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I wonder when did irish people start using baby formula



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

    Neyite wrote: »
    No, because as I explained before, I got my support from my family and friends who were veterans of breastfeeding.

    Great that she was so strong in the face of such opposition. But it's nobody's business to comment on how ANYONE should feed their baby, other than the parents involved, and medical professionals.

    Medical professionals do in general recommend breastfeeding. Campaign (regardless how ridiculous it is) is out because breastfeeding is beneficial for mothers and babies.

    At the same time I don't believe breastfeeding mothers are hounded out of society. Ireland's attitude is not that bad to breastfeeding. It might be a bit different in lower income, lower educated areas where bottlefeeding is more common. Unfortunately those are also areas with highest obesity levels, while bottle feeding Ian't the main cause of this, it does contribute.

    While is grand to have a choice and respect the choice there is also a reason why breastfeeding is encouraged. Breastfeeding initiative, healthy eating and similar are around because there are some serious issues especially around obesity in Ireland.

    Those things might not affect on individual level but there are positive/negative effects on population levels.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 10,070 ✭✭✭✭ Camryn Whispering Testosterone

    My siblings and I (born between 89 and 95) were all breastfed, my mam felt pretty strongly about it. She does remember being visiting members of my dad's family and starting to breastfeed and they'd be telling her 'go on down the hall now pet you can use my bedroom for that', but they were and are pretty conservative people in general, all would have been formula fed.

    She also told me that midwives told HER mother that there was no reason to worry about getting pregnant again while breastfeeding (and 14 months later along came baby number 5 :pac:), so I wonder if there's any relationship between the arrival of contraception in the late 70s - albeit under very limited circumstances - and an increase in popularity of bottle feeding? Whatever about breastfeeding outside the home now, it must have been a million times more frowned upon in the eighties, I can see how bottlefeeds would make life a lot easier and less restricted

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,041 ✭✭✭ Penny Dreadful

    My mother is the youngest of a big big family (Ireland in the rare auld times big) and so some of my cousins are quite a bit older than me. One of these cousins was visiting us one day with her baby boy - this would have been around 1983 or so - and she went into the sitting room to feed him.
    Being a young and nosey kid I followed her and was a intrigued to see her breast feeding. After watching for a while she asked me if I thought this was an odd way to feed you baby. Apparently I assured her that I didn't think that in the least and our dog did it for her puppies all of the time but that she was better at it because she could feed 6 at the same time and my cousin could only manage one!:D

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,620 ✭✭✭ Milly33

    Haha!!! Well it is true we are all animals in the end, actually animals are better behaved...

    I was asking mum last night what were things like when she had us... I would be 1982 baby and three older before me.. Mum said it was never really mentioned that is was all formula back the. She said it was just the thing done at the time, that she had considered breastfeeding me but that it just didn't work after having three before that she herself did not like it so formula all the way.. Now then on the other hand she said her own mother (theres 11 kids) there I think breastfeed them all haha she said she would swing tit over her back to feed two at a time...

  • Hosted Moderators Posts: 11,362 ✭✭✭✭ Scarinae

    I was born in the 80s, as were my siblings, and we were breastfed but I think it helped that my sister (the eldest) was born in the UK and there was more support for breastfeeding there than there was in Ireland at the time. Mum used to donate breastmilk as well, but had to stop when my sister started weaning as the consistency of the milk changed and was no longer suitable for young babies.

    Apparently my paternal grandmother was very disapproving of Mum breastfeeding us, particularly when she breastfed my brother (:confused:). My Dad and his siblings were born in the 50s and were all bottle fed – I’m not sure if that means formula or what.

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

    Just saw this article on Facebook, thought it was good. (Though very American!)

  • Registered Users Posts: 454 ✭✭ liquoriceall

    80's baby here and the youngest of 5, the first 3 were formula fed and the last 2 of us were put straight onto unpastuerised cows milk from the day we came home from the hospital! I am most certainly not stunted in growth and certainly feel healthy! Both parents from the 30's and 40's were bottle fed. Half of my nieces and nephews were bottle fed and half breast fed so it seems that being bottle fed for generations hasn't influenced!

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,497 ✭✭✭ ezra_pound

    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.

    Well... WHO would disagree with you on that as would most other medical organisations. WHO recommends at least two years of breastfeeding.

  • Registered Users Posts: 72,979 ✭✭✭✭ colm_mcm

    You won’t feel it til she’s as old as this thread and starting senior infants.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,934 ✭✭✭ John_Rambo

    All our kids were breastfed. It was just easier for us on weekends away, holidays and handiness and mum & babies liked it, less winding, hassle with bottles and paraphanalia etc... Mother lost **** loads of baby weight each time. Plus, it's better than formula, there's no arguing that. BUT... for some people it's just not an option for whatever reason. I'm not one to judge, the babies seem to turn out ok whatever way they're fed!!

