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 Sun 26-May-13 21:50:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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 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 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 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 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

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.

Cuddlydragon Sun 26-May-13 22:27:29

Urge, that kind of smug passive aggressive cow bag really annoys me. Breastfeeding has feck all to do with bonding. I really loved cuddling my gorgeous baby whilst giving a bottle. It's such a big deal in the early days but so irrelevant later on. Enjoy your gorgeous healthy baby and let the other mother feel as smug as she likes, she's only making herself look small.

batteryhen Sun 26-May-13 22:29:04

You sound like me. I had a CS with my DS, and when I left hospital he still hadn't latched on. I was hand expressing colostrum into a syringe and trying desperately to get him to latch on. We ended up back in hospital because hlister so much weight.

I also tried expressing, but only managed to get 1oz every half hour. I rang the breast feeding support lines, spoke with HV,MW, and lactation consultants. I took fenugreek, and domperidone, nothing helped. I never felt engorged or that my milk 'came in'.
My HV said I should be expressing 12 times a day, but DS would take half hour to feed, I would then try to express for half an hour, and this went on day and night. I was miserable and on top of all this DH was away during the week so I was on my own.
If some bint had said that to me when I was trying so hard I would have told her where to go in no uncertain terms. My DS is now 9 months and our bond grows day by day. You are feeding and loving your child, whether it comes from a bottle or boob is irrelevant xx

Well done you smile

NotYoMomma Sun 26-May-13 22:31:27

Why do you feel judgy about them though? You don't know what's going on in their minds/ lives and why should people have to justify themselves to you?

My cousin didn't BF but didn't divulge to everyone it was.because of medication she had to take to control epilepsy

I tried BF and ended up on a slippery slope of anxiety/ depression but if you were just an acquaintance I would simply say that we.had decided not to BF

Because it.isn't your business.

And if you judge women for that then that says more about you and the people that judge.

What if you have a Dd who didn't want to BF?

themidwife Sun 26-May-13 22:34:50

Ignore the smug bitch! Obviously in my job I am pro breast feeding in general but I feel very angry when mopping up women's tears saying they are a "shit mother" after they have been to hell & back with a difficult birth & struggling to feed with flat nipples & babies who won't latch only for some stupid "friend" to pile on the guilt. The only really essential thing is that you & your baby bond & are happy & loved up. thanks

chirpchirp Sun 26-May-13 22:35:49

I was in a very similar position to you a few years ago. I was really positive about breast feeding and so keen to do it. Then when DS was born he spent 4 days in an incubator due to a wheeze in his breath. I expressed for all my might and fed him through a syringe. It hurt like hell but I was determined to carry on. Then finally got to try breast feeding after three days and DS just wouldn't latch. Took all the advice from the support workers and continued to power through. Then we discovered DS had a tongue tie so after that was sorted I convinced myself things would get easier and continued to try. Kept going through two painful bouts of mastitis telling myself it would get better.

After 11 weeks of both me and DS bring utterly miserable, cry all the time (again, both of us) and me spending hour after hour attempting to feed a frustrated child who just couldn't get enough milk from me my DH came home with box of milk and told me enough was enough. He hated seeing us both so unhappy.

Maybe it was because someone i trust and love made the decision for me that I found it easier to come to terms with but I know it was the right decision for us. Within days we were so much happier and DS started putting on weight. Please don't feel bad about the decision you made, it was the right thing to do. You need to be there in so many other ways for you DC.

Oh and the woman was being a cow. Ignore her.

jacks365 Sun 26-May-13 22:36:19

Don't give it another thought. I've tried and failed. With dd4 it just didn't work, she wasn't latching properly so my nipples were bleeding and sore, I had a lactation advisor and mw helping to no avail. My daughter screamed at every feed and fought it. She was losing too much weight. Expressing was useless as I just wasn't producing enough milk. Changing to formula was the best decision I made, my daughter went from a crying angry unsettled baby to a happy contented one straight away. If anything I feel guilty for putting her through that the poor thing must have been permanently starving. She is now 19 months and a happy healthy child who loves nothing more than to run up for a cuddle so no issues with bonding, she has thrived on formula.

Never beat yourself up for doing whats best for you both. Good luck for the future.

Wolfiefan Sun 26-May-13 22:36:43

I always assumed I would bf.
I tried EVERYTHING for 4 months. I too saw specialist, expressed (awful electric thing on loan from hospital that did both boobs at once. I felt like a reject fresian cow!), drank fennel tea, took recommended drugs, fed incessantly on demand, cried, felt useless and like the worst mother on the whole planet, stripped off (at home!) to do skin to skin. My poor baby was slowly starving. It was hell. Then ff.
Child 2 was on formula within 48 hours.
Breast feeding is wonderful. When you can do it! Your DD is much better off with a parent who takes care of herself as well as her baby. You bond with a child when you laugh together, cuddle, comfort them and tell them how much they mean to you.
FWIW my stick response is "my boobs don't work. They are for display purposes only." Embarrass them into silence! Haha!

dozily Sun 26-May-13 22:38:55

What a horrible thing to say sad

If she'd found bf as hard as you did, she'd have given up too.

I was lucky and found bf very easy. That doesn't make me better than you and it doesn't entitle me to make rude judgmental comments. Enjoy your lovely baby smile

SimplyRedHead Sun 26-May-13 22:39:50

You are feeding your daughter good nutritious milk and caring for her perfectly. It doesn't really matter where that milk comes from.

As for missing out on bonding, she's the only person who knows what your heart sounds like from the inside - that's a pretty strong bond if you ask me!

SuffolkNWhat Sun 26-May-13 22:39:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

stiffstink Sun 26-May-13 22:40:27

OP, three weeks of expressing is hard work. I did it for fifteen weeks and I regret it hugely.

DS had tongue tie and by the time it was sorted he would not entertain a nipple so for some inexplicable reason I decided to express every feed like some crazed dairy cow.

