hate breastfeeding but feel guilty about wanting to stop(16 Posts)
I have a 1 month old and he has so far been only breastfed except for 1 bottle in the hospital when I had a 4am hormone meltdown and 1 bottle at about 2 weeks old when he wanted to feed for 6 hours straight. I'm not particularly 'militant' about breastfeeding but I wanted to give it a good try.
I got some help from the midwives in hospital and then the breastfeeding specialist came to my house to check on me and we have no problems with latch or anything, but now I don't know if I've got problems with milk supply because lately he has been getting so frustrated during feeds (pulls his head away, thrashes about, cries - I try winding him but it's not that) that I am not sure he is getting enough milk. He fed from 4am til about 8am this morning so I was already exhausted before the day even really began.
Tonight he started feeding at 6pm and by 8:30 when he was still hungry and crying I cracked and gave him formula, he took 3oz (had no idea how much to give so I guessed). Now he's sleeping and he looks so content that it makes me feel really sad that I couldn't feed him enough to make him that happy and get him to sleep.
Now I feel guilty that I want to stop because I don't really have a reason to other than I'm starting to feel so unhappy. I had a horrible pregnancy and pretty bad depression throughout so I'm really worried about PND.
I don't have anyone to share the work with, his father doesn't live in this country and we won't be able to see him for a few more months so switching to bottles wouldn't make life easier in that respect. I don't really mind about making life easier anyway it's just that I feel unhappy but because I know breastmilk is so good for him it feels selfish to stop.
My cousin just had a baby and she formula feeds and has had none of this guilt, she's not the type to hide her feelings and she just said she didn't like breastfeeding so she didn't want to do it. Why am I beating myself up so much about it if she isn't?
Oh nowwhat I'm so sorry you feel like this. I think the early weeks are relentless and it is really overwhelming feeling completely responsible for feeding your baby, especially when you are sleep deprived.
For me, 3-6 weeks was the toughest time by far. After that, things started to get easier
Why not call a breastfeeding helpline and ask them what they think? I found this Kellymom Link helpful.
Please don't feel guilty whatever you choose to do. You are doing an amazing job
Babies do the bulk of their feeding in the evening when they're trying to build up your milk supply. If he's on a growth spurt, your supply will catch up soon. Having said that, if you want to give up, you've done a great thing already by keeping it up for a month. I read on here that a months breast feeding gives the babies all the antibodies they need for their first year. It's bloody hard work and most people have the help of their partner to do everything else in the house while they're glued to the sofa feeding baby. So don't feel bad, whatever you decide.
You're beating yourself up because everyone has told you breast is best and you want the best for your baby.... so naturally you feel conflicted when it turns out that breastfeeding isn't going well. I quit very early on as it was such a difficult ordeal for me, and felt a huge amount of guilt, but that guilt quickly dissipated and I feel annoyed with myself succumbing to the guilt. It really doesn't matter one iota whether you BF of not. Is BF 'best' really? How much better exactly? No one knows. And what difference does it make if it's not a viable option for you given how it's going. Your mental state is very very important, and if you can handle early motherhood better by FF than BF just go for it.
Hi there.....I b/f dd1 for 12m and am 3.5 wks into b/f dd2. The early weeks are definitely the toughest in terms of pain, positioning, demand, tireness, cluster feeding, etc (look this up - during growth spurts - will explain baby wanting to feed so much at certain times eg 2 wks, 4 wks, etc - usually lasts a day or so). Thereafter it definitely gets easier...for me the convenience of always having milk available on tap when baby needed feeding / comforting is / was great, especially when travelling. The length of feeds you've mentioned doesn't sound right though - I don't think I've ever done more than 30mins (if that!). I would contact la leche league for some support.....a recent problem I had with dd2 was she was taking too much foremilk and not enough hindmilk. This made her windy, mucus nappies (too much lactose in foremilk causes wind & poo issues), fussy and wanting to feed too often (as not full from fuller hind milk). If this sounds familiar try feeding from one breast only each feed for a few days allowing your ds1 to come off when he chooses. This should ensure he gets plenty of hindmilk and the unpleasant symptoms subside in 24-48 hrs. If not, you can rule it out and perhaps re-explore positioning and if baby latching on properly etc. I needed to re-teach myself this even after 12m b/f dd1! What I would say is that you're doing great for persevering when dp not around - it's tough coping with dh never mind alone! Additionally, whilst I'm pro b/f, you have to do what's right for you (& give yourself permission to seek help and / or explore options...if mixed feeding (sometimes breast sometimes formula) or just formula works for you, then that's ok too. Formula is harder to digest, which means baby sleeps longer in between feeds, which may help you get through the days alone or the cluster feeding periods. Be mindful you need to b/f (or express) regularly to keep the supply up though. I hope you find the balance that works for you, best of luck!
I found breastfeeding difficult and didnt particularly enjoy it at the beginning . I had mastitis 3 times and LO was tongue tied so wasnt feeding well and didnt have the snip until 6 weeks old . However I think I turned a xorner around 8 weeks ... Suddenly it became easier ... And talking to everyone who has bf, it definitely gets easier.
