Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Complaint and culture

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  • recordari, in reply to nzlemming,

    pipe music

    It's the devil's music!

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Tamsin6, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Plus very much 1 -
    I have had the opposite experience from what is mostly described here - when my perfectly normal and lovely and quite large baby was born, and latched on within a few minutes of birth by C-section, courtesy of help from fantastic midwife, I had no idea that by midnight that same night I would have been abused and accused of trying to starve my baby to death for refusing to allow the nurse to bottle feed her. 3 heelprick tests for my baby later, and confined to bed and unable to reach or lift my baby myself, I finally was browbeaten into agreeing. My baby threw up all of it, aspirated some of it, later was found to have intolerance to dairy protein, and the whole incredibly exhausting and traumatic experience because they couldn't be arsed helping me to breastfeed. I was an inconvenience, unsupported, unaided, and with no way to help myself. I was absolutely determined to continue, and I managed it despite what amounted to actual opposition from nursing staff. My experience, and that of some of my contemporaries led to changes in the way breastfeeding support was provided by Whipps Cross, though things are still very far from perfect there. I am therefore always faintly disbelieving of those who were pressured to breastfeed - I would have killed for some persistence on my behalf from others - it was much, much, much harder to continue to breastfeed than it would have been to stop. It was still hard with number 2, this time because of bleeding nipples - it is very disturbing to watch your infant regurgitating indigestible blood ingested with mother's milk. Thank god for Lansinoh and a brilliant health visitor. Good support and advice make all the difference - not pressure.

    London • Since Dec 2007 • 133 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to B Jones,

    In the 1980s I was involved in a wonderful parent led programme called New Mother Support Groups which were a safe and supportive place for new mothers to talk about all that identity, body and cultural shock stuff that happens when you suddenly have a new baby. I can probably say that there was a general pre-birth expectation and hope of a 'natural' childbirth and blissful breastfeeding. The reality was was there were an assortment of birth experiences and levels of intervention for a huge range of reasons, and assorted breastfeeding stories (and incidentally some worrying birth stories of medical 'incompetence/neglect' by doctors usually alleviated by attendant midwives). Women were usually the harshest critics of themselves if things didn't go as they anticipated, and I'm surprised that we don't have higher levels of postnatal depression. But certainly no judging of each other.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3208 posts Report Reply

  • jessica scott,

    Ok, I just want to quickly qualify what I earlier wrote about a bit of 'pressure' not being a bad thing.... I was writing in response to, and disagreeing with Danyl's comment about Midwives that

    the entire profession seems to cross the line when it comes to advocacy for breast-feeding.

    I absolutely do not believe that midwives, nurses etc ANYONE should put pressure on an individual to breastfeed or make them feel bad about their choices. However, disagree that AS A PROFESSION their stance results in a 'pressure' that crosses a line.

    However, I feel that many midwives probably feel that their pro-breastfeeding stance is countering a wider social/cultural pressure NOT to breastfeed. Through things like: only 14 weeks paid maternity leave, no compulsory paid partner leave, shortage of maternity beds (unbelievable that when Wellington hospital did its huge renovations there was NO increase in maternity beds), shortage of lactation consultants, social pressures for women to get back to paid employment, social pressures for women to start exercising and lose baby weight shortly after giving birth.

    I also experienced from Plunket (as many other people I know have) a pressure for my baby to conform to a particular model, that excludes some of the variables that come from breastfeeding, ie- your baby should weigh x amount (making you feel bad, that there's something wrong with you if your baby is at the lower or upper end of the bell-curve), should sleep x amount of hours, shouldn't be waking more than x number of times in the night. (Not to mention the scornful and judgemental response that some of my friends got when they told their nurse they wanted to raise their child VEGETARIAN... but that's another matter)

    Perhaps breastfeeding advocates should be targeting these issues rather than individual women

    Wellington • Since Mar 2010 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah, in reply to jessica scott,

    Perhaps breastfeeding advocates should be targeting these issues rather than individual women

    I think that's part of the problem, Jessica. There are systemic factors that militate against breastfeeding (as listed in your post), and yet pressure is put on individual women to provide the fix.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1446 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to jessica scott,

    conform to a particular model

    "normal" is seldom a helpful part of the medical model

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19699 posts Report Reply

  • Nat, in reply to George Darroch,

    I agree with George:

    There are two separate issues at hand here, in either case.