I will gladly tell anyone who asks that it was stupid. I was expressing two feet away from DS but might as well,have been in another country.

But if anyone dare criticise me about my choices... Oh boy they need to run like the wind!

ChunkyChicken Sun 26-May-13 22:44:44

Expressing is, IMO, the worst of both worlds. None of the "ease" of bfing, all of the inconvenience of ffing (the washing & sterilising etc etc etc). If someone even tries to do that, I feel like they've gone above & beyond the call of duty. You did your best & sometimes it just doesn't work out. It's something that happens a lot in parenting & you just have to make your peace with it.

And velvetspoon I have a similar feeling. I wouldn't ever say anything or obviously judge to their face, but sometimes I feel that people who 'don't like it' are maybe putting vanity ahead of what is, so we're to believe, a healthier option for their child. It is not a choice I would make, but then, that's people for you I guess - we can't all be the same! grin

Summerblaze Sun 26-May-13 22:45:15

I was the same. I really wanted to breastfeed and tried really hard. For me it was the pain. I tried to push past it but it was torture for me. I was sobbing through every feed. I used to look at her with love and adoration when she was asleep but as soon as she woke up, she became like a monster. I was not bonding with her at all, so I decided that I would stop. It was the best thing I ever did.

DS1 didn't like it at all. I had to feed him with a syringe just so he could get the colostrum. He lost a lot of weight as he wouldn't feed so I stopped. He put on weight and much preferred bottles.

DS2 was much like DD. I tried and tried but just was miserable and with 2 other DC's to look after, I had to priorities my health.

Cannot stand smug parents. Lets hope her little darling doesn't decide in a few years that he can't stand vegetables and through them around her kitchen.

WandOfElderNeverProsper Sun 26-May-13 22:45:51

Ah see, I breastfed DD for 23 months, and I got the judginess for doing it for too long - there are judgemental twats everywhere whatever you do.

I did once tell a full on bitch of a smug breastfeeding mother that I bottle fed though, the look on her face when she asked me why smile

..

The look on her face when I replied "well how am I supposed to get brandy into my boobs??" grin

These types of people are only good for two things - ignoring, or antagonising for shits n giggles smile

Hope you're feeling better though OP, never nice to be on the receiving end of it! Just be comforted in knowing that it's down to whatever problem she has, nothing to do with you and your choices at all. With people like that, its always them. Even when its "you", its still them grin

thebody Sun 26-May-13 22:46:23

Sweetheart, you don't have to explain or justify yourself to anyone.

Breast v formula= who cares. Your choice and your life.

Unfortunately some people turn parenthood into some sort of smug competition, these people are invariably a huge fucking pain in the arse.

Your choices are the right choices and breast is not always best at all.

Each mum and baby at unique and please please never feel guilty about such a tiny insignificant part if your child's life.

It really really really doesn't matter.

WuzzleMonkey Sun 26-May-13 22:49:18

You did really well to do as much as you did for your DC.

This lady was a plonker.

Look at it this way - she's done you a favour as now you know to avoid her. I cannot TELL you how much happier I became as a mother after I ditched EVERY SINGLE person who made a bitchy comment to me about my parenting.

Seriously, I spent 4 years putting up with side swipes like this till I realised that I would be happier just spending my time with nice people.

Cull her now!

NotYoMomma Sun 26-May-13 22:55:07

Why chunky chicken if a woman said she 'didn't like it's would you assume she was putting vanity before the health of her child?

When did that woman mention appearance?

AlbertoFrog Sun 26-May-13 22:55:33

I cannot stand these competitive new mothers.

Sounds to me like you're a wonderful mum. I would have given up a long time before you did.

I was very lucky in that I did manage to breastfeed but I'm not smug. I'm a crap mum in very many other ways and if it weren't for Cbeebies and Mumsnet I'd go insane grin

Summerblaze Sun 26-May-13 23:03:16

Yeah and harden yourself up for the next round as soon it will be judging on weaning (puree or babyled) and when you did it, sleep routines, to give unhealthy snacks from time to time or not, potty training, disposable nappies, toys, slogan t-shirts, what book level junior is on, what school, SAT results etc etc etc.

There are lots of judgy twats about.

lotsofcheese Sun 26-May-13 23:03:43

Similar story to yours OP: I had 2 premature babies & bf never worked either, despite huge amounts of expressing, nipple shields, etc etc. I share your sadness: it's like grieving in some ways.

I have moments of guilt & sadness, then remind myself that how you feed a baby is only a small part of being a parent. Please be kind to yourself x

ihatefleecesandbootcutjeans Sun 26-May-13 23:07:09

What a cow. Ask her if she is naturally a bitch, or if its a lifestyle choice to make other mothers feel shit.

It sounds like you did brilliantly under difficult circumstances.x

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 26-May-13 23:32:39

If you choose not to bf because you prefer to use your breasts for modern art type painting and quite fancy using gloss paint

Perfectly valid reason and fuck all to do with anybody else as is any other reason medical to lifestyle to vanity.

And I say that as someone who has often been described as a militant breast feeder ( still haven't worked out what that means but may be something to do with the 15 month old dc at harrods deli counter)

And by the way the only polite correct response to a person like that is " now you must be pleased,I bet you've waited all day to attempt to look so smug.glad to help your obvious self esteem issues" then smile and exit.

monicalewinski Sun 26-May-13 23:38:55

This thread is brilliant - no sniping and no judging; as everyone else said the way your baby feeds is not the be all and end all, you bond in so many diferrent ways every day. Enjoy all the snuggles and ignore the "fellow mother"!

