Bought some formula today, feel like such a failure :((41 Posts)
I have a 4 week old DS who until today was EBF. I have had lots of problems including positioning, attachment, lots of pain when DS is feeding , DS wanting to constantly feed day and night and me getting an hours sleep at a time max with sometimes 2 or 3 hours between at night leaving me exhausted and emotionally all over the place.
Today, I just had enough. I have been crying pretty much constantly the last 2 days, I have tried a support group, talking to my community midwife, talking to my health visitor, and going to the post natal ward for help from the breast feeding coordinator and we just can't seem to get it so it's comfortable and pain free. I can't see him cry anymore.
So today I decided I couldn't carry on like this and bought some formula. DS took it no problem and had his first settled long sleep in days. I felt so much more relaxed, like the pressure is off. I have also expressed some bottles today so he is still getting breastmilk.
I have nothing against FF babies, I was FF myself, it's just not what I wanted or planned for.
I just feel so guilty, like I have let down DS by not carrying on EBF .
You are NOT a failure. You have brought to life a beautiful baby boy and whatever way you end up feeding him, you have done and continue to do an awesome thing. Hugs and good wishes to you both.
alarm bells ringing -CHECK HIM FOR TONGUE TIE!!
you are not a failure, don't be silly!
After a couple of days I feel a lot better about things and giving some formula before bed definitely helps my DS sleep a bit better which is better for me
And now I have given my nipples a rest as I have been expressing, I feel ok to try to breastfed again which I didn't think I would.
PLEASE don't feel guilty! I had to give up very soon on, and I felt like such failure. Everyone around me seemed to be breastfeeding and all I got was how amazing it was for baby and mum.
My baby girl is now 14mo. She's strong and healthy and has been a great sleeper.
I read various things whilst enduring the 'guilt' (to some extent i still do!)... one lady saying that her midwife said that the most important thing was to FEED her baby - it didn't matter how! - HOW TRUE!
The one thing that I can honestly say say is that once the pressure of breastfeeding was taken away, I was eventually able to ENJOY my baby girl.
I envy women who breastfeed relatively easily, for me, it just wasn't worth it. Having a new baby is hard enough!!!!!!!
Many aspects or child-rearing are not what is wanted or planned for. In several months let alone a couple of years you will be onto the next issue and this will be long forgotten.
Move on and enjoy your baby.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
You have not failed. You are providing for your child. At 4 weeks EBF that is totally amazing & has given him virtually all the benefits he can get from BF.
You can still do mixed feeding successfully. I had a lot of problems BF my son, latch, attachment, positioning, mastitis, thrush, it was awful. I cried and cried every time he went on the breast. Mixed feeding made everything better for us & am sure you will be fine. Get over the guilt as it doesn't help-there is so much pressure for EBF & it's not always easy.
Look after yourself & be happy. You've done amazing
Let me echo what everyone else has said - you are not a failure and you have done an AMAZING job!!
It's so so shitty when bf plans don't work out - I planned to bf for 1-2 years...... My non-attaching baby meant I got to 2 weeks (expressing) before moving to formula. Worst 2 weeks of my life. Now I realise, best laid plans of mice and men etc.
You are a CHAMP. You are a FANTASTIC MUM and your DS is lucky to have someone who is being so proactive and taking control of the situation
Just wanted to congratulate you on the birth of your little one and to say you are a true HERO for getting so far with ebf. I'm so glad that you have made the tough choice to try some formula and that your clever little one was able to take a bottle and you are giving yourself a little break. I am mix feeding ( bf during the day with formula top up at night because my daughter was struggling to gain weight) and it is more common than you would think. My sister lives in Australia and apparently mixed feeding is really common there and totally encouraged. I saw a consultant paediatrician today who was 100% pro mixed feeding and giving as much formula as I needed too. Just wanted to send you a hug and say you are doing the right thing and you are a great mum. Also have you tried nipple shields? I use them every time I feed as I have flat nipples and my daughter can't latch without them. Worth a try maybe. Xx
BTW I gave in to a bottle on the second night - I was exhausted, had bleeding sore nipples, baby was feeding every hour for half an hour before my milk came in.
I just cried and cried that I couldn't do it.
Now I can BF more easily but do occasionally give her FF if I feel I need a break, she's happier and I'm less stressed xxx
OMG you are most definitely NOT a failure! BF is very difficult for most of us considering its the most 'natural' thing in the world.
Don't be too hard on yourself, if you feel more relaxed and baby is happier then there is absolutely no problem with formula feeding.
He has had 1 bottle of formula and 2 bottles of breast milk through the night and this morning as my nipples are so sore but i feel good that even of its in a bottle I gave him breast milk.
Thanks for the kind words it makes me feel so much better. And after a better night sleep last night I feel a bit more sane today and able to face the world
Please don't feel guilty you are doing such a good job and how much you're worrying shows what a loving mother you are
As long as baby is fed and happy that's the main thing. If you feel able to mix feed at some point that would be good if not thats ok- please don't feel guilty about this
We had a horrible start to breastfeeding and I felt like a complete failure most of the time. Looking back, I wasn't at all, but the raging hormones really don't help! We decided to introduce formula till I found a level of mix feeding I could cope with- turned out that just one bottle a day was enough for us to take the pressure off, and to be honest the bottlefeeds are often far more bonding than the breastfeeds, when she's all snuggled in to me and looking at me. When she breastfeeds she throws herself around and has started biting...