    The first is the degree to which breastmilk confers benefits to a child (if any).

    The second is the degree to which these benefits (if they occur) obligate the mother to provide these, (and importantly, other parties to facilitate this)

    In the case of childbirth, the first is the degree to which clinical/non-clinical settings and types of supervision confer benefits to the child and mother.

    The second is the degree to which this obligates the mother and other parties to facilitate these.

    The key word here being "degree". And I think that the competing ideologies exaggerate that degree. Or mis-estimate it. Or make it up. So that we're left with these mythologies of the perfect natural childbirth and perfect natural breastfeeding. Or the perfectly safe childbirth. Ideals that most births and feeding experiences will never live up to. Leaving women disappointed, mainly in themselves. But if we could admit that it's rarely ideal and have a better knowledge of the distribution of experiences, then we might alleviate some of that disappointment.

    On the "you should just have the right attitude then breastfeeding will be easier" issue: I think this gets the causality around the wrong way. You are more relaxed, less stressed when the baby is breastfeeding successfully. It's the same error as "your baby will sleep better if you are more relaxed". You're relaxed because your baby is sleeping!

    Seattle • Since Jun 2011 • 52 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Deborah,

    There are systemic factors that militate against breastfeeding (as listed in your post), and yet pressure is put on individual women to provide the fix.

    Quite. Fundamental attribution error is just easier for the intellectually lazy. This government loves it (see welfare 'dependency', disability services, etc).

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19699 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    For Megan. Yup I am on holiday :-). I have to say that the first night at the Stratford Mountain House was very pleasant. Still crunchy snow down the paths as well.

    I don’t have particularly strong feelings around childbirth and/or breastfeeding, not being a parent. What I do have really strong feelings about is womens’ bodily autonomy.

    I am. And if you do become a parent, you will. I have absolutely no problems with women's bodily autonomy. They can do what they wish. But I think a partner has the right, nay a responsibility, to ensure she is able to do what she wants. If that means my advocating loudly to ensure this then I shouldn't hesitate.

    One day away and four pages of comment later......Jeez Wayne. I am pleased/glad/thankful there are some who saw past my one brutal paragraph.

    Watched Media7 last night.

    Good to see Don getting the support. It sounds like the BSA will nail him with another fine when - not if - he complains again. So. How about we set up a list of willing people and get him to write the complaint but we put our names to it. If the list is long enough then the BSA cannot fine each of us as it will be our first complaint. :-)

    I recall a programme (forerunner to Media7?) years ago - can't think of his name - who got stuck into the media each week. Maybe TV could have a quiet time prog along the same lines with the misfact, the complaint, the correction along with a bit more history to the story. Peter's idea of tagging these to the "On Demand Like" areas of the TV's websites is commendable as well.

    Looking forward to night two on the mountain.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    The article asked for or supports a position for decent monitoring of perinatal outcomes.

    This is a fair enough call.

    With "births" the focus should be on seeing that the right thing happens the right way as regards the delivery to ensure the safety of mother and baby.

    Decent monitoring would provide vital feedback in improving birth services - allowibng a learning culture to be more developed where the right thing happens the right way.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Just caught up with the last Media 7, and I have to say that I remain gob-smacked at the BSA's decision.

    In my opinion:
    (Dominic Sheehan and co. are wrong, wrong, wrong in finding that the 240 light years vs. 240,000,000 light years issue was not material to the item and, frankly, it is such a stunningly dumb decision that their credibility is shot with me.

    If anyone should've been fined for wasting BSA's time it's TVNZ.)

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Ross Mason,

    re-pressed memories...

    I recall a programme (forerunner to Media7?) years ago – can’t think of his name – who got stuck into the media each week.