Didactylos Mon 27-May-13 00:28:06

No one has the right to judge you on this. Im sorry that your feeding plans didnt work the way you hoped, and that you went through tiredness and pain to try and make them work. You did what you could and when that wasn't working you've done the best possible thing for your baby, made sure shes getting nutrition to grow and a loving mum who can care for her and give her attention, cuddles &stimulation. Youve made the right choices for yourself, child and family. And bonding- Nanny ogg is right, your DD is not a gosling that imprints the first thing seen as its mother - its a process, not a moment, you've been bonding with her since you knew you were pregnant and will continue to do so throughout her life.

About your judgmental acquaintances comments - Was this loon there, in your shoes with a crying baby and chewed off nipples trying to pump while exhausted? No, and no matter what her breastfeeding efforts and experiences were she knows nothing of your experiences and reasons for your choices, and she doesn't need to. You don't have to justify and explain and lay out all your pain and upset over the experiences you describe above to some inadequate, who's looking for you to give her validation of her own life choices and confirm her in her ' I tried harder/mother of the year fantasy.'

I hate these moments and Ive had a few over the years when someone says something that's just so personal or out of polite social convention that you are gobsmacked and don't know how to respond. I also know I have made a few mistakes of that kind myself where I have assumed something or phrased something poorly or asked something too personal (though I must admit never deliberately with intent to hurt)

So Ive practiced an questioning look and gentle 'that sounds rude (or was quite intrusive) - was it meant to' in a questioning tone. Most people back off as its normally a mistake/poor judgement and have a chance to apologize. If they meant the comment then there's two possibilities - either they are too cowardly to follow through their snide attack and back down, or they repeat the comment. Then you've filtered out the possibility of a mistake and you know they are just plain rude and can tell them so.

BridgetBidet Mon 27-May-13 00:34:12

My Mum had me at Jessops Hospital in Sheffield in the late 70s. She breastfed me and had a few problems getting me to take in an era where everyone bottle fed and the ward sister told her that she was cruel, depriving me of food, doing the worst thing for me, had made me do a green starvation poo and should give me a bottle unless she was a nasty neglectful parent. All the nurses wanted her to do was give him a bottle because they thought it was best.

I gave birth in exactly the same ward 33 years later and struggled to breastfeed just like you and was told that I was cruel, depriving my son of the best nourishment, doing the worst thing for him, had made him do a starvation poo and would make more of an effort unless I was a nasty neglectful parent. (The nurses on my ward were desperate to stop me giving my child formula until he became desperately sick with jaundice and nearly died.)

The difference between me and my Mum was that in her day they tried to guilt trip you into bottle feeding, these days they try to guilt trip you into bottle feeding.

The best piece of advice I ever got off my Mum was not to listen to any advice and do what feels right for you. Because in 30 years time you won't give a shit if you followed the latest trend about feeding your baby or not, you'll only care if you and your baby were happy and did what was right for you.

Startail Mon 27-May-13 01:48:43

MN regulars will know me as the one with the eternally BFing DD2, note the 2.

I also have the never got the hang of bfing screamed the place down at the idea ideaof latching on DD1.

Never ever feel guilty for having tried that hard and not suceeding. Some DCs really do not have a clue what to do.

DD1 was so different to DD2, I'm not at all sure I'd have succeeded in BFing her even if I'd had DD2 first.

Hookedonclassics Mon 27-May-13 02:37:31

Dear Emerald, please do no beat yourself up about it. You are doing the best you can in the circumstances for your DD, thats what counts. Some smug women seem to find it very easy and have no idea...just ignore them. The "didn't fit in with your life style" is an ill-thought out thing to say.

I too thought I would breast feed my DD, but she never could latch on properly. My nipples bled and she became very dehydrated and had to go back to hospital. HV's and midwives blather on what a wonderful experience breast-feeding is, but it doesn't work out for everyone.

I expressed and mixed fed for 3 months - (expressing at 3 hour intervals so I became very sleep deprived, plus DD had colic as well so what with feeding, crying and winding, expressing and cleaning and making up bottles, I was worn out.

Dear OP, just be kind to yourself. It is good that you are giving your mental health a high priority, it was the right decision for you, and ultimately your DD.

LoveBeingUpAt4InTheMorning Mon 27-May-13 03:04:33

What a bitch , her not you

AmberSocks Mon 27-May-13 05:04:44

I didnt even finish reading your post because you are just justifying yourself,you dont need to!

it doesnt matter if you tried for weeks or minutes or not at all,its no one elses business!

blueballoon79 Mon 27-May-13 06:19:09

I agree with Ambersocks in that you have no need to justify yourself to anyone.

My oldest child (DS) wasn't breast fed. I attempted to but my milk supply dried up and I beat myself up about it for a long time.

He was born 3 months prematurely weighing only 1lb 14oz and I was told he'd never walk and it was doubtful he'd ever attend a mainstream school.

He's now 12 and is the same height as me and growing rapidly, he's able to walk, he attends a mainstream school and is doing very well in life. Formula feeding definitely didn't halt his progress!

pudtat Mon 27-May-13 06:42:06

While I totally agree with Amber about not needing to justify yourself, I think a lot of OPs original post was to explain why she found it s especially hurtful to have someone make a judgement about an area where actually she had gone as far down a road as she possibly could. I don't think it matters whether this was bfing or playing the piano, if you've put effort into something and it just doesn't come together to have someone imply you didn't try is upsetting

And of course there isn't an Nhs campaign telling you to play the piano, your ante natal classes didn't make you play with knitted pianos, and there aren't a whole heap of hormones coursing round your system which are designed to attach you irretrievably to the ebony and ivory keys in the corner.

But honestly, a happy healthy mum is more likely to have a happy healthy baby. And with all the extra time you can now put into playing with your LO, there will be bonding aplenty.

I actually find that sometimes I am so tired from holding him to feed all day, and so grateful for a break when DH gets home, that I can struggle to want MORE time holding the baby and deliberately pass him to his dad for snuggles to give me a break. So much for bonding then...

