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decision about breastfeeding

(58 Posts)
juju283 Tue 14-Jan-14 14:47:27

Okay so I have decided I do not want to breastfeed. I am obviously well aware of the benefits to thebaby and myself but my reason for choosing not to is because I had an eating disorder when I was younger. It was resolve but being pregnant has brought some of it back and I am constantly worrying about whether or not I am eating enough for my baby. I try really hard but I struggle to get the 300 calories extra in a day. I know when you breast feed you should have 500 calories extra and for me I would constantly worry that I wasn't doing this and would fear that my baby was not getting enough milk. I feel that although breast feeding is best ,in my case it is better that I know that my baby is eating and I haven't got to worry about what I eat reducing my chances of pnd too. Does this make me selfish or a terrible person for making this decision?

GiraffesAndButterflies Wed 15-Jan-14 03:26:17

You are not bu at all, but I think you are possibly worrying over-much about those extra calories while pregnant / bf.

being pregnant has brought some of it back and I am constantly worrying about whether or not I am eating enough for my baby. I try really hard but I struggle to get the 300 calories extra in a day.

Bear in mind that lots of women really struggle to eat while pregnant, and go on to have perfectly healthy babies. There are lots and lots of 'all I could bear to eat was x' type stories out there from mums who suffered from sickness or even hyperemesis.

It might be worth considering what support you can get now, irrespective of whether you want to bf or ff? If you can get a helpful midwife to check your weight along with your baby's size, she would probably be able to reassure you that you're doing ok calorie wise.

GiraffesAndButterflies Wed 15-Jan-14 03:27:55

Just realised that the question was aib selfish not AIBU. You're not being selfish either!

Gobbolinothewitchscat Wed 15-Jan-14 03:36:53

I think you've thought about things really careful and I can absolutely see your point of view

I wondered if you might try breast feeding for the first 72 hours or so though, just to let the baby have colostrum?

sleepywombat Wed 15-Jan-14 05:00:40

I think you should at least give it a go before you write it off completely. You never know, you might find you want to eat more or that it comes really naturally.

ipswichwitch Wed 15-Jan-14 05:25:45

I don't think you're being selfish at all. You've made a considered and sensible decision as to what's best for you as well as baby. That's what being a parent is about - you do what's. best for the family and as long as your baby is feeding well and gaining weight and is healthy and happy that's all that really matters. If ff means you will also be healthy and happy then go for it and balls to feeling you have to justify your decision to anyone because you don't,

sleepywombat Wed 15-Jan-14 05:34:52

Well, I'm anti formula, despite ff my ds2 from 4 mo - it mucked up his gut completely. Obviously most aren't that unlucky!

However, I don't see why you wouldn't give bf a go. If it doesn't work out for you or baby, fair enough, but seems strange to make up your mind before baby even here.

RalphRecklessCardew Wed 15-Jan-14 05:37:21

Absolutely your choice. Am
(probably stupidly) puzzled by your reasons though. You don't have to eat the extra 500 cals or eat right. Babies are pretty scarily good at getting the nutrients out of you

Plateofcrumbs Wed 15-Jan-14 08:40:10

Entirely your choice, in no way selfish. I think women are put under an unreasonable amount of pressure about breastfeeding.

However I agree with others who have said this doesn't need to be an either/or decision and it sounds like you are over-focusing on the need for additional calories.

SoftSheen Wed 15-Jan-14 08:49:26

The amount of calories you eat won't affect the quality of your milk- if you don't eat well, you may lose weight but the baby will still get everything she/he needs. Women have successfully breastfed even under famine conditions, and in concentration camps.

That said, if formula feeding is the right decision for you, then there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing that and you definitely shouldn't feel guilty. After all, the majority of adults walking around today were fed on formula.

You might like to think about feeding/expressing colostrum for the first couple of days, so that your baby gets a good dose of antibodies to get him/her off to a good start.

Hermione123 Wed 15-Jan-14 11:04:05

I think a lot of the later comments are from people who haven't suffered an eating disorder op. I completely understand you wanting it settled and to go into the birth having peace of mind. I've a dear friend who had her baby and just stopped eating completely, take care of yourself, no one else knows how you are thinking.

Hermione123 Wed 15-Jan-14 11:05:23

Ps guys are we really suggesting op should bf and not look after herself/not eat extra calories? Doesn't seem like a good plan to me. Colostrum maybe if op can handle that.

mynameisnotmichaelcaine Wed 15-Jan-14 11:14:59

I've bf three babies in total and have never eaten 500 extra cals a day. All have been enormo-babies, and there was no impact on my health.

Obv you have to do what works for you, but women bf in famine situations and the babies thrive. I think that breast milk from a mother not eating extra cals is still far preferable to formula.

