To hope that I can ask about FF without being shot down in flames?

(1000 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

Darksideofthemoon88 Sat 23-Aug-14 12:58:15

I'm interested in WHY people choose to FF if not for medical reasons (ie they can't because of medication they have to take, or because their baby was very premature and is unable to suckle) - I've seen a lot of threads where people assert that FF was best for them/their family/their baby or that they chose to FF without trying BF, and I'm curious as to why. Genuinely curious I'm not interested in fighting with anyone about what's best or right; I'd just like to read about why people FF because I honestly don't know. In the interests of full disclosure though (I know how MNs feel about this! grin ), I am a breastfeeding mother.

chubbyhez Sat 23-Aug-14 13:00:12

I BF without problems for 8 weeks then switched. Fir no other reason than I did not enjoy it any more.

Tweenangst Sat 23-Aug-14 13:02:12

Six weeks BF then stopped as it was agony, un enjoyable and I used to dread the babies waking for a feed. I didn't want to hate feeding my babies and this is what was starting to happen.

tippytap Sat 23-Aug-14 13:03:03

I FF through choice. I had no trouble bonding with my baby and am happy with my decision.

My reason? Well I have big boobs. Massive. When i was pregnant I went up 4 cup sizes. An H cup was too small once my milk came in. My nipples were almost down to my belly button.

Tbh, I can't see how BF would have worked logistically. I just wanted to get back to a less freaky look. To put this into context, I'm 5'5", a size 12 with FF cups before baby.

however Sat 23-Aug-14 13:03:05

I couldn't manage it, for all sorts of reasons that were good enough for me. There was only one viable and perfectly adequate alternative and that was FF. 9 years later it's a distant memory.

In the fullness of time I can see it is not the most important decision I've made for my child. Not by a long shot.

SantanaLopez Sat 23-Aug-14 13:05:30

Why do you feel like you need to ask? Isn't 'I didn't want to' good enough?

3pigsinblanketsandasausagerole Sat 23-Aug-14 13:05:50

I didn't have any desire to do it

So I didn't

Three happy healthy bright children

Littleturkish Sat 23-Aug-14 13:06:03

I got nine days in and I couldn't get my daughter to latch on properly, despite getting help from the HV, a lactation consultant and a midwife- I couldn't feed her and she was losing weight and my nipples were bloody and I was in excruciating pain.

I never ever thought I would FF and really felt like a failure for a good few months. Then I realised that there was so many bonuses for FF that I came to terms with it, and the relief of feeding without being in agony has never gone away.

I'm pregnant again and intend to try again, but I won't be so hard on myself if I don't manage it next time.

WorraLiberty Sat 23-Aug-14 13:07:11

I formula fed my 3 DC because I wanted to.

tiggytape Sat 23-Aug-14 13:07:41

About 81% of all mothers start off breastfeeding. By 6 months only 1% are exclusively breastfeeding.
The story therefore is mostly about why people stop not about why they don't start.
And the reasons just amongst people I know (who almost all started off breastfeeding) stem from feeling that they simply cannot continue. Sometimes it has been fear that the baby isn't putting on enough weight. Quite a few suffered awful pain and infections (including being hospitalised with mastitis). Mostly it was extended feeding or cluster feeding that took over their lives especially if they had other children and / or little support. Even if it was their only child, many could not cope with getting no more than 2 hours sleep in a 24 hour period where the baby fed on and off all night.
Perhaps all of those things are surmountable given huge amounts of support and help. That amount of support and help isn't available to most people.

CurlyBlueberry Sat 23-Aug-14 13:10:12

I breastfed my first (for 14 months) and hated it. So much so that I am still not 100% convinced I will BF my second (due today!) although no-one really knows that and everyone assumes I will BF again. At the moment I'm thinking I will try it and if I don't like it again I will stop without feeling guilty.

I don't see a problem with asking the question, if someone says "I didn't want to" that is good enough but some might want to share their reasons too.

DialMforMummy Sat 23-Aug-14 13:11:34

This is not going to end well.
Like a few others above, I didn't want to do it. I don't like the idea of it (yes I know about the benefits and all that) and after pregnancy I felt like I wanted my body back.

Fairylea Sat 23-Aug-14 13:12:03

Because I didn't like the sensation of the baby sucking on my nipples when I had dd so I lasted all of 4 days trying and then gave up and with ds ten years later I formula fed from birth.

Another reason was so that dh could completely share night feeds from day 1.

Another reason because I wanted to be able to put the baby down for more than a few minutes from very early on and be able to give a dummy and have 5 minutes peace occasionally. (Cluster feeding dd drove me absolutely up the wall).

I have no interest at all in how others choose to feed their babies. I just did what suited me and my lot.

bearfrills Sat 23-Aug-14 13:12:07

DS1 was FF because after three years of unexplained infertility followed by mc I was so overwhelmed by actually having a baby that I didn't have time for agonising over whether BF was better than FF or which was right for us. I gave him a bottle and he was happy and healthy.

With DD I tried to BF but she barely fed at all, was going 4hrs between feeds in the day and was sleeping all night from birth - she went down at 7pm, had a tiny feed around 11pm, then slept until 7am. Even now at almost 3yo she still has a tiny appetite but titchy feeds and lack of night feeds meant my supply quickly dwindled and she went entirely onto FF at around 4wks.

