Guilt! Ds is 7months and ebf i want to stop now!(19 Posts)
Ds is 7 months next week and i have decided i want to stop breastfeeding.
But i feel guilty for taking away something that he loves for my own selfish reasons. ie- sick of wearing horrid nursing bra, boobs are massive! Would like to have a night out and a drink (have not had one drink since i decided to try for baby so 17 months now.)
Ds has started using boob as a dummy he falls asleep with it in his mouth when i move he cries, put it back in and he is fast a sleep again. I know this is my fault for letting this happen but when you are tired you do silly things!
What i really want to know is how should i go about stopping without it being to stressful of Ds? Am i doing the right thing? And how do i stop?
If you were to take away the problems that you're getting with BFing, would you still want to stop? For instance:
- Lots of nice nursing bras online. Hot Milk for instance make lovely ones
- You can drink! There's no problem at all with having a drink. Generally it's best to limit yourself to a couple of units, but if you really want to go out and get bladdered (or even just have a few more than just a couple), feed your baby before you go and wait until you're safe enough to drive before BFing again. You don't need to pump and dump unless you need to for comfort. As the levels of alcohol in your blood drop, so will the levels in your milk.
It's not your fault for letting your DS fall asleep on your breast. It's a lovely way to get them to sleep. Not at all silly, in fact very sensible. He's not using you as a dummy - dummys are a substitute breast not the other way round. However, a baby who will only sleep on the breast is very limiting and if you want to break this association it's certainly possible. I would take a look at the No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley for ways to do this gently. With time you can work towards being able to use breastfeeding to get your LO to sleep, but not be reliant on it to stay asleep. Bear in mind that you will need to do this if you stop BFing anyway, as he will need an alternative.
That's just some answers to some of the very common downsides of BFing. If you are still wanting to stop then you do need a strategy, and it's not really possible to work one out from what you've written. But it is certainly possible to do it without causing your son distress, but it may take some time.
You are not being at all selfish. You have done a wonderful job of BFing to nearly 8 months, and if it's time to stop, be proud of what you've done. If you don't want to stop, but do want to solve some of the difficulties you're having, that's possible
Either way, keep posting or you could try phoning one of the national helplines to get some one to one advice, such as the NCT line: 0300 330 0771
Do you want permission to stop, or help with improving your situation so you don't need to stop?
If it's the latter, organiccarrotcake's post is excellent.
If it's the former, allow me to say: you don't need to feel guilty. Stop! You have given your son a great start in life.
I don't have any advice on how to stop, I'm afraid. I bf till dd was nearly 2, then just distracted her for a couple of days till she stopped asking. It was as easy as pushing on an open door; she was ready to stop. That may or may not be the case for your ds, of course.
Thanks for reply.
Dont think i really do want to stop, just had a bad week with this using boob as a dummy thing! so tired and we are moving house so very stressed.
Also Ds is a very big baby off the chart for both weight and height, he has seen the paediatrion after different hv were worried he was gaining to much weight. And paed said he is fine i just have high calorie milk and that when he starts crawling it will come off.
But i feel bad and worry that my milk is making him fat. A woman in the supermarket asked me what i was feeding him to make him this big, when i said he was ebf. She said i should put him on formular and restrict it till the weight comes off as i am over feeding him breast milk. I know this is not true but do feel a little sensative about his weight.
Thanks for your reply occ. you had lots of great advice there.
When you do decide you want to stop it's worth considering how long it will take. I stopped over the course of a month (incidently when DD was 7 months) as was going on big holiday and wanted to be able to drink again etc - but that was a bit too quick and had to endure very painful boobs for a week.
Oh you poor thing. Someone saying something so insensitive would really upset me TBH
Yet many other people think, "big baby, bonnie baby"
Babies are all just different. People worry that their babies are too big, too small, too fat, too thin, and when we're BFing it feels like it's "our fault" that they're like they are. But honestly, it's just how he is. Your milk is giving him a wonderful start in life. He's getting all that immunity from bugs, almost all the nutrients he needs (and some bits of meat, fish, the odd bit of fruit and veg and some sunshine will compliment your milk to cover the areas that it's designed not to give your baby 100%).
We all go through phases of feeling that we're ready to stop, or it's all getting too much. And sometimes it really is the right time. And that's absolutely, then, the time to stop. No guilt, no worrying. But sometime there's just things that REALLY piss a mum off about BFing - but, if those things could be overcome, on the whole she wants to continue. Only the mum can make that decision.
