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To be considering giving up breastfeeding

(27 Posts)
Fluffsnuts Sat 27-Aug-16 13:55:32

DS is 8 months old. I've always had a love/hate relationship with breastfeeding, physically finding it very easy from the start but mentally finding it draining being the only one who can comfort / feed him (DH can comfort him in other ways unless DS is tired, then he just wants boobs). Recently DS has started biting - it's as he's falling asleep on the breast so not intentional so usual remove/ say no/ put down doesn't work as he doesn't know he's doing it, it's just his latch gets lazy.

Reasons for wanting to give up:
- Biting (see above)
- DS will not go to sleep without boob - when others have put him to bed (DH and DM) he either cries himself to sleep in their arms (which takes several hours) or refuses to go to sleep until I have returned.
- He stays latched on for most of the night, waking up when unlatched or if co-sleeping the boob falls out of his mouth, this means I'm being woken up every 20ish minutes to put the boob back in. If I don't, we have hours of crying himself to sleep (fights if rocked, sushed, patted etc).
- I'm exhausted.
- I can't lose weight
- I supposed to be on medication to improve bladder function and reduce incontinence but it's contraindicated with breastfeeding.
- I hate co-sleeping, it's affecting my physical health and my relationship.

Reasons I feel I should continue:
- DS will not take a bottle. I suspect if I stop feeding him he will stop taking milk. He won't take it from a cup either. At 8 months, this is obviously not good. He does eat well though, so won't starve, but may be nutrient deficient.
-Sterilizing, making up bottles, making up bottles when we go out just seems like such a hassle.
- He loves the boobs.
- breast milk is better for him.
- If I no longer boob him to sleep how will he go to sleep - I'm more bothered about the middle of the night wake ups rather than bedtime iyswim.

I feel so guilty as it seems so selfish to want to give up, but my reasons for not doing are also selfish.

I just don't know what to do for the best sad Everyone said his sleep would get better (at 4months, 6 months, when he starts solids etc etc) but it hasn't he's always woken up loads - between every 20mins and every 2 hours, without fail.

I don't know what to do!!

AIBU to give up? AIBU to feel so torn about it?

Oysterbabe Sat 27-Aug-16 13:59:41

YANBU. I'd have given up before now if I were you. I assume you've tried lots of different kinds of bottles and cups?

Cocklodger Sat 27-Aug-16 14:00:32

You can stop.
Its not selfish.
He's over 6 months, the critical point is over with.
Of course it'd be nice to breastfeed for longer (In some ways)but you don't have to. He won't suffer for it.
In 10 years time when he's playing with the other kids in your front garden/school yard. You won't be able to tell who was BF/FF breast fed for 6/12/18/24 months etc etc

Fluffsnuts Sat 27-Aug-16 14:00:54

Oyster - I could open a small shop selling baby drinking paraphernalia!

Nan0second Sat 27-Aug-16 14:01:45

You can give up using it at bedtime and overnight without giving up at other times if you are worried about his nutrition.
However, it would not be unreasonable to stop. Assuming he is not dairy allergic / fussy, there are plenty of other great sources of calcium - think yoghurt, cheese, spinach, some nuts etc etc.
He may take a bottle once breast feeding finishes but even if not, a doidy or sippy or even a straw cup may do the trick.
You may find that sleep isn't fixed by stopping. He has a massive suck to sleep association so you need to break that for things to improve. Good luck

TheAnswerIsYes Sat 27-Aug-16 14:03:07

Yabu to ask us to decide for you.

Ifor it were me I wouldn't stop yet. The biting will pass, sterilising is a faff, formula is expensive and you will regret not being able to boob the child to sleep when the little sod just won't settle and is screaming his little head off.

Keep going until 1yo and reassess then.

0hCrepe Sat 27-Aug-16 14:06:40

He sounds similar to dd. Of course yanbu but if he's like dd he'll be stubborn and you'll have a fight on your hands! Dd was older (2) when I finally shut up shop completely but I had to wear tight high necked tops etc and it was difficult refusing her very clear intentions!

mamapants Sat 27-Aug-16 14:10:44

I had a similar baby, I cut out breastfeeding at night following dr jay Gordon's method. It's very gentle and i was amazed it worked with him. Worth checking out. My boy was 1 when I did it but worth a go.
He did sleep better as hw no longer needed the breast to fall asleep but I did continue to cosleep, he still needed my presence.

