? About not breastfeeding - page 9

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   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from StuNurseUP
    . How does a nurse remain composed and not let her feelings show? Do they teach tips in upper level nursing school?
    Yes we learn this at school. We also manage to put ourselves in our patient's shoes for a while and try to understand where they are coming from in their choices. Some choices are more dangerous than others. Like a mom who does methamphetamine is making a clearly dangerous choice that requires immediate intervention and help. This does not compare to a mom choosing to bottle-feed. This choice, while not as superior as breastmilk, IS viable and NOT endangering a child. It is a choice that they have the right to make once we have objectively provided them education about breastfeeding versus bottlefeeding. It's not for us to inflict our personal feelings on our patients; that is poor patient advocacy.
  2. by   tntrn
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    Yes we learn this at school. We also manage to put ourselves in our patient's shoes for a while and try to understand where they are coming from in their choices. Some choices are more dangerous than others. Like a mom who does methamphetamine is making a clearly dangerous choice that requires immediate intervention and help. This does not compare to a mom choosing to bottle-feed. This choice, while not as superior as breastmilk, IS viable and NOT endangering a child. It is a choice that they have the right to make once we have objectively provided them education about breastfeeding versus bottlefeeding. It's not for us to inflict our personal feelings on our patients; that is poor patient advocacy.


    Thank you, thank you, thank you. You said it perfectly, clearly, and hopefully those who haven't yet learned that part of the nursing art, will now go seek the skill.
  3. by   jeepgirl
    I think that it is purely personal preference. When I had my first baby at seventeen, I was devastated when I couldn't breastfeed... my milk didn't come in until after I went home from the hospital with baby after day six. I was, admittedly, a nazi before I went in the hospital. I was upset when the nurses gave the baby a pacifier (I was afraid of nipple confusion!) and I was upset when they wanted to supplement with baby even though I was putting her to the breast every 1 - 2 hours to feed (she acted so hungry). After a few days of being frusterated and exhausted, and not having much to give, and a baby who was having severe jaundice and was extremely cranky, my doctor came in and had a heart to heart with me. She also knew that the baby needed to eat, and that I was really trying and that it was just not working. She also knew of my plans to go straight back to college. She said... "no one will think badly of you if you switch to formula. I think it will help you by allowing you more freedom to go to school and get help taking care of the baby from other people as well." She also explained that when she was in medical school she formula fed because of her life at the time. I still haven't figured out why it took so long for my milk to come in. However, a few days after it came in, it was almost completely gone again. It was weird... I have never heard of that happening to anyone else.

    Anyway, I am so glad that she (my OB) told me that. She knew that I needed permission to not breastfeed. Looking back, I DON'T think that breast feeding would have worked out for me at that time anyway... I was in school full time, got a job, and had to have help - which included my parents helping with (and feeding) baby during my school and work hours. I guess I could have pumped, but looking back I couldn't imagine having breastfed through all of that. While I think that breastfeeding is best for baby, it doesn't work for all mothers at all times. This time around, I am going to give it my best shot at breastfeeding - my husband and I both want it! I hope I won't have the supply problems I did. I think that it is important that nurses support moms in whatever decision they make, and NOT make them feel badly for deciding to formula feed. It is not their decision to make, it is a SAFE decision, and there is no reason to make anyone feel badly for the decisions they make (unless, of course, they are dangerous). It is just not our place to judge.
    Last edit by jeepgirl on Dec 15, '05
  4. by   nurse4theplanet
    Quote from StuNurseUP
    How does a nurse remain composed and not let her feelings show? Do they teach tips in upper level nursing school?
    I was taught this in my first semester of fundamentals
  5. by   jeepgirl
    Quote from StarletSkye, BSN
    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.
    So... do mom's who formula feed show less of a commitment to their children? Just wondering about your opinion on that.
  6. by   nurse4theplanet
    [QUOTE=StarletSkye, BSN]
    Quote from 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.
    Like I said before, IQ testing is severley flawed measuring only certain aspects of intelligence and not others. It is not a true determining factor for a child's development or potential, too many other variables come into play, like you acknowledged and I don't believe it should be used as an argument to choose breastfeeding over bottlefeeding. Many, many other benefits exist that are much more credible.
  7. by   StuNurseUP
    Forgive me, but I have NOT taken fundamentals yet, I am a sophmore at the University of Portland. WE do not take it till our junior year.