You've had a really stressful time recently. You sound exhausted. Is there any chance you can take a break? Can someone look after your bub while you sleep? Or go out? Or spend some time online buying nice bras? .
All sympathies, I got stuck in the breastfeeding-as-dummy thing and it was exhausting. By the time dd was 8 months old she was wanting the breast on the hour every hour, round the clock, and I was losing my marbles. In the end I called up a briilliant sleep consultant (Andrea Grace - she has a website full of information) and we got sorted out and carried on happily breastfeeding for another year.
Please don't worry about him getting fat! Bf babies do sometimes seem to pile it on in the early months. dd, for example, was a normal weight newborn who then piled on weight at an alarming rate and became a great chubster - I look back at baby photos and it's hard to see her little currant eyes through the lard. But by the time she was 1 we were struggling with a dairy allergy and she got so underweight she was seeing the hospital dietitian every month. Since she was 2 she has had no weight issues either way, and is now - at nearly 6 - slim and healthy.
You're knackered and sensitive to silly comments in the supermarket. We've all been there and do understand. Get yourself moved, look at the Andrea Grace website, try to look after yourself - you'll work it out, you'll be fine. Oh, and PLEASE don't put him on a restricted formula diet
Nonsense, if he's breastfed on demand then he is the perfect weight for him. Your milk isn't especially high in calories or anything either.
Totally agree with OCC - if you want to continue it's fine to change the things you don't enjoy. I had to stop feeding my ds to sleep at 5 months for the same reason - it got to the point where he would only sleep with a nipple in his mouth. I basically did it cold turkey and DP took over putting him to bed, took a few nights of crying then that was it.
Also agree about the drinking - no reason not to have a few drinks, especially after the baby is in bed.
Definitely have a few drinks, they'll make you feel better for one thing
DS went through a stage of only sleeping latched on and it was awful, so I do feel for you for that. You can stop it though. I did stop feeding to sleep to do it but that was helpful to me anyway as it meant DH could do betimes as well so I could have nights out. You do feel like you have a bit more freedom that way.
As for that woman in the supermarket, she was suggesting you put your baby on a diet?? what a nutter! your bf is perfect for your baby and he's the right size for him. Be proud that you can make a lovely chubster!
How horrible of someone to say that to you. As other have said your baby is the size's he's menat to be and BF on demand is shown to reduce the risk of obisity in latter life anyway.
My friends little boy is big like your's and always has been, he's defanlty slightly leaner since he's been walking but they all tend to slim down a bit when they become more active. Absolutly nothing to worry about.
Oh and go have a drink what ever your favourit tipple is have one tonight.
Thank you everyone. I have loved breastfeeding and have been really proud of myself for being able to do it for this long.
I breastfed ds1 for only 3 weeks as it was too painful and i got mastitits that i gave up. I developed postnatal depression and alway thought this was because of the horrible breastfeeding experience. I always said i would never breastfed again anyway as soon as i got pregnant with ds2 i decided i would try to breastfed again. Even if he got the first few days worth it was better than none. Anyway i have been really lucky as ds2 latched on staight away and i have had no problems at all.
I just feel worried about his weight gain and peoples reactions when they see he is breastfed and that has taken away some of the joy i feel about being able to breastfed
Dont think i really want to stop at all and not bothered about drinking really. i know you can drink when breastfeeding just never have done. Do need some new bras though to cheer me up
Think i am over tired and stressed with the move and it is making me over sensative about the weight thing.
Going to have a glass of wine tonight and order some new bras when ds is asleep.
Thanks for your advice everyone will look into sleep training then dp can help out a bit more. I feel much better now and going to carry on breastfeeding as i do love it most of the time
I have been breastfeeding now for almost 3 years and I totally agree with the horrid bras. I did buy nice ones but they are so boring, and I can't afford anymore. I am looking forward to stopping just for that reason.
I haven't drank whilst bfing but 1 glass won't hurt. I think it is 1 hour per unit for it to leave your body so a glass of wine will take roughly 2 hours to leave your body. If he sleeps from 8pm till 2pm you are safe to have a glass after he has gone to sleep as the alcohokl will soon leave.
Please don't listen to someone saying you should switch him to formula and put him on a diet that is just insane. BF babies are usually less likely to be obese as they take what they need and you are not then encouraging them to feed the last oz. My friend made her baby super obese by formula feeding her whenever she cried. She had roll on roll of fat and was off the charts until she turned 18 months when she started controlling her intake. She is now a slender 14 year old. Fat babies do not usually make fat children/adults.
