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The ABA - what were your experiences? Lock Rss

Look, I don't want to start a fight (although I am sure it will), I have a question.
Other than those people who sound like they belong to the ABA or do the whole touchy-feely attachment parenting thing or something - who has had a good experience with the Australian Breast Feeding Association? So many of my friends who had trouble with breast feeding for varied reasons didn't have a nice time with them. They were simply given the same advice over again, stuff they had already tried and were still faily at. They were made to feel very bad when they finally gave up and used formula.

I have been to one meeting and decided it wasn't for me and have never needed to call them for help but I get the impression that many of them are very one sided. But I guess that's the point.

Perhaps then we need a Bottle Feeding Association to balance things out and give support to those who either don't want to or struggle to breastfeed?

I know the theory is that anyone can breast feed but so many people I know and on here have really really tried and still couldn't do it. It seems that their only support network is places like this?

P.S. I breastfed my DD and plan to do it again so don't think I am all bottle bottle bottle, I just empathise with those who really want to and can't.
Hi there,
I have to say I have had one encounter with the ABA that wasn't truly satisfying. I had a number of problems BF when my DD was born and had to express (and couldn't express enough to fill her up) and used formula to keep her happy. I was so stressed about putting her onto formula that I rang that ABA helpline and spoke to a woman who was most helpful. She said that she believed the BF is the best thing for bub but sometimes you need to add a little to help them. I found her to be nothing but helpful. She took my details and sent me information about local meetings and off to the meetings I went. I found the meetings to be great for information and fun also.
I BF for 4 months until my DD decided she'd had enough and I had to formula feed her during the day and bottle feed her during the night time and this went on until she was 6 months old. I have been to the meetings since I have had to completely stop BF and they have been so supportive. I have found that the women in the group I go to to be supportive of any sort of feeding. They would certainly prefer if I BF but have been with me and supported me through the rough time I have had with BFing and I am so happy to have had them there for me.
I do agree though that there is no support network (that I am aware of)other than friends/family/CHN and forums like this where one can go to get help with bottle feeding as neither BFing or bottle feeding is easy. I found I stress either way.
So with my one not so good encounter with the ABA, I don't think anyone would have been able to help me at that point in time. The job of the counsellors is to counsel and I wasn't in the right frame of mind for counselling, I really just wanted some information that she wasn't prepared to or wasn't able to help me with. I think sometimes it depends on the counsellor you get.
I think we have to remember that these women are volunteers and are representing an association that promotes BFing so that is why their information is about BFing and not formula. You don't hear people shouting for animal rights telling you it's ok to wear fur.
Sorry for the long post but I wanted to let you know that I tried BFing and my DD didn't want to do it anymore (much to my dismay) and when I had to go to formula the support from my local group was fantastic.
Best wishes.

[Edited on 24/08/2007]

There is a bottlefeeding site just started by a few mums if you want the link let me know.

I am all for BF even though i never did it i think BF mums are great

PM Me For a link to an awesome site

I have only had good experiences with the ABA although I know of people that haven't been happy with the info that has been suggested in which case I would ask for a differnt counsellor number or get a local contact and go along to a meeting and meet someone in real life.

The mothers I have come across are very supportive in general no matter what style of parenting you use and we had 2 Bottlefeeding mums attending out meetings and they were treated no differently.

I am a passionate BF advocate and as one other poster said you ring the helpline to get BF suggestions,& I liked your analogy of the fur - it is spot on.

With regards to the attachment parenting - it is a responsive way of parenting - not fluffy. You may like to look at Dr William Sears website or even Dr James Mckenna and get some more info before you "label" parenting - I can't help but find it offensive just as if I labeled you as an "unattached parent". As mums we need to support each other - all types of parenting and respect other peoples decisions and maybe read up and try and understand where they are coming from and then as mothers we can all make our own informed decisions.

Getting back to the topic though I think if you do want to bf and need suggestions then they are the people to call, and as I said before if you don't like the people at your local meeting or a counsellor you spoke to then speak to someone else. It could just be a personality mismatch the say thing can happen with CHN & other mothers.

The very first meeting I attended I didn't really click with any of the mothers so didn't go back, yet went to a different group a couple of weeks later and met some lovely women who have become my very good friends.

Mel

ETA - I have been to doctors who know nothing about BF - work that out!
[Edited on 24/08/2007]

Wear your baby out!!!

