? About not breastfeeding - page 10

Hello, I am not looking for a big debate or anything. I just want to know if nurses, in general, look down on moms who choose not to breastfeed. Not because of a medical reason, just because mom... Read More

  1. by   Gompers
    Quote from mstigerlily
    Formula, after all, is still food. A mother is not neglecting her child providing formula. Yes, formula is an inferior food to breastmilk, but food all the same. There are many things nurses have to deal with. In OB and NICU and peds, you will see drug addicted mothers and babies, abuse cases where parents have abused their kids, neglected their babies. In trauma, OR and med-surg floors you will have to care for victims - and perpetrators - of violent crime which could include spouse and child abusers, rapists, gang members, drug dealers and users, drunk drivers. Depending on where you work, this could happen a lot, you may have a sheriff standing outside your patient's door. Many times your patient may be downright rude, combative and unpleasant, just a nasty individual. There are going to be many more challenges as nurse than whether someone has given breastmilk or Similac!! You are not going to approve of all your patient's choices - and you are not going to LIKE all your patients. But luckily, being a nurse does not require that, it only requires that you provide competent, safe care to all your patients in a professional manner.
    Great post! You're right - there are so many bad things nurses face everyday. Really, as long as the mother is taking good care of her baby, what does it matter to the nurse whether mom is breastfeeding or giving formula? I'd much rather see a healthy mom decide to bottlefeed than see a drug-addicted one decide to breastfeed! The baby is being well cared for, it's just a different source of nutrition is all. It is so judgemental to have these blinders on where you can't see that formula is also an option and it doesn't mean that the mom is selfish or that she doesn't have her baby's health in mind. It's just a choice.

    One other thing I have to point out...

    For all the women that CAN'T breastfeed, due to things like adoption or medications the mother must take for HER health that are dangerous to the baby - how do you think this kind of argument makes them feel? Like, "Oh, it's okay you're giving inferior formula, honey, you don't have a choice." NO! It should be, "Your baby will grow and thrive wonderfully on the top-notch formulas that are produced these days." They shouldn't feel guilty that they aren't breastfeeding, and their happiness should not be hampered by all this talk that breastmilk is soooooooooooooo much better than formula.

    Yeah, it's better, we get that. But formula is excellent nutrition as well and for the sake of these special moms, I think it's nice to point that out.
  2. by   nurse4theplanet
    Quote from Gompers
    Yeah, it's better, we get that. But formula is excellent nutrition as well and for the sake of these special moms, I think it's nice to point that out.
    Right on! It's not like they are pouring gasoline down these babies throats! It has plenty of vitamins and nutrients to produce a happy healthy baby whether the child is bottlefed by design or by choice.
  3. by   ShannonB25
    Just wanted to state my stance real quickly on this, which is basically that it's not my job to decide what any decision is for a mom. Be it whether to nurse or bottle-feed, to have an epidural or labor without analgesia, my job (and I feel the only appropriate thing to do) is to relay the options- ALL the options- to the mom, and then support her in whatever she decides. I'm not there to judge. I will help provide teaching regarding BF in as unbiased a manner as possible simply to clear up any misconceptions for mom, but it's merely because I feel teaching is part of my role as a nurse, thus it's the right thing to do for my patients. I am wholeheartedly in support of BF as I nursed both my boys and plan to nurse future babies, so if a woman chooses to BF I'll all but applaud her and do all I can to help in her attempts. By the same token though, if I have a mom who doesn't choose that route I don't change my attitude towards her, I just gear my teaching that way and away we go!

    Just my two cents...
  4. by   fergus51
    Quote from Gompers
    Great post! You're right - there are so many bad things nurses face everyday. Really, as long as the mother is taking good care of her baby, what does it matter to the nurse whether mom is breastfeeding or giving formula? I'd much rather see a healthy mom decide to bottlefeed than see a drug-addicted one decide to breastfeed! The baby is being well cared for, it's just a different source of nutrition is all. It is so judgemental to have these blinders on where you can't see that formula is also an option and it doesn't mean that the mom is selfish or that she doesn't have her baby's health in mind. It's just a choice.

    One other thing I have to point out...

    For all the women that CAN'T breastfeed, due to things like adoption or medications the mother must take for HER health that are dangerous to the baby - how do you think this kind of argument makes them feel? Like, "Oh, it's okay you're giving inferior formula, honey, you don't have a choice." NO! It should be, "Your baby will grow and thrive wonderfully on the top-notch formulas that are produced these days." They shouldn't feel guilty that they aren't breastfeeding, and their happiness should not be hampered by all this talk that breastmilk is soooooooooooooo much better than formula.