If someone raises an eyebrow when you say he is bfing just ignore them, he is your baby you know him best
I understand why you are sensitive about your baby's weight. My DD2 is fat, not chubby but FAT. I love it, she is really cuddly and cute but I regularly get people in the supermarket/Boots/doctors saying things like 'what are you feeding her?' with this sort of look on their faces -->
I've been told I must be overfeeding her, that its cruel, she will be obese for life etc. Thankfully I know she will be slimmer when she is walking and moving around more, just like DD1 did. But in the mean time its hard not to be a bit sensitive about it. I start double guessing myself - thinking maybe I am giving her too much?? Then I remember she is gorgeous and blow a raspberry on her thigh blubber!
My DD was exclusively breastfed and off the charts from about 4 months, hovering above it for ages! It was a bit of a shock for my family as all my family's babies are on or around the 75th for weight and more for height, tall but skinny.
But my DH's family breed babies chunky, and so it's been with DD. My MIL FF and I EBF so it doesn't seem to make any difference. Now she's a toddler and still quite heavy but back on the charts again.
It can worry me, when I'm in the mood to worry. But all the hysteria about weight does ignore the fact that we are all built differently, with different physiologies. She eats healthily. I remember a health website saying that dieticians are more concerned when a baby jumps centiles the second it is weaned. A high centile remaining constant is just the way they are. Someone has to be on the high ones!
Just wanted to share this with you : my ds was exclusively bf until he was over six months old, he was really chubby. I was told that unless I stopped feeding him a nine months it would be too hard to stop him, that was rubbish but not knowing any better and him being my first I did stop. Neither of us was ready and it was very hard. With dd I stopped at 12 months and that was right for both us . My ds is now 20 and although he was a chubby baby he is very slim now, chubby bf baby does not mean chubby child or teenager.
hi nora, no advice to offer, sorry. But I do want to show my support, as I too have a big EBF baby and have had constant very nasty comments from MIL and SIL, but the less said about them the better! Everyone is always commenting on how big he is etc, mixed with the nasty comments, I agree with you, it does take away the joy and sense of achievement.
However, recently saw the HV and she was laughing about how tall LO was, apparently he is 2cm off the expected height of a 1year old at 5 mnths! Of course we cannot feed our babies tall. I discussed the comments and concerns about his weight, but she said they look at height and weight here (not in UK at mo), if he was a tiny tot we'd need to worry, but most certainly not for his height. If your LO is off the charts for height as well as weight, then that's obviously just the way he is - if he was in the lower weight range he would look starved and undernourished.
Sometimes I think we just can't win, we will always feel guilty about something as mothers and everyone will always have an opinion on our choices. We can only do our best and that is just what you are doing for your LO. Whether you decide to stop, or take advice on issues, you have done an amazing job and are making the best decision for you and your baby.
OP, just to reiterate my recommendation for Elizabeth Pantley. Also anything by William Sears. "Sleep training" is a term that I don't use myself because it is usually used to describe CIO or CC. Neither of which I can support a) because I think it's cruel, and b) because the latest evidence says that allowing babies to cry for extended periods raises the cortisol (stress hormone) in the brain which can be damaging. That's a very basic summary but if you research it you'll find out about it.
There are many ways to settle babies without leaving them to cry. In fact there was a blog post about it yesterday:
and the post at the bottom about doing it to Grandma sums it up for me
There are variations on a theme, and somewhere between being having baby permanantly on the breast, and full on detachment CIO, there is a sweet spot - which is slightly different for all. With research you will find your own sweet spot.
Sorry occ i didnt really mean sleep training and dont agree with cc either. Was typing fast and trying to remember what people had said. I meant sort out the feeding to sleep (which i dont mind really) it the past week or so that he has wanted to keep it in his mouth whilst asleep which i need to sort out.
Will check out your links later when i have more time
Thank you so much for your advice
By the way, it isn't uncommon for bubs to go through phases of only sleeping with the nipple in the mouth, and then this passing. While you can certainly encourage it to stop, it may well just stop on its own.
Sometimes its because something is going on in their lives such as a tooth, or a bump, or a developmental stage. Sometimes they pick up on their parents' stress and want to be reasured that you're there for them.
I'm glad you're ok underneath it all. Glad to have helped in some small way
MN is always open for a rant
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