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Honest question ...Why do people need to LEARN how to BF?

Like, weren't people doing it for thousands of years without having to learn about it? They just did it didn't they?

I'm just a lowly SM, not a BM, so I honestly have no experience in feeding babies or making the choice to BF or use a bottle. I was just curious.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 3:08 PM on Apr. 22, 2010 in General Parenting

Answers (19)
  • as crazy as it sounds, it is not that easy
    there can be latching on problems, supply problems etc

    back in the day there were "wet nurses" for women who had trouble breastfeeding their own child

    Answer by peanutsmommy1 at 3:11 PM on Apr. 22, 2010

  • I took a class cause before my baby, i never held a baby before so i had no idea how to hold him right on the breast. Plus they teach you how to save the milk(something women couldnt do thousands of years ago) . Then some women have nipple issued which they get help with from breastfeeding classes.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:12 PM on Apr. 22, 2010

  • I assumed it would juts be a natural thing when I had my first, and it wasn't. I needed to learn how because I didn't have other women with babies around to teach me. In olden days I think Moms were guided by other women, but now a lot of women will have had no exposure to breastfeeding close up before they have a baby of their own, and they also may not get much support.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:13 PM on Apr. 22, 2010

  • Because there is so much misinformation out there, because women sometimes don't have close relationships with friends and relatives and because women who have been successful want to help if them can. None of us want to go through anything alone, and dh's are no help sometimes, so why not try and find the support network that you need to help when you have even silly questions? Breastfeeding is a double learning process, babies have the instincts, but no sure on technique and mom's have the instincts but not sure on technique or simply just need a pat on the back, a hug, whatever. If you have never nursed, then you wouldn't know how sometimes at 3:30am in the morning without any support and a baby who just wants to nurse on end, how awesome some of those experienced BFing mom's advise or "Oh yeah, been there" comments help get you through.

    Answer by MamaRoberts at 3:14 PM on Apr. 22, 2010

  • Just because it's a natural thing doesn't mean it comes naturally. Most of us did not grow up watching our siblings, cousins, etc breastfeed. Our mothers and grandmothers did not teach us that breastfeeding is a normal thing or a natural thing. Society has not taught us that breastfeeding is a good, natural thing for years. Those people who did it for thousands of years had seen it since birth, and had other women around them to help at every point. When we stopped making it "the natural choice", I think it stopped coming naturally. Over time, it may begin to come naturally again, and be the natural choice, for some women anyway-those who see it from youth as normal and healthy. DH wanted to know the same thing ;) It's really about education and experience. If the people around you don't have those things, they can't teach you and you can't learn it when it would be easy, so you have to learn it when it's harder. JMO

    Answer by preacherskid at 3:14 PM on Apr. 22, 2010

  • like peanut said, it seems crazy, you would think it would be as natural as breathing but it is not. long long ago, there were very tight communities, tribes of people...the elders would help the we look to the internet, the hospital, la leche league or formula. it can be hard. my first child was actually my easiest, so if it weren't for him, i don't know if i would have had the gumption to stick it out with my other children.

    Answer by happy2bmom25 at 3:16 PM on Apr. 22, 2010

  • It's not that easy...bfing classes are extremely helpful in making your bfing experience successful, the more you know and learn beforehand the better your chances. And fwiw, back in the old days EVERYONE bf'd and supported new moms, you learned from your mom, you aunts, sisters, even though they weren't taking classes or reading books, they DID still have to learn, kwim?

    Answer by gramsmom at 3:17 PM on Apr. 22, 2010

  • lol, didn't see the 2 previous posts, sorry to be redundant. =)

    Answer by gramsmom at 3:18 PM on Apr. 22, 2010

  • back in the day you had mothers around you to help, you had your mom, inlaws, midwifes, female villagers, ect. ect...
    It is natural, but it is a learning process.. just like walking is natural to humans, we still had to learn to do it :-)
    Also now days most woman are not around babies, or nursing moms until they themselves get pregnant/want to breastfeed. so learning through watching is very uncommon now days, as im sure back then babies were free to be latched on & was seen by everyone regularly.
    proper latching is important & it takes time to adjust baby right & all that other stuff... but it all is well worth it!!

    Answer by MommaTasha1003 at 4:04 PM on Apr. 22, 2010

  • It's actually not always easy in the beginning, and a lot of new moms are left home alone with a new baby, no experience bf'ing, and no one around to help them. Back in the good old days, people were more likely to have someone around who had experience bf'ing and could give advice, look for a good latch, and otherwise just provide basic advice and know-how. For instance, one way to look for a good latch is to make sure the baby's lower lip is not tucked under while they suck- bad latch can be extremely painful for mom and inefficient for baby. How on earth is a new mom to know that without someone with that knowledge offering guidance to them? I certainly didn't- I struggled for a long time with bad latch until finally going to a lactation consultant for support and info and advice because there wasn't anyone in my 'real life' who was able to give it to me!

    Answer by Freela at 4:24 PM on Apr. 22, 2010

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