? About not breastfeeding

  1. 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 chooses not too.
    My friend had a negative experience and feels so guilty for not breast feeding now. In my opinion, I think she is more guilty about not even trying , but she keeps mentioning a comment one of the nurses made.
    Just a general question
    Thanks!
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  2. 192 Comments

  3. by   StuNurseUP
    I am not a nurse yet(still in school) but I am a nursing mother and I have worked for a lactation consultant. The nurses I interacted with didn't look down on the mothers who didn't breastfeed...but they were dissapointed at the massive loss of benefits to the infant. Some mothers (very few) had physiological reasons behind thier choice not to breastfeed: inverted nipples, breast reduction, etc. The majority were moms who didn't because through poor education, found it "icky" or inconvenient. I think it is dissapoinment at the loss of benefit to the baby that causes nurses to make comments about mothers who don't breastfeed.
  4. by   hospitalstaph
    Quote from StuNurseUP
    I am not a nurse yet(still in school) but I am a nursing mother and I have worked for a lactation consultant. The nurses I interacted with didn't look down on the mothers who didn't breastfeed...but they were dissapointed at the massive loss of benefits to the infant. Some mothers (very few) had physiological reasons behind thier choice not to breastfeed: inverted nipples, breast reduction, etc. The majority were moms who didn't because through poor education, found it "icky" or inconvenient. I think it is dissapoinment at the loss of benefit to the baby that causes nurses to make comments about mothers who don't breastfeed.
    I absolutely agree. Our society and medical system in many areas is just not set up to give support to women that are experiencing problems with breastfeeding. I have talked to one too many mothers that said they had to stop because they were on amoxil, or needed sedation for an op surgery, or were told that they could not eat Mexican food. (I guess mothers in Mexico go on some special diet ) It is truly unfortunate.

    When I talk to a mother that stopped for whatever reason, and she is feeling guilty, I remind her that our goal as mothers is to always give our child better than we had ourselves. If you were bottlefed 20+ years ago, the formula available now is far superior. Yes, it is not breastmilk and that fact cannot be ignored, but there will be many other areas in the arena of mothering that you will excel in.

    I am a VERY strong supporter of breastfeeding, but my support is for the mother-child bond first and why taint that with guilt?

    T
  5. by   tntrn
    The answer is yes. I think many nurses DO look down on moms who choose not to breastfeed. And in my opinion, the reason why should not come into play. If the mom chooses not to BF, then that's it. Caretakers should then support her in her decision as fervently as they would if she were breastfeeding. It's amazing how many bottle-feeding moms are not given enough information about how to position for feeding and even, GASP! that some babies are never "propped" for feeds. I know, because I have two grown kids, who never even knew they could hold their own bottle, let alone have to hold it. They were held and rocked for every feed until they decided (for themselves I might add to go to a cup., one at 10 months and the other at 12.

    And once a mom has made the choice to bottle feed, the choice is duly noted and reported to the next shift, that should be it. No going in and trying to change her mind by giving her the "you'll be a bad mother" line. I've had to pick up the pieces of near hysterical moms who'd gotten that message.

    I actually warn my patients who might be approached in this manner because I know which of my co-workers do that. I tell the moms that it's their decision, the whole thing has to fit into your life and that of your family, and if you're positive about it, then be strong and let the next nurse know, in a friendly but firm way. BTW, I've had patients thank me later for the warning.
  6. by   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.
  7. by   daisybaby
    I absoluteley agree with the above. I am from a 'baby-friendly' hospital, meaning women are encouraged to breastfeed. I don't push it, though. I refuse to make a woman feel inferior because she chooses to formula feed. She's had many months to come to the decsion on how to feed her child and and has her own reasons for doing so. I agree that breastfeeding is the better option. I'll provide what education I can, but each mom has to choose what's right for her.

    My priority is to help new moms give their infants the care they need in order to grow and thrive. Please let your friend know that not all OB nurses are like those she encountered.
  8. by   NurseWilliam
    My wife calls lactation consultants "milk nazis." When she had problems breastfeeding our son, and was considering switching to formula, the LCRNs treated her like she had tried to stab our kid with a fork.

    Breastfeeding is wonderful, ladies. If you can do it, go for it. But please, for all love, don't let anyone pound on you for doing it in your own way. It is a great gift for the mom to give to her child. As if having to deal with the difficulties of carrying the kid for nine months wasn't enough...

