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I don't want to express- I don't know if I should feel this way?

(46 Posts)
Lancrehotpot Thu 27-Sep-12 11:22:34

I have bf my DS since his birth. He's doing well and I feel like I've really got the hang of it. He is going on 5 months and at the age where GPs are wanting to babysit and the expectation is that I will 'just express', but I find myself really not wanting to and not knowing what to say.
Partly it's because I know it's a bit of a faff and I'd have to get DS used to bottles, but in honesty, it's that I can't imagine anyone else feeding my baby (milk). It just feels like such a personal thing to do now.. I would find anyone other than DH bottle-feeding him strange. I'm sure DS probably wouldn't give a monkey's who fed him once he got used to the bottle, so this is very much my issue.
I'm sorry if I'm not explaining this very well.
I posted a thread a while back about my family winding DS up to the point of hysterics, so realise this thread will most likely make me look completely smothering, but ah wellgrin
I look at my friends and all of them FF now and I am a little envious that they can leave the baby with their mums and have a full day out. At the same time though, this feels like a completely different experience to my own and I am concerned that there's something wrong with me for feeling like I don't want to leave him yet. There is a lot of pressure for me and DH to have 'alone time', but we get that every evening when DS is asleep.

I am looking forwards to him being older and being able to do all the 'grandparenty' stuff and be spoiled rotten, but at the same time, he will never be this little again and everyone tells me how quickly it goes.
I am thinking about trying to ride it out until he's taking solids, so family can feed him, but want to try extended-breastfeeding too. Is it unrealistic to think I can go on without expressing and if not, what should I say?

PeazlyPops Thu 27-Sep-12 11:29:16

If you don't want to, dont. You don't need to feel guilty for not wanting others to feed him.

I FF my DS, but only my husband or I feed him. Just because someone FFs doesn't mean they leave them with all and sundry for a feed. This actually got some people's backs up as they felt it was their "right" to feed the baby, but just because I don't bf doesn't mean I don't want a good feeding bond.

hairytale Thu 27-Sep-12 11:30:51

I think it's entirely up to you - if you aren't ready/willing then just don't do it.

Personally I'd love to have someone baby sit (DD is 8 months and ebf until recently but will take some expressed milk or formula from a sippy cup.

I find expressing a faffing too.

But it is entirely up to you and you shouldn't be put under pressure from anyone.

RillaBlythe Thu 27-Sep-12 11:31:53

Of course you can go on without expressing because you don't want to! At 5 months old there is absolutely no need for him to spend long periods of time with GPs if you don't want him too. At 6 months when he starts solids you will easily be able to leave him for 3 hrs + without leaving expressed milk for him.

Already my DD is 12 months, & if I leave her for a while with my mum, I don't bother leaving any expressed milk for her. If necessary she can have a beaker of cows milk, but generally she goes without, eats solids & tanks up on milk when I get back.

ZuleikaD Thu 27-Sep-12 11:36:19

If you don't want to - don't! In any case if your DS hasn't taken bottles by now then he'd probably be totally resistant anyway. Leave it a few months. I wouldn't let anybody but DH look after my DD when she was new.

To use the old mn classic phrase "no" is a complete sentence! Of course you may choose to say "no thank you" or "that doesn't work for me" but however you phrase it 1) you are allowed to say no and 2) you don't have to give a complicated reason or feel guilty about it.

Expressing is a complete faff, I've a lot of respect for women who do it. I could never get more than a dribble out but even if I could I don't want anyone else to feed my baby. (I also partly did BLW so he could choose what and how much he wanted to eat without someone saying "come on, one more mouthful")

your baby is still very young. If you don't want to leave him, don't. My 'baby' is 19 months old and I've never left him with GPs, fortunately they've stopped asking now! I have never felt the need for a 'break' - when I give birth next month to DC2 it will be the first time we've been away from each other for more than a couple of hours. I'm not ashamed or worried about that; he is confident, sociable, chatty and independent. I like to think I've had some role to play in that. A child can still form a close bond with GPs and extended family without being left alone with them. DS simply adores his GPs and aunts and uncles and I fully support and encourage his relationships with them... I just happen to always be in the same/next room.

There's no law that dictates when you must leave your baby or who with - I personally think breastfeeding is a lovely reason to keep them close to you but like a pp says even if you weren't BF it doesn't mean you are happy for others to feed or look after them. As long as you are true to yourself, giving the best to your child and not rude I can't see a problem. Stick to your guns but encourage time together with GPs with you involved as well would be my advice. Best of luck smile

YouBrokeMySmoulder Thu 27-Sep-12 11:54:34

Hmm of course dont express if you don't want to, it's not compulsory and it is a bit of a faff.