EdmundCleverClogs Sat 27-Aug-16 14:10:58

Are you me, op? Apart from the medication issue, exactly the same scenario. However, my 10 month old will drink from a hard-top, cheap beaker (well, mostly, the rest goes everywhere), have you tried one? I'm trying cutting down to just a 'settle' feed, as soon as my child is asleep, I hand over to my partner (who puts them down to bed once properly asleep). That way, the baby isn't instantly looking for boob once de-latched in their sleep.

MigGril Sat 27-Aug-16 14:13:41

Agree with Answers Yabu to ask us to decide for you.

I think only you can answer this question. What you need is some good support to help decided what you really want. Could be you'd like to continue if you can change a few things which is perfectly possible.

I'd give BfN supporter line a ring or the national breastfeeding line. They also do online support now to. Then you can work out what is best for you.

HopelesslydevotedtoGu Sat 27-Aug-16 14:27:49

On the medication issue, have you contacted the pharmacist at the breastfeeding network to ask whether your medication can be used whilst breastfeeding, or whether there are alternatives? The bnf drug book which most doctors consult has very, very conservative and vague information about breastfeeding on medication, so docs often err on the side of caution.

user1471426807 Sat 27-Aug-16 14:33:09

No real advice here but I have an 8 month old and I stopped BF her 2 days ago after months of slowing it down. I have been trying to get her on a cup for months and nothing came of it. She would not and will not take formula! I told the HV about this and she said 1) baby will not let herself dehydrate 2) some babies won't drink formula so as long as they still get vitamins, they don't need it.

I started compensating BF with food and got her down to one BF at night (the toughest to get rid of as she fell asleep on the feed!) and family members/husband started to hold her and tried with cups filled with water or weak juice. She started taking very small amounts so I, along with this and HV info, stopped and she has now started taking the cup without any hassle (haven't tried formula yet!) It felt like a huge risk but I just didn't want to BF any more (I struggle to lose weight when BF too amongst other reasons) and it's been really tough but shes adapting really well.

The turning point for me was others stepping in to help without me present.

All the best, I know it's frustrating.

DoveBlue Sat 27-Aug-16 14:36:47

I have just stopped bf my DS at 11m due to very similar reasons (consultants advised to stop months ago but he refuses bottle - tried every bottle on market including the ones that are £18 each!!). I use the munchkin 360 cups won't drink from anything else only started from these after my husband got him to drink some of his squash from a regular glass (yes i know they shouldn't have sqaush but he was watch my DH so he let him try and he seemed to get it). He drank water from them in day then I moved to milk in a cup during the day and only bf at night - this was around 8.5m. Could you try to only feed at night to start with. See if he will take any milk in day? It took a while for his milk in day to build up he seemed to just feed nore at night for a week or two. I asked about cows milk as he didnt seem to like formula and health visitor said they cannot advise you to give it but she didn't seem bothered when I said I was going to try him on some. I make sure he has the vitamin solution everyday though.

He was inconsolable at bedtime and in night without boob. I had permanent teeth marks in my nipple even only feeding at bedtime and during night. I never got a break.

I decided I couldn't continue and I this is how I have managed to finally stop. I instigated a good bedtime routine first (in the night garden, bath, story, in nursery turn lights off music and stars, and then boobed him to sleep) once we had this routine set up. I then did same routine but only breastfed him to drowsy and then put him down in own cot. Walked away but went back and comforted him every time he cried laid back down then left etc took ages first few nights (1.5-2hrs). Then when this was only taking 20mins to go to sleep switched the feed to milk in a cup. I wore my husbands t-shirt and a non nursing bra and a crop top so no easy access! (He was starting to just try to help himself!) First night he only had maybe an ounze and he was upset which made me feel guilty. I never left him to cry (would wait to count of 30 then go back in) cuddle, lie back down, stroke head, night night, etc then leave did this again and again . . . took a while (and I did let him cuddle to sleep one night but no boob) he did drink a bit more from cup hour later when he realised boob wasn't happening. It has now a week in got down to under 30mins.

I would suggest taking upstairs what ever he hopefully eventually takes milk in and ready mix formula so much easier blurrey eyed and less likely to give in. HTH

BagelDog Sat 27-Aug-16 14:38:38

My third baby is eight months now, still feeding but it had started to get to me about seven months, feeling all touched out and like settling him was always my job. He was co sleeping half the night though going down in his own cot. He was eating really well so we moved him to his own room and stopped feeding him over nights, all done gently, I can't handle letting him cry it out. He now sleeps in his own room and sleeps well. I have kept feeding as it is now so much easier. Essentially saying you can seperate out the sleeping/ co sleeping and the feeding thing and tackle them as two issues and you may find another way not necessarily just stopping feeding.

