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Switching to formula - does the guilt go away?

(93 Posts)
Landofunicorn Tue 26-Mar-19 22:31:47

Ds has been breastfed for seven weeks.
I have had numerous problems - thrush, mastitis. It has always been painful. No reason found everyone agrees latch looks good no toungue tie.
I feel as though I am starting with another infection tonight.
Dh says I look ill and run down from the feeding and lack of sleep and feels formula would be best for me and also my toddler who has been somewhat ignored for the constant cluster feeding.
In some ways I agree with him. I do feel terrible and I’m miserable and snappy.
However I feel so guilty, almost as if I’m putting my health above babies. I don’t have a problem with ff at all, but I feel that because I have so much milk (it’s not like I’m not making enough) and this is what ds is used to after I initiated breastfeeding, Its not fair to him to switch for my own reasons.

If you were like this, did you persevere and did it get better?
Or did you stop and does the guilt go away? At the moment it feels all consuming.

Skyzalimit Tue 26-Mar-19 22:34:10

Either way is right. Be kind to yourself. We ended up doing a mix of the two and our kid is fine!

Wolfiefan Tue 26-Mar-19 22:34:22

I didn’t with my first. I lacked supply (despite all the support in the world). He looked ill. Lost weight and looked awful. I was feeding and crying and feeding and trying to increase supply and failing and crying.
I went to formula and felt shit. But he was healthy.
Second child the same started happening. I saved us both the suffering and switched to formula. She was happy and healthy and settled and fed.
You’re doing the best for your whole family. Give yourself a break my lovely. flowers

Brummiegirl15 Tue 26-Mar-19 22:35:35

Hmm it’s a tough one. My first was FF and my 2nd one is currently bf.

The question is, do you want to carry on breastfeeding? If you do, then persevere because it does get better and the advice “never give up on a bad day” is so true

But if you’ve had enough and want to give formula. That’s ok too and you absolutely shouldn’t feel guilty. You are doing a great job and There are so many things you’ll feel guilty about!

RavenousBabyButterfly Tue 26-Mar-19 22:36:53

I switched at 3 weeks/6 months/9 months. I felt the guilt every time, the duration made no difference. But yes it did wear off when I saw my babies were happy and fed, and I felt the benefit of life getting that little bit easier. Well done for the good start, and know that your health and wellbeing matters too.

Merryoldgoat Tue 26-Mar-19 22:37:11

I had different issues from yours, but I gave up entirely at 4 weeks with DS1 and 1 week with DS2.

I don’t feel guilty. I have two healthy happy boys today and my mental health is intact.

Breastfeeding is best. It is. But formula isn’t poison and will still allow them to thrive.

Sometimes, best for your child is what is best for you.

Whoops75 Tue 26-Mar-19 22:37:21

Fed is best, however you do it.

Switch and enjoy your baby instead of enduring him x

nokidshere Tue 26-Mar-19 22:38:44

Why feel guilty? It's a completely wasted emotion that people need to start ditching. Your baby will thrive regardless.

If you want to carry on maybe you could try a pump and bottle. But if you stop then that's fine too regardless of your reasons. You don't have to justify yourself to anyone.

Nurseornot Tue 26-Mar-19 22:38:55

I was exclusively formula fed in the 80s and I'm a fine human now. I'm educated with a degree and have had a great career in IT but have decided to start a new venture! I was not a sick or poorly child either. Please stop this guilt idea. Fed is best, nothing more than that.

Merryoldgoat Tue 26-Mar-19 22:40:08

If you do, then persevere because it does get better

I know this is ‘the line’ but there’s no guarantee of that actually.

I really wanted to bf DS1. It took a month before a HCP would be straight with me and accept it wasn’t working. It would never have got better for me.

I might get better for you - only you can and should decide using whatever criteria you think is reasonable.

Wolfiefan Tue 26-Mar-19 22:41:01

I tried for months with my first. Sometimes it doesn’t get better.

MissingSilence Tue 26-Mar-19 22:42:27

I had a really bad time in the beginning like you - mastitis and thrush, blisters, unbearable pain etc. I hated it to be honest. Also wanted to give up as was happy to ff but DD would root and root for the breast longingly so I ended up continuing to breastfeed (she also had CMPA as it turned out and would projectile vomit all formula). Things just suddenly got better and I’m still breastfeeding her at 15 months. Whatever you decide is best for you is right, but I just wanted to give you some hope that it may improve. Maybe combi-feed for a couple of days and see if things settle? Hope all goes well.

sayWat06 Tue 26-Mar-19 22:43:38

I felt like you in the beginning as I had a tough time bf (was painful and I didn't enjoy it at all) but I felt too guilty to stop. I was worried about my daughter getting a bad stomach from changing over to formula and it was my job to give her best start. I also felt trapped as I couldn't 'just stop'. It became less painful after 13 weeks and I am glad i persevered. Now at nearly 10 months and still going, however I will be ready to stop soon now she is having food.