CarpeVinum Mon 27-May-13 07:04:43

A few hours here might help redress the balance and give you a sheild and ammo next time somebody is a thoughtless nosyparker

www.fearlessformulafeeder.com/

Lazyjaney Mon 27-May-13 09:01:14

Ignore. There is no difference in outcome in 1st world countries so there is no downside if you're doing everything else to love your baby.

Love the comment on needing the bottle for the brandy grin

cory Mon 27-May-13 09:08:28

I was the one who nearly drove myself into a breakdown through insisting on breastfeeding: dd ended up in hospital with malnutrition.

Of course I wish in retrospect that I had spent those early weeks cuddling her instead of using up all my energy on something that quite frankly wasn't working very well.

The good news is, you get an awful lot of years to make up for whatever wasn't perfect in the early weeks. Dd is now 16. Bonding is still happening on a daily basis. grin

TartinaTiara Mon 27-May-13 10:25:03

Ignore, ignore, ignore. She has no idea what you did or didn't do. She isn't the expert on your child, you are (to the extent that any of us are experts, I'm still muddling around and hoping for the best 24 years on, frankly am grateful I haven't fucked up too badly so far). I think that we're in general a bit conditioned to expect that if somebody has a baby, they know what they're doing, because practically everyone had a mum who was always right, and always competent. My own DCs no doubt think the same about me, poor deluded creatures. And when you're the one who's trying and nothing seems to work, of course these others all seem to have it sussed.

But this is the thing. Lots of people are a bit gormless, thoughtless, twattish, whatever. They don't stop being any of the above just because they now have a child. Treat her as you'd treat anyone else who has no clue what they're talking about, because she doesn't have a clue about you and your life. And also, pretty shit social skills at best, a bit of a twat at worst.

mrsjay Mon 27-May-13 10:29:12

it is feck all to do with anybody how you feed your baby you are doing nothing smug parents get right on my wick you are feeding your baby the way it suits you both, BF isn't as easy as some smug women make out and many many women struggle with BF but dont let on because of feeling guilty and judged, enjoy your squishy lovely baby and put her smugness down to her being a knob

mrsjay Mon 27-May-13 10:29:28

you are doing nothing wrong*

TartinaTiara Mon 27-May-13 10:30:22

And also - enjoy the feeding, however you do it. It happens for such a short time - I love my nearly grown up DCs, they're the coolest and funniest people ever, but oh, god, the sweet milky smell of them and the softness, and the way they reach out with their little starfish hands. Do not let anyone take the sheer pleasure of that away from you, however you choose to feed your baby.

mrsjay Mon 27-May-13 10:32:59

I read the rest of the thread I just needed to get my rant out first wink Unless you are feeding and looking after your baby from behind a glass screen you are bonded to your baby , please dont let this comment grate on you

icklemssunshine1 Mon 27-May-13 10:46:59

I breast fed my DD for 4 months. It was hard going get my milk supply up as she was in neo-natal for 2 weeks & was such a greedy baby she never seemed to get enough & I felt I was permanently feeding & ended up crying all the time. I switched to bottles & became a happier person & a happier mother. As long as your DD is happy & healthy ignore her. Some people see breast feeding as a badge of honour but the biggest achievement is having a baby who is obviously happy and adores you!

Echocave Mon 27-May-13 10:50:11

Hey OP, you've done really really well to try so hard. Well done. I had a very similar experience and ended up purely expressing milk. I got so overwhelmed by it that I couldn't see the wood for the trees. Probably because in these early days, feeding is basically one of the only things you do!

Please could I reassure you now that dc is a gorgeous 19 month old that the feelings you're having DO go away and you realise your little baby is growing up and becoming this fab little person. You have a gorgeous baby who is going to be fine so don't worry. Have a hug (oh go on!!)

cardamomginger Mon 27-May-13 10:53:19

You sound like an amazing Mum. Ignore her!!!

I couldn't BF DD. and she had at least some formula right from day 1. Some of the most intense bonding with her occurred when I was feeding her her bottle and staring straight into her beautiful slate blue eyes. Makes me tear up now remembering that and how beautiful it was.

CuppaSarah Mon 27-May-13 11:03:25

Look out the window and tell yourself who of those people were breastfed and who were formula fed.
Hell, look at a group of babies even, can you tell who is fed on what?

Becuase I have a sneaking suspicion you won't be able to tell grin

icklemssunshine1 Mon 27-May-13 11:12:02

Ginger - you've made me tear up too! Those memories of my DD staring up at me & her little fingers on mine are priceless. That's all that matters OP, who cares if she's fed from the breast or a bottle? You obviously love her & that's what she'll pick up on, not where her food is coming from!

rabbitlady Mon 27-May-13 11:12:49

emeraldgirl1
I wanted to breast feed. I planned to breast feed. I tried to breast feed. …I paid three separate lactation consultants then don’t feel guilty. you did all you could.
^My nipples are flat^… ice applied to nipples before feeding sorts that.
DD gnawed as them … good feeding position sorts that – three pillows on your lap, baby on your arm on top. touch her cheek with your nipple, she turns and latches. easy access to nipple without pulling. watch for ears wiggling – all’s well.
[DD]cracked them every time .. no, she did not. your nipples cracked because they had not been used for their proper purpose in the past and because you didn’t get proper support, even though you paid for it. and some nipples just crack.
I expressed colostrum into a tiny syringe for hours ... what? sounds like the whole world was against you – who had you doing this? don’t blame yourself at all that you have had difficulties.
^after my c section^… you had a major operation. don’t forget that.
^I couldn't pump as advised ten times a day^… oh, for goodness sake! you don’t need a pump, you need to be taught to express by hand, and you do it whenever the baby comes off the nipple, no counting.
its having a baby on the nipple that builds up the supply. even if she doesn’t seem to be doing much while she’s there. if nipples crack, look hard at them before they go into her mouth, then again when they come out – they look so much healthier afterwards, its really reassuring.