    My hat is off to all you moms out there. I respect the heck outta ya'll.
  9. by   TweetiePieRN
    Quote from tntrn
    The answer is yes. I think many nurses DO look down on moms who choose not to breastfeed. And in my opinion, the reason why should not come into play. If the mom chooses not to BF, then that's it. Caretakers should then support her in her decision as fervently as they would if she were breastfeeding. It's amazing how many bottle-feeding moms are not given enough information about how to position for feeding and even, GASP! that some babies are never "propped" for feeds. I know, because I have two grown kids, who never even knew they could hold their own bottle, let alone have to hold it. They were held and rocked for every feed until they decided (for themselves I might add to go to a cup., one at 10 months and the other at 12.

    And once a mom has made the choice to bottle feed, the choice is duly noted and reported to the next shift, that should be it. No going in and trying to change her mind by giving her the "you'll be a bad mother" line. I've had to pick up the pieces of near hysterical moms who'd gotten that message.

    I actually warn my patients who might be approached in this manner because I know which of my co-workers do that. I tell the moms that it's their decision, the whole thing has to fit into your life and that of your family, and if you're positive about it, then be strong and let the next nurse know, in a friendly but firm way. BTW, I've had patients thank me later for the warning.
    Thank you for this post! I only wish you would have been my nurse when I had my baby! I had my 1st baby in July of this year. I had every intention of breastfeeding, but my son would not latch on and for some unknown reason...my previously nice nipples went flat!! I had the lac consultant in there and everyone trying to help me...finally after a couple days of this...I decided to bring a bottle into the mix.

    I had some nurses making really inappropriate comments about my decision. It made me feel beyond guilty! Then I ended up with ppd, which I do blame in part on my feelings of failure as a mom, because of the whole breastfeeding thing.
  10. by   LeahJet
    [font=courier new] i really tried to breastfeed and did for the first 2 weeks but my baby kept losing weight and i just wasn't producing enough. and yes, i did feel guilty.
    [font=courier new][color=#483d8b] we called them the "boob nazis". i don't know how it is at most places and i can only speak of my own experience but they were pretty overbearing. i mean, i can understand why...it's called job security. but i just didn't like the unwelcome grabs and loss of dignity. i read jennie mccarthy's book, baby laughs, and she speaks of the high pressured tactics....she said that she stopped one in mid sentence and said"i just crapped myself" and that the consultant almost made a beeline out of there....:chuckle
  11. by   StuNurseUP
    Breastfeeding is a positive thing to do for you and your baby. I understand if there are feeding problems... but moms who are to lazy to breast feed b/c its inconvinient really bother me. I hear some mothers say things such as," I don't want to breast feed I want my husband to take care of the baby." WHY did you have a child!? Bottom line it is the best thing to do for your baby. Yes formula is better than starving but it doesn't make it anywhere near as good for you as breastmilk.
  12. by   nurse4theplanet
    Quote from NurseWilliam
    My wife calls lactation consultants "milk nazis."
    hahahahahahahahahaha:roll

    that made me laugh so hard i almost peed my pants.

    I have a nursing school buddy that would fit that profile, so maybe I should recommend that she become a lactation consultant.

    seriously, I think breastfeeding is great if you can do it. New mom's need all the education they can get to do it properly and successfully, but if it doesn't work out then it doesnt work out.

    And if you come across a patient that doesn't even want to try.....oh well! It is their baby and they will be making decisions for it for the next 18+ years so don't get all huffy puffy or call them lazy or bad mothers.....passing judgement is not in our job description, offering assistance, education, compassion, and acceptance IS.
  13. by   tntrn
    StuNurse says: " Breastfeeding is a positive thing to do for you and your baby. I understand if there are feeding problems... but moms who are to lazy to breast feed b/c its inconvinient really bother me. I hear some mothers say things such as," I don't want to breast feed I want my husband to take care of the baby." WHY did you have a child!? Bottom line it is the best thing to do for your baby. Yes formula is better than starving but it doesn't make it anywhere near as good for you as breastmilk."


    And your negative attitude about bottle feeding is very apparent here. How do you expect to support ALL your moms, when you obviously think that non breastfeeders are lazy? Your patient advocacy skills are lacking and new moms will pick up on that quickly, as one or two have already noted here. It's not your baby, it's not your life, and it's not your breasts being attacked!
    And I'll just bet money you can't pick my kids out of a crowd because they weren't breastfed.

    BTW, we call them the breast or nipple nazis where I work
  14. by   Spidey's mom
    We call them breastfeeding nazis.

    No, I do not make a new mom feel guilty. Yes I do think breastfeeding is the best way to go and I can't personally image doing anything else.

    But each woman should be educated, without guilt, and then allowed to make her own decision and then supported.

    steph
    Last edit by Spidey's mom on Dec 14, '05

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