Bluerussian Tue 26-Mar-19 22:46:32

Nothing to feel guilty about at all. You did the best you could and your baby will have gained immunity in the first couple of weeks. You couldn't go on as you were - you actually did very well! flowers

Rtmhwales Tue 26-Mar-19 22:47:27

I never had the guilt because I just thought what's best for baby is what's best for mum and BF was taking a toll on me emotionally and physically. Switched after a few weeks and DS and I are both the better for it.

Pantsomime Tue 26-Mar-19 22:48:21

Yes you get over it, the initial colostrum is the most important and dc has had that. You both need to be happy to thrive. When dc is shovelling down the snacks in a few years time ( we do eat healthily most of the time) you’ll look back and laugh

dragonsteeth Tue 26-Mar-19 22:48:22

Do not feel guilty for feeding your baby.

Formula is food not rat poison.

The biggest advantages to breastfeeding are in the early days. You've got through that, so don't feel guilty about switching now if you want to.

TheClaifeCrier Tue 26-Mar-19 22:50:44

I was you OP. I felt horribly guilty for several months.

The baby is a giant six year old now. Very healthy, rarely ill, very active. Exceeding in maths and English at school.

When they get to school age you have no idea which child was breast fed and which one wasn't. It really isn't a big deal.

keepforgettingmyusername Tue 26-Mar-19 22:51:23

Yes the guilt will fade. There are people on mums groups who post with the sole intention of making you feel like shit. Things like an article about how low breastfeeding rates are due to lack of education with a sad face. Just tell them to go to hell and go about your day.

MuddlingThrough1724 Tue 26-Mar-19 22:55:31

Yes, the guilt I felt went away as soon as I saw my baby start to thrive, which was not happening with breastfeeding alone. The decision to switch to combination feeding at 8 weeks was the best we could have made for our family under the circumstances. Fed is best, and a happy and healthy mum is far better for your baby than a miserable and struggling mum. Good luck to you and your baby.

AmIRightOrAMeringue Tue 26-Mar-19 22:56:11

Hi just wanted to check - who has told you that there is no tongue tie? If it's a doctor or a midwife or even a breastfeeding person then they may not be right - they are not qualified in TT and can often miss things especially if they have just tried to diagnose by looking. We had a terrible time at the start of bf due to undiagnosed tongue tie that 2 midwives and a breastfeeding helper had missed. A qualified tt practitioner diagnosed and sorted it. She did 7 separate checks mainly by assessing how the tongue moved around the mouth - only one was visual.

Just a thought, might be worth double checking,in most areas you need to pay privately to be seen in a reasonable time though.

The tiredness may not improve with ff though at least you can take it in turns if your husband will do his share of night feeds.

Breastfeeding supply mainly regulates after 8 - 10 weeks so over supply shouldn't be a problem after that

Saying all that, thrush and mastitis are horrible and if you've got an acute infection it's so difficult to parent either of your kids. You've already tried really hard and gone through a lot and if recurring mastitis is just a feature of your body when you breastfeed then it's probably best for everyone if you ff. You would have nothing to feel guilty about, your baby would rather have a happy and healthy mum than stressed and ill

MuddlingThrough1724 Tue 26-Mar-19 22:57:31

.....and I should add, switching to combination feeding and embracing formula saved our breastfeeding journey - we are now at 28 months and counting of breastfeeding, albeit not exclusively of course. It doesn't have to be one or the other, it can be a mix if you find that works for your family.

Pitapotamus Tue 26-Mar-19 22:59:04

The guilt definitely goes away and you come to realise that actually it doesn’t really matter all that much how they are fed as little babies, it’s just one small part of a lifetime of parenting.

I have three, two were breastfed and one was formula fed. I challenge anyone to work out which one of the three was formula fed!!

donajimena Tue 26-Mar-19 23:00:25

Yes it does. I gave up for the sake of my mental health and felt dreadful about doing so. Now in their teens I rarely think about how they were fed. Until I see these dilemmas on here.

Houseonahill Tue 26-Mar-19 23:02:52

I stopped bf at about 8 weeks, I was stressed and anxious that baby wasn't getting enough food, she was unhappy because my milk wouldn't come fast enough for her, I was sore tired and not enjoying my baby, I had started to dread her needing to be fed. I felt similar guilt switching to formula but after a week and seeing that I had a happy comfortable baby who was thriving and I was no longer sore and anxious it was the best thing I did. I could finally enjoy my baby.

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