^ I have been down all day ever since. I am wondering if I did give up too easily.^… i could weep for you. you didn’t have a chance. i’m so sorry this happened. cuddle your dd close when you formula feed and all will be well.

I chose to prioritise my mental health …sometimes going with your hormones and breastfeeding is the best way, but if for whatever reason it isn’t working you have to do what you need, to survive. your dd needs you and wants you well so you can look after her.
that question made me feel shit.. don’t let it.

I have other things to offer DD even if my breasts were useless to her you do, and they weren’t. maximising milk production isn’t everything. being close with your dd is.

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 … a lot of the time, i think this is the case with new mums. but not you. you have really tried.

AIBU to feel rubbish and slightly ashamed for not finding more ways to try to make it work? … don’t feel rubbish or ashamed – you don’t deserve to feel that way.

and… your baby is 11 weeks old. breastfeeding is hardly established at that stage. if she wants to suck and you want to put her to the breast, there’s nothing stopping you. you don’t have to think of it as food. just as a cuddle.

Munxx Mon 27-May-13 11:20:13

I haven't read all the thread so apologies.

Just wanted to say with my DD I too tired absolutely everything I could, I had never once considered that bfing wouldn't work for us. I hadn't bought any bottles, a pump....nothing.

Well it didn't work and I beat myself up relentlessly about it. And i tired everything, pumping until i almost bled sometimes. frantically doing skin to skin with an upset crying baby. it was awful. For what it's worth if you have a second, it doesn't follow that bfing doesn't work out again. My DS is still bfing at 9 months. I say this as an encouragement for the future not as a boast. I never thought it would work out!

Please don't feel bad, you are a wonderful wonderful mother and it doesn't matter how you feed your baby. It really really doesn't. You look at my amazing toddler and you would never k ow how she was fed.

I hope that all the wonderful advice in this thread helps and you make peace with yourself.

What an arse she was!

Everyone else has already said tons of helpful things about you and your lovely DD, but I wanted to add (and hope it's helpful) that (if you have another and if you decide you want to try breastfeeding again with DC2) that flat nipples are often less of a problem with second and subsequent babies. With any luck you'll be able to track down SmugBFMum and "accidentally" squirt her with a good jet of bm in a few years...

childcarehell Mon 27-May-13 11:24:52

Hopefully my experiences can help you;

baby 1: very very similar to your story

baby 2: popped out and ate, breastfed fully.

No difference in me, it just happened

So don't think either that you'd failed or that some women try harder, and don't think either you can't breastfeed any more (if you want to). It's mainly just luck, and a relative hopefully. I had a huge mixed bag of 'help' too, I nearly failed the second time too after a midwife told me it was 'wrong' how I latched, I went home and tried my way again and it worked for us.

I have flat nipples too (or did) ebf popped them out

Nicolaeus Mon 27-May-13 11:29:42

Ok, so your baby is 11 weeks old?

In a few weeks, your baby will cry if you pick up another baby.

In a few months, your baby will go into spasms of delight when you walk back into the room to her

A few months later and she will crawl over to you and try to climb up your leg for a cuddle

Another few months and she'll be toddling over to you.

If your baby falls over, she will want mummy's magic kiss. She will bypass everyone else who is between the two of you, because your arms are best.

You have a bond with your DD that is unique between the two of you. You've created that. Don't feel bad about not BF as long as you would have maybe liked, you really won't have affected the bond that is being created between the two of you.

Primrose123 Mon 27-May-13 11:30:26

Emerald girl, ignore that stupid woman.

Well done for trying so hard, breast feeding is not easy for everyone.

Like you, I wanted to breastfeed, but after a week had to admit defeat. It took over an hour to get her to latch on, she would feed for five minutes, sleep for ten, and then start the whole palaver all over again, and it was sooooo painful. sad

I think you did really well, but if it's not working, there's no point making yourself ill over it.

Don't feel guilty, don't feel ashamed, you are human. Forget that woman and enjoy your baby. smile

crazeelaydee Mon 27-May-13 11:32:47

Tut!, you tried everything....don't question yourself hun. I BF both of my Dc and I struggled without the issues of flat nipples etc. I stopped BFing my Ds when he hit 4 months because it didn't fit in with my life style! he was a very hungry baby, got very heavy very quickly, and also took very long to feed (most of the time 1 1/2 hours!) So for those reasons I stopped, as for my Dd I stopped at 4 months because that's when I stopped with Ds....simples smile. It has feck all to do with anyone else but you, you know in your heart that the intention were there, you tried, but it didn't work out. Let it ride over, you don't need to explain anything to anyone just give a gentle smile and say yes I couldn't possibly fit it in around my spar days, ladies lunches while fluttering your eyelashes wink.

FobblyWoof Mon 27-May-13 11:35:21

To be perfectly honest I don't give a shiny shit how much effort etc you out into BF- it's your body, your baby, your choice. You could have given up at the first hurdle or out in the intense effort you did- it really doesn't matter. And people have no right to judge.

People who are smug about breast feeding and people who are high and mighty that they decided not to really, really get on my tits! If we're all making what we believe are the right decisions for both our babies and ourselves and let's remember it's important not to forget ourselves just because we become parents) then I really don't understand the judgement or the problem some people have.

I tried so hard with my DD and gave up, probably too soon but it was right for me and, guilt aside, I was far happier afterwards. I'm expecting again and at this moment in time I'm fairly certain I won't try because it will be a lot easier for me, especially with two and I honestly don't care what other people may think about that.

childcarehell Mon 27-May-13 11:39:32

Nicolaeus is so right, that bond that you will soon have is amazing and you will forget other worries.

Though even if you ebf you'd beat yourself up, I have a ebf dd and I worry it's why she's so small (0-3 months clothing at 6-7 months) but then I rationalise and remember she's fat and short....

