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  • Bottle Nursing

    Hi, I'm new here.

    I wanted to ask about "Bottle Nursing". I understand the principle but its the application I am confused about.

    I'm about to train as a breastfeeding peer supporter and I'm personally still nursing my 3 year old so I'm very pro breastfeeding. I am also planning to apply for API leadership to start a group here where I live.

    I understand that API recognises that breastfeeding is the optimum for a baby/child so where does bottle nursing come in?

    I'm from the UK where breastfeeding rates are abysmally low and support for new mothers is patchy and often non-existent.

    There are obviously occasions when breastfeeding is not possible but these are rare.

    I think would feel uncomfortable supporting a mothers choice to bottle feed.

    Can anyone shed any light on the application of this principle and how API supports formula feeding?

    Thanks

  • #2
    Have you read these?
    http://www.attachmentparenting.org/p...tlefeeding.php
    http://www.attachmentparenting.org/s.../artbottle.php

    Could you support a mother who adopted a baby?
    Could you support a mother who intended to breastfeed who had difficulties with birth and initiating breastfeeding and did end up using formula?
    Could you support a widowed father?
    Could you support a woman with medical issues who uses formula?

    There are many ways to support parents. You can support them even if they use an infant feeding method you would not use. You may be asked for support in continuing breastfeeding if there is an issue or difficulty. You can only do your best in encouraging them and offering resources and information.
    We actually have a mother in our group who did adopt and induced lactation for both of her children. We also have a few mothers who did suffer from difficult births and severe problems with initiating lactation. One lady got pregnant and her milk dried up early. I think it is important to stay open to situations.


    I'm from the UK where breastfeeding rates are abysmally low and support for new mothers is patchy and often non-existent.
    That would be hard for sure! I know there is some lactivism in the UK. Is La Leche League or similar group there?

    Comment


    • #3
      naomi gave some great examples. from API's point of view, there are many families who come to us AFTER the decision to bottle feed has been made. they feel like they can not practice AP b/c they did not BF. they feel judgment from the AP community and never give the rest of the Principles a chance. Attachment Parenting is about promoting healthy, empathetic parent-child bonds. So API wants families to understand that they can still be successful APers and nurture their children into adulthood, regardless of how they begin. It's important to keep in mind that for all the reasons a parent chooses to formula feed, it's never because they don't want to be attached to their child.

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      • #4
        Thank you very much for your replies, this has helped me understand a bit better.

        The examples given by Naomi were the kind of situations I already had in mind - adoption etc. And of course it is true that many times a mother has not had the right support in the early days/weeks and gives up breastfeeding. I think I had in mind mothers who refuse to breastfeed for selfish reasons such as vanity but I guess those kind of mothers won't be very interested in Attachment Parenting either.

        LLL is active in the UK but again, very sporadic. For example where I live there is only one active group for 3counties which would mean a 4 hour round trip drive for many mums, and impossible for those without a car. And LLL seems to have a reputation for being very radical which puts a lot of mothers off. Plus of course for mothers who do not breastfeed there isn't really an alternative if they still want to practice AP.

        But.... how do you guide a bottle feeding mother towards bottle nursing? I see so many mothers sitting feeding babies facing away from them (and talking on their cell phones at the same time!) or being given bottles whilst strapped in their strollers or even with bottles propped up against them in their (facing away) strollers. It seems universal - how do you change that to bottle nursing?

        In my entire mothering career (I didn't notice before I'm ashamed to say) I've only ever seen one mother bottle nurse. She had had a terrible time (premature birth, non-existent support in hospital and a very unsupportive partner) but the way she "bottle nursed" her daughter was very beautiful to watch.

