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I really really don't want to breastfeed.

(83 Posts)

I am 38 weeks with DC1 and really dont want to breastfeed. I understand the many benefits of doing so and feelvery guilty about feeling this way. But I find the idea of doing it very distateful. I know its natural etc etc and I dont find it wierd when other women do it, but its the thought of doing it myself I find repulsive if im quite honest. I am also worried about the demanding side of it, it seems to be almost constant in the first weeks and it just seems overwhelming not to mention the pain side of things.

Deep down I know that formula feeding is what will suit me and my mental wellbeing. However I do of course feel very guilty about feeling this way and I darent talk to anyone in RL about it- all the midwives are very forceful about breasttfeeding and all the girls from my antenatal are intending to breastfeed.

Does anyone else feel this way or am I the only bad mother to be around?! wink

princesslina Sun 07-Oct-12 17:09:18

I just wanted to add that already you are a great mum because you are thinking how can I be the best mum poss, what are the best choices I can make for my baby, myslef and our family to be.

I also wanted to add that I have worked with numerous families and their newborns, some mums choose to exclusively breastfeed, others only bottle but there are things inbetween, it does not have to be one or the other. I have worked with mums that have hated the thought of BF given it a go and loved it and vice versa. I have had mums who have chosen to do whatever it takes (either on the breast or through expressing ) to give their baby the Colostrum becasuse of the various health benefits for baby(the first thick creamy milk that you have in the first couple of days) and have then moved on to Formula. I have had other mums who have chosed to exclusively express for a few weeks and others who have chosen to express for a few times each day so their baby gets a little breastmilk and the rest formula, in the knowledge that supply will never really ramp up and so it has just been for a short time. And I have also had mums who have exclusively pumped and only given baby breastmilk for 6 months. However a lot of these options which have worked well for the families concerned (and their choices for doing so have varied from not wanting to have baby on the breast to not being able to for whatever reason and everything inbetween!!) were never even offered as an option by health care professionals it was either BF or FF and that was that. We are all different and whatever you decide to go for will be the right decision for you.

violetlights Sat 06-Oct-12 23:33:05

I was formula fed and I'm a perfect specimen of humankind. ;) Had a ridiculously healthy childhood. Keep an open mind, but at the end of the day do what makes you happy. Mummy happy, everyone happy. x

Thank you so much ladies. I did watch the Cherry Healey programme which was what prompted my post on here really- the consultant saying how there was no comparison health benefits wise between formula and breast milk gave me a major attack of the guilts.

I'm not ruling it out completely though- as others have said when baby is placed on me I may feel completely differently, so we will just see.

Its really good to know I'm not the only one that has felt this way though.

DialMforMummy Fri 05-Oct-12 10:42:09

It's fiiiine, don't worry. Just refuse point blank to discuss it with anyone else but your OH. Not bf is not neglect.
Like you, I was never hot on bf, for reasons slightly different from yours.
From what I can gather, you have to be pretty committed to bf for it to be successful anyway, so if your heart is not in it, chances are it won't work very well.

forpitysake Fri 05-Oct-12 10:32:08

I tried to BF DD1 and I managed for 5 days. I had to have a section so it took ages for my milk to come through and by the time it did I was chewed raw shock despite being told the latching on was fine.
I gave up after 5 days. I beat myself up cos I felt that I'd failed her, but actually she had the colustrum which was good.
She went straight onto FF and life suddenly got so much easier! DH could feed her too and bond with her etc. They have such a lovely relationship and I think a lot of it is due to being so hands-on with feeding etc.
I'm 34 wks with DD2 and I'd like to try again, but I'm not going to beat myself up again. I've also got a large (benign) breast tumour which I've been told won't interfere with feeding but we'll see hmm
DD1 has never had a day off school or nursery ill and she has thankfully been a very robust healthy and clever little kiddie.
No regrets here for FF.
You do what's best for you and sod everyone else.
My MIL tried BF with my BIL and had such a horrible experience she gave up and then didn't even want to try with DH. They have both been very healthy and strong. MIL was really supportive in my choice as was my mum who had BF me and my brother and sister for a while.
Previous posteres are right - you're well-being is very important esp at this stage.
Happy mum will help make happy baby no matter how they're fed.
Good luck!

charlienash25 Fri 05-Oct-12 09:22:39

Dont feel bad for decisions that you want to make!

I didnt breastfeed DD1 and she has turned into a very happy, bubbly clever 4 year old!