Is breast is best? Without a shadow of a doubt. Is formula bad? Definitely not. I was a formula fed baby and so are many of my friends ... We turned out fine (I think! )
I think the important thing to remember is happy mummy=happy baby. There are lots of support out there if u wish to continue but if you don't, don't ever feel pressurised/guilty/bullied into breastfeeding . Just do whatever makes you feel most comfortable and happy with .
If you want to BF and enjoy it carry on, if you don't stop and FF. It's your choice. No guilt attached. I BF my 2 to 6 and 4 weeks and switched to FF. I could not have been happier tbh. I found it very liberating
OP have you tried feeding lying down? If you have no partner in the bed with you it's even easier. As long as you keep pillows and duvet well away from baby (easy in this weather!) and you don't smoke and haven't drunk alcohol that day, co-sleeping is safe for you if you breastfeed. My dd wakes up at 5am and has a loooong feed then, but I feed lying down with her snuggled against me and basically sleep through it.
If he is gaining weight steadily and not showing signs of dehydration (doing lots of wet nappies, alert when awake), he's getting enough milk. They sleep for longer when they've had formula as it's harder to digest so it's in their tummy longer, so they feel sated for longer. Again, it's not an indication of you not having enough milk. Cluster feeding for hours is also normal at this age - partly to keep your milk supply going, partly for comfort and wanting to be close to you. Sometimes the thrashing is actually a sign that there's lots of milk there and it's letting down too quickly - this will settle in time.
Obviously make the right decision for you, but nothing you've described indicates a problem with your breastfeeding. The first 6 weeks or so are about survival, and after that it does gradually get easier. It does feel like this stage will go on forever though when you're in it. My dc2 is 12 weeks old now and sleeping much better than she was 7 weeks ago, so there's light at the end of the tunnel.
Thanks everyone! Feel a lot more human this morning, he actually slept for 6 hours after having a bottle so we skipped one night feed, I think rather than giving him a bottle instead of his cluster feeding I'm going to try giving him a bottle as his last feed before bedtime for a few days and see if he will sleep through a bit more so I can catch up on some sleep.
We sometimes co-sleep and sometimes don't, I tried feeding him lying down but I didn't really like it, will try it again though. I have tried a few other feeding positions but again not really comfortable.
He has plenty of wet and dirty nappies (6-10 a day) and has gone from 7.14 at birth to 10.2 at 4 weeks so I know he's doing fine. It's interesting that his thrashing about might be to do with too much milk coming rather than not enough, I will bear it in mind.
I promised myself this morning that I will get to 6 weeks and if I still feel this way I can stop. I might find then that I think maybe I can just get to 7 weeks, 8 weeks... etc. Of course I am quite lonely and miss his dad so much, so I'm already feeling down and everything seems worse when you're down, my mums here but it's not the same.
I really do feel better after reading your replies so thank you again
So glad you are feeling a bit better. Sleep is amazing.
The tip I was given for feeding lying down was to put a folded up muslin under the bottom breast so that my nipple was supported at a better place for the baby. (Although I suppose this is dependent on boob size etc.) I also needed to place DD lower down the side of my body than I imagined for her to latch on comfortably. Although maybe you won't need any of this.
So sorry your DP is out of the country, must make it doubly hard.
I hated bf at first. Found it really stressful. But it does get better. I love it now.
Something I have just been wondering, will he know the difference if I stop breastfeeding? I understand about fore milk and hind milk so will he be confused that the formula is different or does he forget the last feed as soon as he's finished?
I know how stupid that sounds but I hate the idea of him being sad and confused because somethings changed. Will he still get the same comfort he gets from breastfeeding with a dummy and a cuddle?
Sounds like a great plan nowwhat It doesn't have to be all or nothing. Just take it one week (or even one day) at a time and see how things go.
I have never really felt comfortable feeding lying down but we have rigged our cot up as a side-car which is a godsend - don't have to get out of bed, just sit up and get comfy, feed, and then lie back down.
Sorry posted before seeing your last question nowwhat. I think it really depends on the baby. Many (most?) women change over from breastfeeding to bottle/formula with no problems at all - he may not be bothered. My baby was very fussy unfortunately, and really hated formula, so much so I gave up trying to give him any and just continued breastfeeding in an "anything for a quiet life" kind of way But I'm sure he would have got used to it if I had persisted.
I think he'll soon let you know whether or not he's happy with anything! Babies are pretty good at that
All I'd say is, take your time with making decisions. If I were you, I'd give bf another couple of weeks. It usually gets easier with time, and it's a lot easier to stop bf than it is to re-start it if you regret your decision - if you're still not enjoying it in a few weeks, then stop. But it would be awful to have regrets in the future, and your questions make it sound like you're not quite ready to stop yet. Take it one feed at a time for now.
As you mentioned, there's also mixed feeding as a happy medium. We did what you're suggesting above - one bottle last thing, and it worked fantastically for us. Meant DD seemed more satisfied, we could feed her to sleep and not worry about the transfer and because I knew she would take a bottle I could leave her for more than 3 hours!
FWIW... I'm not doing that any more because I don't feel like I need to. So it doesn't have to be a 'slippery slope' to exclusively ff either. Do whatever works for you. Breast is best but if you look at a class of 5 year olds you couldn't tell who were ff and who were bf. Make of that what you will ;)
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