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Breasatfeeding: sensitive subject

  1. #9
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    It's not YOU, it's THEM

    Quote Originally Posted by JL168 View Post
    I gave birth 7 weeks ago, and i have always planned on breastfeeding for as long as possible.
    Now, i don't know why but i always get a bit upset (maybe even insulted) when someone doubts it whether i produce enough milk or not. I don't know why, but y do people presume i don't have enough milk for the little one? Every time she starts crying, they immediately suggest to prepare formula even though i can feel i have milk to spare! Why don't (a lot of) people understand that i WANT to breastfeed? Is it because hong kong people more often give formula instead of nursing? People doubting me gives me a feeling of being an incapable mother!
    Just wanted to share my thoughts... :)
    Just remember, it's NOT YOU, it's THEM. It's their problem because people in Hong Kong are sadly undereducated or even uneducated about what breastfeeding is all about. Even doctors in this city aren't really up-to-date and believe all kinds of myths about breastfeeding.

    Last night I went to get a massage at a place I've been going to for the past 3-4 years. I told the therapist that I'm still breastfeeding my daughter who is nearly one year old. The therapist was shocked and told me, "Really?! I didn't think it was actually possible to keep breastfeeding longer than 4-5 months!"

    My father-in-law who is Chinese told me once, "When your baby gets her first teeth you will have to stop breastfeeding because babies can't breastfeed anymore after they have their first teeth."

    Marketing of formula is really strong here in Hong Kong--much stronger than any other place I've seen. In the United States, formula advertisements are not allowed to be aired on television! So, people just believe that formula is superior when actually the opposite is true. Most people really don't understand breastfeeding at all here.

    So, the best thing you can do is educate them (which means being educated yourself). Get some resources (this website is a good place to start and I'm sure there are many others like this website). Print it out and educate the people in your life about what research shows about breastmilk and how breastfeeding works. This graphic is also very helpful:



    If they still choose to believe that formula is the way to go, let them and just politely ignore them because they simply don't understand/know. If the people are just strangers, I would just ignore them.

    When my father-in-law told me that my daughter wouldn't be able to breastfeed after getting her first teeth I smiled politely at him and said, "Sure she still can" and left it at that and then just proved to him with my actions that he is wrong.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  2. #10
    Gataloca's Avatar
    Gataloca is offline Registered User
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    When I told my sister in law (who happens to be a confinement lady) that I was still breastfeeding my toddler, she looked at me like if I was stupid or something, and then politely told me "you know you can introduce formula now". My hubby then just told her that our baby has allergy to cow milk so we didn't have to explaining anything further to her.

  3. #11
    jt06 is offline Registered User
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    I've been reading forum in Chinese and so many mothers share your struggle! So many of their family members are not supportive of breastfeeding, mainly because they are ignorant and think that formula is better, and are always worried that the baby doesn't get enough food because breast milk looks more watery etc. They don't understand the importance of giving the mothers support. So you're definitely not alone. I'm sure it's super frustrating. But definitely be strong and don't let them get inside your head. Have the facts on your side and explain to them. There are breastfeeding support groups as well if you want more moral support from other mothers!

  4. #12
    MommyTo3 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by carang View Post

    also know this: if you decide that breastfeeding is not working out for you, either as a mother or as a family, you are NOT a bad mother if you decide to formula feed.

    whatever works for the family, is my motto.
    Agree on this one too. I never breastfed any of my children, didn't even try. Read about it, discussed it with my doctor (who was supportive either way) but decided against it for personal reasons. I have no regrets or bad feelings about it. My children have grown up well so far and are very healthy. Whatever works for you ...

  5. #13
    mamamia7 is offline Registered User
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    I have to say, Mothers milk is best! My brother and sister weren't breastfed and now both have several allergies, lactose intolerance etc. I was, and not only am I much taller than them, I also dont have a single allergy :)

  6. #14
    bonita is offline Registered User
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    My family is the same. Even with my second breastfed baby, they still question me. It gets worse because my cousin swapped to formula with her baby at 4 months because she thinks it's too much work and baby is too attached to her, and another cousin only tried a few days and decided she had "no milk at all."

