AIBU to ask for wise words to help me get rid of guilt due to not BF?

(200 Posts)
GlitteringJasper Thu 26-Nov-15 19:34:06

Both my dc are sick at the minute, horrendous d&v and cough which has lasted for weeks. Both 2.9 and 11 month old really miserable.

I know that BF babies get sick too but I can't help but feel that maybe the immune systems are less effective as I didn't.

My guilt is compounded by the fact that I just didn't want to BF and therefore didn't try it; I'm worried now that I probably should have.

When you hear that breast is best, is there a clear differentiation between the health of BF babies and those who weren't.

Not sure why this is an issue now, maybe due to illness but I really need to get over it.

Nopefiply this makes sense and there will be some wise words.

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Thu 26-Nov-15 19:38:44

My 2 year old and my 5 month old are currently both really poorly with a nasty virus. Both EBF. Let go of the guilt! Children get ill, they pick up all sorts.

rageagainsttheBIL Thu 26-Nov-15 19:40:54

I BFed my DS for 18 months and he was ill pretty much permanently from about 10 to 28 months - with colds, mainly but also the odd vomiting bug. Similarly, friends who BFed or didn't don't seem to show any correlation. Toddlers get sick a lot.

IwishIwasinNewYork Thu 26-Nov-15 19:42:10

I have three teenage daughters.

I didn't breast feed any of them. Because I didn't want to.

They are all no more or less sick than any other kids, all sporty, happy, strong and fabulous.

Please please don't stress yourself over this darling x

ooerrmissus Thu 26-Nov-15 19:43:00

All babies get ill from time to time, bf or not. My DNeice is ebf and currently has bronchiolitis. The mist important thing is that your children are fed, but how that happens.

ooerrmissus Thu 26-Nov-15 19:43:57

Not, not but.

SerendipityDooDah Thu 26-Nov-15 19:44:28

A lot of the info that's been circulated on breastfeeding in terms of both immunity and intelligence has been debunked or proven to be limited/questionable. Am on my mobile now so can't link, but if you Google you'll find solid info.

I had a breast reduction in my 20s that meant I was unable to BF (never got milk). That didn't stop me from fretting as you are now. But the science simply doesn't support the guilt. You have not consigned your children to a lifetime of D&V. If that were the case, my whole generation would permanently have the squits -- when I was a child FF was the norm. You have nourished them in a healthy way, of which we're fortunate there are many. All children get ill occasionally -- correlation does not equal causation in this case.

Aliceinwonderlust Thu 26-Nov-15 19:45:12

OP are you ok? It seems a strange thing to think about bearing in mind the age of your babies. BF obviously still get ill. Please don't beat yourself up.

YakTriangle Thu 26-Nov-15 19:46:03

Viruses go around. It's winter, they will get colds. You've done absolutely nothing to make it happen. Give yourself a break. thanks

Crazybaglady Thu 26-Nov-15 19:46:22

My son was breast fed for 6 months. He gets every illness going. He's been off school for nearly two weeks with sickness, chest, cold, rash ect.... Its like this allllllll the time!

SheilaTakeABow Thu 26-Nov-15 19:47:12

I've BFed DS2 for six months and he's been far more prone to bugs, and has worse eczema, than DS1 who was bottle fed from 4 weeks. All the breast milk in the world won't stop kids getting ill. You're probably just feeling sensitive due to the misery of looking after two poorly kids.

madmother1 Thu 26-Nov-15 19:48:49

I was just talking about BF tonight. My DS was BF until a year.....He's the one who suffers from hayfever and rashes. My DD was BF for six weeks and has no allergies and has always been much healthier. Now 15 and 19 it really doesn't matter 😊

StillMedusa Thu 26-Nov-15 19:48:55

I breastfed no 1 ... didn't breastfeed no 2 or 3, pumped (no 4 couldn't feed due to disabilities) for a few months....

All healthy young adults now none of whom could care less whether they were breast fed or not...and no discernable difference in health as kids either... all robust! The least healthy was no 1 who was prone to croup.

