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Pressure!!! Lock Rss

Yes well where do I start with this topic!

Jacob was a caesar baby and as explained by the Paediatrician he had to chuck up the fluid on his lungs before he would be interested in feeding. He was put to the breast the same night he was born but I felt from the start that something wasn't right.

By day 3 he up and refused to "get on" at all - I believe he was frustrated with the "midwife hold" (hand on the back of his neck to force him onto breast). Also, I had the baby blues by day 2 so my emotions were not much help either. There were 2 days of the bloody midwives squeezing the hell out of my breasts and trying to force him on.

I knew from the start that he wasn't getting enough from me and the nurses kept asking "are your breasts rock hard, are you feeling a tingling sensation/let down, are you feeling heat from the breasts" - to which all questions were answered with NO!!!!!!!!

By day 3 I asked "can I give him something because I know he's not getting enough from me" - he had successfully taken the cholostrum only with me hand expressing and a nurse sucking it up off the nipple with a syringe. (I am grateful that he at least got the good stuff). He also had a problem with latching on correctly as well.

After asking three times to the same nurse if I could supplement him each time she would say "oh are you really sure you want to do that" - "YES!!" - apparently the hospital that I attended MATER MOTHERS PRIVATE IN BRISBANE - has a policy of not being allowed to mention formula at all or recommend the use of it unless it comes from the mother.

So Jacob was supplemented right from the word go after my asking several times - I tried breast feeding and giving him expressed breast milk for about six weeks but I was still having to supplement with S26. I was racked with guilt over this for weeks and felt like an utter failure! My husband was a great support for me with this but even so I still felt like a failure! But surprisingly I spoke to several other mothers who attended the same hospital and experienced exactly the same as me - one lady telling me "the midwives had me in tears over breast feeding" and this lady put her baby on formula when she got home and hasn't looked back since.

I even so much as told my Obstetricican "how many of your ladies tell you the midwifery ethics at the MMPH suck!!!!!!!" - he agreed with me - told me very nicely to enjoy my baby and not fret over breast feeding. I too could only express 20-30ml of breast milk on a good day - a bad day would equate to about 5ml. So yes I was not a "good cow" either.

Yes I agree "breast is best" but these hospitals public or private should also get with the times and move into this era and acknowledge and understand that "NOT ALL WOMEN CAN SUCCESSFULLY BREAST FEED!" - despite being told several times in my classes "there is no reason that a woman cannot breast feed with correct positioning and attachment" - well the next bloody time I hear these words uttered from a midwife - she had better be prepared for an earful. Because in my experience its not just positioning and attachment that make for good breast feeding.

It is amazing the number of women out there in the world who for some reason or another could not successfully breast feed. I gave it a good go and can at least be pleased with myself that I gave it a good try for Jacob.

I also wondered whether if his birth was a vaginal delivery and he was put to the breast as soon as he came out if that would have made a big difference.

But I have learnt now that I have a beatiful baby who is happy and healthy and thriving on S26 and has nearly doubled is birth weight of 9"1' (4.1kg) in three months. He has his fathers height genes - he was very long when born.

I also received a nasty comment from a woman at work "oh with the size of your breasts I thought you'd be able to feed easy".

WRONG! - another false perception about breast size - just cause you have big ones doesn't mean you can breast feed properly.

When the next times comes for baby Number 2 - and if I experience the same "resentment" from the nurses at that hospital - I now what my response will be "unless you are giving me drugs and taking my temperature - bugger off and leave me alone to enjoy my baby".

I know these midwives have a job to do but they really need to understand that breast feeding is just not possible for every woman.

Unfortunately the stigma attached to the great debate of vaginal Vs caesaran also seems to be perpetuated onto breast Vs bottle and its by the "mean midwives" (my husband calls them this!).

I unfortunately had to have a caesaran due to the fact that Jacob had too big a head to delivery normally. If I had tried to labour I would have ended up with an emergency caesar.

Don't get me wrong I'm in favour of normal delivery too but due to medical reasons I couldn't and this stems to breast feeding - which is something that needs to be realised by midwives.

Thank you for listening to my "moaning" about this subject and if I've offended anyone - I'm sorry but this was my story and experiences with the pressure associated with breast feeding.

My advice is if you find yourself in this situation - yes you will feel guilty but don't let that stop you from enjoying and loving your baby - once I got through the guilt I and Jacob have never looked back and I just love being his mum and not fretting over my inability to breast feed.

Best of luck and blessings for successful Breast feeding.
Makes me wonder what would have happened if I hadn't had the forethought to ask for a supplement in hospital.????????
It is really terrible.
Breast milk is pushed so much from society all it does is make mothers feel bad if they can't do it. I was lucky I never thought about not breast feeding and it did come to me and my son (although the hospital expereince wasn't pleasent, my hospital sounds like it was much more open to the idea that some mothers choose formula and some just can't bf). It wasn't until talking to some mothers in my mothers group I realised how devistating things can feel when your not prepared, when you think bf is it and then find out you can't. Its not like going in to give birth where you are told to prepare for a ceaser if it has to be done.