    Yeah, it's better, we get that. But formula is excellent nutrition as well and for the sake of these special moms, I think it's nice to point that out.
    I disagree with the last part. There is no reason a woman should feel guilty for feeding her baby formula. At the same time, I don't see that as a reason that we should pretend it's ideal to do it. I don't see why we should pretend there is no difference in nutritional benefits when we know there are or avoid having discussions like these among coworkers. No, we don't need to go into their rooms and berate them for feeding formula or knock them over the head with the benefits of breastfeeding, but I also don't think knowing that breast milk is nutritionally ideal when possible or saying so in discussing the issue is bad. It's being honest.
  5. by   Gompers
    Quote from fergus51
    I disagree with the last part. There is no reason a woman should feel guilty for feeding her baby formula. At the same time, I don't see that as a reason that we should pretend it's ideal to do it. I don't see why we should pretend there is no difference in nutritional benefits when we know there are or avoid having discussions like these among coworkers. No, we don't need to go into their rooms and berate them for feeding formula or knock them over the head with the benefits of breastfeeding, but I also don't think knowing that breast milk is nutritionally ideal when possible or saying so in discussing the issue is bad. It's being honest.
    I just mean that discussions like this make moms who are unable to breastfeed feel guilty even though they can't control the decision. I know several women who couldn't breastfeed, one due to medications and three due to adoption - and they all mentioned that people made a big deal about the fact that the kids were only getting formula. They couldn't do a thing about it, so why did people feel the need to even talk about it with them? Yeah yeah, we all know breast is best. I'm just saying there are special circumstances out there were a mom can't breastfeed and it there's no need to go on and on about breast milk benefits with them. This isn't just in post partum, I'm talking about in general. I've sat in on conversations at work where nurses were really slamming formula, and another nurse is sitting right there who adopted a newborn and had to give formula, and she just looked so hurt. I don't know if I'm getting my point across well, I don't think I am.
  6. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Again, people are mixing up things. NO one has said the breastmilk is not best; we are saying we are there to support mom's choices, once she is educated. Not a single one of us saying we have no business guilting anyone has said the bottle is "best" overall---but in certain situations it indeed IS.I can think of quite a few, some of them discussed here, where bottlefeeding is not only viable, but the best choice for a given couplet. WE have to keep our personal feelings in control when we care for and educate our moms.
  7. by   luvmy2angels
    First off I would like to thank all the nurses out there that DON'T frown upon non-breastfeeding moms.
    I had a terrible experience after I had my daughter. i chose NOT to breastfeed and came to the hospital prepared with bottles, formula etc. After I had my daughter the nurse came in and said it was time for me to feed the baby. She just about freaked when DH went to get the bottles etc. She was EXTREMELY rude and mean! She said there was no reason I shouldn't be breastfeeding and she was going to call the lactation consultant to come up and tell me I WAS GOING to breastfeed! She said that I was going to be a bad mother....I wasn't doing what was best for my baby....blah...blah....blah.... She was sooooo insistant that I finally yelled at her to get out of my room and told my MD that she was NOT allowed in my room again and then assigned another nurse to me. I will never forget that as long as I live!! After I had my son, I told the nurses that I would not be breastfeeding and was ready for another tough fight, but the nurses were VERY nice and never pushed the issue. 2 totally different expereinces and I pray that the RUDE nurse is now retired!!! I think it is VERY important to respect the choices that our clients make. It may be hard at times, but it is their right to choose wether or not to breastfeed!!
  8. by   TweetiePieRN
    Quote from fergus51
    I disagree with the last part. There is no reason a woman should feel guilty for feeding her baby formula. At the same time, I don't see that as a reason that we should pretend it's ideal to do it. I don't see why we should pretend there is no difference in nutritional benefits when we know there are or avoid having discussions like these among coworkers. No, we don't need to go into their rooms and berate them for feeding formula or knock them over the head with the benefits of breastfeeding, but I also don't think knowing that breast milk is nutritionally ideal when possible or saying so in discussing the issue is bad. It's being honest.
    I understand where you are coming from. There is no reason a woman should feel guilty about bottlefeeding. But, when we are told over and over that breastmilk is "nutritionally ideal", what do you think implies to us? That, yes we are feeding our child an inferior product. Most of us know this, but does it really help us (and our self-confidence in mothering) by saying this, if we are the moms who are not ABLE to breastfeed.

    Until you have tried breastfeeding with your own set of breasts, you have no idea how difficult it can be. I cannot stress this enough! I didn't understand this at all until having my son. I took many classes on it, I had to teach it to new moms as a project in nursing school. But, when it came time for me to do it...it did not work out as "planned". I knew all the ins and outs...but, my body had other plans.

    So for the record, yes, most of us understand that formula is "inferior", but we only need to be told once. After that, it's a waste of anyone's time, because there are valid reasons why we choose to bottlefeed with formula.

