Would you like to be a member of our research panel? Join here - there's (nearly) always a great incentive offered for your views.

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

Catsdontcare Wed 03-Oct-12 16:28:29

Your not a bad mother. You don't need to put yourself under pressure but you never know you may try it and actually want to continue. Either way as long as baby is fed and loved all will be well

HecateHarshPants Wed 03-Oct-12 16:28:33

You're not a bad mother. Don't start off with that attitude, you'll only feel miserable.

Can't advise on the bf/ff (even if I had lost my marbles and wanted to get in the middle of that grin ) cos I have a whole heap of bf angst I never dealt with.

But I just wanted to get in there and say don't call yourself a bad mother!

mellowcat Wed 03-Oct-12 16:28:39

You are not a bad mother. You should feed your baby in the way that suits you and your family. I am so saddened that you are unable to talk to anyone in RL about this.

Catsdontcare Wed 03-Oct-12 16:30:35

Just so you know I breast fed both mine but I would never judge or question anyone who didn't. As awful as it may sound I couldn't give a tinkers how other people feed their babies!

HokeyCokeyPigInAPokey Wed 03-Oct-12 16:30:55

I felt the same as you.

I didn't want to with either of my dd's, i was worried about what people would think, was worried about what the midwives would say.

I didn't need to, no one ever said anything or made me feel awful.

You are not a bad mother.

Lottapianos Wed 03-Oct-12 16:31:27

It's your body OP and you decide how to use it. You sound like a great mum already because you recognise that you need to take care of your own wellbeing first or your baby will suffer ultimately. Sending you strength - you may need it smile

pictish Wed 03-Oct-12 16:31:57

So don't.

I bf my first two and hated every minute, as well as both of them dropping a lot of weight and being constantly hungry, I found it painful and a bind that I found difficult to cope with... by the time my third came along I just couldn't face it, so I didn't. She went straight onto formula and thrived wonderfully!
I loved ff.
I couldn't care less what anyone else had to say about it.

piprabbit Wed 03-Oct-12 16:32:20

I think that having a happy confident mum is hugely beneficial to a baby, and if FFing is what you need and want to do to be happy and relaxed then that is absolutely what you should do.

There is no rule which says that you have to commit to one approach or another at this stage. Trying BFing even if only for a few days at the start, will help give your baby a great start. But if you don't like it then try FFing instead.

kdiddy Wed 03-Oct-12 16:32:59

You're not a bad mother at all. One of my very best friends felt this way, and just mentioned it to the midwife in hospital so they knew she had thought carefully about it, but decided it wasn't for her. They didn't push it and certainly did nothing to make her feel bad.

I think you should try opening up to your midwife again and see what they say.

Do you have a partner? What do they think?

newtonupontheheath Wed 03-Oct-12 16:34:07

You shouldn't have to justify the choices you make as a parent. You know what is best for you and your baby/family.

There will be many "things" people do differently as you baby grows up... I think bf/ff is such a biggie because its one of the first you have to make.

Homebirth v hospital
Baby led weaning v purées
Any sort of sleep training...

Go with what works for you smile

ValiumQueen Wed 03-Oct-12 16:34:37

You can feed your baby how you wish. I love bfing but that is my choice, and nobody has a right to challenge me on that (including you MIL!). I was the only one bfeeding in my 4bed bay post delivery, so I do not think you will feel this so pertinently once baby is here. I also went to a big shopping centre feeding room the other day, and nobody was bfing even though the place was heaving.

Now please forget about this, and enjoy your last bit of pregnancy, and then your baby.

ContinentalKat Wed 03-Oct-12 16:35:21

You are not a bad mother! Happy formula feeding is so much better than unhappy breast feeding! It is, after all, your choice and no matter how much pressure people put on you, formula is not poisonous.

BigFairy Wed 03-Oct-12 16:36:01

I'm pregnant with DC1 too and also do not like the idea of breastfeeding. What bothers me most is the thought of how uncomfortable it will be. My nipples are often very swollen and I simply can't imagine having a baby suck milk out of them. However, I'm trying to keep an open mind and give it a try as I am aware of the many benefits to mum and baby. If I find it awful, or it doesn't work, then I'll use formula. At least there is a way out, unlike the birth!

Finbert Wed 03-Oct-12 16:36:55

It is your choice, do whatever feels right for you. You don't need to justify this to your family/friends or feel guilty. Enjoy the rest of your pregnancy and your baby when it arrives!

ThePetiteMummy Wed 03-Oct-12 16:37:40

I think you must make the best choice for you, but just to say, the first weeks are overwhelming regardless of how you feed your baby!

