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I hate breast feeding!

(30 Posts)
FerretMum Fri 19-Aug-11 01:20:38

Don't know where to start... It makes me feel miserable because it's relentless, restricting and makes me feel ugly and often uncomfortable. I'm trapped by it because DD won't take a bottle... I'm exhausted because she wants to feed most of the time, and i'm clearly rubbish at it because she continues to drop on her centiles...

Feel like tearing my hair out. She's 13 weeks, when will this torture end?

Penthesileia Fri 19-Aug-11 01:29:35

I am not good at advice, but didn't want to let your post go unanswered. Poor you. Sorry you're feeling down.

You're clearly not at all rubbish if you've been going for 13 weeks! Well done, especially if you find it so tough.

Is it a 4 month growth spurt? Some people report an increase in feeding about now, I think.

Do you have some support? Could the feeling ugly/uncomfortable be more about not getting any time to yourself rather than exactly linked to the BFing, iyswim?

Are you feeding now? It's hard being up when it feels like everyone else is asleep.

I feel for you. smile

Bubandbump Fri 19-Aug-11 02:15:36

Aw Ferretmum, you poor thing. My DD won't take a bottle any more either at 12 weeks and is a serial snacker.

The thing I find helpful is getting out during the daytime, out with friends, to baby classes etc. I tend not to really notice the feeding then as I so busy normally chatting away. At night I make sure I can mumsnet to pass the time!

It should be getting quicker now though - DD can feed in 10 mins fully if she puts her mind to it but mostly prefers stretching it out then going to sleep there. Have you had the latch checked etc to make sure she is feeding properly?

HoneyNutLoop Fri 19-Aug-11 02:32:44

Been there, felt that...
One, YOU ARE NOT RUBBISH AT IT! I'm sure of that. Bf is bloody hard work, it is exhausting, it is relentless especially if you have a milk monster like my ds was...I'm sure that it was at about the 3-4 month mark when I reached breaking point with ds and thought I would quit, even tried to introduce bottles... It hindsight it was more to do with exhaustion than anything else...and a need for some personal space if only for half an hour...
May I suggest you have a chat with your health visitor or gp about how you are feeling, if only to get it off your chest ( was that a bad choice of words! ) and maybe get a bit of reassurance and advice about your dd's growth...
At the end of the day, in my humble opinion, being a mum is about doing your best, nothing more, nothing less...and to do your best YOU must be happy and comfortable...it seems like you are working hard to do your best for your dd, now you need to work out what's best for you...
For what it's worth, I did get over my hurdle and went on to bf ds for 2 years 3 months and then dd the same... and I enjoyed it...No I'm not a hippy, I never intended to do longer than a year, and would have been pleased with myself for achieving 6 months, but in the end it's amazing what having children does to you, and amazing how a bit of sleep and space ( if you are lucky ) changes things...
Good luck x

Bunsouttheoven Fri 19-Aug-11 02:40:38

Oh sorry you are feeling so sad FM

The dropping of the centile thing does not point to you being rubbish. The charts are based on formula fed babies predominantly. Both my dc dropped on these charts. Better to look to see if there is a steady arc & if baby is healthy etc.

The first few months of bf are the hardest but things will get easier. Your dd is likely to get more efficient at feeding and feed less often.

Agree with the other poster, try to get out & about, see friends go to baby groups. Also as your dd gets older bfing will not be her only source of comfort/distraction. You will be able to play with her & there will be other dimensions to your relationship not just nursing.

Your doing a great job nurturing your DD, honestly bfing won't always be this hard. Do you know any other mum's who bf? I found it helpful to meet others who do. Is there a bf group nearby you could go to for support?

TheRealMBJ Fri 19-Aug-11 06:00:16

sad Sorry you are feeling so down.

Is there a local bf support group you can go to? There is a list of support groups here and here and a list of the national helpline numbers and some good links here it really does help to talk to other mums.

