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I wonder when did irish people start using baby formula

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  • 29-02-2016 12:48am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 533 ✭✭✭


    I've become hugely interested in breast feeding and the strange relationship we have in Ireland.

    I worry about the fact that I wasn't BF and I'm in my 30's now... What sort of health implications it may have down the line.

    I would like to know when people started using it in Ireland.

    My parents would have been born in the late 40's/early 50's and I'm not sure if they were BF. They don't remember if they were but presume they were. They wouldn't have been extremely poor people, but they wouldn't have been wealthy either... So I'm presuming that they were BF.

    I'm wondering if I suppose that people my age are prob the first 'adults' that weren't BF.

    Hard to find dates online.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,122 ✭✭✭c montgomery


    I'm mid 30s and brother is a little younger, both brest fed.

    My kids are all brest fed. It's alot easier than having to prepare bottles and obviously more natural. Not all kids or mothers take to it tho.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,512 ✭✭✭baby and crumble


    I'm the youngest of 3 at 33 and my Mum wasn't able to breastfeed us. It's not for everyone. I don't know how much of a difference it's made tbh.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,691 ✭✭✭Lia_lia


    I'm 27 and my Mother breastfed both myself and my brother. Until we were one! She was also breastfed by her own Mother. I didn't even know formula milk existed until I was about 11. Thought all babies were breastfed. I remember asking what the big tins with the picture of the duck (sma logo!) was at my friend's house.

    I don't know if it's had any effect on my health. Don't think there is anything wrong with formula milk either. Whatever suits.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,472 ✭✭✭Grolschevik


    Born 1971. Formula fed. No health problems at all bar gout, but that's genetic. PhD educated.

    I don't think there's a 'best practice' to feeding your baby. Apart from feeding it enough.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,208 ✭✭✭Lady is a tramp


    My mum had seven kids, breast fed the first six, bottle fed the seventh. The bottle fed child is probably the most intelligent and talented of all of us, member of MENSA and everything, very sporty and active. But sure that's only anecdotal evidence.

    I assumed I'd breastfeed my son, I couldn't and the associated feeling of failure and inadequacy contributed to my post natal mental health issues. In hindsight he was being perfectly well nourished with formula, thank god we live in a country where it's readily available.

    Even apart from not being able to breastfeed, I didn't enjoy it at all even when it worked and didn't find it convenient or comfortable. If I ever had another child, I'd maybe plan to breastfeed/express for a week or two max before switching to formula. I don't think I'd feel the slightest bit of guilt about it either, or even about going straight to formula if that were to happen. I was far too harsh on myself first time around!

    By the way, I'm still COMPLETELY supportive of breastfeeding in public, extended breastfeeding, etc. I just don't think it's a choice I'd make for myself and my (imaginary future) baby.


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  • Moderators, Arts Moderators Posts: 17,231 Mod ✭✭✭✭Das Kitty


    My mum had seven kids, breast fed the first six, bottle fed the seventh. The bottle fed child is probably the most intelligent and talented of all of us, member of MENSA and everything, very sporty and active. But sure that's only anecdotal evidence.

    I assumed I'd breastfeed my son, I couldn't and the associated feeling of failure and inadequacy contributed to my post natal mental health issues. In hindsight he was being perfectly well nourished with formula, thank god we live in a country where it's readily available.

    Even apart from not being able to breastfeed, I didn't enjoy it at all even when it worked and didn't find it convenient or comfortable. If I ever had another child, I'd maybe plan to breastfeed/express for a week or two max before switching to formula. I don't think I'd feel the slightest bit of guilt about it either, or even about going straight to formula if that were to happen. I was far too harsh on myself first time around!

    By the way, I'm still COMPLETELY supportive of breastfeeding in public, extended breastfeeding, etc. I just don't think it's a choice I'd make for myself and my (imaginary future) baby.

    Same. Both times.

    The first time I was so determined that it would eventually work that I seriously damaged my mental health. The second time I was far calmer about giving up.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 20,652 CMod ✭✭✭✭amdublin


    Someone in work tried tell me that in the 70s and 80's it was seen as a status symbol/sign that you were rich if you bottle fed.

    As someone who was bottle fed, but without a penny to our name, I begged to differ.

    Any thoughts?
    Is this true?? Or an urban myth??