Formula feed and ignore anyone who tells you anything about breastfeeding.

You are this babys mother. You are beginning a lifetime of making choices. Some choices will be easy. Some hard. Some choices you make others will agree with and some choices others will disagree with.

But ultimately it is your choice. There are pros and cons to both ways of feeding. Focus on the pros of ff.

You are not a bad mother.

Thank you all so much. Your words mean so much, I really am battling with this. Dh is wonderful and is 100% supportive of however I choose to feed, though he is concerned that I am getting so upset and considering doing something I really dislike the idea of.

Youve hit the nail on the head those who said I am thinking 'happy mum, happy baby'. I have heard so many stories of som emums almost resenting their babies because of the pain associated with bfeeding. I think I am hypersensitive to this due to having had depression previously so am really keen to put myself in a good place mentally to minimise the risk of pnd.

I am really worried about the midwives applying lots of pressure to bf in hospital though, they have been so forceful at my appointments I am worried it will be even more intense when baby comes.

Violetroses Wed 03-Oct-12 16:40:42

Just wanted to add my voice to those saying stop feeling guilty! I've bf'd all three of mine and wouldn't dream of judging others for formula feeding.

Life is too short. Do what feels right and enjoy your baby.

coldcupoftea Wed 03-Oct-12 16:41:07

Just do what you like, I know several women who FF from birth. One was very defensive and seemed to take any mention of BF as a personal attack. For instance if I mentioned being tired she would say 'you should give up BF' and if I said I wanted to carry on she would go off on one about what nonsense the breast is best message is etc.

The others were all perfectly normal and none of us ever judged or commented on each other's choices!

lovestodaydream Wed 03-Oct-12 16:41:08

Don't worry, you have a lot going on in your mind in the last few weeks of pregnancy but particularly with a first baby. So much information, so many dos and donts, and so many other people's opinions - on everythiing!

One thing to consider is that you may not truly know how you feel until your baby is placed on your chest. It is possible that all the pressure has stopped your own natural feelings. I would try not to sweat it until your baby arrives. A little privacy and bonding with your baby will tell you all you need to know about being a good mother, feeding (ff/bf) is only one part of it. Congratulations on your baby and good luck!

rarebreed Wed 03-Oct-12 16:42:19

I didn't want to, and I don't have guilt. My midwife asked me 'breast or bottle' and that was it.

Chocchip88 Wed 03-Oct-12 16:43:18

You're not a bad mother at all but for what it's worth I found the thought of it really freaked me out, it kind of disgusted me. I bf DS1 for 19 months, until I was 6 months pregnant with DS2. As soon as I stopped and thought about having to breastfeed DS2 the 'disgusting' feeling returned. I am (right now!) happily feeding DS2. I really enjoy breastfeeding but I think if I think about it too much I would feel gross about it again. Very strange!

EnjoyGOLDResponsibly Wed 03-Oct-12 16:43:36

OP I felt exactly as you do. I FF'd from Day 1.

My midwives completely accepted my decision without need for explanation.

I have no issue with BF, but I think as with all things in your post-birth life you must make the choice that's best for you and your baby.

pictish Wed 03-Oct-12 16:45:00

Same here - after I had dc3 I was asked 'breast or bottle' and when I said 'bottle' she just went and got me one. That was it. No questions, no funny looks, no attempts as persuasion, no guilt tripping...nowt.

YoullLaughAboutItOneDay Wed 03-Oct-12 16:45:17

Don't feel guilty. Do what is right for you and your family.

But, just a thought. You could try putting your baby to the breast when it is born. If you hate it, you do it for 20 seconds and never ever again. But some things we find yucky or odd or worrying about parenting in the abstract are actually fine in practice.

poozlepants Wed 03-Oct-12 16:46:42

Before I had DS I secretly hoped he wouldn't be able to bf as I found the whole thing made me slightly queasy. However I wanted to try as there is quite a history of asthma on DH's side of the family. DS took to it like a duck to water and I actually found it easy and quite wonderful really.
You shouldn't make your mind up until after you've had the baby.
Turned out DS had a slightly immature bowel and couldn't even absorb breastmilk very well - it would have been much worse if he had been on formula.