    What I've found about my family (or friends / stranger) when they doubt my milk supply:
    (1) Because they can't see the actual milk, they don't know how much the baby has consumed, and they don't like the "unknown."
    (2) Also, since breast milk is so much easier to digest, breastfed babies "eat" more frequently, therefore people believe that the mother is not producing enough to keep the baby full for a long time.
    (3) Unlike formula, breast milk change in content/composition to meet the baby's need instead of increase in volume, my family doesn't understand why my kids eat so little (they see it in bottles when I expressed)
    (4) Chinese like chubby babies! My family adore my cousin's chubby formula fed baby because he grows so fast and so big. When the baby's 9 months old, he weighed the same as my then 2 years old. (he's so chubby that he can't push himself up to crawl)

    My advice: Believe in yourself and feel good about what you do. I'm sure all you want to do is give the best to your little one. If you want to keep breastfeeding, go for it. Breastfeeding is hard work, but also enjoyable and satisfying. Don't stress out about it because stress decrease milk supply!

    P.S. I breastfed my daughter till 2 years old and now breastfeeding my 4 months old. It can be done (even with unsupportive family).

  7. #15
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by bonita View Post
    My family is the same. Even with my second breastfed baby, they still question me. It gets worse because my cousin swapped to formula with her baby at 4 months because she thinks it's too much work and baby is too attached to her, and another cousin only tried a few days and decided she had "no milk at all."

    What I've found about my family (or friends / stranger) when they doubt my milk supply:
    (1) Because they can't see the actual milk, they don't know how much the baby has consumed, and they don't like the "unknown."
    (2) Also, since breast milk is so much easier to digest, breastfed babies "eat" more frequently, therefore people believe that the mother is not producing enough to keep the baby full for a long time.
    (3) Unlike formula, breast milk change in content/composition to meet the baby's need instead of increase in volume, my family doesn't understand why my kids eat so little (they see it in bottles when I expressed)
    (4) Chinese like chubby babies! My family adore my cousin's chubby formula fed baby because he grows so fast and so big. When the baby's 9 months old, he weighed the same as my then 2 years old. (he's so chubby that he can't push himself up to crawl)

    My advice: Believe in yourself and feel good about what you do. I'm sure all you want to do is give the best to your little one. If you want to keep breastfeeding, go for it. Breastfeeding is hard work, but also enjoyable and satisfying. Don't stress out about it because stress decrease milk supply!

    P.S. I breastfed my daughter till 2 years old and now breastfeeding my 4 months old. It can be done (even with unsupportive family).

    Yes. My father-in-law would always exclaim when my daughter was about 4-5 months-old, "She's eating again?!" But, I must say that even though my daughter was 100% breastfed until she started on solids and still takes breastmilk, she is still a chubby baby! My son was also very chubby when he was being breastfed--so just because you breastfeed doesn't mean your baby won't have that baby chub. My son gained nearly a pound (1/2 kilo) in about 10 days after leaving the hospital only from drinking breastmilk. The lactation consultant asked me if my breastmilk was pure cream or something. Ha ha ha!

    Ultimately, you have to ignore people sometimes and just do what you feel is right and know that you definitely are producing enough for your baby no matter what others think.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  8. #16
    LLL_Sarah is offline Registered User
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    I would encourage you to join some of the LLL meetings in Hong Kong. At a LLL meeting breastfeeding is the norm. It can be very difficult to find a place where this is so in Hong Kong where the majority of mothers wean so early.

    Here is an article at http://www.lllhk.org/WhyLLL.html which explains why a LLL might be useful to attend.

    Details of the current schedule is available at http://www.lllhk.org/Meetings.html for English speaking meetings and http://www.lllhk.org/ChineseMeetings.html for Chinese speaking meetings.

    Best wishes,
    SARAH
    La Leche League Leader
    www.lllhk.org

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