View Poll Results: Whose responsibility is it for a woman to breastfeed?
The woman 26 65.00%
The father 6 15.00%
Family 4 10.00%
Friends 1 2.50%
Midwife/health visitor 2 5.00%
All of the above 14 35.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 40. You may not vote on this poll

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Old Jan 6th, 2013, 13:52 PM   1
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Whose responsibility is it for a woman to breatfeed? Please give your opinions...

Firstly, let me introduce name is Emma and I am a mum of 4 - Kaitlyn 12, Alexander & Rowan 9 and Freya 5. I used to come on here all the time when pregnant with my youngest but since then I haven't really had the time!

I am now studying for an Access to Higher Education Diploma, to - fingers crossed - go on to study Midwifery in September. As part of my diploma, I have to write an 'Access Project', which is basically a research project into something to do with the degree you which to study.

Although breastfeeding is a widely discussed topic and there are many campaigns out there, there still seems to be a stigma attached to breastfeeding publicly and there are low breastfeeding rates in young mothers and economically deprived areas.

I'm interested in why this is and people's own personal experience of breastfeeding. That's where you all come in!

The title of my project is 'Whose responsibility is it for a woman to breastfeed?'

This may seem really obvious at first, as there is only one person that can breastfeed the infant but what role does family, peers and society play in the woman making her decision? Would she breastfeed but family think it is wrong? Do they feel uncomfortable in public because people stare and feel awkward?

So whose responsibility is it?

A. The woman
B. The father
C. Family
D. Friends
E. Midwives/health visitor
F. All of the above

If you could answer with one of the above and also let me know your own experiences and opinions that would be great - I can't really do this project without you!

If you feel uncomfortable voicing your opinions publicly, please feel free to message me. All information will be treated confidentially as I'm using it to get information from a wide range of people to get an idea of what society thinks the problems faced by women wishing to breastfeed.

Thank you all in advance and please tell your friends about my thread and ask them to take part!

If you have any questions, please contact me and I'll be happy to discuss things with you!

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Old Jan 6th, 2013, 14:24 PM   2
Mum (Mom)
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I didn't answer the poll because i believe it is the decision of both the mother and father. I think the rest of the people you listed can influence their decision but that is who ultimately make the decision.

My OH was pro breast feeding because of the health benefits. I'll be honest I hadn't really thought about it. My view was we will see how it goes. The hospital I was delivering at is baby friendly and very pro breast feeding. We took a breast feeding class through them and were given lots of good information. We did skin to skin and she latched within a half hour of birth. My OH was ready to cave the first night because he thought she wasn't getting enough. The nurses were very knowledge about everything and explained what was happening and why. I had also done some research and kind of knew what to expect so we made it through. My family has also been very supportive. Right now our goal is six months and I see us making it. My OH and I will then discuss where we go from there. I know it's my body, but it's our child so I think he gets a say.

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Old Jan 6th, 2013, 14:38 PM   3
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I have gone with all of the above as without the support of OH & family & friends and being given advice etc from midwifes and health visitors I don't think I would have BF my first for anything like as long as I did.

I was ready to quit a number of times and my hubby was the one who asked me to keep trying just one more day each time I had enough.

My family made me feel comfortable enough to feed in front of them as otherwise I locked myself away whilst I fed and got really lonely doing it.

My friends weed the same. Making me cups of tea and again comfortable being with them & feeding my son whilst they were there, otherwise I would have been a total hermit!

If it wasn't for all of them I would never have fed my son in a food court of a shopping centre or on a flight going on holiday - or at the airport!

My hubby was very pro breast feeding - for the health benifits for our son & the cost & whilst I was willing to give it go I have to admit I would totally have bottle fed without even giving it a 2nd thought.

Yes ultimately the final desicion is with the women but she needs the support of others to help her do it.

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Old Jan 6th, 2013, 15:12 PM   4
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I have voted the women! Whilst everyone else plays an important role I think the final decision is down to the mum, she is the one who has the responsibility of feeding the baby whilst it is breast feeding, no one else can do that! I can see why others have voted all of above but I think the final decision is down to mum.

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Old Jan 6th, 2013, 15:16 PM   5
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I think the mother.

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Old Jan 6th, 2013, 15:17 PM   6
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I think ultimately it is the mother's responsibility to choose to breastfeed (or not). No one should "force" her to breastfeed, just as no one should force her to stop.