DS2 is BF because he took to it. I did consider switching to FF when he wasn't gaining weight (it took him six weeks to regain his birth weight) and started substituting one feed a day for formula with a view to gradually switch him over. It had the opposite effect as it helped me get more rest (had a section) which made the other feeds easier and ended up dropping the FF instead. He's coming up to six months and is still breastfed.

Baby milk is baby milk whether it comes from a breast or a bottle. We were talking about this the other day and speculating on what would have happened to babies in ye olde days before formula, babies like DD who wouldn't feed or babies that couldn't feed (e.g., no suck reflex). Short version: they'd have died. If there was no one else available to BF them and they didn't thrive on milk from the cow/sheep/goat then they'd have wasted away and died.

MamaPain Sat 23-Aug-14 13:13:12

I have bf all my dc very briefly. I hated every minute of it. Found it very boring, hated feeling like a great big cow, I effectively became the feeder rather than myself, hated that it gave me less independence than DH, hated the way it felt. Also lots of hassle and discomfort, I didn't like breastfeeding in public and couldn't get back to being me while breastfeeding.

Formula feeding made me much happier and gave my child what they needed nutrition wise. Some people like being all consumed by their baby and being the only one who can feed and settle them, but it's not how my family works and it wasn't good for my own sanity.

FreeSpiritsBadAttitude Sat 23-Aug-14 13:15:02

Because I wanted to.

Cindy34 Sat 23-Aug-14 13:16:08

As a childcarer I have FF many babies. Some mums will express breastmilk, others will use powder. Some mums will use a combination of FF and breast, as they can't breastfeed all the time if they are going out to work leaving baby in the care of someone else.

MamaPain Sat 23-Aug-14 13:16:36

And just to add I hated pregnancy as well (all 5 of them) even though they were easy. I am just not someone who enjoys being invaded and clung on to so intensely.

At least with FF, I could go out and about, get my friend to feed the baby while I wrangled the other DC. Funnily enough friends and family love feeding the baby, and are not so keen on the toddler wrangling.

WorraLiberty Sat 23-Aug-14 13:16:55

I don't see a problem with asking the question, if someone says "I didn't want to" that is good enough but some might want to share their reasons too.

'I didn't want to' is a reason.

cathpip Sat 23-Aug-14 13:16:59

With dc1 and 2, I tried but did not try that hard to be honest, after a few days switched to formula. With dc3 he took to breast feeding so easily (was also more determined this time). I don't regret ff two and bf my third, it's just the way it worked out.

GuybrushThreepwoodMP Sat 23-Aug-14 13:17:22

I breastfed for 10 months. I hated it. My dd was a really bad feeder and got distracted all the time. She didn't latch for the first couple of months so we exclusively pumped. No medical problems, no tongue tie- she just didn't. It's not always diagnosable you know. Often she just refused. I was determined and sacrificed my sanity to succeed at it. It wasn't worth it. More than that, I felt totally trapped- unable to have an hour or two off, unable to let my hair down, unable to go back to work when I wanted. Unable to get for because my body clung onto the weight.

Next time I won't be putting myself or my family through that again.

Why do other people choices matter to you?

VSeth Sat 23-Aug-14 13:17:30

I tried to breast feed but got mastitis on day 2! just as my milk starting to come, my baby ended up with horrible diareaoh from the antibiotics and my milk supply wasn't good due to them, then the cabbage leaves in bra etc and feeling like I had flu. Then I got the norovirus on day 4.

I battled with breast feeding for about six weeks, with one breast having a decent milk supply and the other didn't really recover from mastitis, it kept getting hard and hot. My good boob was 2 cup sizes bigger than the other!! I did the breast feeding drop clinic etc and it wasn't anything I was doing wrong.

After six week check I switched to formula, I used Aptimul, the midwife said it was the one they use in hospital, so I took that as good enough recommendation. My baby thrived, I stopped getting mastitis and felt better.

I posted on here about difficulty buying it bulk and got rounded on by the Lactivists, even mnhq suggested I try going the breastfeeding section for "support" despite me in putting clearly in my OP that I hadn't been bf'ing for months.

WitchWay Sat 23-Aug-14 13:17:56

I didn't fancy breast feeding at all, but tried it as it was in DS's best interests. I hated everything about it - the sensation, the weird sexiness of it & especially the smell - ugh!

I didn't make much milk for greedy DS & introduced mixed feeding pretty early on. I stopped breast feeding altogether at somewhere between two & three months.

GuybrushThreepwoodMP Sat 23-Aug-14 13:18:18

*fit

bearfrills Sat 23-Aug-14 13:18:52

In the fullness of time I can see it is not the most important decision I've made for my child. Not by a long shot.

Exactly.

I think FF and BF seems like such a huge issue when you're in the thick of it with a little baby to take care of that has to be fed one way or the other. It's a big part of baby-ism (to make up a word!) and there's no getting around it, you cannot opt out of feeding the baby. Then as they grow older other, far larger, issues take over and you realise that there's much more to raising a child then what it was fed in its first six months.

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