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Old 07-02-2007, 05:25 AM   #1
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WDYT are some causes for why breastfeeding and success rates are so lowin N America?

I was speaking to some Polish mamas here about breastfeeding. We were talking about how almost everyone here (about 95%) breastfeeds and if they don't it is usually not from chioce but from medical circumstance.
She asked me how many people breastfeed in the states and I said that I don't know but that I know the numbers are lower that almost anywhere else in the world. So I looked up some stuff on Kelly Mom and I found this:
http://www.lalecheleague.org/cbi/bfstats03.html

It shows the rate for the USA to be only about 70% after birth.
I am just wondering why this is? Is it from lack of knowledge? Do doctors discourage it there? Is there not enough info or support for new moms? Are new moms given help in the hospitals?

After I had Zosha, I has nurses in my room round the clock making sure that we had a proper latch and when I was discouraged they helped even more. I left the hospital feeling so confident and full of info that I never had a problem. I wish this for other women!

So just throw out your thoughts, I am so interested in what you all have to say!
Disclaimer: this is not a bash on formula feeding moms so please do not turn this into a formula or breastmilk debate! Thanks, Dnani

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Old 07-02-2007, 05:33 AM   #2
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Re: WDYT are some causes for why breastfeeding and success rates are so lowin N Ameri

I work in L/D and can give you my opinion about that matter. The hospital bombards patients with so much stuff surrounding birth that by the time they deliver they are exhausted and then it's like feed the baby right NOW so we can take them to the nursery and then they don't come back for like 4 hours. Then it's like...do you want us to keep the baby for you (in the nursery) so you can get some sleep??? Oh and here's some formula incase the baby is still "hungry" after you breastfeed. Oh and here's a diaper bag for you (which is full of formula samples BTW!!) No big surprise why patients don't really suceed unless they are very motivated. The hospital that I just started working for is actually doing a lot more than most to help increase bf'ing success. They have at least 3 to 4 lactation consultants full time on staff, they offer free lc as long as you are breastfeeding, they educate the staff about not giving bf babies pacifiers or bottles, and every breastfeeding Mom gets a visit from the LC.

Sorry for the novel, but that's my pet peeve. A lot of medical staff say that they are pro-breast, but when it comes down to it, they think formula feeding is "easier". WTHeck?!?!?!?!?
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Old 07-02-2007, 05:39 AM   #3
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Re: WDYT are some causes for why breastfeeding and success rates are so lowin N Ameri

I had a similar experience, actually. My nurses were very supportive of BF, and helped me whenever I asked for help. They weren't beatinng me over the head about it, but a quick buzz on the Call Button brought a nurse and the LC on the floor. I left the hospital feeling good, although we nearly stopped about 2 days later when my milk came in.... She slept in the nursery during the night, but they asked me did I want her to have formula or did I want them to bring her to me when she was hungry; it wasn't decided for me. I could room-in, nursery and BF, or nursery and FF at night, and during the day she stayed with me all day. They were pretty "whatever you want" about it.

Breastfeeding is not easy, for some people more than others. We had a crappy time at it in the beginning. Mads wouldn't stay awake to nurse, and a feeding took nearly an hour of tickling, undressing, wet rags, and constant talking to keep her semi-awake. Then, my milk came in, she wouldn't eat, I was a 40XYZ cup, and my nipples were so sore I couldn't even stand my bra. I did give up for a couple days and just pump. It's hard, and some Mamas just don't make it through those early days. They need more support!
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Old 07-02-2007, 05:49 AM   #4
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Re: WDYT are some causes for why breastfeeding and success rates are so lowin N Ameri

I also think it's because it's easier not to breastfeed in a lot of womens minds.
Two Examples: A friend of mine said it was enough that she had a baby at 40, let alone nurse her little one. Plus she knew her husband wouldn't get up in the middle of the night if she nursed. She is a pharmacist who knows the benefits etc.. and still chose not to nurse at all.
Then another friend of mine said she didn't because she knew she'd have to go back to work in 6 weeks so why start. She also let the grandparents watch her lo overnight since he was 6 weeks old so I think she also enjoyed her freedom.
My own sil who didn't nurse either one of her kids said to me while I was nursing, "God she's still nursing, how can you do that do your body?" My dd was only 4 months old.
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Old 07-02-2007, 05:59 AM   #5
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Re: WDYT are some causes for why breastfeeding and success rates are so lowin N Ameri

My mother and even my grandmother didn't BF, so I had no family support. Non supportive hospital staff and even a pediatrician who scared me into thinking my baby was dehydrated are some reasons why it didn't work the 1st three times. This time, I was lucky to have tons of support, IRL, but mostly on line! If it wasn't for all my online friends, I probably would have gave up again.

At first, I missed having dh get up with him, but honestly, he never heard a baby get up anyway. I'd have to wake up and wake him up, just to get him to feed the baby. Not worth it.
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Old 07-02-2007, 06:22 AM   #6
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Re: WDYT are some causes for why breastfeeding and success rates are so lowin N Ameri

Our hospital was definately very pro-breastfeeding. When DD was born I had her in a good latch within 10 minutes of her birth. The lactation consultants were extremely suuportive and encouraged me to try various feeding positions before I left the hopsital. They would offer to take DD to the nursery so I could sleep, but would bring her back 4 hours later to BF. I felt very confident in my BF abilities when I went home. My hospital also offers free consultaions with the LCs at any time!

