Hating it....again...

(55 Posts)
lazzaroo Tue 08-Jan-13 20:39:18

am BF my DD2 & really not enjoying it. She is only 10 days old but I am struggling. She seems to be cluster feeding morning & evenings. She'll go for 3 hours in between but with a 3 year old to look after too I hate it. she feeds in the evening and then can be crying again soon after & wont settle unless I offer boob. She then often falls asleep before taking full feed so I guess she's sucking for comfort. I'm considering dummy. I know she's due a growth spurt now & this may explain what's going on but I can't see an end to it at the moment.

I didn't enjoy BF my first either and remember all the same anxieties...is she getting enough, is she crying through hunger, if she has wind & I feed as first resort will I just make it worse, is she being sick because I'm overfeeding (she was sick a lot!). I am having all the same doubts again & the anxiety when she's unsettled makes me feel sick.

I wanted to give up first time round but by the time we tried bottle she refused to take it. I ended up bf her for 12 months. I am dreading being tied down again & want to give up but admitting that is making me feel like a failure & incredibly guilty.

She is now finally asleep after feeding off and on since 4pm. I have tried to explain worries to midwife but she just says that her weight is great ( only lst 3% birth weight) so she must be feeding ok.

amazingmumof6 Tue 08-Jan-13 21:01:37

give her 1 bottle of formula to replace the 1 feed that you most struggle with (to me it's the dinner/bath/bed time) and see if that makes a difference.

you can hopefully get 3 year old to sit with you, she can help you hold the bottle for baby and you can have a nice chat or tell her a story (I make some up if can't turn the book pages)

DS1 used to sit next to me with a piece of paper in a shoe box lid and draw. I used to call it "cozy time"

I think you'll feel more in charge, so although you won't be able to say you are fully breast feeding, but you'll be much happier, I guarantee it!!

It is hard to breast feed and look after/menage other children, housework, home work, husband, family and friends, appointments etc.
I know very well how you feel, I'm still partially bf my 9 months old DD who has 5 brother (4 in school, youngest home with me)

so don't worry, she is fine, be proud of yourself, you are doing a great job!

if you really want to give up, that's your decision and no need to feel guilty!
but, if I were you I'd wait for a few weeks to make that decision (6 week check up is a good date), you will feel more settled in a month or so and would have figured out a rough routine.

all the best and congrats on lovely baby girl!

CelticPromise Tue 08-Jan-13 21:15:36

Hi, sorry you are having a tough time. Are there any BF groups you could go to, just to share the problems and find out what strategies other mums are using?

Where do you want to get to? If you want to continue try setting a short term goal and taking it one feed at a time.

All babies are different, and you might find this one is more flexible about feeding and happy to take a bottle when you come to give one.

Best of luck, I hope you can make a choice you are happy with.

CelticPromise Tue 08-Jan-13 21:18:07

I second amazingmum's suggestion of six week check as a good time to aim for. Standard advice says it's fine to introduce bottles/dummies after six weeks I believe.

amazingmumof6 Tue 08-Jan-13 21:35:01

thanks celtic
you are right, post 6 weeks is the usual advice, but bottles can be introduced pretty much straight away - if you have to/want to do that.
it's not the teat of the bottle, but the difference in flow that confuses babies or causes them to splutter etc.

DS4 was jaundiced and too sleepy to bf, so I had to give him formula from a bottle in the hospital. he was 5 days old and quite poorly so I had no choice.
then I had 2 bouts of mastitis in the following few weeks so I pretty much stuck to giving him a bottle/day.

my oldest was only 5.5 at the time, the others 3.5 and 2 - so school & playgroup runs plus recovering from a C-section meant I ended up stopping bf when he was 3 months old.
no regrets, I had to switch to bottles fully or I wouldn't have survived.

HannahBerry Tue 08-Jan-13 22:05:14

Sorry to be harsh, but breast feeding is boring and relentless but so is nappy changing, but you couldn't stop that! Maybe if you didn't have the choice of formula feeding then you would persevere with bf? You think you have a real choice, but perhaps that's just the success of advertising. Also, wouldn't you feel more guilty having breastfed your first daughter so successfully? OK lecture over.

10- 14 days is a massive growth spurt. You are doing so right by your daughter and giving her the best start in life. You may have had sick & anxiety last time but you may get diarrhoea or constipation this time round. Best of luck X

shouldIbecrossaboutthis Tue 08-Jan-13 23:28:54

I was like this with my DS, I really worried he wasn't getting enough or if I was causing him to be unsettled by giving him too much, I'm a control freak and really struggle with not being able to see the food going in, even now @ 13 weeks.

What worked for me was to give him a bottle of expressed milk at his fussiest time 6pm ish, so then I knew it wasn't hunger because I could see how much he'd had. Then I gave him a dummy and held and rocked and sung to him or bathed him which he loved Most of the time he fell asleep for 2-3 hrs.

