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Ainu to be a bit upset by this comment and to think maybe I gave up attempting to breast feed too easily?

(136 Posts)
emeraldgirl1 Sun 26-May-13 21:47:57

I wanted to breast feed. I planned to breast feed. I tried to breast feed. DD (11w old now) wasn't a fan, screamed blue murder every time we tried, never once latched on. I paid three separate lactation consultants and tried to take all their advice. My nipples are flat and that didn't help. DD gnawed as them and cracked them every time she tried to latch and they were in danger of getting infected. I expressed colostrum into a tiny syringe for hours after my c section and then I pumped for three weeks as often as I could. I never got supply up properly because I couldn't pump as advised ten times a day, I didn't know how to do that and be with DD at the same time IYSWIM, I couldn't hold her/comfort her while pumping and DH couldn't take more paternity leave than allowed so he could be home to take care of her while I pumped.

Today a fellow new mother asked me if I had not breastfed because it 'didn't fit in with your lifestyle'.

She probably meant no harm and I know she herself went to impressive lengths to establish breastfeding. She is a bit on the smug side in general but I don't actually think she was trying to make me feel small.

But I have been down all day ever since.

I am wondering if I did give up too easily.

I chose to prioritise my mental health (have suffered depression in the past) as the whole thing was getting me very stressed plus I was skipping sleep to try to pump and therefore not having the energy to bond with DD the way I wanted.

I thought at the time it was the right decision but today that question made me feel shit.

I dd feel guilty when I stopped but I told myself (which is true!!) that important though bfing is, to me it was not a be all and end all, I feel I have other things to offer DD even if my breasts were useless to her sad

I am generally very hard on myself though and so now I can't shake the thought that I stopped too soon and too easily just because it wasn't working out as easily as I wanted.

It wasn't remotely because I wanted to drink coffee and booze etc which is what that comment made me feel.

Ugh. Why am I doubting myself now?!?

Oh and what should I have said to her? I just kind of mumbled something about it not working out.

AIBU to feel rubbish and slightly ashamed for not finding more ways to try to make it work?

SuffolkNWhat Belgium Sun 26-May-13 21:50:22

Ignore. Ignore. Ignore.

I say that as a breastfeeding peer supporter. You tried really hard and breastfeeding isn't for everyone. Parenting is full of these comments/idiots.

youmeatsix Sun 26-May-13 21:52:20

sounds like you tried everything you could, some mothers are just quite militant when it comes to BF, usually the same ones who knit their own yoghurt and serve placenta pate at their childs naming day

emeraldgirl1 Sun 26-May-13 21:52:33

Thank you Suffolk. I appreciate that so much. I felt judged and now I am judging myself!!

Please don't beat yourself up. It's such a big thing when your DC are small, but would it make you feel better to know that I breastfed one of mine, but now they're 16 and 17, I genuinely can't remember which one it was? That's how unimportant it will be to you in years to come.

Your mental health is more important. Look after yourself.

NotSoNervous Sun 26-May-13 21:53:34

Ignore the women

Is your DD happy, feed and cared for? It's no ones business how you feed your child.

Nanny0gg England Sun 26-May-13 21:53:52

Today a fellow new mother asked me if I had not breastfed because it 'didn't fit in with your lifestyle'. She probably meant no harm and I know she herself went to impressive lengths to establish breastfeding. She is a bit on the smug side in general but I don't actually think she was trying to make me feel small.

Cow. Yes she was. I hate this kind of attitude. You tried, it didn't work. You are doing the best you can for your baby, who will thrive.

Any further comments from anyone, tell them to mind their own business. How you choose to nourish your child is your decision.

Ability to breast feed doesn't make you a better person/mother.
(And I speak as someone who did breastfeed for over a year. But if I couldn't have I wouldn't have beaten myself up. Formula is fine and now your DH has the joy of feeding her too)

Lilithmoon Sun 26-May-13 21:55:02

Please don't judge yourself, you sound like a fab Mum. Give your lovely DD a big snuggle jealous. smile

loveschocolate Sun 26-May-13 21:55:17

YABU and far too hard on yourself! Sounds like you gave it a really good go and that you really care about your baby - you'll be a great mum and that's more important than your method of feeding.