I must say, though, that I had it pretty easy. I have had one friend stop BFing due to her DS's very low weight issue (though he's now a 30lb 13 month old!). Also, my SIL didn't BF because she said it was a more painful experience for her than the birth itself, and she did try for a month with her first.
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Old 07-02-2007, 06:54 AM   #7
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Re: WDYT are some causes for why breastfeeding and success rates are so lowin N Ameri

I worked in labor/delivery and postpartum as a nurse and agree with what Shadowwolf549 says. For the most part BFing is not pushed too hard because the hospital/staff/Drs don't want to upset the moms who choose to formula feed their babies which is too bad for the moms who need a little push to get breastfeeding going well. Further I have found that most nurses would rather care for bottle babies because you can delegate anyone to give your babies a bottle but you would have to spend sometimes up to 30-45 min with most moms to get breastfeeding going well. When you are caring for 2 laboring mothers or 8 moms & their babies you often don't even get time to eat or pee let alone time to teach breastfeeding. I have even worked with nurses think it is disgusting to breastfeed and they are certainly not helping anyone but the formula companies. The lactation consultants are usually only around Mon-Fri 9-5 so some pts never even get to see the consultant even if they want to during their stay.
I wish women here had more support from the hospital and friends/family. I also wish that nurses had fewer patients as well as less paperwork so they could be able to spend the time with each patient. I often spent more time doing paperwork than in the room physically caring for patients. It is a sad but true fact that the childbirth unit is the highest legal liability in hospitals today. You have to literally chart every few min and work through a pile of other papers to cover your butt and the hospital's too so 18 years down the line you know what really happened when some mom sues for malpractice.

Finally when I had DS I saw the lactation consulatant for 5 min total. DS was VERY jaundiced and eating every 4 hours and no one seemed too concerned with his eating. When I when to the ped. for the first visit 2 days later he he was eating better (even during the appointment ) but the Dr. begged me to take several cans of formula home because she believed that babies could not be completely nourished with breastmilk. Needless to say we switched peds immediately! DS is now 1 year old and nursing strong but if I had not been so personally commited to breastfeeding I don't think I would have made it home from the hospital still breastfeeding.
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Old 07-02-2007, 06:57 AM   #8
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Re: WDYT are some causes for why breastfeeding and success rates are so lowin N Ameri

It is easier to formula feed. My sister formula fed because she felt too tied down to the baby.
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Old 07-02-2007, 07:11 AM   #9
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Re: WDYT are some causes for why breastfeeding and success rates are so lowin N Ameri

This might end up being a long rant. Hope not.

First off, the average age of motherhood is getting lower and lower. My sister's FOURTEEN year old friend just had a baby...and another of her friends (15) is getting married next week and having a baby any time after that.
The younger girls don't want their boobs to sag and don't want to be tied to a baby. They expect their mommies to help raise the baby for them, and they want their freedom. They don't understand that when you make the adult decision to have sex, you have to make the adult decision to care for a child.
From experience, I can tell you that the WIC clinics in my area do NOT push breastfeeding like they should. They simply ask if you're going to...and if you say no they leave it at that.

NOT ANYMORE! I start training this week as an LLL Peer Counselor. My job will be to go to the 3 WIC clinics I've been assigned and train new moms/pregnant moms on the GOOD things about breastfeeding. This is an attempt for Louisiana to get the majority of moms to stop using formula and start breastfeeding.

I'm 25. When I bring my son in, and say I'm still nursing (he's 13.5 months)...the WIC nurses are in shock. They assume that because I'm a young mom I don't nurse.

Formula is so readily available to the younger moms. If you have a child and you're under 18, you automatically get Medicaid unless your parents make too much money. Most of the time this isn't the case. If you get Medicaid, you automatically get free formula.

I'm not saying anything negative about formula. My first son was only formula fed...but only because I didn't have much success with breastfeeding b/c the hospital I had him at didn't have Lactation Consultants. By the time I realized something was wrong it was too late and my milk had dried up. My second son is breastfed, but also got formula on occasion.

If WIC does what they're saying they're going to do...and make pregnant women that apply for WIC take a class on breastfeeding....it JUST might make a difference.
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Old 07-02-2007, 07:21 AM   #10
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Re: WDYT are some causes for why breastfeeding and success rates are so lowin N Ameri

When I decided to bf my first, my family said- "oh your grandmother did that" or "That's what women used to do"
Again, formula companies give out free diaper bags with formula inside- unless you get the bf bag (still from the formuls makers-_ w/a pacifier, nipple cream, and formula coupons!
As Susansabrina said the lcs only work 9-5 m-f,ms ds1 was born on sat and they didn't even call me until i went home on sun. No one had bfs before and my family was all about giving him a bottle of similac- he'll sleep all night. I was engorged and so grateful for their call. DS2 was a preemie and i STILL didn't see an lc until 2 days after i had tried nursing him. I can imagine trying to bf if you have a preemie. I read all the material they gave me about pumping and began to bug my nurse about bringing me a pump!
The ob told me that i wouldn't get much milk. I ignored everyone's comments that were discouraging (The Neon. in the nicu allowed me to take ds out for bf but ordered an NG supplement of bm!) I pumped every 2 hrs- colostrum is sticky so it wasn't a lot.
I personally couldn't believe how all of the hosp. material was "bf friendly" but in reality it was very discourgaing. IMO, If i hadn't bf ds1, I would have given up on ds2. I am sure that ff is easier on NICU nurses. I'm hardheaded and so I guess that's why I'm still bf my little guy at 13 mos! But I am not the norm...
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