At the same time, I think it is good for you to realise that you do have a bit of an odd issue with other people feeding him. It isnt, ime, a common way to feel and while it is true that he won't be this little for ever and it's good to enjoy it, equally, it is nice for others to experience him while he is little as they won't ever get the chance again either.

When my dc have children I will be gutted if I don't get to spend proper time with them when they are babies and look after them on my own.

ZuleikaD Thu 27-Sep-12 12:03:14

I think it's a very common way to feel - IMO stuff other people and their wish to experience him while he's little. GPs have had their go - you look after your baby the way you want to and be as selfish as you like!

NeedlesCuties Thu 27-Sep-12 12:46:01

OP, don't express if you don't want.

I also have had similar from well-meaning ppl, usually my mum.

A recent pearl of hers was to tell me to "just express" some milk for my one week old DD so mum could help out by minding her hmm

this was off the back of me telling her I wasn't getting much sleep. I didn't want that sort of help, rather I wanted help with housework or minding my no-longer breastfed 2 year old!

When I told mum that expressing is a pain and not recommended for the early days she 'helpfully' told me that she had a friend who had a daughter who expressed from the week after her DC was born. confused

OP, you do what you want and what is best for your child. If the family want to help there are other things they can do

RhinestoneCowgirl Thu 27-Sep-12 12:53:48

Expressing is a faff. I did a couple of times with first baby, so I could go out in the evenings (and then I was only leaving DS with DH). Second time round I didn't even bother with that, DD used to come out with me in the evenings, she particularly enjoyed book group wink

I don't think I really left either of mine for longer than 2-3 hours until around 9 months, by which time they were eating/drinking and were happy to wait for a bf when I returned. I went back to work part time when DS was 11 months and never expressed.

Your baby is 5 months, it won't be long before milk isn't such a big issue.

EauRouge Thu 27-Sep-12 13:40:44

It's not uncommon to feel like this and it's perfectly fine if you don't want to express and leave your baby with someone else smile You shouldn't feel like you have to do something that makes you or your baby feel uncomfortable just to save someone else's feelings.

Rubirosa Thu 27-Sep-12 13:45:46

I think it's very normal not to want other people to feed your baby - they are designed to be fed by their mothers. I never expressed either but mostly because I find the whole idea of expressing milk quite cringey/icky blush

ShowOfHands Thu 27-Sep-12 13:55:36

I've contributed to a similar thread before. It's surprisingly common and not odd at all.

I felt pressured into expressing when my dd was 12wo so we could go for lunch while my parents looked after her for a couple of hours. I despised it and when I returned to see my dm bottle feeding dd, I wanted to snatch the bottle and hurl it away. I didn't, I calmly took dd and put her to the breast instead, it felt right.

Don't feel under any pressure. You'll know when it's right. My dd is 5yo now and happily goes to grandparents' houses for sleepovers and days out. She was 3yo before I was happy to leave her though and only because I was pg and knew I had to prepare her for that possibility of needing to sleep at her grandparents'.

DS is 12mo and I have never expressed. He has had bm direct from source and more recently water in a beaker but I followed my instincts. I'm not ready to leave him yet and that's fine.

It's fine to feel that way. Many mothers I have spoken to (FF mothers too) have felt the same.
I also felt this way. DS1 had the odd bottle of expressed milk from 4-11weeks as I was doing an evening course but DS2 and DD have never had a bottle from anybody. I never felt the need to get away and have an 'evening off'. If I went out I just popped them inthe sling and took them with me.
It hasn't had any effect on their independence etc - they all happily stay ovenight with my parents on the odd occasion (despite DD, 3yo, not having weaned yet) now that they are older.
They aren't babies for long. If you are happy having someone else feed them so you can do other stuff go for it but if you aren't you don't need to make any excuses for your feelings.

ps, if GPs try and guilt trip you into letting them have their 'turn' looking after/feeding your baby bear in mind that they had their turn when they had babies.

nickeldaisical Thu 27-Sep-12 14:39:26

there's nothing wrong with how you feel.

when DD was about 5 months, I was thinking about how I could leave her at home when I went to dance class, and I expressed some milk and got DH to feed her with it in a bottle.

she wouldn't take it at all and started screaming for the real stuff (even though I wasn't in the room). as soon as I came back, she threw herself at my boobs and drank enough for a baby horse.

I didn't do any of that again until the last couple of weeks (she's now 9 months), and she drank it out of a sippy cup.
(i just took her with me to dance in the meantime)

If you don't want anyone else to feed her, then that's fine. it's not a problem.

