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FF it is me that isn't comfortable with my choice.

(9 Posts)
nunnie Tue 19-Jul-11 20:47:06

Since deciding to FF my DS (2nd child) it has took me 9 months to realise it is me that has the problem with it not everyone else.

When he was newborn I hated feeding him in public for fear of judgemental looks and remarks. When people asked if I BF I would give long winded answers as I felt I had to justify my decision.

He is currently 9 months old almost 10 and I am currently 30 weeks pregnant again, and I have just realised it is me, I really feel like I have failed my son and I am worried about what to do with this one.

I breastfed my DD (1st baby) for 6 weeks and in this time I bled from my nipples, I spent the entire feeds in tears due to the pain, I eventually resented her for needing feeding and causing me so much pain sad anyway long story short I was diagnosed with PND and stopped breastfeeding as I personally felt this was the cause.

With DS planned to BF, but after him being born via EMCS due to being brow and needing a GA as the spinal failed, I wasn't sure I would cope mentally with the EMCS and the possible BF problems, DS was also severely bruised from forehead to lip and I blamed myself for this so I felt I had enough going on and decided to FF.

I am petrified of getting PND with this one and am unsure of feeding plan as I don't want to risk being unable to cope and looking after 2 children under 1 and one 4 year old.

Is this normal, how and who do I speak to regarding my concerns?

Al1son Tue 19-Jul-11 21:14:18

Sorry I can't give you much advice apart from my gut feeling would be to give it a try because it may be easier this time. If it doesn't work out move on in the knowledge that you did your best.

Apart from that I just thought a bump might help.

crikeybadger Tue 19-Jul-11 21:28:01

I think you'd get some support if you were to give one of the bf helplines a ring. You could chat things through with someone and just see if they can offer any suggestions.

I personally think that you could just see how things go, you don't need to make any firm decisions now do you? See what sort of birth you have and take things from there.

I'm sure you can get advice on breastfeeding a new one whilst looking after two other young children on here too, if that's what you want.

Hope things work out for you.

thisisyesterday Tue 19-Jul-11 21:28:05

aww, you sound like you've had a tough time of it

guilt is part and parcel of motherhood tbh! there are times when we have to make decisions, and we do what we feel is the right thing at the time. sometimes we look back and wish we had done it differently... but hindsight is a wonderful thing!

I'll go all existential on you for a moment (only a moment I promise) and quote a bit of Kierkegaard:
"life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards"

I do know, from personal experience, how you feel about formula feeding. I did the same with ds1 and he is now 6 and absolutely fine, but i do still feel guilty for stopping breastfeeding with him.
But you know neither of us can change that now. we made our decisions and you, like me, made that decision based purely on what we thought was best at the time... how could we have done it differently??

I would talk to your midwife now about PND. What support they can give you now, and when baby is born. In my area we have a maternal mental wellbeing clinic that you can be referred to, which gives you a port of call either pre or post birth if you are feeling worried/depressed... perhaps you have something like this where you live too?

I've read that often mothers with PND are ,whilst not encouraged to give up breastfeeding, often supported a little bit too well... does that make sense? What I mean is that people sometimes attribute the difficulties often faced early on in breastfeeding with the mothers depression... mum is advised to cut herself some slack and give a few formula feeds (which is fine, if that's what you want to do!), mum swaps to formula and then feels even worse because she has that guilt over not breastfeeding.
It's a bit of a vicious circle I guess.

If you would like to breastfeed this time my real top tips would be:

1) find local breastfeeding groups. go now, while you are pregnant, watch people feed, get used to it, get that support in place before baby is born, the experience you had with your daughter was not normal, and you shouldn't have been in that kind of pain/bleeding... finding a good breastfeeding counsellor can really make all the difference

2) read, read, read. find out what is "normal" for a breastfed baby and what you can realistically expect. I think sometimes people are just so overwhelmed with how demanding a newborn can be and how often they need to feed that they end up thinking they are doing something wrong and often thwart their own attempts at breastfeeding.

it can be very intense to start with, and I think it's one of those things that's definitely short term pain for long-term gain. Whether or not you are in a place where you can deal with that short-term pain only you can tell, and really only once you have your baby here. You may get one of those fab ones that sleeps a lot, feeds regularly and is a little joy.. you may get one of the other type who want to feed every 30 minutes leaving you stuck on the sofa all day!

Sorry for how long this is getting!! I am probably blathering on a bit.
I would decide on no decision for the timebeing. see how it goes. maybe breastfeed while you're in hospital and then take it a day at a time. but make sure you have all the support you need around you, both for your mental wellbeing and for breastfeeding if that's what you choose to do. you don't have to decide now

Tryharder Tue 19-Jul-11 22:28:24

It will be hard to bf a newborn when you have an older baby and a preschooler to look after. You will need lots of support. Will your DH be able to take an extended period of leave after the birth or perhaps you have supportive parents or inlaws.

BertieBasset Tue 19-Jul-11 22:34:48

Sorry for a quick reply, have 5 week old about to wake up! Are you able to request a mental health midwife? My PCT offer a referral to the mental health team if necessary, they may be able to allay your fears regarding PND.

For the breastfeeding, again my PCT offers a post natal support group but recommends that you attend prior to baby being born to get used to the group and see the problems others face.

I understand entirely where you are coming from, having had mental health issues myself and also ff after I felt I failed at bf'ing. Was determined to bf this time with DD2 but I had the same problems and decided not to beat myself up as dd2 needed me in a sane frame of mind more than she needed the bf'ing.

Lots of luck

TittyBojangles Tue 19-Jul-11 23:15:17

Totally agree with going to a bf group BEFORE you have your LO. Speak to some mums there and see if you can find someone with other young children to chat about the potential problems that MAY cause. And get some advice from someone experienced in bf support too. Better to get this info now rather than after the birth.

gallicgirl Tue 19-Jul-11 23:33:45

Hi

I had similar situation in that I started to BF but swapped to FF for a whole raft of reasons. Still feel bad about the decision but the one thing that makes it better is thinking that each day of BF helped. OK, so DD didn't get goodness of BF for months as I'd hoped, but every single extra day that I managed to offer breastmilk was to her benefit. I try to feel positive about the days she got BF rather than beat myself up over the days she didn't. Hope this helps.

nunnie Wed 20-Jul-11 09:55:18

Thank you everyone I will look into groups, the local breastfeeding councillor (really can't spell today sorry) over the road who I am friendly with but sadly with DD by the time I realised this I was already in a state and couldn't bring myself to talk to anyone about it let alone someone I see everyday. Will pluck up the courage and talk to her I think because she is lovely and ha helped me with other things baby and pregnancy related as she was previously a ward sister on the local maternity unit and is now the berevement councillor there so her knowledge scale is pretty large.

DH is a contract worker so doesn't get paid for leave so he will have if my previous two are anything to go by, a week off then my mum takes over she only lives 30 minutes away and comes early morning till late evening for a couple of weeks, so 3 weeks of full support all being well.

Thank you once again for all the lovely replies and your understanding.

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