BarnYardCow Mon 27-May-13 11:41:04

Ignore, you know how hard you tried, that is all that matters. I had to bottle feed and express Dd2, as with 3 other children it was too hard to rest to make enough milk. After falling asleep over the expressing machine, looking at the measly few ml of milk It had managed to extract, binned it and carried on with bottles. Some people need to put others down to get their kicks, just pay them none of your time and concentrate on your lovely baby.

MOTU Mon 27-May-13 11:53:28

You tried, by the sounds of it extremely hard, your breasts for whatever reason just weren't going to be able to fees your child. I am just extremely grateful that science ha given us such a wonderfully complete solution. Breastfeeding was easy for me, bottle feeding not so much (my dd screamed and vomited every time I tried) so I made the pragmatic decision to breastfeed until she could use a beaker, if it had been the other way around I would have happily given up breastfeeding and bottle fed because mine and my child's mental and physical well being are paramount. Do what's right, not what you're told!

catgirl1976 Mon 27-May-13 11:56:04

What an absolute twunt that woman sounds

Ignore her.

Frankly I think you did well not to beat her about the head with a Tommee Tippee

Bumply Mon 27-May-13 12:17:39

I managed 3 weeks of bf with ds1 before he'd lost enough weight and I had raw nipples and mild

Bumply Mon 27-May-13 12:19:22

Pnd threatening to get worse. Switched him to bottles and he thrived. He's now a six footer 15 yr old who likes to rest his chin on my head. Bf ds2 for 4 months as it was working better, but I never enjoyed it. He's still shorter than me, but hasn't reached puberty yet.

Gooseysgirl Mon 27-May-13 12:41:13

Emerald I could have written your post!! After EMCS I was full sure DD was latching on and left hospital thinking all was good, but within a day of getting home my nipples were in shreds and DD was becoming floppy and dehydrated... so clearly the latch was not working! Three weeks later after good support from local BF counsillor, cranial Osteo, tongue tie clinic (only v slight so didn't get it snipped), pumping breast milk and feeding with syringe.. DH went back to work and I was on my knees. Just could not get the latch right sad I was totally heartbroken but made the decision to switch to formula. I knew I had to go back to work when DD was 6 months and I was at risk of PND... I felt it would be better for me and DD to have that 6 months without the misery, and we never looked back. I was lucky and never once experienced any of the type of comments you had from that cow... I wouldn't give her the time of day again. I was never once made to feel like that by any of my lovely mummy friends, many of whom did BF successfully but none without difficulties of some description. I feel no guilt now whatsoever, DD is healthy and thriving. But despite my experience it hasn't put me off BF, and I will give it my best shot again when DC2 arrives!

MsJupiterJones Mon 27-May-13 12:41:33

I'm so sorry that you are feeling like this but thank you for starting the thread, it has been great to read all the stories and encouragement.

I feel guilty both for giving formula and not giving it soon enough. I loved bf and everything I read seemed to show that any problems could and should be overcome. I avidly read Kellymom, contacted LLL, perused the bf threads here, fed constantly, pumped, took fenugreek, went to bf groups but DS struggled to gain weight. Thought at first it must be due to CS or my GD, then technique, frequency, something I was doing wrong. Only at 11 wks was posterior tongue tie diagnosed and snipped and by then DS was so underweight (way below 0.4 centile) even the TT specialist said I needed to supplement him with formula. Since then we've mixed bf and ff (was pumping too - no more thank goodness) and he is thriving but has never caught up weight or height wise so I fear my determination to bf has caused permanent damage. Yet I still feel self-conscious if I ff in public.

At the time I really thought all I had to do was try harder. And if I read a post saying someone had done everything they could, I would think they couldn't have done, because bf always works if you try hard enough. I suspect those who judge will read my and others' posts and think that.

I now believe the only person you have to persuade is yourself and at 7mo I am starting to come to terms with it all. I know parenting is synonymous with guilt so there will always be something you feel you could do differently, better, well.

A thoughtless (or even well-meaning) comment can really be a blow. Hope you start to feel more positive about ff after reading all these great posts. I certainly do.

BluddyNora Mon 27-May-13 12:48:10

I really struggled with DS1 and although I know it was the best thing for the entire family to start ff I still feel guilty. Try not to beat yourself up over it- you tried your best and that's all you can do. Hugs and brew

deste Mon 27-May-13 13:03:50

You are not guilty of not trying but you sure are meant to feel that way. Ask yourself, is your little one happy now and are you happier now? If the answers are yes then you have done the right thing. As I always say you can't tell a formula fed baby from a BF baby.

Xalla Mon 27-May-13 13:12:19

YANBU!!!! I was similar with my firstborn - couldn't do it, never seemed to produce much, never got that 'engorged' thing that's supposed to happen, nipples were bleeding (one even got infected - grim) and DS had bad reflux so every agonising hour I did spend trying to feed him, he puked it up anyway!

I gave up at 8 weeks. Felt terribly guilty. Promised myself I'd do better next time.

DD came along and exactly the same thing happened. Gave up at 6 weeks.

Pregnant again now and will give it a go but am vowing not to beat myself up about it if (when) it doesn't work again!

We're not living in the jungle and we're lucky enough to have a perfectly reasonable alternative to breast milk at our fingertips.

They're tiny for such a short time; don't waste it thinking about a thoughtless random brew

A mother's place is in the wrong is a great quote I read on here. Doesn't matter what you do, someone will always criticise you for it.

JsOtherHalf Mon 27-May-13 13:31:56

Ds ended up on a drip because he was so dehydrated, my milk never came in to any useful extent. There was some research coming out then that some mothers who needed IVF would struggle to produce enough milk to feed - pcos, thyroid issues,etc. I did a lot of stuff like others here - hired a professional grade breastpump, took medication, etc etc etc. After 3 weeks I started using a supplemental feeding system for every www.medela.com/UK/en/breastfeeding/products/breastmilk-feeding/special-feeding-devices.html
. Ds started to sleep occasionally...

