what she would have done.
Just opening the topic would have been enough at your first appt.
Sorry to hear you experienced information overload.

If you want to look into bfing or expressing please come and visit the Breastfeeding forum, you are not alone in feeling disinclined to directly breast feed.
There are many tips we could give you to try and achieve whatever goal you have, ie expressing or bfing or both.
As you say though, your thoughts and feelings may change over time.

Good luck with your next appt, ? see if you could have a different MW. Perhaps she was having a "bad day".
All the best.

#14 purpledelight

Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:22 PM

Its your baby, your body, you will do what is right for the both of you... even if you haven't decided yet. What happens if you decide to BF, then the child has feeding difficulties? I thought that I would only BF for the first six weeks, expressing so DH could feed her at least once a day, then express and feed that way after six weeks.... or switch to Formula. BUT I had high lipase which meant that the milk tasted awful as soon as it cooled below body temperature! So there was NO way she would drink it. I ended up BF my little one until 18 months... that was not something I thought I'd do... you might change your mind, listen to what they have to say and go away knowing you'll do whatever it is YOU want to do.

You will meet a lot of health professionals along the way, (my maternal health care nurse was a real challenge). You can always challenge their advice, nod and smile  or seek a second opinion / different provider.

I was in a public hospital and saw a different midwife EVERY visit!





#15 Mim12

Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:23 PM

Thankyou so so much to everyone!

This is why EB is so fantastic. It is good to get different views/opinions of various situations, not just what the text books say so that we can make informed decisions. original.gif

#16 lady lady

Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:28 PM

OP - I wouldn't read too much into it/ let it get to you.  It was poor form on her part but aside from that you seemed happy with her.

Arm yourself with information explore alll options and give whatever your comfortable with a go when the baby arrives.  

If she keeps on about it at appointments smile and nod and say your still exploring your options.

No need to wind yourself up with a BF/ FF debate ..... either way just feed your baby wink.gif

#17 ScarfaceClaw

Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:40 PM

Ultimately it's your choice, obviously, but as someone who had to express for quite a while I can't even begin to tell you how draining it is. Way harder then EBF alone. It's time consuming, and there is so much double handling, and babies are so fickle in terms of wanting to be held, or fed frequently, and if you are home alone it's a lot of work to care for the baby AND feed it AND express for it.

So while I don't think feeding a baby EBM is doing it by halves, I think by intending on feeding that way you are creating more work for yourself, that you really don't need!

The day I hung up the pump was the happiest day in my BF journey.

I think the discussion should be had, in terms of getting you to think about it, and at this early stage of pregnancy keep your mind open. I have had a lot of success with BF after an uncertain and difficult start, and now can't fathom giving it up, but thats MY journey, and it might not be yours.

Good luck for an uneventful pregnancy!

#18 Princess.cranky.pants

Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:47 PM

She properly came on a bit strong, but you should expect a bit of flack if you are not even going to attempt to breastfeed. I am not saying that it's right to give you some flack about it.. but breastfeeding is pushed these days because it is the best start for the baby.

I have done breastfeeding and expressing full time. Full time expressing is hard, hard work and some woman cannot do it at all. It is hard work expressing every 3 hours around the clock to keep up your supply. And devastating when your supply drops despite all the hard work. Sitting up at 3am attached to a pump while your baby sleeps is not fun!

I found expressing was like double feeding- I had to feed the baby (takes an hour of feeding, changing, settling) and then hook up to the pump, clean the pump, bottles, store the milk. By the time I did all that the baby was looking for some food again. And you have to take the pump out with you, find a private parents room to express and store the milk while your out. I just stayed at home and only went out in between expressing times because it was just too hard. It sucked. Many times I wished my baby didn't have feeding issues and I was able to breastfeed her. I hate bottle feeding so much, it was such a pain. Breastfeeding you just lift your top and milk is there ready for the baby.

For a first time mum there can be lots of things you cannot see yourself doing. Mine was laboring naked. And guess what.. I did labor naked, all day and night and I didn't care who saw me! I never gave it a moments thought when I was in labor.

The thought of breastfeeding makes you feel uncomfortable now but you don't know what it's like till you give it ago. Even if you just have a go for the first few days so the baby gets the colostrum that is so good for them. It's hard to express colostrum (been there!) so I would at least give breastfeeding a go even if it's just for that. Maybe you could set yourself a short term feeding goal, see how you go and then look at expressing full time? But do keep in mind that full time expressing is much harder then you would anticipate. Breastfeeding is so much easier, providing of course the baby is feeding well.

Keep an open mind. Good luck.

#19 lucky 2

Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:53 PM

QUOTE
but you should expect a bit of flack if you are not even going to attempt to breastfeed.

I disagree with this in relation to a health professional, it was a first AN visit, the first time the topic is raised. It isn't the MW's role to give you a hard time, there are ways and means of having these sorts of discussions and that was not the way to do it. Information can be provided, support can be given but it is not her role to tell you what to do.

