Still struggle to get over BF failure

(18 Posts)
Shantotto Wed 13-Jan-16 21:18:49

My DS is 6 months next week. From the start we had problems. He was badly jaundiced, slept constantly. We went back to hospital and he had treatment. I was also I'll and needed to stay in for a couple of days. No wet nappies, needed formula.

I've had a couple of threads here, I did everything but he has always needed formula. Everywhere I turn it's the breast is best message, and I take that to mean I do not do the best for my son and my guilt and anxiety is crippling.

But the stupid thing is he does latch, he gets a wee bit of milk from me, I can soothe him when he's upset and it's the only way he will sleep! So I do it, a little.

The only thing I didn't try was pumping every 3 hours. I had a lactation consultant out the day I came home, ate oats took fenugreek, domperidone, nursing tea, tongue tie snip, cranial osteopathy... He would feed for 24 hours and hardly a wet nappy. I keep beating myself up because I didn't power pump.

Every feed he has 30 mins of boob then formula. It takes ages to feed him, and I've got to try and fit actual food in from next week! I've kept it up for 6 months. I should be proud.

But I'm still crying. I know formula is fine. My DS is such a beautiful happy boy, I can't imagine how BF could make him any better.

When does it get easier?

Madratlady Wed 13-Jan-16 21:29:06

You have bf a bit and he will get the benefits from that, you have given him extra in the form of formula to make sure he gets adequate calories to grow and thrive. You've done amazingly to keep it up for 6 months so you absolutely do the best for your son!

Bananalanacake Wed 13-Jan-16 21:40:19

I had those problems too and had to top up my dd with Formula, I didn't give up, I went to a breastfeeding cafe and got lots of help, i also tried a pump once but it didn't work out so I didn't pump at all. I'm still BF her (as well as solids) and she's 15mo now, find your local BF cafe, your HV should have a leaflet.

RumAppleGinger Wed 13-Jan-16 21:40:34

You've done a fantastic job OP. Six months is a wonderful achievement for all the hurdles you've faced. I know breast feeding can seem like the be all and end all. I had many of the same problems you did and I beat myself up massively for not being able to breastfeed for longer. But you know what? I now have an extremely happy, healthy, loving 5 year old who doesn't care one iota that he wasn't EBF. You're doing a great job. Give yourself a break and just enjoy your baby.

Shantotto Wed 13-Jan-16 21:54:45

Thanks everyone. And I'm sorry to hear of your struggles too. It can be so tough!

Banana - at one point I was going to 3 support groups a week! After a couple of months I went to one a week until recently - I went just to talk to the midwife who I was quite friendly with by then after going every week! She cooed over DS and I helped with my mixed feeding. She was amazing and I was gutted when she left just before Christmas!

He seems to be fussing more and more so I don't know if we're at the end of the road or he's teething like crazy!

LittleBearPad Wed 13-Jan-16 22:09:13

Six months! You've done amazingly.

DC1 was largely formula fed (wouldn't latch). She's now three and I rarely even think about it. I think once weaning started at six months I started to properly make my peace with it.

Shantotto Wed 13-Jan-16 22:13:24

I think weaning might help too. Maybe will switch to just morning and night when he starts to drop milk.

I've just seen some threads on here lately and some other stuff elsewhere that's make me all sad about it again.

It's funny, I had a super hippy birth plan that went out the window after waters broke and I needed an induction. But it never occurred to me for a second that BF wouldn't work, I'd read books and done research and held a doll to my boob at NCT classes!

Thanks for letting me wallow!

LittleBearPad Thu 14-Jan-16 16:36:40

It really is ok. I had a four page birth plan that also went out the window when I had to be induced, had ventouse and almost had an EMCS. I also thought BF would be fine. I didn't buy any bottles/steriliser or anything pre-birth.

I think I do understand how you feel. I used to feel bad in cafes with my bottle of Aptamil when other mothers all seemed to be BF and I thought they were judging me. But as time went on I realised it really didn't matter and that in all likelihood they didn't give a stuff how I was feeding DD.

Weaning did help because after six months there was less of the ebf malarkey. I honestly think time is a great healer on this one.

It's one tiny element of yours child's childhood and to have kept BF to whatever extent is amazing. Be kind to yourself.