DS is 6, I have no idea what way any of his classmates fed for the first 1/6th of their lives.

emeraldgirl1 Mon 27-May-13 15:25:54

Wow!!!
Just come back on the thread and amazed by all the replies, but mostly how supportive they all are!
I thought many people would say I should have tried this thing or that thing...
Oh and now I am tearing up at the memory of her big eyes fixed on mine and it only last happened an hour ago!! I am missing the memory before she has even grown up, it is so amazing blush
Thank u so much everyone for posting.

badguider Mon 27-May-13 15:39:23

I think you need to be more confident in your own decision and less touchy about the word 'lifestyle'.

You did choose to ff, because to feed ebm would have meant far less time bonding with and spending time with yoru beautiful daughter. There should be absolutely no shame or guilt in that. Be proud of your decision. It was yours to make and you made the one that is best for you and your DD.

I will be introducing a bottle to my ds early on because I need to leave him with his father a day a week from 3mo. I know that this might result in nipple confusion and that it might be hard to get enough ebm and he might end up ff, but it's very important to our longterm family plans and having much more time together as a family in the medium and longterm if I work one day a week from 3months (i run my own business). I will not let anybody make me feel guilt about that.

amandine07 Mon 27-May-13 15:43:19

Definitely ignore the other woman.

Based on the lifestyle comment she sounds like a total twat & probably not somebody you want as a close friend.

Iggi101 Mon 27-May-13 17:07:56

Watch this woman the next time you see her. She'll be asking someone else why they use that brand of nappy, or talking about the all-organic food her bubba will be weaned on. Or how returning to work/staying at home is absolutely the best option for baby's welfare. It's just a competition, I would doubt she meant any harm to you personally. And it may be covering up some massive insecurity she has herself, to be fair.

loofet Mon 27-May-13 18:22:24

Don't be so hard on yourself, honestly.

I've had three DC and I was exactly like you. I tried SO hard to bf to a point where I just couldn't stop crying/felt really low/like a failure. Nobody warned me before DC1 that it could be difficult, I just thought it was natural and something that just sort of happened. All my first two did was scream, latch, unlatch, scream, latch, unlatch, scream for hours... I felt horrible and like you had painful bleeding nipples so every time I fed it was like razorblades. As soon as I switched to formula they were like different babies entirely. They drank their milk and went to sleep like a normal baby... and DH could feed too!

DC3 just took to bfing right away, not sure what was different about her but she did and almost 10 months on still going strong! Given my past experiences I now would NEVER judge a mother who ff because I know how difficult it can be. I wish wish wish there was more info out there on how difficult it can be so mothers don't feel alone or like failures when it doesn't work out!

Your baby will thrive and honestly in the grand scheme of things this really won't matter smile Don't beat yourself up, you're doing a great job and clearly love your DD very much flowers

AmandaPayneNeedsANap Mon 27-May-13 18:29:47

loofet - Totally agree with the spirit of your post, but just to add that plenty of 'normal' babies don't drink their milk and go to sleep either. DD1 especially wasn't that way inclined. So if yours doesn't (OP or anyone else, whether bf of ff), it doesn't mean you are doing something wrong. grin

JamieandtheMagicTorch Mon 27-May-13 18:33:30

Please believe me when I say this won't matter -hopefully sooner rather than later.

Your friend was being sanctimonious

And you don't need to justify to her or anyone why you "gave up".

JamieandtheMagicTorch Mon 27-May-13 18:35:38

... and your reasons are your reasons. You don't need to prove you suffered enough to justify anyone else's perceptions of what is a "good enough" reason to give up

FloraPost Mon 27-May-13 19:04:30

If I'd persisted in trying to bf DS1 he would have died. He was feeding so little and had lost so much weight by 5 days old that he fell unconscious and was very lucky to avoid organ failure or brain damage. I felt hideously guilty when my attempts to re-establish bf failed. Two and a half years on I don't feel any less bonded to him than I do to ebf DS2. Your DD is very lucky to have such a caring mother.

orangeone Mon 27-May-13 19:14:45

Please don't be so hard on yourself. You tried. In fact from the sounds of it you tried bloody hard.

You gave colostrum and breastmilk in the first few days/weeks (when most of the benefit is TBH) but you couldn't continue. At least you tried. Please don't feel guilty, there will be plenty of other things that you will do for your DD in the future - breastfeeding is only one of many things a mother may or may not do. When your DD is a teenager, she won't be shouting 'I hate you mum because you don't breastfeed me for the Length of time recommended by WHO guidelines' - it will be far more likely that it'll be because you won't pick her up at some stupid hour from some boys house that you don't want her to see!! grin

Please just enjoy your beautiful baby and ignore others comments.

(and I say all the above as a breastfeeding peer supporter who EBF her DD but thinks that there are more important worries as a parent to tie your self up in knots about).

pointythings Mon 27-May-13 19:15:22

Ignore, ignore, ignore. You tried everything. It didn't work for you. End of.
And I say this as one of those lucky, lucky people who found bf easy and had buckets of the white stuff. Enjoy the lovely baby snuggles and ignore the smug cow.

orangeone Mon 27-May-13 19:18:19

And as for comments from others..... I tell mums to say "thank you for your comment, but I hope you won't mind me ignoring it as I think you've been rather rude'! grin

Or smile, nod and find different friends.....

I chose to prioritise my mental health

THIS - you chose something that benefited you both. It's all very well and good breastfeeding, but if it is making you unhappy and depressed, why continue? Your baby needs more than your milk, she needs love, attention and a happy mother.

