Talkback: Adele slams the 'ridiculous' pressure to breastfeed

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  • Hi. I'm Debbie, a Midwife of 16+ years. Many Mums I see feel exactly the same. They say they feel pressurized to breast and then feel failures when they swap to formula feeding. From a Midwives point of view, we feel pressurized from our hospital trusts to promote breastfeeding in this way. Its not how I or many of my colleagues want to be working. To be advising mums to feed on demand but then not have the resources to support mums through what is often a difficult and demanding time.

    I am a rebel in the camp though and 8 years ago began working independently to provide mums with expert advise and support in their own homes. Effective support which enables babies to feed efficiently, thus getting them into 4 hourly routines from as early as the end of the first week. Babies and mums thrive and continue to breastfeed for longer periods. BUT I always say to my mums that, as long as the baby is being fed , is the most important thing. The method has to be right for the mums, babies and the family as a whole.
  • This is a comment on the lack of support available for mothers who want to breastfeed. It is hard for a lot of people - and increasingly mothers find they have no-one in their family or circle of friends to give advice, because they themselves did not breastfeed. I had all sorts of problems and only with the support of a wonderful lactation consultant - who happened to be my Aunty ie I didn't have to pay for the support - was I able to breastfeed, and did so for just over 2 years. There needs to be proper support available not just midwives who put the pressure on without correct training in how to actually assist. It is a real shame that Adele found herself in this position. That being said, formula milk is NOT just as good and never will be. With that in mind there needs to be more education about the impacts of formula feeding.
  • I totally agree with Adele!! I, almost, had a nervous breakdown when I had my first child 32 years ago because she just wouldn't take to breast feeding & would cry so much, which, of course, led to me crying & feeling like a total failure as a mother. One nurse was absolutely horrendous towards me, telling me that 'it's as natural as breathing.' Well, I'm sorry but not for everyone it isn't. I was 23 & this nurse was an utter bully, I was saved by the nursing sister in charge who found me sobbing one evening when I had been trying, for half an hour, to feed my baby. She sat & talked to me & explained how not every woman found it easy or fulfilling but, like me, found it a nightmare. She asked me if I would like her to fetch a bottle for my baby, telling me that in no way was Ia failure, in fact I was doing the very best for my daughter because I was making sure that she was being fed. I felt a flood of relief and from the minute I gave her the bottle & she took it, happily, I became the happiest mum & she was a happy baby! I think it's fantastic if you can breastfeed & find it easy but don't criticize those of us who find or found it an ordeal. I had all 3 of my children by c. section(I never felt a failure either) & didn't try to breastfeed the other two because of the traumatic experience & the bullying that I received after my first.

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