    As a nurse, I also realize how our time at work can fly by. Maybe, it would be a better use of time (if dealing with nonbreastfeeders) to educate them on correctly using formula.
    Last edit by TweetiePieRN on Dec 16, '05
  9. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from TweetiePieRN

    As a nurse, I also realize how our time at work can fly by. Maybe, it would be a better use of time (if dealing with nonbreastfeeders) to educate them on correctly using formula.
    VERY good point.
  10. by   mitchsmom
    When I was a student, my OB clinical instructor said that hospitals that serve upper middle-class clients tend to encourage breastfeeding and have up to 90 percent of new moms breastfeeding upon discharge. Also, the vast majority of these upper middle-class women deliver vaginally if possible.

    My OB clinical instructor also said that hospitals in lower socioeconomic areas with high numbers of Medicaid recipients tend to have almost zero moms who breastfeed at discharge. Also, 70 percent of the women deliver by cesarean.
    I don't know about the rates of nurses encouraging bf at different economic levels, but it is true that the rates show higher breastfeeding for wealthier people. Breastfeeding is lower in racial minorities, those on WIC, younger women, South Atlantic region, and those without college education according to these and other statistics:
    http://www.ross.com/images/library/BF_Trends_2002.pdf

    Maybe the instructor saw the differences and assumed that it was because of the level of encouragement by nurses. I don't know about cesarean rates and income level/class but of course we know that unfortunately there are often disparities in the health of people of different economic levels... a lot of the Healthy People 2010 goals are based on narrowing these kinds of disparities.

    About the original post... it's up to the mom. I just like for people to have the information (about any decision)... after that it's up to them! I do wish for those who don't bf that they could do it and have a lovely experience with it like many moms do, but I understand that it just isn't that way for some people & I don't think badly of them.
    I do agree, though, that it's a very fine line with breastfeeding since it's so touchy... you could do the same routine with two different women and have one mad that you didn't help her enough and another mad that you were too pushy... people interpret things very differently so we have to be very careful.
    I try to read people's cues, ask lots of questions about what they want, and qualify some of my statements.
    Last edit by mitchsmom on Dec 18, '05
  11. by   fergus51
    Posted by TweetiePieRN: I understand where you are coming from. There is no reason a woman should feel guilty about bottlefeeding. But, when we are told over and over that breastmilk is "nutritionally ideal", what do you think implies to us? That, yes we are feeding our child an inferior product. Most of us know this, but does it really help us (and our self-confidence in mothering) by saying this, if we are the moms who are not ABLE to breastfeed.

    Until you have tried breastfeeding with your own set of breasts, you have no idea how difficult it can be. I cannot stress this enough! I didn't understand this at all until having my son. I took many classes on it, I had to teach it to new moms as a project in nursing school. But, when it came time for me to do it...it did not work out as "planned". I knew all the ins and outs...but, my body had other plans.

    So for the record, yes, most of us understand that formula is "inferior", but we only need to be told once. After that, it's a waste of anyone's time, because there are valid reasons why we choose to bottlefeed with formula.

    As a nurse, I also realize how our time at work can fly by. Maybe, it would be a better use of time (if dealing with nonbreastfeeders) to educate them on correctly using formula
    ."


    I'm not saying we should go up to women who have chosen to bottlefeed and talk about how crappy formula is (like I said earlier, I don't). I just don't agree when people say we shouldn't even have conversations like this because it could make someone feel guilty. Maybe I lack the guilt gene, but if I know I did what was best for my family (and yes, that can be bottlefeeding formula), than people discussing the benefits of breastfeeding aren't going to change that. Breastfeeding is nutritionally ideal for most babies, so what? We don't live in an ideal world and your baby isn't most babies. Make the choice to bottlefeed, make the choice to breastfeed, whatever, and be proud for doing what's best for your family. If people can make a woman who isn't even lactating feel guilty for not breastfeeding, then things have gotten out of hand somewhere and not just with the bf nazis.
    Last edit by fergus51 on Dec 18, '05
  12. by   StarletSkye, BSN
    Quote from jeepgirl
    So... do mom's who formula feed show less of a commitment to their children? Just wondering about your opinion on that.
    No matter how you look at it, breastfeeding is a conscious commitment, no one ever says well I think I'll try bottle feeding first but if that doesn't work out I'll switch to the breast. Bottle feeding is both the first choice for some and a back-up for others. I was simply stating that some research has suggested that just because there is a strong correlation between breastfeeding and IQ, it may not be simply the milk itself. It's not an all or nothing concept, but it does need to be taken into account that the bottle feeding group is more varied than the breastfeeding group.
  13. by   camay1221_RN
    Quote from Fiona59
    My only concern is that the baby is fed, cared for, nurtured, and loved.

    Demonstrate proper feeding technique, some advice on canned v. powder formula (cost), care of bottles, nipples, etc.

    Then I remind the new Mum, I am there to help her with her choice and its her choice alone on how to feed her baby.

    I'm with you 100%

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