For the second breastfeeding workshop it was women only as they try to get a new breastfeeding mother to come in and share her experience as well as a demonstration. As the group was now smaller as women came without their partners it was more personal and it was easier to ask questions and get the answers from a new mum as opposed to the midwife and health visitor.
The new mum who came with her new baby was only 7 weeks old but he was having problems feeding so we spent most of the session talking about problems rather than breastfeeding itself. It was found that the little baby had a cold so wasn’t able to feed properly because his nasal passage was a little congested. The new mum talked about how she went into labour but due to all the drugs she tried to ease labour pain her son was born sluggish and it took a day for him to wake up properly. As a result of this he did not latch on properly and the first week was a struggle to breastfeed. She recalls each day has been different and his feeding pattern changes, but she did nearly give up as she found it very stressful and demanding.
In a way it was a good idea to bring in a new breastfeeding mum to talk about her experience but in this case her son was ill so he cried throughout the whole session. As she was a new mum she found some questions hard to answer so the midwife had to do it for her, it has still put me off breastfeeding as I found that it is very strict and the midwife refuses to believe that women should offer a bottle instead.
I was very pro-breastfeeding as I thought I could combine it with expressed milk in a bottle but the midwife discourages this and says that it should only be attempted after 3 months. I think this is far too long, my mum combined the breast with expressed bottle feeding when I was a few weeks old and I turned out fine. I understand that formula is bad and should be avoided if possible but it is unrealistic and it puts too much pressure on women to expect them to exclusively breastfeed for 6 months.
The advice given has been conflicting with many pregnancy books and websites saying that you can introduce a bottle as early as 4 weeks and not 3 months like the workshop suggests. Also I would like to mention that the midwife strongly advises against anyone other than the mother feeding the baby and again I think this is wrong as grandparents and the father should also be involved.
In all I didn’t really learn much other than the midwife and health visitors’ biased views on breastfeeding because to them if you do not breastfeed than you are doing it wrong, end of story!