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To give up breast feeding 4 weeks in?

(50 Posts)
palmtreeheaven Mon 03-Nov-14 22:36:19

My beautiful NB wants to feed constantly and suckle all the time. I am enjoying breast feeding but have 2 other children who are toddlers so it's incredibly difficult to spend the whole day feeding/holding my NB.

He cries when he's not latched on. My elder two were not like this at all and happily sat in their chairs or lay in a Moses basket.

He also seems hungry, constantly. I need to top up with formula after each feed or he won't sleep at all.

I really want to continue BFing but can't do it constantly. How do you manage to keep going when you have older children?

Thrholidaysarecoming Mon 03-Nov-14 22:41:36

I've been there. Dd2 fed every 60-90 even threw the night.

I want to say stick it out and you will get through it and some do but for me six weeks in I had to stop. I just felt like a walking feeding machine, I was blind and delirious with lack of sleep.

I had a fantastic HV who came SN seen me and just said 'do what's best for you, happy mother happy child ' so I stopped. Felt guilty and shit but at least it gave me a break to get her and me in to a routine and a normal way if life.

Don't feel pressure to carry on or give up. Do what's best your self.

Thrholidaysarecoming Mon 03-Nov-14 22:41:57

Through *

Thebodynowchillingsothere Mon 03-Nov-14 22:44:45

Do what's right hit you and your family And don't give a shiny about other people's opinions.

Hope things improve its hard work with newbie and toddlers.

Be kind to yourself thanks

Gileswithachainsaw Mon 03-Nov-14 22:47:20

If you want to stop then stop. It's formula not heroin. Do whatever you need to get by. Life's to short to torture yourself Continuing with things that just aren't working. thanks

theowlwhowasafraidofthedark Mon 03-Nov-14 22:48:58

Do what's best for you and your family. Things might suddenly get better with it or it might always be a nightmare, unfortunately there's no crystal ball. Don't feel bad whatever, life's too short for that.

hallamoo Mon 03-Nov-14 22:49:30

Have you had him checked for tongue tie?

divingoffthebalcony Mon 03-Nov-14 22:49:36

It's ok to give yourself permission to stop. Really it is.

Imnotsurehowtogetthisout Mon 03-Nov-14 22:49:58

If you top up with formula it will affect your supply. I would say if you can stick it out for another 2 weeks your supply should start to settle and the length and frequency of feeds will become more manageable. Is there much bf support in your area?

PrincessTheresaofLiechtenstein Mon 03-Nov-14 22:50:35

Of course YANBU and you should stop if you want to but from what you say he might not be feeding very effectively and things could possibly improve if you had a chat with a breAstfeeding counsellor about what's happening.

hollie84 Mon 03-Nov-14 22:51:15

Feeding constantly but still hungry sounds like he has a problem latching/transferring milk. Tongue tie maybe?

If you want to move to formula though, do it.

palmtreeheaven Mon 03-Nov-14 22:57:46

Googling tongue tie now ...

palmtreeheaven Mon 03-Nov-14 23:04:12

I will check him when he is more awake. I haven't noticed this when he cries and he is able to latch on to breast and bottle well.

I do yell awful about not continuing, more so because this is my last baby. I know so many women who manage to BF with a toddler and make it looks easy. Why can't I manage this? Feel really down about it.

KatOD Mon 03-Nov-14 23:11:55

As the others say, be kind to yourself here. 4 weeks is an achievement in itself, do what is right for you and your family as a whole. He won't benefit from having an exhausted mum either or a stressy family situation because you're juggling so much whilst shattered. It probably feels like you can't win at the moment as you're too tired to think straight, but please look after yourself as well as the rest of your family.

Gileswithachainsaw Mon 03-Nov-14 23:15:30

Sometimes it just doesn't work out. And you should never feel bad because you weighed up options and decided to do something different to others.

It's easier with one kid you have all the time in the world to try all the tricks of the trade no matter how long it takes. When other kids are in the mix there's not always time and life can be rushed dropping them off at various places. Sometimes something has to give to ensure that life isn't too disrupted and you can be where you need to be.

Seek advice, read up keep trying or stop. It's up to you. But baby is loved wanted and fed. What's to feel bad about thanks

glorious Mon 03-Nov-14 23:16:18

You do whatever is right for you.

If you do want to continue have you tried feeding in a sling so that you can keep moving rather than having to sit down? And definitely find some good support irl.

Good luck whatever you decide.

MildredH Mon 03-Nov-14 23:18:26

Have you tried a dummy?

About four weeks in I was in the same position and had a fab HV visit who said "that baby just needs to suck- get yourself a dummy". I had been trying to avoid it but it was a game changer. Then managed to get to 8 months before stopping.