Have you considered that there may be an element of PND that is exacerbating your feelings of despair?

lilham Fri 19-Aug-11 06:56:44

Have you talk to the HVs about her weight gain? Are they happy with it? Being a mum to a newborn is relentless tiring work. They are so dependent on you. For example my DD has decided 6am is a great time to get up (fed last at 4am). She didn't want any milk but want to lie with me in the bed, not her cot. sad
I find going to baby groups really help. It keeps some structure to my days. Also it helps to know I'm not the only one having the same problems.

HumptyDumpty1 Fri 19-Aug-11 07:19:50

I feel your pain ferretmum. I also hate breastfeeding. My 21wo DD has decided she wants to feed every 2 hours through the day and every hour and a half at night, and I have uni exams next week sad She won't take a bottle, beaker or cup if ebm or formula so like you I feel trapped.

No advice though, just wanted to say you are not alone in how you feel.

WoTmania Fri 19-Aug-11 08:51:27

You sound really fed up sad. Would it help to talk to someone? This blog has all the BF helpline numbers down right-hand side
I don't know what RL support you're getting IME it's well worth either getting in touch with a BFC or going to your local group. Other mothers there will be able to talk to you about their experiences and if you are worried about supply/baby's gain someone will be able to talk to you about what to do about that.
All 3 of my DC hit a major growth spurt at around that time and I just sat around feeding them (at home or in cafes) what felt like all the time. It does get better. Honestly.

TrompetteMilitaire Fri 19-Aug-11 08:55:47

I feel for you too. I felt exactly the same. sad

My own personal experience was that the sun came out again when I started giving DS a bottle instead. That doesn't mean it's what you should do - but it worked for me.

kellieb7 Fri 19-Aug-11 11:23:56

Oh bless you, I remember it well. My DD (now 7.5 months) was an absolute boob monster and was rarely not attached. I remember completely breaking down because I wanted to wash my hair and DD just screamed everytime I took her off. All I will say is that it does gets easier infact now it is the easiest thing in the world. Just do whatever you need to to get through it and I am sure things will pick up soon. Take care of yourself x x

Cosmosis Fri 19-Aug-11 12:48:26

What does the HV say about her wieght? When you say a drop in centiles, what sort of drop? Can you give some sort of indictation of weight pattern?

You say she feeds most of the time, is it an effective feed, ie can you see a suck/swallow pattern?

You say it makes you uncomfortable, is it sore?

It really shouldn’t feel restricitve as the beauty of bf is that you have food on tap so you can go anywhere and do anything without having to worry about making up bottles for the baby.

TrompetteMilitaire Fri 19-Aug-11 13:50:35

It felt restrictive for me when I was howling in the Sainsbury's car park as DS needed feeding for the hudredth time and I couldn't move for long enough to buy even a loaf of bread. sad

FerretMum Fri 19-Aug-11 15:11:45

Hi ladies, thanks for your words of support... In the cool light of day it's not so bad, and I know things will get easier...

But right now it is relentless, DD has no identifiable pattern, and wants to feed hourly to two & a half hourly during the day at present, going longer at night, Thank God! She seems to be a slow feeder and usually falls asleep, sometimes still feeding, and likes to suckle... I particularly hate being used as a dummy, but she won't take one and hasn't found her thumb. I am trying to keep an eye on her swallowing, and encourage active feeding, but at night time in particular find this difficult as I've been so tired I've been falling asleep... Hence the iPad at 01.20 am!

I find it restricting because there is no pattern to her feeding and I have to take two pillows everywhere - we use the rugby ball hold following my c-section, when I tried to start cross-cradle I got mastitis, which may have been coincidence but was so hideous I daren't risk it again... She gets hungry so quickly it seems, she often cries if we go out because I'll offer her feed before we leave and if she's not interested she'll bob on and off, smiling at me and easily distracted, then sods law if I decide to go, she'll get hungry in the car and we both arrive distressed...

Then out and about it's really hard to do the rugby ball unless you're sat on a sofa... I end up in all sorts of contorted positions, with back ache and a numb bottom, swear I'm at risk of a pressure sore - in fact immediately after my c- section my bum was sore!