None of this is advised I'm just saying what worked for me. He had the dummy on day 4 and the bottle on day 14. He has always been a brilliant feeder on the breast so that probably helped, if you've had any problems with breastfeeding it might be best to wait until he is 6 weeks if you don't want to jepradise breastfeeding. If you do introduce a bottle, if you wanted to when you feel more on top of things you could also ditch it and go back to breastfeeding. The gut flora pattern would go back to the same as an EBF baby within 6-8 weeks they reckon.

Either waybdo not feel guilty about the choices you make, it is only food at the end of the day. Yes breast is best but formula isn't terrible and your baby doesn't really mind eitherway smile

saturdaymorningyawn Tue 08-Jan-13 23:38:37

I totally empathise as someone who really struggled with BF. Comments such as Hannah's unfortunately just perpetuate the myth that you are somehow doing less for your child by bottle feeding rather than BF. The choice is yours and yours alone you should do what feels right for you and your family and not be made to feel guilty for the choice you make.

amazingmumof6 Wed 09-Jan-13 00:33:09

Hannah it's a bit dumb to say that " Maybe if you didn't have the choice of formula feeding then you would persevere with bf?"

my grandma's sister had twins during WWII and one of the little girls died of malnourishment, because the stronger twin sucked out all the milk and little one literally starved to death!
I'm sure that formula milk would have saved her life, but you are probably right, thank goodness that it was not available, losing a baby surely taught my great aunt a lesson about persevering! (!)

Piemother Wed 09-Jan-13 00:47:34

Making this a bf/ff debate is really unhelpful.
Meanwhile I have 2sc with the same age gap. The 10 growth spurt with dc2 felt like a never ending marathon and was a real shock even after 12 months of bf dc1. I had all those thoughts of 'I've got to do it all again hmm). However it passed and once dc2 got past 6 weeks it got much easier and my doubts have eased. Dc2 is 9 weeks now and feeding at a much more reasonable rate and I'm not feeling like a dairy cow!
I am happy to admit that my temptation to chuck it in and ff was much worse this time around. I won't be but the thoughts have been there.

Introducing a bottle is illogical advice too IMO

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Wed 09-Jan-13 00:47:42

I found an expressed bottle for the evening cluster helped
plus dummies

if you mix feed and dummies one of two things'll happen:
It'll make BFing easier and you will enjoy your LO's first year
It'll make BFing tail off but you're not currently enjoying it anyway
win-win I think!

shouldIbecrossaboutthis Wed 09-Jan-13 07:18:33

Piemother, why is it illogical? It worked really well for us and I definitely would have stopped BF if it weren't for that bottle. I'm assuming it also worked well for ilovesalad too?

lazzaroo Wed 09-Jan-13 07:48:36

Thank you all for your replies & support. I would be happy to add bottle of expressed milk, she'd still be getting the goodness. I worry about leaving it too late to try this in case she then refuses it like my other.

I do feel bad about wanting to quit when I persevered with my first. But I didn't persevere through choice first time round, and as I hated I then too I don't feel I feed her 'so successfully'. Surely she's be happier with a mum who is not stressed out & anxious all the time.

My other DD is generally very good when I'm feeding. I struggle with early evening as it coincides with bath & bedtime. my DH travels away a lot for work so I have to figure out how to manage this on my own.

I don't expect this to be easy but I do want o enjoy the early days.

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Wed 09-Jan-13 09:30:00

"I'm assuming it also worked well for ilovesalad too?"

yup, it was either give up completely or add in coping mechanisms, and I added in EBM bottles and dummies and then BF for ages.

When you're actually managing to feed at all people make you feel shitty about doing anything that might MIGHT interfere with it, but actually they are being illogicial, the BF support people didn't care that I was hating every second of my time with my baby because of BFing, and for me mixing in bottles and dummies were the reasons why I kept breastfeeding

OP must be hard when your DH works away, can you afford a mothers help for a couple of hours at bed time when your OH is away? Humans weren't meant to raise their kids in isolation, we were supposed to live in groups (I don't mean just with a DH either, I mean a whole suppport group) and I think we think we "should" manage all by ourselves when that's not the natural way at all so don't feel you shouldn't ask for help if there's either willing family about to do an odd bath and bed for your older one, or a bit of funds for some as and when mother's help

midori1999 Wed 09-Jan-13 09:31:31

Lazaroo, sorry you are feeling like this, having a newborn is hard enough.

What no one has mentioned on this thread and what no one may have mentioned in real life is that evening 'cluster feeding' like you mention is completely normal and although it may not seem like it at the time, a good thing as it's a good way to build your milk supply and often the 'pay off' for all that feeding is that baby will sleep a bit longer between feeds. Not always though sadly and that's normal too.

Also, if your anxious as to whether your baby is getting enough, has anyone been through keeping an eye on nappy output to reassure yourself? Another thing that may help if you're feeling anxious and/or fed up is to go to a breastfeeding group. If you haven't been, they really aren't as most people imagine, it's just a way to meet new Mum's who also happen to BF, but if you need to vent or some support, they can offer this and they'll understand.