#20 Spring Chickadee

Posted 01 February 2013 - 05:07 PM

As a health professional she should be encouraging breastfeeding (since its by far the best choice for your baby from a health perspective) but it sounds like she may be been to abrupt and dismissed your expressing idea without elaboration.

At the end of the day they are your breasts, so it is 100% your decision what you wish to do with them. It sound like you want the goodness if breastmilk for your baby (which is brilliant!) but the actual sucking from the breast makes you feel uncomfortable.

I have a 12 week old and have found breastfeeding to be a very comfortable and rewarding experience- it's like a snugly cuddle each time you feed. Despite my son being a brilliant feeder and gaining tonnes of weight (so I know he's getting loads of milk) but when I go to express its hard work, it's uncomfortable, I feel like a dairy cow and it takes forever to get enough milk. Babies mouths are so much more efficient then those pumps. Many many women have the same experience. So really I would be concerned that I would quit far earlier then what was best for my baby then if I had fed them directly from the breast.

One thing I have noticed if that most new mums spend more time building the cot then planning for successful breastfeeding. Breastfeeding often doesn't come naturally, you need to learn a few skills to get the latch right and avoid all those nasty experiences you hear of (mastitis, cracked nipples etc). I think it is incredibly valuable investing in breastfeeding class. I went to one with the ABA that was only 2.5 hours but was brilliant! I would enrol in one of these classes, if you still feel uncomfortable then make an appointment with an ABA counsellor to get all the info you need to pump and feed successfully.

This is your babies health and future potential you need to prioritise (health, intelligence, allergies etc) so making the breastfeeding (or pumping) work is so so important!

Best of luck!

Edited by Spring Chickadee, 02 February 2013 - 04:30 PM.


#21 Duck-o-lah

Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:33 PM

Is there a lactation consultant you can see through the hospital? If you encounter this MW again you could ask the question and that might suggest to the MW that you're considering your options and get her off your back.

I was a bit shocked when my MW booked me in for an antenatal lactation consultant appt at 16 weeks, but I think it's good to get started thinking about BFing sooner rather than later. Later on in the pregnancy it's so easy to become consumed with everything else that's going on. I found the LC really good, I was expecting she would be one of these militent BFing advocates, but she wasn't like that at all, we just had a really good chat and formed an action plan to get through the first 6 weeks (the timeframe I had massive problems feeding DS).

I don't need to repeat in detail what other posters have mentioned, but I did try to express and bottle feed DS and it was hell. I would second a PP's advice and if that is the route you want to take, invest in a really good quality electric pump to make your life easier original.gif

#22 Nofliesonme

Posted 01 February 2013 - 09:38 PM

Your choice OP but so you know expressing and feeding whilst can be done is bloody hard.

#23 Koobie83

Posted 02 February 2013 - 06:19 AM

This is my first, so I can't give you advice about h pros and cons of bfing. I am planning on bfing, but am going to keep an open mind because it may not work as well as I hope. I plan on expressing in between. I don know if this helps with supply. But the simplicity of bfing is what sells me. Just remember OP tHat dairy cows are bred to be super expressers and don't need their babies with them to express! It could be tough. I'm thinking of joining the ABA for info and advice etc. My MW visits me every week after birth to help but bfing is very Morgantown o th more advice I cn get the better.

#24 JoandJon

Posted 02 February 2013 - 06:47 AM

When I was pregnant (our little one is now 3 months old!) I got so fed up with the midwives pushing me about breastfeeding I almost decided on principle NOT to do it.
Then I told one particularly good midwife how I felt about their approach and what it was making me feel.

It's amazing, all of a sudden they backed right off original.gif

At your next appointment tell them that you felt bullied at your last appointment and due to what was said you're seriously considering feeding with formula unless they back right off.  (Or put it in writing if you don't think you'll have the nerve to say it!)

Oh and I have mixed fed from the start - mostly BF, but some bottles of EBM and some formula.  Just moving to all formula now because I'm back at work on Monday.

#25 MrsLexiK

Posted 02 February 2013 - 04:25 PM

Hi OP I could almost write your post original.gif well expect for the last part. I found one midwife was a bit meh about the others have all been great. (One said "well I won't call you weird that is for you to call yourself" or something like that)

I posted a thread awhile back in I think breast feeding or feeding your baby I cannot remember but it is in my history of posted topics.

I got a bit of advice re:breast bumps which in turn have me advice on expressing. I spoke to the ABA as well and have done some reading. I think if you just know that it will be hard and it is a big commitment, and you might change your mind and want to try to breast feed you will do a lot better then if you think it will be dead easy. Oh and invest in a good double electric pump.

Also you don't have to give breast milk (or even formula) as warmed you can give them at room temp.




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