I guess I feel ugly because I feel fat and saggy... With our current regime there is no time for me to exercise properly and i'm sick of the sight of my tummy and boobs hanging out, there's no bloody dignity in it! And my body is no longer mine... My only me time is the five/ten minutes I get in the shower each evening before cluster feeding DD to sleep (rod for my own back...) when DH takes DD for me. My morning shower is taken against the clock whilst DD sleeps or plays in the Moses basket in the doorway of the bathroom after DH has left for work... It's a good day when I can "cleanse, tone AND moisturise"! Plus do I need a haircut!!!

I know this all par for the course, and things will get better... In many ways they already have. And I do love my gorgeous little girl, but life is so different right now, I'm a self-confessed perfectionist and control freak for goodness sake, lol!

I do get out to several groups and have made several good friends already who are very supportive... I will talk to the BFC at my group on Tuesday. I think last night I was having one of those wobbles, when she woke up hungry just an hour after settling, DH was gently snoring beside me and things getting easier seemed even further away than usual! She's had a bit of a cold for the last week, has kind of been having a growth spurt, I think, and had jabs on Tuesday... So is likely to be out of sorts!

Anyway, thanks for your support, it is good to let some of it out, and I know all these things are short term worries really that can be addressed in due course... This time next year I won't even remember them - and you can be sure there'll be something else to think about then!

issynoko Fri 19-Aug-11 15:19:06

I hated it too but will do it for while with the next baby (am pregnant now). But when I give up will try not to feel so guilty. Really loathed it even when it was going well - and was so much happier when I stopped.

TheRealMBJ Fri 19-Aug-11 15:23:12

I'm glad you're feeling more positive today. smile The middle of the night is a killer, isn't it? It is so easy to feel utterly alone in the dark, especially when your partner is fast asleep. Have you considered a bit of temporary co-sleeping? UNICEF has an excellent leaflet on safe co-sleeping (sorry can't link on my phone but google it wink) and it really does help with the exhaustion as you can doze while DD feeds.

lilham Fri 19-Aug-11 15:35:09

It indeed gets a lot better when she finds her fists. That's also when she starts sleeping through. I know what you mean by trying to feed them before you leave home and they aren't interested.

By the way, do you have a sling? Mine cries a lot in the pram but will happily sit in the baby bjorn for hours. Makes going out easier. It's the same at home. She doesn't like being put down.

The c section will heal and feeding out and about will become easier.

Being a mum is hard work and you are doing brilliantly.

Cosmosis Fri 19-Aug-11 15:49:59

To be honest a lot of the things you talk about are new baby issues not bf issues, lack of time, lack of sleep, feeling a bit saggy and baggy etc they’d all be the same if you were ff as well. Your life has undergone such a huge change you are bound to feel overwhelmed a lot of the time.

Cluster feeding to sleep is NOT a rod for your own back it’s normal and they do grow out of it!

You can have a hair cut, your dp can hold the fort for a couple of hours, she’ll be fine honestly. I’m sure it will make you feel a lot better about yourself as well.

Have you been to any bf groups? They may help you to find another position to feed in that you are comfortable with. If at the moment you are only using the rugby ball, I can totally understand that is a bit restricting. Have a look at lll groups in your area or a bf café or at your local childrens centre.

cantmakecarrotcake Fri 19-Aug-11 15:59:22

Ferretmum Don't fret about the drop on the centiles. Like Bunsouttheoven says the charts are based on the national 'average' and while include BF babies aren't a good representation for them in particular. DD was born on 25th and dropped to below the 9th by 13weeks.

When you say she wants to feed all the time. How often and is she actually feeding or comfort sucking? A friend had a baby who loved to comfort suck so introduced a dummy to stop her being used as a human dummy.

Can you get her on a frequent but set routine of feeds so you at least know where you're at and you're not constantly in demand? 2 hourly perhaps?

My group nearly all BF so there was always support out there but I couldn't have survived the first 4 months without them. Do chat to the HV as well as they'll be able to reassure you that you're doing fine. I've always found BF convenient, but understand you using the word restrictive as you are the only one who can feed.

