For those of you who utterly hated breastfeeding but did it anyway...

(49 Posts)
weeblueberry Mon 24-Jun-13 20:34:00

At which point did you decide just to plough on with it despite really hating it?

I've been ebf for 6 weeks, since my baby was born but really hate it. In the last few days its become painful (pretty sure it's thrush which ill get seen at the docs) but its just been the icing on the rubbish cake quite frankly.

Despite everyone saying 'do what's best for your family' I really don't want to give up. I'd like to persevere if I can but don't know how to get through it while I'm really not enjoying it.

yetanotherworry Mon 24-Jun-13 20:40:05

If its any help, I made it through by giving myself targets e.g. telling myself I'd go 1 more week or make it to the end of the month etc... It does get easier at around 4 months (after a major growth spurt) and then easier around 6 months when you start solids. Well done for persevering this ling and keep thinking of the benefits to you and your baby smile

Well done. For me it didn't get better until DD was 12 weeks old then it was so easy. She's 8 months old and I love it now! I got thru it by thinking about the next feed and reviewing it all on a certain date eg a weeks time. Cake also helps!grin

milktraylady Mon 24-Jun-13 20:43:51

You know what bf is bloody difficult.
I had no idea before I tried.
DD is 10 weeks & I've had every problem so far (other than thrush).
I think a certain amount of bloody mindedness is required to succeed through all the problems.

LaLaLeni Mon 24-Jun-13 20:57:30

This is me! I'm at 12 weeks and never ebf because it was so painful/no latch/LO wouldn't stay on/thrush/oxytocin allergy/bleeding nipples/public BFing never happened due to all of the above.

Considering stopping now because LO appears to also hate it.

Can I ask why you stuck at it?

Rulesgirl Mon 24-Jun-13 21:01:10

Its not easy in the beginning. But the health benefits for me and the baby made me perservere. I hadn't really thought about it before I had my children but as soon as they were born I did it because its the way nature intended. I breastfed for 7 years in total .

Shellywelly1973 Mon 24-Jun-13 21:05:00

I've never bf for the health benefits for me. Just the baby. Its given me something to think about!

NumTumDeDum Mon 24-Jun-13 21:08:41

It sort of just happened. A combination of it stopping hurting, it being by far the quickest and easiest way to settle ds and realising suddenly that I had been doing it for4 months. I then tried introducing a bottle. He won't take one.I'm still breast feeding at 7 months. So it looks like I'm in for the long haul. BUT, if I could stop or at the very least cut down by delegating feeds to dp, (well frankly anyone) believe me I would. You don't have to continue if you don't want to. You've given it a good chance. It is not wrong to say I don't want to do this any more. But equally, it can and does get better.

Are you confident that you are getting good latch? is the position you are using comfortable? Have you tried varying them?

Myliferocks Mon 24-Jun-13 21:13:27

I bf DC1 for 7 weeks and I hated every bloody minute of those 7 weeks.
In the end I just had to stop. There wasn't anything that would make me carry on perservering.
I never bf my 4 younger DC.

ZiaMaria Mon 24-Jun-13 21:18:43

I set deadlines (i.e. if she's not got the idea by Christmas, it's over). However, now, like Num I'm in the position that she will not take any formula, so I'm still BF at 8 months despite the fact she has teeth. I have cut down to three feeds a day though - I'm working very very hard on weaning her to solids...

DoodleAlley Mon 24-Jun-13 21:23:02

The fact both DCs wouldn't take a bottle certainly focused matters.

And I would say that around about six weeks with DC1 things got better.

DD it happened earlier and things are much easier because I couldn't care less now about feeding in public. I neve got to that point with DS.

It also helped that my DM kept trying to get me to bottle feed!

I felt trapped always with DS as I hated feeding in public so it made things hard. With not caring so much it has released me to really enjoy breastfeeding and I am
So pleased I stuck with it.

I say this as someone currently in the mist of full blown mastitis. It is still worth it.

DoodleAlley Mon 24-Jun-13 21:28:28

Midst.

Amongst other typos.

