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Thinking of giving up bfing

(9 Posts)
JumpJockey Fri 07-Oct-11 19:51:21

dd2 is 9 months next week. I fed her sister up to 19 mo (when expecting dd2) and last couple of months had just been one short pre bed feed.

Dd2 usually wakes 2-3 times a night then up at 5-6 for the day. She feeds to sleep for at least one of her naps as well as usual feeds before solids, eats plenty. Apartfrom one glorious period when she did three nights of 7.30-4am it feels as if I've fed her every 3-4 hours for the past 9 months which means i never get a break, always do her bedtime. I feel pretty resentful of this and generally exhausted all the time as dh can't help with night wakings. She also has 4 teeth now and doesn't unlatch herself so much as pull away which is very painful.

I go back to work f/t in two months and she will be in nursery so may need to get her taking formula anyway (very little success with expressing). I have a terrible fear that i'll never get any time away from her to have a break from the intensity of it, and certainly not get a night out until she stops bfing. It feels more like a chore than a snuggly pleasure - she doesn't do that 'stop feeding give mummy a big smile' thing that dd1 did.

BUT i know all the benefits for her, and it's such a massively useful parenting tool. If i stop, will i regret it hugely? I don't really know how to cut down without risking the suppy stoppimg altogether.

Any sage advice?

thisisyesterday Fri 07-Oct-11 19:55:21

we used the no-cry sleep solution at around 9/10 months with ds2 which helped a lot.

if she is pulling away painfully then I would watch closely (if you can) for signs that she is finishing and then stop her doing it. it's never too early to teach them nursing manners, and if it's hurting you then you should do whatever necessary to stop her

there's no reason why, at this stage, you can't easily do a morning feed before nursery, one when you pick her up, and a bedtime one. your supply should be fine

Iggly Fri 07-Oct-11 20:02:01

Well if you want to drop a nigt feed, there's no reason your DH can't be on duty.

For the pre nap feed, what happens when you're out and she needs a nap?

JumpJockey Fri 07-Oct-11 20:30:07

She will sleep in the buggy or car, so tbh the pre nap feed is usually just to calm her rather than hunger. Also my laziness - said after dd1 that we wouldn't end up in the same boat but we have blush She's also doing some big separation anxiety at the moment whereby if she wakes and dh goes in instead of me she will just scream and scream until i go in and only boob will calm her, not hugging or singing or anything else, so it feels almost like doing cc.

TimeWasting Fri 07-Oct-11 20:52:12

I found it much less wearing once I stopped feeding DS to sleep at bedtime. Gradually moved the feed further back from sleeping and eventually had DH in charge of bedtime routine. Meant we could carry on feeding without me being so tied down to it.

No Cry Sleep Solution is great, the technique of gradually reducing the length of the feed is very helpful.

organiccarrotcake Fri 07-Oct-11 21:01:37

There is no way that anyone can tell you how you will feel, but you could try doing a pros and cons list!

The night wakings are very normal at her age, and feeding her back to sleep is probably the easiest and quickest way to do it. Stopping this will mean going through a whole load of trauma while you work out another way to do it. It will work out, you will find another way, but it might not be as easy as quick as BFing. On the other hand you can then share this with your DH, rather than it all being down to you.

I totally understand the not enjoying it. Do you ever? Even though you resent it and don't enjoy it, do you feel that the benefits it gives as a parenting tool are worth the downsides?

Can you work out a strategy to get more me-time? If she's going to start on some formula anyway, could you try leaving formula with her and DH (or someone else) for 1/2 day while you go and do something for you? Maybe try to get 1/2 a day or a day a week that's for you, away from her? Perhaps you'll find you don't want to be away, once you find you can smile

You WILL be able to have time away from her, of course. Over the next 4-6 months she's going to start dropping more and more feeds, and need to be tied to you less and less. Would you feel, looking back in 6 months, that you were glad you stuck it out, or resentful that you couldn't do what you wanted to do in that time? Only you can work this out smile

Finally, you CAN cut down and your supply will work itself out, don't worry about that. You won't just stop making milk unless she stops feeding, and even then it will take a while now as your supply will be very stable having BF for 9 months.

You are not alone in carrying on BFing despite not enjoying it, but only you can really work out whether the benefits are worth the downsides. At the same time, specific BFing problems can be improved (such as yesterday's suggestion about watching closely and unlatching) which may be enough to make it bearable for you. Have you seen Dr Sears' page about night nursing?

JumpJockey Fri 07-Oct-11 21:02:18

Her night feeds are pretty short, about 10 mins and she's back down, it's more just the relentless broken nights... Dd1 got the hang of sleeping by herself, about 13 months ish she just needed the bedtime bf and then slept pretty well all night.
One of our difficulties is that dh isn't always home for bedtime so I start everything off. dd2 also has a major post bath meltdown thing going on so I usually just feed her while trying to read dd1 her stories. We have the ncss and i was sooo determined to avoid the whole suck to sleeproblem...! We've just given her a special bedtime snuggly toy that she seems to be taking to, so maybe that will help smile

JumpJockey Fri 07-Oct-11 21:10:40

Xpost carrotcake. I would feel very sad for stopping feeding her as I know she enjoys is (grabs at my boobs all day!) and i know it's doing her good. I guess I do enjoy it often, but am just feeling v grumpy tonight after yet another horremdous bedtime and the prospect of yet another broken night. We co-slept up to 6 months until she got too big for her co-sleeper crib, and also got much more wriggly, so my nights were pretty broken but I'd just bung her on and both back to sleep.

Maye it's just because it's much more tiring this time round, having toddler and baby, and i'm laying all the blame at her door. She's always been quite a 'high needs' baby, was a month early and very colicky and more ddemandi g than her sister.

Thisisyesterday, i will keep an eye on her better. Tooth 4 has only just appeared so she might still be finding things tricky.

organiccarrotcake Fri 07-Oct-11 22:55:37

Oh high needs babies are exhausting (I have one...). Sometimes I feel really sick of BFing - like at 5 am when he's digging around the bed and begging for "muh", but on the other hand if I weaned I guess one of us would be up at 5am every morning! At least he goes back to sleep on the boob.

Sounds like you don't really want to stop... just know you're not alone? smile You're not smile

Sometimes for me hearing non-bfing friends talking about tough days they have, say, with a teething bub, makes me realise that while DS2 is super high-needs, at least I have a good way of dealing with it. My DH recognises the intensity of nursing a high-needs toddler and does as much as he can in other ways. Maybe a chat with OH may help?

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