    I'd encourage any parents to give it a go for easiness sake though, it's like having a pre-packed breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack wherever you go. If it doesn't work out, there's the formula (which Ireland is a huge producer of!)

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  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 11,347 Mod ✭✭✭✭ JupiterKid

    Born in Belfast in 1975 and was formula/bottle fed. As were both my older sisters - born in 1969 and 1970 respectively. Our late mother was born in the 1940s during WW2 on a farm but I don't know if she was herself breastfed by my grandmother or not.

    I think bottle fed was heavily pushed in the West after WWII but breastfeeding saw a resurgence in popularity in the 1970s and 1980s. As a child in the mid-1980s, I remember seeing a booklet my mum had from the health service that was encouraging breastfeeding but mum herself had finished her children with me a decade earlier.

    I believe breastfeeding is very much the norm again these days, as it should be.

    Post edited by JupiterKid on

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,977 ✭✭✭✭ Dial Hard

    Lads, this thread is 6 years old...

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,934 ✭✭✭ John_Rambo

    And still breastfeeding!

    My sister in law is a doctor in the Rotunda. Her experience is foreign families wouldn't dream of bottle feeding, Irish urban families similar and Irish rural families aren't keen on breastfeeding at all, some dead against it from day one.

  • Registered Users Posts: 915 ✭✭✭ wildwillow

    I was born in the early fifties and was formula fed. I breast fed all my children till they were about 15 months. Easiest thing I ever did but had great support from a friend who had older children.

    It can be difficult to begin for some people and hospitals are not really set up to help.

    Do not feel guilty for not breastfeeding. My little son died from cancer despite being breastfed!

    Before formula babies of many wealthy women were wet nursed, ie they were nursed by another, usually poorer, woman who was still lactating. She would have done it for money to support her own family.

  • Registered Users Posts: 30 Zebra2016

    I breastfed my two girls for 2 years each, they are now 6 and 3. There was no history of breastfeeding in my family or no one I knew that did it beyond a few weeks. I did a few little courses prior to birth and that gave me the confidence to try and keep going. For something that is meant to be natural, I found it very tough especially the first few months. The knowledge I acquired prior to birth and my own determination definitely contributed to breastfeeding. I went into birth with the attitude 'I will breastfed'. My determination was fuelled by knowing the scientific evidence and benefits of breastfeeding, from researching myself. If I didn't have that information, my motivation would probably have waned when I was struggling. I found it amazing that the baby's saliva could be taken in by breastfeeding and adjusted to take account of baby's health, such as changing to manage illnesses. For me, the health benefits for baby and mother was a real incentive to try and keep going. I think breast is best is undeniable, however I feel often this is seen as a judgement on others who couldn't breastfeed or choose not too, which it shouldn't he. It's just fact, and I think if I wasn't able to breastfeed, I would be capable of acknowledging this too. For those who choose not too, that's no bodies business, like any other decision.

    I do think if you really want to give breastfeeding a go, you need to inform yourself as much as possibly ahead of the birth. I don't think its the time to be learning new information when you have just given birth, and are physically and mentally wiped. Obviously practice is different to theory, but it gives you that bit of confidence and you can ask the right questions. Unfortunately, there isn't as much support in the hospital setting as there should be, so it's good to have identified supports ahead of time.

    The other education needed is to be aware of the myths that undermine breastfeeding. For example, a midwife at the hospital told me my newborn probably had low blood sugars so it would be best to supplement with formula, stating ' I can do the test but I would be nearly 100% sure she has it'. I asked for time to weight it up and then decided to ask for the test, which was probably a bother for her. Baby's sugars were tested and there was no issue. That made me so angry.

    The other thing is that I brought my husband along to the breastfeeding talks prior to birth, and he was then informed and could support me then and that helped hugely. He was the only man in the room at the breastfeeding talks which was sad.

    For me, if it hadn't of worked out, I think I would have been very sad , however would have reconciled that I did do as much within my power.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,660 ✭✭✭ Demonique

    I'm 44, my mother tried to breastfeed me but I was having none of it so she didnt even try with my younger sisters

    I was diagnosed as autistic at 25 so that might have something to do with me refusing, I can be contrary at times and I was an angry looking newborn, I was purple and looked about to scream in my first ever photo

  • Registered Users Posts: 68 ✭✭ Ladybird25

    Well I know this thread is pretty old but I cannot stop myself from commenting. I am pregnant and I want to breastfeed but since I said this out loud I have got plenty of comments in how hard is going to be, about my breast becoming saggy afterwards, how I am not going to be able to sleep at night and my partner would not be able to pick up any feeding to help so he's not going to be able to build a relationship with the baby as it would be if I bottle fed.

    Actually I have been told that because I am having the baby I am deciding and there's nothing anybody else can do about it.

