When I hear that more than 85% of new moms said they intended to breastfeed for three months or more but only 32.4% actually met their mark, it begs the question – why?

When I in labour with my first son, I had developed a fever near (the whole thing was a nightmare).  My baby boy was put on antibiotics right after I gave birth.  I was dealing with my afterbirth while he was whisked away to NICU.

Once I was transferred to my hospital room and “came to” after the ordeal (episiotomy and vacuum used for delivery), I asked where my baby was – I wanted to breastfeed him.

The nurse said they had given him a feeding.

“Excuse me?” I replied.  Who the hell authorized you to give him a feeding?!  I wanted his first feeding to me my breast milk!

“Oh, we only fed him a little bit.”

“I don’t care – I want my baby right now, I want to feed him right now,” I said.

I was furious.  Emotionally and physically drained from the labour and delivery, now you’re telling me I can’t breastfeed my baby?!?!  Keep in mind you are also very emotional post-partum – anything can trigger you to burst into tears.

I had planned how the whole labour and delivery was going to be… and although it didn’t go the way I had hoped, I at least wanted to have my baby on my chest and breastfeed him as soon as possible after birth.

That didn’t happen.

Fine, I could live with that – after all, he needed to get his needles done and needed antibiotics.  But I was disappointed that they didn’t think to bring him back to me to nurse him.  Or at least make an attempt.

I was very upset that they had given him formula without asking me. Couldn’t they have considered bringing him to me to nurse?   See if I was able to even try?  I honestly don’t know what the nurses were thinking…

The experience gave me a taste of what can happen when the hospital “takes charge” and makes decisions for you.  Not that formula hurt anybody but it was MY choice to nurse – it was MY choice to refuse formula.

It’s no wonder that 15 percent of moms who intend to breastfeed stop nursing before they even leave the hospital.

I’m not going to even get into the epidural nightmare I had…

After giving birth, did you breastfeed right away? Did you feel the hospital pushed formula?


Maria Lianos-Carbone is the author of “Oh Baby! A Mom’s Self-Care Survival Guide for the First Year”, and publisher of amotherworld.com, a leading lifestyle blog for women.


  1. With Luciano I tried to nurse but he was yellow so they made me start feeding him formula before he could come home, it was frustrating because with him I really wanted to but I was so young I didn’t really stand up for myself well. With my girls I had the opposite reaction, I wanted to formula feed Serendipity because by then I’d had my boobs done twice and the nurse totally guilt tripped me every time I fed her. Bellatessa I wanted to nurse but after hours of crying I said I didn’t think she was getting enough milk the nurse said she was, as soon as we gave her formula she stopped crying turns out her heart issue as preventing her from sucking well without having issues. I totally think they should have at least checked with you before feeding him anything, thats jacked.

  2. I sometimes wonder if the medical facilities are in cahoots with formula manufacturers, just as they are with drug companies. Doesn’t Big Pharma crank out certain brands of formula, too? Even some quack pediatricians are pushing formula and doing their damnedest to convince women that breast milk has no substantial nutritional value. (How did we survive thousands of years without our demi-god Infamil??)

    Or, is it just that we have an abundance of psychopath “nurses” who got into the profession so they could earn $50-80k per year parking their fat asses at the nurses station for the better part of their shifts?? I’m sure anyone who’s a nurse will cry foul over that remark, but it’s an unpleasant fact that horror stories of bad nursing abound across the nation. I’ve certainly seen my share of “nurses” who I wouldn’t trust to care for my dog, let alone my child.

    A half competent nurse would know that, aside from providing baby with vital antibodies and nutrients, breastfeeding soon after birth is also good for mom because it causes the pituitary gland to release oxytocin, thus helping mom chill out and causing her uterus to contract back to its normal size. A half ethical nurse would give a damn about the physical and mental well being of mother and baby, and would keep the two together as much as possible while providing mom with all the guidance and assistance required to properly nurse her child.

    Maybe the nurse who acts as per her own selfish whims without consulting the new mother is one of those who can’t be “inconvenienced” by sensitivity, common courtesy and patient rights. And who wants to walk back and forth from mom to nursery when there’s a bucket of chicken and chocolate cake back at the station desk?? No, no it’s much more “convenient” to shove a bottle of god knows what down the baby’s gullet and hide for a while- to hell with the health and rights of mother and child.

    Now, I”m getting off topic and this is irrelevant to hospital shenanigans, but I have a question that nobody seems willing to discuss or able to answer:

    At what point in American history did breasts cease to be for the sole purpose of feeding and nurturing babies, only to become reduced to objects of lewd entertainment for questionable men??

    A disturbing trend I have seen throughout my life is people- women, mind you- perceiving breastfeeding to be some dirty sex act- and treating it as such. Surely this mindset must be a carry over from the puritanical, misogynist “women are evil” days of yore??

    I distinctly recall my mother (who did not breastfeed me, by the way, EVER- even after I nearly died from contaminated formula) vehemently scolding another woman for breastfeeding her infant in my presence when I was about 6 years old. I was then warned to stay away from the woman, as if she were a criminal!

    All my life I’ve seen people just like that who have an angry OMG fit when they see women breastfeeding- even discreetly under a blanket- in the presence of others. I can only assume this weird, warped and perverse perception of human biology gets passed down from mother to daughter and serves as an additional breastfeeding deterrent in some cases- as if there aren’t enough already with hospital bullies forcing formula and “at will employment” laws forcing women to choose between family and desperately needed income.

    This bizarre psychological repression of breastfeeding- something so essential to humanity’s survival- needs to stop. Women are NOT dirty sex objects and neither are our breasts! No mother should be shamed for doing the job which nature intended!

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