? About not breastfeeding - page 8

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   hospitalstaph
    Quote from Mrs.S
    I haven't really noticed a negative attitude toward bottlefeeding moms among the nurses I work with. I have noticed a lot of practices that seem to "sabotage" breastfeeding, however! Whisking babies off to the nursery after delivery to have their admission stuff done because it's more convenient for the nurse, giving them "treats" in the nursery at night, circ'ing boys who aren't yet nursing well, etc.
    There was a nurse i used to work with who, if a mom was having a tough time for whatever reason...fussy baby, sore nipples, baby not latching well, baby doing a lot of cluster-feeding...would go in and say things like "breastfeeding isn't for everyone," or, "would you like to try giving a bottle?" rather than support and provide information. she was almost proud of it, like she was doing us all a favor that we wouldn't have to spend our time helping that mom with breastfeeding anymore.
    The lactation consultants I work with are amazing. They work so hard, are almost always willing to drop what they are doing to come help get a kid to latch, and provide awesome support to breastfeeding moms. They just have so many nurses working against them, so to speak, that sometimes I think they push back a little, and then they are labeled "milk nazi" (or whatever.)

    just a bit different perspective.
    I honestly think that pushing a mother to BF is wrong if her mind is made up, but the scenerio that you talk about is what I most often hear. As I have said before we walk a fine line with lactation support. Help too much (we are nipple nazis) Help too little (we don't support lactation)

    Oh what's a girl to do?:chuckle

    T
  2. by   TweetiePieRN
    The hospital I gave birth at had a good way of how they would procede with education on breastfeeding. First off, the class was encourage while pregnant...we were sent info in the mail 2x during pregnancy.

    Then when admitted to the hospital, they ask if you are planning on breast or bottle feeding. If you say breast, they ask if you would like the lac consultant to come and see you. You have the choice for yes or no.

    If you say bottle feeding, they ask if you would like info on breastfeeding or would you like a lac consultant to assist you,etc. So I had a choice in the hospital. I thought they way they did it upon admission was a good idea.
  3. by   Mrs.S
    Quote from TweetiePieRN
    The old timers living into their 90s were not all breastfed. They used to use condensed milk as formula! I'm sure you can agree that the formula that exists today is way more acceptable than the older versions. But, amazingly there are humans alive and WELL today who were not breastfed. My husband was not. They are healthy folk, no allergies, high IQs, no cancers in the family hx...maybe its just anecdotal.

    I have several friends who have new babies and NONE of us prop the bottles. This is actually very dangerous. We all "hold and touch" our babies while feeding them. We are very hands-on moms. Realize that just because one breastfeeds does not equal they are being more loving. I hold my baby close to my chest and lovingly look into his eyes while feeding him from a bottle. I sing to him, we hold hands, he puts his little fingers in my mouth. I feel very bonded to him. During my horrible breastfeeding experience...I could not even see his face my breasts are too huge. So I was not bonding with him.

    Now, I think the reason society is not breastfeeding at the rate you would like to see...maybe because it takes 2 incomes just to make ends meet anymore. If more people were able to be SAHM then you would probably see more of it. At my job...I don't have time to take more than a 30 min lunch break. So, pumping would have been out of the question. Most women only get 6 weeks off postpartum out here.

    Maybe another reason could be since a mother is the sole source of food for the recommended one year...how can she ever break away and have some moments for herself? I am human and need a break once in a while. If there is no option for a bottle, then the mom is the sole person responsible for feedings.

    Realize that most cancers have no real cause. I don't know what study you are referring to, but I have learned that it's relatively easy to find any study/statistics to support whatever we want them to. We can thank the internet for that.

    I think another reason maybe breastfeeding rates aren't as great as they could be, is the way even healthcare professionals continue to perpetuate a negative and inaccurate perception of what it's like to breastfeed. (Think "being the sole source of food for a year with no break!" "baby attacking mother's breasts!")
  4. by   TweetiePieRN
    Quote from Mrs.S
    I think another reason maybe breastfeeding rates aren't as great as they could be, is the way even healthcare professionals continue to perpetuate a negative and inaccurate perception of what it's like to breastfeed. (Think "being the sole source of food for a year with no break!" "baby attacking mother's breasts!")
    None of the nurses at the hospital said that to me...BTW I don't work L and D, so this has never come out of my mouth in regards to a patient. Is this what you are insinuating?
  5. by   Mrs.S
    Quote from TweetiePieRN
    None of the nurses at the hospital said that to me...BTW I don't work L and D, so this has never come out of my mouth in regards to a patient. Is this what you are insinuating?
    nope. I just mean that there are a lot of misconceptions out there about breastfeeding that are reinforced when people in general make comments like the ones I mentioned. I think when people hear stuff like this coming from a nurse, it might make it seem even more credible.
  6. by   nurse4theplanet
    Quote from Mrs.S
    Another thought I had is how our personal experiences/values/choices can affect the care we give our patients. The nurses I mentioned in my last post tend to be either the very young ones with no kids, or the ones who bottlefed their kids and are very vocal/defensive about it ("I bottlefed my three babies and they all turned out fine!")
    So, for example, while I happily breastfed my two kids into toddlerhood, we all agree I should not be laying guilt trips on my bottlefeeding moms in hopes of somehow "converting" them to the joys of breastfeeding. Likewise, nurses who themselves chose not to breastfeed should not attempt to downplay its benefits and importance to their breastfeeding moms. we need to put our own values aside while we provide lots of unbiased, accurate information and lots of support for whichever way our patient chooses to feed her baby.
    I am young with no children and fully support breastfeeding. It really has nothing to do with my personal values, but more with science and research. The only research that I dispute is the IQ bull malarky.......but I also wrote a very extensive research paper for my Human Growth Class on the validity of IQ testing methods appropriately measuring cognitive development and 'true' intelligence.
    If I had saved it, I would post it for you all to read. In a nutshell, IQ testing is a joke and studies that show a correlation between breastfeeding and higher IQs are simply not credible.

