Disclaimer: I'm really angry at the way some of these struggling moms are treated by others, so this blog is full of strong, and maybe some hard opinions. You've been warned. I'm also pregnant, so I can always blame hormones LOL!
A friend of mine added me to a page called Milky Mommies on Facebook a while back by my request. I wanted to see what kind of support they offered, and after seeing just what kind of stuff was said to struggling moms, I decided to leave the group. A few days later, my friend re-added me (likely thought she had forgot to add me in the first place). This time, I un-followed the page, but it seems to still be popping up on my Facebook, and I still get curious and read replies.
One mother today was posting about how her supply had stopped. She is using a hospital grade pump, and cannot put the baby on her breast, because the baby has a cleft lip. Most of the replies were telling her to put the baby to her breast to feed (ignoring the fact that it's not possible for her). They advocated for her to see a lactation consultant, but her pediatrician already expressed the need for her to supplement the baby's diet with formula - once that was said, things got ugly as if she was being a bad mother or a failure for supplementing. There was no sympathy, and they considered all of her problems to be subjective or silly. Someone suggested some kind of special cookies or mother's milk tea, and the poster said something about them being hard to swallow/keep down. Someone literally replied, "who cares how you feel, choke them down!!" That's not being supportive, that's being militant and uncaring.
Another mom today posted this:
"I've posted numerous times on here about how my daughter and I couldn't figure out BF. We finally did, and I swear to you, she doesn't like it. She gets the hiccups every time, pukes every time, and cries EVERY TIME. It will get to the point after a three hour session that I'll supplement a formula bottle and she instantly smiles and falls asleep. She's been on formula for three days (she's only a week old) and has had zero problems with it. I just tried to relatch thinking that bm is what's best, but my baby is just miserable."
Most suggested a lactation consultant, only one person suggested a doctor. In the comments the poster mentioned that the baby had lost a lot of weight, but no one cared. Obviously the baby has an allergy, and life seems much easier with formula in this case - what's wrong with supporting the mother AND the baby. Formula is perfectly healthy, there is ZERO proof that there is ANY benefit of formula over breastfeeding in developed countries. Zero. I looked. There are no PEER REVIEWED studies stating otherwise, but plenty stating that there is no difference. This is the whole anti-vaxx movement all over again. People are online stating unproven theories as facts, and others believe it. It's so damaging.
With saying that, I support a mother's choice to feed her baby. This same group has women telling other's that instead of "fed is best", they were chanting "fed is minimum". I said, out loud to my computer screen, "go fuck yourself with that noise".
Fed IS best. If your child is throwing up, miserable, and sick every time you feed them, FEED THEM A DIFFERENT WAY THAT MAKES THEM HAPPY!! Feed them in a way that supports your family. Feed them in a way that supports your mental stability. Don't make yourself MISERABLE, because some crunchy mom tells you that you're otherwise less-than, because you could not or chose not to breastfeed, because that's not the case. If your a mom doing what's best for your family, your baby, and yourself... Well, then you're doing a great job. It's no one else's business how your child is fed, as long as that child is happy and healthy.
Don't let others attack you when you're doing what's best for your child. They don't know your life, and if they believe your struggles are subjective then they should not be involved in helping you with them. As an expecting mom I'm glad to see how nasty others can be, so I can avoid these types of forums. They have bi-laws that forbid certain types of advice, which goes against most of what I believe anyhow - They forbid you from suggesting formula or brands of formula, even though that may be what is BEST in some cases. That's ridiculous and selfish.
Yes, I said it. It's selfish to put a baby through misery, because you are trying to achieve a specific goal that you've decided is more important than simply giving in to a perfectly healthy alternative. There is no reason to suffer or make your child suffer, but I can't blame these mom's... When it's been drilled into your brain that not breastfeeding = failure, then it's tough to give in.
Last word of advice...
Do your own research.
Do what's best for your family.
Note: I'm not judging my friend. She wants to support my breast feeding efforts in a loving way. She cannot help how others react to things, and I don't know that she really realizing how off-putting this page is for new moms. She's a mom of two, and a BIG advocate on breastfeeding, so she's likely used to it by now. I'm however not...