Unless you want to stop in which case crack on, feeding him for eight months is amazing and far far longer than average and you can happily swap to food and formula and feeling a bit less frazzled.

twocultures Sat 27-Aug-16 14:40:04

My DS (he's 1.5 now) when he was around 7/8 mo often comfort fed and would fall asleep on my boob like your baby and he would wake up if I went to unlatch and put him down.
For me the only solution to this was a dummy. It was the suckling motion that soothed him and replacing the boob with a dummy once he fell asleep allowed me at least some space.
I know people don't recommend dummies but it was a sanity saver for me.

Fluffsnuts Sat 27-Aug-16 14:47:09

Thanks for your replies.

I guess I don't really want to continue, I just feel so guilty. I don't actually like breastfeeding and never have.

He drinks water out of a cup with no issue. But as soon as I put milk in it, either formula or expressed breast milk he chucks it and refuses to drink it.

Fluffsnuts Sat 27-Aug-16 14:48:50

Oh, and BfN said about the medication that whilst technically I can take the medication whilst feeding (against what the GP and pharmacist said) they really wouldn't advise it as it will dry up my supply.

coconutpie Sat 27-Aug-16 14:55:09

User - you have stopped breastfeeding your 8 month old, who now will not take formula and your HV is ok with this? Your HV is completely irresponsible here and has given you dreadful advice. You need to continue breastfeeding if your baby won't take formula. Their main source of nutrition must be breastmilk or formula for the first year - you cannot replace it with food and vitamins.

shiteattheseaside Sat 27-Aug-16 15:04:41

Yabnu at all. You could have wrote that post about me tbh. I stopped breastfeeding at 8 months, ds is now 13 months.

Reasons i stopped:
- he had been ill and went off breast and even though i pumped my suply dropped (we would be on boob for like 40 mins then still take 12oz of formula after)
- at the same time he started biting, he knew what he was doing and thought it was funny and got to point where he wasnt even trying to feed, just bite!

Ive been lucky as he has always taken a bottle so i dont know what you would do there.

However, after some of the things you have mentioned, i thought i would tell you my experience afte stopping:
.- my ds has always been a bad sleeper and would only ever sleep with boob. His sleeping is still terrible and he wont sleep without bottle, so i think before you stop you need to try replace boob as a sleep aid, or atleast introduce something as well as boob so he can transition into not sleeping with it. When you stop it may take a while (I mean months) for them to adust to new no boob sleep. The rocking etc to sleep will get worse for a while because you dont have boob as a fail safe.

Everyones differeny etc but re the losing weight - breastfeeding actually helps you drop weight, as you are using alot of calories producing milk.

The medicatiom thing was a biggy for me to, and now im not breastfeeding its great to take painkillers or medication or even have a beer and not worry.

It is nice to get your body back too, and nice to wear pretty bras again not nursing bras

flumpybear Sat 27-Aug-16 15:08:02

Sounds like you need to give up!
Have you tried a dummy at night instead of your child using you as his dummy!?

Also have you tried going out for the day and leaving him with your partner so that the baby can't smell you as babies cry for their mum if they can smell them, but if not he may decide a bottle is better than nothing

user1471426807 Sat 27-Aug-16 15:11:23

Yes I was told by HV that breastfed babies sometimes do not take to formula ever. I will check this again with them. I blend it into her food, she just won't take it from a cup!

coconutpie Sat 27-Aug-16 15:32:42

User - I would go seek another medical professional, a GP rather than a HV. What she told you is wrong regarding not needing the formula at all. Babies need milk to be their main source of nutrition til 1 year. And yes, it is totally normal for a breastfed baby to hate the taste of formula - it takes disgusting! It's horrible compared to the lovely taste of breastmilk that they are used to. If you don't want to breastfed, can you express for a while (if you get any output while expressing that is?)

coconutpie Sat 27-Aug-16 15:33:16

* tastes not takes!

user1471426807 Sat 27-Aug-16 15:53:45

Coconut - I tried expressing since early days, DD wasn't having any of it from the bottle and still won't. Im going to look into it further before it's too late, thanks.

Trifleorbust Sat 27-Aug-16 16:42:48

You are not being unreasonable at all. He will accept formula once he gets used to the taste. Babies don't starve to death when their mums stop BF.

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