SnoopyLovesYou Mon 24-Jun-13 21:29:34

You need antibiotics for that nasty thrush. Had it too but went undiagnosed. See how you feel after that! x

I would just tell myself I would get through the next feed. It was excruciating for 4 months, then calmed down a bit, still never had a pain free feed at 12mo. You do need to do what's best for your family and sometimes that means carrying on even when you hate it. Depends on your personality I guess, I hate it still, but love that I am doing it IYSWIM and that's enough for me to continue.

sleepdodger Mon 24-Jun-13 22:01:16

Tbh because I felt I didn't have a great bond with my collicy silent reflux non dummy taking baby and bf was something only I could do for him thus giving him the health benefits and me a valuation of being a good mother iyswim
I introduced an expressed bottle at 6 weeks about once every couple of days so he was used to one (having had friends struggle with this later on) but he had ebf till 4mo the ln gradually dropped off at 7mo
When it ended I was a bit weird combo of sad he didn't need me and woohoo I'm free wink not that I've ever been out much since lol
I think after the initial few weeks of doom and tiredness bf is easier in that you perfect feeding lying down - its actually restful, you can go out with only nappies and clothes and you don't need to worry about sterilising everything, which I became a bit obsessive about!!
If you hate it switch but actually you might just be bloody broken tired. This phase will pass and you WILL marvel at what you did. Also I was shock at how much formula was , more than I thought for me greedy child!! So I retrospectively decided all that bf saved on formula was due a massive treat to me afterwards wink

weeblueberry Mon 24-Jun-13 22:23:29

Thank you to everyone who's responded. I really do appreciate hearing what you've been through.

So far I've just been 'working to that next feed' like a lot of you seem to have done too. smile Unfortunately some of the issues I'm experiencing are longer term ones though (ie a feeling of being 'trapped' by the breastfeeding and lack of independence' etc. - I know that's a totally selfish reason to dislike the feeding but I feel it none the less...)

I've tried expressing a couple of times but with little luck. However a lot of what I've read suggests until about 6 weeks your supply isn't strong enough to get a good amount in a pumping session. One of the problems I have though are my breasts themselves. I lost a lot of weight in order to get pregnant and my breasts have really suffered as a result. They've sadly become quite 'droopy' and soft which makes baby latching on a little uncomfortable and difficult. It can sometimes mean I'm spending a lot of time before we get a successful latch. It also means if I'm out and about without pillows etc I'm having to hold my little one the entire feed which is sore and probably quite inefficient after a while.

LaLaLeni I've stuck with it because I'm bloody stubborn. I know it's the best thing for her and I can't get my head round the fact that it's a fairly selfish decision not to continue. If there were a solid medical reason I actually couldn't continue I would accept it but knowing I can technically continue but am choosing not to is very difficult to me. It's a case of being caught between a rock and a hard place (continuing vs the guilt of stopping...).

You do what is best for YOU! Yes, breast is best, but what is better is a happy mum. Even though I BF for 8 months, I never felt more bonded than when I bottle fed him. There is nothing selfish about wanting independence etc - if you being happy makes the family happy, whats wrong with that?

I used to give myself a week at a time. If it's not working next Sunday. I'm going to stop. I ended up mix feeding for 0-3 months, EBF for 3-6 months then mix feeding again till 8 months.

Now that you've got BF well established, have you thought about maybe introducing a bottle? Either formula or expressed breast milk, a bottle may give you that bit of independence you want back without feeling guilty. Even if it's only for one night so you get to relax or hang out with your OH.

OhDearNigel Mon 24-Jun-13 22:45:28

I found the first 6 weeks incredibly difficult. If someone had given me the choice of giving birth every day or feeding I would have taken giving birth. I dreaded every time she woke up because it was so incredibly painful, like having glass ground into an open wound. I had to bite down on something whenever I let down. I would have given up but I was absolutely determined to carry on; one of my friends told me to "just say to yourself you'll do this one last feed and stop". Which is what I did. 3.5years later I am breastfeeding a toddler who shows no sign of giving up [dammit !]. those first 6 weeks are definitely the worst, if you can hang in there it does get much better

Kellymom is an excellent breastfeeding website which really helped wtih some of my problems

Sunnysummer Mon 24-Jun-13 22:58:07

I second Kellymom as a great source of balanced advice. Also, while
I was lucky not to have as many issues as some of the people here, we certainly didn't love it at the beginning... But one thing that did help to change my mind was having to do a formula trial at 6 weeks (due to his extreme reflux) and realising how much more I hated both the hassle of pumping and the faff and expense of formula! Also, even though he didn't always love feeding due to his reflux, I missed having one thing that just bonded the two of us, and the ability to soothe and nurture him without resorting to endless rocking or trying to force in a (generally unwanted) dummy.