My DD refused a bottle for quite a while, having taken them from a few weeks old, she just suddenly stopped and I'll admit that even though I didn't really want to leave her, knowing I couldn't felt awful, so I do understand how that feels. However, I did find ways to leave her and with some perseverance I got her to take bottles of expressed milk again too.

midori1999 Wed 09-Jan-13 09:35:00

Also, some babies are fussy in the evenings anyway and there's no guarantee stopping breastfeeding or mixed feeding would change that. Would using a sling such as Moby help do you think? It would either just leave your hands free or some Mums can learn to feed in them too. My DH is away a lot/working late a lot too and it's difficult!

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Wed 09-Jan-13 09:37:24

hmmmmm
BF groups are useful if you have physical problems with BFing
If you are physically feeding fine but just hate it and want to find another way of doing it other than exclusive on demand BFing they can be the worst place to be!

midori1999 Wed 09-Jan-13 10:14:08

ILoveSalad, if that is your experience of a BF group then I am sorry it was like that for you. I have been to quite a few BF groups both for me personally and as a peer supporter and they are places you can go for a coffee and chat with other Mums and get help from a HV, midwife, BF counsellor or peer supporter, depending on who runs the BF group, but I have found primarily they are not for women with physical problems BF at all, although this is a common misconception, that is what BF clinics are for though.

BF groups are also a place where you can get advice and help on expressing/giving bottles as well as getting a bottle refuser to take a bottle and even for help on iced feeding if that is what you want to do.

They are not simply for Mums who want to BF on demand, but for any Mum who BFs at all.

Piemother Wed 09-Jan-13 10:29:33

Midori - I'm a peer supporter too - my group was a nice place to come for a good moan and a laugh grin

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Wed 09-Jan-13 10:33:02

Actually I went to several, I even tried the next town. there were mums who mixed fed who were supported, but they had to have a better "excuse" than "cause I hate it" wink and if you suggest that BF is preventing you from bonding with your newborn you're told you're wrong, BFing always helps bonding apparently!

If you want to tail off exclusive BFing due to hating it, how supportive of that would you really be as peer supporters?? would you really just listen and be a sympathetic ear???

midori1999 Wed 09-Jan-13 10:45:56

I support lots of women to stop BF as a peer supporter, that's a part of what I do. Why they want to stop isn't really any of my business, although I do usually know.

You have obviously has a very poor experience of BF groups, what a pity because they certainly aren't all like that and none should be.

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Wed 09-Jan-13 10:50:36

yes but.. by definition aren't they a place for people who want to continue BFing or BF more?

so not necessarily where the OP will get the best support as she wants to BF LESS or even not at all!

midori1999 Wed 09-Jan-13 10:58:41

They are place for anyone who wants help or support with BF and that includes how to mixed feed (BF less) or stop BF, yes.

They are certainly a place where the OP can get help and reassurance with the feelings of anxiety she mentions and also suggestions and advice as to where to go from here.

Just for information, at the BF group I went to for myself, at least half the Mums mixed fed.

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Wed 09-Jan-13 11:02:19

"Just for information, at the BF group I went to for myself, at least half the Mums mixed fed."

yes, same for the ones I went to, but if you are "sucessfully" exclusively BFing and want to cut down to mix due to just not liking it.. well that's different

no I've never heard of anyone I know getting support to stop BFing at BFing groups, even friends where were exclusively expressing.

havingastress Wed 09-Jan-13 11:08:53

I had my first baby 9 weeks ago.

Along with a lot of medical complications, I just couldn't cope with BF at all. I was miserable, crying, depressed, exhausted and totally worrying about whether my DD was getting enough milk.

My boobs were engorged, painful and I had mastitis.

After 19 days I broke down in front of the MW who immediately told me to stop. She said I shouldn't be made to feel guilty about not BF'ing. My baby would be absolutely FINE on formula. To deny my baby of my love, time and attention was FAR WORSE than giving her formula.

I cried for a week after stopping out of guilt.

My DD is happy, thriving and nourished. It was the best decision I could have made in my circumstances.

If I have another baby I will give BF'ing another go. Maybe next time it will work. Different baby. I do believe bf'ing is best so of course, we all want the best for our babies.

BUt you know what. I hate it that some people (including some posters on here) will try to make you feel like a bad mother for not breastfeeding.

No one knows your situation other than you. I still have days where I feel guilty and actually days where I miss bf'ing (strangely, given the pain I had! ).

At just under 3 weeks old my DD had no idea at all that I'd swopped my boob for a bottle. She was absolutely FINE. (FWIW avoid Tommy Tippee though if I were you! She did not do so well on those bottles and has been a different baby on Dr Browns! )

Honestly. From your post, I think you'd be mentally happier/better off if you stopped. Yes, of course breast is best. It is also better. BUT if you did a survey of intelligent, healthy and happy adults to see who was breast fed and who was formula thread I think you would find absolutely no pattern whatsoever!!! I was formula fed and I have 2 degrees!

So, personally, if I was you, in your situation as you describe, I would stop beating yourself up, get yourself to Asda and get some Aptamil and Dr Browns bottles and get your life back. grin

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