Hermione123 Wed 15-Jan-14 11:32:45

That's lucky, Michaelcaine. If we're talking anecdotal evidence, my mum and 2 friends lost many teeth while bf. various of their kids no idea of their diets at that point. There must be a good reason dieting isn't recommended while breast feeding.

weebigmamma Wed 15-Jan-14 11:40:03

You're not terrible or selfish at all. I am contemplating formula feeding myself and I have no medical issues at all. Your body is your body and formula is fine for babies. It's good to have an idea of your decision now so you can practice being firm with people who try to bully you about it. x

mrscog Wed 15-Jan-14 11:46:50

Not terrible or selfish at all. If you'd like your baby to have the initial 'shot' of protective colostrum you can offer some bf for the first 72 hours or even hand express (the amount is tiny) and then you'll see the goodness going in too.

littleducks Wed 15-Jan-14 11:47:21

I think that tiktok posted recently that the extra calories are only in the early breastfeeding days then your metabolism shifts. I was never advised to eat more just to keep hydrated and to take a vitamin supplement.

you should make a decision based on your circumstances, but with all decision made in pregnancy about birth and beyond I would strongly suggest you remain flexible. it's impossible to know how you will fell and things will progress.

LadyGoneGaga Wed 15-Jan-14 12:17:16

I suffered from disordered eating in my teens/early 20's and would say that pregnancy AND breastfeeding helped me to shake off some of my demons around food and body. For the first time I saw my body as something positive, amazing even that could nurture another human being. I don't feel I ate particularly differently, just ate to appetite. But if you are worried you could always mix-feed. Breastmilk has so many useful qualities, whatever you can do will help. If you really feel you don't want to though that is obviously your own business. Just don't necessarily rule anything out based on your current concerns, because you could feel differently once your baby is here.

juju283 Wed 15-Jan-14 12:31:34

My main concern is that all throughout my pregnancy my anxiety has been really high. At my last hospital appointment they found some ketones in my urine which they said was through dehydration but I understand its the byproduct of body burning.fat.ie I had not eaten enough. So typically I googled this and scared myself. I wasn't focusing on food until this point and thought I was doing really well however this has made me beat myself up and panic that I'm not eating enough and that I have convinced myself I have hurt the baby. So much so that I have actually been signed off work now with depression. I feel so.awful at the moment and don't want this to continue after the baby here. I feel if I can eliminate the worry about whether I'm eating enough, whether baby's getting enough etc by not breastfeeding. Then I will be in the best mental state possible to care for my baby. I understand peoplep wholive in famine still have healthy babies and manage to breastfeed but because of the fact I'm panicking so much about harming my baby and feel so low at the moment I feel like I don't want to be caught up worrying about my diet when baby is

Hermione123 Wed 15-Jan-14 12:34:00

Whereas pregnancy and looking after a small dc/tiredness made my eating issues oh so much worse. Worse than since I was a teenager after years of being well. Op's already saying that she's not finding the pregnancy an easy experience or feeling great about her body.

juju283 Wed 15-Jan-14 12:36:48

Sorry just posted without finishing message. I don't want to focus on diet when baby is here but get myself feeling normal so I can enjoy being a mum. I plan to do the first couple of feeds yes, and I also wanted to make a decision to avoid midwives etc trying to bully me into it as someone has previously.mentioned. thank you for all the comments, a lot of them make me feel like I am making the right decison.

Hermione123 Wed 15-Jan-14 12:39:16

Hi juju, g

Hermione123 Wed 15-Jan-14 12:44:25

Doh! Sorry - phone. Good luck and hope your family is also aware you'll need support with your own eating and recovery to normal post birth - good that your gp is involved if you are signed off. I had all sorts of crazy anxieties pre and post birth but it was fine in the end. Mh mn boards have lots of nice mums with anxiety issues on them if you need help with that.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 15-Jan-14 12:47:01

Yanbu. Bf can be sooooo hard and bless you, if you don't mentally feel you can deal with it on top of what you are feeling already then you use that formula and do so without a second thought!!

I'm sorry to hear your feeling so anxious and worried I really hope you get the help you need to help you feel better.

You DO NOT need to explain your reasons to anyone. In fact doing so will most likely result in people posting a billion different reasons how to get around it, and they aren't the ones dealing with it. Do what feels right for you op

thanks xx

livingzuid Wed 15-Jan-14 12:55:21

I'm not going to breast feed. I would have liked to but am on medication that is for my mh and would be far worse to come off that then let my newborn suffer the throes of me in an attack. You have to do what is best for you psychologically as we need to be there for our babies. It's hard to function when having an anxiety attack.

Perhaps talk it through with your gp or health professional who knows your history though before making a final decision? I wouldn't solely rely on Google or mn for this smile

It is entirely your decision and your own business at the end of the day. Don't be made to feel a bad person, or even needing to justify yourself because you chose the bottle.

soundevenfruity Wed 15-Jan-14 13:06:17

If your pregnancy has brought back those feelings then I would ask for a referral to a counsellor as the first 3 years is mostly about feeding your child and educating them about food.

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