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,624 ✭✭✭✭meeeeh


    I don't think breastfeeding is this big thing. Bottle feeding is in wast majority of cases lifestyle choice. Unless you live in China it doesn't seem to kill anyone but I would hazard a guess that the research that claims breastfeeding is better for mothers and babies probably isn't some great HSE conspiracy against formula manufacturers. It probably is based on some sound facts.

    As to why is so popular in Ireland I would guess the historical attitude to anything that could be deemed sexual has something to do with it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,495 ✭✭✭✭eviltwin


    amdublin wrote: »
    Someone in work tried tell me that in the 70s and 80's it was seen as a status symbol/sign that you were rich if you bottle fed.

    As someone who was bottle fed, but without a penny to our name, I begged to differ.

    Any thoughts?
    Is this true?? Or an urban myth??

    No this is true, I know my mother was actually discouraged from breastfeeding for this reason. We all drank formula. My husband's mother didn't breastfeed either and my granny used diluted cows milk. I only breastfed one of my children and that was just for a few months. I know breast is best and will give you the best start in life but I don't see formula as harmful. It's just one choice in a series of choices. I'm a huge supporter of breastfeeding and believe we should do more to support mums who want to do it, the lack of help is disgusting and probably connected to our formula industry. I also think mums who use formula should also be supported and not judged for it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,154 ✭✭✭Dolbert


    My mother was one of 12, they didn't have running water so I'm assuming all were breastfed! But by the time I was born in the 80s bottle feeding was more the done thing. I'd hazard a guess that the introduction of hospital births had a lot to do with it, obviously the mortality rate went way down but I'd say some of the conventional wisdom of breastfeeding was lost. It takes days for milk to come in so there's this fear of baby starving, my son had a lower than average birth weight so there was always this pressure to supplement his feeds to get his weight up. Depending on which midwife was on duty, I was either advised to give him a bottle or to persevere with the BF, there was no continuity. As a result my supply was crap and I ended up combination feeding until 7 months. I actually loved breastfeeding and was initially devastated that I couldn't do it 'properly'. There's a definite lack of support/knowledge out there unless you know where to look. Combination feeding is a funny thing, because you get it from both sides, the breastfeeding advocates who insist that you simply weren't trying hard enough and the others who think you're torturing yourself by 'still' breastfeeding.

    The best piece of advice that I got was that, while it seems like a huge deal now, how you feed your baby is ultimately a very small part of his/her life. They'll grow bigger and bolder every day and the milk feeds, whatever form they took, will seem like a distant memory. You'll look at your healthy, happy child and wonder what you were so worried about.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,624 ✭✭✭✭meeeeh


    I don't think there is any particular lack of help. It's more the general attitude. While here the discussion is framed around sacrificing mothers who breastfeed alone in the dark, in other countries you are just expected to do it and if there are hiccups you can get formula (which tends to be more expensive). Breastfeeding might require some perseverance at the beginning but it's a lot easier later. I hate the expression I support the women who breastfeed. What is there to support. I never heard anyone saying I support people going to the toilet. Breastfeeding is natural thing to do that wast wast majority of women just do without soul searching and endless discussion.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,154 ✭✭✭Dolbert


    meeeeh wrote: »
    I don't think there is any particular lack of help. It's more the general attitude. While here the discussion is framed around sacrificing mothers who breastfeed alone in the dark, in other countries you are just expected to do it and if there are hiccups you can get formula (which tends to be more expensive). Breastfeeding might require some perseverance at the beginning but it's a lot easier later. I hate the expression I support the women who breastfeed. What is there to support. I never heard anyone saying I support people going to the toilet. Breastfeeding is natural thing to do that wast wast majority of women just do without soul searching and endless discussion.

    Wow that's lovely! Especially after loads of us just described our difficulties in detail. Suppose we'd all better STFU and get on with it, historically that's been an excellent strategy in Ireland :rolleyes:


  • Moderators, Arts Moderators Posts: 17,231 Mod ✭✭✭✭Das Kitty


    meeeeh wrote: »
    I don't think there is any particular lack of help. It's more the general attitude. While here the discussion is framed around sacrificing mothers who breastfeed alone in the dark, in other countries you are just expected to do it and if there are hiccups you can get formula (which tends to be more expensive). Breastfeeding might require some perseverance at the beginning but it's a lot easier later. I hate the expression I support the women who breastfeed. What is there to support. I never heard anyone saying I support people going to the toilet. Breastfeeding is natural thing to do that wast wast majority of women just do without soul searching and endless discussion.