    I was taught this in my first semester of fundamentals{Quote}
  8. by   angel337
    Quote from 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.
    you could have took the words right out of my keyboard. "not MY child, not MY choice". what is so difficult to understand? after you have educated the patient, leave your opinions and critical attitudes at home. there are a lot of reasons why women choose not to breastfeed, and usually that reason has a lot to do with the busy life styles we all lead (careers, outside activities etc,.) my grandmother who had 12 children even agrees that she doesn't understand how working women manage. she was a SAHM and never worked a day in her life. as long as the baby is eating, gaining weight and developing well in general, I wouldn't worry myself sick over bottle over breast. relax.
  9. by   Gompers
    I work in the NICU, so I deal with the forumula vs. breastmilk debate almost every day. Of course we encourage breastfeeding, especially for preemies, and for many of our moms that means pumping for many weeks or even months before actual nursing is possible. Many of the moms are happy to have something they can actually do for their baby. Others are too stressed and have a lot of trouble with pumping. We have them all meet with lactation, just to go over their options and to talk about the benefits of breastmilk, especially with sick babies. But if they choose to formula feed, even if their baby is a 400gm preemie - then that's the end of the discussion. This is why Similac and Enfamil make special preemie formulas only available to hospitals.

    I plan to bottle feed my kids. It's my personal decision. I know all about the special benefits of breastmilk - heck I go to conferences and read journal articles that talk about it all the time. I just have never had an ounce of interest in breastfeeding or pumping. Maybe it's the fact that I was bottle fed, as was every kid in my extended family. Maybe it's the fact that I will probably have to be back to work full-time within 2 months. Maybe it's because I want to have some breaks for myself after the baby comes, and to let my husband and family also share in the joy of feeding the baby instead of always being on the bottom end. Could very possibly be the six hours I spent in surgery having a breast reduction that left me with lots of external keloid scars and internal fibrous ones, plus the fact that both my GYNE and plastic surgeon agree that I will most likely get mastitis if I attempt breastfeeding due to all that scarring. It might be a subconscious defense mechanism, since there's a good chance I might have to adopt and will therefore not have much choice in the matter anyways.

    One thing I am sure about - when I go back to work and don't pump, it will be downright scandalous.

    :imbar
    Last edit by Gompers on Dec 15, '05
  10. by   tntrn
    Quote from Gompers
    One thing I am sure about - when I go back to work and don't pump, it will be downright scandalous.:imbar
    Let's just beat you now and get it over with, shall we?chuckle :chuckle :chuckle

    Love your list of reasons why you aren't interested in trying. Could have written that myself, about myself. One thing I would add to the list: I grew up on a farm. We had a small herd of milk cows and after watching THOSE milking machines and washing them out as part of my chores, no way jose to pumping for me.
  11. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from tntrn
    Let's just beat you now and get it over with, shall we?chuckle :chuckle :chuckle

    Love your list of reasons why you aren't interested in trying. Could have written that myself, about myself. One thing I would add to the list: I grew up on a farm. We had a small herd of milk cows and after watching THOSE milking machines and washing them out as part of my chores, no way jose to pumping for me.
    There is alot of truth to that. I had a big electric pump which worked great and pumped both breasts at the same time . . .but you just had to laugh at yourself as you glanced down. :chuckle

    I'm lucky that I stayed home with my older kids, before I became a nurse. I had my last child as a surprise in my 40's as most of you know. I decided to only work part-time. My in-laws care for my son when I work during the week and if I work a weekend, he just stays home with Dad and siblings.

    I went back to work when he was 4 months old and even part-time just about broke my heart. He is 4 years old now - time has gone by so fast.

    steph
  12. by   Gompers
    Quote from tntrn
    Let's just beat you now and get it over with, shall we?chuckle :chuckle :chuckle
    Very cute!

    Quote from tntrn
    Love your list of reasons why you aren't interested in trying. Could have written that myself, about myself. One thing I would add to the list: I grew up on a farm. We had a small herd of milk cows and after watching THOSE milking machines and washing them out as part of my chores, no way jose to pumping for me.
    I'm "half Wisconsin" as I like to say - dad grew up there - and I've been on many a farm. I've seen milking done by machines and humans. Neither technique appeals to me! The irony in all of this is that I am a dairy addict - I'm all about milk and cheese, baby!!!
  13. by   mstigerlily
    Quote from StarletSkye, BSN
    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.
    Oh my - what an astounding comment! Well, I provide formula to my postpartum patients frequently - usually for supplementation but occasionally for the sole food source. I like to think of myself as intelligent and educated. I am an ADN now working on my BSN (2nd bachelor's degree) and also my CLE. MANY of our postpartum staff are CLE, PHN, and/or IBCLC certified, our breastfeeding statistics are so good - we have about 350 births a month and 95% are breastfeeding at discharge and more astoundingly on follow up surveys - 50% at six months which is above the national average. But I don't know a single solitary nurse out of the hundreds that staff our L&D/postpartum floors who "looks down on" the 5% who choose to bottlefeed, or the numerous others who supplement from day one due to preference or troubles breastfeeding. I can assure you we are all intelligent and well educated. I personally have breastfeed two of my kids well into toddlerhood, I am extremely supportive of breastfeeding.

    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.
    Last edit by mstigerlily on Dec 16, '05

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