BF & the medical community

Discussion in 'Breastfeeding' started by DarlingMe, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. DarlingMe

    DarlingMe Well-Known Member

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    So I keep hearing all the benefits of BF for LO and mom regarding less infections, allergies, heart problems, cancers, etc. I did not feel all that encouraged to BF by any medical professional I saw besides the LCs. I am an RN so I am not attacking the medical community but I find it odd that something that is SO beneficial is not better advocated by insurance companies, AAP, and government programs. Then I thought about how much money they all make off ear infections, allergies, cancer treatments, and probably formula companies, etc. Does anyone else think it isn't pushed for that reason?? Why would they want to lose money?? (I am not normally a conspiracy theorist but this really has me baffled!)
     
  2. Palestrina

    Palestrina Well-Known Member

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    I don't find it baffling at all. The medical community in the US is in the pockets of prescription drug companies, and formula is along those lines. I do not believe that medical professionals are schooled in BF, they only know "breast is best" but don't know how to support a woman who is BF. I have yet to hear my OB or my ped give me any good advice about it. On the contrary they both seem indifferent about it and formula top ups are regularly suggested. Even worse than that a certain acquaintance of mine who is an ob/gyn casually mentioned to me that BF has no benefits past a week or 2. Shocking!!

    Rest assured though, pumps and other paraphanalia associated with BF are tax deductible. That's good no?
     
  3. DarlingMe

    DarlingMe Well-Known Member

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    Yes I can pay $300'for my pump and get $4 back on my taxes. If I FF I can get a year of formula paid for... I can't believe that doctor! Crazy.
     
  4. Palestrina

    Palestrina Well-Known Member

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    Really that's it? Is formula tax deductible?
     
  5. aliss

    aliss Well-Known Member

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    I'm not a conspiracy theorist either but I can only imagine what Nestle and Enfamil does behind the scenes at board meetings............ :(
     
  6. TeresaG

    TeresaG Mummy to a little girl

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    I am surprised that there is not more support for women that are breastfeeding from medical professionals. My LO and I had thrush and I had to go to my doctors for medication and drops for LO. I almost had to beg him to help me and then he told me that I should just give up and formula feed. I did find a local breastfeeding support group and have had a lot of help from them.
     
  7. summer rain

    summer rain Mum of 5

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    I think the problem in the UK is two-fold, despite the laws being much stricter here, bribery aka 'incentives' for health care professionals are given by formula companies and its often so subtle that the said health professionals do not realise what they are being subjected to. Formula companies here also produce educational materials for health professionals to give to parents with no brand name on; this serves two purposes; not breaking any laws as they are not actually promoting their brand and also they can hoodwink parents into thinking these handouts are from the NHS and not from a commercial company whose interest it is to get them to give up BF. These leaflets and printouts seem very helpful and pro-BF but some have very subtle underlying messages, such as suggesting a baby getting jaundiced means they are not getting enough milk, suggesting that only the cradle hold is the proper way to BF and other positions are like a last resort when dealing with mastitis etc and there is information on the Aptamil health professionals site which says that unless a mum takes loads of vitamin supplements and has the perfect diet she will not produce enough nor nutritious enough milk-which is complete bunkum. Lastly; they often host training seminars on infant feeding which give out false and innaccurate information; one formula company has one of the authors of the now infamous paper that came out in January on breastmilk not being enough for six months running training seminars for them. This is the same doctor who came up with a study that said BF and a western diet caused heart disease but FF and a western diet did not. Anyway I'm sure its no coincidence that a lot more HVs have been telling mums they attended a 'training seminar' recently and that they were told that the government will be changing the weaning age back to 4 months. The second problem in this country is that HCPs recieve virtually no infant feeding training in general, even HVs and MWs and it seems a lot of the training they do get; if not from formula company seminars is very old fashioned and innaccurate anyway-it seems the norm that they are taught babies should be fed for a limited number of minutes and that comfort sucking has no value, nutritionally or otherwise to name just two examples xx
     
  8. DarlingMe

    DarlingMe Well-Known Member

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    I have gotten soooo many samples, coupons, and cash vouchers for formulas. My first OB appt, only FOUR weeks along, with a midwife-- I was given a sample for formula! Not a pamphlet for BF, but formula. I know a huge part of it is that they do not talk about, encourage, or generally have any info regarding BF; but I think part of that is because there is so much money not just in formula but bottles and formula fed babies and their recurrent health concerns.