DangerMouth Thu 14-Jan-16 20:12:54

I have bf one dd and bottle fed ebm the other. I worked a lot harder to give dd2 ebm than l did with bf (although that was hard don't get me wrong!). When l moved dd2 to formula at 3 months l did feel a little judged when feeding her out, as l knew it wasnt bm and imagined everyone else knew too blush But at 4 months, not expressing 10 times a day (yes that's how crazy it was!) means l can enjoy both my dd's a lot more and as a pp said, we will start weaning soon and this will be a distant memory.

But you are getting that closeness that bf gives which l think is nice. Dd2 bf for the first 2 weeks and then on and off until she was 6 weeks and l do cherish that. Look at the positives to your situation as there are some there flowers

Shantotto Sat 16-Jan-16 09:40:23

Thanks all flowers

I finally had my mental health assessment this week so has to go over it all again - my HV and GP thought I wasn't coping with it well so sent me off for a referral as it triggered done bad anxiety. It's taken so long though that I've pretty much gotten better myself!

Yesterday I bought the river cottage baby and toddler cookbook (I've got so many of these and I'm sure I'll just end up with a bit of mashed carrot to stay with!) and it starts with pages and pages going on about how amazing BF is. I wanted to throw it out of the window!

I'm trying to be positive though! I've done well to drag it out this long. smile

SkiptonLass2 Sat 16-Jan-16 11:12:48

It is ok, really! Breastfeeding was so, so much harder than I imagined it would be. We cracked it in the end but I mix fed for a while too.

Bf-ing is amazing, but frankly, so is the existence of a safe, nutritious alternative. Thank fuck we have it, imagine the infant mortality without it!

I'd love to see research done on mix feeding. I have a suspicion that there'd be little difference from bf-ing - you're still giving the child antibodies etc.

You haven't failed at all! You wouldn't have failed if you'd ffd from the start either ;)

babyboyHarrison Sat 16-Jan-16 20:47:36

I feel almost exactly the same. Little girl is 5 months. I'd been struggling along with about 50/50 breastmilk/formula but she was starting to get fussier at the breast then followed by horrible flu making me really sick and dehydrated has meant my supply has pretty much gone. I wouldn't dream of judging anyone giving their little one formula and I would be full of praise for anyone getting so far when it's been such a struggle but I am absolutely gutted that it hasn't worked out. Been trying to ramp up the pumping and domperidone to try and get some supply back but think I'm on a loosing battle. I really feel for you and I'm sure a bit of time will heal all wounds. I have managed to breastfeed for longer second time around than I did with my little boy and quite frankly he is amazing so sure that formula hasn't done him any harm. A well fed baby that is growing is better than a breastfed baby that is starving.

Rose0713 Tue 02-Feb-16 19:44:15

I am currently having same issue. My baby is nearly 5 months old and as soon as i out him in the feeding position he won't have it at all.i have got a bad cold and have been crying my eyes out. He doesn't even want me to bottlefeed him.im feeling so lowwww

Floowho Tue 02-Feb-16 20:23:23

Hi Rose. Didn't want to read and run. Do you think your baby is picking up on your anxiety? Will he take a bottle from someone else. As someone who bf didn't work for, I remember those feelings, and think they contributed to pnd. If you are feeling that low and can't stop crying, do you think that might be affecting you too? flowers

Duckdeamon Tue 02-Feb-16 20:29:47

It'd be a good idea to go back to your GP or HV to discuss your mental health since you sound very anxious about this.

There are many, many things about my births and parenting I would like to have been different or done differently. When I have these thoughs and am Ok with my mental health I remind myself that the DC are fine and we're good parents.

When these thoughts become intrusive and I feel anxious I consult DH, who will usually reassure me or (if he agrees we could improve something, eg when we had childcare that wasn't good enough) we'll agree on some action.

When my MH is not so good I worry about these things more, and the issue is my MH not the things am worrying about IYSWIM!

Rose0713 Tue 02-Feb-16 21:32:26

He is taking the bottle from my mother. Yes i think it is affecting me.
I have realised today that my forcing him to breastfeed might affect him mentally also. It makes me feel like a failure that he doesn't want my milk. Will my baby still loves me if there is no breastfeeding bonding?

Duckdeamon Tue 02-Feb-16 23:23:38

Of course he will! You're his lovely mum!

Floowho Wed 03-Feb-16 13:14:37

You will remember, but he won't at all X Looking at five year olds, you would never guess which ones were breast fed, and which ones weren't. Babies love their mummy's, they are just more settled with a happier mum x

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