Things people (especially health profs/midwives) have said.

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Things people (especially health profs/midwives) have said.

Post by mel198 » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:55 pm

I am working as a Midwife & Lactation Consultant and am interested in hearing some of the comments or things breastfeeding mums have been told about breastfeeding that have had a negative impact on your breastfeeding experience. Especially during your hospital stay.

I would like to give an inservice to some midwives to make them aware that sometimes the comments that they make in front of new breastfeeding mothers can be taken the wrong way.

Please give me your comments and ideas. Would love to hear from mums. I would like to use your comments but will not use any names.


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Post by s squirrel » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:24 pm

It's the opposite of what you asked :lol: as it wasn't negative....
But I had a middie give me the ward copy of ALL the ABA booklets to read overnight whilst up with DD
It was fantastic, I really knew nothing of the ABA until then and it was so good to be able to read what suited me - to know that such things existed was just brilliant!
So maybe having them available for new mums to read/borrow to read whilst they are in hospital would be an idea.

I was very lucky, I had brilliant middies :-D
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if you can't run, then walk,
if you can't walk, then crawl,
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Post by fellare » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:33 pm

my after birth midwives were really good. (during the birth, worse than bad). They were very pro breastfeeding and really helpful. Bub was a sleepy one, from the meds I think and wasn't drinking much. She showed me how to express by hand and feed from the cup.

The only thing that was said that wasn't good was to never express more than 30mL when you're engorged as otherwise you just produce more milk. After 3 days of pain someone convinced me it's ok to express till comfortable. And then someone mentioned it's a good thing to empty the breast when engorged (too much fluid with the meds was probably a major reason for initial engorgement). It worked a treat to me!

I think it would be hard to give the brilliant advise in situations like mine. Especially as a lot was done over the phone. I can totally understand what was advised, it just didn't help me. So what I want to say is, tell the woman that if it doesn't work within a day, to come back and try something else. That there is no single cure for any problem and that you need to search for a solution. Keep going, keep trying different things and even different people as a person only knows so much and hasn't seen all types of situations.
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Post by misspurr » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:35 pm

Being told that using a dummy would stop my daughter from breastfeeding. This was REALLY disempowering. I felt REALLY bad.

Luckily for me, when I told my mum she told me it was rubbish, and that her 3 kids had dummies and had successfully breastfed and that I was the babies mother and that I would know what was best for her.

Breastfed for 3 years and dummy all that time, no issues and no confusion from my DD as to the the use of a dummy versus a nipple!

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Post by JC » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:44 pm

In hospital: "You've had a [PPH] so your milk might never come in."

A midwife phoned me at home to follow up, as I'd been discharged with breastfeeding issues. Upon hearing that I was still trying to improve the breastfeeds: "Isn't it about time you gave up?" We continued for years!
DS born July 2006; continued until 5
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Post by Elizabby » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:47 pm

Two comments:

The first was "wait until your milk comes in". As a first time mother I had no idea what this meant, so I just kind of sat around hoping for the "milk to come in". I had no idea I had to DO anything to get this to happen! So after we went home my baby was about 14 days old and I was sitting around still "waiting" and feeding my baby formula. :( I realize now that I had the wrong end of the stick entirely, but at the time I was sure I was following the midwife's instructions!

The second was not made to me, but the point is worth making that sometimes mothers overhear remarks. One midwife was telling another one that I was putting my baby to the breast, then said "That tiny baby and those huge breasts - I bet she'll never be able to breastfeed." :( It wasn't said directly to me, but it was still an inappropriate and discouraging remark. Well, it *might* have been discouraging to someone less stubborn than I am! ;)

One general comment that I think health professionals should always avoid statements that "you should have". This doesn't help anyone and makes the mother feel that the opportunity has passed and nothing can be done:
- you should have put the baby to the breast in the first hour
- you should have tried baby-led attachment
- you should have learned to hand express
- you should have been given a nipple shield

These comments all imply "but you didn't and now it is too late". Some mothers may even feel that it isn't worth trying any more and they should just admit failure at this point and give up. :(
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Post by Rachwa » Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:36 pm

The good: my hospital had a breastfeeding attachment video on loop in my room. I could watch it over and over in privacy without feeling like an idiot anf I wasn't constantly annoying the midwives as I perfected positioning.