EnjoyGOLDResponsibly Wed 03-Oct-12 16:47:20

Having said that, if you stick to your BF decision (choco and loves both make interesting points) practice using your steriliser pre-birth. They can be fiddly feckers and trying to get to grips when sleep deprived with a starving new-born will bring you to your knees grin

jamama Wed 03-Oct-12 16:47:57

No-one else gives a rat's arse about how you feed your baby. It is entirely your choice, and the midwives in the hospital will be supportive of you and your baby regardless of this - it is but one thing in the life of a baby (an important thing, but as long as baby is getting fed it will be fine).
It might be worth at least trying to speak to your midwife if you have another appointment booked before you have the baby, I am sure she will allay your fears.
Disclaimer: I bf'd, struggled quite a bit at first and my small, early baby (36wks) lost and initially struggled to regain her birthweight, but I was determined that I would bf. I am still bf'ing at 11mo my now average-weight baby, but I was lucky enough to find a really good bf consultant locally who helped with latch and positioning so that we overcame my initial problems. This was key to not resenting myself or the baby.

OwlLady Wed 03-Oct-12 16:48:13

You have no need to feel guilty, if you don't want to do it you are perfectly within your rights not to. It is your body and your choice smile

I breastfed mine and I don't judge anyone at all who chooses not to, it's completely up to them IMO

DuelingFanjo Wed 03-Oct-12 16:49:11

Do what you want to do - no one can force you.

Your reasons are really really weird though, maybe you should (after all the birth and stuff is over) examine why you feel this way because it's not normal.

FWIW I didn't get pain when I breast-fed.

Alaska77 Wed 03-Oct-12 16:49:29

Don't feel bad, do what feels right.

I always secretly thought bf was a bit icky. However, I heard it was best for baby, blah blah, so I went along to classes and a bf cafe but DS and I still didn't get the hang of it. We compromised, I bought a double electric breast pump and I expressed milk for 6 weeks then moved him on to ff. Worked for us and I feel no guilt.

Go with what feels right for you.

Dogsmom Wed 03-Oct-12 16:49:59

ooh I'm so glad you started this thread, I feel exactly the same way, this whole pregnancy lark is weird enough, I felt the baby move last night and it made me think of alien! It doesn't feel natural to me to have something alive inside me and I hate the idea of anything tugging on my nipples!

Having said that I already love my daughter to bits, can't wait to meet her and know I'll do my absolute best to be a fab Mom.

pictish Wed 03-Oct-12 16:51:42

I disagree Fanjo.
I don't think her reasons are weird.
I also think it's perfectly normal.

Ephiny Wed 03-Oct-12 16:52:27

I wouldn't want to either (for similar reasons). Don't feel guilty or as though you have to justify your decision - your body, your choice smile

charlottehere Wed 03-Oct-12 16:53:15

Do what you want OP. Anyway you might feel differently once bub is here. smile

Wheresmypopcorn Wed 03-Oct-12 16:57:53

No, definitely not a bad mum. I thought I'd really find breastfeeding awful. I was not sure about how I'd feel about the whole thing. To be honest, I loved it for most part and was glad I did it - she took to it well and luckily I found it quite easy. The sensation of baby on the breast is very different to anything else (human body so clever!). I remember just loving it for feeling close to my baby. The great thing as well was that it used to put her to sleep, she was so comforted. That alone was great as I remember being able to have some dinner guests and just nip upstairs quickly when she was crying - no messing around in the kitchen. I do urge you to keep an open mind, and try to relax and enjoy your last few weeks. I spent loads of time worrying about the same thing, you'll know exactly what is right for you when the time comes. Don't worry too much about what other people are doing either - it easy to feel the pressure of that when you're a new mum. No babies are alike either so what one person does for their baby doesn't mean it would work for yours. Just remember: you're the mum, and you know best! smile

MrsApplepants Wed 03-Oct-12 17:02:13

I felt the same as you OP, the whole business felt icky. This feeling didn't change when my baby was born, still felt weird and icky. So ff as planned and very happy. Midwives were fine, other mums fine, our GP however....

bluebird68 Wed 03-Oct-12 17:04:10

you're not a bad mother for not wanting to BF. I BF mine for over a year and have never felt morally superior , ignore those women who look down on anyone who doesn't BF or wants to involve their partner in the feeds. I saw a woman bottle feeding her baby with such love the other day it was wonderful!

MrsHoarder Wed 03-Oct-12 17:09:12

Just tell your MW/put it on your birthplan.

FWIW, I had the attitude that I'd give it a shot and if it was at all as difficult and icky as I imagined (have some issues about breasts) I'd stop and we'd ff. The bf advocates say this is the wrong attitude, but you never know unless you try. If when the moment comes you can't do it, they will get you a bottle (or you can get a premade one out of your delivery bag) and its really not a problem. Given the mess I was in post-birth, even if bf had been as hideous as I'd imagined it would have barely registered in the unpleasant stakes.

CakeBump Wed 03-Oct-12 17:09:23

If you don't want to, then don't.