We carried on like that till now (24 weeks) and we're just starting 2 bottles a day in preparation for me going back to work.
It will get better, but remember there's so much more to parenting than how you feed your baby. What's important is that they're loved and taken care of, and yours is.
So glad to hear you sounding more positive
Considering the things you will be pulling out his mouth in a few months time? What milk he has will be no big deal
Congratulations on your baby x
I'm glad you're feeling a little better you sound like a great mum.
Has your baby been checked for tongue tie?
I think I can understand how you feel, except I gave up after a few days of seeing my baby cry. If you would still like to breastfeed later on, can I just suggest that you always try a little bit of breastfeeding first while you are getting the formula ready? If you would like to just just formula feed, then you shouldn't feel guilty at all.
I mix fed my little girl until she was about 6 1/2 months and she started getting her top teeth in and she was really miserable and only wanted to breastfeed. Now she is 11 months old and only breastfed. I personally can't believe after the rocky start I had, that somehow we managed to do it.
I hope you are feeling more positive today and enjoying your beautiful baby boy!
Well done op.
You are not a failure.
You have absolutely done the right thing for you and for your baby.
Enjoy your little one x
Thanks everyone, I feel much better knowing I'm not the only one who has done this. And I feel much better today, like the pressure is off and if I have problems BF I have an alternative to feed my baby.
The most important thing to me is that I get to enjoy him and I can do that much better when I'm not crying all day.
I'm bfing my 12-week-old DD right now. But I absolutely wouldn't be if I hadn't made the decision to give her a little formula when she was about two weeks old, for many of the same reasons as you - unbearable pain, difficulty latching, constantly hungry baby, no sleep. I sent DP to the shop as soon as it opened at 6am to buy formula after a night spent listening to DD scream with hunger but unable to get her to latch on properly to my bleeding nipples, and I cried my eyes out as she drank her first bottle, but I also felt a lot of relief and it was good to know that DD wouldn't have to go hungry while I got more help with bfing, and that I could get some sleep and give my nipples a break! And I can say that now, we have no problems at all. Breastfeeding is pain free and easy, and DD will take a bottle if I need a break. She's absolutely thriving, we both sleep well. There is no shame whatsoever in doing whatever you know is best for you and your baby.
Like everyone else said, you are not a failure.
Just like you, I was 100% determined to EBF. I'd not considered any other option. We hadn't looked at formula. So I was devastated when I struggled with it. By 4 weeks I was in so much pain & DD often went to bed hungry at night as I was in so much pain my milk supply was affected. I decided to get formula to allow time to heal (was horribly sore) & it really helped, DD was mix fed for a few weeks but I tailed the formula off & increased the breastmilk as my supply went back up, I managed to get back to full EBF by 8 weeks & she was fully EBF for several more months. Just try to think of it as giving yourself time to physically heal. You're meant to enjoy EBF, this really isn't possible if you dread it because it's causing you so much pain & distress. Formula isn't failure. It's a choice, you can go back to 100% EBF. It will take a bit of work but if you are as determined as you sound, you should be able to do it. Good luck!
And another hug from me.
It sounds like you have been doing a brilliant job! Who could ask for more of someone than that they try, try and try again? You are doing excellently.
I ended up mix feeding as I had reduced milk production after breast surgery. I was devastated and felt I'd let DS down before he'd even left the hospital - even though I knew it was a possibility beforehand.
I spoke to a really hard core breast feeding advocate who made La Leche League look like part-timers (I was rather scared at first, but she was understanding). She said that one of the important things about breast feeing is being held and the eye to eye contact. Obviously there are nutritional benefits, but she reckoned any breast milk was good and that the other side shouldn't be downgraded. Her advice was that when bottle feeding, to do it with undivided attention, holding baby same height as breast so they can see you properly.
It wasn't my dream or my ideal, but I definitely noticed some advantages to mixed feeding over both EBF and FF.
You have not failed at anything (although I do understand that feeling), you have succeeded in finding a method to make you lives better. Honestly, that's pretty good going!
I had the same problem. My DH told me The most important thing is to ensure baby is healthy and growing. If formula helps u to do this then embrace it happily because the alternative is too painful to contemplate! Use bottle feeding time to look into baby's eyes and coo n talk to him. Such a lovely n personal way to bond. U r a success because u have sacrificed that which is so important to you (breast feeding) for baby's health n happiness!
Please don't stress about it - the important thing is that the baby gets fed! I was like you - at four weeks had to start topping up with formula, and ended up having to give ds more and more until at 4 months I realised I wasn't making any milk and had to FF him totally. I had really bad pnd as well (which I think was the reason I wasn't making enough milk). Looking back (he is 7) I just wish I'd made the switch in full sooner. He was much happier, and it would have been much easier on me! Hope this helps!
When I said top up, I meant one or two bottles of formula instead of a BF.
Ds settled well, I got a rest and felt more able to continue, to the point where I am now trying to reduce bf to once a day as he's just too huge to be discreet anymore!
You really mustn't beat yourself up, you're doing brilliantly x
Join the discussion
Please login first.