FayKorgasm Mon 03-Nov-14 23:24:03

Sweetheart do what is best for you and your family.

Purplepoodle Mon 03-Nov-14 23:29:10

One word - dummy. The only reason I got through those difficult first couple of months. Honestly if you can get through to about 9 weeks it gets so much easier.

These websites I found fab

Best tip fb lays gave me was to make sure they have a good 20mins on each boob with active sucking (ended up having to keep popping them onto changing mat to wake up. I would give up top ups and perhaps replace evening feed with a bottle that your can give so you can get some sleep

waffilyversati1e Mon 03-Nov-14 23:30:08

You have given your child the best start. What you do now has to be whats best for you - happy mum = happy baby

I combi feed. Started doing it with expressed milk but now use aptamil and maybe 2 bottles a day and then breastfeeding the rest of the time. Sometimes 1, sometimes 3 bottles. It depends on my other childrens needs that day. I know they say it affects supply but I am a month into feeding this way and not seeing any evidence and my son is 3 months old

waffilyversati1e Mon 03-Nov-14 23:31:27

Oh and fwiw formula doesn't settle him for any longer than breast. They are still so small, they just want the closeness they are used to x

Purplepoodle Mon 03-Nov-14 23:54:48

You could try a sling or wrap from local sling library to help dc sleep and free up your hands

Mulligrubs Mon 03-Nov-14 23:57:42

If you want to stop then stop. Don't feel bad about it. You've done 4 weeks which is amazing. Many women (myself included) were not able to breastfeed or only manage a very short time. 4 weeks is brilliant. Do what's best for your family.

evertonmint Tue 04-Nov-14 07:11:38

I have a 4mo baby and 2 older DCs: it is so hard!

You sound like you might want to carry on bf but are finding it near impossible to sustain at the moment, so I'm going to make a few suggestions for you to think about or try in case they help you carry on. At least then if you switch you know you've tried different things and given the decision a bit if time to sink in.

Firstly, remember that there are no guarantees that switching to formula will give you a baby who feeds every 3 to 4 hours - some just want little and often!

Secondly, this was happening to me with my DC3 - feeds might be 2 hours apart in the morning but by late pm it was every 60 mins - but by around 6 weeks old we got a much better feeding pattern going and he started to lengthen it out to 2.5-3 hours most of the time. It really was a short period. And while my older 2 were occasionally a little grumpy there's been no lasting damage to them!

DS never really had a decisive end to feeds and would just bob on amd off for ages. I got him checked for tongue tie and had latch etc checked. All fine so he clearly just liked being on the boob! To try and stretch it out, and give me more freedom with the others, I did a lot of carrying in a sling - I found he was pretty happy near the milk source so I would feed him for a decent time then pop him in the sling while I got on with stuff for the other two.

Get help - someone to hold the baby while you read to the older 2 or someone to do something fun with the older 2. We did a lot if meeting friends to play - exciting for them and another adult to hold the baby while I had a bit if breathing space.

Give the baby to the older 2 for some cuddles. My DS loves sitting with the older 2 (3, now 4, and 6) and it buys me 5 mins to grab a cuppa and is a fun bonding time for them.

We all 4 sit on the sofa together a lot while I feed so I can read to them or watch telly with them or just chat and cuddle them.

If you do mull it over and decide to switch then you have nothing to feel guilty about, but if you do (because us mums are great at beating ourselves up!) then a chat with a breastfeeding counsellor or breastfeeding peer supporter can be excellent as they can help you work through your feelings. In fact, might be worth trying this now to order your thoughts and talk through what you want. I did this when having s rough patch with DC3. Your local NCT can put you in touch with one - NCT BFCs and PSs are trained to be mother-centred in their approach so are as happy dealing with a mum wanting to stop as continue. It's not about changing your decision but helping you work through it all to the right decision for you.

Good luck. I'm 4 months in, knackered as he's a crap sleeper but now doing well with feeding. I wouldn't switch places with you - you're in the hardest bit and it is tough - but want you to know that you will get through it xx

HamishBamish Tue 04-Nov-14 07:18:43

Breastfeeding a newborn is hard enough, but particularly tricky when you have other children to look after.

Of course YANBU to stop if that's what you need to do. You can't look at the benefits of breastfeeding in isolation, there are so many other factors to take into consideration, the well being of the mother being very important. How you feel has a knock on effect on the baby and your other children, it's important your basic needs aren't sidelined.

I would give it some further thought, knowing that it will likely get a whole lot easier over time. Have a go at expressing and see if you can use that to give yourself a break or combi-feed (a bottle of formula here and there may be just the thing to give you the break you need).

Good luck!

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