My first baby (b.1969)in maternity hospital where senior consultant INSISTED THAT ALL FIRST TIME MUMS breastfed. I went in with an open mind, but on being told I HAD to - I immediately opted not to. So bottle fed. Always felt gulty about this and rest ofbabies were breast fed, including my twins. Trained as an NCT B.Feeding Counsellor and was available on the phone 24/7. Helped to jointly write the first NCT lealet on breast feeding twins.
When I had my twins an agency nurse at the hospital 'caught' me feeding them on demand and insisted on telling me that if I kept on feeding my babies as and when they needed it I would 'run out' of milk. Such an incorrect and dangerous thing to say.
My MiL detested it when I b.fed and would not stay in the same room as me. She could never understand why I did it,
All my daughters were brought up knowing that breast was best, but found that the professional Health Care people were not really helpful or encouraging .
New baby weight growth charts were geared toward formula fed babies and that often caused incorrect and damaging advice to be given. New parents (particularl with first baby) are so scared and want to helped and adviced correctly.
My eldest daughter's partner was told by visiing midwife, when baby was six days old to 'go out immediately to get formular and bottles'. This due to baby not gaining much weight. This was in the middle of a heatwave, that 'baby' - now 19years old still loses her appitite in hot weather!!!! My very self-confident and NHS Professional rang me in tears that day. Was also told to take baby that day to GP. So fortunate that lovely lady GP examined baby - congratulated Mum, told her how healthy Baby was and stated ' Assume you are breast-feeding'. With that, and my help that continued for several months - even when daughter returned to work with expressed milk in bottles.
Whereas no-one should be forced to b-feed if they really do not want to, there is no doubt that breast is best both for babies and Mothers. Expressed milk in bottles can still give dads, etc a chance to feed baby. And, at least when breast feeding Mum HAS to sit down and relax and bond.
Theer are still far too many fallacies out there. The formular manufacturers perpetuated some of these deliberately when wishing to break into the markets in Africa, Asia, etc. The milk from a different species of Mammal cannot be as good as that from humans to small babies.
Also, breast feeding once established is so much less work. When I had my twins, my older three were 2 yrs, 4 yrs & 5 yrs. No way would I have found time to make upto 12 bottles every day. So much easier to sit down with two babies, feed them together, change them and put them back to rest - and during the day often had 2-year old sitting with me whilst I did this so i could read a book toher.