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to think breastfeeding is not 'convenient'?

(231 Posts)
SolasEile Fri 06-Feb-15 07:14:00

So I might be feeling a tad bitter because my 3 month old is in some crazy nursing strike phase and I'm frustrated from having spent months trying to make breastfeeding work only to have it all fall apart now, 3 months in... but... surely breast-feeding is a hell of a lot less convenient than formula feeding?

When I went to NCT classes the message was that breast-feeding is so easy and natural and convenient and while it might be a bit tough in the early weeks, once you and baby get used to it it's so convenient as you can just 'pop them on' the breast anywhere and no need for bottles or mixing up formula and so on.

I'm not finding that to be the case. My DS was formula fed after 8 weeks and I could feed him anywhere. I just brought sterilized bottles with me and readymade formula in cartons and managed to move country and fly longhaul with him at 3 months old.

Now with my DD, she is EBF, and feeding her is a gigantic pain in the arse. First of all, you have the issue of breastfeeding in public which I'm still not 100% confident doing. I have a nursing shawl and have tried to feed her a couple of times but I find it very hard as she is a messy feeder and we were using shields up until recently. Secondly I have a very fast letdown so she gets fussy at the breast and will currently only feed in one position (laid back) and usually feeds best when she has just woken from a nap. When she is tired she will not feed for love nor money and just screams the place down from frustration. This makes getting out of the house really really hard as I have to time her feeds so carefully.

At this stage I'm tempted to just pump and bottle feed because feeding my DS out and about with bottles was never an issue at all. I am starting to regret having made the effort to breastfeed. It just is a crap experience and so much work for no reward, as far as I can see. My DS was perfectly healthy whereas my DD has had a cold almost permanently since she was born. We do have some issues with feeding so I am seeing a lactation consultant this weekend to double check on latch and so on but to be honest I'm fed up to fuck with breastfeeding. It just seems like a big con where we are told it's best for baby and it's 'so convenient' and natural when really it is just a gigantic pain in the arse.

So AIBU? To be fed up with breastfeeding and not find it convenient or easy at all? Or am I just unlucky to have had issues with both my DS and DD?
/Awaits flaming from lactivist / NCT people.../

parallax80 Fri 06-Feb-15 07:16:40

YABU to extrapolate from your own experience and make a generalisation "BF is not convenient". For many people, it is,

YANBU to not find it convenient for you, and find an alternative that works for you.

ithoughtofitfirst Fri 06-Feb-15 07:19:20


Breastfeeding ds was a total PITA and formula was much easier when I finally switched.

Dd is a dream baby to breastfeed though.

I don't know why they use convenience as a selling point. It depends so much on loads of variables.

LizzieMint Fri 06-Feb-15 07:19:40

You are not BU to not find it convenient for you. But YABU to generalise and say it's just not convenient full-stop. I bf'd all three of mine and found the convenience of it a major positive. My SIL ff her babies (we always ended up pg at the same time!) and the difference in ease/convenience between her experience and mine was very striking. I loved never having to plan to take milk, never having to sterilise, never having to waste any milk, never having to faff with warming and never having to get out of bed to do night feeds.
But if it's not working for you, don't do it. Each to their own.

superram Fri 06-Feb-15 07:20:51

I breast fed both of mine and did find it convenient. However, if it hadn't come easily I would have stopped and bottle fed. Happy mum=happy baby so if you have had enough then stop. You have given it a great attempt, well done. Lots of people don't even try.

TellmetogetonwithmyWork Fri 06-Feb-15 07:22:11

I found it to be difficult at first, but once they were older it was so much easier and yes more convenient. About 3 months was prob where I got into my stride with both. Doesn't work for everyone, wiser people than me can advise, great to see the lactation consultant, you can give up any time you want though.

By the way the extra colds will be because dc2 is getting all the germs via dc1 probably. Q

confusedandemployed Fri 06-Feb-15 07:22:27

YANBU in my experience. I didn't use the pre sterilised bottles and even using cartons / bottles of milk in ice bags when out and about is really not my idea of inconvenient. Bf was far more difficult for us.

simontowers2 Fri 06-Feb-15 07:22:47

YANBU. My missis also found it a right PITA. Formula is nice and easy in comparison and both parents can do it.

Shantishanti Fri 06-Feb-15 07:23:18

I honestly did find it really convenient! Much less to cart around, all I needed was a spare nappy in my bag and I was good to go. Hang in there! There's a very good chance it will get much easier quite soon.
Try not to be scared of feeding in public though, I fed here there and everywhere, with no cover, and no one batted an eyelid. In fact most of the time I don't think they even noticed.

SolasEile Fri 06-Feb-15 07:24:30

But aren't the NCT / breastfeeding education people being even more unreasonable though parallax? They are extrapolating to suggest that bf is convenient for everyone too when in reality it isn't for everyone.

SoupDragon Fri 06-Feb-15 07:25:07

When I went to NCT classes the message was that breast-feeding is so easy and natural and convenient and while it might be a bit tough in the early weeks, once you and baby get used to it it's so convenient as you can just 'pop them on' the breast anywhere and no need for bottles or mixing up formula and so on.

