I'm really scared about breastfeeding. ..

(13 Posts)
Toowittoowoo Tue 30-Jul-13 14:13:18

I was absolutely adamant that I was going BF DD 3 years ago and I was devastated after a long induction that nothing seemed to work for me or DD. I drove me and DD 30 miles everyday to our nearest NHS BF consultant but after a while of DD not putting on weight (and more worryingly not pooing) I was advised to bottle feed. I tried to express and bottle feed but despite weeks of trying 7 times a day no milk would come out.

It could have been the long induction with so many drugs to kick start labour or it could have been, as one midwifw suggested, that I have large nipples! They really don't look that big....but anyway!

Now I am PG with DC2 I am becoming progressively more worried any BF. My mother goes on about all the time saying that I will obviously try again this time and with luck it will works fine so I need to think about suitable clothing for when the baby is born etc. she is also saying that i shouldn't plan to anything for 6 months as i'll be too tied to the baby (this includes going swimming for 30 mins and leaving the DCs with DH. She tells me how hard it was BFing me and DB and how tied she was to home for at least 6 months. She was also warning me of how DD may react badly to me BFing the new DC.

The problem is that I am not sure that I even want to BF this time. It was so awful and stressful last time that I'm not sure I can cope with that again. However, I am also worrried that I will be able to do it this time and I'll actually just find it too hard as it'll be the first time I've done it and I'll have a 3 year old to look after. The idea of not being able to go for a 30min swim on my own for 6 months sends me into a cold sweat.

Am I being pathetic and selfish as my mother evidently thinks?

ProudNeathGirl Tue 30-Jul-13 14:19:28

If you don't want to BF, then don't do it. Your kids will grow up fine.

I had a similar experience with DD1, BFing used to hurt like hell, I bled, she sicked up pink milk, I cried everytime she needed feeding - she wasn't putting on weight, but midwife was putting a lot of pressure on me to keep going (and giving support). Then at about 7 or 8 weeks DH came home with equipment for bottle feeding, and I was SO relieved that someone had made this difficult choice for me I cried (again!). After that DD and I never looked back. I stopped hating her, she grew nicely, and everthing was great.

I fully planned to give BFing a go with DD2 18 months later, but when she popped out, I just couldn't face it. She was bottle fed from the start.

Both are now hugely healthy teenagers - they eat good diets and are never ill - hardly a cold between them from one year to the next.

BFing is great, and better for the baby and you, but bottle feeding is not as evil as it's made out to be. You and baby will thrive if you use bottles, and if bfing is not for you, don't sweat about it, and don't let anyone tell you what's best for you and the baby.

Your mum's not helping much, is she?!

Ok - so. OF COURSE you're going to be able to go for a 30 minute swim. You do not need special clothes to breastfeed so don't worry about "committing" to breastfeeding by buying them. Jeans and a long sleeved t-shirt (or even a short sleeved one!) are fine.

If I had to guess what the issue was last time I'd say you got too stressed about the situation for your milk to let down (with the pump I mean, I wouldn't want to guess with the baby as there are so many variables!)

Give BF a bash, but be kind to yourself. I've EBF two but no-one's given me any sort of badge...

NipLash Tue 30-Jul-13 14:23:49

You feed your baby however you want to, and don't be pressured into anything!

You could well find it is absolutely fine this time, and you can breastfeed with no problems (if you choose to). There shouldn't be any reason why you won't be able to swim for 30 mins! How far away is the pool? I'm sure your baby will be fine for an hour or so with your Dh, and if necessary he could even come to the pool and wait while you swim, so you can feed as soon as you're dressed.

There's also no reason why you need to be stuck in the house for 6 months. Breastfeeding is much easier to do out and about than FF, and if you're uncomfortable doing it in public you can cover yourself with a muslin or shawl for privacy.

Try not to stress about it, just do what feels right for you when the baby is born.

muppetthecow Tue 30-Jul-13 14:24:31

I don't think you're being pathetic OR selfish; it was clearly a stressful time for you and that's bound to leave you with worries about trying again. Which ever way you decide to go it needs to be your choice. Maybe give it a go at the hospital and see what happens - if it works, great, if it doesn't you can make the decision whether or not to keep trying or focus on other things. Don't put too much pressure on yourself either way!

I would say that your mum is making a bit much of you being 'tied' to the baby though. I managed to go out without DS for stretches of time (and I flipping well needed it sometimes!) sometimes up to two hours. It just depends on the kind of feeding routine baby settles into. After the first few days/weeks a lot of babies will quite happily go for longer than 30 mins without a feed.

muppetthecow Tue 30-Jul-13 14:25:54

Good lord I type slowly, there were no other responses when I started...