    Fourth Estate - Brian Priestly was the presenter,
    he still contributes regular letters to the papers in Chchch.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7902 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    In my opinion:
    (Dominic Sheehan and co. are wrong, wrong, wrong in finding that the 240 light years vs. 240,000,000 light years issue was not material to the item and, frankly, it is such a stunningly dumb decision that their credibility is shot with me.

    Not material I believe means 'not central to the story'.

    The story was about this young person finding the phenomena, the distance was considered not to be the focus of the story.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    The story was about this young person finding the phenomena, the distance was considered not to be the focus of the story.

    I know, and remain in complete disagreement. If the supernova was as close as reported it would be visible with the naked eye.

    The item, as presented, is nonsense (proving that the distance is material to the item). Being cute doesn't trump that.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to 3410,

    Give them an inch...

    (proving that the distance is material to the item)

    I'm sure even Brownlee in his woodworking heyday would have stressed that old saw - measure twice and cut once...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7902 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    How do I get myself appointed to the BSA? I need a job with healthy remuneration and only occasional meetings, and they obviously need some help. Win/win situation!

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    One of the big problems with breastfeeding is that the very same people who are piling on the pressure are handing out crappy-arse advice or over-looking the bleeding obvious. The anecdata I've collected is full of stories of women who (for example) have raw bleeding nipples, midwife looks at baby's latch and declares all to be fine so Mum has choice to suck it up or wean. Later (and often after the boat has sailed) baby is diagnosed with a tongue-tie which, had it been snipped in a timely fashion, could have saved both the breastfeeding relationship and the mother's nipples.

    Pressure to breastfeed all seems to occur in the first few month and once the baby is bigger the pressure to wean, or at least breastfeed less, comes on in force. It may have changed in the intervening years (my "baby" is six now) but standard Plunket advice about the introduction of solids assumed that full weaning around the first birthday was the goal. I once made the mistake of asking my Plunket nurse why their literature at the time made no mention of the WHO's recommendation of a minimum of two years breastfeeding and was treated to a remarkable display of pissyness.

    Often, with regards to childbirth/breastfeeding/parenting, we seem to want to hand out one-size-fits-all advice and tell women what to do rather than arming them with information so as to be able to make good choices for themselves and their individual circumstance.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 719 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Isabel Hitchings,

    arming them with information so as to be able to make good choices for themselves and their individual circumstance

    Regarded as way too hard. By guess who..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19699 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    The item, as presented, is nonsense (proving that the distance is material to the item). Being cute doesn’t trump that.

    I think you're setting your sights a little high for the 6pm news bulletin. We're lucky they didn't try and live cross the 240 million light years.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    We’re lucky they didn’t try and live cross the 240 million light years.

    Breaking news from Andromeda - Astronomers there have just reported spotting tiny points of light on a land mass on a planet in the milky way...
    (thanks TV7)

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7902 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    I think you're setting your sights a little high for the 6pm news bulletin.

    It's not me that sets the standards.

    I certainly no longer expect TVNZ to get science stories right. I'm not even surprised that their response to the complaint is "LOL who care's how old some plannet is !!1!"

    But I do expect the BSA to understand their own rules.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg,

    The only thing worse than a pedant is a pedantophile.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 802 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to 3410,

    I certainly no longer expect TVNZ to get science stories right. I’m not even surprised that their response to the complaint is “LOL who care’s how old some plannet is !!1!”

    But I do expect the BSA to understand their own rules.

    Hell, if TVNZ can be hoodwinked not once, but twice by the same guy...

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5428 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Sky's the limit...
    Would one register a complaint with the BSA or is there some advertising tribunal to approach about Sky's repeated placement of ads promising things they no longer offer?
    I am talking about the ad with the guy with the leaf blower, where they indicate that there is a fashion channel available, but this is no longer the case - ergo false advertising!
    Gotta keep these people honest...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7902 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    That would be the ASA, and it would likely come under the "ethics" code.

    I think, though my knowledge of Advertising standards is pretty slim these days.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1275 posts Report Reply

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