        More common was the reaction of one of my (bottle feeding) friends who was amazed that my ds "looked right into my eyes" while nursing. It took me a long time to understand what she meant by that.
        Last edited by kamala; 10-11-2009, 10:40 AM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by kamala View Post
          I see so many mothers sitting feeding babies facing away from them (and talking on their cell phones at the same time!)
          i could say the same thing about BFing mothers. bfing does not automatically mean you are "attached".

          all we can do is provide information. we can't force people to change. in the context of leader support, when moms come to meetings, we talk about the "Feed w/Love & Respect" Principle and all it entails. we educate both the bfing and bottle nursing families.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by PaxMamma View Post
            i could say the same thing about BFing mothers. bfing does not automatically mean you are "attached".
            Thanks Dedra, of course you are right. I do now recall an incident with a bf'g mother which illustrates that totally! And in my three + years of nursing there have been quite a few unattached breastfeeding moments

            (Hope I'm allowed at admit that here....?)

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            • #7
              I'll admit it...yes I do nurse at the computer! I start off with a little eye-contact and interaction but for hour long nursing sessions (especially when he is falling asleep) I do let myself do other things.

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              • #8
                whoa!!! you mean we're not perfect AP parents?? maybe i'm on the wrong forum

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                • #9
                  you so silly Dedra!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by naomifrederickmd View Post
                    I'll admit it...yes I do nurse at the computer! I start off with a little eye-contact and interaction but for hour long nursing sessions (especially when he is falling asleep) I do let myself do other things.
                    My DD slept while nursing in my lap the first 4 months, had I not been online I think, no I know I would have resented it. I actually tell mothers that a laptop is a great new mum gift since little babies sleep so much and nurse and well you connect with other mothers, topless, without a shower and a baby on your boob. Kind of hard to do that in person

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                    • #11
                      One more thing, I encourage bottle feeding mothers to feed on cue vs every x amount of hours and then to use smaller amounts explaining that bottle feeding is suppose to mimic breastfeeding, when you explain it like that it seems to go over better.

                      Another tip I give bottle feeding parents is babywearing while feeding! Then they can shop or eat or anything else while they feed, much like a nursing mother might.

                      Also they can bottle nurse laying down in bed, why should they get up at night if bf'ing mothers don't? A few bottles next to the bed with a powder dispenser makes it so mum doesn't need to get up.

                      I haven't found LLL in the UK as radical, but I'm also a SAHM, nursing to child lean weaning, and all the other AP bits type of parent. I'm sure if I was working full time and not AP I wouldn't be too impressed. But they are better than NCT for promoting BF'ing I've found.

                      And we know the health dept endorses breastmilk, for 6 months I mean who does it after that? When there is follow on milk LOL

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MamaLion View Post
                        I haven't found LLL in the UK as radical............ But they are better than NCT for promoting BF'ing I've found.

                        And we know the health dept endorses breastmilk, for 6 months I mean who does it after that? When there is follow on milk LOL
                        Exactly that - LLL is the most radical option out there in the UK at the moment but I mean radical compared to what else is on offer! For me LLL just feels normal

                        Actually now the NHS here is supposed to endorse bf'g until one year. The promotion of follow-on formula is severely restricted and is not allowed in settings such as Children's Centres (geared towards 0-4 years). Weaning at 6 months is supposed to be introducing solids not weaning off the breast.

                        But I know that unfortunately in practice that is often what happens although the percentage of mothers in UK actually getting to 6 months of bf'g is minuscule
                        Last edited by kamala; 11-14-2009, 04:02 AM.

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                        • #13
                          In practise though nursing beyond 6 months I found wasn't accepted by health professionals. Heck even before 6 months it was not accepted where we lived.

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                          • #14
                            I have heard similar stories. Some areas of the UK are waaaay behind the times.

                            Isnt it great though that now they don't have a choice over whether to accept not, its policy and if they don't follow it there are repercussions!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by kamala View Post
                              I have heard similar stories. Some areas of the UK are waaaay behind the times.

                              Isnt it great though that now they don't have a choice over whether to accept not, its policy and if they don't follow it there are repercussions!
                              Yeah but the way the system is there is little that is ever actually done, doctors have to really mess up big for anything to happen to them and even then it's hard, remember Shipman?

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