    Not in my experience. It got worse and worse, and after 5 months I was profoundly depressed.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 14,949 ✭✭✭✭IvyTheTerrible


    meeeeh wrote: »
    I don't think there is any particular lack of help. It's more the general attitude. While here the discussion is framed around sacrificing mothers who breastfeed alone in the dark, in other countries you are just expected to do it and if there are hiccups you can get formula (which tends to be more expensive). Breastfeeding might require some perseverance at the beginning but it's a lot easier later. I hate the expression I support the women who breastfeed. What is there to support. I never heard anyone saying I support people going to the toilet. Breastfeeding is natural thing to do that wast wast majority of women just do without soul searching and endless discussion.
    I disagree.
    I had, eventually, a wonderful experience breastfeeding my son. But the first 3 weeks were awful. I was very very sore and it never seemed to get better. I was actually dreading when it was the "turn" of my right breast to be given to my son because it was so painful. I had actually decided on the Friday, if this isn't better on Monday I'm giving up. But luckily I healed up over that weekend.
    And this was in a very supportive environment, and in a country where it is easy to breastfeed in public.
    I have a relative in Ireland who was asked, by the staff of the hotel where she had paid good money for a christening meal, to feed her baby in a bathroom. Which is illegal.
    I know plenty of women who felt pressured into breastfeeding and found it very difficult.
    You are lucky if your experience was so easy.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,624 ✭✭✭✭meeeeh


    Dolbert wrote: »
    Wow that's lovely! Especially after loads of us just described our difficulties in detail. Suppose we'd all better STFU and get on with it, historically that's been an excellent strategy in Ireland :rolleyes:

    It's working in other countries where breastfeeding rates are a lot higher. Here women are constantly told how hard it's to breastfeed and how heroic it is. I am not saying it's always easy, I struggled at the beginning with my first one and I also didn't do it more than six months. You might not like it but the attitude to breastfeeding here is as some sort of ultimate sacrifice instead of natural thing to do.

    When I went public with second child all the pregnancy material I got was a bit on nutrition and sixteen different pamphlets about breastfeeding. Such a fuss is made about it that it has opposite effect. It's clear that current strategy is not working because breastfeeding rates roughly increased as much as the amount of immigrant women having kids. They seem to get enough support in Ireland to be able to breastfeed.

    I have no illusions that some people can't breastfeed. My nephew is premature and my sister in law bottle feed him without any feeling of guilt but at the same time it didn't even occur to her not to breastfeed the second one. And it was no big deal to her because the attitude is it's the thing you do . Here the bottle feeding is considered natural and breastfeeding is this huge sacrifice.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 14,949 ✭✭✭✭IvyTheTerrible


    Immigrants are coming from countries where breastfeeding is the norm.
    In Ireland, support is patchy, and if on top of that, you have to hear family members/friends etc expressing disgust about breastfeeding, or saying "Ah just give him the bottle" etc etc and the culture is pro-bottle feeding, then it's a lot harder to just get on with it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,624 ✭✭✭✭meeeeh


    Immigrants are coming from countries where breastfeeding is the norm.
    In Ireland, support is patchy, and if on top of that, you have to hear family members/friends etc expressing disgust about breastfeeding, or saying "Ah just give him the bottle" etc etc and the culture is pro-bottle feeding, then it's a lot harder to just get on with it.

    But that is my point, until breastfeeding is this big thing you do instead something natural, it will never work. I just think all the positive support and prasing women who breastfeed has the same effect as disgust. It makes breastfeeding seem to be this big thing only few can master.


  • Administrators, Politics Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 25,947 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Neyite


    amdublin wrote: »
    Someone in work tried tell me that in the 70s and 80's it was seen as a status symbol/sign that you were rich if you bottle fed.

    As someone who was bottle fed, but without a penny to our name, I begged to differ.

    Any thoughts?
    Is this true?? Or an urban myth??

    Possibly one of the reasons. I'm an 80's child and the only women I ever saw breastfeeding were traveller women. All my mother's friends and neighbours all bottle fed. My mother was bottle fed. All her siblings bottle fed my cousins. Babies went into a big nursery in the hospital and were fed in a strict schedule by nurses. I think the only time breast milk was preferred was with very premature babies. I was premature and while I was given breast milk, it wasn't my mothers milk, it was donor breast milk. And do you know, it wouldn't have even occurred to her to think this was odd.