Jeninne, WA, Bradyn 24/11/04, #2 Ryan 01/12/06

It is so amazing reading these stories about the pressure of the midwives, i too had alot of difficulty strarting out with breastfeeding as i was seperated from my baby for quite a few hours after birth due to a complicated ceaser. i spent the next two weeks in hospital crying from extremley sore breast as my milk would not let down and they continually attatched poor hungry, screaming little sammy. Finally i got a midwife who i hail as my angel who suggested we feed Sam from the bottle till i start producing milk. The dear little thing finally stopped screaming and i relaxed, stopped crying and my milk appeared. Only to have a nurse a few shifts later refuse to give me a bottle for Sammy, she wasn't the only one, i went for 2 more days with everyone refusing to give sammy a bottle and i stressed out again with all the screaming as my milk was still not properly through. By the time i went home my breast were so painful i would cry my way through every feed. A week later i was back in hospital with a really serious case of Mastitis caused by my Bleeding and infected nipples. I got that under control and was home after a week however it was still painful for a few months. Sam is 3 months now and i still find it quite painful and am not feeling so guilty of changing him to bottle one day after reading this forum. Thanks Guys.

Liz,Mum To Sam 09/01/05

Well, I had the opposite pressure. I had everyone on at me to give up.
I had a lot of trouble breastfeeding and was doing it every half hour at one stage. The only support I had was from CHN who was also a lactation specialist.
Nobody wanted to hear that I was determined to continue in this fashion if it led to me being able to feed my daughter myself. Everyone had an opinion.
The first time I went out with her I had people asking if she was on the bottle yet and hadnt I given up, and why dont I just give up.
I believe that if you can do it, breast is best and I was going to give it my damnest to do just that.
All of this made me very sad and lost.
I am so glad and thankful for my CHN and a natural parenting website I went to for their support.
I wasnt able to feed after four months, but I pride myself in doing what I could for as long as I could for the sake of my baby. It may be hard, it may be inconvenient, it may be upsetting, but in my opinion it is worth it.
There are plenty of support networks out there if you truely want to try (I found this out later). I will do it all again if I have to with any subsequent children who come to me.
there is TO MUCH PRESSURE from midwifes to breatfeed. i'm a first time mum so it was all new.before my daughter was born i always said i didn"t care how she feed as long as she feed.i have huge breast 24E so everyone said you will have heaps of milk BOY they where wrong it never came. so after the third day i was a wreak she was feeding every 30 mins i was crying she was crying she wouldn"t sleep. my mum finally got the midwife in and told her that i had deciced to bottle feed.after 10 mintures of her telling me that the breast is best and my milk will come in give it time she stormed out of the room and brought me back a cold bottle. put it on the tray and said here you go it luckly i already new how to do bottles i even had to go and fing out what formula that she had used so i could keep Cass on it. it was i believe the best decision i had made cause Cass and i both slept that night and at 8 weeks she started sleeping though the night .

mel nsw

I had the emergency c-sec for bayden...born 25th feb. My milk didnt flow till day 6 and i have inverted nipples. In the hospital I had all these midwives trying to shove him on as the way they do. i really wanted to breast feed so i was willing to try. at about 5 midwives..u know 5 shifts i was getting jack of it. I told each adn every one that he cant latch on theres nothing there they are flat...I was happy to syryinge my early milk out for him.
Although they did try to get me to bst feed my hospital did not in force it. But I had to sign a document saying i was allowing them to give him a feed of formula with my colostrum. be that as it may my son didnt have a real proper feed, bottle breast or syringe for 4 days after birth.
Then the 4th night a nurse came in and said why havnt u got a nipple sheild
i said a what?
She got me one and we were off (take not all inverted nipples people) After 4 weeks of happlily feeding my baby, he was weighed and had only gained 160gms. I knew he wasnt geting enough milk from me as he would feed for an hour ans an hour later be hungry again.
I have plenty of support, and care and heartbreakingly stopped bst and went to formula.
I feel sorry for all you women who had a very bad experiance with your midwives. I felt my hospital was great and although the midwives were trying to be forcefull, i knew they knew nothing about flat nipples.
I hope i never experiance "force feeding" as you all have...

mum to bayden 25/02/05

I feel bad for you experience with the nursing staff you had. My baby was born early and was in special care and the nurses were lovely. I opted to breast feed but as Lily was tube feed they used formula as well. The nurses would even offer to feed her formula during the night so I wouldn't have to wake now how nice is that. Lily is now 3mths old and I have had no problems breastfeeding her. But everyone is to there own and nurses should not look down on you for bottlefeeding. Obviously some nurses shouldn't be nurses if they can be so insensitive and it's a wonder that you don't have postnatel depression from the stressful stay with your so-called carers.