You'll find that you can time it so that she doesn't need a feed while someone is looking after her - if she's feeding every two hours, work out when she normally has a feed, then time your GP's babysitting for just after. If she's anything like DD, she'll be asleep for part of that anyway.
smile

nickeldaisical Thu 27-Sep-12 14:40:16

and what Librarians said - they only want to have the cutseyness of babysitting a baby - they've had their turn.

Startailoforangeandgold Thu 27-Sep-12 16:25:04

I BF DD2 for years. I can't express at all.
She won't drink formula or cows milk. She survived perfectly happily on yoghurt, juice and squash if I wanted time off. Once she was 6 months plus I could pop off swimming and I guess I got days off from her being about a year old. She did a full long day at nursery from 18 months they seemed to manage.

Lancrehotpot Thu 27-Sep-12 17:42:10

I've had a good read through these comments, thank you everyone.
Peazlypops The 'feeding bond' is just what I would call it, but I've only ever heard this phrase online. Think my family would pooh-pooh the idea tbh, which is a shame because I think it definitely exists..^Just because someone FFs doesn't mean they leave them with all and sundry for a feed^ Of course not... In my friendship group though, I am the odd one out/ feel like I'm being precious about feeding DS
Nicecupoftea A child can still form a close bond with GPs and extended family without being left alone with them I think so too. Glad your LO is doing so well. Good luck with the new LO.
Youbrokemysmoulder I will be gutted if I don't get to spend proper time with them when they are babies and look after them on my own. But surely if your children don't feel comfortable leaving their babies, you wouldn't push the issue? We're getting it mentioned nearly every time we speak to relatives on the phone. Plus, what Nicecupofteasaid above.
Zuleika Thanks again for replying; your comments on the other thread were really helpfulsmile
Rubirosa
I find the whole idea of expressing milk quite cringey/icky This made me grin My grandfather acts like I'm performing some gruesome bowel surgery whenever I need to feed DS.
Startail I may try express, just to see if I can do it, but at the same time I'm thinking that a white lie that 'I can't' may be the most sensitive way to go.

Thank you to people reassuring that it's normal. Glad to hear posts like Librarians' too.

louloutheshamed Thu 27-Sep-12 17:44:33

I felt exactly the same. The first time dh gave ds expressed milk in a bottle I cried. It felt wrong. I only expressed about 3 more times after that then stopped because it was such a faff.

YouBrokeMySmoulder Thu 27-Sep-12 18:07:27

No I wouldn't push it of course but I would be a bit of a boot faced gp about it. Five months is really quite old, it's not like five weeks.

I went back to work pretty soon after that and ds would have starved if no one else had fed him.

It doesnt mean you love them any less, just means more of the extended family get to love them as well [shrugs]. Plus I think it is good for the baby to not mind being looked after by lots of people but maybe it depends on now big your extended family are and your attitude to that. I will always accept any sort of help with the dc.

blushingmare Thu 27-Sep-12 19:30:09

I feel exactly like this OP. my DD is nearly 4 months and I love BF her and can't imagine ever feeling happy about her having a bottle (happy to stay open minded, but just how I feel at the moment). In fact I was only saying this to my mum yesterday - that I genuinely really don't begrudge "having" to stay near her and not having free evenings etc. I'm just so aware that she'll only be little like this once and it goes so quickly - I'm just making the most of this special time. (sorry if that sounds ridiculously smug or whatever, but it's just how I feel right now - I know other people aren't the same, but there's no right or wrong IMHO).

In my NCT group of friends everyone's dying to express and leave baby with GPs etc and also keen to get on with weaning. I feel a bit weird for not wanting to at all, but we're all different. I even feel a bit sad when I think of her starting on solids, but maybe I'm getting carried away now blushblush!

SeventhEverything Thu 27-Sep-12 19:33:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

theidsalright Thu 27-Sep-12 20:50:04

There are loads of us who don't express!

There are loads of mothers who have no interest in getting a break from baby.

There are loads of mothers who have no one to look after their baby even if they DID want time out.

"Normal" is a large place!

I would opt for "finding it hard to get the hang of it" and it always helps to refer to something complicated like the babies development. I mumble crap about development to get me out of all sorts and it usually seems to do the trick smile

GurlwiththeFrothyCurl Thu 27-Sep-12 21:20:37

Having fed my DSs over twenty years ago, it is interesting to read this thread. I can't remember having the same pressure to express for others to feed your baby. It just didn't happen in those days. Yes, some people did so that they could go out or return to work, but no-one said anything about others doing the feeding as if they would be missing out.

Funnily enough, I found it easy, but neither of my boys would take a bottle, so in the end, I didn't bother. I fed them for a year each and really that was such a short time out of my life! We started having babysitters or leaving them with GPs when the youngest was about 18 months.

Now, I read these threads about women ebf until 2, 3 or more and I am sad that I stopped at a year. Happy days!

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