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?

gwenniebee Sun 26-May-13 22:03:25

Oh for heaven's sake. I can't understand why one new mother would say this kind of thing to another.

It sounds like you tried really hard, and you're absolutely right that your mental health is worth prioritising - a stressed, struggling, breastfeeding mother is not as good as a relaxed, happy bottle feeding one imo. (And I say that as a bfer.)

Ignore her. Silly cow.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Sun 26-May-13 22:03:55

Agree with Amanda,the smug biatches will have their come upance. Breast feeding is but one of many parenting choices you will make and a pretty minor one in the grand scheme of things.There are other far bigger battles to fight and worry over.

Smirk to yourself,watch and wait.

Love the poster who forgot which kid she bf,pretty much sums it up.[ grin]

Smartiepants79 Sun 26-May-13 22:04:20

You tried bloody hard.
That's a rude and unnecessary comment.
Your DD needs you to be happy and healthy more than she needs Breast feeding.
Tell smuggy mc smug to mind her own business. She needs to think before she opens her gob.

gregcal Sun 26-May-13 22:05:26

Hi! Just ignore these comments. When your child enters reception we are unable to identify the children who have been bf or bottle fed! Anyone would think not to bf is a hanging offence! Enjoy your baby a relaxed mum means a happy baby

myonlyfriend Sun 26-May-13 22:05:59

What Horry said.
I perservered with ds1 for 7 weeks and it was the most miserable painful time. Wish I had stopped earlier. dd bf with absolutely no probs for 8 months.
The fellow new mum of which you speak is unhelpful and quite frankly a cow.
Chin up, you did the best for you and your child.

emstats Sun 26-May-13 22:06:16

I exclusively bf, and the real reason why (if I'm honest) is because for some reason I have nips like bloomin bottle teats so for me its the 'easy' option and really I'm being kinda lazy! I was speaking to my friend today whose a mW who told me bf isn't actually ALWAYS best depending on the mothers diet, stress levels etc. I think good on you for working so hard at it in the first place, and they say the colostrum is the most important bit and you did that. It doesn't sound AT ALL like you gave up easy! Giving the time to your dd instead and letting go of the stress it was causing you sounds like the best thing you could have done.

Whatalotofpiffle Sun 26-May-13 22:06:20

Ignore! So many people I know stop as it doesn't fit their lifestyles so maybe she just hadn't considered there are a multitude of complex and very personal reasons. You dud brilliantly. I personally could not have done what you did. My dd took well to it and I was lucky, but even then I felt like stopping as I was completely exhausted. Stopping is a hard decision and you did amazingly well!!

littlemefi Sun 26-May-13 22:08:05

I had issues with breastfeeding my dd ( now nearly 4). She didn't latch on for 8 days, eventually latching on with the support of a BF consultant, nipple shields and top-ups of expressed BM. I did BF for a year, but
I look back now, with the benefit of hindsight, to how bloody minded I was that breast feeding was the be all and end all!
I had a csection, had to BF every 2hours in the day and 3 hours at night and pump in between and I have no doubt that the pressure I put myself under to BF severely contributed to me developing PND.
What I'm trying to say is, you tried. No nobody else but you knows how hard you tried, and you don't need to justify to anyone else why you do, or don't BF. The only retort I can think of for the rude woman who has upset you Is the MN stalwart, " did you mean to sound so rude?"

formicadinosaur Sun 26-May-13 22:08:33

My gosh, you gave it a bloody good go!!!! Not half hearted in the least. That mum just highlighted something which is deeply important to you and despite every effort, you couldn't make it work out. It's a sore spot now but time is a great healer. We put ourselves under so much pressure as mums.

What an awful thing for her to say to you!

You didn't give up too early and I doubt if you could have tried harder. You gave breastfeeding your best, as you are giving formula feeding your best now.