Congratulations on your beautiful DD! smile

I am a breastfeeding peer supporter. I also suffered PND. It was partially related to the struggle I had establishing BFing with DS, but there were other factors too. It sounds to me like you did exactly the right things and chose to feed your baby in another way because she needed to be fed. As a peer supporter I would never advocate a mother borderline starving her child because she could not establish BFing for whatever reason. Yes, there is a lot to be said for not "giving up" at the first hurdle and some women are able to break through the hurdle/s and feed for longer but for the ones that aren't (particularly if they gave it their best shot!) it really doesn't matter. We are lucky to have an alternative and safe way to feed our babies - formula exists for exactly the reasons you were unable to feed!

Ignore anyone who tries to tell you your decision was wrong. You are doing the best thing for your baby - worse would be attempting to BF to the point your DD wasn't getting enough nutrition and possibly ending up with PND to boot, which (I can speak from experience) does not help with any aspect of parenting. You will feel enough guilt in parenting without worrying that you didn't breastfeed her for long enough - choose your battles (with yourself a lot of the time!) wink

Well done on trying so hard, and well done for standing by your choice to feed your baby in a way that satisfies both her and you.

itsblackoveryonderhill Mon 27-May-13 20:04:08

Don't beat yourself up. You'll realise in a few years that there are a few smug parents around, but they'll get knocked down a peg or two when they realise that there child is well, a normal child, nothing special or outstanding. Just an ordinary child that is just special to them.

FWIW, think of it this way.... If you suffered from epilepsy, you would probably be taking medication that is not compatible with breastfeeding and I bet you wouldn't have beat yourself up under that situation, but you have flat nipples and you tried and you tried really hard, you have no control over it.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both FF and BF and so neither one is any 'better' than the other. Formula is not poison, and I can bet the majority of us ladies with younger children were FF because that was the advise in the 70's and 80's and we are all perfectly fine and since then formula is much better nutritionally.

My DD was breastfed until 16mths old (she's now 4yrs and 5mths), but when we talk about it, she of course can't remember it and she laughs in nervous way when she see's the photo's I got DH to take of me feeding her because I knew I wouldn't particularly 'remember' it as it were.

Chin up, and if anybody else makes such a comment, just say, 'and why is it a concern of yours?' That will shut them up.

VikingLady Mon 27-May-13 20:26:56

Another peer supporter here - a depressed mother is not going to help any baby!

A response for future comments: "Does it make you feel better about yourself to put me down, when you don't know about my medical history?"

What a cowbag.

itsaruddygame Mon 27-May-13 20:49:36

Ignore her! Only the most insensitive mother could make such a comment. I seriously don't understand how anyone that initially struggled could even go there. It says a lot about the type of person she is that she made such a comment.

RunnerHasbeen Thu 30-May-13 15:07:02

It sounds like I had a similar experience to you, but in some ways I was lucky to have been ill after the birth and that gave an explanation to people that they could understand. At 11 weeks it was still such a sore point that I would be liable to cry if I was asked about BFing.

However, at 17 months, I can look back thinking I tried and realise that things improved immeasurably after I stopped trying. I don't have any doubt about the decision to stop, I can see it wasn't going to happen. I now judge myself as nicely and sympathetically as I would someone else who had had such a hard time and really tried. Just so you know it is unlikely to stay such a sore point and to congratulate you on everything you managed to do - your daughter is a lucky girl.

RooBow Thu 30-May-13 21:44:42

I had exactly the same problem with bf-ing my dd when born last year (5 weeks early by cs under general) - I thought it would just happen but neither of us could get the hang of it! Tried for about 3 weeks before giving up & carrying on with bottle (scbu had started bottle feeding while I was still being operated on). I was devastated, felt guilty, like I was a failure & was letting her down but there was no way I could have carried on trying to express, nothing was coming out in the end.
I worried that we missed out on bonding but she's now 14 months and we're so incredibly close!
I felt totally judged by other bf-ing mums in the first few months, luckily no one said anything so cruel to me as they did to u. I would have reacted the same if they did, wouldn't have known what to say. Just think that she doesn't know what ur experience has been like, we're not all lucky enough to have the 'perfect' birth experience but I don't believe that exists anyway!
I'm happy to report that my dd hasn't had anything worse than a cold whereas the bf babies in my group of mum friends all keep getting virus' etc. She's a very happy, content little girl and u can't tell she was ff or premature now. It gets easier & ur bond will grow over time.
A councillor I saw after my section said something I still have to remind myself of sometimes now, that I have done the best I could do for my child - & we really can't do anymore than that so we shouldn't keep beating ourselves up!

thefuturesnotourstosee Thu 30-May-13 21:59:23

OP I breast fed DD for 2 years and am still feeding DS at 10 months. I'm obviously a perfect mother....... you're obviously rubbish wink

However I can afford to be smug. I was damned lucky. Breastfeeding came easily with DS and after a little bit of help from a friendly midwife I established it within a few days with DD. To be blunt if I hadn't I'd have given up very early on. It hurt, my nipples cracked and bled, I cried, couldn't sleep for pain, couldn't get her latched on and was on my way to buy a tub of formula when I met my midwife in the road. She asked me how it was going and I sobbed on her and she said to give it one last try. She came round that evening and spent an hour with me checking my latch, holding my hand and showing me how and it worked if not it would have been cow and gate by 8pm.

I hadn't even tried a 10th as hard as you did before I nearly gave up. You've clearly done everything you can. You need to feed your baby and there is no rule to say you have to be miserable and in pain to achieve it .

Enjoy every minute. Breast or bottle it does not matter. The main thing is that they're fed.

MrsRickyMartin Fri 31-May-13 17:31:30

I am still BF and I find that comment idiotic. You did the best you could and you really don't owe any explanations to anyone.

Just agree to whatever they say and they won't be able to comment more. For example I had a EMCS and someone said to me: oh, you didn't have the strength to push? I said: no, I am too posh to push.

The most important thing is that you and baby are healthy.

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