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to wonder if breastfeeding made me more PFB than I needed to be?

(47 Posts)
ChickenLickenSticken Thu 18-Jul-13 12:59:37

DD is 19 months. We stopped BFing a month ago and I have to say that on the whole, I really enjoyed feeding, but I do wonder if it contributed to me being more PFB than I would've been if I hadn't have BF. She was a bottle refuser until she was about 9 months which I found hugely stressful and meant that leaving her was difficult.

Between 12-18 months it was more or less only the one feed at bedtime and I didn't mind that.

I know I can be negative sometimes, and I definitely overthink things so I wonder if some of the restrictions that come with BF made me more uptight.

Things like - wearing a dress, drinking alcohol, going out only after DD had had her bedtime feed, DD staying over at grandparents, not wanting DH to touch my boobs during hanky panky (just felt weird) --that's even if I could bare to get jiggy with it, totally lost my sex drive... but it's back now!, going out more in general etc etc

Just recently I've felt more "free". And I guess I'm wondering whether that's because DD is more independent due to age, or whether BFing played a part?

Anyway, I'm rambling now... Anyone else had similar thoughts?

Whothefuckfarted Thu 18-Jul-13 13:01:50

Doubtful, bottle feeders are just as capable of being PFB.

Speaking as a breastfeeding mother to a 16 month old who still feeds many times a day grin

thebody Thu 18-Jul-13 13:03:15

we are all pfb with a pfb whether bottle or breast fed.

you will look back and howl with laughter at things you do with pfb. lovely memories.

maja00 Thu 18-Jul-13 13:08:27

I breastfed for 13 months and wasn't very PFB.

I certainly wore dresses and drank alcohol!

By 9 months I would skip the bedtime feed, DS stayed with grandparents overnight, DP did bedtime etc too.

I think it comes down to personality rather than feeding method.

ChickenLickenSticken Thu 18-Jul-13 13:15:57

I know.. but I didn't wear a dress until DD was about 14mo because it made feeding inconvenient for crying out loud.

And when friends with new babies are out on "date night" time and time again or there's pics on FB of them in restaurants with a glass of vino all relaxed and just carrying on as if the baby slotted in to their lives rather than life being turned completely upside down and making everything revolve around the sproggie, I just think how do they seem so relaxed?

I'm sure I would've been more relaxed with other people looking after DD if she'd been bottle-fed.

I'm sure I would've felt "back to normal" if she'd been bottle-fed, whereas as if I'm totally honest, it's only about now that I feel I'm getting there...

Saying that, I remember my midwife saying "You'll go into a baby bubble for about 2 years and then you'll come out the other side just in time to want to have another"... Which is so true as I'm starting to pine after maternity clothes and tiny wincy newborn toes (DH is scared, spesh as my sex drive seems to be heading back to normal too)....

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the way we've done it, if that makes sense. It was right for us and for DD (I think anyway)... So I can't imagine doing it any differently next time around!

ChickenLickenSticken Thu 18-Jul-13 13:17:34

maja I think you're right.

I like to think I'm laidback but I'm pretty sure that's not the case hmm.

CheeseFondueRocks Thu 18-Jul-13 13:20:18

I don't think you sound like you were PFB but normal.

What's wrong with not wanting to drink alcohol, not wearing dresses for a while, or not wanting other people to take care of your baby (besides dad of course).

Naturally, breastfeeding impacts on your body and emotions more than bottlefeeding due to the hormones being released but that's also normal.

Life changes after kids. i don't see the problem with anything you mention.

maja00 Thu 18-Jul-13 13:22:35

I found breastfeeding very liberating as it meant the baby fitted in so well to our lives - things like being able to spontaneously stay the night somewhere because I didn't need to worry about bottles, or going to a festival and not needing the faff of sterilising things.

It did mean I didn't really leave him for more than 3 hours at a time in the first 6 months - but tbh I didn't really want to.

CheeseFondueRocks Thu 18-Jul-13 13:23:52

Also I think it depends on your ideas of parenting. I'm currently pregnant with DC2, DC1 is 17 months and still breastfeeding, she also hasn't spend a night away from me.

I will do the same with DC2. So I think for me it's down to how I want to be as a mum not whether it's my first or second child.

exoticfruits Thu 18-Jul-13 13:25:27

Just PFB - how you feed them has nothing to do with it.
I found breastfeeding more liberating than faffing with bottles.

ChickenLickenSticken Thu 18-Jul-13 13:28:44

Thanks Cheese. Life does change (I have a few non-baby friends who seem to resent those of with kids because, I guess through no fault of their own they simply can't understand how/why it changes).

Don't get me wrong, I did drink on nights out or at Sunday lunches, but never felt quite able to just completely go with it.

