Bottle Feeding

I read an article in a magazine recently on bottle feeding and how there is a lack of information on it. I agreed with it. There is a lack of information available before and after you give birth on bottle feeding.

While pregnant I was told everything you needed to know about breastfeeding & I gathered information on breastfeeding from magazines and books. I planned to Breastfeed, and I had this mindset from the moment I found out I was pregnant. I decided too as I knew it was what best for my baby & that it was free! Well, once Oli was born my plan to breastfeed went out the window. Oli just didn’t want my breast milk. He wouldn’t latch on or even show an interest in wanting too.

I was determined too and tried everything the midwife’s suggested, I managed to get a little colostrum out using a syringe, and that was it. As Oli needed milk, we had to give him a bottle in the hospital; This is where it started, I didn’t know which milk was the best? There were so many different kinds of milk out there, SMA, Cow & Gate and Aptamil. I was asked if I had a preference to what was used, luckily I had paid attention when it came to baby milk adverts and knew that Aptamil was the most similar to breast milk, containing just the vital things Oli needs.

Of course, I planned on continuing to try to feed Oli via Breast. The man fed Oli his first bottle so that Oli wouldn’t get confused and associate me with the bottle. When Oli awoke for the night feed, I tried again. But didn’t get anywhere so the nurse took him away for a bottle and I went back to sleep disheartened.

Throughout my stay at the from the moment, Oli was born until the next day when we left to come home I had different midwives see to me, Some were extremely helpful and tried there to best to help me to express milk, and some were rather negative towards me. They made me feel like I was doing something wrong, which I wasn’t.

I will always remember the one midwife who was blunt and nasty on the night that Oli was born. I’m not a big fan of hospitals and hate being left alone and especially overnight stays. So the fact that I had to stay in the hospital and was still in shock about giving birth – I was in hysterics. The man was told to he had to leave as visiting times were over, I hated this! I didn’t want him to leave me; He was what was keeping me together. I screamed and cried and then insisted that if he left, I did too. I explained I wanted to go home, but the midwife was adamant that I couldn’t leave until I established feeding. This is where she dug in at me about breastfeeding and how my child would starve. She said I couldn’t leave until I decided what I wanted to do.
She was giving me an on the spot decision – I had to choose if I wanted to breastfeed or bottle feed. Well, of course, I wanted to breastfeed but I just couldn’t. Instead of giving me such a hard time she should have seen how scared I was and how upset I was at not being able to breastfeed, It was at this point I started to feel guilty about it. I did stay after the Mr calmed me down and explained staying there for the night was what best for our son. Maybe the midwife should have taken this approach instead of guilting me into staying.

I was sent home from the hospital with a few jars of aptamil as it was Sunday and had no way of getting any milk in, we didn’t buy any in advance as we thought I would be breastfeeding. I was told just to keep trying and that my local midwife would be visiting the next day so I would receive more help from her.

So these bottles of milk were ready made. I wasn’t told what to do when these ran out. I knew I had to buy the milk in the shops. But what then I had no idea that sterilised water was needed, I wasn’t even sure how to use the steriliser! I didn’t know how much milk Oli needed. I had to find out how to do it all by reading the milk box.

Is that the way I should have learnt? Health People are getting way too involved with Breastfeeding to see that they are people who bottle feed out of choice or that they have to as they can’t breastfeed. There are inadequate information and support for mothers who decide or have to bottle feed.

I did try for a week after I came home from the hospital to breastfeed him, The midwife came round every day to help me. We tried absolutely everything but still nothing. Oli just wasn’t going to have any of it. I was so emotional about it all and yes extremely guilty that I couldn’t give Oli this goodness. I do still feel bad about it to this day. But why should I? It wasn’t my fault my child didn’t want my milk. But everywhere I turn there is something about it.

When looking on websites about bottle feeding, I came across one article which had one comment on the subject.

Anonymous | 14-Jul-2009 10:30 pm
Perhaps the “rights” of babies not breastfed by their mothers should be considered. Artificial feeding is what it says – cows milk is for baby cows, not baby humans. Perhaps, to be really controversial, the only way to access formula and the correct way of using it is by way of medical reasons only – not choice – after all if the babies had a choice, they would choose breast rather than formula. Too right that the mothers artificially feeding feel guilty – so they should – shame on them for increasing the liklihood of their baby becoming ill and adding to the NHS burden of care!

What are your thoughts on what this person said? I know what mine is, but I will keep them to myself. I know myself that breastfeeding is the way to go, but there are people out there that will bottle feed no matter what – young girls, for example, they may not want to breastfeed. I know we should educate them in it but what about educating them in bottle feeding? If they choose to bottle feed .. we should be supporting them, teaching them how to go about it. I had no idea what to do and was embarrassed by this. I felt like a bad mother not knowing how to prepare a feed. I used the Internet to teach myself what I needed to know. What would I have done without it?

Guess how to make a feed up.. and make my child ill by doing it wrong? I read that under UK Legislation baby formula manufacturers are only allowed to advertise follow on milk which is for 6months older. And I saw that if the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the department of health would have even these follow-on milk adverts banned if they could.

The only way I found about follow-on milk was via these adverts. Since Oli turned six months, he has been on the follow-on milk. I also found on about the hungry baby milk via these adverts which Oli went on at two months to satisfy his hunger.

I know that at all costs breastfeeding should be promoted but what about the needs of bottle-feeding mothers? When my next baby comes along, I will again try to breastfeed, but if that fails, then I will bottle feed. But at least this time I’ll know how to sterilise, prepare & make a bottle.