I am a (demand) breast feeding mummy & Im a **touchy-feely** (co sleeping baby wearning) mummy & Im a member of the ABA.
But if you go check my previous posts you will see I am actually supportive of all mothers reguardless of feeding method's.
I have never come across an ABA member who is direspectful or rude to a bottle feeding mum & find your comments
Other than those people who sound like they belong to the ABA or do the whole touchy-feely attachment parenting thing or something

to be quite offencive.
I know you asked for opinion's from people who aren’t member's of the ABA but I would like the chance to put my story across.


The first contact I had with ABA was when my baby was about 6 weeks old via email counseling, after I posted here on an issue of supply & received advice on getting formula ( not the advice I had asked for)one supportive mum on here came in & told me I was doing a great job & really boosted not only my spirits but also my self confidence, she ended her post with the ABA contact #'s, my next contact was when my baby was 4 months old & I was looking at giving up breastfeeding because my MCHN told me my baby was not gaining enough weight. She totally degraded my ability of mothering telling me if I continued to force my baby to feed from me I was being selfish as he was not getting enough & was therefore starving. I left her clinic in tears. I got home rang the ABA & told them his weights. which were
Birth: 2960g- discharge weight 2800g Length 48cm H/C 35 cm
1 week: 3080g
3 weeks: 3360g
5 weeks: 4005g
6 weeks: 4070g ---- length 54cm H/C 39cm
9 weeks: 4445g
3 months 5060g
4 months 5510g---- Length 64cm H/C 41.5cm
The support I received from the ABA was fantastic I was given a crash course in the "habit's" of a breast feed baby like slow weight gain at different times, the use of outdated growth charts in Australia.

If you are wanting to continue to breastfeed then yes the ABA is the place to go.
All ABA counsellors are bound by the Code of Ethics, the very first on the list is
(a) To encourage and to give confidence and moral support to mothers who wish to breastfeed their babies.
of course they are going to encourage mum's they would be under the impression that if a mum ring's them that they are looking for that support.

S

Hello Bubba J's Mum. I thought you would fit into that category judging by your posts I have seen smile . Yes, I have heard that the growth charts we use are american bottle fed baby charts or some such.... bit silly. I didn't mean that ABA members are rude or disrespectful, just that some of my friends have come off the phone feeling worse than they did when they called. I mean, what if you've tried everything they say and it still isn't working and all you get told is keep trying, keep trying. And you know that formula would fix all your problems but are made to feel (or feel) like a complete failure if you do that? What does it say in the code of ethics for people who wish to breastfeed but can't? Are you not allowed to say "Oh well, you've tried your very best but it may just not work this time round, it may be best if you formula fed your baby"? Breast feeding is best but not if it makes you both miserable.


I am sorry if I offend "attachment parenting" people but I just get frustrated when I see SOOOOOO many posts on here saying "My baby will only sleep in my arms, what can I do?" or "My baby is wanting to feed every two hours at night, what can I do?" or "My baby will only fall asleep on the breast" or "My toddler will not sleep in his/her own bed, how do I get him/her out?" or " I need to go back to work in a week but my baby wont take a bottle". I just wish new mums were told that if they do things like that in the early days they need to want to do that for as long as the baby wants or have to fight to change it. I know it works for some people but you need to know what you are in for. Sorry.
[quote] I mean, what if you've tried everything they say and it still isn't working and all you get told is keep trying, keep trying[/quote]
ABA Counsellor's are not trainned in offering advice on formula feeding & most of them have no experience in the matter so have no personal advice either one of the requirement's of becomming a Counsellor is they must have

[quote] breastfed at least one baby for at least nine months and undertaken the ABA breastfeeding counsellor training course to qualify. Counsellors provide counselling and breastfeeding information to any person seeking help[/quote]
Which is why most (if not all) tell the mum to seek advice from her Doctor or Community nurse.
[/quote]And you know that formula would fix all your problems [/quote]If a mother comes to the point of this then why ring ABA? that would be like me contacting a formula company & asking advice on breastfeeding. They are going to tell me to contact some one with the knowledge needed to give accurate advice.

[quote]but are made to feel (or feel) like a complete failure if you do that?[/quote]
I honestly believe the only person who can make you feel like a failure is you, if you truely believe that you are doing what is right for your baby the you cant fail.


[quote]I know it works for some people but you need to know what you are in for. Sorry.[/quote]I totally agree. As with all aspect's of parenting sleeping, feeding & comfort issues need to be consistant. Theses thing's cant be seen as a "trendy" thing to do at the time they are a life style choice.
While I was pregnat with Jason I swore I would not co sleep & here we are almost a year on & my bubba still sleeps in my bed with me bare chested & it works for us. Parent's need to look at [i]all[/i] the option's that are out their before they commit to one style of parenting a mix & match style is what I use.
I mix the different aspect's of different styles to match my & my baby's need's.