Karen, NSW, 11,3,1yrs & 3mths

Hi I am just starting to put my 8 month old onto formula, I have fully breast fed til now and I totaly agree with there being too much pressure. When he was 6 weeks old I got dermatitis on my nipples which made breast feeding unbearable but due to pressure from mid wife, family other mums etc I felt I had to endure the pain to give my little boy the best possible start in life and if I didn't it was my fault for giving him allergies and tummy problems and all the other supposed health risks that come from bottle feeding.
I have never enjoyed breast feeding much but have struggled on through fear of not doing the best i possibly can for my boy, and even now as i put him on the at bottle 8 months i still feel guilty!

Liams Mum,NZ,14mth boy


I think the thing that gets to me about hospital staff INSISTING that you can ONLY breastfeed - and implying that you're just not trying if it doesn't work for you or for babe - is that we are adults. We make decisions about ourselves every single day. Yes being a new mum is scary and stressful etc etc but that doesn't mean we can't say 'this is not working for me' and use formula, either to get us over the difficult beginning or to get some sleep or for the whole deal, it's up to US what we choose to do...

this whole 'breastfeeding is best you HAVE to do it or you're a bad mother' thing makes me furious it is such emotional blackmail

certainly in NZ antenatal classes tell you nothing about bottle feeding (and if they do, they do it in private - almost in secret - it's so ridiculous) and the only description of the treatment you get from hospital midwives is bullying : jamming a screaming newborn onto a crying new mothers' nipple is NO WAY to start a loving, 'beautiful breastfeeding partnership'


for the record, my eldest was fully bottlefed from 8 weeks - till then I expressed each feed topped up with formula as he was a total guts; in the end I weaned out of exaustion and because I was becoming a PND risk - he had a sore neck from a long miserable delivery and couldn't find a comfortable position to feed in becasue his wee neck was so sore. This was finally diagnosed by the - angel sent from God - cranial osteopath we saw when he was about 3 weeks old. By then, damage was done . He associated being held in the nursing position with pain and can imagine.

My second baby was born knowing how to latch, bless him, and tho I needed lots of help and paid for a lactation consultant I did it, he's been fully breastfed since about 6 weeks old. And yes, I'm glad we persevered and I was VERY determined to do it this time, but I was also quite prepared to bottlefeed if that's the way it went.

Now I'm worrying about how to cut down his feeds so I can go back to work...wouldn't have this problem if he was bottlefed!!!

Fiona, NZ, 3 1/2yr old & 6 mnth boys


I have just been reading all your posts on this topic, and I can't believe the horrible times some of you have had!!

I really believe in breastfeeding and I do think that almost evey woman can breastfeed [with a miniscule number of exceptions], but I can certainly understand why so few APPEAR to be unable to, after reading your stories.

I know 'baby friendly hospitals' cannot offer formula [and neither they should!] but jamming a baby's face into a breast is not at all baby - or mother!! - friendly, is it?

Have none of these midwives heard of skin-to-skin contact?

One of the best ways to get things started, when a baby is showing no interest in the breast, or having trouble feeding, is to undress both mum [top & bra off anyway] & bub [leave on nappy ...and bonnet if you like] and lie baby chest to chest on the mother midway between her breasts -with a cover over bub and mum to keep warm [though the mother's chest automatically heats or cools, depending on the temperature of the baby, a light cover over his back keeps everything cosy]

In all but the most difficult cases, the baby will, after some time like this, automatically start to 'bob' his head and seek out the nipple. He will most likely even lick at the nipple [this often helps to evert an inverted nipple] and with little or no help can actually, usually, latch on by himself. No need for all that man handling - or should we say 'midwife-handling'!! grin

I know that there are times when it is necessary for the help to be hands on, but if any of you are in this situation again - ask for skin-to-skin first.

I have known midwives who have worked in Saudi Arabia and South Africa, and they say that in these places formula just 'doesn't exist' !! [well obviously it does - it is just rarely seen as necessary] I found this web page [below] that explains why that kind of thing is so - when in a country like Australia we have an inordinate amount of breastfeeding problems. Gosh, if as many women who find that they can't breastfeed these days, was the same in times gone by, the human race would have died out years ago!!

<a href="">Click here</a>.

Cheers - and lets hope for more baby friendly experiences in the future! grin

jm I found your post very interesting,
and had not heard of the skin to skin contact method,
I too was one of those victims of being pushed and squeezed to breastfeed, but just thought that was the way it was done, and always called a mid-wife so I could make sure that my baby was being fed, unfortunately I could not get any of them to come home with me!


Liam Evan, 2

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