Thing is, this describes my 3 experiences of breastfeeding exactly. It was a struggle at first but a piece of cake once we had got the hang of it. I got progressively more confident at feeding out and about so by the time I had my third I wasn't bothered but with my first, I rarely fed out and always in a feeding room or quiet hidden corner.

Obviously you are having a different experience right now - of course you are not unreasonable to feel fed up. You are unreasonable to claim it's a big con though.

My DS was perfectly healthy whereas my DD has had a cold almost permanently since she was born.

She has been exposed to far more germs than your DS though. All the fault of her elder sibling!

SolasEile Fri 06-Feb-15 07:26:01

Yeah my doctor said that too TellMe - that DD is getting sick so much because of DS. She said she would be even sicker without me bf-ing her which was nice and I hope she was right but it is just hard to keep motivated!

littlesupersparks Fri 06-Feb-15 07:26:15

YANBU to reflect on your own experience. From my point of view I was never bothered about feeding in public and it did come quite easily to me. I couldn't imagine anything more convenient to be honest! No sterilising, mixing, warming. No need to take anything with my anywhere except a nappy or two. No need for dummies because I always had my boobs - never a possibility of forgetting anything! I'm sure ff is more convenient for some people though - my friend had to take her nippy cushion everywhere because she couldn't feed without it :-/

adsy Fri 06-Feb-15 07:26:28

If all goes well, then it is more convenient. you don't need to prepare anything or take / buy anything when you go out. In general, yabu

littlesupersparks Fri 06-Feb-15 07:26:34

Boppy cushion!!

OwlinaTree Fri 06-Feb-15 07:26:34

YABU to say bf is a con. YANBU to feel its a pain in the arse in your case.

Happy mum and happy baby is what matters most. If bottle feeding makes you both happier go for it. You could try expressing milk as it keeps your options open while you try a bottle.

Good luck, hope it gets a bit easier for you.

Hakluyt Fri 06-Feb-15 07:28:02

Well, for most people it is. I think you are very unlucky. And you say yourself you have issues with feeding in public which make it less convenient for you ^ personally^. For most established b feeders that isn't the case.

meglet Fri 06-Feb-15 07:28:43

it wasn't convenient with ds. 3 miserable months of him not latching properly (the bf supporters couldn't help either). We found our feet once he was bottle fed.

It really was easier with dd though. short feeds, no soreness, weight gain from week one, no excessive evening or all night feeding. It was like she'd read all the books confused .

parallax80 Fri 06-Feb-15 07:28:58

I think you're both BU Solas, if it helps.

For lots of people BF is convenient.

For lots of people it isn't.

Each to their own.

SoupDragon Fri 06-Feb-15 07:30:48

Just to add: congratulations on breastfeeding to 3 months. Despite your struggles, you've done a good job. smile

Mehitabel6 Fri 06-Feb-15 07:32:40

I think you have been unlucky. I found it very convenient, but I fed anywhere and didn't need shawls- there was nothing to see. I would have been very nervous of making bottles, sterilising etc and having to plan simple trips in advance. We just got up and went with a changing bag.

Purpleflamingos Fri 06-Feb-15 07:37:15

Neither of mine liked to be covered with any material whilst feeding. I would just find a corner in a cafe and sit with a drink and do it discretely. I find the staff in some cafes amazingly helpful when I said dc needed feeding and could they carry my drink (in the case if dc2, also dc1's drink and snack) to a suitable private corner. They helped me get settled and sometimes even shielded me until the baby was latched on. Debenhams and M&S were amazing. But I could not cover up as they would unlatch and become fussy.

5dogsgoswimming Fri 06-Feb-15 07:37:34

Breastfeeding exclusively now. Finding it much easier than when I mixed fed ds. Argh! No bottles washed! Argh no milk left! How long ago did we make this bottle?

SoMuchForSubtlety Fri 06-Feb-15 07:40:37

Just like most things, there is no single unified experience of breastfeeding. So I think you're being a bit unreasonable to describe it as a "con" that the classes said it was easier. For many women it is easier. For some, like you, it's not easier.

I EBF DD for 5.5 months until I went back to work, then mixed fed, then switched to formula entirely when she was about 11 months.

Of the two options, I found ff to be a massive hassle - messy sticky powder, sterilising etc etc. Breastfeeding for me, by comparison, was so straightforward. I could feed DD wherever I was, I couldn't forget her food, I could feed her at night while I slept, it was great.

That's not said to invalidate your experience, of course. Just to show that there is another side. Maybe the course should have said "most women find bf easier than ff"?

tinymeteor Fri 06-Feb-15 07:41:10

Yanbu, it's different for everyone. I found it really convenient to BF as I didnt want a strict routine and find bottles a massive faff, but it's become much less so now she's older and I want more flexibility to leave her with other people and know she won't starve. They're not lying to you, once established BFing can be super easy and requires no extra luggage when you leave the house. But it's not all upside and it doesn't go that way for everyone.

You've done 3 months and given her loads of the benefits already. If you want to switch to bottles do it, and any HV that guilt trips you about it can sod off.

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