And yes maja I also loved the convenience to BFing... particularly handy on a 9 hour night flight with a desperate-to-crawl DD. And again I totally agree with not wanting to leave DD for a great length of time.

Just funny to think that I used to go out on a Friday night, get home Sunday afternoon, smoke like a chimney, eat out all the time, live a really hedonistic lifestyle and all of a sudden turn into someone who stresses over tiny things.

I know it's easy to become more uptight with age, but geez, sometimes I think I need to have a word with myself.

bigkidsdidit Thu 18-Jul-13 13:35:56

I was like that, bf DS1 and couldn't go out as I had to feed him to sleep, didn't wear what I wanted etc

Now bf DS2 hasn't worked out and I am bottle feeding. I have handed over literally 50% of care to DH and 50% of the worry too. It is very freeing.

HugAMoo Thu 18-Jul-13 13:40:50

I agree with you, I felt exactly the same and wondered if bf had exacerbated my pfb-ness!! I bf for 16 months. Surely the hormones are flying round a lot longer if you bf? I certainly started to feel a lot more normal and 'myself' about a month later after i finished. Funnily enough, around the same time I felt a lot more relaxed about leaving the baby with others - when I was bf I was a complete lioness for the entire 16 months.

Nacster Thu 18-Jul-13 13:41:09

I totally lost myself for about 7 years if I'm honest - 3 kids, BF all of them for a year and a half to two years.

I'm back now. grin

I didn't want to go out, and I didn't worry about having a drink (one!). I never wore dresses anyway.

My one lasting side effect (DC3 is 4.5 now) is that I feel practically naked without a vest top under my top, from years and years of top up- vest down feeding. grin

I don't see it as a negative, it was lovely in the baby zone and now I'm out of it, it's great being a proper adult again!

misselphaba Thu 18-Jul-13 14:07:53

Feeling like bfing has perhaps contributed to being more uptight about things really resonates -I feel similarly. I feel like I've been in a bubble since I got pregnant probably. The change in lifestyle has been phenomenal.

I originally put it down to motherhood and hormones that come with pregnancy/having a baby but the bubble popping and feeling like myself again seems to have coincided with DD cutting down her feeds drastically at nearly 10 mths.

I wonder about the effect of all this on my relationship with DP. We are going through a rough patch atm and are talking about separating and I do wonder if perhaps more time will 'fix' things somewhat.

neunundneunzigluftballons Thu 18-Jul-13 14:17:58

The whole precious first born thing passed me by. When dd was 2 weeks old we headed out for a meal without her and left her with MIL. I figured she had done a great job with dh so I thought she would be greaT. DD had many overnights with both sets of grandparents in her first 2 years. They idolised her and she them and that has continued to this day.
I never really panicked when she was sick because in fairness it was generally not serious to the point that when she was 3 she had a swollen knee and I left it for days before doing anything with it because I presumed she had knocked it off something but it ended up being quite serious oops. Generally I was very laid back about the whole thing.

Then we had dd2 who suffered a lot from febrile convulsions and I started to become a little bit more precious and now I have had my 3rd I have become a total and utter precious last born and I love it. I think knowing ds was the last has made me want to enjoy every second. Couple that with older grandparents and no one really wanting to mind 3 children can't say I blame them and I have loved having him all to myself. He was bf and the other 2 ff but that has had little or nothing to do with it.

PeteHornberger Thu 18-Jul-13 14:22:28

I know what you mean, I felt the same and this was partially down to breastfeeding but also down to how I reacted to having a baby.

My DD was also a bottle refuser and like you, I see new mums on Facebook or wherever out for a night with their husbands or friends and I wish I could have been the same, but I think even if DD had taken a bottle I wouldn't have, as I was also completely knackered, so most of my spare time was spent sleeping!

I was also quite anxious for the first few months of her life and

PeteHornberger Thu 18-Jul-13 14:27:10

Sorry, DD pressed send...I was also quite anxious at the start and I'm not sure why. It wore off, but I watch friends who have just had their first and they seem to deal with it all much better than I did and I do wonder where I went wrong. I've come to accept that it was prob a combo of DD not being the easiest baby on earth and me not being great with the ambiguity of newborns. DD is now 22 months and it's much easier for me thankfully and she's much happier now she can get about and make herself understood. Still not had many nights out though...

Sorry, a bit off-topic but it's something I've been wrestling with lately grin

mrslyman Thu 18-Jul-13 14:28:24

I think there are a lot of things that you are associating with breastfeeding that are things that just come with the major lifestyle adjustment that is having children to be honest.