Currently 32 weeks and will not be breastfeeding this one either.

ledlights Fri 05-Oct-12 09:07:53

If you don't want to do it, don't. I breastfed my dc and it was the easiest thing ever but a very good friend of mine bottle fed hers from the start and both of our DCs are equally healthy, bright and lovely. If we ever have second babies we are planning to do the same, one thing works for one of us, another for the other. In terms of stupid judgemental comments etc we probably got equal amounts, she from the militant breast feeding brigade and I from the 'don't understand why anyone would breastfeed, it's so inconvenient/disgusting/stops your child sleeping through the night/gives you saggy boobs'.

DeathMetalMum Thu 04-Oct-12 17:34:35

I was going to suggest the cherry heely programme I would reccomend it definatley. Lots of different perspectives of peoples intentions before and after birth.

Do what feels best and don't feel bad.

Oh and not everyone had problems woth bf some just sail through. You very rarely hear the positive storys.

Rainbowbabyhope Thu 04-Oct-12 16:39:25

I agree that it is a completely individual decision and no one should feel guilty no matter what they decide to do regarding breast feeding or bottle. My experience with it is somewhat unique - with my first pregnancy, I too was totally undecided about breast feeding, although was open to giving it a go but certainly would not have felt guilty if I had decided no too. But then my DD was stillborn so when my milk came in I had no baby to feed and no decision to make. I was totally taken aback by how strong the urge to feed was even though I had no baby to feed - in fact I sat there weeping and in pain for days wondering how anyone can resist the urge to breast feed their baby. The urge was so strong I nearly fed my pillows! It took me completely by surprise so I would definitely say that you should not rule anything out.

Aworryingtrend- when I was pregnant, I also knew I didn't want to breast feed, and used to totally try to justify why to the midwife. She simply said 'all roads lead to Rome' and she is right. So long as the baby is getting fed who cares?!?
Ignore anyone who tries to make you feel bad.

When they are 4/5/15 it doesn't make a jot of difference if they were bf or ff smile

hopeful92 Thu 04-Oct-12 14:00:24

You shouldn't feel guilty for not wanting to breast feed, at the end of the day it is your body and your baby and you are entitled to feed it in any which way you desire. If breast feeding doesn't feel right for you then what is the point in forcing yourself and making yourself feel uncomfortable?! Formulas these days are much better than they used to be and, although they obviously can't quite have the quality of nutrients as breast milk, they come damn close!

Just a suggestion, have you thought about using a milk extractor, then you could still be feeding your baby some breast milk, and just top it up with formula?

Give it a go though is all I would suggest, if you truly don't like it and don't feel comfortable the first time you give it a go then you don't have to try again, but then at least no one can say you didn't try!

Good luck with the remainder of your pregnancy, and don't worry about feeding! Do what you feel is natural for you.

Ameliac28 Thu 04-Oct-12 12:06:01

I'm exactly the same as you, I don't want to do it either and won't be but feeling guilty about not so I brought myself a breastpump and I'm going to give that ago even if it's just a week or two then I won't feel so bad, but don't worry at the end of the day it's your choice x

JennerOSity Thu 04-Oct-12 10:52:17

Just to give you some more food for thought there was a programme on this recently can watch it on BBC iPlayer here:

www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b010fq6q/Is_Breast_Best_Cherry_Healey_Investigates/

It is a very balanced programme with a good mix of takes on the matter and I personally felt it gave a good account of both choices without being preachy, so it could be interesting to watch as a way to make you feel more assured about whatever decision you decide on.

Sparklesandglitter Thu 04-Oct-12 10:13:27

But just so you know, bottles are much more of a faff than breast especially at 2am and when you are going out for the day!!!smile

Sparklesandglitter Thu 04-Oct-12 10:08:28

I felt the same way I was adamant I would not breast feed but planned to express. Once DD arrived I decided to try BF. we had issues in the first couple of days which made me upset as I couldn't BF. we have now settled on Mixed feeds, we BF first thing and at bedtime but FF the rest of the time. I miss cuddles when I FF but would not feel comfortable BF in public and love that DP can help. With the exception of 1 horrible midwife all the HV and MW have been supportive, DD is doing so well and I will mix feed as long as I can. Basically keep an open mind but remember FF is not poison and if anybody says otherwise ignore them!!!happy mummy happy baby, good luck!

I FF my DS from birth (my milk never came in) and it actually worked really well for us. He was a very happy and healthy baby, and it was lovely to be able to share his care equally with DH (I think it set a good pattern too, we have always shared parenting equally since then).

