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To give up breastfeeding

(51 Posts)
MumofChuckie Mon 16-Jan-17 06:52:40

Posting here for traffic.

I have no idea what to do. My DD is 4 weeks old and it feels like everything that could go wrong with BFing HAS gone wrong. Tongue tie led to bad latch led to bruised nipples led to diagnosis of Reynoids (no I'd never heard of it either), flat nipples and then being sent back to postnatal ward on NYE with mastitis in both breasts.

We now have to use nipple shields for every feed otherwise it is impossible. I hate those little plastic sombreros but I've resigned myself to it if it means I can continue to nurse.

That was all in the first two weeks. We've been fine ever since, until now. Baby is rejecting me. She'll feed for 5-7 minutes MAX on one breast and will refuse any more. Eyes scrunch up, fists tight, mouth clamped and then eventually she'll fall asleep. I have tried waking her up, winding, changing nappy again... nothing. I'll put her back into her crib and she'll wake up 40 minutes later hungry and we'll start the battle all over again.

I have found myself staring at my sleeping baby whilst I stay awake pumping out all the milk she has rejected.

After doing 40 minute stints of sleep I am exhausted, my DP will give her a bottle and she'll wolf down 100ml and be asleep for 3 hours.

I'm so sad and so desperate. I've tried my hardest and bitten into pillows to keep myself from screaming just to give her what she needed. But I can't go on anymore.

Has anyone got any advice for a very fraught new mama? (BFing consultant a bit shit)

DustOffYourHighestHopes Mon 16-Jan-17 06:55:27


Either just give her a bottle, relax, know that many many women do the same and it's a legitimate loving motherly decision for both your physical health and your mental health.

Or give yourself a deadline (say next week) to persevere towards. Eg 'if it's not better by Wednesday I'm giving her formula'.

flumpybear Mon 16-Jan-17 06:59:00

Yep - I'm with Dusty, don't beat yourself up either!!

Alwaysknackered79 Mon 16-Jan-17 07:00:56

God no - switch to bottles now for the sake of your sanity! You've tried hard enough! You can keep up bf with the nipple shields alongside and/or do a bit of pumping to keep up her having breast milk if you wanted - for maybe one or two feeds a day so you aren't doing this all day! It's fine to just feed on nipple shields btw as long as you are using them correctly.

Mungobungo Mon 16-Jan-17 07:03:05


What do you want to do? Truly and honestly in your heart? You're not failing your baby by feeding her, whether it's at the breast, expressed breast milk or formula.

If you want to get back to putting her on the breast, have a look at the la leche leage website as there is a lot of info there. You could also google breast refusal. If your bf consultant isn't helpful to you, it may be worth trying to find someone else, even if you do have to pay for the help.

However, please do this only because you want to and feel it's not going to impact on your mental wellbeing. So many women feel guilted and pressured into bfing which is so sad.

It is hard but it is possible to overcome but it will take time and a lot of patience and effort and you'll feel like it's the hardest thing ever.

Ultimately it's your decision and you must do what feels the right thing for you, your baby and your family as a whole. You won't be unreasonable for carrying on (with decent support) and you won't be unreasonable for stopping either.

Hope all works out soon

Alwaysknackered79 Mon 16-Jan-17 07:03:30

Ps I should say I fed my lo for 18 months on shields - she never learned to latch without them. Second baby latched no problems as my flat nipples had changed shape from feeding the first.

Thefitfatty Mon 16-Jan-17 07:06:46

Nope, YANBU, switch now. Save yourself a lot of heartache and stress. You and your DD will be happier for it.

DoubleCarrick Mon 16-Jan-17 07:07:28

I made the decision to stop bf my 10 day old baby yesterday. He spent a few days in special care and we only came home from hospital Friday. The midwife said yesterday that because he had to use a bottle in hospital it's made it harder for him to learn to breast feed. I decided i didn't want that battle and after a hellish week just want to enjoy him. I didn't want to risk pnd

Gileswithachainsaw Mon 16-Jan-17 07:10:25

Hell no yanbu

It sometimes just doesn't work out. They are small fir so little time it's silly to spend it in agony and exhausted when there is a perfectly acceptable alternative

By the time they are crawling around picking shies and eating insects you will wonder why you ever worried about the milk...

Gileswithachainsaw Mon 16-Jan-17 07:10:48

Licking shoes


Kpo58 Mon 16-Jan-17 07:11:15

Have you been to a NCT breastfeeding clinic yet? They can be really helpful.

(YANBU though)

Lenmaw Mon 16-Jan-17 07:13:46

I am in exactly the same situation (bar Reynolds... will have to google that)

I decided to stop (super unhelpful bf counselor too) and let DP give her some formula. Since she didn't get poisoned from it ;) I have chilled out a lot and know that it's a option, and am continuing trying to bf but mainly pumping and feeding.

Good luck, I feel for you x

Crunchymum Mon 16-Jan-17 07:13:50

I FF one and am still BF'ing the other (who is 2!!)

I have absolutely no guilt or regrets about FF. In fact after 8 weeks of expressing, I'd say moving to formula was when I finally began to enjoy my baby.

Please don't feel guilty if you don't continue with breastfeeding.

Palegreenstars Mon 16-Jan-17 07:14:30


statetrooperstacey Mon 16-Jan-17 07:15:29

If I were you I would switch to formula . She has has the important stuff, you have done really well .
I've got 5 dc, 3 I tried really hard and couldnt do it for many reasons,1 I managed to ebf till 16 months, the fifth I didn't even try, guess which baby I enjoyed the most?
It sounds like you have had a really hard time of it, give yourself permission to switch to bottles and get your life back a bit, and enjoy your baby flowers. Breast feeding sounds like an ordeal for all of you.