I'm on number 2 now and I breastfed both, although not as long as you did, and I experienced something quite similar to what your describing with DS1, whereas with DS2 although things were the same I didn't really notice as much as I'd already lost the freedom of not having children IYSWIM. Probably helped by the fact that I have quite a small age gap as the baby years just rolled into one big long stretch.

I'm definitely a bit more uptight with 2 though, I never really cared for routine in structure in my life until I had to organise two children!

NoComet Thu 18-Jul-13 14:34:13

Except for muttering about having to find a BFing friendly outfit for a christening, it was just easier than FF DD1. Way less of a logistical nightmare.

And if I wanted an evening off there was squash and yoghurt (DD2 didn't like milk FF or cows, full stop).

As for dresses and underwired bras, DD2 learnt to put up with them. Didn't stop her moaning that underwired got in the way and dresses meant no milk until bed time.

As for booze, she'd had the odd sip of ours by the time she gave up.

ChickenLickenSticken Thu 18-Jul-13 14:39:10

bigkid - yep, the fact that I had to do so much of it all (and was obv on mat leave anyway so had the time) I think made me feel more precious about. ie - if I was going to be the one to have to do it, it would all be my bloody way grin

hug - I wonder just how much hormones do have to play and funny to think that perhaps that physical link increases the emotional tie. Lioness is such an apt phrase! I'd lost all my baby weight (and some) but this last month it's all going back on.

nacster - 7 years! But you know what, I totally can see how that happens. I've loved becoming a mummy/mother (FWIW I think mummy and mother are different sides of the same coin IYSWIM) and am relishing drinking every last drop of drop of DD up, so none of it's a chore and it's right that I should focus on her... I guess sometimes the balance is lost though... Oh and I'm the same re a vest, even in this weather I need a double layer!

miss - it's fucking hard being as wife as well as a new mummy and keeping a bit of your own sanity/needs going. The 12 months following DD's birth were the toughest in mine and DH's 10 year relationship. Time definitely helped us, and I know DH felt sidelined for a long long time, and to be fair, he probably was... I hope you sort things out soon.

neu - everyone's so different aren't they? You sound just like a friend of mine who got more precious the more children she had (3). She was fairly young (25) when she had her first, whilst the rest of us were early 30s when we had our firsts, so I wonder if age has something to do with it too?

pete - I agree, it's hard to say whether really I would've felt any differently. A friend of ours recently had her first baby and was struggling to BF and tried a bottle within hours of the birth. I'd read her completely wrong and sent her an email saying a few days in "stick with it, it'll be worth it in the long run, but do what's right for you blah blah" and she wrote back saying something along the lines of "never been that bothered about BFing, I think FF will provide more flexibility and freedom blah blah". I mentioned this to another friend in that I was genuinely suprised that someone would choose the feeding method due to a desire to have more freedom and my friend quite rightly said "yeah, but we all know you don't get that much freedom anyway"...

And stupidly, even though I'm enjoying feeling free-er (sp? freer?) I miss those boobie snuggles and it feels weird now to think DD used to chomp on my nips for ages! <reminiscing>

SinisterSal Thu 18-Jul-13 14:40:17

I really identify with that OP.
Breastfeeding really does tie you in a way that bottlefeeding doesn't. You never get to let go of the reins and I suppose they get welded to your hands, in a way. Yes the lifestyle change is huge by itself, but the logistics of doing any little thing with a bottle refusnik really intensifies that.

ChickenLickenSticken Thu 18-Jul-13 14:43:08

pete - a friend and I were having this exact conversation the other day and I said "gee I was so bloody uptight about EVERYTHING" and she said "really? I never thought you were... I was though" and I said "no... never you were really chilled", so I guess it's about perception rather than reality!

mrs l - I was saying to DH the other night that I think we'll be more structured with DC2, more for practicalities than for principles!

star - how long did you feed for?

must stop feeling the need to respond to every single reply and get on with some blimmin' work

ChickenLickenSticken Thu 18-Jul-13 14:47:27

sinister - neither my mum nor MIL breastfed so I guess I haven't had someone to "prep" me for the emotional side of stopping! It's been interesting actually watching their reactions to BF - eg. they clearly thought DD was feeding too much when she was tiny, or more that I was being possessive and insisting she was fed more than she needed, and that carrying on past 6 months was just, well, a little odd confused.

SinisterSal Thu 18-Jul-13 14:52:18

I could've written that post also about mum & MIL. They hadn't a clue, all they could see was my totally tense personality transplant and getting no break ever. That is not the case for everyone but it was for me (needy kids, bottle refusers, and bad feeders with slow weight gain to boot)

Basically I needed a piss up and a lie in. Instead I ended up with mildish MH problems but it sucked the life out of me for a while.

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