HiHowAreYou Wed 03-Oct-12 17:16:17

I breastfed, I certainly don't think any more or less about anybody else for how they choose to feed their babies.

AlisonDB Wed 03-Oct-12 17:20:48

I didnt want to Bf, my 1st son, and i wont bf this time either,
I knew it just wasnt for me!
I could never see me bf infront of my mum, brother, dad, FiL, MiL friends or in public.
So i knew i would be miserable if i even tried,, and no baby is going to thrive with a miserable mum!
You do what makes YOU comfy, happy & relaxed,
From this you will have a happy relaxed baby!
Good luck xx

GreenShadow Wed 03-Oct-12 17:22:42

Free choice, but.....
Can I just say that once the baby is born, you may feel differently. If it is placed on your naked stomach, the baby's instinct is to look for milk and you may be amazed how natural letting it latch on is.
Of course, this may not work - not all babies can or will do this, but you never know, it might be nice to try.

Also, forget this pain business. There is no reason why you should expect pain.

But, yes, agree with you that it can be demanding, but a chance to sit down with you baby while it feeds can also be relaxing for you.

nickiminja Wed 03-Oct-12 17:25:50

I didn't want to do it, it made me feel like my soul was being sucked out!
I have great admiration for those who do, but it just wasn't for me. With DC1 I was made to feel a failure but I just lied to the HV grin
With DC2 I stood my ground and the nurses even took her off for a ff feed so I could have a rest!

You are perfectly normal, we are all different. Good luck with the baby!

SecretCermonials Wed 03-Oct-12 17:26:22

I felt similarly with DS1, gave it a whirl didn't work for us thought no more of it. Currently PG with DS2 cant say I'm even that concerned about giving it a go.

Ironically though I've never felt an ounce of guilt about it. Maybe that makes me a bad mum for not being bothered?!

TheCountessOlenska Wed 03-Oct-12 17:31:35

Yes Chocci - I felt exactly like you, slightly grossed out by the idea - then absolutely loved breastfeeding and carried on till DD was 2.3!! And now I'm pregnant again I can't imagine feeding DC2, it seems like such a weird thing to do!

I do, however, think it's so sad that any of us feel that way about the idea of breastfeeding and I'm sure it's to do with the fact that we so rarely see it (certainly where I live in the North West) and also the fact that breasts=sex in modern society . .

nenehooo Wed 03-Oct-12 17:44:20

I also disagree fanjo - OP's reasons are not weird... proven by the fact that many people have said they feel the same. Unless we're all weirdos?!
I feel similarly to you OP but have decided that I'll give it a go. Luckily I'm not under pressure from anyone and actually no- one go my family ever breastfed. That's my mum, sister and sister-in-law, with 8 children between them - none of whom have had ANY health problems whatsoever. So I'm sure I will feel perfectly fine switching to ff whenever I feel I need to.
Oh and good point enjoygold - we were given a steriliser so need to look up the instructions for how to use it!!!

BikeRunSki Wed 03-Oct-12 17:51:07

I bf unhappily for a week with DS and two with DD. I happily ff them from then on. If Hell should freeze over and I had a third, I'd go straight to ff. There are many ways to nurture your baby. How you feed them is just one.

AlisonDB Wed 03-Oct-12 17:51:37

My son didnt latch on when placed on my stomach, he didnt even attempt to, the nurse asked if i wanted to bf or bottle, i said bottle was not made to feel bad,
You will still love sitting and feeding your baby, with a bottle its not like bottle fed babies are left in the corner with a bottle to fend for themselves, and the bonus is Dad can help with the night feeds,

Londonmrss Wed 03-Oct-12 17:54:50

If you don't want to, then don't! I plan to breastfeed, but if it's too difficult, I won't beat myself up.
To be honest, I feel the same about giving birth though. Like it's just so far removed from anything I have ever thought about doing that I can't imagine it. I'm 37 weeks though, so it's a bit late to say that! I think it's interesting that things like giving birth or breastfeeding are things we have to 'get our heads around' as it were. I mean, we are mammals after all- I wonder if we are overthinking it. I wonder if this is what fanjo means? 'Repulsive' is quite a strong word to use. You may find it feels like the most natural thing in the world- or you may still feel as you do now.
I would keep an open mind if you can, but don't beat yourself up about your decision. No one else can tell you what is right for you. Your body, your baby, your life, and no one has the right to judge you, nor should you feel guilty for any decision you make. If you choose to formula feed, your baby will still thrive and be loved. My mum chose not to breastfeed me and I turned out just fine.

showtunesgirl Wed 03-Oct-12 17:55:53

OP, do whatever you feel is best for you.