Imagine your dd and her DC years from now. Maybe they're making wedding speeches or writing the dedication to their first novel. Will either of them say, 'Thanks to my mum'? Yes, probably. Will they then add, '...for breast/formula feeding me'? No, certainly not. It feels such a huge big deal now, but it won't always be that way. I know where you're coming from, because mine were little once too, but over time the once-big issues seem to hardly matter at all. The person who made it an issue is her, not you. You are your dd's mum and you're doing your best by her. To dd, that makes you amazing.

I think your dd is right.

emeraldgirl1 Sun 26-May-13 22:08:53

Thank you v v much everyone... It is so helpful to read your comments especially after I have been feeling increasingly crap all day.
It is amazing how one misjudged comment can worm its way into your head!

PurpleThing Sun 26-May-13 22:08:53

op you need to make peace with this yourself not look for a bunch of randoms on the internet to approve of your decision.

I would probably have laughed at her and said "Not fit in with my lifestyle? No I don`t think so! We had more serious problems than that."

WeAreSix Sun 26-May-13 22:10:13

That is the best worst (iykwim) put down I've ever heard. Wow, what a witch!!!

I think it sounds like you did more than most to try to continue. And like Worra said, it has nothing to do with anyone whatever your reason.

Am seriously gobsmacked. I don't think this person should fit in your lifestyle. Ignore ignore and ignore some more.

LastOrdersAtTheBra Sun 26-May-13 22:10:22

I really don't understand why you think you gave up too easily, you tried, you did lots of things that not everyone would put themselves through (I hate expressing, can't imagine even attempting to do it 10 times a day).

If you cuddle your DD while you bottle feed her, she'll still be bonding every time. Enjoy her, cuddle her and don't worry about what some other random woman thinks.

PicardyThird Sun 26-May-13 22:10:56

We had a nightmare of breast refusal and marathon expressing with dc1 at the beginning. If I'd had pain and cracked nipples to contend with as well, and not been able to have dh around through those four weeks, I reckon we would have stopped and switched to formula. Note, not 'given up' or 'failed' or anything of that judgemental sort, but simply switched to a different road. I am very much an advocate of bf, but anyone who tells you you need to bf to 'bond' is talking crap.

Other new mother's comment was monumentally badly phrased at best, nasty and ugly at worst. Ignore, be proud of yourself and enjoy your dd. It's OK to feel sad that bf is not something you continued with, but gradually the feelings will fade as the wide and varied experience of motherhood continues in all its facets.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sun 26-May-13 22:11:25

I completely understand. I also couldn't bf as I had no milk supply. I pumped and pumped, took fenugreek (as advised by the midwives) and went to a bf clinic.

I was exhausted. I would bf, top up with formula (he'd lost so much weight) and then pump. Took nearly two hours and he was feeding every three. This was throughout the night too.

Eventually I had to stop as it wasn't getting me anywhere and I felt like I wasn't recovering from the birth, having haemorrhaged afterwards.

Didn't stop me feeling like a failure! Even now I still feel guilty that I couldn't do it, and it's ridiculous.

I've seen posts on here from sanctimonious twats saying how if you can't bf it's because you didn't try hard enough. Bollocks. If anyone had said that to my face I would have thumped them.

How dare she say that to you! Tell her to fuck off.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 26-May-13 22:14:33

I'm very pro breastfeeding, and I don't think you could have done any more. It sounds like you tried as hard as you possibly could, and actually put in more effort than some people who take to bfing easily and do it for months.