If baby won't take a bottle, you could try a free-flow sippy cup with ebm? They're ok from 4 months I think?

In the mean time, treat yourself to some new clothes or something to make you feel a bit more like yourself (maybe a sexier nursing bra) then get your OH to take you out for lunch to somewhere you'll feel comfortable BF (child-friendly places like Giraffe are good) and be proud that you've made it to 13 weeks - so many don't (in fact I think only 2% of mums feed beyond 5 months).

Hang in there, I hope it gets better for you.

FeralGirlCambs Fri 19-Aug-11 16:15:37

Poor Ferretmum I know exactly how you feel, and then there's the guilt about not liking it when the whole world tells you a) it's best for your baby and b) it's a wonderful feeling of closeness, so convenient etc etc. We can't really dispute a) but though I adore my daughter I think b) is pretty much a matter of opinion, depending on what feels wonderful and convenient to you; but it's kind of unacceptable to dispute the general orthodoxy of loveliness by admitting to thinking it's a bit icky. I'm combining breast and formula / EBM bottles - 5-6 long breast feeds a day but topping up with bottles and it is MUCH better for my sanity, not least because she sleeps longer after a bottle. There's got to be a balance of best for baby and mum not cracking up, and all the breastfeeding support groups in the world won't help if what's actually the matter is feeling like a dairy cow - thinking and talking more about BF is not going to help there! We use Tommee Tippee closer to nature bottles, which are recommended for combining breast and bottle. No prob getting her to take them but she was in SCBU and on the bottle before the breast, though all breast milk at that stage. You could try one of these bottles if you haven't? And also try to get your DP to administer it - if the boob is away, the bottle might hold more appeal. And - without at all advocating child cruelty smile - men are probably better at getting the bottle in, even if baby's first reaction is horror. You can hide in the next room (earplugs in) for five mins and see if it works? obviously if she gets distressed you'd have to give it a rest, but maybe worth a go... EBM probably easier as it'll taste the same.

lilham Fri 19-Aug-11 16:17:16

How good is your DH with the baby? Or your mum? I found that while she will feed every 2-3 hours with me, she can go longer with my DH. Afterall she goes 6+ hours in the evening! I can go out for a haircut etc, and when I come home, I just need to feed her. This gives me a bit more freedom even though she won't take a bottle.

Also I go to postnatal exercise classes. You can take your LO with you, but the emphasis is yourself. I found that important as its so easy to lose yourself. Can you see if there are yoga, pushy mummies, aerobics classes in your area?

Cosmosis Fri 19-Aug-11 16:21:24

Just to say, the charts are based on BF babies now and a drop of more than two centile lines should be looked into, but I’m assuming that has the OP knows her dd is /has dropped that the HVs are looking at the situation – which is why I asked in my post what the HV thought of her dd’s weight. It doesn’t necessarily mean there is a problem, there is “catchdown growth” where babies are just finding the right centile for them, so may drop at first, but then follow the new line quite happily.

greengirl87 Fri 19-Aug-11 16:26:44

I really struggled with bresat feeding, i never enjoyed it, and the feeling of the milk in my breasts made me feel very sick. However, i did breast feed until my daughter was 15months old, and when i stopped i actually MISSED doing it!!! What i tried to remember when it BF was getting me down was that its sunch a small fragment of your entire life that you will spend BF, but the advantages of it will last your child for life! I became a breast feeding peer supporter when my daughter was 1 and found being at the groups and talking to other women really helped. I would suggest trying to find a support group in your area.

cantmakecarrotcake Fri 19-Aug-11 16:33:37

Cosmosis, I stand corrected, I just read in my red book that they're BF babies across a number of different countries. But either way, not every baby grows at the same rate as the curve. My DH only doubled his birth weight at 1 year, which I expect impacts DD's growth too.

Cosmosis Fri 19-Aug-11 16:34:58

I agree, my ds was born on 50th, dropped to under 25th at about 3 or 4 months, and now at 11m is just under the 91st !

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