    There was also a religious thing. Breasts were sexualised. It was immodest for them to be bared. It was preached from the pulpit that to even look at your naked body in a mirror out of ordinary curiosity was a Deadly Sin. So that pretty much confined a breastfeeding mother to the home. Tricky if you didn't have a washing machine and used the laundrette, or had to walk your children to school /pick them up, get groceries etc. If you worked, (after the lifting of the marriage ban in the 70's) then maternity leave was a mere 12 weeks, and likely not as strictly protected as it is today. In the 80's it was stretched to 16 weeks. So in order to get back to work, you needed your child to be on a bottle before then. Public Health Nurses here in Ireland advocated baby rice in a bottle at 8 weeks in the mid 70's.
    meeeeh wrote: »
    I don't think there is any particular lack of help. It's more the general attitude. While here the discussion is framed around sacrificing mothers who breastfeed alone in the dark, in other countries you are just expected to do it and if there are hiccups you can get formula (which tends to be more expensive). Breastfeeding might require some perseverance at the beginning but it's a lot easier later. I hate the expression I support the women who breastfeed. What is there to support. I never heard anyone saying I support people going to the toilet. Breastfeeding is natural thing to do that wast wast majority of women just do without soul searching and endless discussion.

    In other countries, especially in third world countries where breastfeeding is commonplace, women form a community to help and support each other. They birth each other's babies, they take each other's babies to wet-nurse when a mother is too ill to manage it. They are expert, and surrounded by older women in their community who show them how to do it. Here, often a woman has no mother or grandmother or aunt with any breastfeeding knowledge or experience. She is given advice in the hospital by a young midwife who did a breastfeeding tutorial. She is discharged to home with nobody to ask because we don't know our neighbours that well any more to pop in and ask them to advise you.

    It's like trying to learn to swim when not a single person in your family can swim, are terrified and distrustful of the water, are convinced that you are crazy and that you are hell bent on drowning yourself and the 'expert' in the hospital is someone who has read about swimming but has never gotten into a pool or had so much as a paddle in the sea barefoot.

    It worked out for you. That's great. It worked out for me too. I had tender nipples on the second day and absolutely sailed through until the baby self weaned. But it was nothing other than luck and support from women around me who breastfed that made it successful for me. I'd never assume that because I found it easy, that all mothers do. We are all different. Some women have fast easy labours. Some don't. Some have an easy breastfeeding experience, some don't. Some get colicky or non-sleeping babies and some don't. All luck of the draw.

    The reason there is discussion about it especially in this country is that its a form of feeding that was nearly wiped out thanks to our health service pushing formula. By the church pushing the fact that even this kind of discreet partial nakedness was perverted. Because we still have the men in our families hastily walk out the room when you prepare to breastfeed your child. Because some women still get comments and abuse in public. Because we get told to feed our child in a public toilet. Because breast milk is compared to semen, piss, sh!t, whenever a discussion online starts. Because we have blokes tutting us for breastfeeding from behind page three of The Sun newspaper. Because we want what is best for our baby, and we get judged if we breastfeed, and get judged if we don't.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,576 ✭✭✭Keane2baMused


    It's definitely here since the 60's. Not too sure before that.

    I hoped to breastfeed my first but due to a general anaesthetic and certain medications I was unable to feed him initially and he then totally refused the breast no matter what. With my youngest I did my best to breastfeed (after another emergency section). Fed (or tried rather!) then pumped (would get 1 single ml from all the pumping), then topped up with bottle as she was dehydated. The entire process was taking about 2 hours and so it was almost time to start again at the end! I met with lactation consultants etc and they all conceeded it was unlikely to happen.

    This went on for 3 weeks. I was extremely exhausted, defeated, felt worthless and unable to provide for my daughter.

    Then I realised something. I was putting myself, my baby and my family through stress for no reason. Formula feeding is not the easy way out either. It's not a choice I wanted to make it was a choice I had to make. I hate making bottles and sterilising etc. But it was that or my baby wasn't getting fed.

    It used to upset me when people would harp on about how breast is best and why would anyone bottle feed. Not any more. I think it's pure ignorance and I would say the same to anyone who judged someone for breast feeding.