    I agree breastfeeding it's not such a big deal as somebody sayd in previous comments, but at this point it's not that normalized as it should be. Most of the issues that come from breastfeeding are due to not being normalized, to how many people have you seen breastfeeding. It's not something you're likely to learn from seeing your community doing it and therefore everybody needs to do the troubleshooting on their own or looking for you small breastfeeding local community for help.

    All that being said, there's nothing wrong with formula feeding, it's not as flexible as breastfeeding and it will never have the mother's defenses but the most important point is that the baby is fed.

    Finally, for the creator of the post and other comments. There is a documentary on youtube about how bottle was pushed in a whole generation as something better from the hospital that you guys might find interesting.

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,529 ✭✭✭✭ astrofool

    Honestly, I would keep it to yourself (in a good way), pretty much all people have said to you in the first paragraph is untrue but is ingrained in a lot of people for multiple reasons and very hard to have a reasoned debate about without upsetting people (e.g. I did it this way and my children are great thus I need others to do it the same way to prove me right).

    Talk to the midwifes, tell them what people are telling you and they'll show you all the information, if you're lucky, find a midwife who is pragmatic about the whole thing and know when other options are needed, the good ones will take a lot of stress out of the whole thing.

    It is hard, but no less hard than bottle feeding and raising a baby in the first place (and it does become easier even though it may not seem like it at times, patience is a virtue).

  • Registered Users Posts: 68 ✭✭ Ladybird25

    Thanks, I have already chatted with the midwife about it, read a bunch and looked for the closest support group contact details for when the time arrives. I do believe there will be a learning curve and I am hoping to prepare myself as best as I can for the struggle.

    I honestly think there is a lot a of misinformation on this!

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Education Moderators Posts: 26,770 CMod ✭✭✭✭ spurious

    Realistically, I suppose you would need to be talking to women in their 80s and 90s to find out whether they were encouraged/discouraged. Not your average Boards user profile.

    I was the eldest of five, all born in the 60s, all breast fed. I do remember becoming aware of La Leche League in my teenage years, so at least some people were not automatically breast feeding.

    You could maybe contact LLL and ask them what the situation was in Ireland that made them set up here. They may have actual figures etc. rather than just anecdotal evidence.

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  • Administrators, Politics Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 25,864 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭ Neyite

    70s kid here. Bottle feeding was all my mother saw when she was growing up. But that was in urban area of the UK and possibly the big push towards powdered milk in the post war years & rationing to the early 50s might have affected the statistics more than in Ireland I don't think that any of her siblings were breastfed, likewise they in turn bottle fed, and I see it with my cousins, and now their grandkids that they've nearly all tended to go with bottles too. It's generational. Dad on the other hand was rural so seeing his mothers and aunts all breastfeed was normal and he felt that mum should breastfeed us but she was horrified. And I suppose, he wisely dropped it and let the mammy feed the way she wanted to. But I think it was commonplace for my generation to see friend's siblings bottle feed as well. I don't think I can remember anyone breastfeeding when I was a kid. Or maybe they hid away? I don't know.

    My SIL was the first of us to have kids and she exclusively breastfed. But back then in Ireland in the 90s, she did get a bit of side eye and some shocking comments. Rural communities and travelling communities tended to have higher breastfeeding rates than urban areas - again probably generational norms within their families. All subsequent niblings have been breastfed for at least the minimum recommended 6 months. So it was really great to have someone in the family then when it was my turn. My SIL was the one who spotted the positioning was wrong and corrected the latch not the lactation consultant the hospital sent to me.

  • Registered Users Posts: 367 ✭✭ Stepping Stone

    My grandmother was born in 1912. She was the 5th of 8 children. She wasn’t breastfed. As a January baby, she was fed on barley water until the cows produced milk. My mother born in the 1950s was formula fed, as was I in the 80s. There’s a strong family history of PCOS, so I presume that my great grandmother just couldn’t breastfeed. They were extremely poor and lived rurally, so no wet nurses or anything like that. My mother’s family home didn’t get running water until the 1970s, so obviously well water was used. By the 80s, bottle feeding was the norm across my family. My three maternal aunts gave birth in England and none of them breastfed. One tried and failed. My cousins and I almost all breastfed. One (diagnosed with PCOS) tried and failed three times and that was in Australia. I suspect that by the 50s, bottle feeding was the only way for my grandmother. If she had been capable of breastfeeding, she probably wouldn’t have been able to deal with the realities of rural life without having a relative move in. There’s also the lack of family support and knowledge at that stage.

    When people get worked up about formula, and we all know the type who claim it’s poison, I think of my poor grandmother as a tiny baby in 1912 getting so very few of her nutritional needs met by barley water and what a wonderful scientific invention formula is.

  • Registered Users Posts: 50 ✭✭ iniscealtra