However, I think that it is both the father's responsibility and health professionals' responsibility to support the mother both before and after the birth. To me, educating women on the benefits of breastfeeding before the baby is born is a form of support that should be given by a midwife/doctor. Once the baby is born there should be constant support to the mother given by nurses in the hospital. And after they are released by the hospital, the support should still be accessible whenever the mother needs it.

Where I am, I think the support is there before the baby and immediately after, but once you leave the hospital it is lacking. A lot of this I think is due to dealing with health professionals who may not deal specifically with breastfeeding (though I think pediatricians SHOULD be knowledgeable on the subject) and not able to give appropriate/sufficient advice.

As I said, though, the decision is and should be made by the mother on her own terms.

My family didn't really play a role at all in my decision to breastfeed and since my mom and MIL both formula fed I didn't get much support from them (though my mom was always supportive in the basic "if you want to do it you can do it" sort of way). My MIL was pushing formula/baby rice and clearly didn't understand why breastfeeding was important to me, but that didn't affect any decisions I made, it was just a minor annoyance.

I think probably the biggest factor for most women when making the decision would be the information available. If she believes formula is just as good as breastmilk she probably won't be so inclined to breastfeed. If breastfeeding is promoted and seen as beneficial and the norm, she will probably at least give it a shot.

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Old Jan 6th, 2013, 15:22 PM   7
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It isn't a responsibility it is a choice. And it is a choice that only the woman herself can make - nobody else has responsibility over her body and what she chooses to do with it.

The other people have a role to play none the less. Health professionals have a responsibility to provide adequate support and advice to breastfeeding mothers and to educate pregnant women about successful breastfeeding so they have a higher chance of it working out. The father has a responsibility to support his partner and look after her and the baby so that she can get on with breastfeeding.
Friends and extended family have no responsibility at all but one would hope they would be supportive. Sadly this is not always the case.

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Old Jan 6th, 2013, 15:22 PM   8
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While I think that having the support of "all the above" is pretty much essential for breastfeeding to succeed, if the mother is not happy with the decision to breastfeed and does not want to do it, it doesn't matter what the father or anybody else feels. At the end of the day it is the mother who actually has to DO the feeding, and so I think the onus really falls on the mother. Similarly, if the mother wants to bf while the others do not, she can choose to do so. Nobody else in the list has that choice as they are dependent on the mother to actually feed.

I don't think it's right to say that it's all up to the mother, as I feel she definitely needs support from the father, or her nearest family, however at the end of the day without the mother's consent, bf can never occur. I also agree with PP that it is a choice to bf, not necessarily a responsibility. Plenty of babies who are formula fed grow up healthy and happy, so we can't say their parents have shirked their responsibility in my opinion.

Hope that is useful I can't comment personally as my LO hasn't yet arrived! Luckily I have the support of everyone in that list

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Old Jan 6th, 2013, 16:02 PM   9
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For us it was me as mum. I didnt even think about not breastfeeding. Only reason i wouldent was if i physically couldent and my dh was fine with whatever i wanted and is pro breast feeding now. Neither mine or dhs family were particularly supportive about it and made me feel uncomfortable feeding lo in front of them. I have very little support now she is 17 months and have been told numerous times its disgusting. I got told by doctor when she was 13 months thst after 6 months you are feeding only for mothers benefits. That seems to be usual opinion where i live there is alot of peer pressure to ff, and alot of judgement if you bf. The children centre wanted to offer support at baby and toddler but they were told no as its forcing it on people. Its a shame as i would have appreciated support when we were going through thrush. Hvs are mixed but most of time dont mention it. I had one give bad advice at 6 months saying lo should only have milk twice a day and i quote she was naughty asking for more when i hadent asked for her opinion. The midwifes were fantastic and very supportive

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Old Jan 6th, 2013, 16:06 PM   10
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Originally Posted by nicki01 View Post
I have voted the women! Whilst everyone else plays an important role I think the final decision is down to the mum, she is the one who has the responsibility of feeding the baby whilst it is breast feeding, no one else can do that! I can see why others have voted all of above but I think the final decision is down to mum.
Exactly! Saves me typing it out too!

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breatfeed , opinions , responsibility , woman

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