You sound like a lovely Mum.

emeraldgirl1 Sun 26-May-13 22:14:40

Pobble so sorry you had such an awful time but your post did make me smile

maddening Sun 26-May-13 22:16:49

you shouldn't doubt yourself or feel any need to justify your decision.

whilst every fellow new mum is free to share their own experience they have no place passing comment on other's choices - she was way out of line to do so.

neunundneunzigluftballons Sun 26-May-13 22:17:33

It took me 3 children and seriously enormous lengths to sucessfully breastfeed. I had a combination of inverted nipples and babies with undiagnosed tongue ties up until number 3. Even finding out number 3 had tt did not answer my issues and I went through months of agony as the baby compensated for bad latch with brute force. I also had a nasty case of oversupply constant blocked ducts due to bad latch and much more over the years. Over the years I have had multiple comments from women about how they would never give up breastfeeding no matter what circumstances or if only i held out on my other children things would have improved. I have learned to ignore them because I know how much some women have to endure. That missed generation and that lack of knowledge was deveastating to breastfeeding and until that critical mass is restored some women will not be able to breastfeed unfortunately it is a question of time. I am still bf ds 1.5 years later and i am so grateful things eventually improved but I would not have had 3 children if i had bf all of them. Do not beat yourself up.

NotYoMomma Sun 26-May-13 22:19:07

I fucking hate mother who think it's their business

Why do I as a fellow woman and mother need to justify myself to another woman or mother?

She should I have to prove that I read the research and am aware of.the info? What right have they to quiz me or judge me?

Why do I feel pressured to tell them confidential info about ny anxiety disorder being made.worse.by breastfeeding, the pressure put on me mainly by other women

Why do I feel pressure to say 'I tried my best but....'
And 'i would have liked to do it longer but...'

When I really want to say

I didn't like it, it stressed me out, I'm not going to even try and BF my next baby.

It annoys me so much that women support women no end in rights over their own lives and bodies but BF is an area where you are often made to feel ashamed of your valid choice and feel like you have to justify your decision to randoms

/rant

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sun 26-May-13 22:19:49

Thanks emerald.

It's a really hard thing to come to terms with, and it doesn't help that people have this holier than thou attitude about it.

I would love to try again with no.2 if I get the opportunity.

Sometimes it doesn't work out, and what we should be doing is supporting each other rather than putting those down who couldn't manage it. Why would anyone do that? I don't understand.

You enjoy your baby, they don't stay small for long!

flanbase Sun 26-May-13 22:22:57

People are always going to say something on your parenting that hits a nerve hard for you. No matter what you do/have done it will be like this. People also don't think about what they say or it's effect on you. Your dd is fine and you are too and this is what matters. You're at the bf comments stage, soon it will be something else and then it moves along. There is always something

StripedSofa Sun 26-May-13 22:23:24

DS had a terrible latch, screamed and thrashed during feeds, dropped too much weight, seemed so unhappy all the bloody time. Like you, I saw BF consultants, rang helplines, expressed trying to hold DS and juggle everything else

I was sure I was making the right - and only - decision available to me, but like you, I felt guilty in the weeks that followed. I kept thinking 'what if I had tried x, y, z'???

I was lucky not to encounter anyone who was rude about my decision, but I think that's because I was, on the outside, quite blasé about it. I didn't tell people the reasons, just that we decided to bottle feed. But inside I felt horrendous at times

Anyway, not really sure what my point is, just that I understand that retrospective guilt. But you have to see it as a bad case of rose tinted spectacles. You don't remember quite how had things were now that you're not in the moment, and so it's harder to appreciate That you did the very best thing you could do at the time and with the circumstances and options presented to you

I don't even need to tell you all that stuff about how DS is thriving now etc, of course her bloody is, it's formula, not pond water!!

VelvetSpoon Sun 26-May-13 22:24:20

I agree it sounds like you tried incredibly hard, honestly I'm not sure what more you could have done!

I breastfed both my DSs for over 12 months each, but I was really lucky and found it incredibly easy apart from the fact DS1 fed pretty much constantly for about the first 3 months, I fully appreciate it isn't like that for everyone and would never judge anyone who tried and gave it up (for whatever reason).

I do admit that I am a bit judgy about women who say that they just don't like the idea of it so won't try, or that they won't be doing it because their DH/DP will feel left out (the latter being something I heard from a colleague only last week).I know it's their choice, but it seems a shame not to even attempt it. But that's just my opinion of course.

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