S

Well, that's one of my points. There is no Bottle Feeding Association and all the info is getting stripped from parenting magazines and info packs given to new Mums.
There are web site's out there for info on bottlefeeding some really good ones too.
There is a government site with some very informative info for bottle feeder's
http://www.cyh.sa.gov.au/HealthTopics/HealthTopicCategories.aspx?&p=302
On the magazine topic i have made a (rather long) post in the M&B thread.

S

I'd like to make a comment about one of your statements Carline and I'm not trying to have a fight, I just wanted to comment, that's all.
Posted by: Carline
I am sorry if I offend "attachment parenting" people but I just get frustrated when I see SOOOOOO many posts on here saying "My baby will only sleep in my arms, what can I do?" or "My baby is wanting to feed every two hours at night, what can I do?" or "My baby will only fall asleep on the breast" or "My toddler will not sleep in his/her own bed, how do I get him/her out?" or " I need to go back to work in a week but my baby wont take a bottle". I just wish new mums were told that if they do things like that in the early days they need to want to do that for as long as the baby wants or have to fight to change it. I know it works for some people but you need to know what you are in for. Sorry.

I don't really care how anyone raises their baby as long as the baby is safe, healthy and loved. I think that in the early days when you are a new mum you would do almost anything to get some form of normality back in your life. I know I did just about anything to get some sleep and if that meant having our bub in bed with us or me sleeping on the couch with her on my chest to get that sleep, that's what I would do. I think that's all most parents do at first (they try to survive) and then it becomes a habbit. Some people are happy to have their bub sleep with them and some people aren't, some people are happy to rock their bub to sleep and some people aren't, it's all individual and sometimes it's just until things settle down and bub works out what to do for themself and sometimes it becomes something that can't be fixed easily.
However, our DD slept in our bed or on my chest or my husband's chest for 4.5 weeks and then we put her in her own cot in her own room, she cried for 4 hours straight, we just couldn't settle her anywhere or anyway, she wasn't happy on our chest or in the bassinet, anywher. After the 4 hours, she went to sleep and we have had no trouble with her ever since. So sometimes the things we do in the first weeks or months can change quite easily.
I guess what I'm trying to say in all my ramblings is that at first all I was trying to do was survive and would do anything to get some sleep, eventually I HAD to change that as I didn't want to have a 7 year old sleeping in our bed still.(that's just me BTW, some people are happy with that)
I think that if people want advice to change those early habbits this is the place to ask. Why can't they ask for help and why can't they change their mind as to what works best for them and their family? I know there are a lot of things I will do differently when I have bub number 2.
Just my thoughts.
Again sorry for the long post.

Carline, my experience with ABA wasn't great at the time but with hindsight I have to be fair and say that the frame of mind I was in when I contacted them meant they couldn't have said or done much to help me. I was at wits end, alone d lonely as well as totally overwhelmed and sleep deprived! I think that there needs to be more information on bottle feeding, I needed to go back onto hormone replacement which meant my milk disappeared almost immediately, so that mothers can make an informed decision. My CHN was very pro BF and was not overly supportive until I lost the plot and told her I needed help not a lecture and if she wanted to behave like my MIL then I would make a complaint about her - yes I was a "little" emotional. Anyway -long rambling post cut short - we all make the decision that is best for our family. It was best for us to have me on hormones to make me able to give my DD quality care and definitely best for her to receive quality care. I will BF for our next baby until I can't cope with the physical discomfort from having low estrogen however I won't feel guilty if we have to bottle feed. The ABA are there to help, it just seems sometimes we call them when we are no longer happy to hear something that is not a quick fix. BTW - I cuddled DD to sleep until she was 7 months. Attatchment parenting is not touchy feely it's a choice we make and it's valid to ask how to go from one stage to another with our little ones.
[Edited on 11/09/2007]
Breastfeeding is all about practice for both mum and bubs. Maybe when people call the ABA and are told to keep trying, this is what its about. Breastfeeding was agony for me for the first couple of weeks. I was at the point of stamping my feet when feeding with tears cascading as it was so painful. I dreaded having to feed dd even though I wanted to. I bf through it all and for many hours a day, but it took about a month and a half before it all properly clicked and hasn't hurt since.
The ABA (of which I am not a member due to being slack)is there to support women with BF, as the other poster said, the advice may not have been what they wanted to hear.

(Just a note to say, I didn't contact the ABA through my breastfeeding with L plates as I had a brilliant supportive midwife. If I didn't have her I would have contacted them. They have the most up to date research as well as so much combined knowledge, they are the best resource available for bf.)
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