    We all do the best we can, provide love, care and attention and feed our babies. That's all they need and no person is better than the other no matter what they choose.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,645 ✭✭✭Milly33


    Can i ask a silly question, for some reason I don't know I must have had a weird dream after a friend talking about babies.. But why use formula! Why not use standard milk, not fat free now or any of that rubbish just plain simple milk as it used to be.. Is this not better for babies as it is more natural rather than feeding them formula


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 14,949 ✭✭✭✭IvyTheTerrible


    Milly33 wrote: »
    Can i ask a silly question, for some reason I don't know I must have had a weird dream after a friend talking about babies.. But why use formula! Why not use standard milk, not fat free now or any of that rubbish just plain simple milk as it used to be.. Is this not better for babies as it is more natural rather than feeding them formula
    You're not supposed to give cows milk to newborns. It has a completely different nutritional composition (I think it has more lactose?) than breastmilk. It would actually be harmful to do that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,576 ✭✭✭Keane2baMused


    Milly33 wrote: »
    Can i ask a silly question, for some reason I don't know I must have had a weird dream after a friend talking about babies.. But why use formula! Why not use standard milk, not fat free now or any of that rubbish just plain simple milk as it used to be.. Is this not better for babies as it is more natural rather than feeding them formula

    Cows milk doesnt contain adequate nutrition for a baby and is not suitable as a whole drink until they are over the age of 1.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,645 ✭✭✭Milly33


    So were babies feed for the first year on breast milk and then cows milk... Must look into it more, why would it be harmfull to a baby...Is it just something that came into fashion formula that is or we were told it, so everyone followed the band wagen


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,208 ✭✭✭Lady is a tramp


    Milly33 wrote: »
    Can i ask a silly question, for some reason I don't know I must have had a weird dream after a friend talking about babies.. But why use formula! Why not use standard milk, not fat free now or any of that rubbish just plain simple milk as it used to be.. Is this not better for babies as it is more natural rather than feeding them formula

    Well because it's from a cow .... formula can be artificially manufactured to be closer to a human's milk than to a cow's milk.


  • Moderators, Regional Abroad Moderators Posts: 26,928 Mod ✭✭✭✭rainbow kirby


    My maternal grandmother would have bottle fed her five children in the 60s (and given solids very early) and my mum bottle fed the first two of us in the mid-80s but breast fed her third in the early 90s. My first is due in around three weeks and I'm hoping to breastfeed, will do my best to make it happen but if I end up having to give bottles so be it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,645 ✭✭✭Milly33


    You said it the word "Artificial" surely something that comes natural is much better no..


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,624 ✭✭✭✭meeeeh


    Milly33 wrote: »
    Can i ask a silly question, for some reason I don't know I must have had a weird dream after a friend talking about babies.. But why use formula! Why not use standard milk, not fat free now or any of that rubbish just plain simple milk as it used to be.. Is this not better for babies as it is more natural rather than feeding them formula

    I think there is stuff in cow milk that makes it unsuitable for kids under one. I can't exactly remember what but it doesn't work.

    Just to add something, I am not Irish but I am surrounded by Irish people who bottle fed or were bottle fed. Nobody turned their back to me, criticized me or made any other issue out of it. Maybe I am just lucky but I would also like to point out that not all women breastfeeding are hounded out of the public.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,645 ✭✭✭Milly33


    It seems to be more a media thing is it, I have never come across anyone being rude to women breastfeeding...

    Yeah reading on it, it is saying after a year but I just wonder where the research as such came from or is it just telling you to do this and that..Guess what i will be doing for the day.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,495 ✭✭✭✭eviltwin


    Milly33 wrote: »
    You said it the word "Artificial" surely something that comes natural is much better no..

    Formula is made with cows milk afaik but it's manufactured in a way that makes it safer to drink. I think on its own its too hard to digest plus formula has additional nutrients that wouldn't be in cows milk.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,576 ✭✭✭Keane2baMused


    Milly33 wrote: »
    So were babies feed for the first year on breast milk and then cows milk... Must look into it more, why would it be harmfull to a baby...Is it just something that came into fashion formula that is or we were told it, so everyone followed the band wagen

    Breast milk contains all of the nutrition a baby needs.

    Formula milk is essentially a man made version of it containing all of the essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals and fats a baby needs to be sustained.

    Cows milk just can't provide this for a new born. It's nothing to do with fashion, just scientific fact.


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