    I am not going to attack a bottle feeding mother and I have been quick to post replies when one is called 'lazy', statements are made that they don't 'try hard enough',etc. This is so narrow minded and judgemental in my oppinion and it serves no purpose. It just creates a gap between the mom and nurse, pitting each against the other, and no one wins. You have to find a happy medium.....a neutral ground in your oppinions, otherwise you will become very upset when another's choices don't fit into your schema of what is 'right and wrong' or 'good moms vs. bad moms'.

    Like I posted earlier, breastfeeding is sometimes just a battleground for much deeper issues that nurses have with certain patients.

    BTW....I am not really responding or attacking YOUR post even though I have quoted it, it just made me think about this stuff........
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I think we need to be aware of our own personal feelings like another poster said. And we need to leave POLITICS OUT OF THE ISSUE entirely. If a patient, after being educated, choosed to bottlefeed, that should be the end of the discussion. It's not MY child and not MY choice.
  8. by   StarletSkye, BSN
    A huge part of nursing and nursing education focuses on health promotion. It's one of the most important things that we excel at, that physicians in western medicine do not. I think it is impossible to think that a well educated nurse, who knows the numerous benefits of breastfeeding to both mom and baby, can agree with someone who just chooses not to breastfeed their newborn. It is our job to support the mother in whichever decision she makes, and to help her do what needs to be done. However, we are not robots and I'm sure that sometimes a nurse's personal beliefs may show through his/her professional persona. In my personal opinion, someone who will not put the well being of their child above themselves is selfish and I can't help but disagree with them, and "look down" on them, but I will not let that show or interfere with my patient-client relationship.
  9. by   StarletSkye, BSN
    [quote=asoldierswife05]I am young with no children and fully support breastfeeding. It really has nothing to do with my personal values, but more with science and research. The only research that I dispute is the IQ bull malarky.......but I also wrote a very extensive research paper for my Human Growth Class on the validity of IQ testing methods appropriately measuring cognitive development and 'true' intelligence.

    As a breastfeeding advocate, I've also read on the subject and just wanted to mention that there have been a significant # of studies showing a positive correlation between IQ and a child who was breastfed, however that does not mean a direct link to intelligence. It is probably more likely that the family who chooses to breastfeed is also choosing to do other learning activites with their child. Exclusive breastfeeding shows a huge committment by a mother to her child, and that committment most likely extends into other areas the child's well-being.
  10. by   StuNurseUP
    StarletSky, are you a lactation consultant? You seem very knowledgable.

    I am not a nurse yet, and I worked for a lactation clinic. It was really hard when I heard moms not making good decisions for thier babies. Some mom's (one was an Ob Doc) left thier babies alone in running cars. How does a nurse remain composed and not let her feelings show? Do they teach tips in upper level nursing school?
  11. by   gr8rnpjt
    Quote from TheCommuter
    Here's my $0.02 on this issue.

    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 think educational level often influences whether a mother will breastfeed and how she will deliver.
    Food for thought. I am sure if they had to buy their own formula the numbers would be reversed quite quickly.
  12. by   SmilingBluEyes
    duplicate
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Dec 15, '05
  13. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from StarletSkye, BSN
    A huge part of nursing and nursing education focuses on health promotion. It's one of the most important things that we excel at, that physicians in western medicine do not. I think it is impossible to think that a well educated nurse, who knows the numerous benefits of breastfeeding to both mom and baby, can agree with someone who just chooses not to breastfeed their newborn. It is our job to support the mother in whichever decision she makes, and to help her do what needs to be done. However, we are not robots and I'm sure that sometimes a nurse's personal beliefs may show through his/her professional persona. In my personal opinion, someone who will not put the well being of their child above themselves is selfish and I can't help but disagree with them, and "look down" on them, but I will not let that show or interfere with my patient-client relationship.
    I am very sorry to single you out, but this strikes a chord in me.

    First, who said anything about agreeing that the bottle is the "right choice"? I am saying you are the patient's advocate. You support their choice. It's not the same as allowing a patient to go on doing drugs or let a child ride in the car w/o a restraint, and doing nothing. Allowing a woman to choose how her baby feeds is not the same as watching a car wreck here, as one poster is alluding to. And looking down on them is NOT patient advocacy. You are letting your personal choices cloud professional judgement when you do that.

    Good grief: It's a feeding choice, that while not as sound as breastfeeding, IS viable and reasonable as an alternative. It's not up to you or me to guilt ANYone into changing her mind here. Educating is our job, yes, but leaving our personal feelings and pushiness out of it IS advocating for both mom and baby. That is what we are there to do. Not push people around, using our perceived authority or advanced education as a means to push that patient to do something she does not want to do! And if you think that your "looking down on them" does not show in your behavior and demeanor, you might want to think again. Patients DO pick up on it.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Dec 15, '05

close