HollyBerryBush Sun 26-May-13 21:55:28

Bottles were made for a reason.

emeraldgirl1 Sun 26-May-13 21:56:00

Agent P that is a nice thing to hear!!

Just can't shake the feeling that I still could have done more.

DD is so wonderful though and I can't honestly think she would have been 'better' if I had succeeded.

I feel sad for her I think that she never had that bonding thing with me.

But I think we are bonding so well in our own unique way.

WorraLiberty England Sun 26-May-13 21:56:07

Even if it didn't fit in with your lifestyle, it would still be your choice and fuck all to do with her.

Just ignore.

AmandaPayneNeedsANap Sun 26-May-13 21:56:33

It's easy to be smug when your child is only a few weeks old and there are only a few issues - feeding, sleeping.

Wait until they are a bit older and almost every smug cow gets taken down a peg or two.

In the meantime, ignore ignore.

emeraldgirl1 Sun 26-May-13 21:57:44

Lilithmoon, oh god the cuddles are heaven!! Why did nobody ever tell me this in advance? I'd have done this years ago smile

AmandaPayneNeedsANap Sun 26-May-13 21:58:05

Cross post, no she didn't have that bonding with you. She has many others. Parenting is myriad variables. The loss of one isn't necessarily a net loss.

emeraldgirl1 Sun 26-May-13 21:59:01

Worraliberty, I didn't think of it that way... I should have!!

emeraldgirl1 Sun 26-May-13 21:59:35

AmandaPayne thank you smile

emeraldgirl1 Sun 26-May-13 22:00:57

NannyOgg thank you too, I wish I had your confidence! smile

You have got to be joking.

Expressing at all is more than I would expect most people to try more than maybe once.

Calling in a free bf counsellor or peer supporter feels like too much for most people at that vulnerable time, let alone shelling out for a single lactation consultant.

Even If formula hadn't been available I'm not sure you could have tried harder.

But it does exist and is breathtakingly good (even though not as good as breast milk) so the need to try absolutely everything is less than it was ten years ago, or twenty, or fifty, etc.

In time you will look back at your early efforts and be astonished by and rightly proud of your efforts.

Nanny0gg England Sun 26-May-13 22:01:20

I feel sad for her I think that she never had that bonding thing with me.

Sorry, but that is utter crap rubbish.

You bond with her every time you hold her.

My DiL suffered the same sort of remarks from a (now) former friend - a lactation counsellor no less - and she's still upset years later, even though she knows how unjustified it was.

Breastfeeding is lovely if you want or are able to do it.
It isn't child abuse if you can't or don't want to.

dearcathyandclare Sun 26-May-13 22:02:04

Emerald
You are feeding your baby and your child with thrive, grow and be loved. That is all any baby needs, so ignore her mis judged comments and make the most of these unrepeatable months. X

Nanny0gg England Sun 26-May-13 22:02:40

NannyOgg thank you too, I wish I had your confidence!

Yeabut, I'm old.

It will come in time!

emeraldgirl1 Sun 26-May-13 22:03:00

Horry I hope so. That I will look back and be pleased I mean. I am sure it will feel way less important after a while.

PlateSpinningAtAllTimes Sun 26-May-13 22:03:04

You tried really hard and did much more than lots of people would. DD got lots of benefits from the pumping/syringing that you did. She will now have the benefits of a more rested and relaxed mum, feeds with dad etc. This other mum sounds like a thoughtless idiot. Shame on her, making a comment like that when you're at a time in your life when you need support and reassurance. Remind yourself that there is so much more to a child's long term health than bf/ff. I bf both of mine, yet today DS (4) ate probably his own weight in sweets. I hasten to add that this is not a typical day, but it's easy to see how the relationship with food (or exercise) a child has is going to have a massive impact on long tem health and could easily undo any benefits of bfing! The silly woman will realise this when she grows up in a few years.

Icelollycraving Sun 26-May-13 22:03:05

Please stop being so hard on yourself. Ds breastfed for the first few days. It was when I came home. I had decided I would ff at night & bf in day. A few bottles & he refused bf. My mum really made me feel crappy at first. I was then v ill in hospital a week after having him & he stayed at home with dh. Thank god I had started ff. My milk never really came in.
Women who judge ff or bf are idiots. I judge some things but not where the baby milk comes from. thanks

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