This post is in response to a blog reader who knows she was force fed as an infant. I am not a professional in any sense regarding this topic so I found some related links on the topic and encourage readers to place comments to this post for discussion.
Some inexperienced new mothers might force feed their infant. Force feeding is child abuse. If any outsider detects this practice being done to a baby intervene in any way possible to stop it, including reporting the abuse to authorities if needed.
I cannot speak to the long-term consequences of what this trauma does to an infant abuse survivor. In cases where the force feeding accompanies mentally ill/overall abusive parenting all the same consequences of Trauma Altered Development reported on this blog are likely to occur.
Any child abuse survivor that knows that abuse-maltreatment-trauma happened to them can bet their booties it DID begin in their infancy if they have reason to believe they were chronically force fed at ANY stage of their infant-child development.
FROM WICKIPEDIA — Force-feeding
Feeding the 9 – 12 Month Old – “Pressure tactics make feeding harder, not easier. Don’t force-feed food, as this could create long-term unhealthy attitudes about eating.”
By Emily Andrews – England, March 2010 – This is a news article about horrendous infant abuse in a nursery school that included force feeing. Other staff members in this facility knew the abuse was occurring for three years before someone finally reported it.
Another BBC article on this: Woman ‘force-fed babies vomit’ at Bromley nursery
Feeding the Baby – “During his 0 to 4 months, your baby will require only milk. They may feel full easily but will require at least eight feedings a day. Because your baby cannot tell you when he is full or not, be sensitive when he starts facing away from the milk, this is your signal that he has had enough.”
“As much as possible, make each mealtime enjoyable for your baby. Do not force him when he turns his head away from his food. This is his way of saying, I had enough or I do not want that. If you force feeding your baby, he may not enjoy mealtime, whining may happen. This may end up causing not enough nutrients in his body. You, of course, do not want this to happen.”
Feeding the Fussy Child – “Your baby develops dietary preferences, as she becomes aware that she is not just an extension of you. Deciding what she would like to eat is one way in which she asserts her independence.”
Trust your baby’s instincts
“Dr. Davis conducted an experiment using three 8 to 10 month old babies who had been fed only on breast milk. At each meal six to eight dishes of wholesome unrefined foods were placed before them and they were allowed to point to what they would like to eat.
Dr. Davis discovered that left to their own devices, these babies had a healthy development. Over time, they chose what was generally accepted as a well-balanced diet. Their appetites varied from meal to meal and day to day. This study seems to indicate that babies somehow have a natural inbuilt ability to eat in a manner that does not harm their development. We must remember that we managed our diets successfully for centuries before we were told the do’s and don’ts of nutrition.
Parents should trust their babies’ instincts and give them some leeway when it comes to eating. Anxious parents worry that poor eating can lead to nutritional deficiency and development problems. Children seem to have an inner mechanism that somehow works to ensure that they have a balanced diet. Children rarely develop vitamin deficiency or malnutrition because they are poor eaters.”
Force feeding is not the answer
“When your child has a feeding problem, meal times become a battlefield as anxious and frustrated parents try to persuade their child to eat. A feeding problem is often the result of parents coercing their children to eat. In most cases this backfires. Forcing your child to eat will only worsen the situation because it reinforces the child’s dislike for food.
Mealtimes should be pleasant affairs. Avoid making the child’s diet a bone of contention at every meal. This will make the child dread meals even more. Make every effort to make your child look forward to mealtimes. Give her the wholesome food she likes best for 2 to 3 months and omit all the foods that she dislikes. This will help to make her less suspicious and tense about food.”
“Force-feeding is the end-result of several different processes. It is important because of the direct dangers it holds for the baby and because of what it tells us of the mother-child relationship. Its primary cause is the sense in the feeder that the baby is not feeding properly. [ME: OR it is a consequence of a mentally ill and/or abusive parent’s treatment of their child!!]
This perception may be mistaken and reflect the unrealistic expectations of a young, inexperienced mother. Alternatively, if a good attachment has not formed between mother and baby, tolerance of the infant may be low and any slight ‘misdemeanour’ by the baby provokes irritation. The tolerance level may also be reduced if the mother is depressed or unhappy. Sometimes the source of the trouble is not the mother but the fact that many people are feeding the baby, who is sensitive to an atmosphere of inconsistency or disorder.”
BLOG POST: “Anyone out there feel like they’re force feeding their baby???”