Closetotears Mon 16-Jan-17 07:16:21

Reading your post my honest advice is to switch to bottles and enjoy your baby. I've done both a bottle fed my first after a string of early problems with bf which meant it never really got going. Breastfeeding my second which is lovely (although I have to wear shields for every feed, even after three months, which is a slight hassle but has never affected my supply). I wouldn't have beaten myself up if it hadn't worked this time. And I wouldn't have been sad to bottle feed again. It's not worth destroying yourself in order to breastfeed out of guilt. What's 'best' is not always the breast. Not at any cost. Do what works for you and your family and be happy with your decisions flowers

WineIsMyMainVice Mon 16-Jan-17 07:16:32

Your post could have been me 4 years ago with my first. It was a nightmare. So my sympathies op.
Just don't beat yourself up. Why do we give ourselves such a hard time? Just don't put too much pressure on yourself.
The fact that you have persevered through all this shows how much you care - which in turn shows what a loving caring parent you are.
But you have just as much responsibility to look after yourself as your lo. Bevause a poorly exhausted mum won't be able to look after her properly. So just be kind to yourself. BF is not the be all and end all of being a good parent. When I was in the same dilemma my mum said to me "Formula is not poison you know!" She was right, obviously.
I agree with previous posters about maybe setting a timeframe.
Best of luck to you. And congratulations on new arrival!

TalkingofMichaelAngel0 Mon 16-Jan-17 07:17:01

Phone your hv and ask for a breastfeesing expert type to Come See you. You clearly need outside help. It could be something youre eating / drinking?? I know someone whose baby screamed if theyd had orange!

But if you want to stop and formula feed jist do so.

ShowMePotatoSalad Mon 16-Jan-17 07:17:36

YANBU. Do what's right for you and baby.

I could have written this when my DS was 4 weeks too. I decided to BF and bottle feed for a while to alleviate the demand on myself and make sure DS got enough. After a couple of weeks we were back to totally breastfeeding and I'm still doing it now at 15 months.

queencrunch Mon 16-Jan-17 07:21:01

Like you I persevered with breast feeding. About the same age my girl was doing the same. My husband would come home from work to me in tears as she hadn't really slept, was constantly doing short feeds and I felt I had nothing more to give.

He picked us up, took us to Tesco, bought all bits, fed her, ran me a bath, she slept for four hours...the change in both of us was amazing.

I will be eternally grateful for him for making the decision for me that day.

Do it. Please please do it.

StrongTeaHotShower Mon 16-Jan-17 07:26:12

Lots of good advice given already but re breast rejection: lots and lots of 'no pressure' skin to skin. As in baby on your chest in just a nappy. Head on your chest and bottom on your tummy. Not in a breastfeeding position. Let her find the breast if she wants to.

Remember machine pumping will not express your milk entirely effectively so try some breast compressions and she feeds. As in for every suck she does you do a deep hand express at the same time. This will help with the volume of milk she's getting and deal with the spectre of mastitis.

Much of BF success depends on the right support and it sounds as though you've been let down. Please try and get to a support group today.

Good luck flowers

Astley Mon 16-Jan-17 07:27:51

Give her a bottle. Seriously. There are far more important things to worry about.

In the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter at all. DH is one of three. The one who was only breastfed for a week was a former national level athlete and by far the most as academic and now with the most high powered career. His sister who was bf's for a year or more has mega skin issues and has a very average admin job. Basically, breastfeeding will not turn your child into little Einstein and formula feeding will not condemn them to a life on minimum wage. There are so many factors at play, but the most important one is having another who isn't totally exhausted.

StrongTeaHotShower Mon 16-Jan-17 07:29:53

Sorry that should be 'try breast compressions as she feeds.'

cookiefiend Mon 16-Jan-17 07:40:38

YANBU- there is nothing wrong with formula. If you decide to use it that is absolutely fine.

However, from your post you sound upset, like you don't want to use formula, but you feel you have no choice. I had to mix feed DD1 for ages and like you thought I was going to have to give up bf and I was crushed (even though rationally I knew it was fine, in my hormonal post baby state I thought I was failing my DD).

If you feel like that then perhaps try a bit longer and as a PP has said give yourself a deadline. I kept extending my deadline and eventually my husband said - look you just dos a feed without swearing and banging your feet on the ground.

If yo want to carry on- try looking at latching videos on YouTube as you will need to improve the latch. She will get milk better and it will hurt you less. I liked the video on you tube of the flipple or extended latch. I watched it every time I feed for weeks to improve what we were doing. Read about getting a deeper latch on kelly mom.

Keep posting here- there are loads of people with experience who can help. And remember if you do decide to give formula then that is no problem. You are doing really well- be kind to yourself.

han01uk Mon 16-Jan-17 07:49:14

5-7 minutes is actually fine for a good breastfeed. It sounds like you may have a fast let down and she actually has all she needs in those first few minutes.
We also had a tongue tie here,had to use nipple shields for the next few months until she could feed without them.
She will feed more regularly on the breast than a bottle...hourly feeds is quite normal! Also formula is thicker and expands the tummy so she will then appear hungrier and need to feed more frequently from the breast to get the same effect. But as I'm sure you don't need me to harp on about the benefits of breastfeeding. If you are finding that you are giving more bottles it will be harder to combine feed....she will be less satisfied with breast milk as her tummy will have expanded by the amount of formula she takes.
Do what your gut says...have you got a lot of support from other breastfeeding mums/family/la leche league/ etc etc? All can be vital in making this period easier by realising what's happening is completely normal!! Good luck with whatever way you choose to

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