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I breast fed eldest for a matter of a few weeks and then on advice of HV topped up with formula which promptly became completely formula fed.
Dd2 I fed exclusively for 6 months and then continued to feed her til she was nearly 2 18 months. (I didn't listen to HV bullshit this time)
Dd3 was hard going to establish feeding - it was hard going & I soon introduced (around 5 weeks) a bedtime bottle of formula because I was feeling totally consumed.
I have PNd and I have held off starting anti D as been worried what effect it would have through my breast milk as not one doc / health visitor / mental health team person would give me a straigh answer whether it would harm dd3 long term.
Before Christmas I was very poorly and dd ended up being given a few bottles during the day whilst I was ill. She then refused to feed from me & so was formula fed for 2/3 days with me still trying to latch her on to me but her being very distressed. I think my antibiotics may have given her a sore tummy.
Any way, I'm busy & stressed, it's been Christmas etc and now I'm feeding dd once or twice a day (mainly if she wakes during the night)
There are always complicated reasons for any decision you make about your children - and always something you could feel guilty about. And you're not well, you're doing your best, you love them. You're their mother and you love them and that's what counts. x
Oh, you poor thing, do not feel bad or guilty or selfish - I've had PND and it is vicious, one of the nastiest things that's ever happened to me, and frankly you need to do whatever it takes to get you through the days. You've already BF your baby for 4.5 months, which is brilliant. Is she still refusing to latch on? Maybe some of the other wise folks here might have some advice if you do want to continue BF her more frequently.
BTW if you do decide to go the anti-d route and continue feeding her, I took sertraline from when DS1 was two months until he was a year while breastfeeding and he appears to be absolutely fine - my mental health folk and GP were a lot more reassuring about its relative harmlessness.
Just a quick note to say you are not being selfish, you are doing what is best for your baby! You need to be healthy to be a good mum, so ultimately whatever route you take to get better is best for you and your children. Feeling guilty is a manifestation of depression, so keep reminding yourself of that. All the best.
She's totally happy being bottle fed - it's nice that DP can feed her and unlike when I exclusively fed DD2, I don't feel quite so trapped. I genuinely feel that my stubbornness to feed dd2 was a massive factor in the deterioration of my mental health.
That sounds like combination feeding/bottle feeding is working for you and your baby, and if so, please please please try not to feel guilty about it - as ThreeWheelsGood said, feeling guilty and like a bad person is all part of the depression.
I'm no expert on breastfeeding and didn't manage to get the hang of it with DS, but I think that's made me realise how much effort and hard work breastfeeding is, so if you've got to 4.5 months breastfeeding then that's brilliant!
You need to do what's best for you and the whole family and if mixed feeding is working well and giving you a little break then do that.
From everyone I've spoken to in real life, most peoples HV's, GP's and MW's have told them it doesn't matter as long as the baby is being fed one way or another.
No experience of pnd but wanted to say if you feel less trapped and more capable of doing things by going down the mixed feeding route or switching to formula completely, then do this. A functioning mum who is happy is better than a non-functioning mum who is miserable, tired and depressed.
You have 3 children. Three I can barely cope with 1 at the best of times All of which will be demanding in their own way and if bf'ing is becoming stressful and the benefits are not outweighing the drawbacks, then your decision to stop or reduce feeds will be the right one. You have given your youngest the best start in life and to reach 4.5 months is amazing.
Just take each day at a time. You may feel different in a few days and decide to stop bf'ing all together. You may feel you want to carry on. Go with your instincts, they're normally right.