I think in societies where water is less clean, sterilising less available... it really matters. But where that isn't an issue..a fed happy baby and a happy mother matters far more! I had three under 2 and a half... and needed dh to be able to feed them as much as I could!

onecurrantbun1 Thu 26-Nov-15 19:53:24

Let go of the guilt. Hopefully it's just come on because you're tired and emotional - looking after poorly little ones is emotionally and physically draining wine

I BF both of mine until around 18 months and while I found it a great tool to get through the illnesses themselves (I stress not quicker or easier recovery, but a simple way to keep them hydrated as mine were total boob fiends while I watched box sets ) the actual amount of illnesses was similar.

MrsBobDylan Thu 26-Nov-15 19:54:01

You've nurtured and loved your babies, how you fed them is irrelevant honestly. My dh is the fittest, healthiest person I know and his DM smoked during pregnancy and all through his childhood, fed him largely on a diet of findus crispy pancakes and he was formula fed.

I love a pp phrase of 'the science simply doesn't support the guilt.'

Aliceinwonderlust Thu 26-Nov-15 19:55:42

StillMedusa it's not about sterilising BF provides immunity for the baby from the mother. But it doesn't mean the baby never gets ill! Just less likely when they're being fed

LBOCS2 Thu 26-Nov-15 19:57:53

I was BF. My DSis was not. You can tell absolutely no difference between the two of us, health wise.

Your babies are loved, and fed, and looked after. They hold a winning hand.

DixieDarling Thu 26-Nov-15 19:59:23

Oh god, my DD caught all sorts - coughs, colds, bronchiolitis, hand foot and mouth, thrush, recently had a nasty chest infection at 2yo. I bf for 9 months and ebf for 6 of those. Kids pick stuff up - it's normal and actually a positive process for them to build up immunity. You are fine x

hairylittlegoblin Thu 26-Nov-15 19:59:42

the science simply doesn't support the guilt

^ this. It should be put on posters and put up in every baby clinic in the country. Not just for BF but for most aspects of child rearing.

I BF both of mine. One has the constitution of an ox, the other one gets everything. If I'd FF I know I would have blamed myself for every illness they got but I would have been wrong. As are you.

You have 2 children under 3 who are ill. Throw away the guilt and used the saved energy to get through another day. Chocolate may also be helpful.

MurlockedInTheCellarHelpUs Thu 26-Nov-15 20:03:31

In the olden days before formula, every baby was EBF. They were ill, and got sick, and had colds, just like every baby will at some point!

Let it go - 'tis truly not the be all and end all that the NCT would love us to believe.

Cardbordeaux Thu 26-Nov-15 20:04:38

I found that once I had more than one DC they both/all got ill a lot more frequently because the little dears like infecting one another. If there is a bug in the house you can 100% guarantee that your DC will suddenly want to kiss and hug one another.

I FF one DC, mixed fed another, and BF'd the third. I can see little to no difference in their immune systems, in fact my DC who was FF is the one who rarely gets ill but this is likely to him being the eldest and therefore having the most mature immune system of the three.

So long as your DC are cared for, loved, and fed an appropriate food source then it's all good.

nicestrongtea Thu 26-Nov-15 20:05:39

OP you cant compare your DC directly against others who were BF - thats not how statistics work!
I BF for 2 years each child- they had endless colds as do most young DC but no D&V.
I did it because it suited me, was easier than constantly making bottles and I thought it was better for them but there are all sorts of reasons why mothers make the choices they do.
Statistically BF babies have less D&V- colds ?? well we all get them as they are not transmitted via food choice but as viruses sneezed into the air .
Don't beat yourself up- its not worth it.

zzzzz Thu 26-Nov-15 20:09:10

Would you have wanted YOUR mum to feed you if she didn't want to?
They won't care. Nor will they care if you feed them jars or home ground organic mush. They will care that you love them, that you don't scare them or belittle them. They will care most if you help them reach their dreams.
Your nipples? I can't see that they will give a shit.

Have some brew you're doing fine

PiperChapstick Thu 26-Nov-15 20:12:49

There are lots of myths around BF which I actually think damage people's perception and feeding journeys! Yes BF is best for baby but BF babies are not immune from being ill. It's highly likely they'd be just as ill if you'd BF

Cardbordeaux Thu 26-Nov-15 20:17:07

The phrase "breast is best" has been the cause of so much guilt for women. Whoever came up with that particular piece of advertising deserves to be hosed down with rancid baby shit.

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