And if it makes you feel better, my SIL just had a baby in France, and she was the only woman breastfeeding on her entire ward -- FF is still much more the standard here. Does that mean all French women are bad mothers? I don't think so.

I've suffered from depression too and I totally understand that feeling of needing to prioritise your mental health. I hope all the support on this thread has convinced you that you're doing the right thing smile

sammyleh Thu 04-Oct-12 09:38:43

The idea freaks me out too... I'm a bit weird with my boobies anyway and feel a bit sick at the idea of a baby feeding from them. Couple that with forceful midwives and I ended up arguing with one of them. She told me 'it's a no brainer really, you should breastfeed your baby' to which I politely told her to do one and I would not be pressured into anything. I think sometimes you have to be firm with yourself and let your thoughts be known, I'm so glad I did because now I've told my midwife that I intend to formula feed unless the baby goes straight for the boob, she's really backed off.

Don't let anyone make you feel like you're a bad mother for any decision you make with regards to feeding, it's a very intimate and personal decision that NOBODY has the right to interfere with xx

canistartagainplease Thu 04-Oct-12 09:32:53

Then don't, you've done the research,arn't freaked out by other mums,and know what you know (feel) about yourself,so just get on with feeding your child. You dont need permission.

Purplecatti Thu 04-Oct-12 09:17:50

It's your baby and your body and your decision.
I've been asked how I'm going to feed my baby when he pops out and I've said I'm giving breast feeding a go although I feel seriously weird and squeamish about it. All MWs were really nice and said give it a go for a day or so and if it isn't for me then to go on formula. I may find it OK but if I don't then the baby will have had a good start with antibodies and stuff.
I would advise giving it a few goes even if you plan to use formula as at first you'll give out colostrum which is really good for babies.
I don't believe in bullying people into doing what feels awful, there's no point. You'd end up with an unhappy and stressed mother and a fretful baby.

RubyrooUK Wed 03-Oct-12 22:46:49

You are not a bad mother OP, ultimately it is your choice. Do what makes you happy.

Although it is worth saying I am the most squeamish person alive. Felt repulsed at the thought of a child sucking on my breast. Cue huge hormonal surge at birth and I wanted to breastfeed and carried on and on till 16mo. Don't feel nearly so squeamish about feeding upcoming DC2, but still a bit; I'm sure it will fade.

Why not wait and see? The midwives in my hospital really didn't care at all how people fed so don't worry too much. And if you do want to formula feed, go ahead.

I did what was right for me; do I care how other people feed? No. Good luck with your baby!!!

perfectstorm Wed 03-Oct-12 22:43:16

(I agree that you should let yourself wait and see, though - hormones will kick in, and you may end up completely wanting to!)

perfectstorm Wed 03-Oct-12 22:42:33

I really, really wish I had formula fed DS. Would have been a great deal better for us both. There is so much more to being a mum than how you feed, and miserable breastfeeding can turn the first months of a baby's life into hell. Breast is not best if the effort to feed stops you relaxing into being a mum and enjoying your baby. Don't second guess yourself here - your instincts are valid, those are your breasts.

neontetra Wed 03-Oct-12 22:30:16

I would echo what others have said about waiting and seeing. I felt exactly like you, only intended to bf while in hospital as was scared of mws, and then switch to formula. But once I started, every instinct in my body screamed at me to carry on. And I am so glad I did. I find it easy and lovely, the opposite of how I imagined.

Teapot13 Wed 03-Oct-12 22:23:43

If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. You don't need to justify this decision to the midwives.

I would just say, though, that when the first baby comes we all find ourselves doing things we never would have thought possible, and for some of us this includes breastfeeding. I'm not saying you should force yourself to try if you don't want to, but have some skin-on-skin and see how you both feel.

JennerOSity Wed 03-Oct-12 22:17:41

Hi OP - if you like the idea of the health benefits but hate the idea of the feeding, you could always express for a few days to pass on some anti-bodies and wotnot, then go to formula for the rest. That way you could assuage the guilt but not at the expense of your sanity.

Just an idea - but don't feel pressured, bf'ing can be tough and if you did find it hard doing it under duress ain't going to make it any easier by any stretch of the imagination. You just do what you feel is right.

FWIW I bf my first but a close friend went straight to formula and of the two of us I was the one who got the most grief for my choice - no-one batted an eyelid at my friend. Personally I don't think any mum should get grief for either choice.

HTH

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