The bad: my obs told me "you've got a big boy there, you'll need to give him formula as he grows as he will be hungry".

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Post by Claire » Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:00 am

I had one nurse (I think, as opposed to a midwife) in the SCN look at my 1ml of expressed colostrum and tell me that "with amounts like that you will never be able to breastfeed her." Fortunately DD is my second child and so I have built up a lot of breastfeeding knowledge, so I wrote her off as an idiot. If DD had been my first I would have believed her and been gutted. I meant to put in a formal complaint about her but didn't know her name (could have found out though) and I was under stress at the time.
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Post by jessles » Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:06 am

You probably won't be able to feed because you've got big boobs

I don't have time to help you. I don't know how to help you, but ask the midwives to come in and watch everytime you latch on (this was from the LC at the hospital)
The first midwife didn't just "watch" but forced dd1 onto me.
Result from poor attachment was an infected nipple that had green puss and it didn't get sorted out until bub was about 5-6weeks old

You cannot feed on the bed, you must get out of bed and sit on the chair, oh but you're too short to make that comfortable so you'll have to get something to rest your feet on.

Try and feed football style as larger breasted ladies often feed that way

I know it's hospital policy, but with DD2 and DS I wanted to feed by demand, but the pressure (with all 3) to watch the clock and know when and for how long I fed for drove me insane because I would be worried that they hadn't fed enough or with DS I was told I had to stop letting him feed like he was (20mins on, 20mins sleep for about 2-3hours) at less than 12hours old, because I would never get any sleep and would drive myself into the ground esp with 2 older kids.

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Post by Ronale » Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:10 am

Midwives see mothers each day and might say something different each day, as what they expect to see from mum & bub each day changes. It's important for the mother to know that what they're saying today completely contradicts what she was told yesterday because today is different (if that makes sense :lol: )
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Post by Mummy Latte » Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:00 am

Hmmm, I have a few.

When DD was in Special Care:
- Exclusively express at least 5 times a day. (Clearly not enough to establish supply when DD could only feed with a tube.)
- Breastfeed every 4 hours. (A MCHN later told me that this works really well for shift schedules for staff. Although they really want to do the best for the babies, it's tough looking after the needs of 3 special care newborns for 8 hours so scheduled feeds help.)
- Only feed for 10 minutes each side, after that there's no goodness in it / comfort sucking is pointless (hospital dietitian).
- Express for bottle top ups as breastfeeding uses up too much energy.
- A dummy will do no harm (when it was unintentionally used to space out feeds.
- Baby has "breastmilk jaundice" - occurred on day 3, nothing to do with breastmilk.

Overheard in the ward from a LC no less:
- Your baby's not attaching properly, let's give him some formula to settle him down.
- Don't bother expressing to improve your supply, you have enough to worry about with a newborn, formula's fine. (Attachment problems, mum was ABA member and was happy to express.)

"Should do" points would be:
- Ask mums if they want help kicking out visitors when baby wants a breastfeed. (I've seen mums delay BF and suffer a crying baby rather than feed in front of others.)
- Open curtains and encourage mums to BF together - especially good if new mums can see an experienced mum BF easily.
- Promote ABA to mums during antenatal visits, and include member form in going home pack.

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Post by jessles » Fri Apr 20, 2012 6:27 am

Oh yeah having contradictions by midwives on the same shift let alone shift to shift was hard esp with #1. By #3 i smiled and nodded.

Also the assumption by the gp that you bottle fed was hard. I alsp sat through a talk with a paed nurse who talked thewhole way through about making sure if you had to take bub to emergency to bring their bottle and no mention of b/fing

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