Have you ever tried pumping and feeding by bottle? My friend's baby just couldn't latch properly but the pump didn't hurt her, so she ended up renting a hospital double pump (so it only took 10-15 mins to express a feed) and bottle feeding. It may not be as ideal as straight up breastfeeding, and it seems like most girls who pump do end up stopping earlier or having to supplement - but it still keeps so many of the benefits, and like the other posters have said, you need to preserve your own sanity too, for both your sakes! Hope it improves soon.

I ebf dd for 3 months and hated every minute of it. Breastfeeding was piss easy for us - i was very lucky we were 'naturals' and had no issues right from the get go - but i despise the let down it makes me feel physically sick the feeling of my beautiful baby on my breast doing what is natural made me sick sad i ended up with severe pnd (not all BF related) and even though dd is now 8 i at times, still find it hard to be physically close to her sad

Not BFing ds broke my heart and i feel felt guilty upto 8 months post birth. I know i'm not BFing dd2 when she arrives and feel crap for it but it's not something i can put myself through, mentally and emotionally.

Sorry to be a downer but do what is best for you and your dc not what you think you should do flowers

TheFallenMadonna Mon 24-Jun-13 23:10:27

I remember holding DS close to my breast but being unable to actually allow him to latch on because it was just so unutterable painful. Which was very distressing for him, and was a pretty terrible thing to do, but I just felt like I couldn't bear it again. And then I would put him on and cry. I'm not sure why I carried on. Partly because my MIL thought I should give up (blush). Just kept going, for about 6 months.

With DD, I loved it.

Scruffey Mon 24-Jun-13 23:16:25

I hated it, gave up on 1st birthday and switched to ordinary cows milk. My dd never had a bottle, excl bf for 6 months, bf and food from 6-12 months. She does however have asthma, exzcema and has had a few chest infections. Leaving me wondering what the slog achieved!

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Mon 24-Jun-13 23:33:14

Hated it with dd1. Didn't have a clue what I was doing and never got the right help. In the end I was crying at the thought of having to bf her, she was crying whenever she came near me and my lovely dh begged me to stop. The relief I felt when I did was overwhelming. She has always been perfectly healthy and got her first cold at 13 months.

With dd2 it was completely different. She fed well and it felt natural and comfortable. I had loads of help from the Breastfeeding team, I fed through three weeks of thrush and stopped at about seven months because we were ready to by then. However dd2 permanently has a cold, I mean proper running nose all the time, so I personally don't believe bfing has any health benefits whatsoever.

2tiredmama Mon 24-Jun-13 23:43:30

Well done on 6 weeks, you're doing great. My baby is 16 weeks old and I had very inverted nipples which have partially corrected themselves from BF and pumping but my god it was very sore in the early weeks up until about 10 weeks as baby had to suck so hard to get it when I realized I should use the Lansinoh cream immediately after every feed and just before bed as apposed to waiting for sore nipples and then applying.i.e use it as a preventative as well as treatment. I also wear madela nipple formers which air the nipples aswell as form them thus helping them heal inbetween feeds. Also if you're at home and you have a pump you could pump for a couple of mins before BF to prime your nipples and see if that helps? Either way do what feels right for you as I know how you feel and pain with tiredness makes it twice as bad!! Best of luck and 6 weeks is great smile

2tiredmama Mon 24-Jun-13 23:50:30

Ps. Another thing to bare in mind is that soon your baby will become much more efficient at feeding thus feeding times will be shorter....this made me hang in there and now after 16 weeks I tell myself soon he'll be on solids and he'll need my milk/time less again!!

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