But the small but I am going to say is that you may well have heard horror stories about BF as I don't think the people who have had it go well necessarily talk about it that much as it's kind of a non-event.

I didn't find the first few weeks of BF overwhelming, I found being a new mother overwhelming and there was very little pain indeed. If you ask around, you'll see that this is the experience for quite a lot of people.

And FF does not make you a bad mum!!!!

BonaDea Wed 03-Oct-12 17:59:13

The MWs at my hospital are all very forceful about it too to the point that, even though I am planning to bf, I feel that I am getting preached to, so god knows what they would be like if I said thanks but no thanks.

As everyone above has said, your baby has to be loved, fed, and safe and frankly you being in a state is not going to help any of that. Do what you feel is right.

Orenishii Wed 03-Oct-12 18:01:13

I'm due in 2 weeks and really want to breastfeed but have always been squeamish about my nipples. If I am completely honest, BFing freaks me out a little too! But I'm going to give it a go, only because I really want to get past that squeamishness and get to the wonderful-hormone-relasing-bonding bit. Maybe I'll never enjoy it - who knows!

The will has to be there though, OP and there's no sense putting yourself through it if it isn't. You'll just be making the two of you miserable. Don't beat yourself up before you've even started. May I suggest a gentle suggestion of being open to it the first time - as you really just don't know how you'll feel when your baby is placed on your chest that very first time - but know that there is nothing to feel guilty about if you choose to ff.

sw11mumofone Wed 03-Oct-12 18:16:41

You've had plenty of people here support the way you feel but i'll add to it anyway as the more support you get hopefully the more you'll realise you have to do what feels right for you.
I felt EXACTLY the same as you. I went to my NCT classes adamant that I wasn't going to breastfeed and if anyone made me feel bad for that I just wasn't going to go back. My husband was totally supportive. The NCT girls were so supportive and even backed me up against the NCT teacher who tried to talk me round.
I absolutely don't think its weird and shame on anyone judging you for that. I felt everything you've described and knew ffing would make me a better mother.
The midwives in hospital were fine. I put it in my birth plan and only had to tell them once.
Then when I got home my husband did half (if not more!!!) of the night feeds. His opinion was that my day job was harder than his - and he runs his own company!!
So - stop beating yourself up about it, I think you know you've made your decision, and just enjoy it all. Your baby will thrive on formula. And if you do change your mind down the line, then that's fine too!
Good luck!

OP - you mentioned your concern about breast feeding and it's effect on your depression and your concern about PND. I, too, have a long history of severe depression, but am quite sure that BFing has actually made my mood better than it has been in the 18 years since I was diagnosed, and has completely resolved the associated chronic insomnia I had for years. However, I was absolutely adamant that I was going to breastfeed from the get-go and I think if you don't have this mind-set, FFing is definitely your better option as, if you hit even small problems to begin with, BFing is Hard. Work. and you need a pretty steely resolve to get through even just the hourly nightfeeds, or evening cluster feeds which are even more frequent not to mention sore nipples, mastitis, thrush, blocked ducts... On the other hand, with BFing now well established, the idea of faffing with bottles and powders and water seems like even harder work to me!

And in terms of pressure from other people - I went to a mother and baby group today and there were about 15-20 of us plus babies. I was the only BFer. I felt like a hippy! grin

PS I also don't believe BFing does anything to help you lose baby weight, as it also makes you want to eat your body weight in cake, so you can blow that theory off if someone tries to spout it at you as a benefit!

lurcherlover Wed 03-Oct-12 20:37:31

OP you must do what you want to do. But, the only thing I'd say is, try to wait until after the birth to decide for sure. I wanted to breastfeed, but I was in the mindset of "I'll give it a go and if it doesn't work, no big deal" - I wasn't against formula by any means. What surprised me is how much I wanted desperately to breastfeed as soon as he was born. It was like some primal urge in me - part of the same urge that made me not want to put him down (I'd feel panicky when anyone else was holding him, even my dh! I think it's a cavewoman thing!). For me, breastfeeding just became something I had to do, and I honestly hadn't expected to feel like that. It might not happen to you, of course, and if it doesn't, that's normal too. But just have an open mind for now and see how you feel after the birth.

Two more things: one, I never had pain, so don't assume it's automatically part of it. And two, if you're worried about PND, the evidence is that bf helps (the theory being it's because your body is primed for bf after pregnancy and expects to do it, so if you don't your hormones can go a bit haywire). That's not pressure to bf, honest - just make sure you've got lots of support, however you decide to feed.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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!)

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!!!

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.

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.

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

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

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!

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

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:


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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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'.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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

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.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now