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If you stopped breastfeeding earlier than you planned.....

(27 Posts)
NoTeaForMe Sun 07-Nov-10 12:21:34

......why and how old was your baby?

I've been really struggling with feeding, with mastitis and blood blisters and cracked nipples and general horrible pain, and am considering stopping. But struggling with the guilt that comes with it! Wondered about other peoples situations!


JamesSpadersGal Sun 07-Nov-10 12:25:25

Stopped at 8 months due to tiredness of second pregnancy, it was just too much for me. In hindsight, for me, it was totally the right thing to do.

AlpinePony Sun 07-Nov-10 13:21:13

I stopped at around 2/3 weeks when I had to accept the fact that despite various interventions/medications to stimulate milk production, my breasts were not producing milk and I was starving my baby.

Nothing to feel guilty about - would've been guilty of starving my baby otherwise.

People can only make you feel guilty if you let them - feeding your child (by whatever means) indicates that you are doing the right thing.

NoTeaForMe Sun 07-Nov-10 16:56:44

Sorry to hear that AlpinePony , my reasons aren't as cut and dry as that which I guess adds to the guilt as it would be a choice and not something I HAD to do like you.

Anyone else got any experiences?

booyhoo Sun 07-Nov-10 17:04:24

with ds1 i stopped at 7 weeks because i thought i didn't have enough milk. i now realise he was having the famous 6 week growth spurt and knew to expect it with ds2 who is still bfing at 17 months.

sorry you are having a hard time. fwiw, i don't agree with BFing at all costs. in your circumstances i think i would choose to end bfing.

AlpinePony Sun 07-Nov-10 17:07:15

I do agree with booyhoo - BF is not the be all and end all and I think a lot of people lose sight of the mother's health in all of this.

NoTeaForMe Sun 07-Nov-10 17:21:46

Can I ask what makes you say you'd stop in my circumstances booyhoo ?

booyhoo Sun 07-Nov-10 17:54:15

for me, the problems you have experienced would be too much. they would outweigh the benefits of bf and i think i would be resentful of doing it. thankfully with my second son, i had very few problems beyond teh usual growth spurts and sore nipples. but i have to say, even then there were still times when i felt like i wanted to give up. there were times when i just didn't want to feed him and i can only imagine if i was in your situation i would feel even more like this. not sure if thsi is what you want to hear but it is how i would feel. that isn't to say it would be an easy decision. it wouldn't, and i would feel guilty. i do still feel guilty that i gave up with my first son but i also am able to rationalise my decision because at the time, and with my limited knowledge on the subject, it seemed like the best option. i know if i was to stop bf now, i would feel equally as guilty so i don't think the guilt lessens if you feed for longer. we all have reasons for not bfing or for stopping when we did, all these reasons are valid and none are any more or less valid than any others because we are all individuals in different circumstances and what works for one will not for another. you havce to make the decision based on what is best for you and your baby and not on what others have done. no-one else is in your shoes.

HollyBollyBooBoo Mon 08-Nov-10 02:34:45

I stopped completely at 5.5 weeks, DD was such a hungry baby and was just permanently attached to me, one day I timed every feed and it totalled 11 hours! I just don't have that sort of time in a day (well not if I want to sleep and eat myself!).

TBH never felt very Earth Motherish about BF but when you're bombarded with Breast is Best message from your 8 week booking in appointment it's hard to go against the grain.

Have just moved to Canada and Pediatricians are much more balanced in their views on feeding. DD is doing great, in 90th percentile, sleeping through the night, thriving and I am a happy mummy so I have no guilt whatsoever!

Please don't feel guilty, you know your situation best, do what your heart tells you!

AlpinePony Mon 08-Nov-10 07:23:55

I just wanted to say (remind you) - that there are so many decisions you're going to have to make over the next 18 years. Guilt about the "wrong school", guilt about the "not cool enough bicycle", guilt about not being able to afford the trip to disneyworld, etc., etc., etc. This will all seem totally irrelevant just 2 years down the line anyway. By that point you'll be guilting yourself about working/not-working instead. grin

jemjabella Mon 08-Nov-10 09:52:55

NoTeaForMe - have you sought help from a breastfeeding supporter/counsellor with your problems?

SparklePffftBANG Mon 08-Nov-10 10:01:46

How old is your baby? How long did you want to feed for?

NoTeaForMe Mon 08-Nov-10 17:08:59

Jem I have seen a breastfeeding counsellor, andaybe my expectations were too high but nothing changed after. She said the latch looked ok, need to get as much of the breast into baby's mouth as I can obviously. To be honest I feel like my baby doesn't like it and she wriggles away until she only has the nipple which is obviously making me sore. I have/had mastitis too and there is a limit to what a counsellor can do about that!

Sparkle my baby is 3 weeks old today. I don't know how long I had planned to feed for, a few months I guess. But I didn't expect to encounter all these problems....

flamingtoaster Mon 08-Nov-10 17:19:12

This was in the days before breast feeding counsellors etc. - I fed my DS for five months - expected to do the same with my DD but after three and a half weeks of problems (extreme pain when she fed, me bleeding, my daughter screaming (she had thrush in her mouth as I had had to have antibiotics), I extremely reluctantly stopped. It was like the sun suddenly came out - she fed better, was happier and I was no longer in pain.