NipLash Tue 30-Jul-13 14:25:55

And, no - you don't need special 'breastfeeding clothes'. I wear a normal top with a vest underneath, so I pull my top up and the vest down.

prissyenglisharriviste Tue 30-Jul-13 14:26:05

Kinda what neathgirl said, but with the added wisdom that bleeding and pink milk (with floaty bits of fallen off boob) is entirely normal and disappears. No one tells you that though, so you start thinking you are terrible at it, as it isn't all pain free and perfect latch with fairy music.

Bf can be pretty grim to start with, but mostly it all settles down over time, and is much much easier than the faff of sterilising.

You don't need to bf. you can do whatever you like. Don't put additional pressure on yourself by thinking you have to do anything.

UnderwaterBasketWeaving Tue 30-Jul-13 14:27:16

Your mother doesn't sound very supportive.

Tied to the home for 6 months?! When it works well, breast feeding is incredibly liberating! Pop out with a spare nappy and baby in a carrier, no need for bags of bottles & formula, bliss!

Some people even manage to go back to work and still bf for YEARS!

I understand given your previous experience that its a worry, but why not resolve to give it a good try but be ready to formula feed if that's what is needed. It's ok to mix feed too. (It's ok to formula feed!)

Of course you'll have time for a quick swim. Go with friends and the children, you can take it in turns to float the babies in those swim seats while you do a couple of lengths. You'll be fine. x

prissyenglisharriviste Tue 30-Jul-13 14:28:08

<and um, yeah, I've had three children, never owned any bf clothes, and could swim quite happily (or anything else - used to go for a run for an hour to preserve my sanity) for 30 minutes whilst someone else kept an eye on the weans.>

ladypop Tue 30-Jul-13 14:29:55

I think your concerns are totally valid as you had a bad experience last time and your worried how it will be this tome round. However, it is really unhelpful for someone to be seemingly putting pressure on you to bf in once instance then painting a terrible picture of it the next.
Easy as it is to say, you almost have to blank out what everyone else thinks and go with your gut instinct.....when the baby arrives!
breastfeeding went really well for me with DS1 but this time with DS2 (now 3 months old) although it got off to a great start it went downhill and I switched to ff finally at 8 weeks as it was too stressful, esp with our 3.5yr old to consider. What I am trying to say is that each baby is different and whilst I thought it would go as swimmingly the second time i soon realised that was silly to assume that it would all be the same.
So whilst you are having anxieties about how it will be this time, maybe give it a go an if it seems to work for you, baby and the rest of your family then great! If not, then go with what works best for you all - be it a combination of bf and ff (to give you some freedom!) or ff alone. Having done both I really think it is swings and roundbouts. Obviously breast is best etc etc but only if it works for you and baby!
Just wait to see what happens but be open to all possibilities and then you won't be disappointed. I say this from very recent experience as until that little one arrives you simply won't know what may happen! Good luck and congrats! X

UnderwaterBasketWeaving Tue 30-Jul-13 14:31:24

I was a bit slow off the mark there! (Potty training here today - had to do a high 5 mid post)

This: "Bf can be pretty grim to start with, but mostly it all settles down over time" - I used to count to 10 when he latched on, and by 10 it wouldn't hurt so much. At 5 weeks I realised it didn't hurt any more! I can't remember exactly when it got better. He fed to sleep, and eventually stopped himself. I fed him in the night, till he decided he didn't need it. And I fed him for 2 years despite working full time. I'm so glad I got through the first bit, and so glad that was the worst experience I had. We were lucky.

Toowittoowoo Tue 30-Jul-13 14:54:31

You all make a lot of sense and I know you are right. When I found out I was PG I thought about BFing and my gut instinct is that I would give it a go and see what happens. For very practical reasons I would dearly like to not waste so many hours of my life with a screaming hungry baby trying to cool down a bottle and I would like to leave the house not looking like I was going on a 2 week holiday (reusable nappies and FFing = a lot of stuff!) However, DD is fine and happy, I am fine and happy so if it didn't work I wasn't going to worry about switching to FF as that has practical benefits as well.

But then my mother got involved and is driving me loopy. I think as she has BF 2 children and I can only assume that she didn't enjoy it very much she feels that I had it too easy last time.

I am going to save all your replies and read them through the next time my mum starts onto me about it. Thank you all.

(P.s. You should hear her comments on baby names.......oh no, that is a different thread!).

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