Pressure to breastfeed or formula feed? Ireland AM

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    Ireland AM will be discussing breastfeeding next week and have posed a question on their Facebook page, "were you pressurised to breastfeed after you gave birth?" We really feel that in orderto discuss this issue properly, Ireland AM need the whole picture. Please go on and post your experience, whatever that might be, as what we’re hearing is while many are pressurised to breastfeed, many are also pressurised to introduce formula, often before the mother wishes to do so, despite the HSE and WHO recommendations to breastfeeding to 6 months exclusively and with complementary solids to age two and beyond.

    Friends of Breastfeeding is an Irish charity whose aim to support mothers to have the breastfeeding experience they choose. While obviously mothers should be given accurate information before birth in relation to infant feeding, if for whatever reason a mother doesn’t go on to breastfeed (and there are many reasons), we don’t think anyone should be made to feel guilty. We don’t feel there has been an accurate representation of Irish mothers experiences of this in the Ireland media to date. Posing one-sided questions like this encourages a breast v bottle divide, where we can choose not to have that divide. Ultimately we are all parents who would like to be supported. You can have your say here: … 7340716291


    I was pressured to bottle feed by a midwife – she refused to help me breastfeed on my first baby. It was so awful as I had not got a clue and turned to her for help but she did not want to know. She shoved a bottle at me and told me I was ‘starving my baby’ and had to give him the bottle.

    As a first time, overwhelmed mum after a very difficult & dramatic birth, I was so sore and tired that I gave in to her – although I did insist on giving him the milk on a spoon so he would not get used to the bottle teat.

    When I got home few days later I continued to struggle to breastfeed. I ended up trying everything, hired a lactation consultant but we had not established it when he was born and it was impossible for us to get it when he was a few days old. I ended up getting very down about my inability to do it. I expressed for 4 months to give him breastmilk, but sadly it was from a bottle.

    I look back at how that midwife treated me and am appalled. If she had spent 5-10 minutes with me, helping me and encouraging me I would not have gone through all that torment trying to get it to work afterwards.

    It is a woman’s choice whether or not she does it and she should be supported if she tries it, not scolded and have a bottle shoved at her!

    I hope things are better in hospitals now than they were for me 9 years ago…

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