I found out later she was tongue tied and that was why feeding was so painful. I still feel guilty that I didn't work out what the problem was even though there was no way I could have as I'd never heard of the problem!

What about introducing some bottles but keeping some breastfeeding going to take the pressure off you and allos some healing? I had to do that with my DS (cracked nipples etc.) but managed eventually to get back to wonderfully easy, not painful breastfeeding. Bottles don't always mean your supply will vanish so it would be worth maybe keeping a couple of feeds going with the hope you might get back to more. Good luck - I've been there and feel your pain!

theborrower Mon 08-Nov-10 17:36:08

I've had lots of problems too (baby wouldn't latch for about 3 weeks, trying/FFing/expressing since day 1, tongue tie not fixed until about 8 weeks, struggling with milk supply etc) but I now mix feed (mostly FF in all honestly, but we do what (little) we can manage and that makes me feel a bit better). I was devastated at the thought of not being able to breastfeed my baby, and I still feel pangs of jealousy when I see mums breastfeeding in public - they make it look so EASY! I still struggle with guilt sometimes, wondering "Did I try hard enough?" but you know, I did and I was at my limit and when I remember how unhappy I was becoming I know (I think) that I made the right decision. I decided that my baby needed a happy mummy rather than one that was starting to hate feeding time and was feeling like a failure.

At lot of posters on here will tell you BFing gets much easier given time and you can ride through problems - this has certainly been the case for a number of my BFing friends. If you think that you have the strength to carry on and you have a supportive partner etc, maybe you can - perhaps just take one day at a time, or even one feed at a time, or tell yourself you'll think about it again next week. You never know, you might find that things have really turned around and you're glad you stuck at it. But only you know your limits and how unhappy it is making you.

I wish you luck in whatever you decide to do.

escorchio Mon 08-Nov-10 17:43:27

DD1 18 months
DD2 6 months advised to stop because she had food allergies via me, and paediatrician said it would be too complicated to figure it out while I was BF.
DD3 3 months. It didn't seem to matter what I did, or ate, or how long I fed, she just wasn't putting on any weight. As soon as I started FF, she gained.

Looking back at the photos of DD3 now (she's 6) I feel terrible that I persevered for so long, just because I thought I should. FF was definitely right for her.

cluelessnchaos Mon 08-Nov-10 17:47:18

dd1 stopped at 6months because I thought it was what I was meant to do,

dd2 weaned herself off at 10 months,

ds, I had the same problems you are experiencing and the doctor persuaded me to introduce a bottle at about 8 weeks to give myself a break, I continued until about 4 months when I got a bout of flu, I think my milk changed in flavour because he wasnt having any of it.

SparklePffftBANG Mon 08-Nov-10 18:03:21

Could it possibly be tongue tie that's causing a lot of the pain after this long?

sarah293 Mon 08-Nov-10 18:04:30

Message withdrawn

NoTeaForMe Mon 08-Nov-10 18:38:32

What is tongue tie? Andhow would I know if my baby has it?

jemjabella Mon 08-Nov-10 19:03:48

'I have/had mastitis too and there is a limit to what a counsellor can do about that!'

It depends - if the mastitis is caused by a dodgy latch (which would also cause the blisters, cracked nipples etc) - then a good counsellor or possibly someone more experienced should be able to sort that. If you don't feel satisfied by the first answer, seek more help. I've found LLL very helpful and lots of people recommend the NCT's breastfeeding line too.

Where are you based?

TheFowlAndThePussycat Mon 08-Nov-10 19:18:43

I gave up breastfeeding at 4 weeks with dd1 because of exactly the problems you are describing. I look back on giving up as such a positive thing because I had got myself into a total state, was miserable and dreading (to the point of weeping) every feed because of the pain. When we started on the formula I really started to bond with her & it was so great. I totally agree with 'suddenly the sun came out!'

I think i did feel guilty to start with, but since having dd2 and bfing her for 11 months I now know that there is no difference in my relationship with either of them, they are bright happy healthy little girls & I made absolutely the right choice for each of them.

Panzee Mon 08-Nov-10 19:21:00

I stopped at 8 weeks after abscesses, infection and a few stays in hospital. I really wanted to carry on but I was making myself really ill. I decided at the time that I was much more use at home using formula than expressing in hospital. I know of some people who have suffered similarly but carried on, I might have been able to do it but felt so ill at the time I decided it wasn't worth it.

TheUnmentioned Mon 08-Nov-10 19:32:22

remember you neednt give up entirely , you could try mix feeding?

MumNWLondon Mon 08-Nov-10 19:56:08

I stopped earlier than I wanted to with DS1.

Basically he was waking up 1 hour in the night at 4 months after sleeping through... o gave formula at 10pm - he drank 9oz on the first bottle and slept through (obviously I had lower milk supply in evening). Also he was biting me when milk flow slowed down on breast (he was doing this before I offered bottle).

Decided he prefered bottles to breast and I prefered feeding him bottles. No guilt, we both preferred it. He was EBF until 4 months though

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