    I hear so often things like, "I stopped BF because my milk dried up" or "our pediatrician said to stop". Prior to my LO I never understood that these are just things that should not happen.

    Even the pediatrician we saw yesterday said that he put his LO on elemental formula at a couple months old for reflux & colic. He is from a large practice, voted the best in Chicago by a couple different magazines and local organizations. Yet this doc was not even trained well enough to help his own wife and child how to continue breastfeeding!
     
  9. pinkie77

    pinkie77 Mum of four!

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    I think that another factor, as well as money and lack of training, is that medical professionals are not trained to trust our bodies. They are trained to put their faith in medicine, not nature. Also, I think ff is easier for hcp to understand. If a hv asks a ff mum how much her baby is feeding, she'll get a quantifiable reply, eg 4 x 6 oz. Ask most bf mums and they don't know! Phoebe might have 5 mins on one side after breakfast, and then mid morning a longer feed off both sides, but I don't know how much she's having. Hcp distrust what they don't understand in many cases I believe (not saying this is true of all but seems to be of most I've come into contact with).
     
  10. DarlingMe

    DarlingMe Well-Known Member

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    My mom was concerned about this too. Now she says LO gets too much b/c he is growing too quick! :haha: I keep explaining to her BF babies double thier birth weight by 4.5 months and then slow down a bit, where FF gain more at 6+ months. Even the pediatrician asked how much LO is drinking and I said, "until he is full and stops." :dohh: it just isn't the norm!

    And to The previous post, formula is not tax deductible but is paid for though state assistance, health care spending accounts, and prescriptions for babies with special formulas thru some insurance. You have to fight to get them to pay for a pump! And many things you write off on taxes, you have to spend a certain amount of your income to get a refund for it. Most people take the standard deduction because the write offs dont typically make a difference.
     
  11. lilyanne

    lilyanne Mom & Pregnant with #2

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    After reading all of these posts I feel very fortunate. Phoebe was born in a hospital that is part of the WHO and UNICEF Baby_friendly Initiative. This means that the maternity staff is all trained in how to support women in breastfeeding and they follow practices to increase likelihood of successful breastfeeding. For example, skin to skin contact is immediate, they help you latch the baby right after that and then the doctors and midwifes leave the room and give you a few hours of alone time in the delivery room before any weighing, cleaning or measuring. They have a breastfeeding room on the floor which has comfortable chairs, breastfeeding pillows, and a lactation consultant is on hand to help with any issues. They run pre-breastfeeding courses and have free weekly breastfeeding meet ups at the hospital to help trouble shoot. When I left the hospital I received hand outs on breastfeeding but never received anything formula related and still to this day have not. A Midwife came to my house after I got home and checked my latch and gave me breastfeeding support for the first 8 weeks. If I have a problem breastfeeding in the first year, insurance will pay for a midwife to come to my house to help me. I think because the hospital has this initiative, all of the local midwives and doctors in our area have followed suit. If I did not have this type of support, I think I might have quit in the early weeks.

    I read a study from the AAP that said that in the US, the government spends tens of millions of dollars a year buying formula and then millions of dollars more on health care for diseases and illnesses that may have been prevented by breastfeeding. If they put a fraction of that into breastfeeding initiatives for educating doctors, they would be saving themselves money.
     
  12. DarlingMe

    DarlingMe Well-Known Member

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    That is why rates are soo much higher in Germany. There was an article that was floating around here that said that BF could cure the national debt. It would decrease all the md visits and formula paid for by government programs and decrease health ailments later in life, it also went on about babies are less lkely to get sick, parents less likely to call in, schools less likely to deal with illness, and so on.

    As you said, with no support many women give up. The docs do not know how or care how to fix things and there is so much mis information going around.
     
  13. pinkie77

    pinkie77 Mum of four!

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    And every time you speak to someone you get contradictory advice! A bit of consistency would be nice
     

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